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Q701 impressions thread - Page 206

post #3076 of 9514
Thread Starter 

Is the M-Stage warmer and fuller sounding than the E9? To me the E9 has just a small touch of warmth and I imagine with the M-Stage there is just a tiny more more warmth.

I actually found the HRT MSII (DAC) too warm, but most people won't. It was nice for specific headphones, but I didn't like this for my DJ100 and HD-650. That's why I got the ODAC and then the Modi.

 

I guess in terms of tonality I like something in the middle of say the Magni and an E9. Obviously still ruler flat. Apparently the E9 measures very well, but i'm not surprised.

 

I think in terms of warmth my Micro with Astrodyne is mid-way between the Magni and E9.

 

I only really like amps that are good with everything (not IEMs though). The Asgard1 and Magni were not like this for me unfortunately. People love to bash the E9, but I think it's better than the Magni and Asgard1 with the Q701.

 

Can't decide to get another E9 or just go with the E17. I've converted to apartment living so having two desktop amps is kind of pointless. I do like having a 2nd one for the bedroom though for movies.

 

I'm just worried the E17 as a DAC is too warm for the HD-650. If it sounds like a clone of the E10 i'll be majorly disappointed.

 

E12 sounds interesting too, but I'm worried it will be too similar to the Magni.

 

EDIT: I just bought an E17 and L7. Should arrive sometime next week. Hopefully it's decent as a DAC. Maybe I will like it even as a backup amp for my Q701? I actually wanted to get it just for it's Wolfson DAC and that I need another portable amp for my DJ100.

 

So far the only Fiio amps i've liked are the E5 and E9. The E11 is just OK. I prefer my Airhead by far.


Edited by tdockweiler - 5/31/13 at 9:13pm
post #3077 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

 

I have no idea what the O2 sounds like, so I don't stand by that statement!

 

Regarding the iCan vs M-stage, I'm not sure  if one amp "sounds" brighter or darker or if it's just that the M-stage is slightly more transparent.  To be fair though, the M-stage is 2.5x times the size of the iCan!  For a lot of tracks I would rather listen to the iCan with its switches ON over the M-stage though.  Also depends on the headphone I'm using.

 

Hum the m-stage was the "darkest/warmest" of my dedicated headphones amps (the warmest output is from my stereo amplifier (luxman LV-91)  , after upgraded to A-GD C2.1 wich was a tad brighter and more detailled / transparent , and to SPL Auditor wich was again , a bit more brighter and more detailled/transparent .

 

And O2 seams very similar to SPL Auditor . For me => O2 / SPL Auditor => "neutral"

 

C2.1 / M-stage near neutrality but tending to warm side .

 

(All this amps tested with the same K702 )

 

M-stage / C2.1 => direct comparison . C2.1/Auditor => direct comparison . 

O2 / Auditor it's from memory so take this with a bit of salte . (but could compare to my Luxman LV-91 output that was compared to all of this amps)

 

Just impressions ^^ (would like to re do all this comparison at correctly level matched tongue.gif)


Edited by HaVoC-28 - 6/1/13 at 11:45pm
post #3078 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

Is the M-Stage warmer and fuller sounding than the E9? To me the E9 has just a small touch of warmth and I imagine with the M-Stage there is just a tiny more more warmth.

I actually found the HRT MSII (DAC) too warm, but most people won't. It was nice for specific headphones, but I didn't like this for my DJ100 and HD-650. That's why I got the ODAC and then the Modi.

 

I guess in terms of tonality I like something in the middle of say the Magni and an E9. Obviously still ruler flat. Apparently the E9 measures very well, but i'm not surprised.

 

I think in terms of warmth my Micro with Astrodyne is mid-way between the Magni and E9.

 

I only really like amps that are good with everything (not IEMs though). The Asgard1 and Magni were not like this for me unfortunately. People love to bash the E9, but I think it's better than the Magni and Asgard1 with the Q701.

 

Can't decide to get another E9 or just go with the E17. I've converted to apartment living so having two desktop amps is kind of pointless. I do like having a 2nd one for the bedroom though for movies.

