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gbhsi1's picture
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AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Hi, been a while since I've been in this forum and my hi fi is still stored away as I currently have nowhere to put it so looking at upgrading my headphones for some 'me time' listening sessions. I currently have the Grado SR80's which I love albeit some comfort issues at times when my ears get too warm after a period of listening. I use my iPhone as the source directly or on my pure doc connected to the little dot 3 valve headphone amp. So your opinions on the above and any others that you can recommend would be really helpful in my final choice. I don't listen to dance music that much these days but more singer/songwriter, jazz, alternative stuff, rock and even dabble into black sabbath Smile I love the sound of my grado's but want something premium to caress my ears with lovely music! 

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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Hi, I've owned Grado SR80i, SR225i and AKG Q701's (Q701 is nearly identical to K7XX)

The AKG's are very different to the Grados. They are very neutral, extremely detailed and have a much larger soundstage than Grado's. I enjoyed them for a bit but after a while i found them i guess you could say a boring listen? IMO they are very thin sounding and when not paired with a capable amp sound silibant.

My Grados on the other hand i found much more enjoyable to listen to, they dont have the soundstage, and probably not quite as much detail as the AKG's but their presentation is much more enjoyable imo.

Another thing to consider is that your LD3 is an OTL amp so it wont suit well with all low impedence phones (Grado's are an exception as they have a high sensitivity) the AKG K7XX are quite current hungry, imo the LD3 wouldnt have the power to make them sing.

Might be worth looking into some higher impedence headphones as well as your LD3 is much better suited to them.

Good Luck! :cheers:

gbhsi1's picture
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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Thank you very much for your response Smile Grado I think will be my choice! I also do like the Hi Fi Man HE 400 - will they suit the ld3? 

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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Grado would be a great choice imo, even going from SR80 to SR225 is a nice upgrade. Their sound signatures are similar but the 225 has a better soundstage, more detail, and a "meatier" or "thicker" sound. I havent heard the 325's so cant comment on them.

The HE-400 is a lovely headphone you get that black background, super fast transients and INCREDIBLE bass but in stock form i find the upper mids to recessed, the sound signature was very weird before i modded mine, even with the mods they arent exactly the way i would like them but are a lot better. As far as amping goes the LD3 isnt reall optimal for them but might do ok, the HE-400 are also a low impedence headphone like the AKG's but they are one of the more efficient orthodynamics out there. I've had mine connected to my iphone a few times and they sounded decent, but defiantly sound a lot better with some power behind them.

Another thing a lot of people say about the HE-400 is they have a treble spike that can be fatiguing, before i swapped the stock rectifier in my WA-6 for an old philips 5AR4/GZ34 and modded mine i also noticed this but with the mods its close to in audible because the mod smoothens out the peaks in their frequency response. Once i swapped my rectifier it made them even better but i suspect it was the stock rectifier that was making them still have a fatiguing treble. Here's a link to the mods i did to mine.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/646812/hifiman-he500-he400-jergpad-mod-v2-5-modulor-orders-updated-december

http://www.head-fi.org/t/619447/hifiman-regrilling-mod

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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Hi gbshi1, have you tried the different positions for the jumpers in your LD3? I guess you're aware of the changes attainable with different valves, too? Have you checked out the LD forum? I had an LD3, but fed it via Naim amps, listened on Alessandro phones, so more power than from I-phone, but I was happy with the sound, but my ears were 60 years old, so less sensitive than yours, perhaps.

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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

yeah I know that you can try different jumpers depending wha valves you use! my concern with the Grado's is comfort...the SR80's are not that comfortable for longer listening periods - my ears get too hot...I am using the full covered foam pads..will the open ones be better? thinking of the German Maestro gmp 400 - is the LD3 okay to power the headphones?

gbhsi1's picture
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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

alright, just checked the manual and the grado are classed as low impedance/low sensitivity is that correct? so both switches should be off...I'll check tomorrow ...going to bed now! 

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RE: AKG 701or 702 or Grado SR325i's?

Actually listening to the grado's through LD3 and noticed that both switches off results in too much gain (10) so settled on a gain of 4 and it's music to my ears ...still want new headphones Smile and I'm seriously looking at the German maestro!! 

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