...and one more k701 thread
Mar 17, 2006 at 11:55 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

brat

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I bought them 2 hours ago..
First impressions with acoustic jazz:
A certain lack in the highest frequencies.
A lack of realism. The instruments do not present next to me.
An awful pick in the upper midrange
confused.gif
confused.gif

Good soundstage. But not as wide az I expected.
Good, deep, tight bass.
A little bit more detail than the 650s.

I hope they will improve after burn in.
Please, confirm that.
smily_headphones1.gif


21.3.2006

Very, very strange.. Most people here say that k701 have more treble even sibilance compared to the 650s. My impressions are exactly opposite! I miss the crystal treble of my HD650. They make me feel the metal of the strings and cymbals, the membrane of the drums... K701 do not make me "see" the instruments. It's my biggest confusion. I really hope the burn in process will do something about this.
BUT I am enchanted by the soundtage of AKG k701. The instruments (despite the "cotton" sound) finally get out of my head and arranged where they suppose to be...
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 12:58 PM Post #2 of 25

flecom

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brat
I hope they will improve after burn in.
Please, confirm that.
smily_headphones1.gif



yes, a lot
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 1:03 PM Post #3 of 25

Angelic

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Hi, brat

Honestly said, I was very sceptical about burn - in, but after over 100 hours of it on K701, I clearly can hear difference. Highs are crystal clear, midrange is very natural sounding, and bass - you already mention it. It can reach the lowest octaves of music.

As far as I saw, other members says, that K701 needs at least 300 Hours to fully reach their sound potential.
Hopefully this helps,

P.S. What about nano - meet at Sofia near 15th of april?
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Mar 17, 2006 at 1:53 PM Post #4 of 25

Beav

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I'm at about 100 hours on mine. I used the Purist Audio disc on them right off the bat and had none of the issues you have reported. They continue to improve though with regular use. I had a buddy over recently who has Senn HD600's, which he uses as his primary listening device, and he picked the 701's in every area as the better headphone. He thanked me for spoiling his enjoyment of his Senn's
evil_smiley.gif
but now he's saving up for a 701 so I'm not totally the bad guy am I?
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Mar 17, 2006 at 2:03 PM Post #5 of 25

brat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Beav
I'm at about 100 hours on mine. I used the Purist Audio disc on them right off the bat and had none of the issues you have reported. They continue to improve though with regular use. I had a buddy over recently who has Senn HD600's, which he uses as his primary listening device, and he picked the 701's in every area as the better headphone. He thanked me for spoiling his enjoyment of his Senn's
evil_smiley.gif
but now he's saving up for a 701 so I'm not totally the bad guy am I?
icon10.gif



Actually I expected greater difference and especially in the soundstage.. The cans are very similar but I admit the k701 might be much better after proper burn in. I hope so.
wink.gif
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 4:11 PM Post #6 of 25

robm321

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brat
Actually I expected greater difference and especially in the soundstage.. The cans are very similar but I admit the k701 might be much better after proper burn in. I hope so.
wink.gif



They should improve still, but there is one headfier that puts the Senn 600 and 701's neck and neck with each other (he owns both). That would not exactly be a shame. The 600's are terrific, neutral and uncolored phones with good soundstage.

By the way I haven't heard the 701's (yet?) - I own the the 600's.
 
Mar 17, 2006 at 4:35 PM Post #7 of 25

Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brat
I bought them 2 hours ago..
First impressions with acoustic jazz:
A certain lack in the highest frequencies.
A lack of realism. The instruments do not present next to me.
An awful pick in the upper midrange
confused.gif
confused.gif

Good soundstage. But not as wide az I expected.
Good, deep, tight bass.
A little bit more detail than the 650s.

I hope they will improve after burn in.
Please, confirm that.
smily_headphones1.gif



Hey, don't you know, burn in will totally transform them
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 1:52 AM Post #8 of 25

TheSloth

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I owned a pair of K701's in November, sold them, and just bought another pair. They have only got to about 50 hours, but I feel that their overall sound signature is clear, though I of course expect certain improvements.

