AD700 and vocals
Sep 3, 2009 at 2:29 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

manuvajpai

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I got my new AD700s a few days ago and I would like to make some comments about them. At first I was really really satisfied with my purchase, but then I started finding some problems with them. It started with the very apparent sibilance, I thought that it will go away with burn-in and by improving my source (I was using Realtek alc880 at the given point of time). I got my xonar essence STX soon and started testing with it.

So far I have accumulated around 60 hours of play time on the HPs and around 30 hours on the xonar. Of this around 20Hrs has been spent on playing pink noise and low frequency sweeps on both, for faster burn-in. Sadly, while I have experienced some reduction in sibilance, I still am unsatisfied with the mid range. It works well on equalization but it hasn't got the intimacy that I thought it will have, judging by the reviews. The highs also appear slightly more sparkly for my tastes. I am also noticing some loss of detail in very busy passages.

Lastly, I hear a weird short reverb at the end of every note, which I find very distracting. Is this because of the increased soundstage and airiness? This one thing is spoiling the whole deal for me and making my music sound very unnatural and synthetic. This, coupled with the recessed mids, makes vocals really distant and uninviting.

Has anyone else experienced this problem, and if yes then is there a solution for it? I still like them a lot and don't want to part with them, mostly because they are a gift from my girlfriend. However, they are not living up to the expectations that I had from them. They don't sound magical, yet (I still got hope for them
atsmile.gif
). This is making me want those Senns now. Grr... Head-fi!

PS - Just noticed that the reverb is less apparent on equalization, on turning up the mids and notching down the highs. Sadly the music is still a bit inorganic, if I am using the right word.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 8:16 PM Post #3 of 16

iancraig10

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I noticed sibilance on the AD700's mostly when listening to speech. There does seem to be an emphasis up there just on the point of spoken 'T's and 'S's.

I moved on to an AD900 which is a little cleaner but still retains a little too much 'crispness' on speech. I do like their light touch actually and tend to listen on them at lower volume. You could try that with the AD700.

However, many other headphones show a chesty rumble on mens' voices in particular so that they sound a little 'boomy' so for music, I use another headphone with the rosy boom to give warmth to music and the AD 900's to listen to speech.

Ian
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 9:35 PM Post #5 of 16

Drumonron

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Ad700s. after 24 hrs of burn in, present bass in a detailed fashion without an overemphasis(that's an understatement) but the vocals and mids are front and center and this headphone does give a nice wide sound-stage. It can be a bit forward on the treble but definitely not painfully so. Also, need to comment on the patented Audio-Technica creaking which I heard all the way up and on the very high priced W5000s which I later sold. Another comment is I found the ad700s sound very similar to the much more expensive sound of the W5000s right down to the headphone "Creak"....interesting...although please note the ad700 actually relayed the bass in a more realistic way than the w5000 and without the vibration problem at certain low frequencies....Keep in mind that although I found the W5000 very comfortable, I ended up feeling somewhat cheated on the sound and, now that I own one of the cheapest ATs, I've confirmed it to myself. The ATs do not scale well but at this ad700 level....I really feel I have a bargain, here.

Just my 2 cents!
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 3:58 PM Post #7 of 16

iancraig10

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Drumonron /img/forum/go_quote.gif
ad700 level....I really feel I have a bargain, here.

Just my 2 cents!



I think at that price level, they are superb. I went on to the ad900 after the ad700. (I also have the ad1000 which I'm not keen on)

The sibilance seems to be more obvious with speech though I think. I certainly don't think they're 'horrible with no bass'. The bass is very clean and well defined imo. Nice for lower level listening whereas with the Sennheisers, I always feel the need to turn the volume up to get more presence.

Ian
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 4:12 PM Post #8 of 16

1Time

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Sibilance has been discussed in hundreds of posts and in many threads. A few options for dealing with it: burn in (see the sticky thread), EQ, change your source media, listen to better recorded music, change your source equipment, change your amplification, modify your headphones, use your headphones for non-verbal media, listen to the sibilance, try another AD700, or discontinue using this model.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 4:27 PM Post #9 of 16

cswann1

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In my experience, sibilance is in a recording and is accentuated by some headphones more than others. Sometimes drastically.

Headphones that tend to accentuate sibilance will lessen that tendency to some degree with break-in but don't really every stop it altogether.


Amps can also have an effect on perceived sibilance too.


Some say the AD700 is a great performer in it's price and others say it get's way too much credit and is really only mediocre at best. Personally, I've never heard it, but if I have a headphone that is doing something I don't like, even after a couple of hundred hours, it finds a new home with someone else.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 4:31 PM Post #10 of 16

1Time

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Quote:

Originally Posted by manuvajpai /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Are the Senns really that superior when it comes to vocals?


No. Determining which headphones have superior vocals is a matter of preference. And headphones sound different depending on what they are plugged into. Some could prefer X brand and model headphones, while others could prefer Y brand and model. And that preference can change depending on the equipment the headphones are plugged into.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM Post #11 of 16

manuvajpai

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I am thinking of buying a tube amp in due time (not for a few months). I am just curious about them right now, as I have heard that they smooth out the sound and make it warmer. I am guessing it will help this behavior of AD700s and will smooth out the top end while making the bass more prominent. What do you guys think about using a tube amp with AD700, with essence STX as a source.

So far your comments have been really helpful. Have left the HPs for another burn-in cycle, with low-frequency sweeps. Lets see how they turn out in a few days.
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Sep 5, 2009 at 4:12 AM Post #13 of 16

manuvajpai

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I was more interested in changing the sound signature with the tube amp. The amp will not be a bad idea itself, considering future upgrades.
 
Sep 5, 2009 at 8:08 AM Post #14 of 16

dweaver

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Actually I was surpised by how much my new amp does help improve my AD700 as well as my ES7's they have better bass in both pairs as well as the rest of the sound and opamps that designed to enhance certain sound qualities definitely help as well.
 

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