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So far, disappointed with AKG Q701. - Page 6

post #76 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

If its the best for tis price, the LD MKIV would likely be squarely in my price range come Christmas. Should I order it early? It looks like the kind of thing that would become hard to find around the holidays. 

 

I'll let someone else chime in here as well - as so far my only experience with Tubes has been the MKIV  - and before that a portable hybrid (Portatube) - which I really loved and initially got me looking for a full sized tube amp.

 

What I can say is that IMO the MKIV is very powerful, very clean background, and with the right tubes sounds quite linear to me - but still has enough euphonic mid-range to really complement both the K701and Beyer.  Mind you - unlike some who really want a wire with gain scenario, I prefer a little warmth and body to both the Beyer and AKG - while still retaining their strengths (linearity, clarity, sound stage etc).  The LD is built well - and to me sounds really good.  For it's price point, it should at least be a contender.

 

Will be interested to hear other recommendations.

post #77 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by NimbleTurtle View PostIMO, it's one thing to suggest that an amp needs enough voltage/ current to drive the diaphragm efficiently. But it's another thing to suggest that without a certain synergy/ amp, a headphone will not sound great. If it comes down to that scenario, you're just better off getting another headphone.
 

 

It really seems like the OP has under-amped the 598 and is happy with the sound signature of this, but underamping the any of the AKG high-end cans (K701/Q701/K702 results in a thin, lifeless sound. This is precisely why a desktop amp like the HeadRoom Desktop or Musical Fidelity M1 HPA, which delivers sufficient voltage/current to allow the diaphragm to do it's thing. Even the headphone output stage of a 1970's integrated amp would be better than the E9 the OP is using here.

post #78 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkee View Post

 

It really seems like the OP has under-amped the 598 and is happy with the sound signature of this, but underamping the any of the AKG high-end cans (K701/Q701/K702 results in a thin, lifeless sound. This is precisely why a desktop amp like the HeadRoom Desktop or Musical Fidelity M1 HPA, which delivers sufficient voltage/current to allow the diaphragm to do it's thing. Even the headphone output stage of a 1970's integrated amp would be better than the E9 the OP is using here.


Underamping the 598 with the E9? I think this would be impossible. Even the E9 is enough for the Q701. Now it sounds a tad thinner than using a better amp, but it's still quite good.

The 598 to me even sounds good straight from a Sansa Clip+

 

I do think that the Q701 needs proper amp/dac synergy to be at it's best. I wish it didn't. Now it can still sound good of course.. If all gear was always perfectly neutral (and actually sound that way), then this would be no problem.

 

My guess was just that he's too used to the 598 sound and may prefer that.

post #79 of 86
Thread Starter 
Yea, the 598 doesn't even need an amp. Of course it sounds a bit more full with one but its fine alone.

Would the Q701 sound better plugged into a Denon A/V receiver?
post #80 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post

Yea, the 598 doesn't even need an amp. Of course it sounds a bit more full with one but its fine alone.
Would the Q701 sound better plugged into a Denon A/V receiver?


I would give it a try, but some of the technical guys here will cry about it. Obviously only if you already have one! Don't go out and buy one just for the Q701! Unless it's from a thrift store!

I tried my Q701 out of my Technics receiver (330ohm impedance output!!) and it sounded just like it should. Don't ask me how!

My KRK KNS-8400...sounded like everything was coming from inside a cave. biggrin.gif It obviously messed with it's signature WAAAAY too much. Don't ask me how, but it sounded smoother, but had very little treble.


Edited by tdockweiler - 8/21/12 at 12:15pm
post #81 of 86

*got lazy and skipped the last 4 pages*

a modded HD558 sounds exactly like a HD598 but a little cloudier
the black looks better than the light tan which is a little hard to get used to
not sure if the slight but noticible lack of clarity would be a deal breaker though

post #82 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post
 

 

I don't think this plasticy resonance exists on the Q701. I certainly can't hear it. It was there on the K701 for me, but not the K702 or Q701.

 

BTW the Q701 to my ears with any amp is so different than the K701 that vocals sounds just as good as the HD-580, if not better. They're actually quite close. The 580 isn't quite as warm sounding as the HD-600 though and has less mid-bass and more forward upper mids IMO. The Q701 I have is much fuller and warmer sounding than the K702, so it's much closer to the Sennheiser sound in many ways. Not like it, but closer than before. The Q701 no longer has those lean mids and analytical sound to my ears. I can get that result out of any decent amp, including my Airhead. My old K702 almost felt like it had some recession in the mids somewhere. I never ever get that with the Q701. The Q701 never sounds thin or lacking in the mids. Sure, compared to an HD-650!

 

Most likely even for you, issues you had on the K702 are not going to be present on the Q701. The treble is much easier on the ears too.

For me they made the soundstage much more accurate. For those that find the Q701 bad for vocals (I don't and not even remotely), wait until you try the K701!