Relative to my 650's/Balanced Equinox (not really very fair...) there are upsides and downsides. Firstly, I would like to comment that my ears agree with HeadRoom's graph regarding the bass. There is vast bass, and at the very least, no less than my 650. It's presented in a somewhat different way, however I feel that has something to do with the more 'alive' midrange that gives the sound more punch and therefore makes the bass seem clearer. I am listening to classical music, so there is no such thing as just 'bass'. All notes that have a lot of 'bass' also have a large harmonic component to them, and the instruments playing them usually create extraneous sounds in the upper midrange at the same time (think of a piano bass string - it has a centre core that produces the fundamental tone, and a copper winding that produces an array of high harmonics that complement it), so how the headphone extends right up to the top of it's range effects how 'bass' sounds.

I also agree on the midrange and treble. The 701's have a 'punchier' upper midrange, and really focus in on the fundamental tone, giving a real sense of life and presence, however I do hear something of a roll off temporarily after that point. I noticed today that I find it rather hard to hear the realism of that soft rush of air as a singer inhales just before producing sound. The sound just suddenly appears out of a certain blackness, almost as if it had been noise gated. To be honest, this is actually the area that I hope will change the most, however I'm a little sceptical, especially regarding people commenting on it 'smoothing' with burn-in. If I were to ask for one thing from this headphone, it would be more of a sense of air in that range, why my balanced 650's are able to provide.

Regarding that bass again, I think a lot of the difference in perception comes from the acoustic space of the earcup and the positioning of the driver. The 650's have the driver placed relatively closer and flatter to the ear, with very slightly thinner ear pads. The cubic volume within those ear pads is also much smaller with the 650 due to the oval shape. I suspect that the bass waveforms have somewhat more space to form in the 701 enclosure, but that's just uneducated conjecture. Either way, I notice energy in the very lowest bass region that I find to be even stronger than the balanced 650.

I like to keep just one headphone, and so it's going to be a tough decision as to whether I keep, recable and balanced these or sell them on. I have to say that my Balaned Home just feels like it was designed for a balanced 650.
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 4:41 AM Post #9 of 25

brat

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSloth
I owned a pair of K701's in November, sold them, and just bought another pair. They have only got to about 50 hours, but I feel that their overall sound signature is clear, though I of course expect certain improvements.

Relative to my 650's/Balanced Equinox (not really very fair...) there are upsides and downsides. Firstly, I would like to comment that my ears agree with HeadRoom's graph regarding the bass. There is vast bass, and at the very least, no less than my 650. It's presented in a somewhat different way, however I feel that has something to do with the more 'alive' midrange that gives the sound more punch and therefore makes the bass seem clearer. I am listening to classical music, so there is no such thing as just 'bass'. All notes that have a lot of 'bass' also have a large harmonic component to them, and the instruments playing them usually create extraneous sounds in the upper midrange at the same time (think of a piano bass string - it has a centre core that produces the fundamental tone, and a copper winding that produces an array of high harmonics that complement it), so how the headphone extends right up to the top of it's range effects how 'bass' sounds.

I also agree on the midrange and treble. The 701's have a 'punchier' upper midrange, and really focus in on the fundamental tone, giving a real sense of life and presence, however I do hear something of a roll off temporarily after that point. I noticed today that I find it rather hard to hear the realism of that soft rush of air as a singer inhales just before producing sound. The sound just suddenly appears out of a certain blackness, almost as if it had been noise gated. To be honest, this is actually the area that I hope will change the most, however I'm a little sceptical, especially regarding people commenting on it 'smoothing' with burn-in. If I were to ask for one thing from this headphone, it would be more of a sense of air in that range, why my balanced 650's are able to provide.

Regarding that bass again, I think a lot of the difference in perception comes from the acoustic space of the earcup and the positioning of the driver. The 650's have the driver placed relatively closer and flatter to the ear, with very slightly thinner ear pads. The cubic volume within those ear pads is also much smaller with the 650 due to the oval shape. I suspect that the bass waveforms have somewhat more space to form in the 701 enclosure, but that's just uneducated conjecture. Either way, I notice energy in the very lowest bass region that I find to be even stronger than the balanced 650.

I like to keep just one headphone, and so it's going to be a tough decision as to whether I keep, recable and balanced these or sell them on. I have to say that my Balaned Home just feels like it was designed for a balanced 650.



