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AKG K550 vs Some others (denon d2000, akg k271, ultrasone edition 8, shure 940, shure 840, beyer... - Page 9

post #121 of 174

Wow. Nice response and a lot of good information for me. I just got the 550's and an E7 amp. I'm running mostly off my iMac for now and I find that they sound very different depending upon the music. Almost a completely different sound signature. (Keep in mind, I'm a newbie should I say something ignorant) The E7 makes only a bit of difference in SQ but a huge difference in volume capability so it's cleaner at higher volumes.

 

I now understand what people were saying about thin sound. But put a little pressure on the cups and it gets rich and full bodied. Despite their fully adjustable cups the 550's are a bit loose which adds to the pressure on my head from the band. Not horrible but you feel it's presence.

 

Is there a better amp/dac for these that will improve the low end so I don't have to break out my old 1970's Bjorn Borg head band? blink.gif
 

post #122 of 174

I use an E17 with mine and that seems to improve the bass response. On the headband, i find if i gently pull down when wearing these the seal improves and the headband adjusts so its not as noticeable
 

post #123 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathnog View Post

I use an E17 with mine and that seems to improve the bass response. On the headband, i find if i gently pull down when wearing these the seal improves and the headband adjusts so its not as noticeable
 

 

Would the upgrade to the E17 be noticeable? Since it's less than 30 days old, I can still return or exchange it.

post #124 of 174

I think so, when I was looking for a portable amp to go with these it was the E7 versus E17. from what i read and have experienced the E17 gives a noticable difference, at least to my ears.
 

post #125 of 174
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Watchmaven View Post

Thank you for that post. I'm a newbie to headphones but not to collecting or paying for quality. Like Robn13, I'm originally from NYC and miss the ability to test run anything I want to own so forums like Head-Fi are invaluable. I found this thread because the 550's are at the top of my list. Experience shows that I will obsess over my first entry to a new hobby until I get fed up with the time I'm spending and just dive in. From there I can adjust anyway I want. I just need to decide between the 550's - Ultrasone Pro900 with a Fiio amp.

 

I have to say that I appreciate the level of detail the Head-Fiers provide in their reviews and comments pertaining to sound, comfort, fit and build quality. I've been a watch collector for 10 years and absolutely love the micro mechanics and engineering it takes to make a timepiece not only work accurately but look good and fit well. The high level of detail machining of a clasp or the artistic engraving of a movement will inspire me to spend tens of thousands on timepiece. But the flip side is true too... A shoddy detail of a winding crown will prevent me from obtaining something most would salivate for. I truly enjoy reading your posts and learning the lingo and gaining insight to a very small world of people with the same obsessive disposition as I.

 

I am 48 and recall being 12 years old and asking my father for a loan to buy my first stereo. He agreed with 2 conditions. First a sign a loan agreement to pay him back. (a great lesson for a child) and 2; go with him to the stereo store to learn the difference in sound quality different budgets would offer. We went from the showroom floor to the open listening room and I was impressed with the SQ improvement. The punch of the bass and the chime of the cymbals came alive. But when he got the manager to unlock the "audiophile" room, the real lesson began. He powered up the McIntosh amps and Mark Levinson Pre-Amps. Asked what I like to listen to and handed him an album I brought with me: Styx-Grand Illusion. He put it on this contraption that looked like a turntable from space and asked me to sit on a sofa in the middle of the room. He pointed to a pair of 6 foot tall Magnaplanar speakers and lowered the tonearm. I'm smiling now just remembering how awesome a moment that was for me. It was the first time I ever felt like I was in the music and not listening to it. From there this man took the time to show me Infinity reference standards and a few others. He and my father took the time to teach me what to listen for and measure it against what I could afford to buy. Well I ended up borrowing 3 times the amount of money I planned to borrow but got a stereo system that lasted me through college. And yes, I paid my father back in the time I agreed to. Paper routes, car washes, and finally a Fuller Brush door to door route to get in just under the wire.

