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AKG K702 headphones amplifier

Discussion in 'Monitoring / Headphones' started by dave pinhas, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. dave pinhas

    dave pinhas Active Member

    hello people,
    Recently my Shure srh940 broke and I've started to look up some new headphones to mix and master with in my home studio.
    I've decided to go with the AKG k702 but I saw that a lot of people said they need a good amplifier with them to really use them to they're full potential.
    So I started to look up some amps and found the Matrix M-Stage, Schiit Asgard, HiFiMAN EF-5 and others and then i saw that they need a DAC to connect to my PC which i'm using to make music, and some people said just upgrade your audio interface instead of investing in an amp and a DAC.
    i saw somewhere that we need to have a mixer to connect the amp and audio interface, so i got lost and i don't know what i need to get and how i need to connect everything.
    Do i need only the amplifier and should i try to connect it to my audio interface?
    Should i get an amplifier and a DAC as well?
    Does the amplifier and DAC replace my audio interface or should i get all three of them together?
    Do i need a mixer to connect everything up?

    I'm really lost here and i would appreciate some guidance with explaining those fundamental things before i make such a big purchase.

    thanks in advance and sorry for my English.

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    It would be helpful if you could explain in a little more detail what it is that you are doing.

    More information is needed: (in no particular order)

    How much money do you have to work with? (in either U.S. or Euro equivalent currency)

    What style(s) are you recording? Is it electronic/VSTi-based, or more of an "organic" style that uses actual microphones on instruments - acoustic guitars, guitar amps, vocals, drums, etc. ?

    What are the make and models of the microphones you currently own/use?

    What is your current audio interface?

    Is it USB, Firewire, or an actual card that accepts either an analog signal or a digital connection (SPDIF, TDIF, ADAT/ Optical, etc.,) inside the computer?

    (If it's an internal audio card, what are you plugging your microphones or instruments into first?)

    Are you recording just you and some instrumentation?

    Or are you looking at recording a group of musicians at the same time? If so, how many mics will you be using?

    There are many good choices out there, as an example in the mid-level price range, ( under a thousand dollars) both Presonus and Focusrite make several very good audio interfaces/mic preamps, in both USB and FW, that won't totally empty your bank account, and both have a variety of different models with different numbers of inputs and other various features (such as multiple line outs, USB/Firewire, etc)... and both of these manufacturers have very solid and powerful headphone amps built-in to their various models.

    Accordingly, several different models also provide two headphone jacks, and the software that comes with the programs allows you to set up different headphone mixes for each performer.

    provide more info and we will try to help.

  3. dave pinhas

    dave pinhas Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Donny !
    My budget is 200$-300$ for the amplifier
    My recording style is more electronic/VSTi-based with some guitar and random sound recording with my Shure SM58, I record my guitar straight to the audio interface and the same goes with the SM58.
    I'm using the Steinberg UR22 its connected VIA USB
    When i record i only need 1 channel, i record only one thing at a time and use 1 microphone (i don't need to record a group or even record myself playing the guitar and singing at the same time).
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Stop wasting your time looking at those headphone amplifiers. Those are designed for a different purpose. My recommendation? Get yourself something like a used Crown D-60 or similar. Now that's a sweet sounding amplifier with a great headphone output. And it plays well with speakers. I use them in my headphone systems. Where I connect the box to the output of the amplifier that has a half dozen 1/4 inch TRS connectors/jacks. Then you build little boxes with volume controls and 50 ohm resistors. Each with 20-30 foot cables and voilĂ . Incredible custom headphone studio system. Capable of driving more than 100 headphones to hear shattering deafness. It's what your mother warned you about. It's the way to go.

