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Q701 impressions thread - Page 273

post #4081 of 9490
Thanks for the time to answer all my points. Seems I missed a couple things you said, I guess I'd better stop listening to heavy metal while I read. :-)

I think what I'll do is stay with the Q, and then wait for the comparison of the T1 and the K812. Eventually the T1 is my goal, unless the K812 turns out to more my style. If it's building on theK702 then it certainly will be great.

Ask for intimacy I know what you mean, and it's awesome. I remember running my HD600 with my Wheatfield HA-1, and with the right with recordings (like Veruca Salt's Resolver) it was the most intimate setup, and sounded as if the singer was literally singing directly into your ear from millimeters away. Was awesome!
post #4082 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Advil View Post

E17 works great with my Q's. Pa2v2 works really well for the price. I agree 100% about the DAC. If your source isn't good a DAC will actually make a more noticeable difference than an amp from my experience.
D'you think the iPod 5th gen would noticeably benefit from an external DAC?

Now that I've finished evaluating the MA900 someone leant me, now I've gotta get back to the meat & potatoes comparison, which is the K712 vs Q701. Which, really, is more like comparing at least 3 headphones, because I'm gonna swap pads at some point, and MAYBE I'll try the bass sticker mod, but since I suspect I'll keep either the K712 or Q701 (not both), I don't want to take them out of stock and mess with resale value, even if it improves sound. In a perfect world, I'd make twice as much money, be done working by 5 every day, and have lots of time to sit down and test headphones and game and all that stuff, but...



Big Bird and Kouzelna, I've been considering the NuForce iDo for a while now. Gets great reviews, and it (and an iStreamer from HRT, or one of the super expensive Venturecraft models, or an iPure dock) is one of the only DACs that take the digital audio out from an iDevice (iPod, iPhone) and process that with it's own DAC, and the iDo is only one I know for sure works with the new Lightning connector models. I think it would work with the Nano, because it also works with other non-iOS devices like an iPod Classic. It is also a decent desktop amp, but optionally one could use the universal RCA line-outs to connect to another amp. I've read that the E10 is somewhat grainy and not a top pick choice (and it definitely won't work with an iPod). The last option is for iPads with a 30-Pin dock connector, you can hook those up to a camera connection kit and plug a self-powered DAC into the USB. I think the iDevices all make pretty great music sources.
Edited by Evshrug - 10/3/13 at 9:32am
post #4083 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Here are my impressions of the bass port mod:
(I tried it with one side modded for a day, and then with both sides modded).
  • The main difference the mod makes is that the low bass is a little more forward. I tested the low bass playing low frequency (14hz, 18hz, 20hz, 30hz, etc).  test tones in each channel, and I can hear the modded side is stronger. From what I can hear the bass evens out more after the low-bass.  I can't be sure at what frequency it evens out though - that's where you'd need to measure them. It would be interesting to look at measurments, where I imagine you will see the low bass being a tad less rolled off on the modded can.  Here are some low frequency test tones. http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_subwooferharmonicdistortion.php

This is basically what I heard, so I think we agree here. The treble or upper mid is still peaky and harsh a little. Still, I find this headphone with the mood to be unbeatable for the price right now. I got used to the sound and I'm rely liking them.
post #4084 of 9490
Kouzelna,
I haven't directly A/B tested my Q701 to the K712 yet, unless you count listening to the Q701 the night before the K712 was delivered. That also means, however, that I haven't gone back and listened to the Q's since the K712 arrived (I did switch back to the K712 for a while the second day I was evaluating the MA900; the AKG was lively with great freq extension at both extremes, while the Sony seemed duller). I've had the Q701 for a year and three or four months, and I'm not sure what the changes are yet other than a slight bass boost (3 dB). I think Chico's impressions ought to be right, but, other than little snippets like he posted on this page, I haven't read his full review comparison yet or looked at the new frequency graphs because I want to gauge the freq response shape for myself before I read something that may create bias.

