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upgrade my listening experience! **Rewritten**

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 



hey guys, bronco here again for some more newb questions concerning my upgrade experience so far. First off, i DID do what i consider more than enough searching around for someone with little experience in the audiophile world. my experience is with computers, and gaming. It is only now that i have decided i want a grand experience with music. 


what i HAD


ad700(not x version...old purple beauty queen)

creative x-fi titanium fatal1ty pro

motherboard: z68xp-ud3 with ALC 889...says snr is 108 dB on their website.



upgraded my old gaming card to a GTX 780 Classified....so i now have zero room for a pci-e x1 sound card.

plugged x-fi into a pci-e x8 slot as suggested on here, and it gives off this crackly sound every time i adjust the volume...so i imagine it's distorting the sound for everything. and overall the drivers are just terrible for this card after windows 7...and you can't use 3/4 of the creative software on 8.1



what i upgraded to:


Schiit magni

Q701s (i couldnt say no to the lime cans, although i hear in SOME places the q701 is no longer distinguishable from the k702 in newer models.)



i just finished quickly browsing through the list of terms used to describe sound and i think i've narrowed it down.


i'm not a huge bass person....so i can't really tell if that's why i'm not enjoying these headphones as much as i thought i would. i figured the q701 would be better than the ad700s which might as well have never heard of the word bass. Yes, i know akg's overall as a brand are on the low side....but as i said i've never been a big bass fan....but maybe i'm wrong? thats why i am here! 


the magni made a big difference with the ad700s and the new headphones so i'll be keeping that. 


i purchased the 701 because of the review given in the 'new updated headphone guide' sticky on here.


what was said about 701 and 702: (3) AKG Q701, $225-$250. Slightly more bass impact than the K701, very clear detailed sound. Comes in many colors. 

(3) AKG K701/702, $250-$270. Amazing detail and clarity, bass is adequate and preciseLargely considered the most detailed headphones in the price range, though also considered the hardest to amp. The K702 offers a detachable cable.





what sounded like something i'm looking for in the glossary:


Airy - Spacious. Open. Instruments sound like they are surrounded by a large reflective space full of air. Good reproduction of high frequency reflections. High frequency response extends to 15 or 20 kHz.

Ambience - Impression of an acoustic space, such as the performing hall in which a recording was made.



obviously using the onboard is not the best idea given the quality of the headphones and amp, but i don't see getting a soundcard or the modi helping that.....am i expecting too much or am i just going for the way wrong headphones due to my lack of how to describe what it is i am looking for? can't figure out what i am missing after reading hundreds of posts that have a far different opinion than i do with similar setups. 


could it also be my music??? spotify with high-quality streaming enabled, mostly. i have some electronic music but i'm not sure what the quality of these files are. I also read on here that many members were unable to tell the difference between the newest lossy music files, with years and years of modifications and changes,  and the lossless formats. 


overall, i have just done lots of searches and i'm still at a loss as to what to do. 

Edited by bronco862 - 6/12/14 at 8:26am
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 


Edited by bronco862 - 6/12/14 at 8:06am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

bump :( 

post #4 of 8
I've been underwhelmed by some great headphones due to the music I listen to as opposed to my gear. Some headphones excel at certain things and leave me wanting in others. For example, I bought a pair of sennheiser hd700. Somewhat underwhelming for a lot of the rock and metal I listen to. Beautiful for acoustic music, live orchestral stuff and high quality binaural recordings.

Much of my music lacks dynamics and space simply because if the way it was recorded. Pretty compressed and dense for the lack of better words. No headphone is gonna make those recordings more ambient and spacious. May as well just throw on my Grados and rock out.

If you're listening to electronic music,yeah, unless it's ambient or something you'll likely experience something similar. You'll hear more subtlety and some more detail but it's not likely going to open up like the clear blue sky.

For me, getting a good amp made a pretty big difference. Something with plenty of headroom to deliver the dynamics that are present without distortion. This may be a big deal for the AKGs as I've heard they play well with good amping... Never owned a pair though.

Dig around and find some good recordings. One of my personal favorites is on YouTube. Florence and the Machine at the royal Albert Hall. Sounds great and can really give you a sense of spaciousness, timbre and air.
post #5 of 8
I never considered myself a bass head but I really do enjoy the visceral thump of a somewhat bass boosted headphone. I really enjoy my Fidelio X1 for that reason. Warm, decently detailed and open and they can kick. I can appreciate a neutral and lean sounding set of cans but I like a somewhat colored sound at the end of the day.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

yeah....i just added a playlist on spotify named "HIFI, audiophile, testing etc"


and this song called "she" by someone named..... lomovolokno...and was blown away by. i'm currently giggly, sounds wonderful on these headphones when compared to my ad700s. 

post #7 of 8

It all comes down to what you feed to your hardware. Now matter how good your hardware is, they cant make poop into gold, this is not alchemy after all.

I have noticed a lot of electrical music lack in terms of quality, unfortunately. Some songs sound amazing while others sound just horrible.

When i got my first good headphones my music taste slowly started to shift to more classical, instrumental music, symphonic music.

I do listen to electric music still but it took a while to learn to live with the quality issues.

I think Akg Q701 excel in symphonic music and classical because it has very wide soundstage.


Try some Two Steps From Hell and tell me what you think. Archangel album has a lot of good songs in my opinion.

post #8 of 8
I had the akg k712 and my impressions was that it wasn't as open sounding as I expected. It lacked euphony but had a wide soundstage with no depth. It did have a decent sound quality but the timbre was off.

If you aren't scared of bass I would give the Philips x1 a try. It's super easy to drive. The notes/timbre sound realistic. It is airy and has a good soundstage. It doesn't work well with super busy songs like imagine dragons radioactive but does really well with acoustic music and space. It's fairly dynamic and able to communicate the different volume levels of the instruments. It's negative is that sometimes the instruments seem a bit soft for full musicality. In that price range it will be hard to best it. I would pick it over the akg I heard.

Good luck
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