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headphone volume

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headphone volume

Postby robsig » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:28 pm

Hello.

I just got a new pair of headphones (AKG K712) that sound wonderful but require more power than my other pair (B&W P5). In fact I can't get the power high enough for my tastes. I have two headphone outs on my Focusrite Scarlett 6 so I can compare the two.

I thought of boosting the audio on the large control panel but the volume of all my sample sets is set at 100%. The next option was to trim the audio-trim db which seems to be set at -10. I found that I can boost the sound by setting that to -6 but was wondering if that doesn't compromise other elements elsewhere. I never really understood what that option was for, even after reading the HW manual.

By the way, the sound of the AKG's is quite different from the B&W's, even though they're both high quality cans. The AKG's are much more open and clear (they have open backs) compared to the B&W's which have a more concentrated sound, more ambience and bass. It's like having new sample-sets! I choose different stops depending on which headphones I'm using.

Should I be thinking of installing a headphone amplifier in the chain? Any suggestions for these products?

While we're on the subject, do these headphones need breaking in? If so, how should I do that?

Thanks all. I LOOOVE MY HAUPTWERK!!

RS
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Re: headphone volume

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:58 pm

I, too, am an avid K712 fan having gone thru many other "forms" of headphones. And these are the first ones that don't squeeze the "grey" matter and for sure are comfortable. Maybe I'm a :"hot head", but even wearing these for extending listening times, they stay cool. :literally and figuratively. 8) I've listened to some recorded concerts and I still turn my head when I hear someone in that audience cough or make a comment etc. It's so real as in being right there in that audience. :o

As far as listening to H/W organs via headphones, these K712's tend to make my speakers sound quite less.

Now as far as a headphone amp, my choice is the S.M.S,L sAp II.https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-sApII-TPA6120A2-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B00J2PJQ0O/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1492905760&sr=8-9&keywords=smsl You can Google for other dealers or on a few occasions via eBay.

That sAp II is, IMHO, a perfect compliment to the K712's. You can search the Forum for more as there was a thread about h/p amps not too long ago.http://forum.hauptwerk.com/search.php?keywords=headphone+amplifier&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: headphone volume

Postby organtechnology » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:39 pm

robsig wrote:Hello.

I just got a new pair of headphones (AKG K712) that sound wonderful but require more power than my other pair (B&W P5). In fact I can't get the power high enough for my tastes. I have two headphone outs on my Focusrite Scarlett 6 so I can compare the two.

I thought of boosting the audio on the large control panel but the volume of all my sample sets is set at 100%. The next option was to trim the audio-trim db which seems to be set at -10. I found that I can boost the sound by setting that to -6 but was wondering if that doesn't compromise other elements elsewhere. I never really understood what that option was for, even after reading the HW manual.

By the way, the sound of the AKG's is quite different from the B&W's, even though they're both high quality cans. The AKG's are much more open and clear (they have open backs) compared to the B&W's which have a more concentrated sound, more ambience and bass. It's like having new sample-sets! I choose different stops depending on which headphones I'm using.

Should I be thinking of installing a headphone amplifier in the chain? Any suggestions for these products?

While we're on the subject, do these headphones need breaking in? If so, how should I do that?

Thanks all. I LOOOVE MY HAUPTWERK!!

RS


So if the Scarlett headphone outputs can be made to work by boosting Hauptwerk by <5db on the audio trim
setting, I would use an Alt-x Hauptwerk and set it up for Headphones i.e. 2-channel Stereo output only and set the audio trim level to the desired level with the speakers off.

So when you want just headphones, use the Alt-x Hauptwerk and when you want speakers use the Hauptwerk with no Alt.

Best regards,

Thomas
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Re: headphone volume

Postby engrssc » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:12 pm

That is a good solution for Hauptwerk, Thomas. If, however, you want to listen to other content, I've found for the most part the level is too low when using K712's. Maybe that's the "price" for high end quality with these guys, but definitely worth it. Another word comes to mind (re K712'2) and that is transparency. :)

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: headphone volume

Postby Andrew Grahame » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:34 am

I've used three different audio interfaces over the years. In each instance the headphone output was sufficient only for cheaper high-efficiency headphones. Once you start moving into the realm of higher quality low-efficiency headphones you really do need a headphone amplifier to drive them.

If you create a digital link from your computer's audio interface to the headphone amplifier you'll be amazed at the improvement in sound quality once you can crank up the sound to the level you would normally use.

