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AKG K271-MKII - Page 6

post #76 of 86

oops, double post, it's late

 


Edited by dbbloke - 7/28/11 at 4:42pm
post #77 of 86
Quote:

 

Regardless how a headphone measures, it may or may not have the ability to play every note to their pitch accurately. The LCD-2 did not have this quality (though not the worst) and the HD800 for instance trumps them completely in this regard. 

 


That's debatable concerning hd800 - some find it completely unnatural and spend years trying to tune their system to make them sound natural.  LCD apparently has some reverb issues - I have no reference to comment on this.

 

But to some degree or other all systems lie - and whether or not a system sounds natural, in the relative sense of the word, is contingent upon how convincing the reproduction is.  Music is art and not science - absolute truth is not (or should not be) the concern here.

 

The unfortunate limitation is that this coloration is applied to all music played through a system, regardless of production, artists intent (although this is an outdated concept) or whatever conceptual frames of reference exist in any particular musical genre.

 

The great thing about transducer coloration is that one can own many headphones to select a particular coloration, possibly even from the same [neural] source and amplifier.  

 

To achieve a good speaker setup you need a whole spare room set up, and are practically limited to a single reproduction coloration, regardless of the production, recording or genre characteristics.

post #78 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbloke View Post

Hi Electropop, thanks for the reply, excuse the writing style, stream of consciousness piece,


ooh yeah, linn is hype, even the lp12, but I don't understand people who don't use hackintoshes either ;p Are the hifimans better than stax (e.g. lambada pros, not the interesting record company)

I completely understand what you say about getting used to speakers, done this many years ago, you just readjust or hear much and become wiser. I'm objective though.

 e.g. Used to judge car stereos SQ comps, personally I prefer Morel drivers, but lots of people like the sounds made by focal or dynaudio. Personally I find focal berillium drivers very clinical and too precise (focal grand utopia spring to mind) - although amazing for clarity, as for dynaudio they just make everything sound boring to me. BUT I would still mark them not for colouration but all the other aspects that make speakers good - integrations. I've heard MANY speakers, like many hundreds, driven by many hundreds of power, integrated, hybrid, mixing desks, sources. Have tons of musician friends, know quite a fair bit about PA (where I certainly have my personal favourites and hates but I don't air my hates). Like why does meyer sound almost always sound rubbish.

 Back to the probloems - I was playing... Rainy day music by the jayhawks, I forget which track... sounded quite ok on the cans cause I'd had em on for a while been tinkering with the cups and sealing and not sealing etc... but i took them off to go to the loo and came back and cause i unplugged, the secondary valve section to power my amp took over (realizing the headphones had been unplugged) And now I heard a DIFFERENT SONG. With the headphones I could not even make out a bass guitar playing and suddenly there was one !! Really.. I should find the track, quite simple well recorded album, was using the CD BTW as I've a good reference. Also, at the beginning the kick drum sounds quite balanced in the mix, you hear it being struck (and a skin) and it has a certain amount of reverberation. On the AKG you just got a very short bump noise (not a drum, just a bump noise) and that was it instead of a few tenths decay which gives you an indication of the room it was recorded in. AKG showed none of this and of course, there is no bass guitar playing.

I compare music equipment with thousands of live rock, acoustic, electro, dance, dubstep, jazz, classical, organ concerts I attend all the time. Best place for a reference, ideally they have a good PA or else you just need to listen live. The akg's make voices sound fake as well.

As for Dance / synthesised music... They don't sound so bad, i mean how does a sample sound (unless you are some kind of sample nerd - yeah I know a few korg fanatics, some guy who used to work for fairlight in nz, few internationally famous djs... sigh, name drop...) but really, dance is hard to know for sure if that is all you listen to, it's not a real thing, synthesized! That said, I've got a couple of calibrated measurement microphones, unfortunately in storage.

