AudioQuest NightHawk Impressions and Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by ghostchili, Jan 7, 2015.
  1. frogmeat69
    Ok, bought my Nighthawks just over a year ago, love them, sound great and very comfortable, but they still smell funny. Was wondering, when Audioquest says "liquid wood", is that code word for poop? Because my headphones smell like they were made out of bug****, lol.
    George Taylor likes this.
  2. bigshoe83
    I recently acquired a set of the original hawks and it came with 2 of the nicer cables and the thinner “backup cable”. For some reason both of the nice cables are having the same issue. When I plug them in and play music it’s very spotty and only plays in one ear at a time And/or sounds very distant and echoey. The only way I can fix it is to play around with the cable at the amp end by bending it just right. As soon as I let it go it acts up again. I have tried several sources and adapters and they have the same issue. Any ideas on a way to fix them? I would hate to not be able to use them. Thanks
  3. George Hincapie
    I had this exact problem when I first started using my NHs. Are you using the AQ 3.5mm adapter? If so, get rid of it and try another; mine wasn't holding the male end tight enough and causing exactly the issue you describe.
  4. mbwilson111
    It is a known issue ...AuidioQuest knows about it. You can get them to replace it but it would be the new short rubbery one. If you have the skills you could re-terminate it. Some searching and. reading in this thread will show this has been discussed many times including just a few pages ago. Sad for a company known for cables...
  5. mbwilson111
    My plug actually broke off so be careful when you remove the adapter...yes, the adapter is bad also.
  6. betula
    The smell is definitely divisive. Some people love it, some people hate it. 98% of the smell however disappears after 3-4 weeks. I remember it was mentioned at some point, some sort of vanilla extract is in the liquid wood. At first I found the smell really strange, but after a few days I started to love it. I'd put drops of the fragrance on my NH if such thing was available, I miss it. :) (Wondering if the Carbon smells the same when new, or they got rid of the idea?)

    Unfortunately the 3.5mm plug of the original NH cable breaks easily. Search this thread, it has been discussed several times. You can get them replaced or just buy an aftermarket option.
  7. bigshoe83
    I may cut the end off and attempt to re-solder the 3.5mm plug on more solidly. If I can’t do it I’m not really losing anything since they don’t work anyway.
    mbwilson111 likes this.
  8. mbwilson111
    Yes, and if the plug looks too flimsy you could get a better one. Lots of length to work with if you need more than one try.
    bigshoe83 likes this.
  9. Dr Strangelove
    Had this issue on the thicker vanilla cable, even without the adapter. At the moment I am using the thinner cable. When the second one breaks as well, I will just chop the damn thing of and resolder it to some proper neutriks...

    So sad that a company that is well known for its high-end and accordingly overpriced products bundles cables of such low durability.
  10. .Sup
    if you ask them for a replacement cable do you have to send the original one back?
  11. betula
    Yes. And most likely you'll receive the new 'Carbon' cable.
  12. mbwilson111
    I did not have to return mine. I was sent the new Carbon cable but found it to be too thick, short and sprongy. Pretty sure it will not break though.

    I still use the inexpensive Sennheiser HD497 replacement cable that I had ordered a year ago on ebay (came from China) when the original first broke. The one that I chose is nice and flexible and comes in a choice of 1.2m or 1.8m. You can also find Senn HD700 cables but those tend to be more expensive... even the ones that are exactly like mine! :) More expensive cable for a more expensive headphone it seems...
  13. bigshoe83
    I didn’t have to
  14. bigshoe83
    I disassembled the original cable on mine after I received the new one and I don’t feel confident enough in my soldering ability to fix it. The wires are tiny and really close together on the plug. Maybe a different plug would help if it is spaced out more. The strange part is that being supposedly a high end cable the plug has virtually no strain relief built in. It’s just the wires soldered onto the plug making it super weak and easy to break a connection. Poor quality in my book.
    kehorton and mbwilson111 like this.
  15. Dr Strangelove
    I recommend working with some proper 3.5mm plugs by Neutrik. You can fix the whole wiring inside the housing by using headshrinks. Should be enough for most cases.
    There are also high quality plugs by e.g. Amphenol oder HICON which come with rubber grommets for kink protection / strain relief. Some do also offer spring reliefs :wink:

    the inner conductors are often very thin and coated with an anti-static varnish. I haven't found a efficient way to remove that outter layer yet, so that you can reliably solder the wires to the ports of the plug. Since the untreated outter layer often won't stick nor conduct when feeding it with solder I just tried to burn it a few millimeters with a lighter and then clean it off with some alcohol. Works ok as a workaround. However, most of the quality 3.5mm plugs are fairly easy to solder in case you own a temperature controlled soldering station with a not too thick head. But don't panic, with some patience you can also get good results with the simplest equipment. Its just a mechanical process. Even in case you accidentaly switch the polarity or goof up the soldering: electrically there is actually nothing you can damage.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
    mbwilson111 and bigshoe83 like this.

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