Big move up from K7XX...to?
Nov 1, 2016 at 3:34 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 18

mattcalgary

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To be honest, when it comes to knowing exactly what attributes I like in sound I have a hard time describing them - I just know what I like! So far the combination I have is:
 
K7XX
Schitt Modi Uber and Vali v.1
 
Whatever most would describe this sound as, I really enjoy it. The headphones are incredibly comfortable as well, which is really important to me, so I wouldn't go any less comfortable that this. Open or closed doesn't matter.
 
However, I'm looking up the headphone ladder and willing to spend some big bucks (1-2K) for new headphones that have the same characteristics as now but just overall do things better. If I had one complaint it's that the bass could be tightened up a bit from my current setup.
 
I'll be upgrading the amp/dac in the future but for now I'd really like to focus on the headphones as the first big purchase!
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 3:42 PM Post #2 of 18

Monsterzero

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Its hard to recommend an upgrade to the K7XX since you mention that youre not willing to sacrifice comfort...they are,by far,the most comfortable headphones Ive ever owned.....pretty much any headphone you choose will be,to some degree, a step down.
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 4:10 PM Post #4 of 18

PurpleAngel

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  To be honest, when it comes to knowing exactly what attributes I like in sound I have a hard time describing them - I just know what I like! So far the combination I have is:
K7XX
Schitt Modi Uber and Vali v.1
Whatever most would describe this sound as, I really enjoy it. The headphones are incredibly comfortable as well, which is really important to me, so I wouldn't go any less comfortable that this. Open or closed doesn't matter.
However, I'm looking up the headphone ladder and willing to spend some big bucks (1-2K) for new headphones that have the same characteristics as now but just overall do things better. If I had one complaint it's that the bass could be tightened up a bit from my current setup.
I'll be upgrading the amp/dac in the future but for now I'd really like to focus on the headphones as the first big purchase!

 
This Darkvoice 336SE tube headphone amplifier ($213-$250), might improve the K7XX
Or any other headphones you might buy.
https://www.massdrop.com/buy/dark-voice-366se
Only 11 hours left for taking orders.
No regrets buying my 336SE :)
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 4:31 PM Post #5 of 18

HiFiChris

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I would recommend the Sennheiser HD 800. About 3 years ago I compared my HD 800 with my K701 in a side-by side-review in a German audio community because the former was always said to be a logical upgrade from the latter and I wanted to give newcomers and people who were looking for an upgrade from the AKG some insight on how they compare, as there were not many comparisons of the two at this time.

The essential points of my comparison that still hold true were:
 
  1. The HD 800 has got more bass quantity and the less bright and more realistic/natural sounding midrange while their basic tonal tendency heads into the same direction. Given that the K7xx is supposed to have more bass quantity than the 701, it should be comparable to the Sennheiser.
  2. The HD 800 has got the tighter and faster bass.
  3. The HD 800 has got the larger soundstage that is even wider than the AKG's that is already pretty wide, but has got some spatial depth (however about 30% less depth than width to be perfectly circular) compared to the AKG that sounds spatially rather flat.
  4. The HD 800 is more resolving.
  5. Instruments are separated more precisely with the Sennheiser.
  6. The HD 800 can portray "empty room" between and around instruments.
  7. The HD 800 has got the larger and deeper ear cups that are super comfortable and spacious.
  8. The K701 has got the higher clamping force which I find personally better.
 
I hope this is somewhat helpful for you.
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 4:46 PM Post #7 of 18

b0000

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The k7xx is a very good mid range headphone. You really need to get something in the low-high-end to high-end if you actually want a noticable/appreciable improvement, otherwise it's just a waste of effort.
 
And as you probably know already, the HD800 is the spiritual upgrade of the k700 series. The hd800's have the same strong characteristics, being soundstage and detail.
 
If you don't want to spend as much, try the hifiman planars, but they come with a smaller soundstage.
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 4:53 PM Post #8 of 18

Monsterzero

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  The k7xx is a very good mid range headphone. You really need to get something in the low-high-end to high-end if you actually want a noticable/appreciable improvement, otherwise it's just a waste of effort.
 
And as you probably know already, the HD800 is the spiritual upgrade of the k700 series. The hd800's have the same strong characteristics, being soundstage and detail.
 
If you don't want to spend as much, try the hifiman planars, but they come with a smaller soundstage.


Only HifiMan headphone ive owned are the HE-500s,which I absolutely love,but theyre FAR from comfortable and are a burden to drive.Further as you mention they have a much more narrow soundstage,height wise not so much difference.

The HE-500 sound vs. The K7XX isnt much of a contest IMO...the 500s are much more "meaty" thumpy and overall a better listening experience IMO,but again comfort is an issue for the OP,and HiFiMan has never been known to build fluffy pillows.
 
