Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › AKG K140 explored
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AKG K140 explored

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Just got this vintage can by mail from Germany. Sounds good plugged straight in, but I'm going to take it apart and clean it. Pads are quite flat and the elastics dead as can be. I understand the pads are obsolete so maybe a little surgery with new foam is needed.

 

P2111302.JPG

 

They look fine for their age (they're from the 1970s, I believe?), except for the "R" plastic disc. Should any of you have a spare one I'll be happy to offer a small reward if you care to post it to me. Send a PM.

 

P2111310.JPG

 

P2111297.JPG

 

If there's interest I'll take some pics when I refurbish the headphones.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Mids are mildly coloured, bass full (some damping would be beneficial) and treble smooth. The K140 was introduced in 1974, and is the ancestor of all K240, K270, K141 models etc, and the first AKG headphone with the DKK 32 driver that's still being used in developed form.

 

So the K140 is worth keeping only for that, but it's also great fun listening to. It was tricky to dismantle, one of the "screw in screws" was stuck with rust, but I managed to open the cups and put in new elastics. As I did not want to desolder the cables there was no space/possibilty to take photos - both my hands were occupied. The pads are flat but I'll keep them - they are comfortable and the sound balance is good.

 

I'll report again when listening impressions have settled.


Edited by MDR30 - 2/12/11 at 4:00pm
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Truly a handy and compact headphone. 600 ohm but it works with the Cowon D2+, volume 4/5 up. Those aluminum cups are ringing like bells, but as they are mechanically isolated from the driver with the cardan suspension system I'm not too worried about it. Squeezed pads can be avoided by the old pen trick:

 

P2131323.JPG

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have not heard Ladi Geisler's "Knackbass" on Bert Kaempfert's records sounding better than on the K140: punchy, resonant and warm (a complex combination). It's probably a period phenomenon, a 1974 headphone answering to the needs and wishes of the 1960s' & 1970s' music productions.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

This original K140 have solid aluminum cups, the follow-up version has circular ventilation slits in the cups. Both cups are open though, around the rim where the black plastic ring is hanging in the cardan suspension (as opposed to the cups which are solidly fixed to the headband with a screw). I haven't checked but I assume these driver capsules have an open "bass" hole (see www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/416858/k-240-monitor-to-df-modification). I've put a felt ring at the back of the aluminum cups but nothing else. Some dynamat on the inside of the cups may be beneficial to the sound, as may some putty on the plastic driver baffle. The headphone's construction is well thought-out though, and I think the good design is inherently limiting any dramatic improvements. The K140 is lively and fine sounding as it is. I listen to it a lot and hope to come back with further impressions when I've really grasped its character.

 

P2161372.JPG

 

Finally, let me direct your attention to the spare part request at the beginning of the thread. Thanks!


Edited by MDR30 - 3/13/11 at 4:41am
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Listening to Sinatra late 50's Capitol stereo recordings - sounds just as good as Bert Kaempfert. Gonna move to the 70s next.

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post

Listening to Sinatra late 50's Capitol stereo recordings - sounds just as good as Bert Kaempfert. Gonna move to the 70s next.



Some of those albums were butchered pretty badly by poor remastering in 1998. Great Nelson Riddle arrangements though. You should try Sinatra Live at the Sands from 1966, I think....with the Count Basie Orchestra. It's a much better recording...a little bright with the k240DF, but should be perfect with some 1970's vintage AKG's. smile_phones.gif

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

As a matter of fact I listened to LP (Nice and Easy) and the 2004 EMI/Capitol 3 CD-box The Platinum Collection, mastered by Bob Norberg and supervised by Rob Christie at Capitol Studios, Hollywood.

 

My impression is that Capitol hasn't treated the CD reissues very well . Earlier CD incarnations are disappointing. This 3 CD-box is better, but sound quality is irritatingly varied. Capitol had one of the best equipped stereo recording studios in the 1950s (in the famous Capitol Tower itself), so the original masters should be top-notch. I mean, Frank Sinatra was one of the best selling artists at the time, so expenses were not spared.

 

We await the definitive reissue, in high definition format.

 

P2181453.JPG

post #9 of 15

I've got the Classic Sinatra CD's vol. I and II....yep, just checked, digitally remastered by Bob Norberg. Very dull sound on most of the tracks. I read a review on Amazon that said they were trying to remove hiss and wound up mucking things up.  Agree the original masters should be great considering he was the equivalent of the Beatles for his generation. Would definitely be awesome to get a better reissue...it's such first rate orchestration and arrangements, not to mention the singing!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDR30 View Post

As a matter of fact I listened to LP (Nice and Easy) and the 2004 EMI/Capitol 3 CD-box The Platinum Collection, mastered by Bob Norberg and supervised by Rob Christie at Capitol Studios, Hollywood.

