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AKGs Too Revealing!!?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ever since I started using the K701s I noticed things in recordings I hardly noticed before...... Great you say? No! It's not! I'm noticing RECORDING HISS!! Most of the music I listen to was probably recorded 40+ years ago, and some probably "remastered" (butchered) since then!

Is there any way to reduce the recording hiss using these phones?? Lowering the gain on the amp seems to help, but it seems I'm taking away from the impact of the cans.
post #2 of 16
Get a cable that increases impedance
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
Is there any way to reduce the recording hiss using these phones??
Unfortunately no. Save you're ready to decrease the treble by means of an equalizer (not recommendable if you're happy with the now sonic balance and in view of a possible sound degradation by adding electronics components to the signal path).


Quote:
Lowering the gain on the amp seems to help, but it seems I'm taking away from the impact of the cans.
Lowering the gain just means lower volume level. It's recommended to use the low-gain setting to get the volume pot into a less critical range in terms of channel (im)balance -- if you can live with the resulting volume limitation.
.
post #4 of 16
I might listen to the same old crappy recordings that you like and no hiss, snap, crackle or pop. I can verify the K701 is definitely not too revealing.
post #5 of 16
I notice your sig says you're running off a squeezebox. What kind of format are you listening to? Compression may or may not be a culprit. I've got some older classical recordings on CD and SACD: depends on the recording as to how much tape hiss there is. I have some Living Stereo recordings from the 50s with no hiss, but other Living Stereo from the 60s has hiss. Also have some guitar duets from the 70s that seem to have nothing but hiss. Sometimes tape hiss is just a trade off you have to make if it's an old artist who has passed away: you can still at least train your mind to ignore the hiss and engage the artist

But if you want really high quality stuff....look for DSD recorded or DSD mastered CDs or even better yet, SACDs.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davesrose View Post
I notice your sig says you're running off a squeezebox. What kind of format are you listening to? Compression may or may not be a culprit. I've got some older classical recordings on CD and SACD: depends on the recording as to how much tape hiss there is. I have some Living Stereo recordings from the 50s with no hiss, but other Living Stereo from the 60s has hiss. Also have some guitar duets from the 70s that seem to have nothing but hiss. Sometimes tape hiss is just a trade off you have to make if it's an old artist who has passed away: you can still at least train your mind to ignore the hiss and engage the artist

But if you want really high quality stuff....look for DSD recorded or DSD mastered CDs or even better yet, SACDs.

I have a collection of wav (uncompressed files) and mp3 320kb. You're right it's the recording... the background is totally black\silent in between those hissy tracks! And the K701s REALLY brings all of that out!
post #7 of 16
I agree with you, I auditioned a pair of 701 for a couple of days. I thought they were great but allmost to revealing, these are in my opinion not good headphones if you want to listen to bad recordings.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
I have a collection of wav (uncompressed files) and mp3 320kb. You're right it's the recording... the background is totally black\silent in between those hissy tracks! And the K701s REALLY brings all of that out!
Do you have some newer recordings that you know were recorded digitally to make sure it's just tape hiss? Don't know enough about the Squeezebox to know if it's very revealing of even 320 kbps mp3 (I'm now a CD and SACD purist because my system sounds so much better with uncompressed stuff). I'm just thinking that mp3 might be revealing more of the tape hiss too, because what often gets compressed is lower bass and upper highs. And what gets preserved is the upper mids: right where tape hiss is present Short of minimizing tape hiss with source, the only way to eliminate it is to just buy digitally recorded music. Then for your older recordings, if tape hiss is too distracting, then they may just sound good to you through speakers only Is it blasphomy for me to mention speakers on a headphone forum?
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I hate to admit this, but I put on a John Mayer track (NOT PART OF MY COLLECTION *AHEM*), and there was no hiss during playback, at least none that was detectable to me and I'm pretty sensistive to it. So I guess it's coming from the recordings. If it was the source, I assume I would still hear some line noise even when I paused the tracks? Because when I pause music it dead silent. This hobby quickly tailspins into spending MORE cash! Now I have to pay 20-30 bucks for "quality" cds?!? The AKGs are great phones, but with the Senns it wasn't AS noticeable.. I guess that darkness\veil comes in handy?

