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On the verge of spending $500, Please talk me either out or into this - Page 2

post #16 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post

I'm as much as an audio enthousiast as a gaming enthousiast, which is why the Q701 appeals to me so much, since it's known to be a terrific gaming headphone when it comes to soundstaging and positioning and at the same time having great musical clarity for its price. Together with the aforementioned matrix amp this combination is told to be very very good for its price, right?

 

Have you considered the O2+ODAC? For a little more than the M-Stage amp alone, it's an amp and DAC in one.

 

Personally, I really like my M-Stage Matrix (with DT 990's and mostly HD 650's). But if I had it to do over again, I'd seriously consider the O2. I'm almost ready to buy an ODAC even if originally the Matrix DAC looked most promising. And the Matrix  cases would match nicely.

post #17 of 61

I find the odac great. But oddly the pairing of the odac with the o2 just doesn't do it for me. At least not with he400, hd650, fostex t50rp...

post #18 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post
That's weird, many people seem to love those, are you sure you didn't get a fake one?

 

I ordered free samples directly from National Semiconductor. They can't be fake.

 

The LM4562/LME49710/LME49720/LME49860 line works well in a lot of applications, just not the Titanium HD. I have no complaints with them used in the X-Fi Prelude or Forte, which probably isn't surprising since that's what they came with.

 

It could also be that a lot of people like ridiculous V-shaped signatures. I'm a midrangehead/vocalhead, so recessed mids is something to be avoided at all costs.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 9/25/12 at 2:41pm
post #19 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post

Hello there fellow Head-Fi'ers

 

I just got my new Creative Titanium HD and I feel like I'm on a spending spree.

Really love my new card though I feel like my rusty ol 3-year old (modded) HD555's could use an upgrade.

Besides I'm looking for a bit more "unveiled" and "less dark" sounding headphone anyways.

 

I already made a thread here about half a year ago and since the dollar:euro ratio is going well and I've got some cash to blow, I'm again in doubt if I should get the legendary combination of the AKG Q701 and the Matrix M-Stage.

 

I'm as much as an audio enthousiast as a gaming enthousiast, which is why the Q701 appeals to me so much, since it's known to be a terrific gaming headphone when it comes to soundstaging and positioning and at the same time having great musical clarity for its price. Together with the aforementioned matrix amp this combination is told to be very very good for its price, right?

 

Should I pull the trigger on this and get myself these headphones and this amp?

 

Please either stop me from this madness or convince me!

 

I greatly appreciate any help or suggestions!

Thanks,

 

kazaakas

AKG Q701 definitely does not sound dark. However, its treble peaks are definitely harsh enough to damage someone's ears. In fact, it's overly bright to me. Far from being neutral. 

 

I did recently try it out for gaming. It's not necessarily better than my HD598, but it's "easier" to use. There is a clear left and right indication, where as with the HD598 it's more accurate and realistic. With the Q701, sometimes you'll hear someone talk 10 feet away when he is actually 5 feet away. You also get less bass with the Q701, so explosives do not distract the player as much. This makes it a better competitive headphone than the 598, although it's hardly realistic for gaming immersion or music. With music, the imaging oscillates between left and right, with no clear center, rendering a lack of proper 3D imaging. This is an inherent problem that no amp will fix, despite what some fanboys may say. 

 

You are better off with other choices: D2000, DT880/990, HD598,  and HE-400. The Q701 does have better midrange than the Denons or the Beyerdynamics, from what I can tell. I never liked the Denon/ Beyerdynamic treble but EQ is always a solution. The D/B line has better bass performance than the Q701 if that is something to think about. The HD598 is a clear step up from the modded HD555 with a brighter signature with less "veil" (all the Sennheisers have a veil, which is referring to the smooth sound signature and diminished treble presence). The HE-400, I never heard, but judging by the reviews, a clear step up from the D2000? You'll have to decide for yourself. 

 

I recommend O2 over the Matrix M-Stage. 

post #20 of 61

Hey again,

 

My K 702s just arrived. Unless your tastes are completely different from mine then I think you made a very good purchase.

 

I heard all about how you have to break these in before they sound good and how the headband is terrible etc..