The main things I've noticed so far: easily more comfortable with the new headband (the old pads didn't bother me nor do these), a coiled cable is amazing to have, and a little more midbass but the biggest and strangest change was that I wasn't too fond of listening with my favourite tube amp, and I preferred listening with my E12 because with the tube there was more glare and it sounded like there was a near sub-conscious ringing noise like the tube makes if I bump the table or if my headphone cable transmits a vibration. I suspect that I'll like the tube amp again when I put back in my favourite tube, which is a heavier-duty mil-spec version which is specifically noted for having low microphonics. The other change is that it seems more acceptable to use the K712 without a dedicated amp. Straight out of my Recon3D USB before with the Q, I needed an amp to reduce the edge I'd sometimes hear in treble and to achieve a soundstage realism I expected, now with the K712 I've plugged it straight into my newer Recon3D USB or iPod several times without fatigue, and something is different about the perception of sound because I'm typically using lower volume settings to get the desired loudness. I don't perceive a technical soundstage or separation change/reduction, just that you may notice different instruments first, and they were still giving me that surround-sound directionality advantage in gaming.

I haven't done as much in-depth comparison between the Q & Pro models yet as I'd like, A/B'ing them and swapping pads and so forth, but if I NEEDED to sell one today to get money, both are lovable but I'd keep the K712 because it's easier to live with.
Edited by Evshrug - 10/3/13 at 9:23am
post #4085 of 9490

In doing some reading on the K712, I came across these comparisons:

 

 

Vs. AKG Q701 and HD650

There is no doubt that there is something amiss with the Q701's midrange.  Piano, vocals, and the overall presence of the midrange on the K712 Pro is much more natural sounding.  The Q701 vocals, heard on Maroon 5's Won't Go Home Without You sound like they are coming through a mic that is coloring the midrange.  It simply does not sound natural at all.  Going from the Q701 to the K712 Pro is pleasing and reduces the listening fatigue from the Q701.  The bass boost on the K712 Pro is very much improved over the Q701.  The bass guitar is loud and clear instead of very recessed with the Q701.

 

On tracks like Patricia Barber's Dansons la Gigue the difference is subtle.  The vocals and bass are a bit more pronounces on the K712 Pro, but both sound very good. 

 

With Slaid Cleaves' Beautiful Thing the Q701 comes off as slightly harsher, but the K712 Pro smooths out the vocals just a touch more than desired.

 

Listening to They Might Be Giants' Spiraling shapes shows other similarities, but the Q701 has more obvious treble in vocals.  The echo in the vocals is easier to make out perhaps hidden slightly in the bass of the K712 Pro.

 

I decided to conduct a blind test using The Beach Boys' Surfin' USA.  Although it was pretty difficult to pin down which I preferred right away with a little time it became apparent that the K712 Pro had my preferred midrange.

 

The bass is really where I started to focus once the midrange differences were established.  Juno Reactor's God is God gave rise to some clear differences.  On my stereo system with a nicely tuned sub this track has some serious rumble.  Some headphones cannot reproduce the low end rumble this track delivers.  The Q701 sounded good here, but on the lean side.  The K712 Pro immediately produced better bass reproduction and rumble.  Listeners should know that the HD650 also bested the Q701 in the bass department.  If anything the HD650 has better resolution on this track than both.

 

This made me move onto Mike Clark's T's Boogaloo where the bass is a little more obvious and detailed.  Some of the air was missing on the HD650 in the very beginning.  The air is back using the Q701, but the slight thump the K712 Pro deliver is missing.  I have to believe that the emphasized bass is intentional in this track as almost every jazz / soul song I have ever heard in person has a slightly emphasized bass guitar.  It sounds more live with the K712 Pro.

 

The thunder in Dream Theater's A Nightmare To Remember has more body with the K712 Pro compared to the Q701.  The HD650 was much closer to the K712 Pro here and either suits this track well.

 

from http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k712-pro/reviews/9482

 

 

It would be interesting to hear people's comparisons with the modded Q701 vs. the K712 and the HD650.  No point in un-modding the Q701, unless you're really gung-ho.  Of course, you'd need those particular songs, and the setup differences would have to be accounted for, at least by reference.  I'd love to demo the K712 vs. my foam-modded Q701.  If I get the chance, I will take notes and report back to HQ  ;)

 

post #4086 of 9490
Thirst on,
If I have the Q701 and K712 at the same time (I do), why couldn't I just compare my own songs with Q vs Modded Q vs K712? Seems more valid to me than trying to reproduce the other guy's equipment, settings, and ears.
post #4087 of 9490
I still don't know which amp/dac combo to pair with these under $100. I'll be listening mainly from a MacBook Pro.
post #4088 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Thirst on,
If I have the Q701 and K712 at the same time (I do), why couldn't I just compare my own songs with Q vs Modded Q vs K712? Seems more valid to me than trying to reproduce the other guy's equipment, settings, and ears.