Oh, forgot to mention, as a reference (sorta), the DAC in the squeezebox is equivalent to the MicroDAC.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
This hobby quickly tailspins into spending MORE cash! Now I have to pay 20-30 bucks for "quality" cds?!? The AKGs are great phones, but with the Senns it wasn't AS noticeable.. I guess that darkness\veil comes in handy?

Oh, forgot to mention, as a reference (sorta), the DAC in the squeezebox is equivalent to the MicroDAC.
yep....join the club/curse!!! I'm no longer spending money on sources (well as much anyway). It's now all going to vinyl, CD, and SACD purchases If you're getting silence with newer recordings, then it's probably the older recordings. You can try minimizing the hiss by EQing some of the upper mids down. I've found that making sure your source has enough lower and upper extension helps (ie and this is why mp3s usually exagerate hiss). IMO, it doesn't matter what headphone you use....once you start getting into good sources, they demand good mediums and recordings. With my "dark" HD650s, I hear as much tape hiss/ record pops as with my "grating" Grados. That's what makes this hobby evil...it's inevitable that you'll become an audio snob
post #11 of 16
Hey Morph,

I have K701s and, as you know, listen to alot of the same recordings you do. Here is my foolproof, and free, way of dealing with tape hiss: get used to it. You will never, ever get away from it listening to 50s and 60s jazz. I too was AMAZED at how much tape hiss there was, especially on Kind of Blue. But i gave it time and i dont even notice it anymore.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltrane View Post
Hey Morph,

I have K701s and, as you know, listen to alot of the same recordings you do. Here is my foolproof, and free, way of dealing with tape hiss: get used to it. You will never, ever get away from it listening to 50s and 60s jazz. I too was AMAZED at how much tape hiss there was, especially on Kind of Blue. But i gave it time and i dont even notice it anymore.
You are correct. The amount of hiss on Kind Of Blue is infuriating. It's such a great album, too
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltrane View Post
Hey Morph,

I have K701s and, as you know, listen to alot of the same recordings you do. Here is my foolproof, and free, way of dealing with tape hiss: get used to it. You will never, ever get away from it listening to 50s and 60s jazz. I too was AMAZED at how much tape hiss there was, especially on Kind of Blue. But i gave it time and i dont even notice it anymore.
Thanks for the input, it's good to know I'm not the only one experiencing this and that it's normal. Hopefully over the course of listening I'll adjust and burn in to the sound and it won't be an issue anymore.


btw, I stopped listening to "Kind of Blue" a while ago, due to the tape hiss... I bought the "remaster" thinking that would clear it up, nada!
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morph201 View Post
Thanks for the input, it's good to know I'm not the only one experiencing this and that it's normal. Hopefully over the course of listening I'll adjust and burn in to the sound and it won't be an issue anymore.


btw, I stopped listening to "Kind of Blue" a while ago, due to the tape hiss... I bought the "remaster" thinking that would clear it up, nada!
Dude, the minute you stop listening to album like Kind of Blue because of the tape hiss is the minute you should sell all your gear and join the Fergie fanclub. The goal is to make great music sound as good as possible, and no one should ever deny great music because of the sound quality.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coltrane View Post
Dude, the minute you stop listening to album like Kind of Blue because of the tape hiss is the minute you should sell all your gear and join the Fergie fanclub. The goal is to make great music sound as good as possible, and no one should ever deny great music because of the sound quality.
WOW that put it ALL into perspective!! I hate to admit, but I accidently found out who Fergie was 2 months ago! I saw the add on iTunes and thought "Wtf is the dutchess of York doing making a record"... Needless to say my wife got a good laugh from my comment! Off topic Fergie is nice to look at, no? Her humps!?? Haha.. anyway, back on topic! Thanks Coltrane, that's exactly what I needed to hear! I can't believe I was about to sell myself short like that!
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