I finally reversed my stock Q701 back to the modded version a few days ago.
I think I might of went 3 to 4 weeks with it stock! Wow..not sure how I managed that after having it modded.
I've been listening to it modded and it almost really does seem like a "night and day" difference. OK, not really, but once you've gone back to stock after using the modded version for months it's much easier to hear the differences. It makes it seem like that!
I know I've mentioned all this before, but it feels like the mids are much fuller sounding and even more crystal clear. I would say the fuller mids is the easiest thing to spot in comparison.
I saw those measurements of the mods and I really can't hear a huge difference in the low bass at all. There's some low bass stuff that basically doesn't register on the Q701 at all and is now slightly there on the Q701.
I would say it still has just a tad less low bass presence than my HD-650. It really does seem like there is more mid-bass, but I don't think that shows up on graphs for whatever reason.
What I want to know is..how do the mids get thicker, yet even more clear? Usually when this happens it's the total opposite. Sometimes you get fuller mids and you also have a more muffled sound.
The nice and full mids of the modded Q701 remind of the mids of a good closed headphone.They're almost identical to how they sound on my Tony Bennett(DJ100) with M50 pads and a good desktop amp/dac.
Interesting that now the Q701 can properly reproduce bloated bass! How nice!
I have no way to confirm it, but perhaps the modded Q701 is much smoother in the upper mids and treble. I really wish I could A/B compare two pairs with the worst tracks. I think there is a pretty good chance the modded Q701 is more forgiving of really harsh/shouty/bright tracks. You can still hear the bad stuff, but it's not so bad as before. It doesn't really turn garbage into something that sounds good. The HD-650 does this a little more.
The modded Q701 is like halfway between the stock Q701 and HD-650 (non mid-bass heavy version).
HD-650 and modded Q701 are VERY close in sound. The HD-650 is way more forgiving of junk, less detailed and has less treble. The soundstage is much less airy and more closed in.
The mids of this modded Q701 are close to how they sound on my HD-650, but maybe even fuller/clearer.
The modded Q701 is more fun to listen to than the stock Q701 and possibly less analytical (not that stock ever really was), but that should be obvious. I still think that it's more balanced by far with the mod in place.
Can't say it enough but it's like the Q701 was meant to be modded. I'd say there is about a 25% improvement over stock. For ME that's more than a cable upgrade or a change of opamps etc.
No cable has made more than a 2-3% difference for me, but I do like high quality cables with good shielding (cheap ones). I'm quite fond of Mogami W2893 and my Cardas HP1 I scored for $35.
Maybe there is a slight reduction in the treble that has some effect on the mids? I have no idea. When I listen to the modded version no alarms are going off in my head that there is less treble or that it's darker. Treble quantity sounds mostly the same. Any difference would have to be ultra subtle.
The overall sound clarity (depends on recording) is up to the level of the TB/DJ100 with M50 pads (at it's best) and KRK KNS-8400. It's certainly not anything like a Beyerdynamic DT-880 or T90 where you feel as if you're listening to your gear and recording flaws! The DT-880 was weird because when you hear this sound clarity, it was as if the recording quality was holding the DT-880 back. With the Q701 I never felt like my music was put under a microscope, which is a plus. When I had the DT-880 the only warmth I heard was whatever warmth the recording had. I think even stock the Q701 adds a little. Same with the HD-650. Just a little. I like how with the Q701 on mid-range gear (or even high end gear) there is not a massive variation between tracks like there was on the DT-880/T90. This really depends more on the DAC IMO. The Q701 seems to change in overall tone between tracks with my Micro DAC more than with the Modi (which isn't as revealing). I'm always amused when I could sometimes get my Q701 to sound like an AD700 depending on recording quality! For that, the track needs to be VERY VERY awful.
Also..this sound clarity is the kind you hear and it almost wows you. So, "crystal clear" is about right. Not sure what causes this effect. It's not caused by extra treble and less bass!! Maybe the stock Q701 is really held back somehow.
Edited by tdockweiler - 4/24/14 at 12:47am