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Upgrade Options: Where to go from AKG K 702?

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
Upgrade Options: Where to go from AKG K 702?

Background: I am listing mostly to Jazz and blues with some rock and classical now and then. My iMac is my primary music source using Decibel and iTunes. I have a Grace Design m903 usb DAC-HF amp. The amp has an output impedance of 1.2 ohms and puts out 1200 mW @ 50 ohm, 240 mW @ 250 ohm and  100 mW @ 600 ohms. My balanced outputs are being used by my active monitors ( Neumann KH 120s). I have a some good IEMs to listen to when traveling (Westone 4Rs) with my iPhone and iPad.

I appreciate a detailed a neutral presentation of music. I also enjoy HF that image and present a detailed sound stage. Headphones that present the dynamics of music. For example, I enjoy hearing a tenor sax playing an intro solo and hearing the piano in the studio strings being excited ( one Mapleshade recording). Comfort is important to me as well ( ears can get hot etc.).

I really enjoy the K702s. I think that they do a great job at what i describe; but I was wondering where the next significant "bus stop" up in audio performance is given my set up? I have identified 5 sets of cans in the $1,000 to $1,500 that are generally well liked here at Headfi.

Audez'e  - LCD-2 - $995
60 ohm
91 dB
570 g

 Beyerdynamic - Tesla  T1 - $1,399
600 ohm
102 dB
375 g

Denon - AH-D7100 - $1,299 (new replacement for AH-D7000)
25 ohm
 110 dB
370 g

HiFiman - HE-6 -$1,299
50 ohm
83.5 dB
502 g

Sennheiser HD800 - $1,500
300 ohm
102 dB
260 dB

All have their fans and detractors.  Given my DAC/Amp, musical preferences and audio phonic preferences which of these should I consider and why? They do seem to be diverse in weight, efficiency and impedance. I really like my m903 so I am looking for a good match with it.

Thanks,

Bob
post #2 of 49

hd800!

post #3 of 49

Well, at least the kind of problem you have is one of those good type of problems. These are some of the nicest cans you've picked out. I'd say the T1 but that's only because I have always been partial to Beyerdynamic. You could always get a dart and throw it at a list on a wall. Might not be the most logical choice in the world, but when you're dealing with quality of this caliber it's kind of like picking between Dolce & Gabbana or an Armani suit. lol

post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 
The K702s are only 235 g. The LCD-2 and HE-6 are over 2x as heavy. The HD800 are comparable in weight and the T1 and D7100 are heavier but not like the Audeze or Hifimans. I wonder how this impacts comfort? Also, I am not sure if I can power 300 or 600 ohm cans. I run my amp at 80% with my 62 ohm K702s.
post #5 of 49

Heya,

 

Hifiman HE-500

 

Very best,

post #6 of 49

I don't own T1 or HD800 but heard them at the meets always paying attention to details clarity and prefer T1 over HD800 when listening to jazz or classical

post #7 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

Hifiman HE-500

 

Very best,

I think this would be a good bus stop. You shouldn't just leap into summit-fi audio gear. However i recommend the T-1 if you do decide to take that leap. The beyer production line of the DT series and the T series have been known to make jazz sound amazing. I truly love jazz on my DT880's which are like small T-1's. i would also like to recommend the HE-400's as a good headphone for entering the orthodynamic scene. 

Lastly i would suggest looking into the K550's my friend has both the 550's and the 701's and he said they compliment each other well.

post #8 of 49
I heard K550 K550 at the recent NYC NYC meet and they lacking bass jazz demands even when driven by Burson 160D while HE-400 do have the bass you need.
post #9 of 49
Thread Starter 
I have always been a bit lost in regards to the bass criticism on the AKGs. Let's talk about jazz for a minute. A 5 string electric bass open is 30 Hz and an open E on a 4 string is 41 Hz. A low note on a piano is 27 Hz. What are you guys talking about missing?

AKG k702 bass frequency response

Low Bass

20 Hz -5dB
30 Hz -2dB
40 Hz 0dB
50 Hz +1dB
60 Hz +2dB
70 Hz +1dB
80 Hz +2dB

 Mid Bass

90 Hz +3dB
100 Hz +4dB
200 Hz +4dB
300 Hz +3dB

I find that I can pick up a 3 dB change (or greater). From 30 Hz and up they are flat in the low bass and boost a bit in the mid bass. I am interested in more detail, superior soundstage and imaging. If a set has no attenuation at 20 Hz that would be great.

