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Author Topic: AKG 701/702  (Read 10891 times)

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Offline Fred_P

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AKG 701/702
« on: February 20, 2010, 11:08:13 PM »
Has anyone tried the S.E.X. amp with the AKG 701/702 cans?
How do they compare to the Sennheiser HD600/HD650s?
 

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2010, 08:50:34 AM »
I believe in general that the HD-600 will be preferable to the K701 in most situations.  Having said that, the best I have heard the K701 sound was off a SEX amp.  I have owned both, and I would more strongly recommend looking for a used set of HD-600's or HD-650's.  If you do the 701's, consider doing the upgrade package, but do the C4S boards after living with just the iron/caps for a few months.  You might find that some extra driver distortion is desirable with the K702's.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

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Offline Fred_P

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2010, 04:12:05 AM »
Thanks for the expert advice Caucasian Blackplate.
I hope that my S.E.X. amp arrives soonish (have been waiting for nearly 8 weeks now),
and then I have a chance to take it to the shop to try them both.

There are two disturbing thoughts however that seem to overshadow the expectation and excitement of testing them myself:
1. long break-in period    (ugly duckling syndrome)
2. short listening test in a shop    (tendency to opt for excitement)
 
Could you please share your thoughts / experiences on this?

Regards

Fred

Offline Doc B.

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2010, 05:42:14 AM »
Sorry about the delay, Fred. For many years we had a backlog of 4-6 weeks on all of our products. Then a couple of years ago we worked really hard to reduce that delivery time and got it down to a week or two in most cases. In the case of some recent S.E.X. kit and Foreplay III orders we ran into the unusual occurrence of waiting for several weeks for a production run of 240V power transformers from our winder. I just checked and the power transformers have arrived and your kit is on its way.

And I'm with PB - I've heard his 701s and I thought they were OK, but I like Sennheisers better with our gear.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2010, 11:19:06 AM »
Thanks for the expert advice Caucasian Blackplate.
I hope that my S.E.X. amp arrives soonish (have been waiting for nearly 8 weeks now),
and then I have a chance to take it to the shop to try them both.

There are two disturbing thoughts however that seem to overshadow the expectation and excitement of testing them myself:
1. long break-in period    (ugly duckling syndrome)
2. short listening test in a shop    (tendency to opt for excitement)
 
Could you please share your thoughts / experiences on this?

Regards

Fred


I agree on all counts (I have also been waiting for a 240v transformer for another project).  I think if you can get the 701's used, that is the best way to go.  I got mine used, and the previous owner said he had 100 hours on them.  I put them on a cheapo amp in my garage and let them run for another week straight, and there was noticeable break-in.  On the other hand, a used set of HD-600's shouldn't cost you any more than $200, and you have the option of swapping drivers/cables easily, and you have an exceptional amp to drive them with.

If you listened to the K-701 in a shop, what were they being powered with?  I've actually found that even quite a number of solid state headphone amps can't do the job for this headphone.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Fred_P

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2010, 12:41:17 PM »
It is great news that my kit has shipped. :0)
Thanks for the update, Doc.

In the shop there was a solid state amp. I do not remember the brand, but it looked like a higher end one.

Straight out of the box, with the solid state amp the Senns sounded rather dull and unimpressive to me.
Once my S.E.X arrives I will listen to them again, and I hope strongly that they really improve with break in.

I will post a follow up in a couple of weeks time.

Thanks for your advice

Fred


Offline Fred_P

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 03:58:07 PM »
The update as promised....

Prelude
I took my SEX amp (stock state, no C4S, no iron upgrade) on Good Friday to the shop that carries both Senn and AKG.
To my surprise, all the shops are open on Good Friday in Singapore.
It seems the only time everything is closed down is Chinese New Year ;^)

The contest
So first I tried the HD650, which sounded detailed and relaxed, but on some recordings (e.g. Diana Krall, The girl in the other room)
the bass seemed somewhat out of proportion and may be even diffuse to me.
Then I switched to the HD600, which eliminated this problem.
The bass was still powerful enough, but much better controlled, resulting in a better overall balance.