BTW, the reference speakers (which are far from reference but I've found them quite natural) are Usher Audio S520's (Actually prefer to the berilium ones they make). Much prefer then to 2000$ dynaudios. But if you were spending 2k, you could get aurum cantus or something like that with ribbons, pmc are interesting but had 3 or 4 pair of transmission speakers and they are so slow.

Also, I think my signature / profile goes on a little about my gear.

Sorry, these cans are not accurate, it's not a personal thing, just a fact, they have bits of the frequency range missing, and seriously impact your understanding and for me knowing better enjoyment of the recording. I try and hear new things in recordings each time I buy, not less. Although if it makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up then hey, lucky you to get it done so easily.

 Now wondering if ATH-M50 is any good. This time it looks like I'll have to go to a shop and hope the source is decent. And advice appreciated.


A valid response :)

 

Perhaps I need to clarify on a few points.

 

I'm using the K272's, which are more or less the same. It is true that they don't capture as much detail as a headphone could, but my point is, why should they? Having owned the HD-25-1's, SR325i's, SRH840s, out of portable headphones and had experience with others, I can safely say that the K272's are the most consistent musically among them. Some of the others may dig deeper into a recording detail-wise (bring out a drum-stool squeak) and make some instruments sound more natural or real, but the AKG's let me hear what's being played, ie. the notes according to their pitch. Listening to the music, they let me hear many things more none of the previous ones do. I'm quite the avid listener of jazz, fusion-rock, progressive etc. When I hear Jeff Clyne, Chris Spedding and Karl Jenkins so fabulously play a supportive role to Brian Smith's saxophone solo on Nucleus' song 'Torrid Zone' from the album Elastic Rock, I go "woah **** those dudes have an amazing understanding of eachother and play so harmoniously it makes the back of my hair rise up!". If that's what you mean by that, then yes, they do it :) That's what the headphones allow me to do, listen what's happening on a melodically and harmonically rich song instead of making me think "duh, I don't think that bass has the right 'tone' to it"... It doesn't matter to me if you can only hear the content, the notes. Being bass-light helps them in this regard I think. I most certainly don't miss anything. If they were the HD25-1's or SRH84's, I would most certainly hear bass, but not the bass (the instrument) and what's being played by it so truthfully. Also, I wouldn't care if there's imbalance with the kick drum in relation to the rest of the music, as long as you can hear every hit and also distinguish every tom from each other. They all have their own pitches. 

 

Oh and Linn isn't hype, at least completely. I don't know how against my premises (see above) for choosing gear you do it, but the Usher's you have, while I actually like them and are nowhere near the worst, are far from even the "cheap" Majik 109's Linn manufactures. I agree that LP12 is hype. Not much of a vinyl enthusiast, but when comparing to a much less expensive Project modded with a proper Audio Technica cartridge and something else, or even the cheapest version of the LP12, I could never justify the price. Same goes for the Klimax series of electronics and speakers... The Akurate 212's or the 242's are some of the best speakers I've heard period, regardless of price, definitely including the Usher 10's or 20's. I was so happy to find a demo 212 pair with a fraction of the original price. Mcintosh is moot, I agree as well :) It only dirties the signal and doesn't show any real benefits to the chain. I once played around with those with a B&W D802 setup a few hours and wasn't really keen on what they provided. 

 

So, in a nutshell. I think the K271/272's are excellent for music lovers who at least partially enjoy modal music. I still think they are one of the most coherent closed headphones available today. I never lose the bass-player thanks to them, ever, so I can't relate to what you, dbbloke, speak of... Maybe look up the recording and let me try it out with different gear? 

 

I'm not much of a name thrower, but my girlfriend plays the trumpet (no dirty-jokes, please), and has the ability to tab notes much better than me, and she agrees that compared to all the rest to my gear, minus the 212's, doing this job is much easier with the K272's. You don't have to guess what a bass-player is playing or miss a Hubbard like high-note shake. Maybe this brings objectivity or perspective to my point and makes it easier to understand. Feel free to comment...

