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What exactly is the AKG K240 Sextett?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
This might sound like a really odd question, but search isn't helping out that much.

From pursuing threads and word of mouth I have a good idea about what these sound like, look like, variations, constructions, etc.

The problem is that I can't find a post that describes what precisely the Sextett is. As in, "these specific K240's which have identifiers y and differ from normal {K240/K240S/K240M}s because of z."

I mean, if I had to hazard a guess I would say the 600 ohm version of the K240, but from a quick google search I can see these are still available fairly cheap and considering the price Sextetts command it's obviously wrong.
post #2 of 48
6 passive drivers.
post #3 of 48
silver rings and they have holes in the headband.
post #4 of 48
The AKG K240 Sextett is an early version of the K240. The main difference from later model K240's, and the reason for the "Sextett" name are the six passive drivers under and surrounding the main driver that supliment the bass. Think of them as a passive radiator in a subwoofer. The K340 also has them, but it only has five, as the spot for the sixth is taken up by what most people refer to as the crossover.
post #5 of 48
The Sextett is the original version of the K240, first made in 1975. It differs from the later versions in that it makes use of a ring of variously-tuned "passive radiators," which are like little driver membranes without voice coils behind them. This tricky and expensive device (also used in a few other AKG headphones of the time, most notably the K340) gives a very precise control over how the acoustic backwave returns to the listener's ear, crucial for spatial presentation and general frequency response. Later K240 lacking this ring of six passive radiators are generally considered sharply inferior to the original version.

As has been noted above, the Sextett can be identified by the color of the metal rings on the earpieces (silver not gold), by the large round perforations in the headband, and by the appearance of the inner side of the earpiece, where the passive radiators are visible behind a plastic grill, encircling the driver.

edit, doh, swt61 posted just when I started writing.
post #6 of 48
Also, in later versions, the headband doesn't have holes in it. Silver on the housing is the big giveaway (and if a pair does have holes in the headband, it's definitely a Sextett).
post #7 of 48
Right, some have a regular K240 style headband but with silver printing on it, like a K240-DF does.

Some have a cable that has a square cross section, some have a cable that's ridged like the power cord on a vacuum cleaner.

The K260 also has silver rings on it, but i guarantee you won't mistake a K260 for a K240.
post #8 of 48
If they are indeed superior to current AKG offerings, why did AKG stop making them?
post #9 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu View Post

I mean, if I had to hazard a guess I would say the 600 ohm version of the K240, but from a quick google search I can see these are still available fairly cheap and considering the price Sextetts command it's obviously wrong.
It's a K240 built with snake oil...

No, there's no snake oil. You can still find them under $150. They're the best sounding among the releases of the K240 series. To my ears, they don't have the highest resolution or sound stage of other more advanced/expensive AKG, but they're are the most musical of all AKG's. You might want to find a pair to hear for yourself.
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
If they are indeed superior to current AKG offerings, why did AKG stop making them?
They're not superior until Fitz said so....
post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
If they are indeed superior to current AKG offerings, why did AKG stop making them?
They were very expensive to make.

It costs a lot of money to put six passive radiators on a headphone, plus a grille to protect them.

As we heard it, there was a lot of infighting at AKG over whether the same job could be done 90% as well by just putting six patches of semipermeable filter material on the baffle instead of six passive radiators (which also have filter material on their backside).

Eventually they released that concept as the K241, which used the same baffle as the late production K240 but with no passive diaphragms, and two different densities of filter paper.

The pro audio market apparently accepted the K241 as being within spitting distance of the K240 Sextett, so they replaced the K240 with the K240 Monitor, discontinued the K241, and then (in some markets) continued to market the Sextett for a while as the K242.

Since then, the technique of putting filtered vents on the baffle has been copied by basically everybody who's ever manufactured headphones, to varying levels of success.

After a while the K240-M went from six big patches to a larger number of smaller patches, closer to the driver. We don't know quite as much about the evolution of the K240-M over the years because we don't care much. The K240-DF has woven rather than nonwoven filter patches.

Edit: oh, and as for "superior", there is certainly a level of refinement and detail in modern AKGs that wasn't there 30 years ago, but the sextett models are unquestionably very enjoyable to listen to, and have better bass than most AKGs.
post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
They were very expensive to make.

It costs a lot of money to put six passive radiators on a headphone, plus a grille to protect them.

As we heard it, there was a lot of infighting at AKG over whether the same job could be done 90% as well by just putting six patches of semipermeable filter material on the baffle instead of six passive radiators (which also have filter material on their backside).

Eventually they released that concept as the K241, which used the same baffle as the late production K240 but with no passive diaphragms, and two different densities of filter paper.

The pro audio market apparently accepted the K241 as being within spitting distance of the K240 Sextett, so they replaced the K240 with the K240 Monitor, discontinued the K241, and then (in some markets) continued to market the Sextett for a while as the K242.

Since then, the technique of putting filtered vents on the baffle has been copied by basically everybody who's ever manufactured headphones, to varying levels of success.

After a while the K240-M went from six big patches to a larger number of smaller patches, closer to the driver. We don't know quite as much about the evolution of the K240-M over the years because we don't care much. The K240-DF has woven rather than nonwoven filter patches.

Edit: oh, and as for "superior", there is certainly a level of refinement and detail in modern AKGs that wasn't there 30 years ago, but the sextett models are unquestionably very enjoyable to listen to, and have better bass than most AKGs.
Thanks for the interesting explanation. I've had AKG240S for 3 days now (bought here cheeeep!). I noticed that there are 8 woven-cloth-covered holes surrounding the driver on the ear side, and 8 (grooved) openings to free space on the backside of the driver. Which of these are the present incarnation of the radiators?
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
Thanks for the interesting explanation. I've had AKG240S for 3 days now (bought here cheeeep!). I noticed that there are 8 woven-cloth-covered holes surrounding the driver on the ear side, and 8 (grooved) openings to free space on the backside of the driver. Which of these are the present incarnation of the radiators?
define cheappp
post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by gtp View Post
Thanks for the interesting explanation. I've had AKG240S for 3 days now (bought here cheeeep!). I noticed that there are 8 woven-cloth-covered holes surrounding the driver on the ear side, and 8 (grooved) openings to free space on the backside of the driver. Which of these are the present incarnation of the radiators?
The cloth covered holes surrounding the driver are the current incarnation. They allow some of the inverse wave from the back of the driver to come forward to your ear.

The openings on the back of the earcup are filtered as well, with a heavy nonwoven. they let escape some of the treble backwave that would otherwise be reflected.
post #15 of 48
Here's a link to the old brochure for the K240 Sextett: K 240 Sextett (Discontinued)
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