The Audez'e and the HiFiman look very heavy. The Denon's and Beyerdynamic's are not open phones and I am not sure what that means for the sound stage or imaging? I also wonder if they are hot to where. The Sennheisers look to be light but have higher impedance and I am unsure about my amp's ability to power them ( same with the 300 ohm T1s).
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by olegausany View Post

I heard K550 K550 at the recent NYC NYC meet and they lacking bass jazz demands even when driven by Burson 160D while HE-400 do have the bass you need.

Well,

 

IMHO i think the K550's are a closed back K701/2 and honestly have a touch more bass. The HE-400 have a better response to bass than the DT 990 pros which I believe are up there with the bass god Denons. The guy above me is right though, your setup might not be able to power the Tesla or the HD800. I think your best choices would be the HE-500/HE-400 or maybe even the HD6XX.

 

Good luck sir,

post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
So the my amp should power either....

Audez'e LCD-2
Denon AH -D7100
HiFiman HE-500

Thanks
post #12 of 49

From the K702 the HD800 is a natural progression out of those you mention, although I'd throw a wild card and suggest you consider a lambda Stax model, anything from the 303 to the 507. If you're lucky you can get a 303 and a basic amp for under £500. I was very fond of the K702 when I had it but after many headphones before and inbetween the 303 (with 507 leather pads) completely cured my upgraditus. It's been almost two years now since I've had not the slightest urge for another headphone.  

post #13 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by iim7V7IM7 View Post

So the my amp should power either....
Audez'e LCD-2
Denon AH -D7100
HiFiman HE-500
Thanks

 

 There's a lot of people suggesting headphones in this thread without giving you reasons. Seems like they like those headphones and think might too. I have owned many pairs of K701/K702, because I keep going back to that sound. I also don't understand why people say they're so bass light, when I just find them to be accurate and open. I've heard those headphones listed, and I would suggest the Hifiman for you. The LCDs seemed closed off and not as open as the hifiman. To me, the hifiman seemed open, clear and 'accurate.' Some of course say the hifimans are bass light.

 

 

With all of that said, before you make a larger purchase like this, I'd suggest trying to find a meet to go to and give some of these a listen. 

post #14 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwappo99 View Post

 

 There's a lot of people suggesting headphones in this thread without giving you reasons. Seems like they like those headphones and think might too. I have owned many pairs of K701/K702, because I keep going back to that sound. I also don't understand why people say they're so bass light, when I just find them to be accurate and open. I've heard those headphones listed, and I would suggest the Hifiman for you. The LCDs seemed closed off and not as open as the hifiman. To me, the hifiman seemed open, clear and 'accurate.' Some of course say the hifimans are bass light.

 

 

With all of that said, before you make a larger purchase like this, I'd suggest trying to find a meet to go to and give some of these a listen. 

 

Depends on the sort of music you listen to. They do start to drop off a bit around 50hz, much like most speakers do. For acoustic music and jazz and instrumental stuff you aren't going to notice any bass deficit. If you listen to music that leverages the sub bass a lot you might notice it though.

post #15 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EddieE View Post

Depends on the sort of music you listen to. They do start to drop off a bit around 50hz, much like most speakers do. For acoustic music and jazz and instrumental stuff you aren't going to notice any bass deficit. If you listen to music that leverages the sub bass a lot you might notice it though.

Eddie,

Until you reach a +/- 3dB difference most people cannot hear a difference. With the K702s you can hear a difference between 30 Hz and 60 Hz. But they do produce very good bass at 30 Hz within 2 dB . That covers almost all music other than some pipe organ or some bass drum resonances.

Low Bass

20 Hz -5dB
30 Hz -2dB
40 Hz 0dB
50 Hz +1dB
60 Hz +2dB
70 Hz +1dB
80 Hz +2dB

My active monitors are rated to 52 Hz +/-2 dB and the AKGs have much more bass. The K702s perform handsomely down to 30 Hz and they audibly attenuate below that.

 :-)

Bob
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