 

I'm just worried the E17 as a DAC is too warm for the HD-650. If it sounds like a clone of the E10 i'll be majorly disappointed.

 

E12 sounds interesting too, but I'm worried it will be too similar to the Magni.

 

EDIT: I just bought an E17 and L7. Should arrive sometime next week. Hopefully it's decent as a DAC. Maybe I will like it even as a backup amp for my Q701? I actually wanted to get it just for it's Wolfson DAC and that I need another portable amp for my DJ100.

 

So far the only Fiio amps i've liked are the E5 and E9. The E11 is just OK. I prefer my Airhead by far.

 

The M Stage is NOT warmer than the E09K, they are about equal in terms of "warmth".

Where the M State excels over the E09K is in added transparency and a fuller, more complete sound.

 

The M Stage will work well with the DAC in the E17.

The E17 has a slightly, bright crisp DAC.

post #3079 of 9514
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post

 

The M Stage is NOT warmer than the E09K, they are about equal in terms of "warmth".

Where the M State excels over the E09K is in added transparency and a fuller, more complete sound.

 

The M Stage will work well with the DAC in the E17.

The E17 has a slightly, bright crisp DAC.

 

Thanks, that helps.

That sounds like an exact description of the Micro Amp I have. For me it's kind of like an E9 on steroids, but it seems to have better treble, more detail and sound clarity.

The weird thing about the E9 I had before is that when switching DACs it was kind of hard to tell them apart when used with the E9. I had the ODAC and HRT MSII. When switching sources with my Micro Amp it's stupid easy to tell the difference.

 

The E9 seemed to add it's own sort of mild coloration to the sound, but not too badly. For a $110 amp I can't complain. I bet the M-Stage and Micro Amp might be pretty similar sounding, but not sure. 

If I had to stick with a $120 amp I'd probably be happy with just the E9.

 

Really looking forward to the E17. I'd read that it has a 3db drop at 18khz or so when used as a DAC only, but probably not even audible by me. Who knows. Even if I don't like it as a DAC i'll use it as my main portable amp.

post #3080 of 9514

I know I've said this a million times on here, but I love the E17 with my Q701, especially with a very mild 2db bass boost. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

 

Thanks, that helps.

That sounds like an exact description of the Micro Amp I have. For me it's kind of like an E9 on steroids, but it seems to have better treble, more detail and sound clarity.

The weird thing about the E9 I had before is that when switching DACs it was kind of hard to tell them apart when used with the E9. I had the ODAC and HRT MSII. When switching sources with my Micro Amp it's stupid easy to tell the difference.

 

The E9 seemed to add it's own sort of mild coloration to the sound, but not too badly. For a $110 amp I can't complain. I bet the M-Stage and Micro Amp might be pretty similar sounding, but not sure. 

If I had to stick with a $120 amp I'd probably be happy with just the E9.

 

Really looking forward to the E17. I'd read that it has a 3db drop at 18khz or so when used as a DAC only, but probably not even audible by me. Who knows. Even if I don't like it as a DAC i'll use it as my main portable amp.

post #3081 of 9514

Well,  my brand new Q701 just arrived this morning from Amazon at work.  I bought the Q701 solely for mixing late at nite when I can't use my monitors and . 

So far, after 2 hours, my initial impressions are  :

 

  1. On my XPS laptop(no ext DAC or amp), definitely enough volume when maxed out volume from windows and 70% from media software.  Having done a lot of recording and mixing on monitors and closed headphones, I never heard this much clarity and transparency before.  Frequency responses are great and super balanced except for the low bands which are clear and precise but just a touch, very small touch, shy (a +2 bump on the EQ took care of this).  With both HPs plugged in, I've been switching back and forth between Q701 and my closed HP (Sony MDR-V6) to compare all morning while listening to very familiar tracks including ones I've recorded myself so I know exactly how they are supposed to sound. With same volume setting, Q701 has roughly about 20% less loudness.  The definition, clarity, transparency, openness of the sounds are incredible.  Sound/tone are on the brighter side as of now but SO MUCH clarity it's kind of scary :)  Definitely a different league of headphone. I am somewhat addicted to searching for the "air" in vocal tracks and oh boy, the Q701 gave me plenty of air (pun intended)
  2. Same test repeated on my Droid Max cell phone, not quite enough juice to drive the Q701.  I get sound alright but quite low and I could tell that the current is far from enough to even start opening up the Q701. => I will need a portable amp for sure.
  3. This test will be done later when I got home tonite on my rig at home with external DAC and proper amp.

