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AKG K240DF quick first impressions... Now with pics!

post #1 of 121
Thread Starter 
If anyone read the October 3rd Omaha meet impressions thread, they'll know that not much caught my ear, aside from Gross' K240. They were pretty good out of the sources that I tried- I'm not sure of the exact model that they were.

I just received the bal-SE converter for the K240DF that wavoman traded me today. Upon plugging the headphones into my DAC, I fired up a few test tracks.

These things are incredible. Insane amounts of detail retrieval/micro-detail. Lightning-fast transients that put my Grados to shame. An unbelievable sense of clarity. I know that they are studio monitors, but I could definitely listen to these daily.

Appearance and comfort are distantly second and third, though the headphones are in 10/10 condition and I could wear them for hours on end. All that matters here is the sound, and what a sound it is!

I almost feel guilty owning these headphones, knowing that they would be any mixer or masterer's dream. I can't imagine the frequency response graph having any peaks or valleys, it presents everything just as it was recorded (or so I imagine, since I have no way of knowing for sure). Truly a phenomenal pair of headphones.





EDIT: A fun fact that wavoman passed on to me, these are the only headphones ever produced to conform to German standards for a linear frequency response. I'm not sure which German institute Larry referenced, if I remember correctly it was some sort of radio body.

Just in case the question of "which do you prefer?" comes up, I'm going to answer in advance, "The Grados". My ears prefer the sound of the Grados, though I could easily see someone preferring the K240DF. Those who love linearity, who hold detail dearly, who crave clarity, should absolutely pick up a pair of K240's. Lesser versions can be had for ~$50 in the FS forums.
post #2 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingLing1337 View Post
If anyone read the October 3rd Omaha meet impressions thread, they'll know that not much caught my ear, aside from Gross' K240. They were pretty good out of the sources that I tried- I'm not sure of the exact model that they were.

I just received the bal-SE converter for the K240DF that wavoman traded me today. Upon plugging the headphones into my DAC, I fired up a few test tracks.

These things are incredible. Insane amounts of detail retrieval/micro-detail. Lightning-fast transients that put my Grados to shame. An unbelievable sense of clarity. I know that they are studio monitors, but I could definitely listen to these daily.

Appearance and comfort are distantly second and third, though the headphones are in 10/10 condition and I could wear them for hours on end. All that matters here is the sound, and what a sound it is!

I almost feel guilty owning these headphones, knowing that they would be any mixer or masterer's dream. I can't imagine the frequency response graph having any peaks or valleys, it presents everything just as it was recorded (or so I imagine, since I have no way of knowing for sure). Truly a phenomenal pair of headphones.

EDIT: A fun fact that wavoman passed on to me, these are the only headphones ever produced to conform to German standards for a linear frequency response. I'm not sure which German institute Larry referenced, if I remember correctly it was some sort of radio body.

