Potential Indian customer needs advice and info on the AKG K701, Shure SE530 (unamped) and headroom amplifiers
Nov 16, 2008 at 4:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 57

bhanja_trinanjan

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Contents of my mail to Headphone.com --> Request senior forum members and headroom staff to help me.
smily_headphones1.gif


Hi,
I primarily listen to instrumental classical and vocal music. My Shure E4Cs serve me well and I use them in conjunction with my iPod 5.5G (80GB). Of late, I have been on the lookout for a better listening experience.
From what I have read, I guess that the AKG K701 would be an excellent upgrade. However, I understand that I need a good headphone amplifier to drive the K701. A less expensive option could be the Shure SE530-PTH, costing less than a ‘K701-headphone amp’ combo.

So, a potential upgrade choice could be one of the following:
1.AKG K 701 + HeadRoom Total BitHead (Total cost = $449 + $159 = $608)
2.AKG K 701 + HeadRoom Micro Amp (Or HeadRoom Portable Micro Amp, NO DAC) + Cardas 6 inch Mini to Mini cable (Total cost = $449 + $399 + $18= $866, ouch!)
3.Shure SE-530-PTH ($549)

I wish to add that Option 2 is slightly beyond my budget. I would consider that option only if the 1st option doesn’t provide sizeable benefits over the 3rd. Secondly, I would need an electric socket for the micro amp and since I live in India, I can’t afford to return the portable micro amp for eventual battery replacement. A sensible option could be the 1st one, just tell me whether I must pair a K701 with the Micro amp to outclass the Shure SE530/ (E4C-I already have these).

I have other queries too:

1.Do you ship to India? Please state the approximate shipping charges.
2.In the unlikely event of a defective product, do I have to pay for shipping the inventory back to the US for replacement?
3.How long would it take to ship these items to India?
4.Have you guys handled previous online orders from this part of the world, without hassles?

Kindly respond to these questions.

FYI, I live in Kolkata (previously Calcutta) in the state of West Bengal, India.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 4:41 PM Post #2 of 57

orkney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bhanja_trinanjan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I primarily listen to instrumental classical and vocal music. My Shure E4Cs serve me well and I use them in conjunction with my iPod 5.5G (80GB). Of late, I have been on the lookout for a better listening experience.
From what I have read, I guess that the AKG K701 would be an excellent upgrade. However, I understand that I need a good headphone amplifier to drive the K701. A less expensive option could be the Shure SE530-PTH, costing less than a ‘K701-headphone amp’ combo.

So, a potential upgrade choice could be one of the following:
1.AKG K 701 + HeadRoom Total BitHead (Total cost = $449 + $159 = $608)
2.AKG K 701 + HeadRoom Micro Amp (Or HeadRoom Portable Micro Amp, NO DAC) + Cardas 6 inch Mini to Mini cable (Total cost = $449 + $399 + $18= $866, ouch!)
3.Shure SE-530-PTH ($549)



Hi,

I can't speak to the waranty/shipping questions, though I can vouch for HR's customer service, which is excellent. The K701s sound like a good choice and the HR amps work well with them, as do amps from number of other manfacturers (I enjoyed my K701s with Meier and Sugden gear), some of whom certainly ship worldwide, including marques like Little Dot, etc. The HR amps, though very detailed and musical, IMO have a touch of warmth and fullness, particuarly with the crossfeed engaged, that is a good match for the clarity and spaciousness of the K701s.

If you're looking at Headroom amps, you might think about moving up from the Micro to the on-sale Ultra Micro, which offers a whole lot of amp at its discounted price. I'm sure there are members here with that combo who can offer their opinions.

Finally, for classical and vocals you might also think about the HD650s and/or Beyer's DT880s, both of which do these genres very well but benefit from a good amp, and maybe the Denon d5000s, which also have a good rep as all-purpose cans and are reportedly more forgiving of amplification. Havent heard the Shures so can't comment.

lots of options -- good luck!

o
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 4:52 PM Post #3 of 57

Happy Camper

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Have someone buy you a used K701 and EC Lunchbox II from Canada or US. You can get the K701 for under $200 and a new Lunchbox for $225. Tube amps play well with the K701s.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 5:53 PM Post #5 of 57

orkney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bhanja_trinanjan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
'on-sale' = 'used stuff' ? I would prefer new
smily_headphones1.gif
isn't the K-701 treble better than that of HD-650?



