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Looking for input on AKG K702

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Ok so I am a long time reader of head-fi, but not really much of a poster.

 

Recently I finally dropped some cash on some open-backed headphones, the AKG K702. I only have maybe 24 hours on them total. I am looking for the best ways to burn in these particular headphones. Also, I am looking for some great songs that take advantage of this incredible soundstage. What amps work best for these headphones too? I am running through the magni/modi right now and they sound great, but I am wondering if there are better options. I also got a better cable too.

 

All in all, I really love the headphones. I'm not much of a basshead at all and actually prefer the open and light characteristics. Just looking to see if I can improve it (besides burn-in). :)

post #2 of 6

Hi KaBAKZ

 

I have used my AKG K702 headphones for a few years now and I absolutely love them. These are truly great headphones.

 

I will now comment on the issues you have raised.

 

Amplification

 

Well I haven't heard the "magni/modi" that you have so I have no idea about that.

 

My personal preference is for solid state amplification. Some people might suggest valve amps (known as tube amps in the US) but my own experience is that good solid state amplifiers are more likely to provide the neutral and transparent input for the K 702s. My experience of valve amplifiers is that they invariably add colouration and you really have to spend a lot of money to escape that.

 

The K 702s do have one problem which can be exacerbated by some solid state amplifiers. The treble can get out of control and very overemphasised on some recordings. I find that with the K 702s the treble is really excellent as long as it does not lose control. However on some recordings it will lose control and then it is a problem. So when choosing solid state amplifiers avoid those that over emphasise treble. Some people suggest valve amps for the K 702s because they will often dampen excessive liveliness in these headphones, but I believe that the sonic costs with valve amplifiers are too great, so better to get an appropriate neutral and transparent solid state amplifier with well controlled treble.

 

Burn In

 

Personally I suspect burn in is much more to do with the psychology of the user than the headphone. I would love to see some comprehensive tests on this alleged phenomenon.

 

I think the best thing to do with the headphones is to listen to music with them and enjoy them. If they do improve over time in some way, then well and good, but as they sound just excellent out of the box, then just use them and forget about burn in.

 

Cable

 

I use my AKG K702s with the cable that they came with. I would be very surprised if replacing the cable with some other one made any noticeable difference in the sound of the headphones. This is something which is argued about a lot at these forums, some people claim that these cables make a difference. Human hearing is extremely susceptible to auto-suggestion and I suspect that the differences being reported with different cables are just auto-suggestion.

 

When those people who claim there are differences demonstrate this in blind ABX tests then I would start to take notice.

 

I first started listening to music with Hi Fi in the 70s and I have been doing so consistently ever since that time. In the 80s I bought into the whole cable thing with Hi Fi, it was a new thing then. I wasted some money on cables then. It was only years later when I realised that those expensive cables made absolutely no difference to the sound of the my Hi Fi.

 

Music

 

Well I listen to classical music mostly and if you do decide to check out some orchestral material you will be truly amazed at how good the K 702s are with this kind of thing. I love the impressionists mostly, people such as Debussy and Ravel. Impressionists really use orchestras very inventively to create new types of sound. These extremely intricate soundscapes with their inventive rhythms and many tiny details are reproduced by the K702s with superb accuracy. It is amazing how good they are given the price they are sold at.

 

I do listen to other music as well. World music, English folk, Jazz and good old rock/pop. So hard to recommend anything specific. The K 702s will produce any music very accurately. I love the bass in the K 702s, it is true that they will not do thick heavy bass, but they have such well defined bass that listening to any bass player, either with an electric bass or a double bass, it always a joy.

post #3 of 6

I think burn in is in the head as well.  So if you want burn in, listen and use them a lot.  Though IMO, if you don't like the sound initially, you're probably not going to like them that much, unless you read so much positive feedback on Head-Fi that you begin force yourself to like them, seems like that happens a lot.

 

For cable, I wouldn't change them unless you have a reason to.  I did, I use aftermarket cable on my K712, but that's cause I wanted a shorter cable.  I didn't want to cut the original cable, I have that stored away with the box.  Someone posted a great braid for shortening cables though.

http://www.animatedknots.com/chainsinnet/index.php?Categ=decorative&LogoImage=LogoGrog.jpg&Website=www.animatedknots.com

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey guy's thanks for the great replies, luckily the modi/magni stack is solid state and I love it. I think you are totally right about being less nitpicky about burn-in and cables. They sound great now, and the music is what it's all about.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by p a t r i c k View Post
 

Hi KaBAKZ

 

I have used my AKG K702 headphones for a few years now and I absolutely love them. These are truly great headphones.