Thank you for the detailed explanation. I think the k701 are superior to the 650s regarding their soundstage, bass definition and overall sound picture.
BUT my biggest embarrassment is concerned with the absence of some delicate details that make the cymbals and the guitar strings ( for example ) not just sound realistic, but PLACE the instruments next to me - a feeling of presence which is so strong that I can hardly imagine they are not here.
This is the only thing that keeps me from selling my HD650. And a major quality of every speaker system I think
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 18, 2006 at 6:02 AM Post #10 of 25

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by brat
Thank you for the detailed explanation. I think the k701 are superior to the 650s regarding their soundstage, bass definition and overall sound picture.
BUT my biggest embarrassment is concerned with the absence of some delicate details that make the cymbals and the guitar strings ( for example ) not just sound realistic, but PLACE the instruments next to me - a feeling of presence which is so strong that I can hardly imagine they are not here.
This is the only thing that keeps me from selling my HD650. And a major quality of every speaker system I think
smily_headphones1.gif



Well I'm glad we agree somewhat on this headphone. I am really enjoying the K701, but it IS NOT PERFECT! What it has going for it in my book is a reference level of sound quality in an absolutely stock form, with a single ended amplifier. Not work needed, just plug in, burn in, and enjoy! It takes a lot of work to get the best out of a 650. In fact I think that's one reason why we see such mixed impressions about this headphone here - some of us have systems that make it sound magical, and others have systems that make it sound dull and boring.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:27 PM Post #11 of 25

Beauregard

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSloth
I owned a pair of K701's in November, sold them, and just bought another pair. ...
...

I like to keep just one headphone, and so it's going to be a tough decision as to whether I keep, recable and balanced these or sell them on. I have to say that my Balaned Home just feels like it was designed for a balanced 650.



I didn't realize you'd sold the first set; been waiting to see your opinion of the K701s as I identify with your affinity for HD650/HeadRoom/classical music.

I got my K701s last week and did only limited listening until about the 50 hour mark and have been using them exclusively since then - to "clean the palate" as JaZZ put it in another thread.

I'm not much of an audiophile or a big experimenter but figured I needed to try these based on the HeadRoom recommend and Head-Fi buzz. There's no doubt that they're very very nice. I've been resisting the temptation to put the HD650s on for comparison - or even trying to think about comparison while enjoying music through the AKGs. At this point though, my concern is that the one thing I'm missing is the spatial sense of the Senns; the sometimes-magical impression of "peering into a performance", to borrow a phrase from a long-ago review. I don't know if this is as simple as "distant vs up-front" presentation or something more. It'll be interesting to see what the HD650s sound like to me after a few more days of the K701s.

And I appreciate your statement about using just one headphone. When I got the K701s I had the idea that they might end up complementary to the Senns for different types of music. But I think I'm convinced that I really have no desire to be switching phones; it's nicely comfortable to settle down with a known sonic signature and simply enjoy the music. So, it's gonna be make or break in the AKG-Senn challenge!

Thanks for your comments; I look forward to seeing your further impressions as they develop...

Best,
Beau
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 9:41 PM Post #12 of 25

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Beauregard
And I appreciate your statement about using just one headphone. When I got the K701s I had the idea that they might end up complementary to the Senns for different types of music. But I think I'm convinced that I really have no desire to be switching phones; it's nicely comfortable to settle down with a known sonic signature and simply enjoy the music. So, it's gonna be make or break in the AKG-Senn challenge!

Thanks for your comments; I look forward to seeing your further impressions as they develop...

Best,
Beau



I understand why many here keep more than one headphone, however for me, the reason for spending so much time, money and effort setting up my headphone system is so that I don't have to switch headphones. I wanted to get the very best performance possible, and to me no two headphone will ever exhibit an identical total level of performance in a particular system. Also, with only one headphone, and with the lack of choice that comes with that, I find I think less about what I'm listening with and more about what I'm listening to.

Anyway, after more burn-in I'm not finding vast changes in the K701 sound, which is excellent as it is. But at this point it doesn't look like it's going to dethrone my reference standard.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 11:11 PM Post #14 of 25

SennFan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by robm321
They should improve still, but there is one headfier that puts the Senn 600 and 701's neck and neck with each other (he owns both). That would not exactly be a shame. The 600's are terrific, neutral and uncolored phones with good soundstage.

By the way I haven't heard the 701's (yet?) - I own the the 600's.




For the new 701's to be mentioned in the same sentence of the time-tested 600's is perhaps one of the best accolades the AKG's could recieve at this early stage in their life. The 600's are one of the most natural sounding headphones ever that hardly missed a step. I am looking forward to trying the 701's out once the backorder's die down and they're easier to get.
 
