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AKG701 vs ATH-M50
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mikoo69
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#1
1st April 2010
Old 1st April 2010
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AKG701 vs ATH-M50

I am sitting here comparing both side by side.

1. The ATH-M50 is significantly louder than the 701. As a matter of fact, the 701 does not get loud enough at all for intense, high level listening (could there be something wrong with this pair?)

2. They sound totally different. The 701 sounds like it isn't compressing my music as much and has a much more open and clear sound, which im LOVING. however, the volume limits are scaring me.

3. My mixes sound totally different in both, im wondering which headphones would really be the best to mix on in order to get the music sounding great on all systems.
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1st April 2010
Old 1st April 2010
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You don't need high volume - take great care of your ears and use a headphone amp.
For tracking - M50 definitely.
For checking mixes - AKG K701!!!
mikoo69
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1st April 2010
Old 1st April 2010
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im using them out of the digi002 (modded by black lion audio) - so that should take care of the headphone amp.

i could mix all day at the volume of the 701s, but i do like to crank it everyonce in a while and the 701s cranked are still low volume. wondering if this is a defective pair
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1st April 2010
Old 1st April 2010
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The difference in levels may be due to different input impedances for each can.

Additionally, closed-back cans, like the 50s are going to be louder than open-back cans like the 701 because the sound has nowhere to go but in your ears.
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#5
1st April 2010
Old 1st April 2010
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anyway to get more volume out of the 701s?

i can get them louder in logic but then i get digital clipping....hmmm
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1st April 2010
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The 701s need a decent beefy phone amp to drive them properly. If i swap my 701s for my Grados through my PIMETA head amp the level i listen to the 701s at comfortably, is ear shattering through the Grados
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1st April 2010
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i have the same phones running through a stock digi, they don't get super loud but definitely loud enough. If you need them going louder than that, you are seriously in danger of messing up your ears if you are going to be using them everyday. I hear the M50's aren't as accurate, so if you're listening for pleasure, it's cool....but if your listening for accuracy, I'd stick with the k701's.
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2nd April 2010
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If specs are the same, open-backed headphones will always be more accurate.

It's the nature of the beast.
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2nd April 2010
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The AKG k cans are notorious for needing a ton of power. They sound great though.
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2nd April 2010
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I can get my K701 go very loud when directly on my EMU 1820 or on my NAD HiFi set. Loud enough to get hearing problems, if I would listen a lot on that level.

K701 =
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2nd April 2010
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I just got a set of K701 s and I love them.

I know people say you shouldn't mix on them but I've found them to be more accurate than either of my sets of speakers/monitors.

I'm running them off my mixing desk so no problems with powering them.
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mikoo69
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#12
2nd April 2010
Old 2nd April 2010
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just got 702s actually. psyched.

who says you shouldnt mix on them>? why not?
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2nd April 2010
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Don't forget the 300 hours of pink noise and 10Hz-30kHz sine sweeps to break these beauties in!
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2nd April 2010
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suggestions on breakgin them oin....how much of a difference does it make? should i not start mixing on them until i break them in?

i can leave them going on my stereo 24/7 for the weekend
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3rd April 2010
Old 3rd April 2010
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Hi mikoo69,

It really will make a big difference. I noticed mine out of the box were closed, felt restricted, thin, and one dimensional. Even after 10 hours break in they will improve a lot. Give it a go and you'll see what I mean. After 2-300 hrs they will be completely different phones. Just leave them on as long as you can (also give them a rest for an hour every 24 at least) and take notes so you have a kind of history to look back on. They can go through several stages of break in, actually at around 250 hours or so if I remember correctly they start to sound worse again but quickly come back on form, so don't worry if that happens.

You probably won't be able to make important balance/tonal decisions before they're properly broken in. Any hours will help but I'd give them at least 100 as a start. Mine are at 400ish and in daily use even though I'm sure they're still not fully broken in yet - but they're done enough for serious work by now.

I used a playlist consisting of various sine sweeps and pink noise tracks, plus music tracks of different genres. You should probably set the play level at a moderate level first and increase it as the hours go by, but not too loud. The drivers on the K701 are pretty tough but they need to be taken care of until they've got a few hours on them.

Put them on something shaped like a head so the sound resonates inside the ear cups as it would on your head. This will soften up all parts of the phones. Leaving them open on a desk (allowing the sound to travel out from front and back) will probably only break the drivers in, which is ok, but it won't help to settle in the rest of the phones. It's the same principal as new guitars - you need to play them a lot for everything to resonate and the wood to settle in.

Let me know if you need any other help or info.

Cheers
Mark
mikoo69
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3rd April 2010
Old 3rd April 2010
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got it...though im going to have to do some basic mixing on them before i break em in, so i imagine they wont be totally useless right out of the box.

gonna try to break them in heavily this weekend so that next week i can get into a lot more detail in the mixes

thanks
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3rd April 2010
Old 3rd April 2010
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I have both K701 and the M50's and feel that they actually compliment each other very well..they're almost at opposite ends of the headphone spectrum in most regards..and as such,between the two of them you can get a pretty balanced picture of what's going on.

I would confidently mix just using these two cans.

Re:the K701's..and as has already been mentioned,there's nothing wrong yours they're just very inefficient headphones so will sound ALOT quieter than the M50's on identical settings..not a huge problem in general but you wouldn't want to use them straight out of your ipod for example.

I have a little-dot headphone amp which I use with mine,if necessary-very reasonable-(considering the crazy prices of some of them)-and works a treat!.

...the M50's,on the other hand,aren't fussy at all.

Re:burn in-I did a very similar thing to mark,various genre's,(with an emphasis on 'big',wide freq,dynamic productions)interspersed with white/pink noise..and gradually increasing in volume every couple of days.
I didn't actually use sweeps because I read somewhere they could potentially damage new phones if played too loud during burn in...but I know many people do use them..
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3rd April 2010
Old 3rd April 2010
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can someone explain to me why you would upgrade the cable on these headphones, especially when the upgrade cables cost more than the actual headphones themselves?
#19
3rd April 2010
Old 3rd April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
can someone explain to me why you would upgrade the cable on these headphones, especially when the upgrade cables cost more than the actual headphones themselves?
Because people want to sell them....

I would spend the money elsewhere if I were you.
#20
5th April 2010
Old 5th April 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
just got 702s actually. psyched.

who says you shouldnt mix on them>? why not?
You can. If someone says you can't, it's because they can't. If you have trained your ears, and are used to the atmosphere, you can damn well mix on headphones.

People who are dependent on a great set of near-field monitors won't be able to mix as well on phones because their ears are trained for the monitors.

However, you should always reference your mix on multiple stereos and sources. Never solely mix on headphones and then call it finished. You always need to double check on other audio sources.
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