Prog Rock Headphone Recommendation?
Feb 24, 2010 at 3:56 AM Post #31 of 60

artforme

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Some people might be talking about the AKG 701/2s being difficult to drive because it has a Max. input power of 200 (mW), meaning that most headphone amps would supply too much power. But that's the opposite of what we are talking about.

To my understanding the 701 and 702 were designed to work in a studio environment, and not an audiophile environment. So they work great with my Focusrite Saffire 24 I/O interface.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 4:06 AM Post #33 of 60

artforme

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A used Focusrite Saffire might be a good option, I think they have some older models that you could find for pretty cheap. I would recommend that as a great dac/amp starter combo for 701s. The Saffire is very neutral, but that is really the point of the 701s, so they complement each other.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 4:14 AM Post #34 of 60

logwed

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artforme /img/forum/go_quote.gif
AKG Personal Audio - K 701 - Specifications

The 701s have about 62 ohms of impedance, compared to the HD600 which has about 300 ohms of imedance.

62 < 300, making the 701s much easier to drive. While a good amp would help bring out subtleties, it is not necessary to appreciate the greatness of the headphone. Don't listen to crappy MP3s with them though, but they are not that difficult to drive, imo.



It's not all about ohms, man. Take a look at the sensitivity. You can't do a direct comparison, because they use different units, but as a whole, the k701s require more power.

It's another misconception that higher impedance ratings mean that a headphone is more difficult to drive. Headphones with a higher impedance require higher voltage swings to reach volume/control the driver. Headphones with lower impedance require more current to reach volume levels. Take a look at speakers. 4 ohm and 8 ohm are the most common impedances. Care to guess which one is considered to be more difficult to drive?
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 4:23 AM Post #35 of 60

feverfive

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I listen to a lot of Porcupine Tree, Yes, etc on my EW9's, & IMO, these hp's do very well w/ prog rock. Also, the ESW9 are easy to drive; sound great using the hp out of my iPod Classic, for example..
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 5:24 AM Post #36 of 60

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To complicate things further, I really enjoy the sound of pretty much all the above mentioned bands from my ES7s. It's a colored sound to be sure, but it's a fun, lively color that helps keep the music sounding "large" IMO.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 6:13 AM Post #37 of 60

SleazyC

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Sounds like the ESW9's might be good fit for you then. Just be careful for all the fakes flying around. I got stung buying from an apparent authorized internet reseller so you can't be too careful when buying a pair of ESW9's IMO.
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 6:25 AM Post #38 of 60

beyondthepale35

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I almost bought a pair of esw9s, but I really want to get the best phones I can get regardless of how well I can use them now (weird, I know). But I figure this is the first of many purchases that will bankrupt me, and Id rather have a phone that can scale up once I actually acquire sufficient funds to build my own home rig. Would something like a nuforce udac be enough to at least semi enjoy K701s or HD600s for the time being?
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 2:05 PM Post #40 of 60

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artforme /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The K701s would be easier to drive, which considering your situation would be more ideal. With the HD600's you would need to invest in an amp right away to make them worth while. IMO.


Sorry dude, but the K701/2s are probably the hardest properly driven headphones I've ever owned. Don't let the 63 ohm impedance fool you.
biggrin.gif
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 2:08 PM Post #41 of 60

MacedonianHero

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artforme /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Not to get too sidetracked. But have you made a post comparing your T1s and HD800s? I've love to read what you think between the two.


Here it is:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/hd8...usings-472114/
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 2:10 PM Post #42 of 60

MacedonianHero

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tdogzthmn /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Actually from my own experience the K702 is harder to drive than the senns. I have not heard the K701 but I have owned the HD580, HD600, HD650, and HD 595. I just prefer a more balanced sound that does not over emphasize the bass like the senns did.


Just to confirm, I did call an AKG customer service rep and they confirmed the only difference between the K701 and K702 is the colour (white vs. black), detachable cable with the K702 (nice), and headphone stand with the K701 (nice).

Sonically he mentioned that they were identical.
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Feb 24, 2010 at 3:55 PM Post #43 of 60

grammarftw

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Just to get back on topic:

I rarely comment here, but with a topic like prog rock/metal at stake, I feel like I must throw in my 3 cents into the ring to help with the decision-making process.

To give you some background: I am a drummer and I need to be able to hear the beat to get a feel for the music; I also am a huge fan of bands like Rush, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Between the Buried and Me, Gensis, Opeth, etc. I own the Senn 600's, 800's, and the Denon 7000's. I have listening experience with the Sony R10's, AKG K1k's, Denon 2000's, and various Grado's ranging from entry level to high end.