Next was the AKG702.
I understand these cans are praised primarily for their wider sound stage.
May be it's only because they were not fully run in, but they did not reveal much wideness to me,
instead they placed all the instruments into the distance compared to the Senns.
The sound was much more flat and indirect to me.

Remark
For the sake of completeness it is compulsory to mention that both the Senn and AKG cans
I was provided in the shop were out of the box and in a "raw" state.
Considering the long hours necessary to sound their best,
I am sure both improve over time, and show their real character.


Conclusions?
Yes, even if it is more just a personal preference rather than kind of a judgment.
I agree to Caucasian Blackplate fully when he said below:
"I believe in general that the HD-600 will be preferable to the K701 in most situations."


And now what?
Being the more than happy owner of a SEX amp and a pair of HD600s, what are the next logical upgrade steps?

After laying out some hard earned cash for the amp and the cans,
it seems it's best to go for the ones that promise the biggest improvements for the smallest invest.
For me these are the C4S boards for the SEX, and a DIY cable for the cans.
As the small male connectors for the HD600s were also available in the shop,
the next thing I will do is to assemble the upgrade cable.
Although I do not hope this will come close to the Bottlehead or Cardas cables,
I still do hope that it will result in an audible improvement for a fraction of the cost,
and keep me happy until I save up for the Bottlehead cable.

Happy Easter wishes from a rainy Singapore,

Fred

 

      

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 04:14:14 PM »
I'm glad you were able to listen to all the choices you were interested in!  I am not super shocked with what you chose, although I found your observations about the HD600 vs. HD650 to be quite interesting.


In the upgrade path, I would fairly confidently say that the iron package will make more of a difference than C4S loads or cables, although the iron is pretty spendy.  What are your plans for the DIY headphone cable?
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Fred_P

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 05:15:59 PM »
May be I should add to the HD600 vs. HD650 comparison, that it is highly subjective how much bass is enough, and what is just too much of it.
Besides, the preferred musical style also has a big impact on the choice.
I mostly listen to Jazz, Classical and Acoustic music and I think the 600s have plenty of bass for these.

Regarding the cable:
I received 3 meters of a Japanese microphone cable in the shop free of charge:
The marking on the cable reads "L-4E6S CANARE CABLE 605"
The guy in the shop told me, that some folks opt for a Cat6 or Cat7 Ethernet cable.
He also recommended me a cable specialist in Sgp, so maybe I pay them a visit, and ask their opinion.

If you have anything specific on mind,  please let me know.


Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 07:07:16 PM »
It's funny how things work, I was just in Eugene, Oregon delivering some custom built equipment, and that is the exact wire that I selected to use for custom interconnects.  It looks like you were well taken care of!
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Fred_P

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2010, 07:00:39 PM »
So it seems I can spare the trip to the cable shop and stick with the cable I was given?
That is great news. :)

Best of all, my stock cable will still be intact, so I can do an A-B comparison later on.
I am really curious about it.

Offline Chris

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2010, 02:35:27 AM »
is the bottlehead cable available?, i havent got an answer from my email......

Offline Grainger49

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2010, 03:32:43 AM »
A call is always more efficient.

Offline Doc B.

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2010, 06:17:07 AM »
Quote
is the bottlehead cable available?

The cables have become a situation similar to what we have gone through in the past selling products made by other manufacturers. The ease of ordering directly from the manufacturer via the internet makes our carrying their product on our website redundant enough that the sales volume doesn't really warrant our being the middle man. I would suggest contacting Kevin Haskins at DIY Cable directly and ask him to make you what you desire. The only things unique about our cable vs. the standard Cardas cable were the right angle phone plug and the Tech Flex cover. I'm sure Kevin could supply one with a right angle plug that for you. I was also informed by someone recently that the cable no longer comes with the tech flex cover that we showed in our old product photos. I know Kevin said it was a huge pain the get the long cable snaked through the Tech Flex, so I presume that he has stopped using it on the headphone cable for that reason.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline Chris

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Re: AKG 701/702
« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2010, 02:10:57 AM »
Thank you Doc!..........   and to the comment:    A call is always more efficient............. Not when you are living in Indonesia it aint...............