 

All lies... I just ran through various stuff from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to my beloved '80s synth collection and these sound like $300 headphones right out of the box. If they do get better with time then that is just a bonus.

 

Maybe people do have trouble driving them and get a thin harsh sound, but I'm avoiding any chance of that by running them from my integrated pioneer. I don't use any of the portable/fiio stuff. 20% volume is all I can take on this amp. I will try them on lower ohm stuff later. I'm retro.

 

The headband is comfy, but I have longish hair so maybe it feels different on guys with short hair. The ear pads are the most luxurious I've encountered.

 

The bass is NOT weak, but its definitely AKG's signature old-school bass which is not a lingering, shakey '90s-2000s bass and more of a tight '80s bass that hits and runs.

I'm starting to think "weak bass" on headfi means powerful, precise bass and "basshead can" means floppy distorted enclosed woofer sound.

Take a K 240's bass levels but take away the papery, slow sound and add some much needed sub-bass and you have these. Over 3 times the price, but truly 3 times the SQ as well.

 

Also, unlike the 240, these can handle EQing. I highly recommend you experiment with an EQ on the sub bass frequencies because these can be equalized up to Q-40/HFI-580/XB__ bass levels while retaining clarity then at the flick of a switch drop back to studio flatness. Unlike some other "flat" headphones, they don't fall to pieces when you color them yourself.

 

They sound like open-backed SRH840s kind of, which is a big compliment from me. Just like the 840s they seem to adapt to the genre you're listening to so there's ample bass on electronica but it goes away on rock and classical.

 

They're extremely "punchy". Snares, bass, etc., all seem to "hit" rather than fade in. Perhaps this is the harsh, videogamey treble some people hear? To me it sounds like precision. My Ultrasones had HARSH treble, these just have what I would refer to as percussive treble.

 

So either I got the world's only pair of K 70X with strong bass and balanced treble, or they just go good with the warmth of my amp, or I'm just crazy?

 

My initial impressions rating: 10/10, pretty much perfect. Wow.

 

My only doubt is whether I should get the 701s instead. I didn't realize these were so blue in sunlight. The white version is more attractive IMO.

 

Edit: Tried them on 2 other sources now and still they don't have any harsh treble. They sound like a ruler-flat interpretation of the lightfooted AKG "house sound" to me. I guess I'm crazy.


Edited by machoboy - 9/25/12 at 5:43pm
post #21 of 61

Also I about fainted from excitement while opening the mystical box with messages on the flaps...

post #22 of 61
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

I ordered free samples directly from National Semiconductor. They can't be fake.

 

The LM4562/LME49710/LME49720/LME49860 line works well in a lot of applications, just not the Titanium HD. I have no complaints with them used in the X-Fi Prelude or Forte, which probably isn't surprising since that's what they came with.

 

It could also be that a lot of people like ridiculous V-shaped signatures. I'm a midrangehead/vocalhead, so recessed mids is something to be avoided at all costs.

 

That's strange because the Titanium HD has LME49710's in the buffers stock.

How'd you guys think LME49990's will work out? After a bit of research I found out that these seem to be more superior to the other LME49's overall.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post


My initial impressions rating: 10/10, pretty much perfect. Wow.

Can't wait to get mine with all that glory you're talking, making me impatient!

I hope they'll be comfortable with me though, my old HD555's were still comfortable after a non-stop 30 hour lan party...

I got pretty dense 10 inch long hair so I suppose the headband won't bring any trouble like it did to a few others.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

AKG Q701 definitely does not sound dark. However, its treble peaks are definitely harsh enough to damage someone's ears. In fact, it's overly bright to me. Far from being neutral. 

 

I did recently try it out for gaming. It's not necessarily better than my HD598, but it's "easier" to use. There is a clear left and right indication, where as with the HD598 it's more accurate and realistic. With the Q701, sometimes you'll hear someone talk 10 feet away when he is actually 5 feet away. You also get less bass with the Q701, so explosives do not distract the player as much. This makes it a better competitive headphone than the 598, although it's hardly realistic for gaming immersion or music. With music, the imaging oscillates between left and right, with no clear center, rendering a lack of proper 3D imaging. This is an inherent problem that no amp will fix, despite what some fanboys may say. 

