Looking to upgrade from AKG K702
Jun 9, 2013 at 5:41 AM Post #92 of 123

davidsh

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Yeah kinda like a mad dog.
 
Jun 9, 2013 at 5:44 AM Post #93 of 123

buson160man

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 I have had my akg 701s for around 4 years now and I have found that they do respond to power.I love the akgs soundstaging ability where it soundly trumps my lcd2 v2s.I do not know what amp you are using but with the akgs 70x series they are very demanding.I have a burson ha-160 which with the addition of a hifi tuning supreme fuse and an upgraded power cable was initially the most capable amp that I owned for driving them.I also have a ray samuels raptor otl amp that with the addition of a hifi tuning supreme fuse and a harmonic tech ac-11 power cord has worked quite admirably with my  701s.I also have recently added a eat cool damper to the input tube and herbies lab rx-9 tube dampers to the two output tubes which made a noticeable improvement in the sound of the raptor.The akgs soundstage ability with the raptor is pretty nice.I definitely get a out of the head soundstage presentation.The 701s soundastage is definitely not headbound with the raptor.
  Before you abandon the 702s I would try to audition them on a more capable amp you might be surprised at just how good the 702s are when driven with a treally capable amp.
 
Jun 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM Post #94 of 123

davidsh

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^Yeah, they are actually quite demanding headphones, and need some power. My tube amp is actually said to synergise very well with 'em, but I don't have the need or the money...
 
Okay here goes: I know the dt880 best, so I will compare with that 'phone the most... The dt880 has a wider and a bit bigger soundstage compared to the HE-500. But the HE-500 is the clear winner when it comes to imaging. The HE-500 images superbly in the sides and also fairly good behind, but vocals aren't as clearly placeable in the center as you could wish. They can seem a bit smeared some 10 degrees to each side (compared to dead center). Also it does lack some depth to the stage, like the depth isn't really pronounced enough, though it's there. But it makes up for that because it seperates and image so well. 
At first when I got the HE-500 I thought the stage was more believable than dt880 and more the proper size. But it is like in some recordings the HE-500 lacks depth, in others it is okay-ish.
 
The dt880 upper mids/treble can seem a bit grainy/grating and slightly fatigueing too. The HE-500 is very smooth, even smoother than the k701, which is in term smoother than the dt880. But the frequency resposne of the HE-500 isn't necessarily as smooth as the k701, and therefore not as coherent, though the sound itself is smoother.
 
With the HE-500 vocals seem relaxed, but still fairly defined. They also have a lot of body, which neither the dt880 or k701 has much of in comparison (though the dt880 more than the k701).
 
Even though the HE-500 is relaxed it is only in sound signature, note that! It has a very very fast attack, and fairly good transients too. The dt880 seemed to be struggling in comparison, especially with fast paced music. I thought it sounded like a mess with some really fast paced and multi-layered metal. 
 
Also, the HE-500, despite being smooth, has a very textured sound. I think it is here some of the 'planar magic' lies. It is certainly a more textured sound than the two other mentioned headphones. 
 
The bass is very good. I think it can be a bit too dominating with pleather pads, but on the other hand DAC and amp also plays an important role here. The bass can seem slightly wooly and not as clean as you are used to. 
 
Some would say that the low end presence and strong fundamentals of vocals and instruments are too pronounced compared to overtones. That is both true and untrue. In relation to reality it is true, but on the other hand it is still very enjoyable. If you want neutrality and is dead set on that, vocals and stuff will probably not sound 100% true to life.
On the other hand the tonality is very pleasing and smooth and seems very realistic. I think it is about just right if you care about enjoying music.
 
Probably forgot something along the way 
size]

 
For a different take on it read this thread and look at what Biscuitz has to say. He likes the HE5LE, which I havn't heard, more : http://www.head-fi.org/t/663288/philips-fidelio-x1-vs-hifiman-he-400-stronger-natural-midrange/135#post_9508760
 
Also, look into Tyll's comparison of the 5le and 500 on innerfidelity.
 
