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AKG K701 listening fatigue trouble - Page 2

post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 

That is a good point you have about using crossfeed vs. without. I read a bit about Midnight Walrus and it sounded pretty good. It seemed kinda old though, and there's a pretty cheap crossfeed add-on for it. Do you guys know anything about it? 

 

In terms of tracks that are 'fatigue overload' The Turning by Symphony X is definitely up there competing for top honors for me. The K701's replication of drum sounds is far above what I have heard before, but I'm certainly not comparing it to anything in the same league, so that should be expected.

 

I did figure out that it seems to be the upper highs that are bothering me. I dropped the 16K by about 3dB, which seems to make it a bit less fatiguing without altering the sound that much. Additionally, I noticed the fatigue less when I cranked up the volume with that same -3dB setting. It almost makes me wonder if the O2 amp with the 2.5x gain settings is too powerful for my preferences, considering that most rock music I listen to is around 8 o' clock on the volume pot. And that's for full-attention listening. It could also be that the highs just don't seem as noticeable when I raise the volume. Maybe I'm just below the headphones' sweet spot? Perhaps the amp would "control" the treble better with with 1x gain as the lowest setting, allowing me to set the volume higher? Or maybe I'm just misguided? 


Edited by clarinet5000 - 3/17/13 at 9:03pm
post #17 of 36

I had JUST logged out of Head-Fi and then I saw that Lord Voldemort posted here [I just posted in the O2+ODAC thread before I logged out and he started that thread].

 

I also have a MacBook Pro+ODAC+O2+K 701 (84k serial number) setup and I actually do find the K 701 to be a bit fatiguing in much the same way the SRH940 gave me fatigue. In my case I'm not sure if it's the velour earpads somehow, or if it really is higher frequency sounds. When I'm not playing any music, my ears for some strange reason get fatigued with the aforementioned headphones. I'll try the EQ you mentioned (16 kHz region) to see if that helps in my case.

 

The K 701's imaging is a bit weird to me and the center imaging seems a bit devoid from the left and right imaging. I think a crossfeed option for the K 701 would be a marvelous thing to have as a result of this, though I'm not sure if that will solve any fatigue issues.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Order some K702 Anniversary pads. They'll cost like $70, but it will give the K701 a warmer, smoother, and more balanced sound signature, with bass previously never heard on any of the models. The K702 Anniversary (or the pads on the older models) is the fix people like you have wanted for years.

Oh hey it's Mad Lust! I've seen your K 701 (7-bump) vs Q 701 vs K 702 Anniversary Edition comparisons on your gaming thread. Do the Anniversary Edition's earpads really alleviate the fatigue for the K 701? If so, I may consider purchasing them down the road when I have an income.....darn you Head-Fi. *raises fist*

 

From my experience with earpads and various mods, changing the earpad certainly can have an effect on the sound of a headphone.


Edited by miceblue - 3/24/13 at 3:18am
post #18 of 36
Yes. The pads really smooth out the rough edges on the non-Anniversary models. I borrowed a friend's Q701 which immediately reminded me of the Q701 I owned prior. Putting the Annie's pads on it gave it a boost in warmth, bass, and smoothness. I can't say it was 100% just like my K702 Anniversary, but it was very close. I blame that more on age and driver variation than a definite change.

Anyone who owns the K70x/Q701 owes it to themselves to buy the Anniversary pads if they want bass to match up to the mids, and want less fatigue in the upper regions.
post #19 of 36

I felt exactly the same way about the K/Q70x phones.  I wasn't able to pinpoint exactly what caused the fatigue but, even at low volumes, there was something that didn't "sit well" with my ears.  It was almost like a resonance of the highs... as if the phones held onto a cymbal crash for a microsecond too long.  I tried different amps, DAC's, and even some minor EQ'ing but was never able to alleviate the issue.  A shame because I really enjoyed the wide soundstage!  Along with some minor headband discomfort issues, the fatiguing sound was ultimately what caused me to sell the phones.

post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarinet5000 View Post

That is a good point you have about using crossfeed vs. without. I read a bit about Midnight Walrus and it sounded pretty good. It seemed kinda old though, and there's a pretty cheap crossfeed add-on for it. Do you guys know anything about it? 

 

In terms of tracks that are 'fatigue overload' The Turning by Symphony X is definitely up there competing for top honors for me. The K701's replication of drum sounds is far above what I have heard before, but I'm certainly not comparing it to anything in the same league, so that should be expected.

 

I did figure out that it seems to be the upper highs that are bothering me. I dropped the 16K by about 3dB, which seems to make it a bit less fatiguing without altering the sound that much. Additionally, I noticed the fatigue less when I cranked up the volume with that same -3dB setting. It almost makes me wonder if the O2 amp with the 2.5x gain settings is too powerful for my preferences, considering that most rock music I listen to is around 8 o' clock on the volume pot. And that's for full-attention listening. It could also be that the highs just don't seem as noticeable when I raise the volume. Maybe I'm just below the headphones' sweet spot? Perhaps the amp would "control" the treble better with with 1x gain as the lowest setting, allowing me to set the volume higher? Or maybe I'm just misguided? 

 

 

That tune is loaded with upper midrange / lower treble energy from Michael romeos overdriven guitars, drums and natural vocal break up (IE screaming/screeching if you will).  Simple EQ attenuation could be your solution, although it seems you've tried and experimented with that to no avail.

