AKG K1000

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, Jul 28, 2017.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    I have listened to these off and on at meets. I've always heard there are the bass-lite and bass-heavy versions. I mostly have heard the bass-heavy versions. However, I've always have maintained, after listening to them, that the bass-heavy versions are actually quite neutral and pleasant.

    I know @Donald North is a big fan of these headphones. And he always brings them with him. In fact, I believe his amps have a special output specifically to drive these headphones. @Donald North seems to be a big fan of open baffle speakers. And in fact, he offers one such speaker set: The DNA Sequence Speakers (http://www.dnaudio.com/DNA Speaker.html).

    The closest thing I can think of to an open baffle speaker in the headphone world is the AKG K1000. And it offers a lot: Single driver, open baffle, balanced response, you name it.

    At the last meet I heard them again, and I was yet again impressed. I was told for the nth time these where the bass-heavy K1000, and that drove me to go "fuck it I'm measuring these". @Donald North saw me and went like "What you doing there chief?!" I thought about stopping and putting everything back together, since I did not ask for permission (sorry @Donald North). But in the end he supported the effort and we went ahead. He already told me many times that he also felt these were not bass-heavy at all. I fully agree with him.

    Anyhow. Here are some measurements:

    Frequency Response

    AKG K1000 fr.png

    Impulse Response Right

    AKG K1000 ir right.png

    Impulse Response Left

    AKG K1000 ir left.png

    CSD Right

    AKG K1000 csd right.png

    CSD Left

    AKG K1000 csd left.png

    It is hard to measure these, and I believe the coupler does interfere with the measurements in the high frequencies. I also felt there was more lower bass than the measurements suggest.

    In terms of sound, I find these very engaging. Probably the best AKG headphone that there is.
     
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  2. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Would be interesting to get measurements of the supposed bass-light version, though I suspect that'd be a royal pain in the pooter to get right given how you can tinker with the driver positioning.

    Out of curiosity, @ultrabike , might you have heard anything of the spiritual successor to these, the MySpheres? Hoping they can offer something similar to the K1000 at a less painful price point, but it seems blastedly difficult to find trustworthy evaluations on them so far.
     
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  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Wow! Haven't heard about the MySpheres at all! Thanks for bringing them up. I'll keep an eye on them.

    EDIT: Note the MySpheres may not be an exact successor since those seem to seat on the ears. The K1000 actually don't seat on the ears, and in fact the drivers can be angle adjusted to avoid touching the ears and to adjust for sound preference. The K1000 are the only headphones I know that are more like true ear-speakers in the sense that the driver and housing does not come in contact with the head.

    EDIT 2: Actually they may be adjusted to avoid touching the ears. Maybe they are indeed successors to the K1000. Dunno about the sound. How much are they asking?
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  4. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    The 2kHz bump seems to go away without the coupler judging by the Stereophile measurements. Otherwise looks like a generally smooth response with a bit of a bump >10kHz and some roll-off in the last half octave. Generally looks like the most important regions are pretty good. Wish I get to hear these at some point.

    Regarding the MySpheres, I recall seeing an IR that was a lot peakier than an SR009 (I think), which should mean that it's pretty bright, but I haven't read any of the impressions yet. Maybe those measurements were shit.
     
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  5. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @ultrabike Right, not an exact successor, sorry if my initial post implied as much. They were designed by the same people who worked on the original K1000, though, and based on a few things I read on HF these are supposed to be an overall improvement. Huge chunka rock salt though, because HF. And right, I don't know of any proper ear-speakers the like of the K1000s, which is a shame because I feel the form factor has a lot going for it. Have a friend who's more firmly entrenched in good audio than I am, and his impressions of the AKGs make me wish there were more of them around.

    Sound aside, the MySpheres look like something you'd see in an 80s sci-fi flick, and I actually prefer the look of the K1000s by a country mile. Then again, I've always been told I've got poor aesthetics, haha.

    No idea about price, but given the hints I've heard dropped around, probably not something any Juan (Joe Average for the Americans?) could just pick up. I'm guesstimating HD800S price-point? Could still be somewhat optimistic, to be honest.

    EDIT:
    Okay, so one of the people behind development said the price will be somewhere between EUR 3k-4k. Yowza.

    https://www.head-fi.org/f/threads/m...gn-build-quality.819658/page-23#post-13382070
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  6. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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  7. bigfatpaulie

    bigfatpaulie Tried to screw other friends while playing victim

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    So, basically another reason to not replace my Senns...