 

You are better off with other choices: D2000, DT880/990, HD598,  and HE-400. The Q701 does have better midrange than the Denons or the Beyerdynamics, from what I can tell. I never liked the Denon/ Beyerdynamic treble but EQ is always a solution. The D/B line has better bass performance than the Q701 if that is something to think about. The HD598 is a clear step up from the modded HD555 with a brighter signature with less "veil" (all the Sennheisers have a veil, which is referring to the smooth sound signature and diminished treble presence). The HE-400, I never heard, but judging by the reviews, a clear step up from the D2000? You'll have to decide for yourself. 

 

I recommend O2 over the Matrix M-Stage. 


Placed my order already, but anyway, I'm pretty confident it's going to work out, out of all the headphones I've been reading reviews of, those of the Q701 matched my desire the most by far.

post #23 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

AKG Q701 definitely does not sound dark. However, its treble peaks are definitely harsh enough to damage someone's ears. In fact, it's overly bright to me. Far from being neutral. 

 

I did recently try it out for gaming. It's not necessarily better than my HD598, but it's "easier" to use. There is a clear left and right indication, where as with the HD598 it's more accurate and realistic. With the Q701, sometimes you'll hear someone talk 10 feet away when he is actually 5 feet away. You also get less bass with the Q701, so explosives do not distract the player as much. This makes it a better competitive headphone than the 598, although it's hardly realistic for gaming immersion or music. With music, the imaging oscillates between left and right, with no clear center, rendering a lack of proper 3D imaging. This is an inherent problem that no amp will fix, despite what some fanboys may say. 

 

You are better off with other choices: D2000, DT880/990, HD598,  and HE-400. The Q701 does have better midrange than the Denons or the Beyerdynamics, from what I can tell. I never liked the Denon/ Beyerdynamic treble but EQ is always a solution. The D/B line has better bass performance than the Q701 if that is something to think about. The HD598 is a clear step up from the modded HD555 with a brighter signature with less "veil" (all the Sennheisers have a veil, which is referring to the smooth sound signature and diminished treble presence). The HE-400, I never heard, but judging by the reviews, a clear step up from the D2000? You'll have to decide for yourself. 

 

I recommend O2 over the Matrix M-Stage. 

 

I found the 990 brighter than any of the K70X/Q701 offerings - and judging from the others it seems like you enjoy a bit of treble roll-off.  Grado's are bright, the Q701 is just balanced overall.

 

Hope you enjoy them OP, I definitely like me some AKG's.

post #24 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

 

I found the 990 brighter than any of the K70X/Q701 offerings - and judging from the others it seems like you enjoy a bit of treble roll-off.  Grado's are bright, the Q701 is just balanced overall.

 

Hope you enjoy them OP, I definitely like me some AKG's.

Sorry I never heard the 990. Should not have recommended them but I found the DT880 to be slightly less fatiguing than the AKG Q701. I do not know if it has less harsh of a treble peak but perhaps it's because the greater bass presence for it. You're probably right about the DT990. None of the headphones I listed have a treble roll-off, and in fact, have perhaps a little too much treble in certain regions of the frequency. I found the Q701 to be skewed towards the upper-mids when it comes to the frequency balance - as shown on the chart and in terms of subjective listening - and while the bass extension is quite good, the quantity of it is very lacking, even with proper EQ. This makes the musical presentation lean more towards the midrange and treble (mostly the treble, though what track you listen to determines this). And yes Grados are super bright... 

post #25 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post

 

That's strange because the Titanium HD has LME49710's in the buffers stock.

How'd you guys think LME49990's will work out? After a bit of research I found out that these seem to be more superior to the other LME49's overall.

 

Can't wait to get mine with all that glory you're talking, making me impatient!

I hope they'll be comfortable with me though, my old HD555's were still comfortable after a non-stop 30 hour lan party...

I got pretty dense 10 inch long hair so I suppose the headband won't bring any trouble like it did to a few others.

