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  1. #1

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    Default Opinions on the AKG Q701s?

    I'm working my way through the three or four most mentioned H-phones: Beyerdynamics, Sennheiser, AKG and Grados, in that mid-fi price range. I realize new offerings by Beyer, HiFiMan, Audeze, etc. are making news, but I'm not ready to splurge over 400 on "new" cans yet.

    Trying to get most of the classics used at a "good" price. I have a pair of DT990s that I like but the top end is REALLY metallic and forward. Next up, a set of AKG Q701s. Anyone have any experience with those? I've read the reviews: not a lot of bass, decent mids, sparkly highs, good soundstage, etc.

    I also have some lower level Senn HD555 with that "laid" back sound. I will eventually go HD600s there (and I suspect that's a signature I will like--I don't necessarily believe in RESOLVING the maximum "detail" in the ABSOLUTELY most NEUTRAL manner. There are plenty of reviews of the HD 800s that describe them as boring and analytic. Not interested in that. There are also comparisons of the Beyer DT880s to the new, and prohibitively expensive, T1s that seem to indicate, that yeah the T1s are better but it's NOT a night and day difference but really something for very "young" "anal" ears to rave about! I'm not playing with "infinite" cash reserves here, boys!

    I'm also unwilling to pay huge money for an amp. Am considering the Bravo Ocean (and some tube rolling there)--nice budget class. Currently I am using vintage amps and integrateds as H-phone drivers--most seem to have an OK H-phone amp.

    On another note: People say that regarding Grados once you get past the 80is you're already in the land of diminishing returns. And unless you LOVE that sound you shouldn't bother going much higher?

    But back to the AKGs. Any opinions? These also seem a love it or hate it type?

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 05-13-2013 at 03:24 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  2. #2

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    Are you looking for open headphones I take it or what are your choices? I have the DT-770's (32 ohm version) and am loving them. I was looking for closed only (for use at work) and I highly debated the AKG K 550's, the DT-770's and also the Sony MDR-1R. The Sony's were recommended over the AKG's by Tyrll at Inner Fidelity given what I was looking for. He said they were the MOST comfortable headphones, but that the AKG's were better sounding provided you could get the seal right on your ears which could be a little bit of a pain.

    I too have heard that the Grado 325i's are about as high as you want to go in that line before you REALLY hit the wall on diminishing returns.

    I know Tom at Vintage Hi-Fi of Pittsburg is now a Grado dealer so if your looking see if he might be able to make you a decent deal on a set of Grado's if your wanting to play around with them.
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Main HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse DVR | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

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  3. #3

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    Thanks! I might take you up on the Grado offer!

    Yeah, I'm thinking I probably prefer the sound of open backs at this point. I have a pair of AT M50s (closed back, of course) that I think would be a reasonably close approximation to DT770s? I Think the DT990s probably put out more "bass" than the DT770s and are far more "airy". The only thing I don't like is that edgy treble which often sounds "Unnatural". Maybe the Bravo amp will resolve that issue. The Beyers are plenty fast for me and resolve enough "detail" as my ears are no longer young. lol

    At this point. I just want to go through DTs, HD600s, Q701s (K701), and a Grado. I'll probably resell whatever I don't like here or on ebay!

    Aren't the Sony's closed backs? The Sony MDR-MA900s are the giant diaphragm open backs that some seem to like?

    And I guess there are also the AT AD900s which, again, lack bass but have a big soundstage and are, supposedly, great for classical music, etc.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 05-13-2013 at 04:10 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by cnh View Post
    Thanks! I might take you up on the Grado offer!

    Yeah, I'm thinking I probably prefer the sound of open backs at this point. I have a pair of AT M50s that I think would be a reasonably close approximation to DT770s? I Think the DT990s probably put out more "bass" than the DT770s and are far more "airy". The only thing I don't like is that edgy treble which often sounds "Unnatural". Maybe the Bravo amp will resolve that issue. The Beyers are plenty fast for me and resolve enough "detail" as my ears are no longer young. lol

    At this point. I just want to go through DTs, HD600s, Q701s (K701), and a Grado. I'll probably resell whatever I don't like here or on ebay!

    Aren't the Sony's closed backs? The Sony MDR-MA900s are the giant diaphragm open backs that some seem to like?

    And I guess there are also the AT AD900s which, again, lack bass but have a big soundstage and are, supposedly, great for classical music, etc.

    cnh
    Yeah all the models I suggested are indeed closed back as thats all I wanted to look at. For my "real" headphones I want to acquire at some point the RS2's or the 325i's as I can listen to open back at home just not at work.

    I am running my 770's off my iphone at work for now (a mini computer and dac are coming with me eventually just narrowing down which DAC) and at home am testing a Meridian Explorer and Audio GD NFB-5 on them and honestly I am SHOCKED at how loud these get with their clarity.

    I had my wife literally hammering on the door to my office and I couldnt hear a thing. That didnt work out so well for me as I heard about that a bit, but proved to me the 770's can hang with some power for sure.

    Bass was quite deep and pronounced, but I would hope so given I am using FLAC files played back through really good DAC's/amps.

