You are here

AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

For everything after the recording stage: hardware/software and how you use it.

AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby SecretSam » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:53 am

Now folks have had time to get to know them, can anyone share their views on 712s ? Do you think they need sonarworks to work well?
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1336
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby The Elf » Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:44 am

I never use Sonarworks and I've had plenty of commercial releases using K701/702/712. I see no need for Sonarworks as long as you understand what your headphones are telling you - and my personal feeling is that I don't want software deciding how my headphones should sound. I tried it, I could hear what it was doing, but... no thanks. I like my headphones just as they are.
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13492
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:14 pm

Now I'm of the other persuasion, but I suspect I know why my opinions and those of The Elf seem diametrically opposed.

I bought my AKG K712 pro's on the recommendation of Zukan of this parish, primarily for judging bass end better than my previous pretty neutral Sennheiser HD650's.

I heard the 712 better bass, and have reached for them on nearly every mixing occasion since, only turning to the 650's when I need neutral phones in the absence of utilities like Sonarworks (when I'm listening to feature films for instance out of the studio).

However, from the word go the upper mids of the 712's sounded harsh and overblown, yet with the Sonarworks EQ their balance sounded quite close to both the 650's and my little ATC studio loudspeakers. So, I was sold on Sonarworks software (which has since noticeably improved the room response in my studio, with the aid of a Sonarworks calibrated mic).

Now we come to the nub of the 'argument', which to my mind relates to another ongoing thread here - the one about people wearing coloured sunglasses and getting used to the way the world looks through them, and then having to adjust back to normality when they take them off.

I'm convinced that The Elf simply took the time to get used to the 'sound' of the K712's, so to his brain they now sound perfectly natural, and he's well used to working with them and getting translateable mixes.

I on the other hand never got to that phase - the K712 upper midrange still sounds odd to me, but I'm happy using Sonarwarks to correct for this because it brings them in lines with my other playback devices.

So I think it's a matter of making a choice to get used to their sound until it becomes another 'normal'.

The human brain is a wonderful thing and highly adaptable!


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:31 pm

All true, of course. And I totally get all the arguments for using Sonarworks...

But they simply don't work for me because I can't run a Sonarworks plugin on my Nagra location recorder, or lots of other hardware devices that I frequently need to be able to plug a pair of headphones into and make assessments of audio quality.

So for me, the only practical approach is to learn how to intepret what the raw headphones are telling me and make the appropriate mental compensations -- something that does become automatic with time and experience.

I have several different reference headphones, including Sony, Beyer, Sennheiser and AKG models -- and they all have different strengths, weaknesses, and applications. However, I generally prefer to use the AKGs as I find them the most comfortable for my head and ears, and I hear a tonal balance that is optimally representative to me.

Other people's heads, ears and brains may well favour a different brand /model /technology....
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 25863
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Martin Walker » Mon Feb 10, 2020 12:34 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:All true, of course. And I totally get all the arguments for using Sonarworks...

But they simply don't work for me because I can't run a Sonarworks plugin on my Nagra location recorder, or lots of other hardware devices that I frequently need to be able to plug a pair of headphones into and make assessments of audio quality.

This is why I still reach for my HD650's when out of the studio, as they naturally provide a more 'balanced' sound from day one without getting your brain involved in creating more neural pathways :mrgreen:


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Ramirez » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:32 pm

I think I'm in agreement with everyone!

I've using the K712 for quite a few years now. For a long time I stayed away from Sonarworks as, for similar reasons to Hugh, the plugin was simply not an option in a lot of situations. The big appeal of a good paur of mixing headphones for me is consistency in all situations - I could walk into any studio, plug in my headphones, and mix. That wouldn't work if you're dependant on a plugin.

However, I just couldn't deny that the 712 sounded noticeably better with Sonarworks.
Lately, I've been doing almost all my work on a single portable system, and I tend use the same studio all the time now. At the studio, I don't use the headphones so much (lovely big pair of ATC there) - and even if I did, I usually use my laptop which has Sonarworks anyway.
So, if I'm not at the studio and need to do some mixing work, I use the K712 with Sonarworks, and am very happy.