Jun 10, 2013 at 12:04 AM Post #95 of 123

samwell7

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Quote:
 I have had my akg 701s for around 4 years now and I have found that they do respond to power.I love the akgs soundstaging ability where it soundly trumps my lcd2 v2s.I do not know what amp you are using but with the akgs 70x series they are very demanding.I have a burson ha-160 which with the addition of a hifi tuning supreme fuse and an upgraded power cable was initially the most capable amp that I owned for driving them.I also have a ray samuels raptor otl amp that with the addition of a hifi tuning supreme fuse and a harmonic tech ac-11 power cord has worked quite admirably with my  701s.I also have recently added a eat cool damper to the input tube and herbies lab rx-9 tube dampers to the two output tubes which made a noticeable improvement in the sound of the raptor.The akgs soundstage ability with the raptor is pretty nice.I definitely get a out of the head soundstage presentation.The 701s soundastage is definitely not headbound with the raptor.
  Before you abandon the 702s I would try to audition them on a more capable amp you might be surprised at just how good the 702s are when driven with a treally capable amp.


Thanks for the tip, I'm using an o2 at the moment, it seems to power them pretty well but I haven't tried with anything that is 'better'.  Do you think the o2 should power them okay? I know they need a lot of current
 
Jun 10, 2013 at 12:07 AM Post #96 of 123

samwell7

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Quote:
^Yeah, they are actually quite demanding headphones, and need some power. My tube amp is actually said to synergise very well with 'em, but I don't have the need or the money...
 
Okay here goes: I know the dt880 best, so I will compare with that 'phone the most... The dt880 has a wider and a bit bigger soundstage compared to the HE-500. But the HE-500 is the clear winner when it comes to imaging. The HE-500 images superbly in the sides and also fairly good behind, but vocals aren't as clearly placeable in the center as you could wish. They can seem a bit smeared some 10 degrees to each side (compared to dead center). Also it does lack some depth to the stage, like the depth isn't really pronounced enough, though it's there. But it makes up for that because it seperates and image so well. 
At first when I got the HE-500 I thought the stage was more believable than dt880 and more the proper size. But it is like in some recordings the HE-500 lacks depth, in others it is okay-ish.
 
The dt880 upper mids/treble can seem a bit grainy/grating and slightly fatigueing too. The HE-500 is very smooth, even smoother than the k701, which is in term smoother than the dt880. But the frequency resposne of the HE-500 isn't necessarily as smooth as the k701, and therefore not as coherent, though the sound itself is smoother.
 
With the HE-500 vocals seem relaxed, but still fairly defined. They also have a lot of body, which neither the dt880 or k701 has much of in comparison (though the dt880 more than the k701).
 
Even though the HE-500 is relaxed it is only in sound signature, note that! It has a very very fast attack, and fairly good transients too. The dt880 seemed to be struggling in comparison, especially with fast paced music. I thought it sounded like a mess with some really fast paced and multi-layered metal. 
 
Also, the HE-500, despite being smooth, has a very textured sound. I think it is here some of the 'planar magic' lies. It is certainly a more textured sound than the two other mentioned headphones. 
 
The bass is very good. I think it can be a bit too dominating with pleather pads, but on the other hand DAC and amp also plays an important role here. The bass can seem slightly wooly and not as clean as you are used to. 
 
Some would say that the low end presence and strong fundamentals of vocals and instruments are too pronounced compared to overtones. That is both true and untrue. In relation to reality it is true, but on the other hand it is still very enjoyable. If you want neutrality and is dead set on that, vocals and stuff will probably not sound 100% true to life.
On the other hand the tonality is very pleasing and smooth and seems very realistic. I think it is about just right if you care about enjoying music.
 
Probably forgot something along the way 
size]

 
For a different take on it read this thread and look at what Biscuitz has to say. He likes the HE5LE, which I havn't heard, more : http://www.head-fi.org/t/663288/philips-fidelio-x1-vs-hifiman-he-400-stronger-natural-midrange/135#post_9508760
 
Also, look into Tyll's comparison of the 5le and 500 on innerfidelity.


Thanks for the very detailed review!

