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Q701 impressions thread - Page 303

post #4531 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by gilsont View Post
 

For my Q701, I use it with my Fiio E17.

 

For the HD800, I used it with the TEAC HA501.

Please let me know what you think, I'm really interested to hear other people's thoughts on this =)

I wanna apologize first for an unorganized impression/quickie review.  

 

Okie!  let me get a few things clear first.  My current setup for this comparison is Foobar(all lossless) => TEAC UD-501 (balanced) => Woo WA22 (Fully upgraded tubes) => modded Q701/HD800 (non-balanced).  This is my friend's HD800.  We are swapping HPs.  He has my HE500/Emotiva.  I have his HD800 to test/compare to my Q701 to hopefully decide what to do for my next HP purchase.  What I am about to say is my honest impression so far and not a new toy "hype" nor I am making up justifications to purchase a new pair of HPs or unrealistically thinking my modded Q701 is better than what it is.  At this point, I will just break my comparison down according to what's important to me and keep it short.  This is IMO and to my ears so if you don't like what you are about to read, please don't be offended.  I post the comparisons here cuz some Q701 owners are interested.  I don't ask you to agree or dispute my findings so please don't start.

 

Efficiency : the Q701 takes 2 more clicks or so(at 11) on the WA22 to reach the same volume as HD800(right past 9).  I was surprised.

Bass extension:  Both reach down about the same.  The HD800 is clearer and more defined.  In most music genres, you probably won't hear the difference.  I had to pull out some favorite tracks from Brian Bromberg such as "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "My bass" to really hear the differences between the 2.

Bass quantity/impact : about the same quantity, with the HD800 having just a slight/touch more.  The HD800 does have a better bass impact and better decay (longer and a little more natural) compared to modded Q701.  

Mid : no question that HD800 has a fuller mid and much more intimate.  Vocals, both male and female, sound sublime.  HD800 is more forward with its mid.  Before modded, the Q701's mid forwardness will be about the same but after the mod, I knew that some of that has been lost.

High : both are on par with the HD800 a bit less harsh on some recordings.  Extensions and clarity are the same to my ears.  The modded Q701 did balance out some of its high harshness compared to before (big + besides gaining more bass)

Instrument separation : For the sake of me, I couldn't hear any differences between the 2 until I put on some classical DSD files.  I am not sure which one is better because both separate instruments well but they have their own way of doing so.

Sound stage :  HD800 is "very" spacious but has a way to wrap its sound around you.  Q701 is just as open and spacious but the sound seems more distant and not as 3D.

Speed : to my ears, I don't think the HD800 is faster.

Comfort :  Both are the same to me. 

 

Overall impression : IMO, It is correct that the Q701 and HD800 share quite a bit of sound characteristics but I am sorry to say/admit that HD800 is indeed the better HP in this fight.  To me, it's not a surprise at 6x the cost of the Q701.  What surprised me was how well the Q701 stacked up against the flagship.  If the HD800 is a 10, then the modded Q701 must be to my ears a 8.5 to 8.75.  To me personally, the difference of 1.25 - 1.5 point is because : 

1. the HD800 has fuller sound in its mid and overall, better projection of mid => vocal, high doesn't sound thin, but bass doesn't sound muddy.  How did they do that??? :)

2. the decay in HD800 is very natural and near perfect to my ears.  This is very obvious in acoustic/instrumentals that I listen to a lot.  Piano, flamenco guitar, cello, violin, bass, drum do sound a bit better on the HD800.

3. the very open/spacious but super intimate/engaging sound stage.

 

If I don't have the HD800 to directly compare to the Q701, I wouldn't know what I am missing.  With the HD800 returned maybe in couple weeks, will I be happy with my modded Q701?  You bet it's a big "yes".  At its current price of around $200 USD, the Q701 is an absolute steal for the performance it offers.  Will I end up getting the HD800?  Probably yes but I will definitely still keep my Q701 for the office like I do now because it's too good to sell for $100 or so used.  Price-wise, if you asked how much would I be willing to pay for the HD800? Based on its performance/SQ, I would have to say no more than $800.  We all know that we hit the point of diminishing return super hard here.  

 

Modded Q701 owners!  Be proud cuz your modde Q701 is a killer for its asking price even when compared to a flagship at many times more its $.

