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Headphone/HP amp recommendations

Discussion in 'Recording' started by area51recording, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. Recently I've had a couple of projects come thru my place w/some SERIOUSLY loud drummers/guitar players. Marshall stax, 5150, etc. and I'm afraid my current cue mix setup was pretty much woefully inadequate. (although I gotta say- these kids MUST be deaf- I grabbed a pair of phones and popped 'em on when one of them was giving me the old "these phones are not working" bit and it just about tore my head off!-could've been cleaner however) Anyway this is the one area of my setup where I guess I caved into budgetary constraints (I ran out of $$$!) but now I'd like to throw a few dinero at the situation. For my main room right now I've got one of those Samson 5 channel deals. In my other 2 rooms I usually just send the headphone feed to a Mackie 1202 since I usually only need one set of phones there. I guess the big thing is the phones I'm using are Radio Shack (various models) At first I tried to convince myself that I shouldn't spend a lot of $$ here because they DO tend to get treated like $*^t by the clients- dropped A LOT etc. but I would also like these guys to hear themselves a bit better. Any ideas? Thanks!
  2. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    The Rat Shack phones may be the problem. I had been using a Samson amp for a long time without any problems other then getting dirty when it was really cranked. I just replaced it with a Furman HDS-6 system which I'm still getting the hang of. I have a bunch of Audio Technica ATH-M40 and D40 headphones which are pretty durable, I haven't lost a pair yet in about 3 years of use, knock on wood. Loosing headphones and replacing them is something that any studio budgets for. Call it maintence and repairs. If you can't handle that, maybe you should find another line of work or increase your rates to cover it.
  3. HEY! Thanx for the tip on headphones. However I gotta say that I think it sux you find it necessary to dis my financial situation (of which you know squat!) I happen to think I'm in the RIGHT line of work and was just looking for some HELPFUL feedback!
    Have a nice day....
  4. Kemble

    Kemble Guest

    Here's a new line of work you should get into: kicking peoples ass.
    I'm with you. There is not need for you to get crapped on. What a dick of a thing to say "find a new line of work" or whatever he said. How about someone reads a people skills book? now theres an idea.

    This site has been an incredible resource for me. I've got a few friends visiting regularly and they like it. I can read your a SeniorMember and all, but there's no need for $*^t like that.
    I guess if I ask "how can I get my $200 guitar to sound better?" the answere is "Playing guitar requires and investment. If you can't buy a good guitar, then I recommend trying the piccolo"

    Have a nice day.

    Recommended reading:
    How to win friend and influence people - Dale Carnagie
  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Hey, c'mon guys. If you'd been around here a while you'd know Jay's cool - and a real asset around here. Maybe his words came across as a little harsh this time, but I'm betting he didn't mean it the way you're taking it. Sometimes in print you don't necessarily catch the smile in someone's voice (although them smiley graemlins can help).

    Anyway, give him another chance. I'm betting you'll end up liking him as much as the rest of us. :w:
  6. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    If we are still talking about a cue mix for a drums and bass and it needs.. VOLUME ..
    I use Fostex T40's and a mono cue send into a 40watt amp
    (I made it 40 into 8ohms and 100 into 4ohms ... yes it does double and does a fair job into 2ohms)
    Then into a passive distribution box (yes this does effect the damping factor).
    Punchy and clear and headroom to burn,nobody complains about level.
    just my 2 cents worth.
  7. profesrgeo

    profesrgeo Guest


    Try using IEMs. The Shure E1s with the yellow foam tips provide a good bit of isolation. That should solve the problem. The down side is the ±$140.00 price tag. For my situation, however, they're worth every penny.

    good luck,
  8. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Personally I'm sick of people asking me why they have to spend money to get quality stuff. I used to write for ProRec and I get emails all the time from people who would rather email me then post to RAP, PSW, RO or whatever. I try to be a nice guy, but I have my limits...