 

Yep, fair enough :-)  I'd be interested to hear your impressions of the modded Q701 vs. the K712.

 

 

Does anyone know if there's a service guide for the Q701 like the one for the K712 ?  I'd be interested in trying the K712 cushions on the Q701, if it's an easy swap.

 

EDIT:
read this in the K712 manual, and proves true for the Q701.  So if the K712 cushions are designed the same, should be easy peasy.

 

"Cushions 19 have a bayonet lock. Turn them counter-clockwise for taking them off."


Edited by ThurstonX - 10/3/13 at 9:37am
post #4089 of 9490
Big Bird, not sure DAC/amp combo under $100 provides enough benefit over what is included inside the MacBook Pro. If you must stay under $100, you're better off just buying an amp IMO, like a FiiO E11 or something. That said, I've yet to upgrade over the iPod Video's built-in Wolfson DAC. I wrote a suggestion to you earlier on this page. I think the computer version of the iDo is the uDAC2, but reviews for the iDo are generally more favorable, so I wonder if there are more differences.

ThurstonX (lol my iPad autocorrected your name in my last post),
I don't know of a Q701 service guide, but apparently it is really easy to swap pads (tool-less process), so that was one of the things I'm going to try, though today people want to have a direct head-to-head between the Q701 (which is stock) and the Sony MA900 over in Mad lust Envy's gaming thread. I'll get to it though, eventually, because I'm curious too!
Edited by Evshrug - 10/3/13 at 9:46am
post #4090 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by zting View Post

Hi guys.

I am new to this headphone scene would appreciate some advise and some direction on my forst amp.

I just purchased a new akg q701 and westone 4r. I am currently using a superfi 5 pro from ultimate ears.

What would be a good investment for an amp and dac?

So fsr im considering to get eiyher e17 and e09k combo for 245 or should I go with a matrix m stsge amp and dac fpr 485?

A matrix m stage amp with the usb dac I can get it for 270...

What do you guys recommend?

Thank you guys

 

Well........the E09K and E17 are more versatile:

the E17 + E09K have USB, coaxial and optical digital inputs as well as an analog input.

 

 

OTOH, the Matrix M Stage is a better sounding amp than either the E09K or E17, but you can only get it with a USB and analog input.

I've never heard the Matrix M Stage USB input, I have an older Matrix M Stage without the USB input.

 

So I would argue that you get the M Stage and a good DAC.

post #4091 of 9490
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

Here are my impressions of the bass port mod:

(I tried it with one side modded for a day, and then with both sides modded).

 

 

  • The main difference the mod makes is that the low bass is a little more forward. I tested the low bass playing low frequency (14hz, 18hz, 20hz, 30hz, etc).  test tones in each channel, and I can hear the modded side is stronger. From what I can hear the bass evens out more after the low-bass.  I can't be sure at what frequency it evens out though - that's where you'd need to measure them. It would be interesting to look at measurments, where I imagine you will see the low bass being a tad less rolled off on the modded can.  Here are some low frequency test tones. http://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_subwooferharmonicdistortion.php

 

  • Not too much change in soundstage.  It might be slightly more open, but if it is it's very minor and not really worth mentioning.

 

  • I don't hear fuller mids.  If anything, the mids are less forward and less full.
 
 
 
I played full range frequency sweeps used for driver matching.  If both sides are identical the sound image should stay in the center, where if it's stronger on one side it will pan to either the left to right.  I can hear the sweep is panned harder to the modded side when it starts out (low bass) then eventually pans to the center somewhere or before the mid-bass.
 
For better or worse, a modded Q701 is still not going to sound like an Anniversary or K712.  Apart from some change in the bass, the rest of the differences remain.   The Q701 is still going to have it's cooler, airier, drier sound and the K712 & Anniversary will still have their warmer, thicker, darker sound.  So there's no real need to re-compare them.  If you prefer the Q701 to the Anniversary or K712, that's perfectly fine.  It's 100% subjective though.
 
The mod doesn't transforms it into a flagship-killing headphone or anything.  It's not like a little low bass roll-off was the only issue separating the Q701 from the flagship.  It still has a somewhat harsh upper mid peak, graininess, blurriness, compressed dynamics, and lacks some soundstage depth.  That's being harsh on the Q701 of course, and mid-fi headphones are still about 85% as good as flagships.  This mod doesn't make up that last 15% though or anything like that.  It's just modifies the sound a little to add a bit more low bass.
 