    We won't tell your mom.
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  5. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    your interface has a headphone out right on the front, thats all you need man.

    whoever told you to buy an amp should be smacked :)

    if you need more headphones and a volme control & mute/mono buttons presonus has a nifty little box for about 100$
  6. dave pinhas

    dave pinhas Active Member

    Thanks for the reply Remy and Josh ! :)

    Remy, I've looked up Crown D-60 and the problem with it is that i don't have a place to store it, its quite huge for my room and i don't have a rack to place it in, can you please throw more recommendations that you think will fit well to my setup?

    Josh, I wish the answer was that simple but when i plug my SRH940 to the headphones out in higher volumes the sound is a bit distorted, and I don't need more then 1 pair of headphones to be plugged in at the same time so at least that not a problem i need to deal with.
  7. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    More than just a few Audio I/O's have headphone amps that are very weak. Josh. The Tascam I was using for years was one example of this. I used to come out of the headphone jack into a Rane HC 6 Headphone amp just to boost the signal enough so that I could actually hear what I was doing. The PreSonus I purchased a few weeks ago has a headphone amp that will stop and start your heart, so I don't need to use the Rane anymore.

    I think things have gotten better across the board in the last few years, but I still hear complaints from time to time that it remains an issue.
  8. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    ive never experienced that, and ive had ... alot of diiferent interfaces ;)
    however, that why i recommended the http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HP4?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=PPC&utm_campaign=none&device=m&network=g&matchtype=&gclid=CO2G14uehsACFScV7Aod72IAwA

    i have one and no way will you be turning these up past halfway...
  9. dave pinhas

    dave pinhas Active Member

    So let me get this straight, you all agree that my Audio interface will give me good results like any other headphones amp and getting the a headphone amp like the Matrix M-stage or the Asgard 2 will be a waste of money?
    if i want to get something with a noticeable change i need to spend around the 1000$?
  10. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Based on the specs I read for your Steinberg, and what you described yourself as doing, I'd say that what you currently have is just fine.

    The UR has decent converters, supports SR's up to 192/24, good preamps...

    I don't believe you need to get another audio I/O - Preamp, and I also don't believe that any other model you would get for under $1000 would present to you all that much of an improvement over where you are right now.

    There are preamps available - both stand alone and as part of a digital I/O system - that do sound absolutely wonderful -that sport top of the line converters, true pro spec preamps, etc.

    Models from manufacturers like Neve, Shadow Hills, Millenia, TubeTech, Manley, LaChappel, and several others... You can find these "boutique" models at almost any major retailer, or in some cases, from the manufacturer directly. But these gorgeous sounding esoteric-style amps and converters are not cheap. Most are BIG money. There are some models that can run as high as 10 grand ...per channel.

    I think that for what you are doing, you are fine where you are. You just need a way to boost your HP signal a bit. Both Presonus and Samson make models for between $50 and $100.

    I guess that my advice to you is that at this point, there's no real need to get another model of Pre I/O in the price range you are working with.

    However, if you suddenly come upon $5000 that you have nothing else to spend on, then there are some other options worth looking at. ;)

    IMHO of course.

  11. Josh Conley

    Josh Conley Active Member

    ill be honest, at 250$, only one headphone out, and rca connectors, that asgard thing looks like snake oil to me.

    maybe im speaking from ignorance, but anything with rca connectors is either dj crap or for those nutty home sound enthusiasts that put these goofy pegs under ther equipment


    imo the presence of an rca jack means its not for a professional studio.

    also consider, if youre mixing strictly on headphones youll reach the limitation of this format well before you could ever take sonic advantage of anything costing thousands of dollars. there is a ceiling of potential there. headphones should not be your only mixing reference, so imo spending more than minimally necessary to power a nice set of headphones is a waste.
  12. dave pinhas

    dave pinhas Active Member

    well, i think i'll stay with my current setup for now.
    I thought that if there is a chance to increase the listening experience in around 200$-300$ it would be great with getting an amp (most of my time i use headphones to listen to music and to produce music as well, i rarely use my monitors) but if the pricing is so high to get noticeable quality i think i'll pass :)
    Thanks for all your help guys ! You're all awesome.

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