 

I can't wait for these cans to show up, not just for me, but to place them on my 14 yr old son's head and see the expression on his face as he compares them to the iPod buds he's been using for 2 years.

 

Thanks again!
 

 

That was a wonderful post. I truly mean it.

 

I really enjoyed reading that from start to finish, but i've immediately got to apologise for not getting back to you- especially as i can see from the main k550 thread from here that you're not liking your k550 with the fiio e7:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/553944/akg-k550-new/1320

 

The e7 isn't going to deliver what i'd consider to be a representation of what any of these £200> headphones sound like. It's battered by the samsung galaxy s1 (voodoo sound mod) and with that were not anywhere near hifi.

 

Burn them in for 100hrs, play with the fit (these have to isolate. If not you haven't the right fit so try again!!), use 320kbps music or higher and at a minimum play them out of a fiio e10. That's really the bare minimum not just for the k550's but loads of other cans too. Their bass is definitely enriched  when i've listened to them out of suitable solid state inexpensive desktop amps- which says a lot about how they respond to amping. 

If you've been through this procedure and decide you don't like the k550- be true to your ear. Get rid of them, as there will be something out there that'll suit your taste.

 

I'm going to consolidate a lot more thoughts about the k550- particularly experiences i've had with headphones in general- in the week or so. Over the last two months i performed an extreme burn in test with the d7000 and my findings nearly made me pee my pants. No joke. Anyway, gotta shoot. Stupid project came out of nowhere. And oh yea, where are my lawton denon pads???

post #126 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by CantScareMe View Post

 

That was a wonderful post. I truly mean it.

 

I really enjoyed reading that from start to finish, but i've immediately got to apologise for not getting back to you- especially as i can see from the main k550 thread from here that you're not liking your k550 with the fiio e7:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/553944/akg-k550-new/1320

 

The e7 isn't going to deliver what i'd consider to be a representation of what any of these £200> headphones sound like. It's battered by the samsung galaxy s1 (voodoo sound mod) and with that were not anywhere near hifi.

 

Burn them in for 100hrs, play with the fit (these have to isolate. If not you haven't the right fit so try again!!), use 320kbps music or higher and at a minimum play them out of a fiio e10. That's really the bare minimum not just for the k550's but loads of other cans too. Their bass is definitely enriched  when i've listened to them out of suitable solid state inexpensive desktop amps- which says a lot about how they respond to amping. 

If you've been through this procedure and decide you don't like the k550- be true to your ear. Get rid of them, as there will be something out there that'll suit your taste.

 

I'm going to consolidate a lot more thoughts about the k550- particularly experiences i've had with headphones in general- in the week or so. Over the last two months i performed an extreme burn in test with the d7000 and my findings nearly made me pee my pants. No joke. Anyway, gotta shoot. Stupid project came out of nowhere. And oh yea, where are my lawton denon pads???


Thank you for your post. I've played with them, burned them in and they're still coming up short. That said, it's been a learning experience. I since purchased the Ultrasone Pro900's and an e17 and I have the exact opposite issue with them. I played with both amps and cans and came to the conclusion that a mash of the two would be perfect.

 

550's - love the separation and sound stage. I hear so much more of the music and mulitple lyrics on songs. Love the feeling of being in the middle of the music. The forward mids liven up much of the music. Don't like the loose fit and over-sized cups. Nor the lack of a low end to make for a more impactful listening experience.

 

900's - love the fit, the case, the detatchable cables and additional pads. The bass is impactful and tight but bleed a bit into the mids. They are also slightly recessed when compared to the 550's. Not happy with the small sound stage where all everything is in the middle of my head. Not sure why they call these surround sound.

 

The e17 lets me make some adjustments but now I'm on a quest to find the perfect combination.

