Technics EAH-T700 - An Impressive High-End 2-Way Headphone
Aug 27, 2021 at 2:02 PM Post #151 of 153

SureSh0t

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So I've had these for about a year now, got them for $400 USD overseas.

The EAH-T700 is an exceptional piece. The cups and yokes carefully sculpted from solid blocks of aluminum into curves and edges meeting seamless joints that entice and invite the eye to the brushed outermost edges, presenting the classic Technics logo in contrast with the subtle, sandblasted texture of the inner surfaces. The T700 as an object of Japanese industrial design sits alongside the likes of the Sony MDR-R10 as a desire-inducing commodity in it's most refined form. As far as I know no R10 has sold for $400 and the T700 was $1200 USD when new.

mdreah.jpg



The promise of quality runs more than skin deep. Technics, with very few exceptions, from turntable to digital DJ scratch console, is synonymous with outstanding build quality and the tradition is well kept here. The precision fit horizontal swivels have brass inlays to ensure any unlikely scrapes between the yokes and headband go unnoticed as the harder aluminum glides over their mirror polished surface. Externally, the T700 is entirely metal aside from the protein leather earpads and headband.

Even the earpads are sculpted. While most manufacturers settle for a donut shape sliced in half at various angles and thickness, the earpads of the T700 are sculpted in every dimension on all sides to meet earcup with cheek perfectly as possible at the optimal angle. Which is important, considering the axes of the angled drivers cross at an exact spot. Likewise, the forward/backward sliding headband facilitates precise positioning of the cups on the head.

The cables, one shorter with right-angled plug and a longer straight plug, are of supple but durable silicon that does not kink or tangle easily, terminated in 3.5mm TRS and dual screw-lock 3.5mm TRS again at the cups. Snagging the cables will take the T700 or the wearer with them, not that you need to worry. About the headphones at least. Results for your floor or head may vary. It would be easy for the T700's refinement to imply a delicate construction.

After all, the design suggests it belongs in the upscale Manhattan apartment you will never have, perched among the hyper-modern décor alongside your original Eames Lounge Chair chained to your 1970s magazine and brochure adorning equipment. At least that's how I imagine it. Another delicate flagship headphone with a one-trip ticket from your head to a floor. In this case, I'm more concerned for your floor. The T700 is the most durable headphone I've touched aside from the Abyss models I've handled. I'm sure you can't run them over with a car and you probably could make a joint snap or bend with enough force in the right direction, but with normal handling I have zero concern for these being damaged even when dropped. Mine have been a few times, unfazed but for a few tiny chips in the anodized coating. The only vulnerability is the very loose and open earpad covers. Dust and debris easily pass through and any object of the right size could poke through or stretch the mesh to touch the drivers. For that and the well shaped but poorly stitched, flaking pads I switched in Brainwavz angled sheepskin via the removable snap-in pad mount rings, which fit well. The resulting volume between ear and drivers is smaller, having the effect of modestly boosting low end and relaxing some treble which is a desirable side effect for reasons to be elaborated.

Thus overall form and function of the T700 are expertly met to accommodate the peculiar driver arrangement within. To mixed results. My crooning accolades end here.

eah.JPG

What the f*ck Panasonic.

If you think I'm overreacting here is a side by side with two other headphones noted for their treble, one being widely considered on the edge of tolerable but still liked, another universally hated for it's treble peaks.
compa.png


The T700 has two narrow, high peaks, one of which rivals the hated Amiron, which has a less than stellar reputation for treble even among typical Beyer fans. And this doesn't tell the whole story past 10kHz.

I do not have "golden ears" and like most people approaching middle age my range of hearing has rolled off on the high end. I can't hear much past 15-16kHz. Nearly all headphones/earphones struggle to make me hear much past 10kHz, even in music with more abundance than usual in that range which I've tested out with EQ.

The T700 has no difficulty making me hear music past 10KHz. And I wish to God it would stop trying. Most of my efforts in EQ are an attempt to tame the intense ringing treble emitted like a Death Star laser from the aluminum dome tweeter, resulting in a rather grim if mostly successful correction curve on my DEQ2496.
IMG_20200818_0512373.png


In the absence of reliable measurements past 10kHz (especially for peaks) the best I could do to salvage some tolerable FR was slow sine sweeps through which I subjectively judged where annoying peaks were. The peaks I subjectively heard cause me to suspect there is some constructive interference from somewhere creating these spikes. Whether it's the drivers having a poor crossover and reinforcing each other, reflections/resonance with the chassis etc is up to speculation without further analysis that's beyond my capabilities.
dgsdgsdfh.JPG


This is such a shame because very few headphones past or present tick all the boxes of the T700. High end construction and style in a closed back with a reasonable level of isolation. The K371 sounds good but it's not very schnazzy. Fostex biocellulose derivatives look nice and sound good but often fall short in the quality department. The Ether C and it's revisions are... well not always enjoyable, let's say. The HD820 is in a similar position to the T700, a flagship that cannot overcome it's technical problems/limitations. It seems to this day, your choice is either a closed back that sounds good with shortcomings in other areas or something that nails everything but sound. A testament perhaps, of the inherent and yet to be surmounted technical challenges of a loudspeaker in a small, relatively sealed enclosure.
 
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Aug 27, 2021 at 6:21 PM Post #152 of 153

brams

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Interesting to compare your plots from the one earlier in the thread. I realize its impossible to compare graphs from different setups, but they match fairly closely up until about 2khz.

1630101805760.png


FWIW after having owned mine for quite some time I agree with your impressions. I found an aftermarket pad on ebay (apparently no longer available) that appears to lower the treble peak, but there definitely appears to be some interference effects at the crossover point. I still find them fun though!

As far as closed backs are concerned, the new DCA Stealth might just be the one that ticks all the boxes ...
 
Aug 27, 2021 at 6:58 PM Post #153 of 153

SureSh0t

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Interesting to compare your plots from the one earlier in the thread. I realize its impossible to compare graphs from different setups, but they match fairly closely up until about 2khz.

1630101805760.png

FWIW after having owned mine for quite some time I agree with your impressions. I found an aftermarket pad on ebay (apparently no longer available) that appears to lower the treble peak, but there definitely appears to be some interference effects at the crossover point. I still find them fun though!

As far as closed backs are concerned, the new DCA Stealth might just be the one that ticks all the boxes ...

They completely screwed up that graph from what I remember back when I originally researched I cba to look back into it right now but I recall them having a goofy af rig.

My source uses a GRAS rig.
 

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