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Headphone recommendation

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Headphone recommendation

Postby Antoni Scott » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:48 am

Although not directly related to Hauptwerk, the headphone choice is indirectly related. Back in 2008 it was recommended to me by Hauptwerk engineers that the best headphones were the AKG 701. I agree. Unfortunately a wire came loose inside the unit and it was basically unfixable, Time to get another pair, Since 2008, AKG introduced the 702 and the 712. AKG says that the 702's are better but I wonder why they are on the market for half the price of the 701. Is there a difference ? I always hate to experiment with things like headphones since it can be an expensive mistake. If anyone has compared the two (701 and 702) I would be interested in their opinion.
Antoni
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby mdyde » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:04 am

Hello Antoni,

[Topic moved here, since it's about hardware, rather than a technical support request for the Hauptwerk software per-se.]

Sound on Sound magazine have some reviews of AKG's headphones here:

https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/akg-k612-k712
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/studio-headphones-0

I have a pair of AKG K702s myself, which I find to be excellent (but I don't have any other headphones of similar quality for a side-by-side comparison).
Best regards,
Martin.

[Please use email or the Contact page if you need to contact us privately, rather than private forum messages.]

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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Antoni Scott » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:48 am

Thankyou Martin for your comment. The AKG 701 was first recommended to me by Brett (back in 2008) and also Dr. Maier (of OrganArt) and I have to say they are superb headphones. My biggest concern was to have a headphone that would not "colour" or influence the actual true sound. Reviews of headphones are very subjective because the reviewer may have something in mind that I do not. Fortunately, with the organ it is easier to compare headphone performance if I am listening to one stop such as the Diapason or a Bourdon. When I was selecting speakers, the Definitive Technology speaker was highly rated but I found them to colour the sound to such a degree as to not be authentic. Genelec and Focal did a far better job of reproducing the most authentic sound. A very muffled stop like a Bourdon or a Cor de Nuit can really sound different depending on the speaker. It can be very frustrating and expensive. I eventually settled on two Focal near field speakers which had about the best realism of sound to the original. Genelec was equally as impressive. However, to compliment a Hauptwerk system with eight channels could be very expensive.

I eventually settled on headphones rather than speakers because with speakers the same issue is present, i.e. the colouring of the sound but far more expensive. My AKG 701's lacked the bass feel (i.e. Like you feel with a 16' Bourdon or Principal) so I supplemented the bottom octaves with a subwoofer. The headphones remain flat and uncoloured. This arrangement has been withy me since 2008.

A recent discussion with an AKG technician informed me that the 702's have a better driver than the 701's. It really does not help me to just say it is better without knowing what is better.The fact that they are available at half the price of the 701's suggest that they may not be as good. Who knows ? Some headphones are "warmer" which basically tells me that the sound is not real. The same goes for headphones that boost the bass. Although it may result in an impressive overall sound, the reproduction may not be authentic. Now they also have AKG 712's which are supposed to me a mix of different microphone performances, coloring. It can get confusing. All I can say is that my 701's allowed me to hear down to the 32' Bourdon, which is impressive even if it lacked oomph. This is where the subwoofer kicked in.
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Jan Loosman » Wed Jan 03, 2018 9:39 am

I recently purchased the Akg 712 after some research on the internet.
These are exellent heaphones very detailled, spacious and very good bass extension.
Also not to expensive!
Recommended for Hauptwerk.
If you use Reaper then it is possible to improve the freq. response off every headphone with this plugin. There are 178 headphone profiles from the most used headphones.
https://www.toneboosters.com/tb_morphit_v1.html


Regards Jan
Last edited by Jan Loosman on Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby murph » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:20 pm

I have some 712's on the way to me, so I will report back later, but what I have found absolutely astonishing recently was the Little Dot II valve headphone amp. It hates Sennheiser 30ohm headphones, but adds SO much to Supralux 668B's over the standard Motu output that I would Suggest they be used with any headphone from 60 ohms up (I know the blurb says 30 ohms work, but the HD25's fart on 20Hz with them. The Supralux's don't.).
I'll report further when the AKG's arrive.
(Note: Sennheiser HD650's are supposed to be magical with the amp, but I don't have any handy to compare...)
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby mdbirkett » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:26 am