Andrew
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Re: headphone volume

Postby mdyde » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:01 am

To add to Andrew's reply, RME's audio interfaces do have headphone outputs designed to handle high-quality headphones with plenty of amplitude headroom (at least my RME UFX does), but most audio interfaces aren't designed for that and a separate headphones amplifier is really needed for them.
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Re: headphone volume

Postby jwillans » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:12 am

The AKG K712 need a good amount of output to drive them effectively and therefore a higher output level is a must. The SMSL headphone amplifier mentioned by Ed is an excellent and economical option and reproduces the sound without any colouring. It also has no audioable background noise (no reason not to use with the supplied power adapter). I use the SMSL and K712 together giving ultra-realism - it is hard to imagine better.
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Re: headphone volume

Postby engrssc » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:40 am

While the idea of going digital (as far as possible signal path wise) is the better way, However, many sources I use don't have a digital output. A "compromise" of amplifying a good analogue signal with a sAp II is still quite impressive.

Rgds,
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Re: headphone volume

Postby mnailor » Sun Apr 23, 2017 12:13 pm

mdyde wrote:To add to Andrew's reply, RME's audio interfaces do have headphone outputs designed to handle high-quality headphones with plenty of amplitude headroom (at least my RME UFX does), but most audio interfaces aren't designed for that and a separate headphones amplifier is really needed for them.


Martin, thank you for that information. I've been considering the AKG K712 for some time, but was stalled because I wasn't clear on the headphone amp. I didn't know if the UFX required one or not until now. Headphones ordered.
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Re: headphone volume

Postby OrganoPleno » Sun Apr 23, 2017 2:56 pm

robsig wrote:Should I be thinking of installing a headphone amplifier in the chain? Any suggestions for these products?


I find the PreSonus HP4 works great, between my RME audio output and my AKG K701 headphones (two pairs).
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Re: headphone volume

Postby OrganoPleno » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:21 pm

robsig wrote:I found that I can boost the sound by setting that to -6 but was wondering if that doesn't compromise other elements elsewhere. I never really understood what that option was for, even after reading the HW manual.


I use that setting to avoid "clipping" (audio overload). For a given Sample Set, playing a very full registration, playing a cluster of very low notes... find the level at which the sound breaks up, then back off a little. Now you will not have to encounter any audio clipping in actual play.

robsig wrote:While we're on the subject, do these headphones need breaking in? If so, how should I do that?


Just use them regularly. And if you play while listening to speakers or other headphones, leave the new ones plugged in and active as well, so they can "hear" all the music you play (or listen to, if recorded music). Little by little, the character and responsiveness of the AKG's will improve, subtle but sure. Mine said, give them about 300 hours, as I recall. But of course they already sound great in the meantime, so nothing to worry about.
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Re: headphone volume

Postby engrssc » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:15 pm

mnailor wrote:Headphones ordered.


I predict you will have a smile that won't quit. I was sorta prepared for expecting good sound from the K712's given all that I heard about them. All the good things I heard didn't really describe as to how great they really are. And I'm not easily "blown" away. There may be some better ones out there, same is true with the headphone amp, but this combination of K712 and the S.M.S,L sAp II meets well with my cost vs quality ratio. The real test is to listen to high end music. No high end equipment (normally) makes lesser quality music sound any better. But I think with this combination, even "lesser" music sounds better. After you try them, let us know if you agree. It's almost startling to hear things so clear and uncolored.

Rgds,
Ed
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Re: headphone volume

Postby mnailor » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:49 pm

I'm probably only going to use headphones when my daughter is practicing Irish dance on the garage dance floor in hard shoes, so I might not get the full effect. 16 monitors aren't enough to squash Riverdance... :D
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Re: headphone volume

Postby organtechnology » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:08 pm

mnailor wrote:I'm probably only going to use headphones when my daughter is practicing Irish dance on the garage dance floor in hard shoes, so I might not get the full effect. 16 monitors aren't enough to squash Riverdance... :D


No but 16 monitors plus sub plus headphones might :)
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Re: headphone volume

Postby murph » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:19 pm

mnailor wrote:I'm probably only going to use headphones when my daughter is practicing Irish dance on the garage dance floor in hard shoes, so I might not get the full effect. 16 monitors aren't enough to squash Riverdance... :D


I hope there is sufficient rubber under the wood, to avoid bone-spurs and the like. It also dampens the sound!
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