AKG K340
May 15, 2006 at 12:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 42

mrarroyo

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Lately I have been gettin an itch to buy a K340. I realise it is an older unit an that in itself would present some issues with the condition of the cans. Having said that I would like those that have the K340 to help me by providing points of reference. For example:

-Does any of you have the K340 and: RS-1, or K701, or HD600? If so would you please describe the similarities and differences.
-What amp do you use to drive them? I believe the K340 is a combination of electrostatic and dynamic thus my question.
-Some of you had them recables by Headphile. What cable/termination did you get a what are the main differences.

Thanks.
 
May 15, 2006 at 12:57 AM Post #2 of 42

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo
Lately I have been gettin an itch to buy a K340. I realise it is an older unit an that in itself would present some issues with the condition of the cans. Having said that I would like those that have the K340 to help me by providing points of reference. For example:

-Does any of you have the K340 and: RS-1, or K701, or HD600? If so would you please describe the similarities and differences.
-What amp do you use to drive them? I believe the K340 is a combination of electrostatic and dynamic thus my question.
-Some of you had them recables by Headphile. What cable/termination did you get a what are the main differences.

Thanks.



I was told they are extremely difficult to drive, which may be the case but my HeadRoom 'converible' has no issues with them with any of the current or '05 modules. I don't even need to use high gain.

Mine have an issue with the left driver and are therefore on their way to AKG, so I can't really compare them in detail, but I'd say they are closer to the K701 and HD600 than the RS-1.
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:28 AM Post #4 of 42

aerius

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo
-Does any of you have the K340 and: RS-1, or K701, or HD600? If so would you please describe the similarities and differences.
-What amp do you use to drive them? I believe the K340 is a combination of electrostatic and dynamic thus my question.
-Some of you had them recables by Headphile. What cable/termination did you get a what are the main differences.



I will have to generalize somewhat broadly since there's 3 confirmed versions of the K340 and all 3 sound somewhat different, but they do share common traits, mainly the soundstage & a lush midrange sound. Out of the headphones you mentioned, it's probably best thought of as the Senn 600 with some of the RS-1's midrange goodness & spooky real female vocals, as well as the Grado's more forward presentation & liveliness.

In terms of detail & resolution, I'd say a bit better than the K701 & Senn 600 when stock, and when modded it's far ahead of them and comes close to the RS-1, possibly surpassing it if you get a good one.

Soundstaging & imaging is a no-brainer, it kills the Senn 600 & K701, the soundstage on both of those sound disjointed with gaps & holes compared to the K340. Bigger soundstage on the K340, with more precise imaging, the RS-1 can match the imaging precision but not the soundstage size.

Downsides. Depending on which version you end up with, it will either have a treble roll-off or a bass roll-off, using the RS-1 with flat pads as the "neutral" reference. If you end up with the same version I have, there will be a slight resonance in the midrange that can never be gotten rid of, greatly reduced, but not eliminated. You will need to carry out rather extensive modifications to get the best performance out of them, you can do it yourself or have Larry at Headphile do them. Finding an amp that'll drive them well is a pain in the ass, I ended up having to design & build my own.
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:33 AM Post #5 of 42

fierce_freak

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how do you identify the treble roll off version (i'd rather have the bass-heavy version to start with)

thanks
wink.gif
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:39 AM Post #6 of 42

TheSloth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo
Thanks for that quick response. It sounds like a regular (dynamic) headphone amp can drive the K340, if so do you think something like the Micro Amp w/ desktop module can do the job? Thanks.


Yeah, I use the Max Module mainly, but all the modules actually have the same theoretical output power. The Desktop is great with the K701, so I suppose it ought to do very well here also.
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:58 AM Post #7 of 42

SonicDawg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by aerius
*snip*

Downsides. If you end up with the same version I have, there will be a slight resonance in the midrange that can never be gotten rid of, greatly reduced, but not eliminated. You will need to carry out rather extensive modifications to get the best performance out of them, you can do it yourself or have Larry at Headphile do them. Finding an amp that'll drive them well is a pain in the ass, I ended up having to design & build my own.



I think mine has some sort of resonance/echo with the mid's too. But don't you think that's just their ability to convey the air that is not presented by other phones? I had a side by side comparison between the K340's and the HD580's. The said resonance on the K340's can actually be found in the HD580's, albeit at a much minute level. I tend to think that it is just some superiority of the K340's
340smile.gif
 
May 15, 2006 at 2:11 AM Post #8 of 42

aerius

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fierce_freak
how do you identify the treble roll off version (i'd rather have the bass-heavy version to start with)

thanks
wink.gif



You have to open them up and check the 5 passive diaphragms. If they're clear and you can see a black backing through them, that's the bass-heavy version. If they're sorta translucent with a white backing behind them, that's the one with less bass.
 
