To me they definitely still sound better than they did stock. Out of the box they had no bass, and the treble rolled off very quickly. Basically they were all mid-range, and that mid-range had a lot of ringing. A pad swap increased the bass, and dampening in the cups increased the top end and removed the ringing. If I didn't already have the Q701 I'd probably like the T50rp more, but I just greatly prefer the Q701 to my T50rp. After a 2db bass boost I find the Q701 to be almost perfect, and an extremely good value for what I paid for them. For $380 for the E17 and the Q701 combined I couldn't be happier. For me, it's just hard to listen to anything else after getting used to the Q701. I've given myself a week without them where I just used the T50rp thinking maybe I could get more used to them, but I missed the Q701's sound and upon switching back I was once again in heaven.
Just to clarify, after the 2db bass boost I have absolutely no complaints about the Q701's bass, even when it comes to bass extension. On a song that calls for deep bass, It's definitely there. I am not a basshead though.
Downloaded the Ozone plugin for winamp, these cans do EQ really well! the bass is there, thank you!! you and davidsh have just saved me so much money, and made me look foolish ahha.
Thank you so much for this! haha just saved me the $4-700 I was gonna shell out for new cans! Have emailed AKG's parts guy, gonna order the 65th Anniversary pads if they're in stock, which seem the same as the K712 pads. I'm a happy man again