 

My impression is that Capitol hasn't treated the CD reissues very well . Earlier CD incarnations are disappointing. This 3 CD-box is better, but sound quality is irritatingly varied. Capitol had one of the best equipped stereo recording studios in the 1950s (in the famous Capitol Tower itself), so the original masters should be top-notch. I mean, Frank Sinatra was one of the best selling artists at the time, so expenses were not spared.

 

We await the definitive reissue, in high definition format.

 

P2181453.JPG

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

I returned to the K140 after having concentrated my listening on the K400 for a few days - a splendid open headphone - and the comparison was not very flattering to the K140. It sounded congested and with definition lacking on large-scale orchestral recordings. Still, it has a presence and body that seems to defy most open headphones.

 

I'll report after further listening/comparison (other headphones and makes are queing up as well).

post #11 of 15

Do report with a comparison against the K 141 as well, if possible.

 

I was planning on getting a 140 to go with my 141, but reasoned they'd not be different enough.

 

The closed cups of the 140 have to have some effect on the sound vs. the 141's semi-open cups, at least. It would also be interesting to know how far apart the open version of the 140 and the 141 are.

post #12 of 15

The K141 is a bit darker sounding, the K140 has a more forward presentation but still has some noticeable rolloff in the highs. Really though they are more similar sounding than different. Between the two I slightly prefer the sound of the K141 but the comfort of the K140 w/velour HD-25 pads is much better for me.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well, I decided to set away an hour comparing three of my AKGs: K140, K340 and K400.

 

First of all, the K140 has nice punch and presence but can't properly resolve massed strings in orchestral recordings. This may be because of the closed cups (but not closed construction, there is ventilation) or the driver/capsule itself. Slightly exagerated bass and somewhat roll offed highs characterize the sound, which is nevertheless quite appealing. In popular music and jazz, especially from the 1950s to the 1970s,  it's limitations are not as noticable as with classical music. Furter damping inside the cup (felt) may improve things, like new pads: I suspect the balance would tip over to the top when the drivers are placed a bit further from the ears (original pads are a bit flat). I'm sure there was a good reason for the AKG engineers to machine slits in the cups of the second generation K140.

 

AKG K340 A.jpg

 

The K340 presents a more neutral (none of the mid/bass colourations of the K140) and transparent sound. It's smoth and detailed, a very rare combination in my book. Strings are silky and still well defined, lovely. I like the sound very much, but there is a politeness to it that can make itself apparent every now and then. It's also obvious that it's a semi-open design - it's more closed-in than the K400 with a touch of nasality.

 

A quite new world opens itself with the K400: airiness, transparency, a wonderful three dimensional portrayal and speed. I've said it before: this headphone is a major discovery for me - together with the HD565 - in the midprice section of deleted/second hand headphones. Some people may find it's presentation too delicate. The K340 has a fuller bass and maybe more body to the midrange, but also some quirkiness in the crossover range of the electret and dynamic drivers (midrange, quite noticable with female vocies in mono).

 

The K400 is the winner for me, but a few months of concentrated listening is needed before I make a definite conclusion. I'm openminded anyway, enjoying my apples as well as my pears. And the odd orange (K140) every now and then. I'm definitaly keeping all three AKGs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 15

hello, MDR...

 

i recently dug up my AKG K140 headphones, too, and would like to use them.  but like yours, my foam is all gone.

 

can you tell me how i might go about replacing the foam and maybe even the ear cushions (if they're available and reasonably priced).  while the cusions seem to be in good shape, when i pull them away from the earpiece, the plastic behind starts to crack.  (i know, then don't pull them away. :-)  but how else do i disassemble them?)

 

any help appreciated.

 

Ed

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFabian View Post

... Between the two I slightly prefer the sound of the K141 but the comfort of the K140 w/velour HD-25 pads is much better for me.

I have two K140 closed back with sextett drivers.
Thinking of selling them, because both are too tight.
After wearing them half an hour getting bad headache.
Also the pads are very stiff.
I read your tip about the Sennheiser HD 25 velour pads.
Are they compatible without modding?
I tried to release the pads on both K140's but they are really not moving :/
Changing to soft velour pads would bring me to rethink the selling idea.

Thank you in advance!

Kind regards from AKG's home - Austria.
Tom
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › AKG K140 explored