 

I wonder if your fatigue comes from the muti-track layers in the recording?  Michaels guitar tracks bounce back and forth between rhythm and lead.  Rhythm tracks are either 2 tracks played near identically, or some kind of post-editing for added ambience... probably a combo of both.  Guitar leads/solos are one track... pretty "dry" recorded, almost monaural with minimal sens of ambiance.  I wonder if your brain is having a hard time adjusting between the differences?  It can be tiresome with the K701.  Which more than any other can in its price range has the ability to layer the soundstage and render + re-create a sense of space as the recorded instrumentation bounces back and forth from single to multi-track.

 

We're dabbling in the realm of psycho-acoustics too, in this scenario how the brain processes sound, which is completely listener dependent.  The ears hear two guitar tracks, yet the eyes do not actually see two guitars being played or two stereo speakers re-creating the sound.  The end result is conflicting data for the brain to process... fatigue can result.

 

The K701 does have its own sense of decay coloration too.  Its not a totally "dry" headphone, its going to add its harmonic content at the end of each fundamental tone.  To me this is where the 701 gets its "plastic-ey, artificial" midrange character that so many members report.  Coming from RS1-land, with its woody + Grado resonant flair, the K701 is by comparison.... plastic and somewhat stale sounding, IMHO of course.  My personal solution to that has been tube amps with the 701, which unfolds additional layers of pros & cons... but thats another discussion.


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/24/13 at 10:54am
post #21 of 36

Pads --> pads to make a noticeable difference to the sound. Probably more noticeable than upgrading your amps... The question is whether it is worth the money. 

 

EQ --> I've had the opportunity to borrow a Q701 twice and they both had to be severely EQ'd for me to enjoy them. I'm not sure how the 701 series developed a reputation for being "neutral". Anyone who has heard an expensive flat speaker setup knows this is very far from the truth. 

 

Keep the K701 and upgrade the pads + EQ, OR just buy a new headphone. The HD600 is a very neutral headphone but a bit boring for me. The DT880 offers that excitement factor but again, it was also fatiguing me just as the K701. The HD598 was a good hybrid between the two, though its construction isn't fantastic. I would also consider the HE-400 (open) and the Mad Dogs w/ alpha pads (closed). 

post #22 of 36

Try a little equalizing at about 6khz and 10khz, just a little notch down and then listen for quite a while and switch back to no equalizing, see if it makes a difference to your fatigue and also the SQ. I had to do this when I first got mine. Don't need to at all now, they now seem perfectly balanced from top to bottom. Any more warmth and they would lose the air and transparency that they are famous for. Great for classical music. 

 

Kramer5150 is right, they will sound like whatever you plug them into.  

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Try a little equalizing at about 6khz and 10khz, just a little notch down and then listen for quite a while and switch back to no equalizing, see if it makes a difference to your fatigue and also the SQ. I had to do this when I first got mine. Don't need to at all now, they now seem perfectly balanced from top to bottom. Any more warmth and they would lose the air and transparency that they are famous for. Great for classical music. 

 

Kramer5150 is right, they will sound like whatever you plug them into.  

I'll give that a try when I can. Thanks for the suggestion!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Pads --> pads to make a noticeable difference to the sound. Probably more noticeable than upgrading your amps... The question is whether it is worth the money. 

 

EQ --> I've had the opportunity to borrow a Q701 twice and they both had to be severely EQ'd for me to enjoy them. I'm not sure how the 701 series developed a reputation for being "neutral". Anyone who has heard an expensive flat speaker setup knows this is very far from the truth. 

 

Keep the K701 and upgrade the pads + EQ, OR just buy a new headphone. The HD600 is a very neutral headphone but a bit boring for me. The DT880 offers that excitement factor but again, it was also fatiguing me just as the K701. The HD598 was a good hybrid between the two, though its construction isn't fantastic. I would also consider the HE-400 (open) and the Mad Dogs w/ alpha pads (closed). 

I personally hate when neutral is thrown around randomly on Head-Fi.

 

From my experience, the bass is south of an ideal response since it's lacking in punch and extension to the lowest notes. The highs are a bit north of an ideal response since I do think they are a bit metallic-sounding (I don't know if metallic is the right word, but it sounds a bit off). I would say the mids are pretty much on par of what I think is an ideal response, but that's just me.

 

^ from the frequency response at least, the curve is fairly smooth and flat, including the treble where it should probably be sloped downwards more and the roll-off of bass


Theoretically, the newer K 701 with 8 bumps on the headband sound similar to the Q 701, but I have yet to confirm that personally.

post #24 of 36

For me, the sound itself is SOOOOOOO revealing and drop dead accurate.  Not colored or muddy at all.  It's the best headphone for engineers and mastering I've ever heard.  The Orpheus or Stax are probably more warm or smooth sounding, but not quite as accurate.

 

All my "listening fatigue" comes from the fact my hair is very very short, and the headband leaves imprints on my scalp after several hours of work.

post #25 of 36

Anyone know where I can buy the Anniversary replacement pads?

 

Thanks

 

Bruce
 

post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce108 View Post

Anyone know where I can buy the Anniversary replacement pads?

 

Thanks

 

Bruce
 

Actually, I was just wondering that too. K 702 Anniversary Pads, sounds promising......................................now where to find them? o.0

post #27 of 36

I never have fatigue during listening to 701, but whenever I adjust the EQ setting, sounds became weird and I have to change it to none. Anybody else have this problem?

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by bruce108 View Post

Anyone know where I can buy the Anniversary replacement pads?

 

Thanks

 

Bruce
 

Any improvement from Anniversary model?

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Actually, I was just wondering that too. K 702 Anniversary Pads, sounds promising......................................now where to find them? o.0

Have you got it?

post #30 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by junepy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Actually, I was just wondering that too. K 702 Anniversary Pads, sounds promising......................................now where to find them? o.0

Have you got it?

Nope. I don't know where to buy them.

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