 

I still don't think these headphones are any near being bright, quite the opposite. And if they are, in relation to what's available on the market today, I'm very happy to have found them :)


Edited by electropop - 7/29/11 at 2:16am
post #79 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by drez View Post




That's debatable concerning hd800 - some find it completely unnatural and spend years trying to tune their system to make them sound natural.  LCD apparently has some reverb issues - I have no reference to comment on this.

 

But to some degree or other all systems lie - and whether or not a system sounds natural, in the relative sense of the word, is contingent upon how convincing the reproduction is.  Music is art and not science - absolute truth is not (or should not be) the concern here.

 

The unfortunate limitation is that this coloration is applied to all music played through a system, regardless of production, artists intent (although this is an outdated concept) or whatever conceptual frames of reference exist in any particular musical genre.

 

The great thing about transducer coloration is that one can own many headphones to select a particular coloration, possibly even from the same [neural] source and amplifier.  

 

To achieve a good speaker setup you need a whole spare room set up, and are practically limited to a single reproduction coloration, regardless of the production, recording or genre characteristics.



Well said, I agree. It is the more reason to concentrate on the art itself, not the scientific or hi-fi side of it. Read my previous post :) Contemplating on whether something sounds real or not is quite difficult. When I say accurate, I mean the accuracy to view the content of a song, again, ie. the notes to their pitch, including rhythmic instruments of course. 

 

I actually never knew how much a source and an amp can so drastically matter in this regard, since a visit to a store a week back. I was never quite fond of the HD800, but recognized their potential. Heard them through the Benchmark DAC system, bleh, then quite an expensive Ayre source with the Lehmann Black Cube Linear, again 'bleh'. Last week I heard it from quite a modest (if I'm right) setup. It consisted of a Naim cdp (might've been the 5i or the more expensive one..) and a Heed Canamp. Put on Miles' Sketches of Spain and was awe struck how easily I could distinct, without pinching the least, every wood wind and brass instrument to their note on Wil o' the Wisp or The Pan Piper when accompanying Miles' quite personal lead role. Now listening to my speaker system, I don't think even they do it that accurately in my current acoustic setting.

I could happily without even looking at another setup live with the one I spent some time earlier... 

post #80 of 86

I wasn't concentrating on the hifi side. Just working out if the band had 3 or 5 people in it.

 

Detail to generalise is something you get with 24bit and good electostatics (or decent sources with neutral system). It's not just a string being plucked, it's a string being plucked with a nail, a finger a big thumb, a bass guitar slapped etc... rather than just a tone at frequency. This is detail. Being able to tell if a snare is a sample, a recording studio, which recording studio even.

 

Back to my recording... 

Play on the home or car stereo (which don't normally have so much detail as headphones) and you hear a bass guitar and a drummer.

Play on 271's and you hear just singer, 2 guitars and a dull thuddy what might be a kick drum (because I've hear the track before). You can't tell there is a bass player for 95% of the track. The guy didn't even turn up to the studio for the recording. How is this missing detail... It's not really a detail is it, more of a simple fact of the recording 5 people did it, 5 noises (even if you have undetailed equipment) on the CD. Maybe my ears just need to be broken and desensitised to crazy 271 treble first before i can hear bass again?

 

But as you dont have 272's it's not really relevant is it. Returned 271's to shop for full refund minus shipping. Might buy some 450's and just accept they will sound bad.

 

Naim again, I've heard most naim gear and dont mind the sound of their bigger amps, but their sources - pretty much miss a ton of what's on the recording much like the 271's, last time I compared naim to bel-canto / mac with pro interfaces through 989's. disgusting for what they charge. ESS 9018 is pretty much rewriting the rules. At least writing this I found out about maverick audio (need class t amp and a dac for travels) from a site with cool dac links. Otherwise I've given up with hifi gear, my system in the car and home i dont think will ever need to be changed. som many times i've gone... pre/power esoteric then not satisfied so gone dimple route to just have something. finally something decent im perfectly happy with (apart from my budget stop gap harman kardon AVR) and need some better electrical plugs / mains distribution. But even then, uk electricity sounds crap, russian sounds much better when it works ! You would think it's the in place to record.

post #81 of 86

That's strange, since I don't find my K272's at all bright and I never miss out what the bass player is playing. I understand your point about detail, that's just it. I've heard extremely detailed systems where you could hear drummer chairs squeak and all that jazz, but the music itself was very monotonic. I could not distinguish subtle changes in pitch. I'd have the latter always before the detail. I understand if people want detail, but that's really besides the point of being able to play music :) In good systems however, these qualities do not exclude each other and can happily co-exist.

