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Q701 impressions thread - Page 274

post #4096 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kouzelna View Post

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.
I just read NuForce's page, they officially support the 6th gen Nano, and though it's unlisted I bet others would be supported as well. Since I don't have a nano, but I found out the USB CCK is currently working with audio and iPhones in iOS 7, I'm probably going to get a Modi to use with my computer and CCK "hack." Still, the simplicity and reviews of the iDo are highly attractive.


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).
My tube amp has been my fav so far, for the reasons you mentioned above PLUS soundstage seemed improved and more even. My K712 for some reason isn't liking the tube I have in my amp now, so I'm going to swap that back to my fav.

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!
Well, I have the day off today, only commitment is a goodbye dinner with the grandparents. We'll see if I'm up for a second head-to-head after my MA900 vs Q701 head-to-head. I like Chinese takeout.


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.
Agree with these final points... I'm currently not tempted to upgrade from my K712, or my very nice amp, but even though I enjoyed my headphone before I got the tube amp I was wanting more from my cheap amp. The good part about buying cheaper components is that you get some instant gratification in the short run, and you can maybe try a few to see what kind of "flavor" you're seeking (transparent vs colored), but the bad part is they can give you a poor representation of the maximum capabilities of other components in your system, and the money you spend on "hold me over" things is that much more money you need to set aside for the component you really wanted in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThurstonX View Post

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.
Lol, are you part of the Fantastic 5? The Human Torch's long-lost twin brother?
And yeah, I thought it was a given that if I changed pads on one I'd try changed pads on the other. Many variables, but we gotta take them one at a time...
post #4097 of 7597
So what you guys say is the bare minimum dac and amp you would recommend for these then?
post #4098 of 7597
I mean, I've been happy with the DACs built into my devices so far (MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iPod Video, Recon3D USB), but good desktop amps around your budget would be a FiiO E9 if you want a nice slightly warmer/smoother sound, or a Schiit Magni if you want a more detailed/transparent sound. I nearly got a BioScienceGeek CMOY myself four years ago, but I skipped it; the cmoy would have more graininess than the two I mentioned, FWIR (haven't personally auditioned any of these, I bought and like a FiiO E12 that is above your $100 budget, and prefer my tube amp that is about $200, United States Dollars).
post #4099 of 7597

Evshrug, I have to disagree.

 

The BSG (biosciencegeek) amp is simply the best amp I've ever heard in the sub $300 range.  Period.  Better even than the Matrix M-Stage, better than the Fiio flagship Mont Blanc, better than any NuForce I've heard and better than the Headphone.com Airhead or Bithead.  Better also than the O2, even with the wallwort.

 

And it's not "kinda" better, or "subjectively" better - it's just plain way better.  There's never even been a contest.  It's just you listen to them, and say to yourself, "Sheesh, this BSG is clearly way better.  I'll sell the other one."

 

As for graininess, I've never heard a bit of it, and in fact don't even know what you mean.

 

I agree however about the built-in DAC on Apple products.  It's typically well made, IMO.  I had a fellow Head-Fier over who's also an Apple employee, and he said the DACs and OpAmps they use are pretty top notch, surprisingly.

 

So, long story short, Big Bird, I'd skip the DAC and buy a quality sub $100 amp, which is as everyone's said so far, hard to find.  If it were me, I'd go for the BSG first, (obviously), which is just over $50 and again you can have it custom built for the specifications of the Q701.  Next, I'd just get the Fiio E6 for $25 and save my money toward a better amp.  Barring all that, I might try the Schiit Magni, 'cause it's scooping up good reviews and I'd be curious as to how it'd compare to my BSG.  But, the BSG stands mighty and undefeated in that price range so far.

 

And again... being a huge, huge fan of my Glow, I still feel the BSG stands up quality wise with it.  It's still solid state - I clearly think the Glow excels beyond it, for sure.  But if I was "stuck" with it, I wouldn't be disappointed.  It's really that good.

 

---> Edit:  Oh, and did I mention the BSG is portable?  And uses a standard 9-volt battery, not a rechargeable battery you have to plug in or hook to a USB port?  When you're camping all weekend in a castle ruin in Slovakia, it's sure nice to be able to just bring a supply of 9-volts along (1 lasts about 10 hours of good quality listening), instead of having to search for an electrical socket or a PC in a darkened forest.