 


Placed my order already, but anyway, I'm pretty confident it's going to work out, out of all the headphones I've been reading reviews of, those of the Q701 matched my desire the most by far.

Good luck! 

post #26 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Hey again,

 

My K 702s just arrived. Unless your tastes are completely different from mine then I think you made a very good purchase.

 

I heard all about how you have to break these in before they sound good and how the headband is terrible etc..

 

All lies... I just ran through various stuff from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to my beloved '80s synth collection and these sound like $300 headphones right out of the box. If they do get better with time then that is just a bonus.

 

Maybe people do have trouble driving them and get a thin harsh sound, but I'm avoiding any chance of that by running them from my integrated pioneer. I don't use any of the portable/fiio stuff. 20% volume is all I can take on this amp. I will try them on lower ohm stuff later. I'm retro.

 

 

lol. lies!! I believe it does come down to the type of amps.. Tubes are known to be warmer, so people with this gear will benefit most - especially with phones with these specs under $250 mark. The build materials are definitely on the cheaper side, but because they are flexy and light, I'm not concerned with breakage.

post #27 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazaakas View Post

That's strange because the Titanium HD has LME49710's in the buffers stock.

How'd you guys think LME49990's will work out? After a bit of research I found out that these seem to be more superior to the other LME49's overall.

 

I didn't replace the LME49710s, just the JRC 2114Ds. One set are the buffers, the others are I/Vs. Not really sure what those terms mean, to be honest...

 

When I did the opamp swap, I was running the stock LME49710s with the LME49860s in place of the JRC 2114Ds. That particular combination did not work well.

 

I don't have any LME49990s, but I could order some samples from National Semiconductor if I felt like it. Not that I notice any difference between their popular opamps...

post #28 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

 

Also, unlike the 240, these can handle EQing. I highly recommend you experiment with an EQ on the sub bass frequencies because these can be equalized up to Q-40/HFI-580/XB__ bass levels while retaining clarity then at the flick of a switch drop back to studio flatness. Unlike some other "flat" headphones, they don't fall to pieces when you color them yourself.

 

I don't know why I don't see this recommended more for the AKG K7xx/Q7xx... Yes, it responds so well to EQ. Instead of lowering the high freq, boosting the lows result in awesome sound with strong/tight bass.

post #29 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Sorry I never heard the 990. Should not have recommended them but I found the DT880 to be slightly less fatiguing than the AKG Q701. I do not know if it has less harsh of a treble peak but perhaps it's because the greater bass presence for it. You're probably right about the DT990. None of the headphones I listed have a treble roll-off, and in fact, have perhaps a little too much treble in certain regions of the frequency. I found the Q701 to be skewed towards the upper-mids when it comes to the frequency balance - as shown on the chart and in terms of subjective listening - and while the bass extension is quite good, the quantity of it is very lacking, even with proper EQ. This makes the musical presentation lean more towards the midrange and treble (mostly the treble, though what track you listen to determines this). And yes Grados are super bright... 

 

Comparing the HE-400 to the K702, the HE-400 is more ragged with higher peaks and dips and a fairly similar curve.  The D2K have a bit less treble, but still rather close save a bump in the midrange.  The DT880 have less of a bump at 2K, but a larger peak at 10K.  The 598 removes the 2K bump while retaining a similar FR again.

 

I don't see how you can find the Q701 "bright" compared to these honestly - it's a pretty flat phone overall.

post #30 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shike View Post

 

Comparing the HE-400 to the K702, the HE-400 is more ragged with higher peaks and dips and a fairly similar curve.  The D2K have a bit less treble, but still rather close save a bump in the midrange.  The DT880 have less of a bump at 2K, but a larger peak at 10K.  The 598 removes the 2K bump while retaining a similar FR again.

 

I don't see how you can find the Q701 "bright" compared to these honestly - it's a pretty flat phone overall.

I don't find just the Q701 bright... I find the majority of "hi-fi" headphones to be way too bright. Clearly the manufactures design it this way, perhaps trying to fool consumers into thinking they are listening to a very detailed headphone. However, I do prefer the other headphones because they're good with certain genres (Denon for bassy genres for instance) or have a more realistic soundstage. 

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