 

Now, I would be honest about this.  I listen to a lot music on big speakers and studio monitors and this is my first open headphones.  I keep reading here about "sound stage" quality of the Q701 and can't quite mentally, aurally pinpoint what everyone refers to :)  Are we referring to the openness and layering of sound/instruments/vocal ...?  or are we talking about a spatial overall effect like simulated 3D one?  There's definitely difference the Q701 and the closed MDR-V6 but both still sound like what they are after all :  headphones.  I don't spend $ when not needed or when I can't tell the difference but will a dedicated headphone amp help with identifying this mysterious "sound stage"?

 

So far, Is it worth $240?  Absolutely yes.  Will I like it personally?  too early to tell.

 

More to come ...

post #3082 of 9514

Speakers have soundstage? I've never actually heard them having any sort of soundstage, every instrument that comes out of them all comes from the exact same depth away, and no instrument has clarity of any sort. And I don't mean just out of a $100 set of speakers, I mean anywhere from live performance speakers at huge venues, to studio monitors worth over $30,000 a pair, none of them have sound quality at all. It makes me so sad because everyone constantly tells me as a producer I need to be using monitors but they always sound so bad to me I can't listen to anything on them - my music or not. The only way I can enjoy a pair of speakers is to put them like a foot away from my head, at a really low volume to make them almost imitate headphones frown.gif

post #3083 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post

Well,  my brand new Q701 just arrived this morning from Amazon at work.  I bought the Q701 solely for mixing late at nite when I can't use my monitors and . 
So far, after 2 hours, my initial impressions are  :
  1. On my XPS laptop(no ext DAC or amp), definitely enough volume when maxed out volume from windows and 70% from media software.  Having done a lot of recording and mixing on monitors and closed headphones, I never heard this much clarity and transparency before.  Frequency responses are great and super balanced except for the low bands which are clear and precise but just a touch, very small touch, shy (a +2 bump on the EQ took care of this).  With both HPs plugged in, I've been switching back and forth between Q701 and my closed HP (Sony MDR-V6) to compare all morning while listening to very familiar tracks including ones I've recorded myself so I know exactly how they are supposed to sound. With same volume setting, Q701 has roughly about 20% less loudness.  The definition, clarity, transparency, openness of the sounds are incredible.  Sound/tone are on the brighter side as of now but SO MUCH clarity it's kind of scary smily_headphones1.gif  Definitely a different league of headphone. I am somewhat addicted to searching for the "air" in vocal tracks and oh boy, the Q701 gave me plenty of air (pun intended)
  2. Same test repeated on my Droid Max cell phone, not quite enough juice to drive the Q701.  I get sound alright but quite low and I could tell that the current is far from enough to even start opening up the Q701. => I will need a portable amp for sure.
  3. This test will be done later when I got home tonite on my rig at home with external DAC and proper amp.

Now, I would be honest about this.  I listen to a lot music on big speakers and studio monitors and this is my first open headphones.  I keep reading here about "sound stage" quality of the Q701 and can't quite mentally, aurally pinpoint what everyone refers to smily_headphones1.gif  Are we referring to the openness and layering of sound/instruments/vocal ...?  or are we talking about a spatial overall effect like simulated 3D one?  There's definitely difference the Q701 and the closed MDR-V6 but both still sound like what they are after all :  headphones.  I don't spend $ when not needed or when I can't tell the difference but will a dedicated headphone amp help with identifying this mysterious "sound stage"?

So far, Is it worth $240?  Absolutely yes.  Will I like it personally?  too early to tell.

More to come ...

