Akg K400
Jun 7, 2016 at 5:29 AM Post #378 of 389

risenfallen

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I think these were in production in early 90s. I fixed mine re-using the stock elastic bands (just cut them shorter if you don't have any replacement around but those should be easy to find new too). To adjust or remove the elastic bands you'll need to open the earcups (relatively easy), by first removing the K400 badge on the cup (easy to re-glue later) and unscrew the little screw under it, at least that's what I can recall. This manual may come in handy: http://cloud.akg.com/9723/k501_k500_k401_k400_service.pdf
 
Good luck and enjoy. These are really underappreciated around here :)
 
Jun 8, 2016 at 5:26 AM Post #379 of 389

happychef

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I think these were in production in early 90s. I fixed mine re-using the stock elastic bands (just cut them shorter if you don't have any replacement around but those should be easy to find new too). To adjust or remove the elastic bands you'll need to open the earcups (relatively easy), by first removing the K400 badge on the cup (easy to re-glue later) and unscrew the little screw under it, at least that's what I can recall. This manual may come in handy: http://cloud.akg.com/9723/k501_k500_k401_k400_service.pdf

Good luck and enjoy. These are really underappreciated around here :)
Thanks for this it was a great help, aside from the headband issue they are in great condition and sound fantastic.
 
Sep 29, 2016 at 9:34 AM Post #380 of 389

buffysummers

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Got used K400 in good condition at ebay for 25 euros, delivery included:
 
pic:
http://i.imgur.com/848wWV9.jpg
 
I really like the sound. Neutral, but very lovely voices and highly detailed soundstage. In comparison to Sennheiser HD 600 a little less warm and a little more distant to the stage but I'd say quality wise very close. I will definitely keep them.
 
Now I'm wondering whether I want to change the earpads. Anyone tried different earpads and can recommend any?
 
Sep 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM Post #381 of 389

JSBachFan

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I tried different ones but went back to the originals. They sound by far the best. If the old ones are not completely worn, just wash them. Luke warm water and not to smelly soap will do. Put a towel underneath for drying. That sucks the rest of the water out. I also had HD600 and sold them after comparision with K400.
 
Sep 29, 2016 at 1:07 PM Post #382 of 389

tdogzthmn

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I currently use the K702 anniversary pads with my K400.
 
Changing the pads does effect the sound noticeably.  The stock pads seem to offer a wider more airy sound were the anniversary pads give a darker presentation with more bass emphasis.  This can be good/bad depending on music and innate preferences.
 
I will say the comfort can build quality is nicer than the original pads.
 
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Sep 29, 2016 at 2:38 PM Post #383 of 389

buffysummers

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@K400Lover Sounds like I should wash'em :) They are certainly not worn out, but not as comfy as I would love them to be,
 
@tdogzthmn Interesting! I don't really want to take away too much of the airyness as this is the main point which is a little bit better than my HD 600. Maybe a slight touch more warmth would be perfect for me, but what you describe might be too much for my liking.
 
 
I gotta say, in comparison to newer headphones I tried (K701, DT990, DT880), these have a much more engaging though still natural sound.
In a few weeks my bottlehead crack with speedball will hopefully be done, maybe that will even enhance these cans. On the Fiio E17 especially the K400 is rather lowpowered. Its still loud enough, but it seems to be harder to drive than other headphones I have.
 
Sep 29, 2016 at 3:32 PM Post #384 of 389

JSBachFan

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I drive my favourite pairs of K400 (voices) and K500 (classical) with a combination Fiio X5 and E12. Very pleased with the overall sound performace and addictive warmth of this combination. E12 is definitely strong enough for K400 and K500.
 
Sep 30, 2016 at 12:33 PM Post #385 of 389

tdogzthmn

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I gotta say, in comparison to newer headphones I tried (K701, DT990, DT880), these have a much more engaging though still natural sound.
In a few weeks my bottlehead crack with speedball will hopefully be done, maybe that will even enhance these cans. On the Fiio E17 especially the K400 is rather lowpowered. Its still loud enough, but it seems to be harder to drive than other headphones I have.

 
I also had the Crack with speedball driving my K400 and K500.  It was a great combo overall and gave plenty of juice.  I still felt the HD600 was better suited to the Crack and had more synergy.  Currently I use the SEX 2.0 which also sounds great with my lower and higher impedance headphones.  
 
The K400 are definitely a warmer sounding headphone that emphasizes the mids but I love their presentation with many genres.  I ended up selling the K500 which was also really nice but I felt the K240DF better as an analytical sounding headphone that was even more natural and uncolored.
 
