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Come on M-Stage, please get delivered today... My E10 is calling for backup!
Same situation here. Unfortunately, it looks like my M-Stage won't be here until tomorrow.
Glad to see this thread! Have a set of Q701's and am reading as much as I can here and other sites to try to determine what type of Amp/DAC to get to drive them well. Apparently they need something with a lot of current and the only thing I have now is a Bithead. It tends to clip out at moderate volume levels, so I'm thinking anything that runs off a USB (i.e. 5V) will fare the same way. I'm guessing I need something with a wall plug and maybe not quite so portable. You guys with the equipment already in hand can sure give me better real-world advice vs. the theoretical stuff.
Can't wait to hear how the M-Stage pairs up!
I have an iBasso D12, it works OK with my Q701s at reasonable volumes (as a head amp) but I wasn't happy until I rolled in another Op-Amp.
It has 4 Volt battery in it. The DAC in it is quite good for the money and works well with the M and the Q combo.
For LOUD volumes an M Stage drives the Qs really well!
Good choice, man!
You're in for a treat
I have the Total Airhead and it seems to drive the Q701 quite well. It never gives me the blinking over-voltage light until I crank the volume too high.
What's weird is that my old K701 seems to drive me crazy with it's blinking red light with the Airhead.
Airhead seems to be pretty powerful for being so small. I wonder how it compares to the E10?
Since I loved the sound signature of the Airhead I upgraded to their Micro Amp. Once I have more money I'd like to get the Micro DAC.
Not really sure if it'll be better then the HRT Music Streamer II, but it'll be a nice comparison.
Yeah, Chris, I was looking at the iBasso site after reading someone else mentioning it in this thread, specifically the PB2/DB2 combo but for about $100 less I can get the PD XM6, which is also highly regarded here and at other sites.
Tell me about this opamp rolling. I know the basics after reading another thread (LOL, I can lose hours and hours of time here!) but how do you know which opamp gives what kind of result? I know there are lots of variables and personal differences, but surely there is some kind of general category that each fits into, otherwise it's a rather expensive hit-or-miss affair.
What did you end up using and what effect did it give you when the sound finally hit your ears?
Tdockweiler, what kind of difference did you notice when upgrading from Airhead to Micro? I asked the guys at Headroom how my Bithead would couple with the Q's and they said it would be fine for starters but that I'd definitely want to move up eventually. They also recommended the Micro.
What I DON'T want to do is end up with a drawer full of amps/dacs! I just want to get great sound for the Q's and my UE's like everyone else. Money isn't really an object, but I'm frugal, and if the difference between a $500 (or less) rig and $2000 German rig is negligible to my novice audiophile ears, I'll opt to plug the savings into retirement (when I'll have a lot more time to enjoy that nicer rig!)
Man, that is weird, conventional wisdom here is that the Q701 is basically a K701 with some tweaks. I think someone here said they are the same drivers, just a different case or shell or housing or whatever you want to call it.
I've never owned a pair of Ks so what do I know?
I have a pair of Qs though.
Hey there................sorry...............maybe I should have added that I ended up using the LMH6643 Op Amp with no buffers.
I preferred it over the stock Op Amps
I tried the AD8532 Op Amp but thought it did something weird to the midrange, added a bit of fog, in addition it added a bit of hiss the the amp.
When I bought my iBasso D 12 I also bought the Op Amp rolling kit from iBasso, a fairly cheap way to try some Op Amps out.
You really have to try it yourself and form your own opinion, for example, some folks love the Q701 and some folks hate it!
Don't know much about the PB2, DB2, etc but I do think my D12 is versatile: 3 kinds of digital inputs! And all for $275.
My M-stage is here
I'm surprised how good the build quality is. For something made in china it feels very solid and well built. The front faceplate looks much better than older pics of m-stages I've seen where it looked rather rough and course. Its very smooth and well-machined now. The new casing with the grills and vents looks more pleasing too, more so than the old casing with screws in the side.
I will take some pics this weekend probably.
I'm doing some listening on the stock opamp right now. Of course it has no problem driving the Q701s.
Congrats on the new toy, Chicolom! Keep us posted...
I'm just enjoying listening to my setup and not even feeling like anything is on my head. Man, these things are cozy!
Chris, I do envy the multiple input formats! There are a bunch of devices with multiple OUTPUT formats, but pretty much tied to USB or 3.5mm jack. Then again, I suppose these are all meant for computer-as-source so I can't fault them for that. I do like the optical option for future upgrades, though. I think the Fiio E17 due out soon has all the same input options, though I doubt you can do any rolling.
Man, I'm loving the M-Stage. I can't wait to pair this up with the HRT MS II. It's pulling some details out of the E10 that the E9 couldn't quite get.
I'm now set in the amp department. This is all the amp I need........unless I upgrade Stax SR009
Whats your take on the comparison of the Q701 and your old AD900s?
Would love to know this as well. The Q sounds like what i want sound wise for sure. If you could give an assessment of running it straight off the E10 as well would be great. If its not going to be good for a realtively long term rig (1year) will jave to go back to the 242HD or AD900.
When are you getting the HRT? I love mine and I'm sure you'll find it's a nice upgrade. I was actually shocked at the difference between it and the other DAC I was using. Who know a DAC could make such a huge improvement.
I'm a bit worried it might be a poor match for say an HD-650, but I'm not sure. I'd be interested to know how it compares to your E10.
BTW if anyone is interested I now have an ALO SXC (silver plated copper) cable for the Q701 and I also got a nice cheap one from a place called "Guitar Cable" (Best Tronics) for under $30. I believe it uses Belden 1172A wire, but not 100% sure. Belden wire is good stuff. Very cheap too.
I hate commenting on wires because you either believe in them or don't.
The SXC seems to have less bass than the copper wires and to my ears it's less warm sounding. The regular copper cables are slightly more fuller sounding, but have less detail and the sound of the SXC is a tiny bit more clear. The SXC definitely improves the size of the soundstage but it seems to make the Q701 slightly more analytical and less musical perhaps. I actually prefer this sometimes. Actually not as bad as I make it seem. I prefer the SXC for music and the copper for gaming. If I use a SXC interconnect cable with the SXC headphone cable the sound is a bit too cold and analytical. I usually add in a different interconnect cable such as the Belden 1192A cheap one I made.
BTW one thing I noticed that's crazy is that the ALO SXC is actually smoother sounding and has less treble than the stock cable. What the heck?! I don't have a clue how this could be.
For me it's a bit difficult to tell the difference between copper wires on the Q701 due to the internal wires still being there. I'm a huge fan of that ALO SXC wire now and I guess Belden sells a Starquad version of silver plated copper too. It's a bit cheaper but it's hard to find in small quantities.
That Best Tronics cable sure is nice though. The stock Q701 I've found is actually very good unlike some of the Sennheiser stock cables.
If anyone wants to ever experiment with making a Q701 cable for fun, the Belden 1172A is a good place to start. It's good and cheap. So far I've made a Belden, Mogami and Canare K702 cable.
Can't wait for my T1 to arrive. I love the Q701, but if the T1 is even better then the Q701 will soon be on sale. It's a shame because I love the look of fhe Q701.