With this innovative headphone design, the AKG engineers in Vienna have moved the whole ear-speaker concept forwards, and upwards, both in terms of price they are nearly four times more expensive than AKG's previous top model and standards of spatial sound reproduction.
Clapping conventional headphones over our ears has always involved serious compromises. Traditional closed-back types the oldest approach have the potential to produce the firmest bass response and can be equipped with circumaural ear-pads to exclude outside noises. Yet they tend to generate dimensional cavity resonances in the midrange and, with almost no left-right ear crosstalk, they produce an overly divided sound picture from stereo recordings: the voices and instruments become concentrated in the two ears with any mid-stage images lodged inside the head or, worse still, at the back of the neck.
When open-backed and ultra-light head phone designs first appeared a couple of decades ago, they were widely welcomed for their more spacious soundfield, and they remain firm favourites with many stereo aficionados. The fact that the diaphragms are free to radiate outwards, as well as inwards towards the ear, gives some time-delayed crosstalk of left channel signals to the right ear and vice versa. This is a better approximation to the situation of listening to a pair of spaced loudspeakers, for which the recordings were balanced, where both ears hear the sounds from both loudspeakers including a slight time delay from each loudspeaker to the more remote and shadowed ear.
Accordingly most people find that open-back headphones produce less o that claustrophobic in-the-head effect. On the other hand, open-back headphones have a number of serious drawbacks: they are generally less full in the bass; they fail to exclude outside sounds; and they can radiate tinny sounds strongly enough to annoy people in the vicinity.
Thus we come back to that word I began with: compromises. There is another drawback inherent in both of these types of headphone.Pnv asx announcements
Since they are held so close to the ear, the filtering or response shaping introduced by our cleverly contoured pinna, or outer ear, is more or less eliminated. We therefore lose that individualized characteristic to which we have unconsciously grown accustomed over the years, and this robs the signals of some directional information and a lot of their naturalness.
This new K design incorporates stand-off pads at each end of the headband. These hold the entire earpiece assembly about 20mm away from the ear so that the plane waves from the diaphragm encounter all the nooks and crannies of the pinna and are thus 'processed' on their way to the eardrum very much as nature intended.
At the same time the inter-aural crosstalk is increased to dB, enhancing the desired binaural, i. As a bonus, the earpieces are mounted on a swivel suspension, like wing mirrors on a car, enabling the user to choose from a wide range of angles.
Aimed most directly at the ears, the system gives maximum definition and immediacy. Progressively increasing the backwards angle has the effect of opening out the sound stage and putting a controllable distance between you and the nearest performers-the first time that this has been offered as a user option.
The transducers use the basic dynamic moving-coil principle in preference to the other, seemingly more esoteric, electrostatic and orthodynamic distributed magnet types. However, a new topography has been worked out to give maximum transparency, i. The diaphragm with its attached coil vibrates inside a radial magnet system built up from short high-flux neodymium bar magnets set inside a circular channel. Piston-like motion, free of break-up modes, is encouraged by assembling the 7 micron thick diaphragm from four layers of plastics foil, with elastic damping intermediate layers and a coating over the whole of the same hard organic varnish used by the famous old master violin-makers.Modded AKG K1000 super short cable
The coil former is a ring of incredibly thin 80 microns aluminium, which is fabricated on a computer-controlled machine, and acts as a heatsink. The response has been optimized for free-field operation, i. The transducer element is suspended in a square frame of light but strong fibre-filled plastics within an open-weave metal basket front and back. The minimalist headband comprises two red coated steel strips, terminating in plastic blocks. These carry two soft pads which press lightly on the temples and hold the earpieces away from the head as already mentioned.
The front pad is fixed but the rear one can be adjusted fore and aft to suit the wearer's head and provide maximum comfort. A self-adjusting inner headband rests on top of the head. The two-core oxygen-free copper signal cable divides to enter each earpiece via the bottom front corner. This cable is 2 metres long and is terminated in a 4-pin XLR plug. Some professional locations may be able to use this plug direct but the system comes complete with a thicker 3-metre oxygen-free extension lead made for AKG by Monster Cable having a matching XLR line socket at one end and ready-tinned bare wires at the other.
