AKG K501, is it possible to improve its low frequency output?
Nov 16, 2008 at 11:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

arteom

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So I have had my AKG K501's put away for some time since I got the ALO K701, just got them out as I am going to sell a few headphones and was thinking of parting with the 501. Well I just can't pull myself to do it!! The 501's in a nutshell make the 701's sound veiled, they a few notches clearer than the 701. However, their bass is seriously lacking, it doesn't go very deep at all (as we all know). What have you guys done to try improve the bass of the 501? Whilst maintaining its clarity. I have read the 701 pad mod and am reluctant to try it as I've read it takes away from the clarity of the 501. A touch of body and some more weight to the sound and the 501 would be such a very nice headphone
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. So what have you guys tried and what has been a success (if anything)? While these do sound so good I don't find myself reaching for them much, so much of the music I listen to requires that bit of body and a low reaching bass. I almost wonder if it's because the 501 has little body and no bass that it sounds good, I hope not
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For whatever its worth, I listen to allot of varied music but most which will have some electronic in there, somewhere. Downtempo, IDM, techno, electro, ambient, post rock, classic rock, jazz, some classical sounds here and there.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 11:38 PM Post #3 of 40

Rednamalas1

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^ still going to be relatively bass light, I wouldn't use K501 for anything other than classical + vocals + and acoustic stuff. They do wonders for those genres. For rock, techno etc, look elsewhere.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 11:45 PM Post #4 of 40

arteom

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You know the weird thing is I put on a track that had some violins in it, I listen to it with the K501, its nice and all, clear as...something very clear. I put on the K701 and while not as clear it was able to express the change in tone as the violin was being played and just sounded better. With the K501 you could hear that gritty sound of the strings, but with the K701 the whole violin was presented and there was indeed so much more to it.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 12:02 AM Post #6 of 40

1Time

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Quote:

Originally Posted by arteom /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You know the weird thing is I put on a track that had some violins in it, I listen to it with the K501, its nice and all, clear as...something very clear. I put on the K701 and while not as clear it was able to express the change in tone as the violin was being played and just sounded better. With the K501 you could hear that gritty sound of the strings, but with the K701 the whole violin was presented and there was indeed so much more to it.


I suspect the pad mod would flesh out the violins.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 2:12 AM Post #10 of 40

mrarroyo

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I had my K701 re-cabled by Alex of APureSound w/ his V3 cable. Then after burning them in for about 120 hours I compared the re-cabled K501 w/ an stock unit owned by vorlon1.

No doubt about it, not only was the K501 more transparent and clear but the bass was tighter and more of it. Of course doing a V3 re-cable is not cheap but the K501 are just so good.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 5:09 AM Post #13 of 40

wualta

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True, the K501 will never be a basshead headphone, but the problem is, in part, variations in the airtightness of the socalled damper pad on the rear of the baffle. Search the K501 threads for photos. The baffle has vents to let a controlled amount of backwave into the earcup to enhance the feeling of space and openness, but certain individual units, like my first K501, let too much backwave in and the bass was canceling itself out. When that happens, no amount of EQ will help, and the pad mod, which is otherwise the simplest and most elegant way to bring up the lowest bass, won't help either.

If you have one of those K501s, you have to seal all the vents with something like blu-tack and boom, the bass returns, and then if you do the pad mod on top of that, and by pad mod I mean mod, not switch-- who knows, you may touch basshead territory, but the K501's bass is tighter than the true basshead will tolerate.

Chances are you don't have one of those K501s, and simply sealing the outer surface of the stock earpad will block enough backwave to give you a nice apparent boost in the dark side. Don't sell the K501 until you find something that will surpass all its virtues, and for that you'll either need to spend much more money or score big with your local Craigslist. That's been my experience, at any rate.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 5:47 AM Post #14 of 40

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by arteom /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For whatever its worth, I listen to allot of varied music but most which will have some electronic in there, somewhere. Downtempo, IDM, techno, electro, ambient, post rock, classic rock, jazz, some classical sounds here and there.


I don't think you can modify the K-501 much without changing its character. You might be able to improve one area or two, but you'll take away a good characteristic or two.

You do have a HD-600... why not switch up on headphones depending on genre? I find the K-501 terrible with techno, electro, various rock, etc., and mostly use it for jazz, classical and assorted acoustic material. The bass is about spot on for those. The rest should be handled nicely by the HD-600.

Or how about spending more money?
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The K-1000 has the K-501's "sound" with more body and bass. AKG made about 12,000 of them and they do come up for sale often enough. The K-1000 might be exactly what you're looking for.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 5:58 AM Post #15 of 40

panda

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501 is one of the cleanest sounding fones ever made, but they are way too polite for me. they can open up with a lot of power fed to them (as in over 500mW) and a potent source (say older krell cdp's) but they still won't rock out. they sounded really good through mccormack micro integrated drive for solid state and audio valve rkv for tube, both of them are in my top 5 amps list.
 

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