However, I don't often use Sonarworks with my closed-back Sennheiser HD25 and HD300 Pro, which is what I use on location, as I'd rather get used to them as-is for consistency in different situations.

Aled
Ramirez
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1023
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Bethesda, Cymru
Bill Withers while Tom Waits, and Stan Getz

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby blinddrew » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:49 pm

For me the advantage to Sonarworks is that it makes my monitors and my headphones tonally very similar, so I'm never tempted to reach for the EQ just because I've swapped my listening device. But I'm very much a one-room, one-system set up.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 9088
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Zukan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:08 pm

The beauty of this industry is we don't always have to agree and this is one subject that has merit for both sides of the equation.

I use Sonarworks for the speaker modes. I too am from the camp 'get used to your can's response and work to that' but I do appreciate its usefulness and in particular Blind's assessment of how Sonarworks helps to match the cans to the speakers. Martin's point about smoothing out the mids on the 712 is a valid one as well. So, loads of excellent arguments on both sides.

Even more interesting is how we use these types of correction plugins in music production. So, let me throw a spanner in there...I used Tonebooster's Isone as an eq for certain sounds. Because of all the parameters on offer I can achieve certain textures that a conventional equaliser cannot duplicate.
User avatar
Zukan
Moderator
Posts: 8381
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2003 12:00 am

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Tim Gillett » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:43 pm

I know how difficult it is to achieve even tolerably flat response from an omni dynamic mic. I imagine it's even more difficult with headphones. The main reason I use headphones a lot is not because their response is dead accurate but to take the room I'm in out of the equation and reveal detail otherwise clouded by the room sound.
Tim Gillett
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1960
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:00 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby The Elf » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:14 am

Hugh's reasoning is another major reason for me not using Sonarworks - funny how I don't even consider that aspect any more. When I'm working on other hardware, and, more frequently, at various other studios I don't want to hve to carry an addiction to Sonarworks with me!

It's actually uncanny how close my headphone choice does sound like my favourite monitor speakers - currently AE22s - and I do think this is a major factor in my choice. I do have HD650s here, and they are not at all bad sounding cans at all, but for whatever reason they just don't gel with me like the Ks. Odd innit?
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13492
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby SecretSam » Tue Feb 11, 2020 10:56 am

Thanks very much for those thoughtful replies, Gentlemen.

Having spent a bit of time reading the sonarworks blog/reviews lately, I do wonder whether a critical factor in headphone performance may be in the time domain, in which case trying to improve things with an EQ curve would miss the point. As very much a 'tonschueler' rather than a 'tonmeister', I don't have the knowledge or experience to say.

Anyway, you collectively cheered me up. I was half expecting someone to say, "712s ? Nah, we all use SR1840s these days," which would have been hard to reconcile with my kids' university fees.
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1336
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Ramirez » Tue Feb 11, 2020 12:08 pm

The Elf wrote:It's actually uncanny how close my headphone choice does sound like my favourite monitor speakers - currently AE22s - and I do think this is a major factor in my choice. I do have HD650s here, and they are not at all bad sounding cans at all, but for whatever reason they just don't gel with me like the Ks. Odd innit?

Now that's interesting. I started using Sonarworks at around the same time i stopped using my AE22 daily (I still have them, but moved into another studio so stopped using my home studio as much). Now I think of it, they did sound quite similar, and I had no problems moving from one to the other. I might have to compare them again against Sonarworks.