    Too bad as I would be very interested in these.
     
  8. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    EDIT to keep things on topic:
    How well do the K1000s isolate? :p
    How might the imaging compare to modern flagships i.e. the Senn HD800(S) and Focal Utopia? I don't doubt reports that the soundstage is as close to speaker-level as you can get with transducers a couple inches from your ears, but I'm also getting word that imaging is a bit imprecise as a consequence.

    Still interested in MySpheres, to be honest, and if they're competitive with the Utopias... why not? I'm still hoping someone can get these into the loaner so that us plebs could get measurements and reliable impressions on em, but I'm guessing chances of that happening are as high as making a shot at 500 yards using a potato gun. In the dark. After drinking a hand of hard booze.

    Also, this is pretty neat:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  9. james444

    james444 Mad IEM modding wizard level 99

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    Just a heads-up, in case anyone's interested... the free of charge / no obligation reservation for the MySpheres just went online:
    http://mysphere.at/

    Being based in the same city as the developers, I'll try to get a listen as soon as tuning is finalized. Needs to be in totally quiet surroundings though, as trying to evaluate these in meet conditions seems pretty pointess imo.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  10. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Ooh nice, they have a frequency response graph on their site: http://mysphere.at/specifications/

    [​IMG]

    Funny that the specs say 20Hz at -10db when it's more like 50Hz at -10db and 20Hz and -20db, but the rest looks quite good. The bass rolloff looks pretty extreme to me, at least the K1000 had a bit of midbass to compensate for the rolloff. Still, they look interesting, but the price seems pretty extreme to me.
    Or maybe this measurement is a nearfield measurement without the "earpads" resting on a coupler, so that the bass extension is actually better in reality. Who knows at this point.
     
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  11. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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  12. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Oh, that makes more sense now. In that case the bass extension is actually very impressive. The 2kHz bump makes me nervous already, though. But these measurements seem to be from an earlier version anyway.
     
  13. Grahad2

    Grahad2 Red eyes from too much anime

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    They have CSDs further down and uncompensated measurements too. The 2kHz does show up in the CSD as well.

    Also, from the pre-order website,

    Emphasis mine.
     
  14. Bill-P

    Bill-P Level 42 Mad Wizard

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    Oh cool, that measurement looks awesome! It looks like a HD650 with:

    1. More shoutiness/harshness around 1-2KHz, totally okay! I think 1% of our forums participants will be able to appreciate it.

    2. Less "sharpness" around 4KHz. Which, again, I think is okay because the HD650 is such a sharp/sibilant headphone already!

    :p

    No, but seriously, I expected better at the asking price. Will still give this a try but as @Serious has noted: I'm nervous already. HD600/650 is the upper limit of how much shout I can take.
     
  15. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Had my K1000 refurbished by Heinz. I got to say he is the man, the communication has been exceptional.
    I'be been talking out of my ass about these as they weren't up to spec and didn't sound as they should. Due to age I wonder how many of these sound as when new.

    When I made initial testing, I clearly recognised:
    1. This are very old “bass heavy” drivers out of the first production batches.
    2. The membrane glue is the original one which I personally designed in.
    3. The foam in the middle is also the first original 80ppm type which give the optimal damping. However, it was shrunken and heavily crumbly. But due to the shrunken foam the bass at around 100Hz is even a bit higher compared to the original status.
    4. When playing heavy bass with specific sine sweep, the distortions or better Rub&Buzz can clearly be heard.
    Original FR:
    [​IMG]


    Mine were bass heavy especially mid bass, warm mid range and spiky treble. Now it's a different headphone altogether.

    Low end has been tighten considerably, I had a feeling the low end is too heavy, the typical punch I love about these is still there but much more balanced with the rest of the frequency. I still maintain the K1K has one of the best low ends in the business because of how it's presented. Still rolled off at subbass.

    Mids lost their warmth/mush, now they're similar to HD600 mids, superb presence, great tone. I do miss that coloration as they sounded closer to HD650 but it's a personal thing.

    Treble is where the magic was done, my spikes have gone. The harshness that I had to EQ is now replaced with actual fine detail. Microdetail is still not their strong point and the only disadvantage compared to modern cans apart from amping.

    Overall they're a very balanced, dorky headphone, now the second best soundstage in the business thanks to Raal with more low end quantity, great neutral aspiring midrange, tons of tons of macro detail and decent ish microdetail. A natural upgrade for a HD600 fan.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2019

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