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"Breaking In" AKG 701s?

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"Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Sandy Hackney » Tue Jun 08, 2010 4:49 pm

I just received my AKG 701 headphones based on the many positive statements about them on the Forum. Both with my organ and my stereo they sound fantastic. There was a raving review of them on Amazon where I bought them and he claimed that they "are the finest headphones you can find", but they need to be broken in for 300 hours. Further, he put his in a drawer, with Oregon's "Out of the Woods" on repeat for 10 days! Then he claimed they were truly heavenly. Is this real or an urban myth? Thank you.

Sandy Hackney
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Grant_Youngman » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:01 pm

Sandy Hackney wrote:There was a raving review of them on Amazon where I bought them and he claimed that they "are the finest headphones you can find", but they need to be broken in for 300 hours.


That's ridiculous. Just use them. These same experts will spend thousands of $$ for power cables to improve "clarity" or something, ignoring the fact they just plug into the same lousy house wiring the desk lamp is using :-)
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Sandy Hackney » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:30 pm

Thanks Grant - I figured the same (but I did want to check collective wisdom.)
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby kiwiplant » Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:45 pm

Was wondering what headphone amplifier you are using with the 701 ? I read that it requires an amp with special specifications but I don't understand what all the electronic stuff means.

Thanks,
Paul
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Sandy Hackney » Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:00 pm

Well... I am not too strong on electronics either. I ran the 701 out of my Rodgers headphone jack (had to turn down the input a bit) and in my stereo I just plugged it in and went. As we used to say, "Fab"!
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Grant_Youngman » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:04 pm

kiwiplant wrote:Was wondering what headphone amplifier you are using with the 701 ? I read that it requires an amp with special specifications but I don't understand what all the electronic stuff means.

Thanks,
Paul


I use a little Behringer with a "balance" control because my hearing is lopsided. It's an AMP 800 Mini Amp. Nothing special about it at all other than the fact that it lets me "center" the audio, and was cheap :-)
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Cooky » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:55 am

I have read enough serious articles on "breaking in" high quality headphones - such as AKG701s - to suggest that there is some virtue in the practice, especially if your ears are up to discerning an at best subtle improvement in quality. My ears are not that good, and my AKG K66 headphones are probably too cheap to bother anyway. I look forward with much excitement to having mine achieve their very best about a week before they break.

The other possibility is that "breaking in" is a test for entry into the Secret Society of Audiophiles(SSA).
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby telemanr » Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:21 pm

I broke my in because I'm Canadian and Canadians always read the manual and follow all instructions without question.
We are not to be confused with sheep though. They have four legs.
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Jun 09, 2010 4:22 pm

Why should we think that 300 hours of break-in would result in improved sound rather than degradation? Seriously, if breaking in a speaker or set of headphones results in significantly different sound then there is a manufacturing defect that would need to be addressed.

This is right up there with "monstous cables" and my favorite, the old Wurlitzer speaker which amounted to a horn driver coupled to a trombone bell -- yeah, really!
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Grant_Youngman » Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:30 pm

The same people that are going to try to sucker you into a $5000 headphone amp for your AKG's will try to sell you several of these power strips.

http://www.stereotimes.com/access111208a.shtml

A bargain at only $2250 for a 4-outlet power strip. But I guess the "more robust and concrete" the 8' Principal sounds the better, when your amps are plugged into something that "releases ... far infrared waves, negative ions, and absorb[es] EMI". And don't forget to purchase these baseplates for your wall power outlets to minimize "power vibration" and improve "throbbing pulse" -- http://www.acoustic-revive.com/english/cb1/cb1_01.html. Another bargain at only $325 each.

The phrase "a fool and his money ...." comes to mind ... but enough audiophoolery! :roll: :D :D
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby kiwiplant » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:23 pm

If I remember right the special amp is needed because the 701 headphones have high or low impedance or something.. ???? The spec sheet says "Nominal Impedance: 62 ohms"

Here are some comments about it I found online.

"They are very difficult to pair with other gear as they are reactive due mainly perhaps to their lack of efficiency but also perhaps due their impedance. You would definitely get better performance with a headphone amp designed to drive them."

"Eventhough rated at 62ohms, they seemed to be be requiring more power than the average headphone with the same load impedance."

"My personal experience with the AKG K701 is that it sounds best when driven by an output impedance between 62 to 68 ohms, for example."