 

What would you recommend I  try next? Keep in mind that I need some isolation.

post #127 of 174
Thread Starter 

As of the k550 main thread, I really can't see myself recommending anything to anyone anymore! To robn13 I stressed to get it from amazon! No risk of being stuck with something you don't like. Send it back for a full refund including postage.

Bans can be given quite fast, so I reckon after an innocent update to the review of this thread (can't believe I haven't yet provided links to tyll's/other reviews or even a simple list of specs) i'll cool out and stay cool. I guess it's a case where I need this place more than it needs me (it's an isp ban- so it bars browsing as a guest also). It's completely fair enough as it encourages a high level of behaviour, so I ain't complaining. Just stating this for the record really- You're going to see a lot less of me in general now.

 

 

Anyway....

 

....I did audition the pro900 for a bit, but I didn't have it for long. On so many occasions I only ever got a real appreciation of a headphone only after living with it for a few days at least. Initial stuff that appeard as rubbish became way better with time- k550 and ed8. Some stuff swang the other way- denon d7k (although i like them now). For one or two my initial impression was a very negative one but it got even worse the more I stayed with the headphone - from recent memory the t5p (I might have been a lemon) but dt770/80 was definitely a memorable example.

Oh yea, then there's the stuff where my impression didn't change (quite a few here- shure 940's is one).

 

So my audition of the pro900 isn't going to be that accurate, but as far as closed cans go it's soundstage is good. That's how good the k550's soundstage is for closed cans in this price range ! It's quite a lot bigger isn't it. 

 

Oh no, I can't believe it. I thought I'd put an order for the fiio e17, but I must have forgot to checkout. Should have had them by now. I actually am getting them to listen to headphones out of a hdtv! It'll bring xbox gaming to life. 

What do you think of the e17? I'm pretty sure it was a massive upgrade over the e7; the e10 was. Maybe I'm a bit harsh on the e7 amp/dac, but after a long a/b with my laptops headphone out I couldn't really hear much of a sonic improvement. 

 

The pro 900's are (bar a few low fi cans or custom ones) I think generally considered to be the biggest bass monsters around !!! 

They've basically got a massive bass line which makes moving to other bass neautral/light cans a bit of an 'opposite' experience. But in my case it's even more of an opposite experience. My ears tell me that k550 has tamer highs, way more of an alive midrange and of course a larger soundstage.

I guess you've given the k550 and pro900 a fair shot and they're not for you. But I'm not quite sure what fits in between them cans maintaining the isolation property. I assume that you also want pads that are completely circumaural. 

 

 

 

The shure 840 is out of what i've heard probably closest. Note: 'What i've heard,' means look elsewhere too! They've obviously a smaller soundstage than the k550 (it's not that far from the pro900's) but it's got really good forward clear and meaty mids, bass to satisfy all but the most hardcore (disturbed) bassheads, and a neat inoffensive high range. Great isolator too. Easy to drive. 

I preffered it to the shure 940 which was had too much treble energy.  

 

There's maybe a lot of stuff that's suitable for you but that which I haven't come across. I can't give recommendations on this stuff as from reading impressions the accounts differ massively. 

 

Anyway, good luck. I hope it don't hit your wallet hard at all! 

post #128 of 174

Thanks, CantScareMe.

 

I just lucked out and found out that the Guitar Center 1/4 mile from my office has a high end studio section with a wall of headphones I can audition!. Senn's, Beyer's, AKG, Shure and many more! I spoke with the manager and set an appointment for when they open so I have time to play. Gonna bring my e17 and my playlist and go to town. Report tomorrow afternoon.

post #129 of 174
Thread Starter 

Brilliant. 

 

Your in luck there!

 

I don't think they'll mind but it's maybe an idea to try and make sure that the area your listening stuff in is as quite as possible. You know, if there's crappy blaring hifi systems and speakers, silently pull the plugs out...

You'll be surprised how little some of these 'closed' cans isolate in the real world. One upmarket department store here randomly has a mini row of headfi'ish headphones ready to demo. I tried the shure 940's briefly from there but their low isolation levels meant I couldn't get anything close to an impression to their sound. 