May 15, 2006 at 12:12 PM Post #9 of 42

swt61

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Wow! Aerius you summed these headphones up spot on, and in very few words. I can't add much except to reiterate on the amp. Just because it will drive them to decent volume levels doesn't mean it's the right amp. Getting the amp right is probably the hardest part of owning these fantastic phones. It's a task you may never feel is quite done. I drive mine from a pretty powerful PPA, and while I like it, it's not just the right amp for the job. I'd love to hear aerius' amp with mine and philodox has something in the works i believe. I've just ordered a Lavry DA10, and because of all the comments i've read about the synergy with philodox's 340's powered from the balanced outputs, plan to have mine reterminated.
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:07 PM Post #10 of 42

vpivinylspinner

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I have the RS-1, K-701 and the HD-650 to complement my Headphiled K-340s. I actually prefer the K-340s to all others when properly amped even though mine are not burnt in yet as I just got them back from Larry recently and haven't had a lot of time to listen. The midrange in the upgraded K-340s is better than the others. I have the bass-light version so the bass is not as prominent as the HD-650 but is tighter than the Senns and more present than the K-701. Midrange on up I think they have a similar signature to the RS-1 but the soundstage is significantly better and more realistic.

I have the Black Gold cabling from Headphile terminated in HD-XLRs and a Headphile adapter cable to allow me to use them with a 1/4" jack.

I run them through either the Dynahi SA or the Melos SHA-Gold and both sound very good with the K-340s.
 
May 15, 2006 at 1:36 PM Post #11 of 42

n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mrarroyo
-Does any of you have the K340 and: RS-1, or K701, or HD600? If so would you please describe the similarities and differences.


Also have the 600s and my 340s are modded with Blue Dragon and silver wire in the crossover. I haven't spent too much time with them as I've been moving for the past month but I'm finally getting this set up again.

Quote:

-What amp do you use to drive them? I believe the K340 is a combination of electrostatic and dynamic thus my question.


Pretty much maxed out PPA, it drives them well when used with a source that has a strong output. As others have said they are very difficult to drive and when paired with the wrong amp will sound dull and lifeless. I keep meaning to try them with my Headroom Millett to see if it's up to the task, maybe I'll bring it home this week and give it a shot...

Quote:

-Some of you had them recables by Headphile. What cable/termination did you get a what are the main differences.


Mine were modded by the previous owner and that included a recable by Moon Audio. Can't say how the stock version sounded as a result but in my brief listening with them, my 600s (w/ Cardas cable) and a friends 650s (w/ Zu) I'd say I felt they were keeping right up with the Senns. Different sound to be sure and I'd have to guess that mine are the bass-heavy version just from what my ears are telling me.

The only other piece of advice is that I would caution against shelling out major $$ for these unless they've already been modded in a direction you think you would go anyway (which is what I did). Just about everyone I've talked to is pretty non-plused by the stock version and most of the mods will run you a minimum of around $200 (recabling only). At that point it seems somewhat safe to say that they are competing with $300ish cans (701, 600/650) but they're still 20 years old.

Anyway, that's my 2¢,

Nate
 
May 15, 2006 at 3:01 PM Post #13 of 42

swt61

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
How do the K340s respond to high levels of bass boost?
Can it handle it without distorting like the Senn HD650? Or does it crap out relatively early like the K701s?



I've never tried bass boost on these or any other headphones i own. I like the bass on them (i have the bass light version) it's there it's just not overemphasized. It's also tight and clean.
 
May 15, 2006 at 5:55 PM Post #14 of 42

facelvega

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheSloth
I was told they are extremely difficult to drive, which may be the case but my HeadRoom 'converible' has no issues with them with any of the current or '05 modules. I don't even need to use high gain.


I'm not surprised that your amp has no problem with them. AKG's website archives discontinued headphone statistics, and they report that the K340 has a sensitivity of 94dB from 1mW, which is midpack for the headphones mentioned by the OP (93 for the K701, 98 for the others)

I think people hear "electrostatic" and assume they'll never be able to drive these headphones, but by the numbers, they're more efficient than a pair of HD201's.

here's AKG's archive
 
May 15, 2006 at 6:03 PM Post #15 of 42

skudmunky

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PeeeMeS
How do the K340s respond to high levels of bass boost?
Can it handle it without distorting like the Senn HD650? Or does it crap out relatively early like the K701s?



lookin' at your sig and seeing "team bass" and "team treble" boost, why not just lower the midrange instead of boosting both extremes?
wink.gif
 

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