Best type of wire for re-cabling AKG 701's .. anyone do this?


2010-09-17 2:55 pm
Has anyone done their own cables on 701's or something similar? I've built my own speaker connects using doubled up cryo'd 12 gauge in a twisted configuration. I am quite pleased with the results, but obviously the requirements of the smaller headphone drivers will be different ... if not just in scale.

Please share. Photo's would be great!

Watch out for increased distortion

I know I'm way late on this response, but lots of people have recabled their AKG's but I'm not a fan of it unless I'm going for something like a fixed 1/4" plug for increased channel seperation. The reason I'm not a fan of it is because it actually increases distortion. AKG's have the lowest distortion cables I've ever seen measured.

A quick example is seen in the charts at HeadRoom's test lab where they've recabled an AKG K701 from SE to differential (balanced) with some nice >$200 cables and actually increased harmonic distortion over the stock cable. Although you may like that new sound, just know what you're getting.


2003-11-26 6:33 pm
@ Homil: well it was more yellowing greyish rubbery insulation than anything else and the connectors were your typical moulded plastic and tin; hardly reference even as stock cables go. the last set i recabled was actually hardwired from memory, so the version before the mini XLR. the best stock cables i've come across have been the DX1000 and HD800

and yes the customer specified 2 x 3 pin XLR to suit his amps. i modified to dual entry as well


  • 9' twcu balanced K701 recable.jpg
    9' twcu balanced K701 recable.jpg
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as far as my preferences, i like to keep it pretty simple, high quality wire, low capacitance construction and practical. dont overdo it on shielding, it rarely makes much difference with headphone cables so its not worth the trade off with flexibility/weight in my book and these 2 factors impact on transparency (as far as the headphones disappearing) as much as anything. i dont have an across the board preference, though my leanings are more towards copper


2003-11-26 6:33 pm
@ Homil: well it was more yellowing greyish rubbery insulation than anything else and the connectors were your typical moulded plastic and tin; hardly reference even as stock cables go.

Thanks for describing your experience. Sounds like you ran into some low quality pre-fab stuff.

The Canare L-4E5C star quad cable that I noted comes in bulk and of good quality construction and material.

Here is a photo of the cable. It is about 4.8mm outside diameter.
Give it a try, it is not an expensive cable as DIY parts goes.

hehe yeah as someone who recables headphones for a living, ive worked with starquad. personally i only ever use it if someone specifically asks for it and even then i discourage it. right there you have a crosstalk problem, starquad was never designed for stereo, its a microphone cable and for that it works very well. if you must go for a prefab cable and a shielded one, try to ensure its got 2 individually shielded twisted pairs.
Here is what I gathered from using different cables over the years and help from other people:

Canare Starquad Cable - Good cheap cable that will add better sound than the cheap stock cable, but not that much better.

Mogami 2534 Cable - Adds warmth and better sound quality to your phones. I think this would be an excellent match for the K701 since they are already bright and using this will increase details as well as give them that extra quality.

Silver Teflon Cable - I use this for a lot of my headphone re-cabling. It adds a little brightness to the signature, but I think it also adds the most details and quality to the music better. If you can find a way to tune down the brightness on the K701 you could use this. It's also as cheap as the Starquad. I am using this to re-cable my custom T50RP in wooden cups as well as other phones like IEMs.
i actually found their cable to be a piece of crap, but hey what do i know

and if you got it fro Johns 'silver' wire shop, its also silver plated copper, not silver. he doesnt have a single product that is silver wire and tbh assuming you are indeed talking about him, dont even think about doing your iems, the microphony is over the top

qusp.. can you tell me what you mean by "dont even think about doing your iems, the microphony is over the top"?

iem cables are particularly prone to microphony, ie. vibrations against clothing, buttons, te cable itself, movements etc are transmitted up the cable and cause noise in your ears, iems are the worst because they are directly coupled to your ears and they are sealed (think eating with iems) his wire is one of the worst, if not THE worst wire i have ever encountered due to the rather stiff and thick teflon coating. its bad enough on headphones, iems would be nuts.
yeah well thats not really much of a parallel is it? the q701 is a full size, fully open back headphone, provided you sleeve the wire its probably not going to be bad. the problem arises mostly with closed headphones, or worst case scenario is IEMs as they are sealed and you have bone conduction as well.

i like copper with the AKGs, i would use something like TWCu, but that might be above your budget.
I am talking about John's wire. I forgot it was silver plated copper, it's still better than copper I think. Anyways, I already re-cabled a set of RE-0's that were torn apart with it and they worked fine. The microphony wasn't that bad at all. Nothing worse than stock. What I did notice is that they were very harshly bright and the highs were piercing. This is what I think will be the exact same thing if you try to use wire like this with the K701. They will be almost unbearable to listen to and think someone is piercing your ears with a needle inside. So I would suggest using the Mogami 2534. A ton of people use it to re-cable their headphones like the K701. It's high quality and doesn't cost much at all. Under $20 for a 10 foot long cable. It is also quite heavy and thick. I think the starquad is much light and probably not that different in overall sound quality. Mogami is just made better.


2012-10-02 7:30 am