This mod isn't too hard to do, and I don't really hear any glaring faults with it, so I'd say it's worth playing around with at least.  Don't expect too much change apart from the low bass though.
 
 

 

You only have the K712 now right? Or still have your Q701? I know you have Q701 pads.

Maybe the changes with the K712 and Q701 pads are much different than with the Q701.

Does the K712 itself with Q701 pads have more bass than the stock Q701? That may explain some things.

 

After two weeks the soundstage for me is much more spacious and more accurate. Better depth as well. This is the 2nd best improvement.

 

If you used a K712 for testing (with Q701) pads I have an idea why there may be differences..

There is no stock outer grill foam and the K712 grill is more open. This would probably give much more bass than the Q701 with the foam installed. This may explain why the mids are different for you.

When the modded q701 has no outer grill or foam the low bass is increased a little and it's audible.

 

Mids are definitely fuller for me. If mine sounded less full or more distant I'd have reversed it on day one. Not a huge difference. Not any more forward or recessed for me. The soundstage does kind of fool you a little at times. Some vocals that were once quite forward are less so, but only due to a more accurate soundstage/better imaging. This may confuse some people. For reference I can compare it to the DJ100 and HD-650 and they're all accurate. To me it feels like the stock Q701's depth wasn't as good as the modded version. Not sure how.

 

Now maybe you really have the Q701. If not you could try to re-create the modded Q701 grill by putting outer foam inside the grill. The outer grill and foam with the modded Q701 is VERY important.

 

Oh and I think we know the modded Q701 is not going to sound like a K712 or Annie. For some of us that's probably a good thing :biggrin: 

 

BTW for ME there was many more improvements i've heard. It actually now sounds more transparent, which is bizarre. Clearer too and not due to any more treble and less warmth. It almost reminds me of my DJ100 with M50 pads. That thing has very full mids and they're so crystal clear with the best recordings. I get that now with my modded Q701 too. This is with the Modi/Micro Amp (both transparent IMO).

 

Strangely for me my modded Q701 doesn't have much of a big boost in low-bass. Probably not more than 2db. For me it now actually has decent bass impact, which the Q701 was kind of lacking a little.

 

Maybe what we all hear has a lot to due with slight variations in pairs and different setups.

 

The modded Q701 is still very very accurate and won't magically make thin recordings sound fuller of course :normal_smile : Probably the most accurate headphone i've owned by far now. It really is fun doing A/B comparisons with the HD-650.

 

You'll be weirded out by this but my modded Q701 with some songs is as full sounding as my HD-650. Try "Buena Vista Social Club". Ii've been listening to my free Tony Bennett CD (got it with my headphone) lately for testing. Despite being 320kbps it's pretty good. His vocals are good for testing because you also get a pretty good soundstage in the recording. His stuff works well with the DJ100, HD-650 and not as well for the stock Q701.


Edited by tdockweiler - 10/3/13 at 10:14am
post #4092 of 9490

x2 on whether an iPod / Nano would benefit from a quality external DAC. Up 'til now, I just run an L3 line-out jack from the Nano into my amp of choice. If I could improve the signal further, before sending it to the amp, hey, that'd be great!

 

 

Evshrug - Thanks for the tip on the iDo. Half the price of the iStreamer, and yes if it will work with an iPod classic then it'll work with the Nano. They are the same things, just different sized packages. And I love NuForce, there stuff is always well made, if not "the best" unit. And their prices are always really fair for what you get.

 

 

Ashade & Chicolom - Have you guys heard the K/Q 7xx with a tube amp? The big reason I didn't keep my, say, O2, and shy away from solid-state amps in general with my K702 (and will with my Q701) is that they highlight the analytical nature of these cans, and can introduce some harshness in the upper end. But any tube amp I've ever used them with has alwas solved this issue. (The M-Stage also didn't have this issue; it sounded more "tube like" but had a tendency to shorten sustain and mask detail, things any quality tube amp I've used - including even the Starving Student hybrid - never did).

 

 

ThurstonX - yeah, that is a great review from NA Blur. But I'd love to see him try the modded Q, and see if that changes his conclusions at all. As I've mentioned: personally, I'd love to have the K712. But at double the price, I'm already halfway to a T1, so at that point I'd rather keep saving and just get a T1. Or, as we'll see, a K812!