To be honest, the headphone soundstage thing puzzles me too, I'm not too sure what everyone is talking about. Every headphone I've ever heard sounds like headphones, nothing creates a soundstage like a fine loudspeaker.
post #3084 of 9514

Here you go, this will help you find a soundstage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA

 

Might I listen to one of these fine loudspeakers myself? Maybe monitors just don't make soundstage...

 

Edit: I Think I may not really get as good of spatial cues in real life as I do with headphones... I think my ears are broken confused_face_2.gif


Edited by daleb - 6/4/13 at 6:59pm
post #3085 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by daleb View Post

Here you go, this will help you find a soundstage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUDTlvagjJA

 

Might I listen to one of these fine loudspeakers myself? Maybe monitors just don't make soundstage...

 

Edit: I Think I may not really get as good of spatial cues in real life as I do with headphones... I think my ears are broken confused_face_2.gif

Holy ****ttttt :)

That is some great sound engineering.  This sound clip definitely sounds great on the Q701, but not too shabby on my old Sony MDR-V6 either just a little squished. :)

I have to say that the only time I heard such distinct spatial and precise positioning of sound was when I used the calibration DVD to set up my 5.1 surround sound system.  It was one of the demo on the disc.  I never experienced such thing on headphones until now.

 

Thx Daleb

post #3086 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post

Holy ****ttttt :)

That is some great sound engineering.

 

 I never experienced such thing on headphones until now.

 

 

 

It's a binaural recording.

post #3087 of 9514
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshift Rider View Post

M-stage ordered and on it's way! k701smile.gif Very excited to see if there is any difference compared to amp section of xonar ST card. 

    Quote:

Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

 

The Xonar ST is already a pretty powerful card so I'm not sure how much difference you will hear, but let us know.

 

     

M-stage is here and sounds so effortless and smooth ! Fantastic! k701smile.gif Clear step up from soundcard amp! 

post #3088 of 9514

The iCAN should be pairing well with the Q701, i will do the impression 9 hours later beerchug.gif
 

post #3089 of 9514

I'm going to post this comparison here, on account of the fact that I used a Q701 for the comparison.

Comparing the Matrix M Stage and iBasso D12 headphone amps:

 

In this corner, the champeen, the heavyweight, the Matrix M Stage, weighing in at approx. $250. This the version without the DAC and without the cute little airholes. Op Amp is the LM4562, input caps were removed.

And in the other corner, the Contender, The One! The Only! The iBasso D12! weighing it at about $275. Op Amps are stock.

 

DAC used was the built in DAC in the iBasso D12.

The M Stage was driven via the Line Out jack on the iBasso.

And the 'phones? My trusty black Q701.

 

This one is tough to call, both amps are very transparent for the price.

On one hand, the iBasso does seem to have the edge as it seems a bit more articulate, more detailed, a bit more "audiophile" but I think this is just a side effect of the lightness of the iBasso.

On the other hand, the Matrix just sounds fuller, for example, brushes on drums sound fuller, you can hear the brushes on the drum skin, vocals sound more full bodied, acoustic guitars have a bit more wood to them.

The iBasso just sounds a touch brighter, or probably more accurately has a touch less fullness, less mass, less weight, not to the extent where I would say that it is harsh, just a bit lightweight. With the iBasso, detail almost seems to be slightly over emphasized. The iBasso makes an acoustic piano sounds a little smaller, like a 6 foot grand, the Matrix makes an acoustic piano sound a bit more like an 8 foot grand. This isn't to say the iBasso is harsh or strident, it just lacks that extra touch of bass fullness. A bit less natural, a bit more artificial. The iBasso renders a bit more of a delicate sound.

 

Bottom line is: the iBasso is a damn fine DAC amp for $275.00

But the headphone amp in the iBasso looses a bit of that naturalness the M Stage tends to convey.

Comparing headphone amp to headphone amp, I was surprised at how close the race really is.

 

Chris

post #3090 of 9514

In case anybody needs a part list for Q701.  I just got it from AKG

 

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2jHr9v9SXPGV3liT01jTEc0Nnc/edit?usp=sharing

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