Nov 1, 2016 at 4:59 PM Post #9 of 18

mattcalgary

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This is really good information guys, thank you. I see the 800s version is out and I'll look into that as well as a proper amp for those.
 
The other one that has caught my attention is the MrSpeakers Ether Flow and trying to get some genuine comparisons between these as some reviews seem fairly over-the-top in terms of how earth shattering they are!
 
Again thank you, it definitely gives me a place to start researching more deeply :)
 
Nov 2, 2016 at 12:05 AM Post #10 of 18

mattcalgary

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So after a bit of tinkering with my main stereo amp (Hegel H360), I used its DAC to my Vali amp and to the K7XX and wow, I coudln't believe the difference. Initially I put the Modi 2 Uber in the mix and found my Hegel dac much crisper sounding, which gave me the idea to try the Vali amp and use the headphones from the fixed outputs on the Hegel.
 
It ended up being one of those nights where you go through and listen to a whole bunch of music again and it's "new." The dac really brought the K7XXs something new, I honestly can't believe it lol. I did a bunch of comparisons using my Totem Arro speakers and the K7XX admittedly put them to shame. Turns out that there is a bunch of background noise in the DSD of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me album I didn't know was there. I tried other DSD albums and did not have this, almost sounded vinyl-like.
 
So now I'm looking instead for an upgrade in the dac department. The Hegel uses a AK4490 chipset if anyone is interested.
 
Sorry to start this thread, but it sounds like a HD800s + Vali 2 + Ygg(?) might be in order...sometime later :)
 
Nov 2, 2016 at 12:17 AM Post #11 of 18

Monsterzero

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  So after a bit of tinkering with my main stereo amp (Hegel H360), I used its DAC to my Vali amp and to the K7XX and wow, I coudln't believe the difference. Initially I put the Modi 2 Uber in the mix and found my Hegel dac much crisper sounding, which gave me the idea to try the Vali amp and use the headphones from the fixed outputs on the Hegel.
 
It ended up being one of those nights where you go through and listen to a whole bunch of music again and it's "new." The dac really brought the K7XXs something new, I honestly can't believe it lol. I did a bunch of comparisons using my Totem Arro speakers and the K7XX admittedly put them to shame. Turns out that there is a bunch of background noise in the DSD of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me album I didn't know was there. I tried other DSD albums and did not have this, almost sounded vinyl-like.
 
So now I'm looking instead for an upgrade in the dac department. The Hegel uses a AK4490 chipset if anyone is interested.
 
Sorry to start this thread, but it sounds like a HD800s + Vali 2 + Ygg(?) might be in order...sometime later :)


 
Nov 4, 2016 at 1:17 AM Post #12 of 18

jelt2359

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  So after a bit of tinkering with my main stereo amp (Hegel H360), I used its DAC to my Vali amp and to the K7XX and wow, I coudln't believe the difference. Initially I put the Modi 2 Uber in the mix and found my Hegel dac much crisper sounding, which gave me the idea to try the Vali amp and use the headphones from the fixed outputs on the Hegel.
 
It ended up being one of those nights where you go through and listen to a whole bunch of music again and it's "new." The dac really brought the K7XXs something new, I honestly can't believe it lol. I did a bunch of comparisons using my Totem Arro speakers and the K7XX admittedly put them to shame. Turns out that there is a bunch of background noise in the DSD of Norah Jones' Come Away With Me album I didn't know was there. I tried other DSD albums and did not have this, almost sounded vinyl-like.
 
So now I'm looking instead for an upgrade in the dac department. The Hegel uses a AK4490 chipset if anyone is interested.
 
Sorry to start this thread, but it sounds like a HD800s + Vali 2 + Ygg(?) might be in order...sometime later :)

Do you mean that you are now using H360 DAC to Vali to K7XX, and that that is better than Modi 2 Uber to Vali to K7XX?
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 1:57 AM Post #14 of 18

jelt2359

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Yes that is correct. I found a used Gimby to replace the Modi2Uber. I suspect I will order a Vali 2 to replace the Vali 1.

Not surprising. The H360 is a great piece of kit (I own HD30, P20, H20). Very clean and incisive sound, but a bit exciting so not really for 'analog' lovers.
 
Why go with Gimby etc, and not just stick with the H360 as a DAC?
 
Nov 4, 2016 at 2:01 AM Post #15 of 18

mattcalgary

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Dang that is a nice setup!

I use my headphones in my home office while my 2.0 setup is in the living room. A new DAC should settle my gear acquisition for awhile I hope. Deciding between a pair of HD800S and PM2x will come up in the future I'm sure, ha!
 

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