Originally Posted by discombob
I just tried the variant of the bass port mod where you have the tape removed, but pack some foam in the holes and I have to say I like this better. The impressively low frequencies produced with the port wide open were giving me a bit of a bass head-ache and the soundstage was crazy wide. Not sure why... just felt like there was pressure on my ears whereas with 2-channel stereo speakers, I usually like a little properly leveled subwoofer action in the mix, but I think headphones might produce too much direct SPL on my ears at the lower frequency extremes. It also did sound a bit loose. Maybe this is what AKG was up to for comfort over a long listening session, but over-did it a little on the damping.
With some porous, compressible foam I cut from a foam roller designed to curl hair, I was able to pack two equally-sized pieces into the ports carefully using a Mit Tools pick and I think this is the un-EQ'ed balance I was looking for. I'm now experimenting with the outer foams (under the Q badge) to get my soundstage width exactly how I want it.
The Qs are sounding great over here on my Nuforce Icon HD with these adjustments, but I must agree with recent posts that I was impressed by the ODAC I heard at a meet a couple months ago as well... for less money.
Glad someone else is digging the foam mod Did you actually work the foam into the ports, or just cover them? With mine, I did the latter.
One thing to consider is what Frank at AKG's US customer service mentioned during our conversation. The Q701 is supposed to be a studio reference HP, which he likened to studio monitors. He said that doesn't necessarily translate into a home listening environment (bold is my interpretation of his overall point). I have to believe their engineers + Quincy know what they're doing and what they wanted, and achieved that.
That said, I definitely appreciate them more with the foam mod. Now I'm eagerly awaiting the Anni/K712 pads, and the HiFimeDIY Sabre U2 Asynchronous USB DAC and USB isolator. I was really tempted to get the ODAC, but the HiFimeDIY DAC has a new USB receiver that will also handle 88.1 kHz. That, the price, and lots of positive reviews clinched it for me.