I agree with the previous posters who argue for headphone over amplification over source; ideally one would have all three but this world can be anything but ideal. I have an "uber" rig at home ending with the HD-800's and a cheap rig at the office with the HD-600's/tiny combination amp/DAC. I have perfect hearing and to be honest the HD-600 rig is 85-90% what my main rig is. It's nice to have the peace of mind that I would need a 10k investment for any audible improvements, but that's about all the extra money is good for.


Soooo, you're wondering how does this all relate to prog rock? The HD-800's and more expensive headphones (with a good DAC) are going to do a better job with microdynamics. You will hear the underlying bass drum beats, the feint symbol accents, recessed snare rolls, high hat dynamics, any background keyboard melody, and the interplay between the complex instrumental structures more clearly. The high end combination will sound slightly better in almost all regards, but in an average prog listening session you will mostly only notice an increased precision in the presentation. With my HD600's and cheapo amp/DAC I can still feel the music, tap my foot, and appreciate it for what it is. It sounds really really good. It is implicit that with being a drummer I should like bass, but I would never ever trade my 600's for any Grado's or even the Denon 7000's with a better amp/source for prog rock.

The amplification does far more for prog rock/metal to make it listenable and enjoyable than a DAC in my opinion; prog rock isn't about an nnn tss nnn tss beat, it's about subtle dynamic and beat changes which a good amplifier is going to bring out more than a DAC. Microdyanmics != feel of music. If you argue otherwise, then how did these bands get popular in the first place if you can only feel their music with a high-end system? But for headphones? I would go with the Senn 600's any day of the week. Prog rock relies on instrument interplay more than bass, and thus need something that can present it well. I could see how someone could make an argument for a pair of high-end Grado's accomplishing this, but I think it's overkill for what you need to get into the music, and their upfront presentation gets in the way of the enjoyment for long-term listening sessions.

Any way you choose, however, happy listening
darthsmile.gif
 
Feb 24, 2010 at 5:45 PM Post #45 of 60

Prog Rock Man

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Quote:

Originally Posted by grammarftw /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Just to get back on topic:

I rarely comment here, but with a topic like prog rock/metal at stake, I feel like I must throw in my 3 cents into the ring to help with the decision-making process.

To give you some background: I am a drummer and I need to be able to hear the beat to get a feel for the music; I also am a huge fan of bands like Rush, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Between the Buried and Me, Gensis, Opeth, etc. I own the Senn 600's, 800's, and the Denon 7000's. I have listening experience with the Sony R10's, AKG K1k's, Denon 2000's, and various Grado's ranging from entry level to high end.

I agree with the previous posters who argue for headphone over amplification over source; ideally one would have all three but this world can be anything but ideal. I have an "uber" rig at home ending with the HD-800's and a cheap rig at the office with the HD-600's/tiny combination amp/DAC. I have perfect hearing and to be honest the HD-600 rig is 85-90% what my main rig is. It's nice to have the peace of mind that I would need a 10k investment for any audible improvements, but that's about all the extra money is good for.


Soooo, you're wondering how does this all relate to prog rock? The HD-800's and more expensive headphones (with a good DAC) are going to do a better job with microdynamics. You will hear the underlying bass drum beats, the feint symbol accents, recessed snare rolls, high hat dynamics, any background keyboard melody, and the interplay between the complex instrumental structures more clearly. The high end combination will sound slightly better in almost all regards, but in an average prog listening session you will mostly only notice an increased precision in the presentation. With my HD600's and cheapo amp/DAC I can still feel the music, tap my foot, and appreciate it for what it is. It sounds really really good. It is implicit that with being a drummer I should like bass, but I would never ever trade my 600's for any Grado's or even the Denon 7000's with a better amp/source for prog rock.

The amplification does far more for prog rock/metal to make it listenable and enjoyable than a DAC in my opinion; prog rock isn't about an nnn tss nnn tss beat, it's about subtle dynamic and beat changes which a good amplifier is going to bring out more than a DAC. Microdyanmics != feel of music. If you argue otherwise, then how did these bands get popular in the first place if you can only feel their music with a high-end system? But for headphones? I would go with the Senn 600's any day of the week. Prog rock relies on instrument interplay more than bass, and thus need something that can present it well. I could see how someone could make an argument for a pair of high-end Grado's accomplishing this, but I think it's overkill for what you need to get into the music, and their upfront presentation gets in the way of the enjoyment for long-term listening sessions.

Any way you choose, however, happy listening
darthsmile.gif



Brilliant post. The detail aspect of prog is why I go for the AKG K702s over my other headphones.
 

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