    Do your Rat Shack phones pass signal? Sure. Do you want something that won't break when looked at funny and won't distort at high SPL's? Then spend the dough. Headphones break. Every studio has a maintence budget. Replacing headphones comes out of that budget. Just like when the console goes down or the DAT deck ate a tape and needs to be fixed. It's not as cool as buying a new mic or whatever but it's part of owning a business. Most of my clients wouldn't keep coming back if I had crappy cue mixes that distorted all the time. The solution? Buy some cans don't break up. Yeah, so it's $500, big fuckin deal. That's not a lot of money. Pissed off clients will cost you a lot more then that.

    As far as making a $200 guitar sound better? Learn how to play it. A great player on a $200 axe sounds better then a sucker on a $2000 guitar. And I've recored and mixed 'em both. Many times.

    IEM's aren't a good idea for a studio. Hygine and all that. If someone has their own pair I'd sya hook 'em right up.
  9. NJ, eh? Originally being from exit 131 myself, I should expect no less... Hey I wasn't bitchin' about spending the money, I was simply trying to get some feedback on the best bang for the buck when I spent it!! In the meantime have a nice day.
  10. Tungstengruvsten

    Tungstengruvsten Active Member

    Sep 10, 2001
    Guelph, Ontario
    ummm... I say get the new Behringer 4 channel headphone mixer...tons of volume(main and individual channels, drives my K241's and various Sony/Fostex/AKG's with no probs...also tone controls and direct inputs/blend control for each channel, lotsa lights and a knob to make them go up and down for the guys that have to touch things.

    Here in Canada it was $199 so that should be $120 yer dough.

    The Furman of course is very sweet but all this in a 1U space for that price is pretty damn sweet....
  11. Dump the junk because it doesn't work.

    Get yourself a decent 100 watt power amp, stereo if you like and a decent set of headphones. Fostex T20 are good T40's are sealed and should be used for the dummer. Build a little distro box with a couple of 100 ohm 10 watt resistors and you will have a screaming loud & clear cue mix to satisify just about anyone.

    My main cue mix is run by a Bryston 4B into a custom distro box using Fostex T20's and T40's, never had a problem with volume or clean headroom. At a minimum I would suggest having a seperate cue mix available for the drummer because they usually want to hear something different like a click at 130db.

    If you don't like the tone of Jay's posts it's time to seek out a profession where a thick skin isn't a requirement.
  12. Again, Thanks very much for the info. I really do appreciate the feedback. But what the hell is the deal? Why on earth would one have to have a "thick skin" to get info on such a benign topic as this? And what the hell is all the seek another profession BS anyway? I'm sorry but I just don't understand the hostility. I don't know you, Jay, and maybe if I did I would have taken the tone of your posts a bit differently. But I think coming out of the starting gate with "if you can't handle that you should find another line of work" is in my mind ridiculous and uncalled for. Sorry if you feel differently. To you other guys who sound like you DO know Jay I apologize also if I'm offbase on this, but I feel like it's over the top. I guess if I'd have just written "I'm looking for good headphones for my studio. Any recommendations?" I would have gotten the info I was looking for w/out all the vitriol. Sorry if I pissed anyone off but that's all I was looking for. I've been in this business for a short time (about 5 years) and I know I still have MUCH to learn, which I try to do every day. It almost seems like I touched a hot button there that I didn't even know existed! Fine- I'll take responsibility for my portion of the misunderstanding and in the future if I post I'll try to keep it short and to the point. Maybe in this way the thickness of my skin, as well as the fragility of ALL our egos won't be an issue. I get A LOT of info on this list that I find REALLY helpful and as you can see have not posted much, so maybe if I take the hit here maybe guys like you Jay can find it in your heart to give the new guy a break every now and then. If I were to come out of the gate with "can any off you sorry assholes recommend some headphones?" I know it's over the top but I hope you understand....Really fellas, it was just a simple question, no real need to get personal. Sorry for the long post but I swear it's my last on the subject.
    Bob Green
    Area51 Recording Studio :w:
  13. Well, I'm glad the information will help. Good luck in the future.
  14. Sir Bob

    Sir Bob Guest

  15. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Guest

    Sorry guys, but I removed what I consider to be ad hominum personal insults in this thread.