Headroom is having a sale: Things on Sale - HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears. I imagine this is excess inventory, so new rather than used. The Ultra is a bit more than your budget, but it's a great amp. All kinds of comparos between K701 and HD650 and others, and also on which phones work well with the genres of music you prefer. If you've settled on the AKGs, think about searching/posting in the amp forum for choices that will fit your budget and preferences.

o
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 6:30 PM Post #6 of 57

bhanja_trinanjan

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The Micro line is a little beyond what I can afford... will the total bithead work well with the K701? Or I am better off using an unamped IEM with the iPod for better sound?
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 7:17 PM Post #7 of 57

Pyriel0

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You can find new K701's on ebay for around $250. The shanling ph100 is a very good solid state amp for them also and it is $220 on ebay and ships from china. I don't know what the shipping would be for you but it was $50 to the US. Then you could buy a cheaper dac something like Super Pro DAC707 Those would come out to 580 + whatever shipping would be and sound very good. Probably 650-700 after shipping.

Edit: I know I only have 10 post but I just purchased akg k701's , the shanling ph100 amp and a citypulse 72.x II dac in the last 2 weeks. The dac just got here yesterday and the setup sounds good without even being broken in.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 7:17 PM Post #8 of 57

orkney

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bhanja_trinanjan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Micro line is a little beyond what I can afford... will the total bithead work well with the K701? Or I am better off using an unamped IEM with the iPod for better sound?


I wouldn't think the total bithead would be a great match for K701s, which in my experience really need a more powerful amp to approach their best. Perhaps somthing like the AT-AD700s would fit the bill, though I've never owned a pair. It seems there are two questions here, which phones and which amp (or not) to use with them. There are lots of choices out there -- if it's the K701 you want then you may be better off buying used or saving up until you have an amp that does them justice.

best,

o
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 7:25 PM Post #9 of 57

myinitialsaredac

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I happen to own both of the headphones you are talking about: the 701s and the 530s. I also happen to have a micro amp
biggrin.gif


Okay let me start of by saying you are looking at two totally different experiences. The 530s are bassy, have a great mid, are a bit rolled on the highs, but provide a great look into the music, very different from the 701s. The 701s are airy, have a rediculous soundstage, which makes the 530s sound congested, are a bit bass anemic, but are extremely revealing. Liquid mids, sparkly high, great decay and realism. This is all with the micro amp. If I had to choose between the 701s and the micro and the 530s, it would be the 701s and the micro easy. Especially if portability isnt necessary. IME the micro can drive the 701s, but you'd be better off with tubes such as the Millett offerings from TTVJ.
EDIT- For classical and vocal the 701s are IMO the phones. YMMV!
Agreed with the above post, the micro leaves room for improvement, so I'd imagine the bithead would be far underpowered. These cans transform with amplification, dac, and burnin IME YMMV.
BTW, you can get the 701s for the low 300s (USD) shipped from headroom. You can also get the SE530s for the low 300s (USD) shipped new from headroom. Use coupon code k701 and se530 respectively at checkout.
Dave
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 2:58 PM Post #12 of 57

bhanja_trinanjan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by myinitialsaredac /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I happen to own both of the headphones you are talking about: the 701s and the 530s. I also happen to have a micro amp
biggrin.gif


Okay let me start of by saying you are looking at two totally different experiences. The 530s are bassy, have a great mid, are a bit rolled on the highs, but provide a great look into the music, very different from the 701s. The 701s are airy, have a rediculous soundstage, which makes the 530s sound congested, are a bit bass anemic, but are extremely revealing. Liquid mids, sparkly high, great decay and realism. This is all with the micro amp. If I had to choose between the 701s and the micro and the 530s, it would be the 701s and the micro easy. Especially if portability isnt necessary. IME the micro can drive the 701s, but you'd be better off with tubes such as the Millett offerings from TTVJ.
EDIT- For classical and vocal the 701s are IMO the phones. YMMV!
Agreed with the above post, the micro leaves room for improvement, so I'd imagine the bithead would be far underpowered. These cans transform with amplification, dac, and burnin IME YMMV.
BTW, you can get the 701s for the low 300s (USD) shipped from headroom. You can also get the SE530s for the low 300s (USD) shipped new from headroom. Use coupon code k701 and se530 respectively at checkout.
Dave



Now that's an excellent reply! Really well written, nice and informative!

choice more or less frozen---> K701 + Micro

now where do I get the $$$...
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Nov 18, 2008 at 7:27 PM Post #15 of 57

bhanja_trinanjan

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Hi,
Just got to know from headroom that the DENON AH-D2000 and DENON AH-D5000 are fantastic cans and easier to drive than the AKG K701. Now, if I raise my budget to accommodate the micro / ultra micro amp from headroom (instead of airhead/bithead), will the Denons still be a better choice? Or the AKG will prevail over them when powered with the more beefy micro amps? I am not considering the HD600 / HD650 as I have heard that the AKG and the Denons have better treble. Which can has the highest resolution of detail here ... K701/either of the Denon cans?

Thanks for all your enthusiastic and useful responses...
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