This is where I have to explain that the K sensitivity is too low to be driven satisfactorily from the conventional headphones outlet. The wire end s should be fitted with appropriate 4mm banana plugs or inserted direct into the amplifier's loudspeaker terminals or binding posts.
This will present no problems with an amplifier already having alternative A and B pairs of output terminals. With a single output amplifier, you will need to change plugs or buy a proprietary changeover switch-box. I gather that AKG are now marketing a suitable unit and are also claiming that the cord can be extended by a further 7 metres with no signal degradation.
However, for such a listener AKG have produced an absolute winner which in my opinion leaps straight into the front rank and even rivals the legendary Stax electrostatics. Bass and treble extend smoothly to the limits of hearing, except for mild roll-off in that elusive bottom octave, and the midrange response is remarkably steady and free of peaks or dips.However, all these reviews were dated betweentimes when MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice were the music playing on the radio.
The limited quality of the driver ultimately has consequences across the board. First and foremost is the ability of the K to separate instruments in the music. In busy music passages, the instruments and vocals are fighting to earn the spotlight. Surprising, given the fact that the HD in itself does not have a particularly new driver.
The open soundscape gives a false impression that every instrument posses a distinct location of its own. There is no separation horizontally, nor front and back.
The aging driver also hurts the soundstage image in a big way. Again, the spacious presentation of the K tend to mislead here. However, an open and spacious sound is not the same as a good soundstage reproduction. The soundstage image is actually very flat. There is no depth, there is no three dimensionality, and there is no front and back with the K Not only that, but the ambiance present on the recording is totally missing.
In this aspect, you can take a closed headphone with a closed in sound, and still find that the soundstage image is much better than what you find on the K None of the amplifiers can do anything to alleviate the problem of an aging driver. The fact is that vintage drivers, regardless of driver type, are limited to the roughly same resolution, soundstage, and frequency extension issues, and likewise the K is no exception.Vanavond english translations
Mike, do you still have the K with you? What were the serial numbers of the units you tested? If the Jaben unit was unopened, most likely it was a very late model. I failed to take note of the serial numbers. But even if they update the drivers on the bass-light models, how much of an upgrade would it be?
Thanks for the review. I also happen to have one. Never try to push him with a headphone amplifier. A great read! I wish that more headphones would use that hanging arch design headband. Especially the new orthodynamics which are notorious for being heavy. I agree actually! I were also surprised to find close to zero depth in the soundstage image after reading all the positive reviews. I, like you, also found the separation to be only average.
Overall, the HD is the king of soundstaging with the much more three-dimensional imaging and separation. Actually reading the reviews, it seems the PFR beats the K in most aspects except the pleasure to have a wonderful vintage object which I can understand but has nothing to do with sound quality. How would you develop the comparison? The PFR-V1 has a closed-back housing. It was more like a headphone with a consumer-oriented tuning, V-shaped, and all the limitations associated with a small driver size.I was actually quite surprised to find how the K delivers a very convincing, tight, impactful upper-mid bass.
The weakness, obviously is going to be on the mid and low bass section. One reason is the open frame design which makes it hard for low frequencies to survive, and the other I feel is the limited low frequency extension of the drivers. However, although the K is rather limited in mid to low bass, I never once have the impression that the headphone is light at the bottom, or lean, or thin sounding.
However, with the majority of recordings I tried it with, the K was just nasty on the upper mid. Add this to the fact that the driver can barely resolve any moderately-paced modern recording, and you know that the K only shines with laid-back, one instrument recordings like Mozart Piano Sonatas. Overall, the K has a straightforward sound presentation. Forward vocals, forward instruments, punchy bass, and a moderately good PRaT.
The issue that I have is that everything lies on one flat plane. There absolutely is no layers on the music. Even with a deep-soundstage recording like Jazz in the Pawnshop, you never really feel the layering in spite of the wide open K soundscape.
You can only imagine how the layering compresses to almost a point of singularity when given the average recording quality.
The AKG K1000 Bass Heavy Earspeaker
The nice thing about the open frame design is that you have no sweaty, uncomfortable pads to worry about. However, the cushions that hold the K in place is actually very uncomfortable to wear, even for short periods of time. The cushion pads presses really hard against your skull and it makes the K quite uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. How should I conclude this review?
