Tweak-Fi

"If it measures good and sounds bad, it is bad.
If it sounds good and measures bad, you've measured the wrong thing."

Forums

Post Reply
Forum Home > Headphones > kboe's AKG Journey, Collection and Catalogue.

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148



kboe's  AKG Journey, Collection and Catalogue.


I like AKG headphones... o.k. I love them. It’s not that other headphones don’t do it for me, it’s just that AKG’s don’t evolve into boring or plateau my excitement. In that sense they have staying power. It’s the same way I view Cardas cables, AKGs translate music in the easiest to understand dialect my ears recognize. My first AKGs were the highly polarizing K-702s, (Same as the 701 but with a different color scheme and detachable mini-xlr style cable). You will either love or hate the sound, I obviously love. My next pair was the much lauded K-240s. It’s exactly what everyone says it to be, fun and dynamic, other plusses being it’s lightweight and comfortable fit.   Both sport user replaceable cables, a 10 foot Cardas cable was my next purchase. If there is one consistent complaint about the higher end K701-2 models, it’s of a bass light, piercing highs nervousness or flightiness.



If you know how Mr. Cardas voices his cables, then you know such a cable would seem tailor made to correct such traits. While I would ceed that the AKGs have a house sound that is bass lighter, not bass light, and treble savy, not treble sibilant, you should understand that I really agree with these complaints, but from a positive perspective rather than a negative one. Where some hear awesome fear inducing, gut smashing bass form the Denon AH-D series, I hear bloat. The point being whatever floats your boat. AKGs float mine.





That’s how AKGs invaded my life and where we start this collection and catalogue. My goal in this thread will be to document my journey in the AKG universe. What I buy, find, learn and explore will all be detailed here with as much documentation as I can muster. Reviews, service documents and pictures will all be included. I welcome questions, comments and would love for the thread to become a place for learning, not just for myself, but for the community of headphone hobbiest who share my passion not just for music, but sound and it’s reproduction. Let’s get started.













February 9, 2012 at 10:39 AM Flag Quote & Reply

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148

ENTRY #1. K-130.


Specs and picture taken from “http://www.adelcom.net/AKGHP.htm”;.

Dynamic Moving Coil.

20 Hz-20 KHz Frequency Response.

93.5 dB Sensitivity.

4-200 Ohms per System Impedance Range.

9V Maximum Input.

0.7% THD at 95 dB SPL

4.4 Ounce Weight Without Cable.

9 Foot Cable with Installed 1/4" Phone Plug.





These I bought in a no-bid ebay listing. My first vintage AKG! The condition of the headphone is actually pretty good with two exceptions. The two plastic headband supports are warped but this doesn’t effect wearability nor performance, and the printed AKG logo and model markings on the top of the headband are wearing away. You can still easily read however “K130 AKG Made in Austria”. The cable is a three meter affair, with a flat four wire harness entering into both ear pieces. No typical single entry here.




As far as year of production I can find nothing concrete. The only clue being where it belongs in the K-100 series, which places it somewhere in the early 1980s. AKGs own service document site provides no mention of it. But there are many holes on AKGs own record keeping as far as headphones go.




The sound if these is pretty spectacular given not only the age of the headphone itself but the technology of the age in which it was produced. On bass prowess and depth they don’t match the current flagship, but no surprises there. They come close to the K-240s (55ohm version with Cardas) but still not quite. Using a punishing track like “Why So Serious?” from The Dark Knight soundtrack makes this readily apparent. It just doesn’t cut the mustard. However I must be careful to not blast the cans too harshly. There is enough bass to not feel outright cheated. Nothing like the piss poor performance of the “came with” i-Buds you see infesting everyones ears nowadays. So while anemic is one step too far, it is in fact only one step to far. The mids are typical AKG, well developed without any highlighting or over-reaching. No humps on any graph I would bet. Highs are soft, which is not usual for the brand, but being of such early beginnings easily understandable.




