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The AKG K550 Impressions and Discussion Thread! - Page 41

post #601 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTTO View Post

The fit issue is more like buying shoes. No matter how hard you try. Some brand of shoes will always gives you blisters. The last which the shoe made from simply deviate too far from the shape of your feet.

 

Similarly, K550 has a rather large circumference. People with less prominent facial features around the ear will have a good fit (seal) and will enjoy the near zero clamping force without any modification whatsoever. (Including me) 

 

I can just casually throw it on my head and enjoy it without any fiddling.

 

ya i have a fat face so the cups stuck onto my face just fine from day 1 ...or the day it was conceived in the design house.

the bass is there...not anemic at all...v good can cept a spike somewhere which i managed to tame with some felt behind the drivers. 

 

ok the denon stock pads fit the k550 ...the jmoney denon pads too. FYI.

post #602 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

My bad, I saw the last word "discussion" and figured it was okay to criticize and voice my disappointment with AKG on this otherwise seemingle great product.  When I see a thread based on primarily fixing a design flaw, I had to ask the question, "why would anyone buy this?'

 

I'm surprised they work OK for so many people...

 

It takes a while to soften up the pads through use and I found them able to adhere better and create a proper consistent seal over time. Each time I put them on, I would press the earpieces against my head for a few seconds, then let them go back naturally. I still do this as a ritual for proper fit. For me, the few seconds of fuss is well worth it.

post #603 of 2455

Sadly, I returned these today. Beautiful sound, picky fit. I wanted a headphone that would soothe me, and it was just too fussy to do that. Great for sound quality, though.

post #604 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by aristidesfl View Post

 

Mine didn't smell that much to the point of leaving a smell in the space.. but it could be because I like the smell..

The headband seems a defect.. mine work perfectly.. can ask for a replacement

 

Thanks. Yes, I think I will be asking for a replacement. I do not want to reward them for producing something that almost works (even in the mechanical department). Really trying to make up my mind if I should get a refund instead and buy a older studio version (K 271 MK II perhaps). The smell is so powerful that it stings my nostrils when wearing the headphones. Which kind of takes any and all joy away the provide.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelios View Post

Sorry to disappoint you but I've made 3-4 times 2 hour laundry to this earpads fillment and after this it was hanging entire cold winter on the air but it still stinks, though I've made a new ones from some furniture foam with the same thickness. 

The real problem is upper soft part of headband, it is glued and impossible to replace. But more or less I can live with it.

 

Thanks for the info. This is depressing findings. I want to like this headphone, but man it is challenging me. I wonder if AKG headphone product team are all heavy smokers. In any case I will be contacting AKG. I am a huge fan of their sound but will never be buying another product of theirs if this new stink treatment is a trend (Chinese production surely). Move it back to Austria, I will gladly pay the dividend.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Now I'm worried: those highs are soooooo shrill. I've had them for a week: do they go away?

 

I hope someone can answer this. Are you on a good source and amp?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Sadly, I returned these today. Beautiful sound, picky fit. I wanted a headphone that would soothe me, and it was just too fussy to do that. Great for sound quality, though.

 

Sadly I might follow, but because of their stench.

 

 

Does anybody know if the Q701's suffer the same stench problem? I want to get a close alternative to my K701.


Edited by nakedhand - 6/5/13 at 9:54pm
post #605 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by nakedhand View Post

 

Thanks. Yes, I think I will be asking for a replacement. I do not want to reward them for producing something that almost works (even in the mechanical department). Really trying to make up my mind if I should get a refund instead and buy a older studio version (K 271 MK II perhaps). The smell is so powerful that it stings my nostrils when wearing the headphones. Which kind of takes any and all joy away the provide.

 

 

 

Thanks for the info. This is depressing findings. I want to like this headphone, but man it is challenging me. I wonder if AKG headphone product team are all heavy smokers. In any case I will be contacting AKG. I am a huge fan of their sound but will never be buying another product of theirs if this new stink treatment is a trend (Chinese production surely). Move it back to Austria, I will gladly pay the dividend.