 

For the Q701 owners who are fencing the idea of modding your Q701, I will tell you this much.  Like many other people, myself included, if you believe that the HD800 is a reference pair of headphones and have listened to one and think its bass sounds the way it's supposed to be for a reference set, your unmodded Q701 will never come close in quantity and impact.  You can talk extension all day long but it doesn't mean anything without the right quantity and impact.  You can look at all the graphs and measurements by whoever all you want, it's not going to change that fact.  So stop fooling yourself by looking at those graphs/measurements and retraining/forcing your brain to say "I am listening to what it's supposed to sound like" bull crap.  

 

For the Q701 owners who are happy with their unmodded Q701, more power to you.  Enjoy your HPs.

 

That's it for now... :p 

 

I forgot!  what would a quickie review be without a pic . :)


Edited by koiloco - 11/4/13 at 10:38pm
post #4532 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

I wanna apologize first for an unorganized impression/quickie review.  

 

Okie!  let me get a few things clear first.  My current setup for this comparison is Foobar(all lossless) => TEAC UD-501 (balanced) => Woo WA22 (Fully upgraded tubes) => modded Q701/HD800 (non-balanced).  This is my friend's HD800.  We are swapping HPs.  He has my HE500/Emotiva.  I have his HD800 to test/compare to my Q701 to hopefully decide what to do for my next HP purchase.  What I am about to say is my honest impression so far and not a new toy "hype" nor I am making up justifications to purchase a new pair of HPs or unrealistically thinking my modded Q701 is better than what it is.  At this point, I will just break my comparison down according to what's important to me and keep it short.  This is IMO and to my ears so if you don't like what you are about to read, please don't be offended.  I post the comparisons here cuz some Q701 owners are interested.  I don't ask you to agree or dispute my findings so please don't start.

 

Efficiency : the Q701 takes 2 more clicks or so(at 11) on the WA22 to reach the same volume as HD800(right past 9).  I was surprised.

Bass extension:  Both reach down about the same.  The HD800 is clearer and more defined.  In most music genres, you probably won't hear the difference.  I had to pull out some favorite tracks from Brian Bromberg such as "Freedom Jazz Dance" and "My bass" to really hear the differences between the 2.

Bass quantity/impact : about the same quantity, with the HD800 having just a slight/touch more.  The HD800 does have a better bass impact and better decay (longer and a little more natural) compared to modded Q701.  

Mid : no question that HD800 has a fuller mid and much more intimate.  Vocals, both male and female, sound sublime.  HD800 is more forward with its mid.  Before modded, the Q701's mid forwardness will be about the same but after the mod, I knew that some of that has been lost.

High : both are on par with the HD800 a bit less harsh on some recordings.  Extensions and clarity are the same to my ears.  The modded Q701 did balance out some of its high harshness compared to before (big + besides gaining more bass)

Instrument separation : For the sake of me, I couldn't hear any differences between the 2 until I put on some classical DSD files.  I am not sure which one is better because both separate instruments well but they have their own way of doing so.

Sound stage :  HD800 is "very" spacious but has a way to wrap its sound around you.  Q701 is just as open and spacious but the sound seems more distant and not as 3D.

Speed : to my ears, I don't think the HD800 is faster.

Comfort :  Both are the same to me. 

 

Overall impression : IMO, It is correct that the Q701 and HD800 share quite a bit of sound characteristics but I am sorry to say/admit that HD800 is indeed the better HP in this fight.  To me, it's not a surprise at 6x the cost of the Q701.  What surprised me was how well the Q701 stacked up against the flagship.  If the HD800 is a 10, then the modded Q701 must be to my ears a 8.5 to 8.75.  To me personally, the difference of 1.25 - 1.5 point is because : 

1. the HD800 has fuller sound in its mid and overall, better projection of mid => vocal, high doesn't sound thin, but bass doesn't sound muddy.  How did they do that??? :)

2. the decay in HD800 is very natural and near perfect to my ears.  This is very obvious in acoustic/instrumentals that I listen to a lot.  Piano, flamenco guitar, cello, violin, bass, drum do sound a bit better on the HD800.

3. the very open/spacious but super intimate/engaging sound stage.

 

If I don't have the HD800 to directly compare to the Q701, I wouldn't know what I am missing.  With the HD800 returned maybe in couple weeks, will I be happy with my modded Q701?  You bet it's a big "yes".  At its current price of around $200 USD, the Q701 is an absolute steal for the performance it offers.  Will I end up getting the HD800?  Probably yes but I will definitely still keep my Q701 for the office like I do now because it's too good to sell for $100 or so used.  Price-wise, if you asked how much would I be willing to pay for the HD800? Based on its performance/SQ, I would have to say no more than $800.  We all know that we hit the point of diminishing return super hard here.  

 

Modded Q701 owners!  Be proud cuz your modde Q701 is a killer for its asking price even when compared to a flagship at many times more its $.

