K701 that much better than K501??
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:50 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 33

spaceconvoy

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In all the excitement, I ordered a pair of K701 (attracted to their supposed neutrality, detail, and jack-of-all-trades-ness), but some recent threads about my source and amp have made me rethink my decision. Right now, I've got:

Alt-preset-standard MP3s burned on DVD -->
Undecided ~$100 consumer DVD player -->
Home Pimeta with OPA627 -->
K701

So I'm thinking the extra detail and refinement the K701 has over the K501 might be lost on my lower-grade equipment. Any opinions? Is the K701 that much better, and will I be able to tell the difference with my equipment?

Quote:

Originally Posted by RnB180
both cans exhibit a lovely sound,
501s have a front row in your face sound stage that is wide but flat,
601s have distant sound stage, a treble more recessed then the 501's and larger bass presence.



Also, comments like these make me think I might enjoy the K501 even more than the K701. Can anyone talk about how distant or engaging the soundstage of the K701 is?
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:58 PM Post #2 of 33

warpdriver

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I think you will be able to appreciate the deep extended bass the 701's bring to the table at least.
 
Mar 2, 2006 at 11:59 PM Post #3 of 33
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The K701 has a normal amount of bass. The K501 has less bass than almost any headphones I've ever heard. In this regard alone, it's much better than the 501, where I find the 501 unusable for lots of music due to their lack of bass.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:18 AM Post #4 of 33

gshan

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IMHO, you should wait for more reviews of the K601 from people that have compared with K701. It seems based on some peoples' initial impressions that they are very similar, leaving K701 with possibly better bass quality and other refinements. Nothing really confirmed yet, though.

Besides that, I think K601 is

more comfortable
~$100 cheaper
better looking
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 12:19 AM Post #5 of 33

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Alt-preset-standard MP3s burned on DVD -->
Undecided ~$100 consumer DVD player -->
Home Pimeta with OPA627 -->
K701



IMO the only real weak point is the MP3s... but it depends on the DVD player. My SD-3980 I wouldn't hesitate to use as a source for K701, even stock. The only reason I'm not using it now (w/DT880s) is it's not as engaging/musical as the Rotel RCD-855 I picked up a few days ago. It has a very wide soundstage, great bass/treble extension, great resolution and is only lacking a bit in background blackness, transparency and a little congestion in complex passages -- power supply issues mostly.

As for the Pimeta, if it can drive K501s well (and it can) it should be fine for the K701. Maybe not the last little drop of SQ, but very nice (esp. with 627s).
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:15 AM Post #6 of 33

spaceconvoy

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warpdriver & iron_dreamer: If I decide to downgrade to the K501, I'm also going to downgrade to a self-built Mini^3 with bass boost, so I'm not too worried about the bass (or should I be?)

fewtch: Are MP3s that bad? With my old set-up of A900LTD and Panasonic pcdp, I thought I could tell a difference compared to WAVs, until I realized I had the files mixed up
icon10.gif
. If the differences of detail and clarity between K701 and K501 are equivalent to the difference between alt-preset-standard MP3 and WAV, then I'm not going to notice.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:31 AM Post #7 of 33

spike33

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While they have similar sound, the differences are very apparent. K701 is well-balanced enough to be a main can. It'd be torture to have K501 as my only headphone, it'd make a nice side can though.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:41 AM Post #8 of 33

drlee27

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Buy K501 now, since it is so cheap now, then upgrade later. You might be even able to sell K501 later for more than your purchase price. BTW, I don't think K701 is that much better anyway.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 1:50 AM Post #9 of 33

spike33

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Current used prices for K501 are around $100. Used prices has been around $120 for the past year before the price drop (I know, I've sold 2 before). Don't expect used prices to rise at all, this ain't no HF-1...
rolleyes.gif
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 2:29 AM Post #10 of 33

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
fewtch: Are MP3s that bad? With my old set-up of A900LTD and Panasonic pcdp, I thought I could tell a difference compared to WAVs, until I realized I had the files mixed up
icon10.gif
. If the differences of detail and clarity between K701 and K501 are equivalent to the difference between alt-preset-standard MP3 and WAV, then I'm not going to notice.



Maybe not... it's been awhile since I've listened to MP3s with high end cans
smily_headphones1.gif
.

BTW K501 is very revealing too (almost as much as DT880), so I'd base my decision on the cost and not how much the headphones are going to reveal.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 4:01 AM Post #11 of 33

spaceconvoy

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Ok, one last question: in this thread, someone was complaining that even when using bass-boost, the bass on the K501 didn't appear. Another poster said:

"im not understanding why you would think that turning up the bass going into the 501's would magically make them open up? if they dont reproduce bass its because their design is as such... i have K1000's and i can turn up the bass all i want on my EQ and all im going to get is distortion, no more bass..."

But I've read other opinions (mostly yours, fewtch) that the bass is there, just not as prominent. So is there hope that a decent bass-boost will help the K501?
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 5:01 AM Post #12 of 33

dk123

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Seems to me that (based on specs) the K501 should be harder to drive than the K701. I'm not sure it would be a good idea to downgrade amps if you get the K501.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 5:25 PM Post #13 of 33

BluesDaddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Ok, one last question: in this thread, someone was complaining that even when using bass-boost, the bass on the K501 didn't appear. Another poster said:

"im not understanding why you would think that turning up the bass going into the 501's would magically make them open up? if they dont reproduce bass its because their design is as such... i have K1000's and i can turn up the bass all i want on my EQ and all im going to get is distortion, no more bass..."

But I've read other opinions (mostly yours, fewtch) that the bass is there, just not as prominent. So is there hope that a decent bass-boost will help the K501?



Well, I haven't noticed that you can't EQ bass for the 501s. Of course, I've got the "brown ring" pads, which apparently make a difference. But when listening out of the computer, I set the EQ in the 30hz up about 6db. I don't listen to a lot of bass heavy music, so it doesn't have much impact, but when there is low bass there is a definite "boost". That said, it doesn't really bother me to listen without the EQ, even when listening to rock (I pretty much listen only to "classic" rock, sixties and seventies). Obviously, YMMV.

The pads do seem to make a difference, as noted above. But even if you don't get the brown rings, you could always order 601/701 replacement pads, which also reportedly make a difference on the 501.
 
Mar 3, 2006 at 6:33 PM Post #14 of 33

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BluesDaddy
Well, I haven't noticed that you can't EQ bass for the 501s. Of course, I've got the "brown ring" pads, which apparently make a difference. But when listening out of the computer, I set the EQ in the 30hz up about 6db. I don't listen to a lot of bass heavy music, so it doesn't have much impact, but when there is low bass there is a definite "boost". That said, it doesn't really bother me to listen without the EQ, even when listening to rock (I pretty much listen only to "classic" rock, sixties and seventies). Obviously, YMMV.

The pads do seem to make a difference, as noted above. But even if you don't get the brown rings, you could always order 601/701 replacement pads, which also reportedly make a difference on the 501.



Thanks for the input - from another thread, I think the brown pad version is the one selling at the moment on Headroom. I'm thiiiis close to canceling the K701s and "downgrading". I think they might be actually better for me because of their supposedly closer soundstage. Does this translate to a more forward sound? - some people describe them as laid-back, so I'm a little confused. Can anyone compare the presentation of the two?
 

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