Wow, i just discovered this thread, didn't knew there is an appreciacion thread for ma900. I had them too and i really loved them. I was sure, that i'd keep them. The style, the comfort, the sound, everything was almost perfect. For me, the MA900 is Sonys best headphone model so far . . . BY FAR. Soundtage and comfort -wise ~ there are not many other comparable phones. But there are some ;D
I tested the Sonys VS the AKG K400/401/500/501/601/Q701. As you all may have discovered by now, they all sound pretty similar to the sonys. That's very rare, because the AKG sound is pretty special in the headphone-world imo. So here are my discoveries and the reason, why i parted with my MA900. I will make this short and painless:
Sony MA900 VS AKG K601 & Q701:
The AKGs have slightly more and better-textured bass and reveal more details, not much more, but it's easy to hear the difference. But this is so easy to fix, just raise the treble a little with with an EQ. However, the Sonys have a much better Soundstage and are much, much , MUCH more comfortable. For me, this was a clear win for the MA900.
Sony MA900 VS AKG K400/K401/500/501:
The K401, 500 & 501 sound pretty similar. Howewer, they have more details and less bass than K601 & Q701, even a little bit less bass than the MA900 ~ that makes them sound a bit thin and harsh in comparison. The K501 is something special on it's own, it's my favorite can for Classic Music, but the K501 is even weaker in the bass. Soundstage of all of them iss about equal, but the K501 stands out because of his magical Mids . . . if it wouldn't be so weak with its bass . . . it would be my fave :-/ So if you like bass, the sony are better. If you don't need the bass and you want soundstage and details, the AKGs are clearly better. Overall i think, the sony are the better allrounders here, by far. Comfort is still better on the Sonys, but the vintage-AKGs are reaaally comfortable. The Pads are just a little bit too stiff, compared to the Sonys and the K400-EPs.
Sony MA900 VS AKG K400-EP (with the Rubber Headband):
Why haven't I listed the K400-EP along with the other Vintage-Models above you ask? Well here is the point, which really surprised me. I really like the K400-EP, it's something special. Its easilly my favorite AKG along with the K340 and the reason, why i bought the MA900 was . . . because i was curious . . . that the MA900 could maybe.......possibly supersede the K400-EP? I 've read all the stuff about the MA900 and Soundstage . . . was that even possible? A Sony Headphone with a wide soundstage? Honestly, soundstage is not Sonys turf, thats why i was sceptical. But the MA900 really delivered, delivered really good.
So i compared them both . . . wow! They sounded almost identical! The bass is about the same but the K400s have better texture in it. Soundstage - wise they're also almost the same, the K400 is a little bit wider but only by a margin. So why is the AKG the winner here? Because of the details! Anyone here had the wish, that the sony could reveal a little bit more details? The K400-EP sounds like a more detailed MA900. Take an EQ and raise the treble a little bit on the MA900 . . . . and they sound nearly identical. Comfort-wise, they are even. My ears have even more space in the K400-EP than in the Sonys. The EP has very comfortable earpads, even more comfortable than the MA900s. They're both made of a kinda textile-like stuff. Even the clamp is about the same. Maybe thats another reason, why they sound so similar? they both do not only sound airy, they feel airy because of the light and fluffy construction.
AKG K400-EP wins this battle for me. Comfort is about the same, sound is better because its not only on par with the Sony, it offers more details and texture and has everything that the Sonys delivers and more. The AKG is super-cheap nowadays (50-60 Dollars), especially compared to the sonys. Pads? The K400 and all the other Vintage AKGs sound even better when the pads are worn-out. And if you need new ones, they are available/replacable and cheap to get. Replacement for the Sonys? None? Especially after they were discontinued.
I got my sealed MA900 for 160 Dollars, a bang for the Buck i would say. Yet Sold them. Because the K400-EP really is a good alternative for anyone, who wants a more refined/detailed MA900 while keeping the comfort . . . and for less money. You can get similar results by raising the treble with an EQ on the sonys. The AKGs will still sound a bit more refined.
Edited by Natsukawa - 3/3/14 at 4:24pm