Mar 19, 2006 at 11:12 PM Post #15 of 25

sacd lover

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I have those original Sloth 701's and this headphone remains ahead of my other 701's ... apparently because these are fully burnt in. But my other 701's are starting to come around. I now want to pass on some thoughts I have from comparing the 701's to my senn 600's these past several weeks. I have some observations that are a little different than most. In short, I think the varience in some of the opinions has to do with, first, the amp being used, and secondly, the overall system synergy.

The 701 likes current. If I use my mpx3's with the lower power 6/12sn7 tubes the headphone can struggle with music with demanding bass passages or high dynamic peaks. I defintely hear some harshness and lack of resolution when the amp cant feed the 701 enough current ... and lots of uncontrolled bass. Now ... pop in some higher output 5687 or 6bl7gt output tubes and these issues disappear completely. The bass is extremely potent and tight with the 5687 tubes. There is no harshness to the upper registers and dynamics are fully developed. This headphone needs an amp that can supply current and do so without harshness ... or the 701 will let you know.

Now move on to sources. Again, the better the source the more resolving and refined the 701's become. Going from the sacdmods 555es to the E5 results in less bass, more brightness and a somewhat diffuse soundstage. Some of the problems I thought I heard with the 701, at times, has been the headphone simply passing on the flaws present in my lesser source ... and the recording. Source inadequacies will be revealed in their full glory by the 701's ... particualrly in the treble. Some of the positive comments about the 650's treble is, IMO, simply that the 650 doesnt pass on all the information the 701 can ... resulting in better perceived performance with poorer recordings. I came to this same conclusion at first. But once I spent more time with recordings having well recorded treble (cymbals especially) ... I changed my opinion.

In addition, the system matching itself seems vitally important with this headphone. I have found the setup I use with my senn 600/ cardas is not optimal for the 701. Once I made changes to optimize the 701 the results were atleast equal to the 600 ... and in certain ways clearly better. I caution you against dropping the headphone in the exact setup as your senn/ beyer or whatever and expecting the 701 to excell. Cables, tubes and recordings that bring out the best in my senn 600's dont work AS WELL with the 701's. I am in the position I can optimize for both and thats probably why I struggle to find a favorite ... at their best both are exceptional headphones. But most of you will have one amp and no extra cables etc ... and you will probably prefer the headphone that mates best with what you have.

After a couple days of marathon listening and comparing ... the 701's just do everything well. The senns remain the 701's equal in musicality. But I continue to hear the 600's minor flaws where I just cant find anything to criticize with the 701's.

I also caution you to make sure your listening levels are reasonably well matched when you compare these two. I find it nearly impossible to set the 701's correct listening level by ear. If the level of the 701 is to high I think they are to bright. If the level is to low with the 701's the bass recedes. Everytime I find something I am ready to downgrade the 701 for ... I find its been the setup ... and often the volume level. Once I level match the 701 to the correct level I prefer there are no issues. But the headphone is so well balanced there are no cues when I have the listening level slightly off.

As to that level ... I seem to prefer the 701's with less volume than the senns. The clearer more open treble is better at lower volumes where the senns can sound to dark, plus there is plenty of bass, unless I set the volume to low. I set the senns just loud enough there is a good sense of life to the treble. I usually can tell if the senns level is to high immediately because the bass sounds to congested. The 701 is much harder to figure out. I can listen for a quite awhile before I am bothered because the 701 is so well balanced.

Level matching both of these headphones to the same volume results in one being favored over the other. I have come to the conclusion comparing them as apples and apples is pointless. I have found setting up each headphone at their best, and then comparing, is the best way to see which one I will ultimately prefer. the ultimate levelas are close ... but I like the 701's 1-2db lower depending on the recording quality.

At this juncture if I had to pick one I would take the 701 solely because its more comfortable to me. I am thrilled with the sound quality of either headphone. But there is something about the senns presentation, that while not as accurate, is more musical and slightly less fatiguing with some music ... and they will be staying. The 701 doesnt hide recording flaws the way the senns sometimes do. But the 701 doesnt make flaws worse than they are ... and the 701's resolution lets me understand the flaw is often a recording artifact ... which somehow makes the flaw less bothersome.
confused.gif


Anyway, I wanted to give everyone a slightly more obcessive view of the 701.
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I have been comparing these headphones for weeks now so I may as well pass on my thoughts.
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