 

Anyway, you're new on these forums, a stranger to hype and attachments. I'm sure that you'll therefore find demo sessions like these fruitful.

post #130 of 174

I appreciate the tip.

 

That was the exact reason why I wanted to schedule an appointment and make it for the store opening. I figured I could get her undivided attention with as little interference as possible. This whole trial and error has been a learning experience.
 

post #131 of 174

Could anyone tell me how to open up the K550?  I want to open them to see the inside, but I don't want to break them.  Thanks.

post #132 of 174
Quote:
Could anyone tell me how to open up the K550? I want to open them to see the inside, but I don't want to break them.

 

To remove an ear pad, grab it anywhere on the edge and pull it directly away from the center of the driver until that section of the pad sleeve clears the plastic cover plate rim.  (This does require some force, and is most easily accomplished by using your index finger to get extra leverage from inside the cup.  Don't worry though - despite the moderate force needed, it feels like it would be very difficult to tear the pad or break the rim.)  At this point, work your way around to completely remove the pad sleeve from the rim.  From there, you will see 5 phillips head screws that access the driver.

 

To replace the ear pad, note the notch in the rim and feed the sleeve onto the rim here, gradually working the pad around until it's completely back on the rim.

post #133 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by jisora View Post

 

To remove an ear pad, grab it anywhere on the edge and pull it directly away from the center of the driver until that section of the pad sleeve clears the plastic cover plate rim.  (This does require some force, and is most easily accomplished by using your index finger to get extra leverage from inside the cup.  Don't worry though - despite the moderate force needed, it feels like it would be very difficult to tear the pad or break the rim.)  At this point, work your way around to completely remove the pad sleeve from the rim.  From there, you will see 5 phillips head screws that access the driver.

 

To replace the ear pad, note the notch in the rim and feed the sleeve onto the rim here, gradually working the pad around until it's completely back on the rim.

 

And this is a perfect seaway into Mod's  I've read this thread and have not come across some other closed headphones in this price rage that's getting lots of buzz on head fi.  The Fostex T50RP's mostly mod's ie..  (Thunderpants - not in price range), Mad Dogs, Paradox, and BMF V8.1's 

 

Does anyone have any experience with these?  I have not.  I have them on order as I type and will shed some light in the later weeks.  Also I hope to get the K550 in as well.  However, I do have a pair of D7000, Ed8's and the Q701's that I just love.  I had them balanced and got a balanced cable made so I can use them on my fully balanced B22 - and let me tell you the muscle that this amp has really makes these phones sing.  They scale really well with powerful amps.  Those that say thay lack bass and are thin really need to hear them on a more powerful amp.


Edited by preproman - 6/24/12 at 4:16pm
post #134 of 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by jisora View Post

 

To remove an ear pad, grab it anywhere on the edge and pull it directly away from the center of the driver until that section of the pad sleeve clears the plastic cover plate rim.  (This does require some force, and is most easily accomplished by using your index finger to get extra leverage from inside the cup.  Don't worry though - despite the moderate force needed, it feels like it would be very difficult to tear the pad or break the rim.)  At this point, work your way around to completely remove the pad sleeve from the rim.  From there, you will see 5 phillips head screws that access the driver.

 

To replace the ear pad, note the notch in the rim and feed the sleeve onto the rim here, gradually working the pad around until it's completely back on the rim.

jisora, thanks very much for the instruction. 

 

I opened mine today.  I looked around in there, and decided to put some stretched, re-shaped cotton balls in the cavity of the cups.  Just listened to it for a couple minutes and didn't notice any obvious change.  I've had probably over 80 hours on them.  Will continue to see I hear any difference. 

post #135 of 174

Wow - great review. I had a hard time visualizing the technique for adjusting the headphone to improve clamping force - but I'll walk through it again when I get home later. :)

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