If you can find a pair to audition, I would suggest trying the Hifiman HE560 headphones. When I went on a quest for headphones for Hauptwerk, I auditioned headphones from AKG, Sennheiser, Grado, and Shure, but none of them had a tonal quality that I found pleasing for pipe organ, particularly in the bass department. I am a graduate of the recording engineering course from Fanshawe college in London Ontario, and have spent time in recording studios, and K701/K702 are regularly found in studio environments, but upon doing a side-by-side comparison of 702s against the HE560s, I was amazed by how much better the HE560s sounded (to my ears). Once properly "broken in", the HE560s sound excellent across the frequency range of the pipe organ -- deep, rich, natural bass, and not at all harsh in the upper registers. They are very light weight, and extremely comfortable to wear. They are not inexpensive by any means, but I believe they are well worth the price. Here is a link if you want more information: http://hifiman.com/products/detail/167
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Jan Loosman » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:02 am

mdbirkett wrote:If you can find a pair to audition, I would suggest trying the Hifiman HE560 headphones. When I went on a quest for headphones for Hauptwerk, I auditioned headphones from AKG, Sennheiser, Grado, and Shure, but none of them had a tonal quality that I found pleasing for pipe organ, particularly in the bass department. I am a graduate of the recording engineering course from Fanshawe college in London Ontario, and have spent time in recording studios, and K701/K702 are regularly found in studio environments, but upon doing a side-by-side comparison of 702s against the HE560s, I was amazed by how much better the HE560s sounded (to my ears). Once properly "broken in", the HE560s sound excellent across the frequency range of the pipe organ -- deep, rich, natural bass, and not at all harsh in the upper registers. They are very light weight, and extremely comfortable to wear. They are not inexpensive by any means, but I believe they are well worth the price. Here is a link if you want more information: http://hifiman.com/products/detail/167


These are planar headphones!
Before the Akg 712 i bought a Fostex T50RP-Mk3 Headphone.
These are very good tested rather cheap studio planar headphones. My first intuition was to go for the planar technique. The sound of these Fostex are incredible. Large sound stage unfatiguing sound BUT they break up and distort with the lower pedal notes. Now i use them with my mp3player. I hope this is not common with the Planar technique?
So i chose the Akg and never regretted my choice.

Regards Jan
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Antoni Scott » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:27 am

I ordered a pair of AKG 701's for $228. AKG's tech's say the 702's are better but they are much less expensive that 701's. In the audio industry, better usually costs more so I don't understand it. My listening pleasure is too important to compromise my choice. The specs show they perform the same except that the low end on the 702's is boosted 3dB. Since the 701's have a pretty flat response to begin with, I don't care for boosting the low end, but since I haven't heard them myself, I have no way of giving an honest answer.

In my Hauptwerk set up I have an external Focal Subwoofer, so it works very well with the AKG 701's. The sub gives me those 16' Principal vibrations that make the experience more realistic.
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Andrew Grahame » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:09 am

Hi Antoni,

I can put in a good word for the Shure SRH1540 closed-back headphones. They are beautifully flat and uncoloured with a wide sound stage. They are also very comfortable for long periods of listening. I bought them to replace the Shure SRH940 set which had served me well for some time but one day the headband broke when I accidentally dropped them. The 940 was very good but needed a tiny amount of bass boost. The 1540 is superb and needs no EQ at all. You do however need a good quality headphone amp to drive them. My CEntrance DACmini does the job nicely.

Andrew
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Re: Headphone recommendation

Postby Antoni Scott » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm

All:
Thanks for the input and recommendations. I wish I could have been able to audition several of these at the same time but being high end phones, few places actually carry them. I ended up getting a pair of 701's (same as what I had before) only because I didn't want to take the risk on a pair i haven't auditioned previously.

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