 

 

I hope someone can answer this. Are you on a good source and amp?

 

 

Sadly I might follow, but because of their stench.

 

 

Does anybody know if the Q701's suffer the same stench problem? I want to get a close alternative to my K701.

 

Regarding the "shrillness": I don't feel that my K550:s are very shrill. When I purchased them, I was comparing them to the (in?)famous ATH-M50, and I found them to be more shrill than the K550. And, nevertheless, it seems that plenty of people are enjoying the M50:s. I have been disturbed by sibliance exactly once since my purchase, and I have only found a few recordings that came across as annoyingly bright. The highs are otherwise mostly spot on for me. They are far from laid-back, though. I did notice that the highs seemed more fatiguing when listening straight out of my Galaxy S mobile phone than when using my O2/ODAC, so the mentioned "shrillness" might be amp/dac dependent. I greatly prefer using them with the O2/ODAC.

 

When listening to various AKG phones in a store at another time, I found that the highs/mids of the K550 were pretty similar to the K702 or Q702. They are all very detailed and bright phones. The K550 has a bit more body and a clearly improved bass, but can also come across as sounding a bit congested at times. Probably due to being closed back. I'd be very interested in trying the K702 Annies or the new K712 for comparison.

 

I must say that I was never bothered by the smell of mine. Maybe when just new out of the box. If mine has the smell, it is not very overpowering. It might be worth removing the pads to wash them with a nice smelling soap if you're deciding to keep them.

 

Now, the undoing of the K550 is undoubtedly the awkward fit. The phones essentially sound like crap until you get a good seal and position. I found it to be very finicky and annoying until I did the "pad-mod" on the first page and some careful bending of the head band. Now it's mostly OK, but it could do with still more clamping force or anatomically shaped pads.

 

The blessing of the K550 is the clear, detailed and open sound despite being a closed back phone. Especially at this price point. If you need closed back and like the AKG sound, they're great and worth the hassle with the fit (in my opinion). If you can get away with open back phones, then I'm sure there are better alternatives where you don't have to mess with the awkward fit.

post #606 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by dablues View Post

Sadly, I returned these today. Beautiful sound, picky fit. I wanted a headphone that would soothe me, and it was just too fussy to do that. Great for sound quality, though.

 

Yes, this is pretty much sums it up. I think the K550:s are more suited for critical listening than for soothing/relaxed listening. They are unforgiving with bad recordings. Guess they do live up to the "reference" moniker. As an example, I didn't find http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiritual_Black_Dimensions to be terrible before, but I can't stand the sound of it on the K550:s. But maybe that is just because it's horribly compressed. And then there's the fit...

 

But then, when they sound good, damn, do they sound great! In particular, I find male vocals to really shine on these.

post #607 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifi Man View Post

Could someone tell me their impressions on any of the metal songs I'm about to list? I'm strongly considering selling my Amperior headphones and getting something else closed so I have something at least semi-portable. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLSHXkgMks8 - Hades - Dawn of the Dying Sun

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIR1KfKXH6s - Sunn O))) - Black One

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcvqj-QSwic - Defeated Sanity - Psalms of the Moribund

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aao3B0fZRQc - Morpheus Descends - Corpse Under Glass

post #608 of 2455

Funny, all these complaints about the K550 but I haven't experienced any of them myself. Except the finicky fit which can easily be resolved with a little patience and experimentation. These are extremely rewarding headphones if you give them time. They don't sound shrill to me at all, but then maybe my amp is a nice fit for them (tubes may roll off the shrilly highs just enough). If you subscribe to the "burn-in" school of thought, let them cook for 25-30 hours.