There is a facebook group for K-701. Maybe I can filter the 99.99999999999999999999 % copper wire fluff and giant $40000.00 stereo tube amplifier stuff out of the postings and make sense of what matters regarding the impedance.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=6702606402

Anyone know what all this impedance stuff is about? I wish I knew what it all meant... there would be a K-701 or K-702 here being happily used here if I could figure out the amp.

Huge Thanks,
Paul
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby Sandy Hackney » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:24 pm

Wow! I like those power strips - and so cheap for all the value. Thank you so much. My bank will give me yet another home equity loan for my (insane) purchases. Happiness is only another $1000 away!!!

Sandy Hackney
Easton, NY

All kidding aside, sometimes you need to ask these questions and learn from our friends and colleagues. Thank you!!
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby jkinkennon » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:44 pm

BTW, no one is knocking the AKG 701s. Great company, and so far as I've heard a great set of headphones.

Regarding, impedance ratings, I checked on my Sony MDR7506 phones and surprise (!), they are rated at 63 ohms. They are widely used in the industry, though I'm not that fond of them or any headphones that I've tried. There are times when an impedance match is really important, like in RF transmission and for maximum power transfer, and in some cases just to keep an output circuit happy and not smoking. If a headphone amp can't handle 63 ohms, or 20, or 600 ohms then there is a design issue. ...but not a $40,000 design issue!!
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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby pwhodges » Thu Jun 10, 2010 4:03 am

kiwiplant wrote:Anyone know what all this impedance stuff is about?
Well, in the quotes you copy - rubbish.

kiwiplant wrote:"They are very difficult to pair with other gear as they are reactive due mainly perhaps to their lack of efficiency but also perhaps due their impedance. You would definitely get better performance with a headphone amp designed to drive them."
Higher quality equipment is often less efficient; this is a result of damping resonances and suchlike. This impedance is mid-range, and will be handled by any general-purpose headphone amp (i.e "one designed to drive them"!). Note that some headphone amps are intended for portable use with low-impedance headphones of high sensitivity designed for use with battery-driven devices, and so may not be able to provide the drive required.

"Even though rated at 62ohms, they seemed to be be requiring more power than the average headphone with the same load impedance."
Impedance is not a measure of sensitivity. All this comment and the previous one are saying is that a sufficiently powerful amp is required - this is hardly surprising.

"My personal experience with the AKG K701 is that it sounds best when driven by an output impedance between 62 to 68 ohms, for example."
Power amplifiers are expected to have an output impedance of a fraction of an ohm; a higher output impedance will damage the fidelity, as the speaker/headphone assumes a low impedance output by design. This writer is simply confused, and can be ignored.

There is nothing arcane in the design of amplifiers, whatever the golden-ear pundits would like you to think. It is (or should be) a straightforward engineering process.

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Re: "Breaking In" AKG 701s?

Postby David Pinnegar » Sat Jun 12, 2010 2:57 pm

Hi!

For years I have been playing around with some immitable well known exotic drive units to which the very cheap units that I sell and use in dozens for my organ aspire to well but with which they cannot compare.

The expensive brand do not use the usual conertina cloth spiders holding the voice coil in place nor rubber, cloth or paper for the cone edge surrounds. They use a thin foam which inevitably disintegrates in the course of time but can last for one or two decades . . . These foams start out stiff and the instructions are to "run them in" for 30 hours or so. During this period the stiffness disappears and I guess that on a microscopic scale, the vibrations loosen chemical bonds and allow stretching in one direction in a way in which gross stretching would only result in tearing. The "running in" has to be at "ordinary" volumes, the implication that high volumes would not achieve the same effect.

These particular units are highly efficient and if used in the correct enclosures can be quite deafening at 3W, 30W being enough to fill an auditorium. Obviously with such microsensitivity, usual listening level requiring no more than 0.1W, freedom of movement of the cone, flexibility of movement of the foam spiders and surrounds is paramount.

So "running in" headphones may well not at all be a myth.

Incidentally on 3rd July the EOCS has its Southern meeting here in Sussex. We'll no doubt be playing with all sorts of organ toys but I have invited one or two Hauptwerkians to bring portable setups to try out different speaker solutions. One of these will be an Ultra Fi solution which I'm going to try to see if we can get away with cheaper units and enclosures for organs as well as some exotic "flowerpots" which I need to pick up from Nottingham in the meantime. Another will be my solidified pike of ice-cream that produced very funny looks when I carried it through London railway stations to demonstrate at the London national meeting of the EOCS. Another configuration involves my cheap units in an open baffle backed up with a boxed woofer for 16ft and lower stops. This could work well for nearfield requirements in small rooms.

Best wishes

David P
http://www.organmatters.co.uk
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