AKG 271 VS 501
May 24, 2005 at 10:30 PM Post #2 of 12

Aman

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I think I'm the only one that likes the bass
biggrin.gif


As I pointed out in that thread, the headphones just do REALLY well with a good source, but even MORE important is the recording quality of the music.

As I pointed out, I have never heard such good bass in my life playing Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage" - but that's because it's an audiophile-level quality LP (all FZ albums were). If I play some crappy recording of The Beatles, it will show all of the negative sides as well. So you could say that these headphones are INCREDIBLY detailed to the last drop, which means that you will suffer for bad hardware/music, and be HIGHLY rewarded for good hardware/music - just the characteristic of the headphone, it appears. This might be because of its closed build.

The 501, on the other hand, is going to have a much more laid-back feel to it but it will be more dynamic and "sweet" in the mids section. You probably won't find the detail or transparency of the 271s in these headphones, but you WILL hear the best possible headphones for use with vinyl and classical music.
 
May 24, 2005 at 10:36 PM Post #3 of 12

britishbane

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I've been preaching the goodness of the 271's bass for over a year now. There is nothing bass shy about these cans IMO even unamped I found them fine. I am a big fan of the AKG house sound. I cant decide if I like my Grado 225's or my AKG's with rock music, thats how much I like them.
 
May 24, 2005 at 10:51 PM Post #4 of 12

ddelu

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I can't speak for the 271's but I just received my 501's from Todd at TTVJ yesterday. Out of the box they sound great. There is bass but it won't rattle your skull. The highs on my HD580's seem a little brighter than the 501's and the Grado 225's are different again with much more prominent highs. The 501's however make you feel up close and personal to the musician. I really liked listening to acoustical guitar music. Classical is also sweet to listen to. They definitely fill their own niche. I listen to a varieny of music types with my Delphi MyFi, line out from the cradle, and into a portaphile2.
I love XM radio and headphones.
 
May 24, 2005 at 10:59 PM Post #5 of 12

Romanee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Aman
I think I'm the only one that likes the bass
biggrin.gif


As I pointed out in that thread, the headphones just do REALLY well with a good source, but even MORE important is the recording quality of the music.

As I pointed out, I have never heard such good bass in my life playing Frank Zappa's "Joe's Garage" - but that's because it's an audiophile-level quality LP (all FZ albums were). If I play some crappy recording of The Beatles, it will show all of the negative sides as well. So you could say that these headphones are INCREDIBLY detailed to the last drop, which means that you will suffer for bad hardware/music, and be HIGHLY rewarded for good hardware/music - just the characteristic of the headphone, it appears. This might be because of its closed build.

The 501, on the other hand, is going to have a much more laid-back feel to it but it will be more dynamic and "sweet" in the mids section. You probably won't find the detail or transparency of the 271s in these headphones, but you WILL hear the best possible headphones for use with vinyl and classical music.



Hmmm... 271's detailed and transparent? 501's not? Oddly that wasn't my experience comparing the 2. I found 271 to be somewhat dry and lifeless compared to the 501, and much less "transparent" ... language is a pain. Now what do we each mean by transparent having had opposite impressions of the 2 phones based on that word!? The 271s remind me of "flat" studio monitor cans. My 501s are detailed, richly textured, open, airy and "transparent" ... depending on source and amp.

I haven't heard the components in your system so I can't imagine what you're hearing.

Last year I bought 501s ... didn't know about their very long burn in time ... bought 271s ... burned them in, didn't like them ... bought 501s again and love them still. I will give the 271s another go some time.
 
May 24, 2005 at 11:10 PM Post #6 of 12

kiwirugby

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I own both.

First of all, the 501s are open and the 271s are closed which effects sound. The 271s have more bass as far as my ears go. But they lack the mids and the highs of the 501s, and cannot touch the 501 soundstage.

My preference is always to go for the 501s, but using an amp. They need one, in my opinion. I have the SM V.3 and I use the bass boost which really brings out the 501 tight (and somewhat shy) bass.

The 501s need a lot of burn in, upward of 200 hours plus, at least for mine.

I use the 271 when I need some isolation. They can get hot around the ears, but I am always pleased with the sound....after a while I then always hanker for the 501 soundstage, mids and highs!

I'm happy to own both.
 
May 25, 2005 at 4:30 AM Post #9 of 12

gratefulshrink

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gigabomber
Noticed that the price on the AKG K501s keeps dropping despite its high demand, and that some people really like the bass from the 271. Wondering if anyone has tried both and may do a comparison for me.

Thanks
Gigs



I can't compare the 271 with the K501, but I did buy the 501 after liking my AKG 240S so much. I went for the 501 because it: 1) had overall good recommendations from headroom, TTVJ, and others; 2) people at head-fi and ipod studio felt it would be a good complement to Beyers and Grados; 3) is fully open; and 4) looked like it would be comfortable.

I'm still burning them in, but I am not at all disappointed. They do need an amp, IMO. The sound is neutral/natural, with good colors.
blink.gif
 
May 25, 2005 at 6:47 AM Post #10 of 12

Gigabomber

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ken_loo
I ordered a pair of 501s from Todd this morning. Guess I can let you know more when they arrive.
biggrin.gif



Great! I am especially interested in how they shape up to your Grado SR325is and Westone UM2s

Quote:

Originally Posted by gratefulshrink
I'm still burning them in, but I am not at all disappointed. They do need an amp, IMO.


I have an SR-71 so i would probably be sitting pretty
 
May 25, 2005 at 10:36 AM Post #11 of 12

MikeAKGGuy

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I totally agree with most of these comments on the K501 and K271Studio.

The K271 is designed primarily for studio monitoring use and it's fairly neutral. It has excellent bass for a closed-back headphone too. Monitor headphones have a more linear, less-shaped response, which may not be everyone's cup of tea sonically. It's like comparing Kodachrome and Technicolor.

The K501, by virtue of its extremely thin VariMotion diaphragms (half the thickness of the K271Studio or other AKG models), just has much more detail and definition. The low-end of the K501 is good, but psychoacoustically, if your brain hears more mids and highs, it says there is less bass. Veteran listeners continuously comment on the K501s imaging, which comes from its semi-open ear cups and its ultra-think diaphragms.
 
May 25, 2005 at 10:58 AM Post #12 of 12

Romanee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ddelu
I can't speak for the 271's but I just received my 501's from Todd at TTVJ yesterday. Out of the box they sound great. There is bass but it won't rattle your skull. The highs on my HD580's seem a little brighter than the 501's and the Grado 225's are different again with much more prominent highs. The 501's however make you feel up close and personal to the musician. I really liked listening to acoustical guitar music. Classical is also sweet to listen to. They definitely fill their own niche. I listen to a varieny of music types with my Delphi MyFi, line out from the cradle, and into a portaphile2.
I love XM radio and headphones.



If you haven't already found out, the 501s are one of the phones that need HUGE amounts of burn in to really mature. Compared to their sound today, mine sounded pretty but constricted out of the box, with very little extension at both ends, wide but very shallow soundstage (much deeper and more dimension now, depending on the amp and source) and noisier, less detailed and not as smooth and rich as now.

After a few days mine showed noticeable improvement. 200 hours showed dramatic development ... but they continued to develop for weeks thereafter! I also gave them several 24/7 days of a wide variety of bass and subwoofer test files, bass-heavy music and 20Hz-20kHz sweep files to loosen up the initially very tight drivers.

The Portaphile V2 is a great match for the 501s ... as is the SR-71.

Enjoy!
 

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