 

For the Q701 owners who are fencing the idea of modding your Q701, I will tell you this much.  Like many other people, myself included, if you believe that the HD800 is a reference pair of headphones and have listened to one and think its bass sounds the way it's supposed to be for a reference set, your unmodded Q701 will never come close in quantity and impact.  You can talk extension all day long but it doesn't mean anything without the right quantity and impact.  You can look at all the graphs and measurements by whoever all you want, it's not going to change that fact.  So stop fooling yourself by looking at those graphs/measurements and retraining/forcing your brain to say "I am listening to what it's supposed to sound like" bull crap.  

 

For the Q701 owners who are happy with their unmodded Q701, more power to you.  Enjoy your HPs.

 

That's it for now... :p 

 

I forgot!  what would a quickie review be without a pic . :)

What a beautiful setup. Congrats! :D 

 

And after my impressions, I really agree with your assessment. Somethings that weren't so obvious when I was auditioning was more obvious after you pointed them out. Then I rethink about and I did notice those things you mentioned.

 

Thanks for your time to write that impression, it was an excellent read!


Edited by gilsont - 11/4/13 at 10:50pm
post #4533 of 9490
Again, I really loved that reading. I think I will at some point end up getting an used pair of hd800, but I'm happy to know the Q's are such a bang-for-the-buck. As I already said it's a pretty darned engaging pair of headphones. The HD800 HAVE to be better as it should be for a flagship. Have a nice night guys.
post #4534 of 9490

By the way... does anyone know where can I find a picture step-by-step tutorial or video tutorial of the bass port mod?

 

I'm scared to do it without a clear guide :p

post #4535 of 9490

HD800 is basically the older brother of the Q701, nothing else Senn makes sounds like it, cept HD600 MAYBE.

 

As someone who's been here since 07 when the 701's were one of the god-tier headphones you could buy, the K701's were the headphone that could scale with any amp/source you could pair it with and not stop delivering. 

post #4536 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post
 

HD800 is basically the older brother of the Q701, nothing else Senn makes sounds like it, cept HD600 MAYBE.

 

As someone who's been here since 07 when the 701's were one of the god-tier headphones you could buy, the K701's were the headphone that could scale with any amp/source you could pair it with and not stop delivering. 

Chris, after quite a few hours on the HD800 already, I found that it's a little "thick" on some vocals and mid is quite forward.  I have put the WA22 on low Z setting which helps with this a bit by taking the mid back a touch.  Listening to the HD800 at lower volume is great though.  IMO and my taste, definitely not a pair HPs for cranking up the volume.

post #4537 of 9490
Q701s are a steal. HD800 are better headphones but they are not a steal IMO.

If you want something that is worth every penny (despite costing 4x a HD800) that is the Abyss - the best thing I've ever put on my ears and I didn't need 30 minutes of intense listening to hear it. It takes just a minute to realise you're in the presence of the recording: this headphone has an ability to disappear on your head! It's in a whole different class to the LCD-3 (and LCD-3 aren't bad). That's true value for money IMO.
Edited by darrenyeats - 11/5/13 at 5:09am
post #4538 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

Chris, after quite a few hours on the HD800 already, I found that it's a little "thick" on some vocals and mid is quite forward.  I have put the WA22 on low Z setting which helps with this a bit by taking the mid back a touch.  Listening to the HD800 at lower volume is great though.  IMO and my taste, definitely not a pair HPs for cranking up the volume.

 

HD800's require a little massaging, give it time if they're brand new. Brand new it's like trying to play jazz with a glass saxophone. HD800's accuracy can be straining, the result is that you can get the same bliss at lower volumes. HE-6 is an interesting dilemma because it has the treble yet because orthos push their sound signature in a "wall of sound" you don't get the articulation.. I'm not sure how to describe it but HE-6 is the energy without the tss tss tss of 800's..

 

Definitely enjoy it, you have a world class setup, TEAC is a great unit for sure.

post #4539 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post

 

Great comparison!

Excellent read...

I've just printed it at work, for re-reading on the train this evening... :D

 

koiloco wrote: "Before modded, the Q701's mid forwardness will be about the same but after the mod, I knew that some of that has been lost."

When I read that, I said to myself "this is so true...".

 

I hope I'll soon have the opportunity to test my Q701 modded and unmodded with the K712 Pro gel pads...

Will the vocals and strings become more forward and intimate without losing the fantastic low-bass?

