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Thread: AKG K501 + Stan's TC-7520 = ?????

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 529
    I'm Chris.

    Default AKG K501 + Stan's TC-7520 = ?????

    If anybody is using, or has used, a pair of AKG K501 headphones I'd be interested in your opinions.

    I bought a pair of Senn HD595 new for half-price about 18 months ago. I didn't have a dedicated headphone amp and they are easy to drive and were thought to be decent all rounders. I've enjoyed using them with Stan's TC-7520 (fitted with LM4562NA) but they are little dark for me, and perhaps not especially suited to classical music.

    The K501 would only be availabe s/hand, but you do see the ocassional pair on sale. My main questions are:

    1. Do they deserve their “concert hall headphones” label?

    2. At 120ohm will the Stan DAC/headphone amp be able to drive them adequately?

    3. They are supposedly bass shy, does this really matter in the case of listening to classical music?

    4. Should I just keep saving, assuming I live long enough, for a pair of K701?

    Over to you ...
    Chris

    Stuff

    1. Linux PC with onboard HDA SB/ALC892 24/192 optical S/PDIF and/or USB > TC-7520 (Gator + LM4562NA) > Quad 306 > AVI Neutron 3
    2. Rotel RCD 965BX > TC-7520 ( Gator + LM4562NA) > Hd595
    3. Rpi B+/HifiDigi B+ (with isolation transformer) Running "SqueezeOnArch" - https://github.com/SqueezeOnArch
    Nonsense
    1. Belkin Pure AV (white) phono, Belkin Pure AV (silver) USB, QEd 79-strand speaker cable.
    2. MG belden digital co-ax

  2. #2
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: Cricklewood

    Posts: 9,079
    I'm ILOB.

    Default

    Chris
    Ahh really interesting I had a 701 and now have a HD595 and I am a lot more happier with it
    A lot more fun and eaiser to drive but the 701 is more refined
    Loves anything from Pain of Salvation to Jeff Buckley to Django to Sarasate to Surinder Sandhu to Shawn Lane to Nick Drake to Rush to Beth Hart to Kate Bush to Rodrigo Y Gabriela to The Hellecasters to Dark Sanctury to Ben Harper to Karicus to Dream Theater to Zero Hour to Al DiMeola to Larry Carlton to Derek Trucks to Govt Mule to?

    Humour: One of the few things worth taking seriously

  3. #3
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Southport, Merseyside

    Posts: 140
    I'm Nigel.

    Default

    I love the K501, they are the second best headphones I've ever used.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 529
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Nigel,

    How do/did you drive them, and what kind of music do you listen to?
    Chris

    Stuff

    1. Linux PC with onboard HDA SB/ALC892 24/192 optical S/PDIF and/or USB > TC-7520 (Gator + LM4562NA) > Quad 306 > AVI Neutron 3
    2. Rotel RCD 965BX > TC-7520 ( Gator + LM4562NA) > Hd595
    3. Rpi B+/HifiDigi B+ (with isolation transformer) Running "SqueezeOnArch" - https://github.com/SqueezeOnArch
    Nonsense
    1. Belkin Pure AV (white) phono, Belkin Pure AV (silver) USB, QEd 79-strand speaker cable.
    2. MG belden digital co-ax

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Southport, Merseyside

    Posts: 140
    I'm Nigel.

    Default

    Hi,

    I used them powered by a Graham Slee Solo. Musical tastes include, prog rock, smooth jazz, fusion, new wave, soul, jazz funk, classic rock.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: http://www.homehifi.co.uk

    Posts: 6,283

    Default

    I drive a set of K701 on my modded Caiman without any bass shyness. I read many times that the K701/TC-7520 sounds very similar to the Graham Slee. So I reckon that the Caiman and modded Caiman are an improvement over the Graham Slee. Anyone compared the Caiman to the Graham Slee?

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 529
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Thanks Stan, but it's the K501 headphone a need feedback on. I think the K701 is a different beast with lower nominal impedance etc. I'm sure your kit will cope fine, but some user experience would be re-assuring.
    Chris

    Stuff

    1. Linux PC with onboard HDA SB/ALC892 24/192 optical S/PDIF and/or USB > TC-7520 (Gator + LM4562NA) > Quad 306 > AVI Neutron 3
    2. Rotel RCD 965BX > TC-7520 ( Gator + LM4562NA) > Hd595
    3. Rpi B+/HifiDigi B+ (with isolation transformer) Running "SqueezeOnArch" - https://github.com/SqueezeOnArch
    Nonsense
    1. Belkin Pure AV (white) phono, Belkin Pure AV (silver) USB, QEd 79-strand speaker cable.
    2. MG belden digital co-ax

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: South Lincolnshire

    Posts: 271
    I'm Garry.

    Cool

    Hi Chris,
    I've just stumbled over this thread. I use the K501's and I have just bought a Caiman Stanbox. The Caiman set about 1 to 2 o clock numbs my ears using the K501's!!! Unless you want to 'ding' your ear drums the Stanbox/K501's achieves more than adequate sound levels. However, if it is deep bass you want forget it. It is Grado or Seinheiser's if you want that level of very deep base. I think the K501's give a very balanced sound with a very open and airy mid range. The K501's are better suited to classical music, acoustic / smooth jazz and give a very open presentation through the Stanbox. I heard a concert recording this morning on Radio 3 that really was frighteningly real!!My Bill Evans CD 'Live at the Village Vanguard' was outstanding. However on BBC 6Music the combination sounded 'confused' on loud rock/new music. I personally can recommend the Stanbox/K501's if it is classical / light jazz music you wish to listen to.
    The K701's are also good with that airey mid range but did not give me that same experience when tried some time ago via a Creek headphone amp.
    Hope this helps
    Garry

  9. #9
    Join Date: Mar 2009

    Location: London UK

    Posts: 529
    I'm Chris.

    Default

    Thanks for your feedback, which seems to confirm the K501 reputation as “concert hall headphones” suited to classical music. I'm not sure I'm ever going to find a pair now though.
    Chris

    Stuff

    1. Linux PC with onboard HDA SB/ALC892 24/192 optical S/PDIF and/or USB > TC-7520 (Gator + LM4562NA) > Quad 306 > AVI Neutron 3
    2. Rotel RCD 965BX > TC-7520 ( Gator + LM4562NA) > Hd595
    3. Rpi B+/HifiDigi B+ (with isolation transformer) Running "SqueezeOnArch" - https://github.com/SqueezeOnArch
    Nonsense
    1. Belkin Pure AV (white) phono, Belkin Pure AV (silver) USB, QEd 79-strand speaker cable.
    2. MG belden digital co-ax

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2009

    Location: Chesterfield

    Posts: 140
    I'm Robert.

    Default

    I've been quite happy with my Grados, and just pulled the trigger on some SR-325is
    Rob

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