AKG K501 Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, May 26, 2016.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    @Claritas made these available to me for impressions and measurements. I think @Tyll Hertsens forwarded them. Thanks guys!

    These look like classic AKGs with their usual suspension band (which I think Mr Speaker's cans emulate). They are gray and black, which I like. The cans are elegant and lite. They offer ample room for ones ears and are relatively comfy, though the pads on these may be a little stiff.

    [​IMG]

    From AKG's page, these seem discontinued and are said to sport "varimotion" diaphragm: http://www.akglife.com/varimotion

    IMO the sound is a bit lean with some bright peaky tendencies. The overall balance is fine, but some songs get pretty annoying with these. Let's say I enjoyed Yellow River with these, but not California Dreaming.

    So some dudes at Headphonereviews give these high marks on mids detail and quality. I agree. Low marks on pretty much everything bass. I agree. High marks on treble. I disagree. Too annoying.

    Could recommend if one is into collecting cans. Cannot recommend in terms of audio quality.

    Measurements:

    Frequency Response

    AKG_K501_fr.png

    Distortion Right

    AKG_K501_dist_right.png

    Distortion Left

    AKG_K501_dist_left.png

    CSD Right

    AKG_K501_csd_right.png

    CSD Left

    AKG_K501_csd_left.png

    Again, thanks to @Claritas and @Tyll Hertsens for letting me take a listen.
     
  2. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Add some K601 pads and you get more bass, less peaks.

    A good match with an amplifier and this headphone can sound better than expected.
     
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  3. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    I enjoyed a lot of my classical music through these before I entered Stax world. I remember liking these a lot more than the K701 at the time, which was very nasal sounding in comparison. I'm sure that the K7xx are much better in regards to this..

    I would say that this is one of the better AKG headphones that I have listened to, although there are better choices now since these are out of production and kind of rare.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
  4. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

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    Thanks @ultrabike for measuring it. Tyll's measurements are available here.

    K501 holds a special place for me because it was my first real phone back in the late 90s. This is my second pair, which sounds very similar: slightly shorter soundstage, sweeter mids. I still love its pads more than any others, except HD800; this pair of pads is stiffer only because they're fresh NOS.

    It's best with solo tenors/altos and orchestral works. HD6x0 is more even tonally and is better picking out small details, though K501 has a larger stage and better spatial accuracy. DAC resolution is somewhat less of a priority, and it does sound best with amps that have a little warmth and body. Vali 1 seems to do the trick.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
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  5. Aklegal

    Aklegal Acquaintance

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    Ahhh, the K501s. I loved my old pair. They were a great complement to the HD650s. I sold mine along with all of my headphone stuff back in 2007 when I began to focus on speakers. I only got $120 bucks for it and I regret selling them. They are not perfect but with a powerful amp the midrange is to die for. I think they might be the second most power hungry AKGs after the K1000s. They are the main reason I try random pairs of AKGs every now and then just hoping to hear that magic again.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
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  6. Dreyka

    Dreyka Acquaintance

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    How does the K501 differ from the K500?
     
  7. JonCharles

    JonCharles Friend

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    I think that the 501 is the newer version that has varimotion drivers while the 500 doesn't. Never personally listened to the K500.
     
  8. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Headphonia made a write up about it (K500 vs K501) here: http://www.headfonia.com/akg-k500-k501/

    One thing they mention that I did not is that these are hard to drive.

    I don't think bass will improve on these if you use this or that amp though. But things can be underpowered depending on what is driving these.

    IMO mids are good.
     
  9. dBel84

    dBel84 Friend

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    Interesting to see measurements. "Back in the day" these were deacribed as having 'sucked out mids' , i never felt this fwiw. It is the only dynamic headphone i kept yhrough all the years although i did regret selling the HD580 (which at the time was the TOL) . My K501 are significantly modded / damped with pad mods. Bass is actually quite decent and they sound more balanced to my ears, treble does not fatigue.

    I would rate them similarly to my modded HD600. The Studio Reference from a decade ago can still sound very decent.

    ..dB
     
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  10. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

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    The magic died with Harman.
     
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  11. Dhruvmeena96

    Dhruvmeena96 Rando

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    well, it didnt died.

    actually if you mod AKG k550 mk3 with solderdude method.

    it makes akg k550mk3 sounds like akg k500 in clarity and soundstage(i think k550 have more stage and clarity) but giving the more bass than akg k501 with natural extension. Decay rates are way better on this new set and it images better than both set.

    plus k550 family is closed set, so it isolates and that too very good after mods.

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/pzbaqy8nuek1kkq

    download it from here
     
  12. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich Rando

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    I feel the same, been listening to some newer AKG models and I've really been kinda disappointed. I think I might settle on a k702 as an upgrade over the old akg monitor I have
     

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