 

 

"Flame on!" ThurstonX!  Oops, I mean "Thirst On!"  I often mix them up in a bar.  It can have really embarrassing results...  :blink:


Edited by Kouzelna - 10/3/13 at 2:04pm
post #4100 of 7597

My Schiit Modi + Magni just came in thank god my Q701s finally have that full sound that I've been looking for. The bass is clear and the highs aren't ear piercing anymore.

I don't know if the Essence STX would serve to be a better DAC but I can tell you right now that the Q701s do not run well with just the Essence STX by itself. I'll bring my Magni to my friends house someday to see if adding an amp to the STX would give the Q701 a fuller sound.

 

post #4101 of 7597

This is so stressful. :(

 

I have about $450 to spend total. Is there any decent setup that can be had for this price, with or without the Q701? I would rather not buy used because i live in canada and it is difficult with shipping and stuff.

post #4102 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuTra View Post
 

My Schiit Modi + Magni just came in thank god my Q701s finally have that full sound that I've been looking for. The bass is clear and the highs aren't ear piercing anymore.

I don't know if the Essence STX would serve to be a better DAC but I can tell you right now that the Q701s do not run well with just the Essence STX by itself. I'll bring my Magni to my friends house someday to see if adding an amp to the STX would give the Q701 a fuller sound.

 

 

So I just tried my Magni with an STX. The STX had a better soundstage than the Modi but the highs were still too much for me. I do like how the STX has an EQ. With the low ends turned up a bit, the bass sounded terrific and I was mind-blown with how my bassy electronic music sounded with the Q701s. I still think the STX isn't worth it for it's price.

For the same price, I'm sure you can get a better DAC than the STX. Compared to the Modi, the STX isn't that much of an improvement. Definitely not worth the extra 90-100 dollars

post #4103 of 7597
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.

+100.

post #4104 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
 

This is so stressful. :(

 

I have about $450 to spend total. Is there any decent setup that can be had for this price, with or without the Q701? I would rather not buy used because i live in canada and it is difficult with shipping and stuff.

not buying used will make your option list kind of difficult cuz you need both HP and amp.

post #4105 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
 

This is so stressful. :(

 

I have about $450 to spend total. Is there any decent setup that can be had for this price, with or without the Q701? I would rather not buy used because i live in canada and it is difficult with shipping and stuff.

 

I'm running Q701 / K550 with Fiio E17. Couldnt be happier. That's definitely within your price range.

post #4106 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bird View Post
 

This is so stressful. :(

 

I have about $450 to spend total. Is there any decent setup that can be had for this price, with or without the Q701? I would rather not buy used because i live in canada and it is difficult with shipping and stuff.

 

my fiio E17 drives my q701's well. those two should be like $370 usd total.

post #4107 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by AuTra View Post
 

 

So I just tried my Magni with an STX. The STX had a better soundstage than the Modi but the highs were still too much for me. I do like how the STX has an EQ. With the low ends turned up a bit, the bass sounded terrific and I was mind-blown with how my bassy electronic music sounded with the Q701s. I still think the STX isn't worth it for it's price.

For the same price, I'm sure you can get a better DAC than the STX. Compared to the Modi, the STX isn't that much of an improvement. Definitely not worth the extra 90-100 dollars

 

Interesting, thank you for the impressions. Was that STX with default opamps?  I have ODAC coming in next week to compare with my "pimped" ST :D

post #4108 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redshift Rider View Post
 

 

Interesting, thank you for the impressions. Was that STX with default opamps?  I have ODAC coming in next week to compare with my "pimped" ST :D

 

The STX with the built-in amps on "High-Gain" is definitely not enough to drive the Q701s I'll tell you that for sure. I knew I wasn't getting the full sound that the Q701 could provide. I hooked up my Schiit Magni to the STX via RCA cables. Definitely had a fuller sound but I expected more since it's $90 more than the Modi.


Edited by AuTra - 10/3/13 at 5:18pm
post #4109 of 7597
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilsont View Post
 

 

I'm running Q701 / K550 with Fiio E17. Couldnt be happier. That's definitely within your price range.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Advil View Post
 

 

my fiio E17 drives my q701's well. those two should be like $370 usd total.

 

The E17 is nice, especially with all the options it has and the low price. The Q701 does scale well with better gear though. My ODAC and my vintage Pioneer SX-750 do a much better job. The SX-750 is a better amp, and the ODAC is a better DAC. 

post #4110 of 7597
Anyone have any frequency response data for the modded vs factory Q701?
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