I've definitely gotta try them now haha you sort of described it as a better Senny HD600 with more treble! which is a good thing :)  After exams I'm gonna go to the local store and have a look (hopefully they have them in stock) I've also sold nearly all of my headphones except a few and ordered a pair of Sony MDR 7520's, more for mixing and production work than anything but what I've been reading about them is very impressive, they might be all I need :) (well here's to hoping haha)
 
Jun 18, 2013 at 3:41 AM Post #97 of 123

azynneo

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K702s are amazing headphones. 50% of the time I prefer them over my 800s if properly amped (back then it was a liquidfire) oh boy I jizzed all over the amp. K702s have one of the best holographic / soundstage / midranges I've ever heard aside from a beastly amped he-6.
 
Jun 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM Post #98 of 123

samwell7

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Quote:
K702s are amazing headphones. 50% of the time I prefer them over my 800s if properly amped (back then it was a liquidfire) oh boy I jizzed all over the amp. K702s have one of the best holographic / soundstage / midranges I've ever heard aside from a beastly amped he-6.


Good to hear! after trying other cans which are supposed to be better it really made me appreciate the K702.  It really is a great headphone for the money, I sold the DT880's I didn't like their artificial sound, and recessed midrange when compared to the K702's
 
Jun 19, 2013 at 9:37 AM Post #99 of 123

Byrnie

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Agree! the 880 have a nasty treble peak and the depth is not balanced to the L-to-R, and they do sound a bit like quality beatbox with a smile shape EQ. I'm not sure if any DAC, or amp will fix those problems.

 
My current amp tamed the highs of the 880s (Cute Beyond).
 
Jun 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM Post #100 of 123

flatmap

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Definitely the AKG K702 requires an amp to get the most out of it.  Would love to hear them with the Liquidfire!
 
Jun 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM Post #101 of 123

samwell7

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My AKG K702 65th Anniversary pads finally came!

Spent some time with them, at first I didn't notice a huge difference straight away but now listening with one pad on each ear the differences are immense. Listening to 'Twenty Zero One' by Jamiroquai reveals that the new pads add heaps of bass.  They take away from the highs slightly though so I'm not sure if I prefer them to the original, that was until I realised I didn't have them on properly!
 
They kept only locking three out of the four lug things in (which you can't tell unless you try and lift the pad off) after I FINALLY got all four locked down properly all that space and soundstage was back! (I got worried for a second).  It's actually pretty hard to get these new pads on properly.
 
These pads are definitely nice and add that bit of 'weight' to the K702 sound that some people seem to find lacking, I haven't spent enough time with the new ones to work out which I like more but they both sound great albeit different.  The difference isn't huge actually they still sound like K702's, the more I listen with these pads the more I like them.  Everything sounds that little bit more realistic and natural, sort of bringing it closer to the Senny HD600 but still with that huge soundtsage and intricate treble and detailing abilities.  These really are amazing! Pad-Fi!
 
Jun 28, 2013 at 5:17 AM Post #102 of 123

davidsh

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Great!
 
Jun 28, 2013 at 8:25 PM Post #103 of 123

samwell7

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Thanks for all your help!
 
 
Jun 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM Post #104 of 123

flatmap

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Quote:
These pads are definitely nice and add that bit of 'weight' to the K702 sound that some people seem to find lacking, I haven't spent enough time with the new ones to work out which I like more but they both sound great albeit different.  The difference isn't huge actually they still sound like K702's, the more I listen with these pads the more I like them.  Everything sounds that little bit more realistic and natural, sort of bringing it closer to the Senny HD600 but still with that huge soundtsage and intricate treble and detailing abilities.  These really are amazing! Pad-Fi!

Oh my.  Samwell7, thanks for your effort on this.  Will have to put this on my list as soon as all my summer projects are out of the way.
 
No problem reverting back to the original pads, if desired, right?
 
Jun 29, 2013 at 3:47 AM Post #105 of 123

samwell7

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Oh my.  Samwell7, thanks for your effort on this.  Will have to put this on my list as soon as all my summer projects are out of the way.

No problem reverting back to the original pads, if desired, right?


Good to hear! Nah no trouble at all putting the original pads on, its a bit finicky getting the Annie pads on but nothing on the headphone is actually changed, its really easy to put the old ones on.
 

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