Firstly the good stuff: I just wanted to state just how impressed I am with the Q701s! They are my first serious headphone, so I can't make a comparison with other headphones, but I am definitely not disappointed at all with how they sound, look, feel, etc.
I'm currently pairing my Q701s with the Audio GD NFB-15. Again, this is my first AMP/DAC, so maybe I am too easily impressed here, but to me this dual Wolfson DAC does wonders for sound. Not only have I been using it to drive my Q701s but I have been also using it as a pre-amp for my Cambridge 550a, which now also sounds wonderful as a result.
As amazing as they are nothing is entirely perfect.... to my surprise, there is some room for improvement for these.
I have to admit I have now discovered for myself what the description, 'bass anaemic' - oft used to describe the Q701's negative side - actually mean... although I must emphasis that these headphones do actually have both bass and sub bass. Listening to Lee Scratch Perry's 'People Funny Boy' - an old dub-reggae song - you can hear both the bass and the sub-bass. I would therefore say that the 'anaemia' that is being referred to in regards to these is specifically to the weight of the bass/sub-bass.
Ask yourself if you want to feel the bass, as opposed to just hearing it. Initially I thought that, since I mainly listen to Classical music, symphonies, piano concertos, etc, that this would not be a problem for me; that I just wanted to hear it. However, I've come to realise that I actually do like to feel the low-end of music, even with Classical - i.e. I want to feel the bass notes played by Richter in his rendition of Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano Concerto; therefore this is a problem for me. Hence I find myself seeking a solution.
Now this is where it get interesting (at least for a novice like me!): What I have discovered is that when I use the NFB-15 to pre-amp my Cambridge 550a, and I listen to the Q701 headphones from of the Cambridge's headphone jack instead of the NFB-15 headphone jack, the low-end on the Q701s does have more weight.
This is really interesting to me, as I am now seeing that the low-end weight is effected by the amp. Perhaps if I link another headphone amp to the NFB-15, I will be able to feel the low end much more than I do now.
Interestingly, the prospect of making another purchase is very exciting to me - and despite the fact I feel I require an extra amp, I really do not at all feel as I have made a mistake with any of the equipment I have bought so far. In fact, I would say that the Q701s and Audio GD NFB-15 is like a rush of heroine to an addict to someone like me, who has never experienced the power of a very good DAC and headphone - therefore I shouldn't be surprised by the fact that I am already seeking to purchase headphone amp 'numero 2', in the hope that I can get something more out of these Q701s.
This now brings me to speak about the ifi Micro iCAN headphone amp which, because of its Bass Boost capabilities - specifically in regards to dealing with the Q701s bass issue - has really caught my attention.
I am looking at the prospect of pairing the NFB 15 with the ifi Micro iCAN to drive the Q701s. My guess would be that the ifi iCAN paired with my NFB-15 will make for an excellent Q701 chauffeur, and that I will be able to feel the low end more.