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post #7426 of 8060

Hi guys,

 

I've been doing a lot of research into a good DAC/Amp Combo for the Q701, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement. I was wondering if I could get some of your input on which of these combinations I'd be best off with:

 

Audioengine D1 ($168)

 

Schiit Modi + Magni ($198)

 

O2 AMP + ODAC ($279) 

 

The O2 combo is a bit pricier than I'd like, but if I may consider it if the price/value ratio is good enough. 

 

Thanks for any advice! Hoping to be able to enjoy these headphones to the fullest soon. 

post #7427 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nec3 View Post
 



 

Not by much really. Other than brain burn-in and an amp that fully drives the Q701's. Jumping from E07K to ODAC/O2, the Q's definitely got a bit warmer and added a thin cover over the 2khz peak. Good thing the Q's are open back, otherwise the 2khz peak would be a nightmare.

The Vmoda M100's have a 3khz peak, but I dislike that more than I like it.

 

Not seen that before! It looks like 2kHz does smooth off a bit after a few hundred hours in one channel ... hmm. Perhaps it's driver dependent, or is it measurement error?


Edited by darrenyeats - 7/30/14 at 1:30pm
post #7428 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewxd123 View Post
 

Hi guys,

 

I've been doing a lot of research into a good DAC/Amp Combo for the Q701, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement. I was wondering if I could get some of your input on which of these combinations I'd be best off with:

 

Audioengine D1 ($168)

 

Schiit Modi + Magni ($198)

 

O2 AMP + ODAC ($279) 

 

The O2 combo is a bit pricier than I'd like, but if I may consider it if the price/value ratio is good enough. 

 

Thanks for any advice! Hoping to be able to enjoy these headphones to the fullest soon. 

 

Personally, I'd get this:  http://www.head-fi.org/t/727818/fs-ends-8-3-yulong-d100-mki-dac-amp-with-balanced-xlr-out-line-level-hpa

 

Or maybe a used NFB-15.xx if you can find one.  

 

It's not that those listed are bad, but I feel like you can get a really smoking deal on e.g. a $500 D100 for $200 and it's just better than any of those $200 units.

 

If you must buy new, it seems a lot of folks around here think the Schiit Vali/Modi pairs well with the Q's.

post #7429 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenyeats View Post
 

 

Not seen that before! It looks like 2kHz does smooth off a bit after a few hundred hours in one channel ... hmm. Perhaps it's driver dependent, or is it measurement error?

 

Except the other driver gets worse... there's so many things that can change. You should read the whole study he did... you can see measurements fluctuate with temperature changes as the sun moves across the sky. Neat stuff.

post #7430 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

 

Except the other driver gets worse... there's so many things that can change. You should read the whole study he did... you can see measurements fluctuate with temperature changes as the sun moves across the sky. Neat stuff.

LOL

post #7431 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewxd123 View Post

Hi guys,

I've been doing a lot of research into a good DAC/Amp Combo for the Q701, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement. I was wondering if I could get some of your input on which of these combinations I'd be best off with:

Audioengine D1 ($168)

Schiit Modi + Magni ($198)

O2 AMP + ODAC ($279) 

The O2 combo is a bit pricier than I'd like, but if I may consider it if the price/value ratio is good enough. 

Thanks for any advice! Hoping to be able to enjoy these headphones to the fullest soon. 

I use these cans with the jdslabs o2+Odac combo and the considerably more expensive Schiit Bifrost/Lyr combo. I am impressed by how good they sound with the Odac combo. Not as good as the Schiit, but certainly considering the price gap the difference in sound quality isn't all that great. Like me, many people are quite happy with the performance of the Odac combo and the Q701.
post #7432 of 8060
Still running my Q701's with a Headroom Total Bithead DAC/amp for over 3 years now and still in bliss. Of course this has kept me at my novice status. 
Some day I'm going to get around to building a 'starving student' for them...one day... 

 

Edit: I dug an old Creative Sound Blaster Live 24-bit External Sound card out of a closet today and set it to 5.1 and I have to say, it's mind-blowing. But I'm probably a noob. Not running through my amp or anything but the 5.1 setting even on these sounds ungodly amazing.


Edited by teddyspaghetti - 7/30/14 at 9:00pm
post #7433 of 8060

Hi

 

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. 

 

Any thoughts?

post #7434 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogirl View Post

Hi

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. 

Any thoughts?

Do the bass mod on your Q701s.
post #7435 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


Do the bass mod on your Q701s.