 

Previously I preferred the K601 for vocals over the K702, but the Q701 has it beat. Vocals should never sound distant unless it's the recording or it's bad amp/dac synergy.


I auditioned the Q701 and HD598's the other day and while the Q's were clearer I DID hear some resonance with Lenny Kravitz's vocals on Are You Going My Way.

The vocals are put through some sort of can effect which triggered this resonance unlike the HD's.

 

Can you tell us the difference between the Q701 and K601's which others have suggested is good with Rock.

I'm thinking the bass mod for the Q's would work with the 601's...yes?

 

I'm using the Little Dot III amp.

post #83 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by shinndigg View Post
 

I will, right off the bat, say that I have not given these the appropriate burn in period. They've been used for about 8 hours so far. I'm not a huge believer in significant burn in effects, but if someone thinks my issues will be solved by burn in, that would be great, because I am in love with the design of these cans.

 

OK, first of all, my primary headphones before these were the HD 598. I LOVED the sound of them, but I hated the looks. I'm 22 and in college. Sound is most important to me or I'd have Beats like everyone else at the school. But the first thing that happened when I took the 598s out of the box was my girlfriend saying "yuck." 

 

So, I decided to try to find a good looking pair of headphones that was on par with or exceeded the 598s, with a budget topping out at ~$250. Q701s fit the bill and arrived today.

 

Hooked up to my iMac using USB to my VDAC MK II and FiiO E9, I can't help but be upset with these cans. First of all, they sound a bit muffled. Vocals seem distant and recessed. Things don't pop like they do with the Sennheisers. There even seems to be some distortion with highs for some bizarre reason, albeit very minor, even though they're supposed to have great range. 

 

On the bright side, I think they're a little more detailed than the 598s, which I would normally love. 

 

The distant vocals are my biggest complaint. Is this something that will be resolved with burn in? Will they ever be as fun to listen to as the 598s? Or do these cans just have a different presentation than the Sennheisers? 

 

If these are problems that WONT be resolved by burn in, is there another set of phones you could recommend?

IME, having owned the K702, Q701, and currently the K712, is that

all of these need really good sourcing and a powerful amplifier to be

appreciated.  No lossy files, no dodgy recordings, etc.  I've not yet

heard a battery driven amp, for example, that do any of these justice -

even those with two batteries.  If they're not given the right material

and electronics, they can sound sharp, thin, and bass-light.

 

OTOH, with a good recording - particularly classical with 'natural

miking' and no electronic instruments - they can sound startlingly

good.

 

Of the three, I like the K712's the most, K702's second, and the 

Q701's last.  The K702's presented a vast soundstage; the Q's

reduced the size of it and added a touch more bass.  Not a fair

exchange, IMO.  The K712's kept the smaller soundstage, added

still more bass and a few more tweaks, and altogether are very 

good headphones.  And again, they rally sparkle with good classical

recordings.

post #84 of 86

The amplification IS the issue with Q701s. They need power, a lot of power before they can restitute properly all of the frequencies and particularly bass frequencies. My Burson soloist is barely able to restitute proper bass frequencies out of my Q701, and if I plug the cans into a Fiio or any other low power output amp... I just get nothing at all, no bass at all or anemic bass volume, and same goes, in a less spectacular way for treble or mids, but bass is where the reeeaall hunger for amperage lies with those cans. That's what it is and the low impedance doesn't make any difference to this fact. 

post #85 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Humbucker1961 View Post
 

The amplification IS the issue with Q701s. They need power, a lot of power before they can restitute properly all of the frequencies and particularly bass frequencies. My Burson soloist is barely able to restitute proper bass frequencies out of my Q701, and if I plug the cans into a Fiio or any other low power output amp... I just get nothing at all, no bass at all or anemic bass volume, and same goes, in a less spectacular way for treble or mids, but bass is where the reeeaall hunger for amperage lies with those cans. That's what it is and the low impedance doesn't make any difference to this fact. 

 

The Fiio E9 has tons of power and is not a low power output amp. Maybe you were referring to the E10 or similar. The E9 itself probably has just as much power output into 62ohm as the Matrix M-Stage. Someone should look it up. I wouldn't be surprised. No, not say the E9 is as good or better..

 

The E9 basically makes the Q701 sounds nearly the same as it does on the Ifi iCAN and Schiit Vali. A little worse, but the same general sound signature (neutral).

 

I do agree that the Q701 needs a lot of power. I've found that most portable amps just don't work well enough with it. Not even the E17 is enough, but my Total Airhead does do quite well and never gives the "over voltage" blink. Hearing that the Q701 is easy to drive is really just nonsense to me. Yeah, sure I can get maxed out volume on a portable device, but that doesn't mean a thing really. I've found it also depends a lot on the music.

 

If someone doesn't like the Q701 with the E9 they probably won't like it on much else.

 

 

post #86 of 86

You're right, I had Fiio E10/E07k in mind (that are otherwise fine products) when I made the reference to Fiio powering Q701, not Fiio E9 that I haven't tried, sorry. Thank you for clarification. 

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