Over all I find this headphone remarkably competent, again given age and the current street price for one. It’s a musical slightly warm presentation that’s easy on the ears. Fatigue does not apply even after extended hours. It’s on ear or supra-aural format does limit the physical size of the drivers and thus the relative subjective size of the music it produces. It’s performance in that respect is not lost on a fan of Grado cans.


In several pictures I've seen in my research I've noticed that ear pads varied widely.  So a search lead me to an Amazon seller who’s pleather pads were supposed to fit. One reviewer mentioned that these were “stretch to fit”. Upon receiving the pleather pads they were indeed a few millimeters smaller than the foam cushions currently on my K130s. Removing the foam cushions was easy enough, they simply peeled back. under the foam was a layer of a felt like material to protect the driver. The new pleather pads already had a thinner, and most likely more acoustically transparent material sewn in, so out too went the felt liner. The change that resulted from the pleather pads was transformative.




Gone was the warm, seductive presentation with soft highs and wooly bass. In was higher attack speed, better detailing from cleared up highs and a slightly thiner midrange. All was not positive however. Because the bass cleared up through less grain, the lack of extension became even more apparent. Now only acoustic music of a lighter demeanor made any tonal sense through the K130s. In that respect it became a K702 light of sorts. While the K702 suffers no demerits in the bass from this listeners bias, it does for some. It is the lighter nature of AKG bass that these two widely seperated models share. The K130s simply lacking extension and refinement of the current flagship. Midrange clarity and treble purity however is where the two models share many ties.




All of this only becomes know when they are properly powered, so be selective when amping.   Driven iPod direct the K130s sound puny, sickly and lifeless. Upping the quality and quantity to Schiit’s Asgard level does reap dividends, but your still not all the way there yet. Enter HiFiMans EF5 Hybrid amp. This two chassis amp really pushes out watts for hungry cans, and the K130s just like the K702s are famished. Now the bass comes into it’s own. Again, if your not the type of listener to take to the AKG idea of what bass is, then even the fleshing out the EF5 provides won’t be enough to slate your thirst.




Another factor to consider in choosing pads will be fit and comfort. I find the foam pads more comfortable, though the pleather not outright uncomfortable. It really boils down to listener taste. For the greatest tonal warmth, vocal coziness and relaxed treble, go foam. For a more precise sound, tighter bass and subjectively further extended treble, go pleather. This headphones modern inheritor is the K140 MKII. It’s detachable cable and modern driver should well surpass this early 70s model, making the K130 a fantastic buy at it’s ebay price of around $30-60.00.


Highly recommended for the AKG aficionado.














February 9, 2012 at 12:03 PM Flag Quote & Reply

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148

ENTRY #2.  K120 (--COMMING SOON--)




February 9, 2012 at 2:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148

ENTRY #3. K141. (--COMMING SOON--)




The Above PDF taken from the 1979 AKG brochure.



This is a review from 1979 of the K141.  Interesting methinks.



This last picture is the table of measurements the contemporary reviewer published to put the K141 in context stat wise to it's competition of the time.  Wildly awesome.

February 9, 2012 at 3:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148

ENTRY #4. K200 MKII. (--ON HOLD--)


The seller seems to have lost the pair I bought so untill I find a replacement this entry goes on hold.


The K200 MKII was intended to provide an open backed alternative to the K141.  See... it says so right in the pic! 



February 9, 2012 at 3:23 PM Flag Quote & Reply

rosgr63
Moderator
Posts: 141

Nice journey Kevin.

I am an AKG fan too.

--

There are few pleasures as simple, and wonderful as music - Craig Uthus

February 9, 2012 at 4:41 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Amine Slimani
Site Owner
Posts: 162

Very nice thread Kevin!


Out of curiosity, have you ever listened to an AKG K1000? I personally haven't had the chance to do so but I am wondering why, despite their great history, AKG hasn't released yet a successor to the AKG K1000 to compete with the HD800s, LCD3s...


In any case, I am looking forward to the rest of this article.

--

Everything in Audio is sublte and not worth it - Patrick82

February 25, 2012 at 4:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

kboe
Moderator
Posts: 148

Amine Slimani at February 25, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Very nice thread Kevin!


