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Life after AKG K1000...  

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
So, looking for something new and improved. At least, new to me. Previous owner also of HD650 w/Zu Mobius. Prior to that I had a speaker system.

Old Speaker System

Listening genre's break down as follows:
  • Jazz 50%
  • Classical/Bluegrass/Pop/Rock 50%

80% Acoustic, 20% All Else

See my signature please for my current system. Future upgrades probably won't be relevenat here since by then, I'll be moving to either new phones or speakers again. Potential future upgrade is vinyl source.

Requirements
Not In Any Order

1. Must present natural presentation of the music. I'll tweak the sound upstream if need be.
2. Must have great frequency response, especially in the lower range
3. Realistic soundstage of K1k was pretty cool.



Other Considerations

1. I only listen in my own office at home so open speakers OK.
2. Mobility not relevant
3. Price is up to $1k used
4. Must meet or exceed last two phones in overall relevant characteristics

I'm pretty new to this hobby. Looking through some of the threads, all the numers and acronyms get confusing. If you're willing to take the time, could you include with your recommendation the brand, model, average used price these days, whether it's still manufactured, and where it sits in the company's product line (e.g., second best phone, etc.).

Thanx guys for reading and your time. Have a great weekend and take care.
post #2 of 49
Stax 4040 or Baby O. You won't go back to K1000 after listening to those.
post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanx a...

Can you elaborate a bit? What did ou like better about these phones than the K1k? Did you have to change your rig to accomodate? Will they fit into my existing rig? Do the phones terminate into 1/4" jack or connect to speaker terminals? Are they still manufactured? What do they go for used?

thanx for the quick response.
post #4 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawlowski6132
Thanx a...

Can you elaborate a bit? What did ou like better about these phones than the K1k? Did you have to change your rig to accomodate? Will they fit into my existing rig? Do the phones terminate into 1/4" jack or connect to speaker terminals? Are they still manufactured? What do they go for used?

thanx for the quick response.
Stax 4040 and Senn HE60 (aka Baby O) are electrostatic headphones. You'll need to get their matching headphone amps for them to work. All you need to add is just a source component, e.g. CD player, etc.

Stax 4040 system goes for $900-$1k used. It's still in production.

Baby O system goes for $1k-$1.5k used depending on condition. It's discontinued.

I just found K1000 too metallic and too bright for my taste even when driven by a mellow tube based system. IMO, electrostatic sounds much better and more real to my ears. You get to hear lots of detail in a very natural way.
post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
Huh. I'd love to hear one of these. Does the price you quoted include the phones and the amp??

How is the bass response on these? Which do you like better?


thanx again
post #6 of 49
That prices are for headphones + amp. I would look elsewhere if you are a bass freak.
post #7 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thanx. I'm not a bass freek by any means (I don't think). What I mean is, I don't want exaggerated or extra bass. But, if it's in the recording, I want to hear it. Whadda ya think about those phones??
post #8 of 49
post #9 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawlowski6132
Thanx a...

Can you elaborate a bit? What did ou like better about these phones than the K1k? Did you have to change your rig to accomodate? Will they fit into my existing rig? Do the phones terminate into 1/4" jack or connect to speaker terminals? Are they still manufactured? What do they go for used?

thanx for the quick response.
The headphone systems recommended by a529612 are both electrostats.They terminate in custom plugs and the headphones themselves have to be driven by special amps for electrostats.
The Sennheiser HE 60(headphones)/Hev 70(amp) combo aka "Baby O." is discontinued, very hard to get and you'd have to pay about $1500 for a system in good condition.On top of that the HEV 70 amp is considered to be rather crappy and most head-fiers are utilizing another (read : expensive or very expensive) amp.An extraordinary rig based on the HE 60s is totally out of your price range.
This system was the second best in the Sennheiser line of electrostats.The best was the uberexpensive Orpheus system (HE 90/HEV90).
Stax 4040 is an abbreviation for "Stax SRS-4040 Signature System II".
It's a bundle of the heaphone SRS 404 Lambda and the amp SRM 006 T (tube hybrid).
Again, the second best in the line, the best (or most expensive) is the Omega II bundled with an amp.
The prices of used Stax 4040 systems vary widely.New Stax systems purchased through the official american distribution channel are very expensive.Head-fiers tend to import them directly from Japan for about 60 % of the american retail price (shipping costs included), but it obviously means no usable warranty and trouble to get them repaired by the american Stax distributor.
You could get an used system in good condition for about $1000, but this would be a system imported from Japan by the original owner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by a529612
You won't go back to K1000 after listening to those.
is just one opinion.
I went back to the K1000s after owning Stax Lambdas and Omegas.I still own a humble SRS 3030 Classic System II for an alternative presentation of music, but overall I prefer a tweaked K1000 rig.
post #10 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by a529612
Stax 4040 or Baby O. You won't go back to K1000 after listening to those.
Wanna bet?