 

I guess they aren't for everyone, much like a lot of AKG's products, but to me they sound damn good, high-end quality for mid-level money. They still remain my go-to headphone for rock music.

post #609 of 2455

ooooo u hv the darkvoice 3  3    2    2     oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobeerchug.gif

post #610 of 2455
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorspeaker View Post

ooooo u hv the darkvoice 3  3    2    2     oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooobeerchug.gif


Haha, yes but actually I think they sound really good coming straight out of my iPad to be honest. But the Darkvoice and MSII+ definitely help tame them.

post #611 of 2455

Regarding "shrillness", i think you meant the sharp hiss fo the vocal with word that end with the letter 's' etc.

When its new, the bass was simply absent. The 'shrillness" stick out like a sore thumb in some somgs (sounds like AM radio).

In the mature state where mine is at now (7 months), the sounds is just smooth and mellow.....

 

I also has the Q701, the really low frequency bass is no match to the K550. K550 low bass impact just moves you. It's not the loudness, it is the impact (power) and smoothness you can feel.

 

On the treble and higher frequency, Q701 can reveal more detail and more natural to my ear.

post #612 of 2455

I've took a K550 from a shelf and gave 'em a try ( LCD2 puts near everything on a shelf) with some music. Overall everything OK until Depeche Mode's Playing Angel. Gahan's vocal on A Pain That I'm Used To is simply unbearable. It cuts ears. DM's Black Celebration - vocals less harsh but it's far from normal. Metallica - Hollier than thou ( real killer for near every loudspeaker up to 2500 euro. Can't find anything in this price range that can handle this song. Kick at 35 sec and even proac 100 goes flat) - sound - OK, stage - average, Hetfild's vocals - hmmm.... little better than Gahan's.

 

Sooo. Let's mod!

 

I've tried many combinations, filled inside with polyurethane foam (I decided to leave it there - 15 mm thickness). After all I discovered thet main problem lies in isolation rubber cup with one hole on the back. When it removed with polyurethane only inside headphones harshnes of male voice dissapears and voice itself becomes soft. But stage dissapears instruments not devided and headphones sound is worse some 50 $ despite good vocals. Than I've made cups from office paper in the shape of rubber cups ))). Welcome back vocal harshness and instrumental too. Wrong path.

 

But it's not time to surrender.))

 

Let's come back to rubber cup. Without it vocals is OK, so let's add some holes to it.

And here it is!))

Sorry, can't post photo right here

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/michaelios/akg%20k550/fill.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b292/michaelios/akg%20k550/hole.jpg

Added some 1-2 mm thick kitchen rag under earcups before wearing it back. Not shure it improves something.

.

 

Achieved: really more air and much better stage

               harshnes in Gahan's vocal dissapeared

               Cannonball Adderley - Somethin' Else - Autumn Leaves -  very good nearfield stage, instruments not so realistic

               compared to

               LCD2 but good.

               Wynton Marsalis - Unforgivable Blackness-New Orleans Bump   with this Uberrecord I think even DrDre will shine, but

               so cool to hear this composition with AKG.

 

IMHO great mod, but I plan to add second hole to a rubber cup....))))


Edited by michaelios - 6/6/13 at 3:21pm
post #613 of 2455

Well I have installed a set of EP-007 ear pads on them.... WOW.... no need to say more... Fit is even better than the Lawtons. Should get my headband pad soon from munkynutz and will post pics.

post #614 of 2455

just looked those pads up...they look great but they are 30 bucks less than I payed for my K550's... yikes!

post #615 of 2455

When I had the 550's, I thought overall they were pretty good,

but the pro's outweighed the con's.

 

Pro's were a wide soundstage (for closed headphones), detail,

and comfort.

 

Con's were endless fiddling to get the fit just right for optimum SQ,

too much brightness tending towards harshness in the upper midrange,

and bass that was fair at best.

 

 

At the time I had Denon D2000's, among others, which I liked much more.

Then I found a rare deal on Sony Z1000's and bought them.  While they

are flawed as well, IMO they are nonetheless a more accurate and enjoyable listen

than the K550's.  And though the Z1000's are evidently discontinued, the "professional"

version MDR 7520's are available on Amazon for only $45.00 more than the K550's

at last look. 

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