 

 

Evshrug (again) - dude, I'm drooling all over my nice sweater waiting for this Q vs modded Q vs K712 review! I suggest you order Chinese takeout, call in sick, give your significant other a gift certificate for the local spa, and get to work on these comparisons!

 

 

Big Bird - I don't mean to rain on any parades, and I might be wrong, but... I don't think any DAC/amp combo in that price range is really gonna be much good. Especially with a Q701 or any K7xx model. They are notoriously difficult to drive!

 

My advice to you, would be to order a custom CMoy amp from BioScienceGeek (BSG for short around here) off eBay. His amps are the best portables I've ever heard, personally. Better even than NuForce's great stuff. And they're dirt cheap - like $50 ish. You can also tell him exactly the headphones you'll be using, and the type of music and you're mainly into, and choose the case. He builds to order. The one I have is the best sounding amp period with my Etymotics, for example. I find it comparable in quality, (if not sound signature), to my $800 Glow Audio amp! And the 9-volt battery option makes it super portable and convenient too.

 

Later, when you've got some bucks together, invest in a great DAC for your Mac ($200 - 250, or the new Glow Audio one at only $125), and then later a super amp that better matches the demands of the K/Q headphones, which are demanding and need a pricier amp. The Matrix M-Stage is a great start for $200 used / $300 new, and then up toward a Schiit Lyr ($450), or Garage1217 Amber ($300) or upper-end tube amp like a Woo Audio 6 or a Glow Audio Amp One ($700/800).

 

I find, and I think most people here would agree, it's better to sink money into just one quality component and move up slowly, than to spread money out over several lower quality units. Especially as the Q/K7xx are so demanding and picky with amps.

post #4093 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

ThurstonX (lol my iPad autocorrected your name in my last post),
I don't know of a Q701 service guide, but apparently it is really easy to swap pads (tool-less process), so that was one of the things I'm going to try, though today people want to have a direct head-to-head between the Q701 (which is stock) and the Sony MA900 over in Mad lust Envy's gaming thread. I'll get to it though, eventually, because I'm curious too!

 

LOL, no worries.  I'm generally getting thirsty around 6-7 PM, so yeah, Thirst On ;-)

 

Great!  No hurry, of course.  Appreciate the effort.

 

I'm about to order the 712 cushions.  Hope it's a good change.  I guess that's another test you could do, if you haven't already: swap in the K712 cushions on the Q701, at least for your own amusement.

post #4094 of 9490
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashade View Post


This is basically what I heard, so I think we agree here. The treble or upper mid is still peaky and harsh a little. Still, I find this headphone with the mood to be unbeatable for the price right now. I got used to the sound and I'm rely liking them.

 

Are you sure those peaks are coming from the Q701? I've got a lot of them and they're still just as audible on my HD-650 which supposedly has reduced upper mids and treble.

 

HD-650 does sort of take the edge off.

 

The O2 did seem to have less smooth treble than my Micro Amp. I read somewhere that an upgraded wall wart might help the O2 with the Q701.

Not sure if this is true or why. Doesn't make sense really.

 

The O2 didn't sound like a bright amp at all but did have a hint of brightness in the treble with harsh material. Barely even worth mentioning.

I only had the stock adapter and didn't try the upgraded version (that's supposed to be needed for the HD-650).

 

O2 and E9 are perfect for the Q701 IMO.

 

I wish more people would try the Headroom Micro + Astrodyne with the Q701. It's really impressive and worth every penny. So far I haven't found anything i've liked more for the Q701 or HD-650.

I think most imagine it's just some weak portable amp but it's definitely not. It has tons of power.

post #4095 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kouzelna View Post

 

Ashade & Chicolom - Have you guys heard the K/Q 7xx with a tube amp? The big reason I didn't keep my, say, O2, and shy away from solid-state amps in general with my K702 (and will with my Q701) is that they highlight the analytical nature of these cans, and can introduce some harshness in the upper end. But any tube amp I've ever used them with has alwas solved this issue. (The M-Stage also didn't have this issue; it sounded more "tube like" but had a tendency to shorten sustain and mask detail, things any quality tube amp I've used - including even the Starving Student hybrid - never did).

 

I didn't but I'm sure Chicolom has. To be honest, I basically use it with the O2+ODAC and I like it. The harsh highs doesn't bother me anymore, probably because I got used to them or I adjusted the volume better. Let's see what Chicolom says. 

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