The K-1000 has a spatial presentation that is completely unique in headphones. With some amp there have been reports of bass issues, but not with an amp that's good with the K-1000 (I prefer the AudioValve RKV to date). The weakest link in the headphone is the lower umbilical that connects to the power amp. I've built umbilicals from Canare Star Quad that work much better than stock IMO (based on work by Head-Fi member Orpheus). Stefan Audio Arts umbilical is better still.

I will confess that my K-1000 has been recabled all the way to the drivers, but I never heard "metallic and bright" even with stock cabling, once the umbilical got upgraded.
post #11 of 49
Thread Starter 
Outstanding! Just what I was looking for so far. Thanx you two for recommending the options and then expanding on the details. So, I think I would at least try the HE60 but, seems the price of admission is a barier at this time. Even with the Stax, seems like that force my existing amp out of the limelite. I'd really like to leverage my past investment in equipment at this time so...

The search continues.
post #12 of 49
I think to do better than the K1000's you are in much more expensive territory. And even then, it's more a matter of taste than "better". What don't you like about the AKG's?

I'm wondering of tubes aren't the best way to go for the K1000 after all? Although I love 300b SET amps, tubes may clip at extremes. I've had better results with solid state amps than tubes, despite others asserting that tubes were better to smooth out the K1000's sound. Source it really key with the K1000's.

The only can's I'd rate at K1000 level or "better", include the Sennhieser HE90, Stax Omega II, Sony R10, or the Sony Qualia 010. Again, it just more of a different high-quality presentation than "better". And those are all much more expensive, and just as finicky about associated components. None of these are perfect either (well, the Orpheus comes close ), and have their issues too.

I personally DON'T think the Stax 404, or Sennheiser HE60's are in the same league or better in any way, imo. I'd say the same for even the top-end Audio-Technica's. The K1000's definitely have a much more cohesive sound than any of those.
post #13 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg
I think to do better than the K1000's you are in much more expensive territory. And even then, it's more a matter of taste than "better". What don't you like about the AKG's?
Nothing really. So why did I sell them. Well, the fundamental reason why I've sold anything this last year is because I'm ignorant. No seriously, I'm relatively new to HiFi and I don't have an opportunity to hear lots of stuff at a dealer or showroom. So I either can either just read about all this facinating equpment and imagine what it sounds like based on other people's opinions or buy it for myself and listen! Unfortunately, I don't have the funds to buy everything at once so, I have to cycle through stuff.

At this point, looks like I may have actually sold the K1ks too soon.

But, in the past year, I'm on my third amp (probably stay put here for awhile), third CD player, 4 speaker cables (ended up going back to a pair I liked), etc.

I just enjoy listening to different components in my system so I'm confident in my final choice - not second guessing because of the unknown.

Problem is of course, that swapping links in the chain changes the constants I evalute in the context of to variables. Oh well.

The journey is the destination I believe.
post #14 of 49
Agreed, the journey is the destination... but I wouldn't be surprised if your journey brings you back to the K 1000.

Seriously, from here on out is a matter of preference or taste. You won't get "better" than the K 1000. Still, one place I might suggest trying based on your abovestated criteria is an audio-technica ATH-L3000. It is above your price range, but most things in the same league as the K 1000 will be.

Best regards,

-Jason
post #15 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by pawlowski6132
Nothing really. So why did I sell them. Well, the fundamental reason why I've sold anything this last year is because I'm ignorant.

At this point, looks like I may have actually sold the K1ks too soon.
I believe it's important to find the sound you like and you try various things is ultimately more important in the long run.

You can always buy the K1000 or any discontinued headphone again if you wait on the used market.
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