When you buy a K, along with the headphones you will get a nice black wooden box, a set of manuals, and an XLR to speaker taps cable for driving the K off speaker amps. But more than that, the K comes with a huge celebrity headphone status permanently attached to it, as well as all the limitations of its vintage drivers.
The open frame design makes it unique among the sea of other headphones, and its performance may have been the best in its day. Mike, do you still have the K with you?
What were the serial numbers of the units you tested? If the Jaben unit was unopened, most likely it was a very late model. I failed to take note of the serial numbers.Live long enough in America. You'll risk terminal immunity to hyperbole.
For example, cross the remote Sonoran desert and stop at any crummy no-man's diner for some greasy chow. You're liable to order the World's Best chili con carne with corn bread. Going an illegal 70mph, you probably missed this wonder because it took all of 10 seconds to pass through. So much for absolutes. You wonder whether, for anything approaching sane dough versus fanatical excess, something better exists, somewhere, somehow. No credible reviewer should pretend to know for sure.
Still, with the wooden Sony MDR-R10 discontinued and the Grado RS-1 and Sennheiser HD in-house for direct comparison -- generally regarded as the two best currently available dynamic headphones in the money-matters arena -- I could make a reasonably educated guess. I needed to demonstrate the integrated's tubular headphone output with some world-class cans at CES.
I wanted something to attract showgoers already on looks and rarity. The Ks fit the bill to a dime. Darn, I shoulda read the specs before ordering up though. They are fitted with a 4-pin XLR connected tail that terminates in four high-level amplifier leads.
This scheme didn't gel with my -- carefully -- hatched plans. And while I drooled over the sound via the amp's speaker terminals, disconnecting the speaker leads each time I wanted to demonstrate headphones was out.
I stuck with my wooden Grados and loved them faithfully ever since. Still, I never forgot the K's phenomenal performance. Years passed. My hair turned gray.Sandmeier weine aarburg
My hearing declined. I grabbed the only job left under these desperate circumstances - audio reviewing. More years passed. All my sane friends left. I turned lonely loony? Then headphone maniac Tyll Hertsens of HeadRoom promised to enter my crater-ridden but rarefied low-G domicile. He suggested a Maxed-Out Home amp and Senn s for the occasion. A quick perusal of his site and -- Eureka!
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ChrisHolland 5. Pros : Amazing mid range, voices shine and sing. The soundstage is very wide and natural. With classical music, jazz and acoustic pop unbeatable, but also excellent with all types of music. To me still one of the best head phones ever made, independent of the price and closest to the best speakers you can buy.
Cons : It requires strong amps, so give it the best you can afford. I personally think that tube equipment brings the best out of it. Due to the construction and the required power not really suitable for outdoors.
I bought my K more than 20 years ago. It replaced a Stax combination which I owned for multiple years. It is the bass-heavy version, serial number with the black box. For many years I used it in different settings. I agree with the remarks in this forum, it needs strong amps, so I used it connected to the second speaker output of amps like Luxman and Octave. The soundstage and the resolution, especially with Jazz and Classical music was amazing.
When was it first made? Who developed it? Were there predecessors?Super wide soundstage. A great fit — quite a unique headband design, yet simple. Linearity from a good quality speaker with the most open design of them all. Adjustable sound signature — just move the earspeakers towards or away from your ears as your mood dictates.
A simple hinge but what a difference it makes to the sound. Old means fragile. Old means inheriting problems. As I did. Needs lots of power. A speaker amp is needed.
No spares are available in the World. If it goes wrong, you are in trouble! This is a brief story. I shall attempt to explain to you how the impossible was not only dreamt of, but subsequently asked and then, to my amazement, was achieved. Having these now, back with me, believe me folks; these headphones are a sight for sore eyes indeed.
There is much love for the AKG K The forum thread is a journey in itself.
AKG K1000 Headphones
A post made in Feb suddenly becomes answered in Sep Our mysterious poster is known as hrklg I will quote this post because it marked the start of an even more incredible journey than my bass heavy headphones.
However, it was the idea just to get nothing disturbing in front of the ear. This post, if genuine, could only have come from one of the original team behind the K, of which so little information was available at the time. Imagine if that was true! What a find this person would be…. After some more questions were put to this poster a picture began to develop.Haninge lediga jobb
This was a man called Heinz Renner. He was responsible for developing the AKG K!
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