 

thx again for your time :) 

post #4540 of 9490
Thanks for both of your impressions. Interesting stuff, I've never had the chance to hear an akg phone yet but I have heard the hd800. I'll have to have a .listen to the q701.
post #4541 of 9490

I'm always surprised that more Q701 fans don't try comparing the Q701 to a Stax SRS-2170 system.

 

The Stax SR-2170 has smoother, less peaky treble, fuller bass, a smoother, easier to listen to midrange and overall a more transparent sound. The Stax also has a slightly less mechanical, more natural sound to it. It reminds me of a Q701 with some of the problems resolved. There is one problem: the Stax does not sound so impressive when you listen via a low cost DAC like a FiiO E17 for example. As a minimum, I need to use my iBasso D12 DAC, or better.

The SRS-2170 can be found new for approx. $700-800 and includes a headphone amplifier.  Cheap enough that you don't have to agonize over the price difference between a Q + good amp and an SRS-2170 system.

 

Just my 2 cents worth..................:wink_face:

post #4542 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post
 

 

HD800's require a little massaging, give it time if they're brand new. Brand new it's like trying to play jazz with a glass saxophone. HD800's accuracy can be straining, the result is that you can get the same bliss at lower volumes. HE-6 is an interesting dilemma because it has the treble yet because orthos push their sound signature in a "wall of sound" you don't get the articulation.. I'm not sure how to describe it but HE-6 is the energy without the tss tss tss of 800's..

 

Definitely enjoy it, you have a world class setup, TEAC is a great unit for sure.


Chris, the HD800 is not new.  My friend and I are doing some HP swapping.  He's had it for a while.  I will have swap out tubes tonite and see.  It felt like the WA22 was feeding too much punchy power to the HD800.  I think that the TS 7236 tubes are more suited for driving the HE500.  6080 tubes might be better for HD800...

post #4543 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post
 

I'm always surprised that more Q701 fans don't try comparing the Q701 to a Stax SRS-2170 system.

 

The Stax SR-2170 has smoother, less peaky treble, fuller bass, a smoother, easier to listen to midrange and overall a more transparent sound. The Stax also has a slightly less mechanical, more natural sound to it. It reminds me of a Q701 with some of the problems resolved. There is one problem: the Stax does not sound so impressive when you listen via a low cost DAC like a FiiO E17 for example. As a minimum, I need to use my iBasso D12 DAC, or better.

The SRS-2170 can be found new for approx. $700-800 and includes a headphone amplifier.  Cheap enough that you don't have to agonize over the price difference between a Q + good amp and an SRS-2170 system.

 

Just my 2 cents worth..................:wink_face:


You are bad influence...:p

post #4544 of 9490
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 


Chris, the HD800 is not new.  My friend and I are doing some HP swapping.  He's had it for a while.  I will have swap out tubes tonite and see.  It felt like the WA22 was feeding too much punchy power to the HD800.  I think that the TS 7236 tubes are more suited for driving the HE500.  6080 tubes might be better for HD800...

 

Hmmm......I didn't know that the HD800 had tubes in it!  :tongue:

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 


You are bad influence...:p

 

Yes I am!

OTOH, the Stax is much cheaper than the HD800.

 

Mind you, Stax can get rilly, rilly expensive.....................................:eek:

post #4545 of 9490
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hairspray View Post
 

 

Great comparison!

Excellent read...

I've just printed it at work, for re-reading on the train this evening... :D

 

koiloco wrote: "Before modded, the Q701's mid forwardness will be about the same but after the mod, I knew that some of that has been lost."

When I read that, I said to myself "this is so true...".

 

I hope I'll soon have the opportunity to test my Q701 modded and unmodded with the K712 Pro gel pads...

Will the vocals and strings become more forward and intimate without losing the fantastic low-bass?

 

thx again for your time :) 

 

I haven't heard this once. Maybe people are getting confused due to the better soundstage depth in the modded Q701. This can fool people due to making some things sound more distant, when actually it's just supposed to be that way IN the recording. You can switch to another headphone with good soundstage depth and it sounds the same. The modded Q701 is very accurate to the recording.

 

If I heard more recessed mids than I would have reversed the mod immediately. I bet others would have too.

 

One interesting thing would be to compare soundstage depth between the stock Q701, modded Q701 and a K712 or HD-650. I bet the modded Q701 and the HD-650 would be the top 2.

 

It's not hard to hear recordings where it sounds as if it has recessed mids. You can also find recordings where it makes the Q701 sound like it has very veiled treble and is too warm!

 

The increase in bass is so small that there is no way you could magically get more recessed mids. If anything they should be MORE forward in the low mids, unless you're talking about upper mids.

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