    Regarding the specific ones you've listed I have no experience though I believe the 990's are supposed to be a bit of a step up from my 770's.

    I would read up on these sites which you may have already looked at (inner fidelity, headfonia.com, and head-fi of course).

    I believe all though all the headphones you've looked at benefit greatly from good amplification, so make sure you get that amp first otherwise you may pass along a pair of headphones you woulda kept otherwise.

    Most of this you probably already know, so I wont waste further time typing on it
    Advice is free, the Flea Market is earned - F1Nut

    Main HT: APC H15 | Pio 51FD | Uverse DVR | Xbox 360 | Squeezebox Classic | Integra DTR 5.9 | Carver AV-705x & M1.0t MKII Opt002 | LSi 15 | LSiC | LSi F/x | Kimber Hero IC & 8VS SC

    Office Rig: Win 7 -> DacMagic w/ Pangea PSU | Pro-ject Debut III | Sunfire TGP-II | Parasound HCA-750ii | Polk RTA 11TL | Cables TBA

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  5. #5

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    701's are a bit bass shy. Of course many out there want way over the top bass.
    I've seen some very good used ones show up over at head-fi cheap.
    They need a good amp. There was one Assimilated had in the flea market.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6

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    I'm a big fan of Sennheiser for environments where you can use open-backed headphones. I think that the 800s sound fantastic, but are way beyond my budget for headphones anytime soon. I find that the 600s and 650s are very much to my liking (and I would think also to the liking of most people who enjoy vintage Polks).

    I even like the 598s, they are an excellent bang-for-your-buck set.

  7. #7

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    The best bet as always is to hear them. Go find a head-fi meet and get your ears on them.
    We can talk the sound to death. But 10 minutes with a couple of sets of headphones
    will tell all.

    As far as Grado 325's go, hated them. They are the worst Grados ever made.
    The 225's are the sweet spot for $$ vs sound.
    Last edited by sucks2beme; 05-13-2013 at 06:40 PM.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8

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    I would definitely say that the Grado wall is somewhere above the SR-80i. My 225i are a nice step up in refinement compared to my 80's, which I did enjoy for many years. The open sound isn't for everyone and certainly not for every environment.

    I figure I'll keep the 225i's for a good long time but I may be interested in a closed back pair too.
    Stan

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  9. #9

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    Thanks guys. I have a pair of Q701s (I'm getting used) coming so I'll know what those sound like soon. A friend has some SR-325s, I believe, so I can give those a listen to see what I think of the Grado sound?

    As I mentioned above, I have some old Sennheiser HD555s (that people do mods on [removing the foam backing] to supposedly get them to be more like the 595/598). Even the lower end Senns are very pleasant and "forgiving" headphones compared to my DT990s which certainly have a much bigger sound stage and more high end resolution and peaks as well as more dynamic bass. So I suspect that Mike (Big Dawg) might be right about the HD600s as far as I may be concerned. I kinda understand what he means about that signature and vintage Polk speakers. That "is" a sound that is close to my heart. And close to my head soon?

    Headphone meets, also a great way to get ones ears on a lot without having to dent the wallet. I'll keep my eye open there.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 05-14-2013 at 12:00 AM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  10. #10
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    I used to have the K701s and I thought they were great. Not for bass heads due to the open back design and flat response, but I found them very enjoyable and non-offensive or fatiguing.

  11. #11

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    AKG Q701s are here. And some Sennheiser HD600s are on their way along with a Bravo Audio Ocean H-phone amp (this one is getting some really nice reviews for the incredibly LOW price on parts-express?).

    Have the AKGs hooked up to the H-phone jack on a Marantz 2265. Seems to have enough power to drive them fairly well. My initial response is that I like their highs better than my Beyers, less bright and less metallic. Sound stage is good, not that much greater than the DT990s though. Mids are less recessed than the Beyers. And Pianos and strings sound more realistic than they do with the Beyers on the Marantz. The AKGs seem "less" fatiguing in general, and a bit more mellow than I was expecting. While they have less bass than the Beyers, I'd say they "do" have enough to satisfy the non-bass head crowd. All-in-all a very very nice sounding headphone that is quite comfortable to wear and easy to listen too. More to come when the amp and the HD600s arrive.

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 05-24-2013 at 03:54 PM.
    Onkyo TX-SR 805 System #1 HT AVR
    Office Two Channel: LSi-7s (Nakamichi CA-5, NAD 214, Pioneer BDP51fd)
    Vintage Polks: Polk Monitor 5As, Monitor 7Bs [HK 730], Monitor 10As [Marantz 2265], SDA-2Bs [Jolida JD-303, Jolida MV-MK4]
    Headphones: HD600, Q701, ATH-M50s etc. Bravo Audio Ocean amp., Onkyo P-304, Adcom GFA-555, Technics Direct Drive TT

  12. #12

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    Expensive...
    LSI 15
    LSI C
    LSI FX
    Velodyne SPL-10
    Integra 9.9
    Sunfire TGA-5200
    XA2-HDDVD
    Sony 550 Blu-Ray

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