I did a short side to side session with the black (stock) and the green (modded) Q´s today. This is what I tried:
- Q701 Black (stock).
- Q701 Green (modded).
- iMac > ODAC > O2 > ...
- iMac > Fiio E07K (DAC and amp) > ...
- iMac > L7 > Fiio E07K DAC) > Fiio E5
I am not an expert in describing sound (yet O_o), but these are my really early impression:
- Q701 green or modded has a much better presence of the sub and mid bass, and a slightly better presence of low mids that affect vocals doing them more natural / less sharp. I really enjoyed vocals better in the modded version except with one song . I would say there is a very subtle decrease of the treble, or at least it is less peaky or with more coherence (this is very subtle in my opinion). This headphone was funnier to listen to, more engaging, more natural and more neutral to my ears, with a bigger soundstage but this basically due to the presence of the sub bass. Bass was definitely punchier and with a lot of body, very detailed (or just much more present).
- Detail was the same if not slightly better for the stock version. This might well be due to the recessed bass, that less you focus more in the detail of mids. The stock version was as well much easier to listen to (but not as engaging).
- I preferred stock to be just listening to music in background, I mean if you are going to be reading or multitasking. If you are going to be basically listening to music, I clearly preferred the modded version.
- Regarding the amps... I preferred the sound out of the ODAC/O2 combo because it felt better driven, specially in the bass section. The bass was tighter, fuller, and more present in both headphones. With the O2 the difference between the two version was even bigger. I could not really tell a big difference between the E07K and E5 although I didn´t listen to them very extensively. The bass was smoother, not as detailed, but not bad either. I found the modded version easier to listen to with these amps due to the smoother sound. The headphones were definitely not at their full potential, but they weren´t loose either. I can understand that some people would prefer the not that analytical/detailed/precise sound with this amp, if that makes sense.
- Stock: Better for long/easier listening session, music on the background, relaxation...
- Modded: More precise, more flat/neutral/natural and engaging. Fun, better for focusing on enjoying the music. Better as well for not specially powerful amps. This version is more sensible to the amp:
- The less powerful the source, the less bass and detail they get, the more harsh and uneven they become (specially the modded version). I even tried directly out of the iMac output (don´t do this, they sound horrible).
Some pictures for those who might enjoy them.
Side note: There is something weird sounding on the bass in the modded version that I don´t end finding yet. It might be so much air moving or something. It´s like a drastic hit in your face going with the drums hits... Don´t know yet. May be the speaker like feeling they provide...
For the time being, I won´t modify the black ones, but I must say in general I prefer the sound on the modded version.
I forgot to mention: I prefered the grainy, coarse, unpolished, matte finish on the black Q´s over the glossy finish of the green one´s, but the color of the green is just awesome. A fusion of both would be superb.
Edited by Ashade - 10/9/13 at 10:27pm