+1.

post #7436 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

 

Except the other driver gets worse... there's so many things that can change. You should read the whole study he did... you can see measurements fluctuate with temperature changes as the sun moves across the sky. Neat stuff.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nec3 View Post
 

LOL

 

Sure. That's why I wrote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenyeats View Post
 

 

It looks like 2kHz does smooth off a bit after a few hundred hours in one channel ... hmm.

 
post #7437 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris J View Post


Do the bass mod on your Q701s.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenyeats View Post
 

+1.

 

+2.  While I can TOTALLY sympathize with your G.A.S. ("welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!" is the motto around here), I don't know that it's going to be worth it.  Do the (reversible) bass mod and then tell us what you think.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  

post #7438 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

 

 

 

+2.  While I can TOTALLY sympathize with your G.A.S. ("welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet!" is the motto around here), I don't know that it's going to be worth it.  Do the (reversible) bass mod and then tell us what you think.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  

I wasn't quite sure what you meant by " I don't know that it's going to be worth it. Do the (reversible) bass mod".

 

Are you referring to the fact that the iCan is worth it, or were you advocating the Bass Mod over the iCAN? 

 

To be honest I don't want to mod the Q701s as I've just bought them and they are my new baby.  Therefore the possibility of buying a new outfit for them, aka the ifi iCAN, is something I want to do. I am not only interested in the ifi iCAN's bass boost capabilities - it also has a 3D switch that affects the sound stage of music. I think this is really cool addition, since when, say, listening to a Beatles album (which I find often has instrument panning too far to each side), using this switch would then bring the instruments more centred, therefore bringing more to the music than it otherwise would when having the extreme panning it offers without this option.

 

 

To me the iCAN sounds like a better all-round solution (since I don't just want it for the Bass Boost)... 


Edited by Boogirl - 7/31/14 at 9:13am
post #7439 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogirl View Post
 

I wasn't quite sure what you meant by " I don't know that it's going to be worth it. Do the (reversible) bass mod".

 

Are you referring to the fact that the iCan is worth it, or were advocating the ifi iCAN over the Bass Mod, or vice versa? 

 

To be honest I don't want to mod the Q701s as I've just bought them and they are my new baby.  Therefore the possibility of buying a new outfit for them, aka the ifi iCAN, is something I want to do. I am not only interested in the ifi iCAN's bass boost capabilities - it also has a 3D switch that affects the sound stage of music. I think this is really cool addition, since when, say, listening to a Beatles album (which I find often has instrument panning too far to each side), using this switch would then bring the instruments more centred, therefore bringing more to the music than it otherwise would when having the extreme panning it offers without this option.

 

 

To me the iCAN sounds like a better all-round solution (since I don't just want it for the Bass Boost)... 

The bass mod is easily reversible and it takes 5-10 minutes with no special tools.  It also makes the Q701 sound MUCH better.  It's well worth your time to just try it out and if you don't like it, you can swap it back.  But it you do like it, you could save a lot of money.

 

Also, there are a lot of software plugins that can do similar things to that 3D switch.  Foobar can do Dolby Headphone and a lot of people like it (tho I have no idea why).  That stuff is free too.  

 

I'm a value-oriented person.  I'd rather try the free stuff first before dropping big bucks on a new toy.  That way, I can drop those big bucks on a different toy and get two toys for the price of one!  :atsmile: 

post #7440 of 8060
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boogirl View Post
 

I wasn't quite sure what you meant by " I don't know that it's going to be worth it. Do the (reversible) bass mod".

 

Are you referring to the fact that the iCan is worth it, or were you advocating the Bass Mod over the iCAN? 

 

To be honest I don't want to mod the Q701s as I've just bought them and they are my new baby.  Therefore the possibility of buying a new outfit for them, aka the ifi iCAN, is something I want to do. I am not only interested in the ifi iCAN's bass boost capabilities - it also has a 3D switch that affects the sound stage of music. I think this is really cool addition, since when, say, listening to a Beatles album (which I find often has instrument panning too far to each side), using this switch would then bring the instruments more centred, therefore bringing more to the music than it otherwise would when having the extreme panning it offers without this option.

 

 

To me the iCAN sounds like a better all-round solution (since I don't just want it for the Bass Boost)... 

 

Sounds like it's in your shopping cart already ;)  I'm sure lots of Head-Fiers herein would love to read your impressions of your new setup.  I would imagine the iCAN's bass boost would produce a more palpable effect than the bass port mod.  Do both, and it might get a bit too rumbly.  Of course, the bass port mod is reversible, so if you think you'll keep the Q701s in the end, it might be worth a go.

 

Good luck.

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