 

I will now comment on the issues you have raised.

 

Amplification

 

Well I haven't heard the "magni/modi" that you have so I have no idea about that.

 

My personal preference is for solid state amplification. Some people might suggest valve amps (known as tube amps in the US) but my own experience is that good solid state amplifiers are more likely to provide the neutral and transparent input for the K 702s. My experience of valve amplifiers is that they invariably add colouration and you really have to spend a lot of money to escape that.

 

The K 702s do have one problem which can be exacerbated by some solid state amplifiers. The treble can get out of control and very overemphasised on some recordings. I find that with the K 702s the treble is really excellent as long as it does not lose control. However on some recordings it will lose control and then it is a problem. So when choosing solid state amplifiers avoid those that over emphasise treble. Some people suggest valve amps for the K 702s because they will often dampen excessive liveliness in these headphones, but I believe that the sonic costs with valve amplifiers are too great, so better to get an appropriate neutral and transparent solid state amplifier with well controlled treble.

 

Burn In

 

Personally I suspect burn in is much more to do with the psychology of the user than the headphone. I would love to see some comprehensive tests on this alleged phenomenon.

 

I think the best thing to do with the headphones is to listen to music with them and enjoy them. If they do improve over time in some way, then well and good, but as they sound just excellent out of the box, then just use them and forget about burn in.

 

Cable

 

I use my AKG K702s with the cable that they came with. I would be very surprised if replacing the cable with some other one made any noticeable difference in the sound of the headphones. This is something which is argued about a lot at these forums, some people claim that these cables make a difference. Human hearing is extremely susceptible to auto-suggestion and I suspect that the differences being reported with different cables are just auto-suggestion.

 

When those people who claim there are differences demonstrate this in blind ABX tests then I would start to take notice.

 

I first started listening to music with Hi Fi in the 70s and I have been doing so consistently ever since that time. In the 80s I bought into the whole cable thing with Hi Fi, it was a new thing then. I wasted some money on cables then. It was only years later when I realised that those expensive cables made absolutely no difference to the sound of the my Hi Fi.

 

Music

 

Well I listen to classical music mostly and if you do decide to check out some orchestral material you will be truly amazed at how good the K 702s are with this kind of thing. I love the impressionists mostly, people such as Debussy and Ravel. Impressionists really use orchestras very inventively to create new types of sound. These extremely intricate soundscapes with their inventive rhythms and many tiny details are reproduced by the K702s with superb accuracy. It is amazing how good they are given the price they are sold at.

 

I do listen to other music as well. World music, English folk, Jazz and good old rock/pop. So hard to recommend anything specific. The K 702s will produce any music very accurately. I love the bass in the K 702s, it is true that they will not do thick heavy bass, but they have such well defined bass that listening to any bass player, either with an electric bass or a double bass, it always a joy.

I agree with all of the points raised here. Good post :)

 

(to the op) The K702/1 bass is actually very good. Tight and pretty accurate as long as they being fed enough power. I've owned 3 pairs of K701's and one pair of K702's over the years and the more recent models have been tweaked slightly to have a little more bass but the soundstage is narrower. I actually prefer the earlier models that have the wider (unnaturally stretched, but great hifi!) soundstage and have an even more flatter FR. Anyhow, a little fix if the treble does get too much on some recordings (older jazz can be a bit ouch)- using any decent EQ, simply knock down 3 db at 2khz. This is the area that is pronounced a little too much and can cause some instruments to sound a little 'nasal' or overly hard.

 

I've used the Magni with the K702 and I though it was a very good match. They do like lots of current and the Magni has bags of it. It is also a very neutral amp and so using the AKG's with it, you are getting a very transparent sound for really not much money - these days!

 

I love my vintage amplifiers and the AKG's sound amazing plugged into 70's gear. The AKG's generally seem to be immune to impedance values (all 70's amps have high impedance hp out's) and act similarly to planar orthodynamic headphones. So if you are ever after another flavour i.e - a more "meaty" sound, then there is another cheap alternative out there :) 

post #6 of 6
They are great cans and IMHO. You would be very hard pressed to do better for under a grand. The soundstage and clarity is world class. In fact, to my ears, they rival they HD800s in this regard
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