Just in case the question of "which do you prefer?" comes up, I'm going to answer in advance, "The Grados". My ears prefer the sound of the Grados, though I could easily see someone preferring the K240DF. Those who love linearity, who hold detail dearly, who crave clarity, should absolutely pick up a pair of K240's. Lesser versions can be had for ~$50 in the FS forums.
I love how AKG always discontinues their best headphones. 240DF should still be made today, ignore the marketing BS of the newer 240's with 'HD' drivers. Sextetts, gone. Again AKG puts out a inferior product, only to claim the newer models are better.. 340, 501, 1000. AKG has a awful track record of discontining their best headphones. Great marketing. AKG.. Newer is better should be their motto. Their 'new' flagship model better not be a re bandaged 701/2, and pawn it off as new and innovative. AKG, stop going backwards....
post #3 of 121
i love akg's old 240 models- the sextett, 240m, and 240df. i like-and still own-the 240m best, its a middle ground between the sextett bassisness and df's hyper analytical-ness.
these all run best with a ton of power!
post #4 of 121
Good writeup my impressions on K240DF's are about the same.
I don't understand why this model has been discontinued either, the new K240's have nothing to offer the DF's don't do way better, oh well except new plastics ;-)
Witch version of the DF's did you get, paper or fabric baffle or something not yet seen?
post #5 of 121
I've read somewhere on threads that only worthy successor of akg 240df is k601?
Is that true or not ?
Did anyone had opportunity to make comparison ?
post #6 of 121
Nice review. With the 240DF I can finally hear highs the way they're supposed to sound...the mids too... quite a bit better than the recent k240S model(the newer 240's sound like they put a sock over the driver compared to the DF). I agree, it's a shame they discontinued them and prefer to market the clearly inferior newer k240/242 models. I recently purchased a second set as a back up... that's how much I liked my re-cabled set. The back up set is a little beat up but I got it for just over $50 on ebay...and it sounds almost as amazing as the re-cabled one. Listen to some good recordings with these and you will be amazed! I trust them more than my studio monitor speakers for accuracy, except in the low end.
post #7 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post
Nice review. With the 240DF I can finally hear highs the way they're supposed to sound...the mids too... quite a bit better than the recent k240S model(the newer 240's sound like they put a sock over the driver compared to the DF). I agree, it's a shame they discontinued them and prefer to market the clearly inferior newer k240/242 models. I recently purchased a second set as a back up... that's how much I liked my re-cabled set. The back up set is a little beat up but I got it for just over $50 on ebay...and it sounds almost as amazing as the re-cabled one. Listen to some good recordings with these and you will be amazed! I trust them more than my studio monitor speakers for accuracy, except in the low end.
What difference did the recable do for your DF's?
Switching to a Neutrik jack opened the highs up a bit for mine, so did the complete resolder I just finished, my previous solder job was just awful and done by reusing old tin
post #8 of 121
I bought a set on the for sale forum that were recabled balanced with mogami wire and xlr, but since I don't have a balanced amp they were re-terminated with 1/4" neutrik. Was just listening to the re-mastered Abby Road (the Beatles)... OMG, really astounding clarity...and plenty of bass, which is a surprise. I don't have the original CD to compare it to, though. There's actually a bit too much highs with the recabled set, and lately I've been using the set with the original cable. The recabled ones can be sibilant with some material, but they seal better and overall I think they sound better...never did a careful comparison though. I'm loving the new Abby Road with these...where did all that bass come from...you go Paul! Going to try to get Sgt. Peppers soon
post #9 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingLing1337 View Post
Those who love linearity, who hold detail dearly, who crave clarity, should absolutely pick up a pair of K240's. Lesser versions can be had for ~$50 in the FS forums.
You smooth talker, saying all the right things. Maybe someday.
post #10 of 121
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure of the version of the DF's I got... and I'm not going to open them up to look, I'm sending them back to Larry. I can't really justify keeping them right now, but if I ever buy another pair of headphones outside of the Grado lineup, I'm going to scour for another K240DF.
post #11 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by LingLing1337 View Post
I'm not sure of the version of the DF's I got... and I'm not going to open them up to look, I'm sending them back to Larry. I can't really justify keeping them right now, but if I ever buy another pair of headphones outside of the Grado lineup, I'm going to scour for another K240DF.
Oh ok then.
No need to take them apart though, just remove the pads and screening, there should be eight holes surrounding the driver, they are covered by either fabric or paper.
But if your are returning them I guess it's better to leave them alone.
post #12 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by lejaz View Post
I bought a set on the for sale forum that were recabled balanced with mogami wire and xlr, but since I don't have a balanced amp they were re-terminated with 1/4" neutrik. Was just listening to the re-mastered Abby Road (the Beatles)... OMG, really astounding clarity...and plenty of bass, which is a surprise. I don't have the original CD to compare it to, though. There's actually a bit too much highs with the recabled set, and lately I've been using the set with the original cable. The recabled ones can be sibilant with some material, but they seal better and overall I think they sound better...never did a careful comparison though. I'm loving the new Abby Road with these...where did all that bass come from...you go Paul! Going to try to get Sgt. Peppers soon
Well I have told you about a solution for the sibilance problem
Interesting read though, it would seem the DF's don't benefit much from a better cable then.
post #13 of 121
Thanks for the impressions. Are these semi-open like the other 240's? How much do they leak sound in and out? How is their imaging and soundstage? And how do they run without a dedicated amp (out of a laptop)? Given their high impedance I'm guessing not well. But how much would I have to spend on an amp to do them justice? I'm still hunting for a good pair of headphones for classical music that don't leak out much sound.

Thanks
post #14 of 121
600ohm. you're gonna need an amp.
post #15 of 121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gossling View Post
Thanks for the impressions. Are these semi-open like the other 240's? How much do they leak sound in and out? How is their imaging and soundstage? And how do they run without a dedicated amp (out of a laptop)? Given their high impedance I'm guessing not well. But how much would I have to spend on an amp to do them justice? I'm still hunting for a good pair of headphones for classical music that don't leak out much sound.

Thanks
An amp is needed, without one the soundstange pretty much disappears, bass will be very poor and highs will be harsh.
As for how they sound, search the forum, there are not many threads about the DF's and the more recent threads contain pretty good descriptions of them.
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