I also recently picked up the new K52 headphones and am really impressed by their sound.  Compared to the K400 the K52 has a thinner and metallic quality but they are voiced to be more neutral.
 
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May 21, 2017 at 1:36 PM Post #386 of 389

thelonious58

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Quote:


Pretty good deal! Unfortunately I don't have a Paypal account so my options are very limited. No Ebay for me unless they stopped forcing Paypal on you.
Who knows..maybe this pair will sound better than the one I already have.

I still miss the old K601..

Have to say that I prefer the K400 to the K501. If I had to choose between the K601 and K400 I probably couldn't do it. K601 seems like it's a slightly better "all rounder". K400 is more fun to listen to though.

K400 has the edge for female vocals and I think that's a big reason I love the K400. My K400 also doesn't seem to add extra warmth to recordings. Only if it's supposed to be in there. This is with stock pads though.
I rarely hear this in headphones and even my Q701 and HD-598 add a little warmth to every recording, but barely noticeable. I've noticed with the K400 there's much more variation in recordings compared to the Q701. Not sure why.
I haven't heard such major variations in recording quality since I had my first DT-880. Not even sure I know what I'm talking about.

Also..the K400 can sound really shouty with the wrong amp/dac. I don't mean due to lack of power. It was pretty awful with the HRT MSII. Very ear piercing in some range. Probably upper mids. Perfect with the ODAC and Modi and now it's very smooth most of the time. Not really laid back, but really fun to listen to. Sort of how I remember the SR-225i. K400 doesn't have that kind of treble though. I think mine might have a little more treble than some of the other versions, but not sure. I think I read that about the plastic headband version.

The K400 seems to have a much more airyness to the sound and a bigger soundstage than the Q701. Based on memory the K501 had a bigger soundstage but I don't think I ever did an A/B comparison.Luckily with that huge soundstage nothing ever sounds distant if it's not supposed to be that way. Vocals never feel distant and can sound upfront if they're supposed to sound that way.

BTW it'd be interesting to compare the Audio Technica ATH-AD2000 to the K400. I'd love to find a clone of the AD2000 that didn't have terrible pads. There's something special about that headphone and I doubt the AD900 is very close in sound.

Still need to try the K340 and K240 DF sometime. I HATED the Sextett LP I had. Something must have been wrong with mine. Had a real lack of treble and always sounded muffled.
 
May 21, 2017 at 1:42 PM Post #387 of 389

thelonious58

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I find your posts very interesting, as I am wondering whether to buy a pair of K400 ( look like they are LP, black pads and leather headband) on eBay. I wanted to ask you if you have heard the K612, successor to the K601? I really like mine, but wondered whether the K400 would sound sufficiently different? I use a Fiio E17K via LOD L9 from my iPod classic and listen to classical and jazz at low to moderate volume levels? Is the K400 soundstage bigger? Does the K400 sound faster and airier? Is it as detailed? I hope you can help. Thanks in advance
 
Jun 3, 2017 at 4:38 AM Post #388 of 389

JSBachFan

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I was often looking at reviews about comparable or maybe even better AKGs than the K400. But except for K500 there seems to be nothing better in the range up to (used included) $300. I once owned K701 and had a chance to try K550 both of which where a big disappointment in comparision. This in the way, that it is just not fun listening to them. Nice resolution, but instead of wanting to dance you stop following the music because it is boring.
K500 indeed as often stated lacks bass, but for classical music I often prefer it over K400. All my pairs (3xK400 and 3xK500) are EPs which I think are superior to the LPs.
I am curious so I will try to get a used pair of K612s. I post the results here.
What I did last night (will post somewhere in Head Fi later) is a modification of K400 LP, that I got for free because the cable was damaged. Now I moded it into balanced cabeling using a cheap Camera cable (2,5mm to 3,5 mm TRRS) and soldering myself. It not only worked but significantly improved the sound quality. They are now better than my K400 EPs.
So that would be another option of improvement. You can for sure do that with all AKGs. But of course you need balanced output on your source. I steped up and am now driving my headphones using Fiio X7 + AM3.
 
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Jul 17, 2019 at 4:58 PM Post #389 of 389

Tshiknn

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I just bought a pair of these for about 90 euros, which I guess is high given the other reports in the thread, but they certainly sound good enough to be worth it to me. 100% a big step up over my K712s for acoustic / ambient / classical music, and a small step down for just about everything else. I think I prefer them as a product, though - they have a lot of character and, when playing the right material, sound really sharp, airy, detailed, fantastic, and the imaging is noticeably better than with the K712. With rock music and especially electronic they sound a bit anemic and harsh with the mid-treble. Listening to Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air right now and they are nailing it, absolutely - it sounds lush, textured, beautiful.
 

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