Out of curiosity, have you ever listened to an AKG K1000? I personally haven't had the chance to do so but I am wondering why, despite their great history, AKG hasn't released yet a successor to the AKG K1000 to compete with the HD800s, LCD3s...


In any case, I am looking forward to the rest of this article.

Amine, I've had the pleasure of listening to the K1000 of an amp built specifically for it. What a marvelous experience. A headphone I will surly be adding to my collection when I get the chance. As for a new flagship... I'm going to get in trouble for this but here it goes anyways. I don't find the most recent flagship models from Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic and the like as absolutely superior to the last generation of flagships. For instance, I don't find the Beyer T1 to pull off sound density as well as the HD650. The HD800 I find to have flaky build quality and fit. I also find the midrange recessed and sorely lacking. I am obviously in a very small minority, (perhaps population 1) but thats just the way I hear it. I tell you that because even though I'm a huge akg fan, I don't feel that it's likely for them to release a new flagship that clearly outclasses it's current one. In fact the only headphones I find to be a true step up not side step are the older king of headphones, the R10, L3000 and the Joseph Grado headphones. No need to hunt me down with torches and pitchforks, I'll be waiting on my front porch to face my sentence at the mercy of the audiophile heresy court.

--

Happy Tunes,

Kevin

A shared passion for music is a simple way to appreciate the commonality which binds us together as people. That's why the negativity expressed in audiophile forums at times is so grotesque. - Srajan Ebaen

February 26, 2012 at 8:38 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Amine Slimani
Site Owner
Posts: 162

kboe at February 26, 2012 at 8:38 AM

Amine Slimani at February 25, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Very nice thread Kevin!


Out of curiosity, have you ever listened to an AKG K1000? I personally haven't had the chance to do so but I am wondering why, despite their great history, AKG hasn't released yet a successor to the AKG K1000 to compete with the HD800s, LCD3s...


In any case, I am looking forward to the rest of this article.

Amine, I've had the pleasure of listening to the K1000 of an amp built specifically for it. What a marvelous experience. A headphone I will surly be adding to my collection when I get the chance. As for a new flagship... I'm going to get in trouble for this but here it goes anyways. I don't find the most recent flagship models from Sennheiser, Beyerdynamic and the like as absolutely superior to the last generation of flagships. For instance, I don't find the Beyer T1 to pull off sound density as well as the HD650. The HD800 I find to have flaky build quality and fit. I also find the midrange recessed and sorely lacking. I am obviously in a very small minority, (perhaps population 1) but thats just the way I hear it. I tell you that because even though I'm a huge akg fan, I don't feel that it's likely for them to release a new flagship that clearly outclasses it's current one. In fact the only headphones I find to be a true step up not side step are the older king of headphones, the R10, L3000 and the Joseph Grado headphones. No need to hunt me down with torches and pitchforks, I'll be waiting on my front porch to face my sentence at the mercy of the audiophile heresy court.

In order to not derail this thread, I started a new one to discuss current line flagships here: http://www.tweak-fi.com/apps/forums/topics/show/7347544-current-flagships-hd800-t1-lcd2-3-are-they-worth-it-

--

Everything in Audio is sublte and not worth it - Patrick82

March 5, 2012 at 7:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

FREQUENCY FLYER
Member
Posts: 1

I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HERE FROM KBOE TO SEE HOW THE COLLECTION IS GROWING AND IF YOU ARE LIKE ME IT PROBABLY WON'T STOP...I'M JUST WAITING ON DELIVERY OF K240 SEXTETTS FROM USA AND SOME RATHER INTERESTING K180 FROM THE UK...HAPPY HUNTING!!!

October 9, 2012 at 12:43 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Gabriel Wilson
Member
Posts: 1

Like what is depicted in their logo, this brand is very much unique,

--

Regards,

Gabriel Wilson of Digitek San Franciso poster printing service

August 23, 2013 at 11:43 PM Flag Quote & Reply

You must login to post.