Funnily enough, I've been toying with the idea of selling the AE22 as they're not getting any use (studio has big ATC mains and Neumann KH120, which I like just as much as the AE22). I have a feeling I could really regret it if I do though, as they're great speakers, and I probably won't be at this nice studio forever! And they used value of AE22 seems quitre low at the moment (seems a few active pairs recently went on eBay for around £300..)
Ramirez
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1023
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:00 am
Location: Bethesda, Cymru
Bill Withers while Tom Waits, and Stan Getz

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby The Elf » Tue Feb 11, 2020 1:55 pm

If you do sell them, give me a shout. I would like to furbish ‘the other place’ with AE22s.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 13492
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Wonks » Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:04 pm

The Elf wrote:If you do sell them, give me a shout. I would like to furbish ‘the other place’ with AE22s

Gearslutz Mansions? ;)
User avatar
Wonks
Jedi Poster
Posts: 10559
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Reading, UK
Correcting mistakes on the internet since 1853

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Tomás Mulcahy » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:17 pm

This is a timely thread! I've just been trying out the Sonarworks demo with Sennheiser HD25-II. It's a lot cheaper than an upgrade to the Shure SRH1840! And it definitely gets me the detail in the sound like a truly flat monitor does. The bass is a bit tubby on the Senns and Sonarworks in mixed filter mode neutralises it. That helped me solve some troublesome bass arrangement issues in my music.

I'm with Martin on this. Yes, my brain definitely recognises that tubby thing in the Senns, but my brain is tired of accounting for it when mixing!! I can still use my brain when positioning the mic without the help of Sonarworks, but for mixing it is a real timesaver. It's a similar experience to mixing in an acoustically neutral room with big PMCs- ya just know when level and timbre are right, you're never in doubt. Otherwise, it's just layer after layer of second guessing yourself and disappearing down simultaneous multi-dimensional rabbit holes.

SecretSam wrote:Having spent a bit of time reading the sonarworks blog/reviews lately, I do wonder whether a critical factor in headphone performance may be in the time domain, in which case trying to improve things with an EQ curve would miss the point.
Well it depends- is my understanding at least. Certainly in a room, it's relatively big, the time it takes the sound to travel is significant. So trying to fix stuff with eq without dealing with actual reflections is a fool's errand. But in headphones, the space is (arguably) negligibly small, so eq will have the greater effect.
User avatar
Tomás Mulcahy
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1692
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Cork, Ireland.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby SecretSam » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:44 pm

Thanks Tomas. That makes sense.
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1336
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:18 am

The Elf wrote:It's actually uncanny how close my headphone choice does sound like my favourite monitor speakers - currently AE22s - and I do think this is a major factor in my choice. I do have HD650s here, and they are not at all bad sounding cans at all, but for whatever reason they just don't gel with me like the Ks. Odd innit?

I suspect this is also why I prefer K712's with the Sonarworks correction - they then sound much closer to my little ATC monitor loudspeakers, so do my HD650's 'without' Sonarworks, so I can move between all three relatively easily.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:22 am

Tomás Mulcahy wrote:The bass is a bit tubby on the Senns and Sonarworks in mixed filter mode neutralises it.

Yep, after a lot of auditions I've ended up mostly relying on Sonarworks' mixed filter mode for mixing/mastering.

Its Linear Phase mode alters the bass end too much, while Zero Latency mode is perfect during the recording phase when recording, but messes with the phase response too much for my liking when making critical mixing decisions.


Martin
User avatar
Martin Walker
Moderator
Posts: 14997
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 9:44 am
Location: Cornwall, UK

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby ManFromGlass » Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:35 am

I ordered the 1840s from a place I could return them to. A big chunk of change item has to really show its worth, and I also installed the Sonarworks demo. Everything stayed. I have some AKGs and a pair of Sonys but I was impressed right away. Plus they fit my odd shaped head and big ears really comfortably, much better than the others. So for me this combo definitely helps me mix better, although I only go to two almost identical studios.
User avatar
ManFromGlass
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:00 am
Location: In the woods in Canada
 

Re: AKG712 how are they after four years of burn-in ?

Postby SecretSam » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:28 am

Stop fuelling my GAS, you sadist. And now they have those Audeze LCD1s.

Hm. I was thinking dt880 or 712. You are probably going to cost me a lot of money.
SecretSam
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1336
Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2002 1:00 am
Location: Officially, I do not exist.
Instant gratification is actually pretty good. It's fast as well.

Next