    Bob, my feeling is that Jay's advice to you was by and large correct.

    To reply to your question, Sony 7509s and Beyer DT250s are my current preferred cans in the studio. The DT150s aren't bad as well when you want more bottom end response. For cue systems, there are a number of decent ones out there…Amcron, Furman, Nemesis FBS and Samson all come to mind.

  16. OK So... I lied. One more post to set the record straight. I was not the first one in this discussion to sling the "F" word. As a matter of fact I would not have gone there at all if it had not been used previously. (read ALL the posts). Mr. Kahr's "Well "f" you" is what kicked THAT off. But in a way I guess that's MY fault as well for even bothering to engage in this circuitous BS over what could have been easily been solved by simply the offering of some good advice (which I got- Thanx!) without the personal attack (which neither I nor anyone else needs.) Sorry If I tipped a sacred cow here guys. Don't give it a second thought (I won't)Rest assured I've certainly learned MY place and won't be bothering you any more- Next time I'll glean my info elsewhere. Life is WAY too damn short anyway. Anyway it's a small kingdom but it IS yours and so I'll leave you too it....
    PS CAN'T WAIT to read what y'all have to say about this! It's been SO much fun so far....
  17. Oh Yeah- I forgot. One more thing. Yes I'm a newbie at this business. But I've been a human being considerably longer (44 years) and even if I don't know all there is about this business I expect to be treated with a little respect at least. Mr. Kahrs, I'm not an assistant engineer in your employ, nor did I e-mail you directly for your advice. Things got alittle out of hand, for which I at least will accept my portion of, even if no one else will. Once again thank you very much for the portion of your posts which I found to be useful and please accept my apologies for any actual or percieved rudeness on my part.
    Thank you for your time.
  18. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Guest

    No problem, Bob. Good to see you back.

    Anyone else have any suggestions on cans and cues? I bet there are some other opinions out there.


  19. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    You won't see Fletcher around here anymore. If you want to know why I'd suggest asking the head honcho what the deal is. He might drop by from time to time but the general vibe that Chris is throwing off is that dealers aren't welcome to post here. Notice how Nathan (from Atlas Pro Audio) hasn't posted here in a few months and when he did Chris got really defensive and locked out the thread? Why hasn't Fletcher been around in eons? Right after Jules took over that forum he was around for a while. But now, Hmmm...

    Anyway, count on guys like Mark and myself to flame you when it's warranted. Notice how I ended my initial post with some more advice, "increase your rates to cover it". And then you come back with a dis? What the ^#$%? You're lucky I didn't rip you a new one, I could've easily brought out the flamethrower. Marks right, this is a business where you need a thick skin. I've also worked as an office manager of a multi-million dollar marketing company and this is definitely rougher. I was the kid in 8th grade who owned a four track, I've assisted some pretty huge engineers before I opened my own place and I got my ass handed to me on a platter a few times. It happens. When it happens you can either run home crying like a little girl who got mud on her dress or suck it up and learn from it. Talking back isn't an option unless you want to get thrown out of a session. If you were assisting me and pulled something like that you'd get your ass kicked and then thrown out of the joint. Don't like that? Find another line of work. Like flipping burgers.

    You'll get respect when you earn it. You had it from me until your second post in this thread. If I didn't want to answer your question I would’ve passed it like a crack whore. I'm not the be-all and end-all of engineers. I still learn new things all the time. I'm not going to apologize for anything because I feel like I wasn't out of line in any of my responses. Great, you've been at this for five years. Some studios in my area have gone under in less then that. Maybe it's time you got rid of all the brand spanky new gear and learned about maintenance now before it bites you in the ass during a gig.

    I’m originally from NY not NJ, same ‘tude, different accent. I’m not going to apologize for anything. I didn’t do anything that I need to apologize for. If you don’t like me don’t worry about, I’m not losing any sleep over it. You can either like me or not like me. I work with people all the time that I hate or on music I hate, I also get to work with people who hate me but like my work. It goes back to having a thick skin. If you can’t develop that, find another line of work, maybe something in the food service industry.
  20. ........Whatever

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