 

I think something like Ayre, for instance, is completely moot. I'd take any Naim over any Ayre anytime, without even auditioning, only based on that one experience. I don't have much experience with Naim in general, so I can't make generalizations, but that particular system let the HD800's shine no other I've tried, has. Could be synergy, could be that it was one of the overly expensive Naim cdp's... I dunno. What do you think Naim source components leave out of the recording? 

 

Back to your recording, which was? I'm dying to find out and try, since I think you're overly exaggerating the K271's flaws :) Although I only have the K272's with which to try.

post #82 of 86

Really, such a friendly forum despite my rather strong observations.

 

Anyhow...

Track was from - The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music. BUT.. It came as a limited edition with bonus CD called More Rain. The track is - Say Your Prayers. So I guess Disc 2, Track 2.

It's like the sound engineer is half asleep at the desk of a live gig and you can't hear one of the band. Probably they use meyer sound. or AKG cans smily_headphones1.gif

http://www.softshoe-slim.com/lists/j/jayhawks.html#7

 

Let me know if you hear 100% detail in the kick drum and the Bass.

post #83 of 86


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbloke View Post

Really, such a friendly forum despite my rather strong observations.

 

Anyhow...

Track was from - The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music. BUT.. It came as a limited edition with bonus CD called More Rain. The track is - Say Your Prayers. So I guess Disc 2, Track 2.

It's like the sound engineer is half asleep at the desk of a live gig and you can't hear one of the band. Probably they use meyer sound. or AKG cans smily_headphones1.gif

http://www.softshoe-slim.com/lists/j/jayhawks.html#7

 

Let me know if you hear 100% detail in the kick drum and the Bass.


while i understand that the K271 isn't for everyone, i am puzzled by the lack of detail comments. 

 

i just hooked up a pair of Naim speakers that have been sitting in their boxes for 5 years.  i will slap on the AKGs later and listen to the track.  i am pretty excited about the Jayhawks upcoming release.

 

post #84 of 86

Mid detail is great, bass detail (even with velour) is terrible. Is the bass guitar even there?

 

BTW, track was more likely - caught with a smile on my face - off same album, 2 tracks later. Sorry, said I wasn't sure. 

 

New Jayhawks album - yeah, also very excited, shame i missed them in the UK. Perhaps they'll come to Kiev or Melbourne.Mark Olson & Gary Louris ready for the flood was amazing live - how can 2 people with 2 guitars sound like 5 or 6 people! Yeah, you're right about the new album,  great you can get any option you want - e.g. flac/ lossless apple, 320..

Side note, my mate louis (writes for shindig magazine) gave them a Honeybus CD 20 yrs ago whilst wearing a clarence white t-shirt, seemed they lifted the cool bass guitar riff from a track on the at their best album... which track (flies like a bird?)... sigh, wish my cd's weren't in storage or I'd manage to image them all. Probably need find my src2496 and listen to the PC one day.

 

Currently using Superlux 668b's with akg velour. They seem pretty musical, 681s look superbly promising with the filter mod. awesome bass/mid i think (hard to tell with excessive but listenable treble).


Edited by dbbloke - 9/12/11 at 10:30am
post #85 of 86

Do you think Amazon's price of $137 for these is legitimate? i'm realizing now there seem to be fakes listed on amazon.

post #86 of 86

That's is damn cool!!! thanx for everyone who advised them. 

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