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idc's picture
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So sad to see how AKG have developed

AKG headphones, of which I have a few, used to be an innovative producing such clasics as the K1000 ear speakers, the K340 Electrostatic/Dynamic hybrids, the K280 Parabolics with two speakers per ear and some really interesting designs that stood out clearly as AKG.

 

 

Now, sadly it is all about celebrity tie ins and non descript designs which could be any company's with no innovation as they take existing designs and re package them.

 

http://www.whathifi.com/news/akg-by-tiesto-headphones-launched-by-worlds-richest-dj

 

 

I now mourn the passing of such a great brand.

 

 

 

 

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Well, it has to compete with other manufacturers like Monster Beats (or Beats by Dr. Dre) to survive in the market where every other manufacturer has now started releasing headphones.

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

I guess that's it, they feel like it's the best way that they can make money. Nothing to do with making quality equipment any more.

I'd be curious to see how companies like Sennheiser and Beyerdynamic feel effected by the influx of plastic, style-over-substance, fashion accessory headphones. They have both responded to the market in their own ways. Beyer with things like the 'Custom One Pro' and their 'Hifi Manufaktur' range, Senn by latching on to the Apple crowd and supplying things like the Amperior and Mementum as Apple exclusives. 

It sounds like Denon is following in the success of Monster by copying their designs (which I find rubbish!), I wouldn't mind too much but from what some are saying it sounds like they haven't been paying attention to the sound. Oh well, I am happy with my Denons and will just go somewhere else from now on. Someone will always step in to fill the void, look at the SoundMAGIC HP100 and the soon-to-be-released VModa M-100. VModa might be stylishly designed to attract the youngsters, but they sound awesome and they have openly shunned celebrity endorsements. I'm sorry about AKG too but all is not lost.

idc's picture
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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Considering the size of the headphone market, if it could support a company like AKG with innovative designs then, it must be able to now. I do hold Harman International, now AKGs brand owner as primarily responsible for the change.

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Apparently, there are some changes in what are available to us to buy based on fashion influence.

1) Prices get pushed up for the premium items and big name mfrs., but some smaller independents are emerging.

2) Apple is garnering a lot of exclusives at top prices (overpriced in most cases), and the bigger they get the worse it is for everyone else. The sound quality of Apple's demo headphone lineup is abysmal.

3) Reputable mfrs. like Sennheiser who promoted fidelity and even helped define it, have now relegated it to dark back rooms as something only for techies, if that.

4) Headphone forums have had a very negative influence in many cases, mixing high fidelity items with "sound effects" items (extreme bass, etc. etc.), helping to erase the distinctions between them. Adding to the damage, some of those forums have promoted undue criticism of venerated designs like the HD800 as sounding too "bright", without first establishing what the proper brightness level is.

These are just examples, but where there was once a thriving publishing business in perfectionist (or nearly so) audio with magazines like Stereophile and TAS leading the way, those publications now are wildly promoting all manner of expensive junk, and much worse, they have relegated headphone commentary to analysts who think extreme bass is a viable audiophile indulgence.

Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, Sennheiser HD-A280, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

It's a boom market among teenagers at the moment, so manufacturers are doing everything they can to capitalise on that. The celeb tie ins are purely a selling point. And of course, more cash for the already minted celeb - for doing nothing.

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

Anonymous
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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Why not wait for reviews or review yourself rather than 'mourn the death' of a brand? Smile

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed
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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Dear 'idc',

AKG Pro's product line-up includes a huge selection of headphones, and with the arrival of 'AKG by TIESTO' that offering becomes even greater. Check not only the visual design, but also the spec, and you'll hopefully agree that the new 'phones compliment the existing range. (And are certainly not a repackaged, existing design.)

But, most of all, can I suggest you personally check out the new line as and when it hits the shops - and until then keep an open mind. And, if for whatever reason they aren't to your taste, follow this link for seriously large selection of alternatives: http://www.akg.com/site/powerslave,id,2,nodeid,2,pcategory,33,_language,EN.html

I really do feel that your rumermoungering of AKG's death has been greatly exaggerated!

Regards,

Murdo Mathewson

 

 

 

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed
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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Murdo Mathewson wrote:

Dear 'idc',

AKG Pro's product line-up includes a huge selection of headphones, and with the arrival of 'AKG by TIESTO' that offering becomes even greater. Check not only the visual design, but also the spec, and you'll hopefully agree that the new 'phones compliment the existing range. (And are certainly not a repackaged, existing design.)

But, most of all, can I suggest you personally check out the new line as and when it hits the shops - and until then keep an open mind. And, if for whatever reason they aren't to your taste, follow this link for seriously large selection of alternatives: http://www.akg.com/site/powerslave,id,2,nodeid,2,pcategory,33,_language,EN.html

I really do feel that your rumermoungering of AKG's death has been greatly exaggerated!

Regards,

Murdo Mathewson

Hi Murdo

I know that a lot of us know who you are, but just so's we're clear can you add your trade status to your signature as per the house rules please?

cheers

JD

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

I'm struggling to understand the appeal in celebrity endorsed products of any kind, personally I hold most celebrities in extremely low regards. But even if it was a celebrity who I respected........lets say Dave Gilmour released a set of headphones, I still wouldn't buy them unless they were better than alternate offerings of the same price.

I don't hold it against manufacturers though, if people want to shed vast amounts of cash on mediocre products, I would take there money too. Besides all this extra revenue can be used for R&D on their proper Hi-Fi headphones.

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

eggontoast wrote:

But even if it was a celebrity who I respected........lets say Dave Gilmour released a set of headphones, I still wouldn't buy them unless they were better than alternate offerings of the same price.

 

YOU wouldn't, but you're not representative of the market. When I was a lad and wanted to buy a snooker cue, I had no way of telling the difference between snooker cues, save for one assumed more expensive was better. So I bought the one endorsed by Steve Davis. If I'm a 17 year old wannabe DJ who respects Tiesto, I imagine it works the same way.

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Idc, I am with you on not liking when products where the main appeal is celebrity endorsement are made instead of products where competent design, pefromance and build quality are a priority. When they are in addition to, though, I do not mind - if there is a market for it, somebody will make it. Recently for example I was asked to help choosing headphones (for a late teenager) and when I started to talk about sound quality I got a disappointed reaction as the models I recommended were not perceived as 'cool' - they were hoping I would endorse their choice of 'Beats'.

Anyhow, I meant to ask for your advice since long ago -

I have been checking out the main brands for a god pair of headphones but could not find what I am after:

- very high built quality and durability - must last 20 years+ (I like things that last and tend to hang on to things...)

- very accurate, undistorted, neutral sound, high dynamic range (open-back?). I liked the sound of the top Sennh for example.

- not too heavy and very comfortable (I think I prefer around the ear fit)

- real leather pads

- which makes it mid-to-high-range models I suppose. No particular budget set - can be any price range but do not have to be expensive.

Leather pads seem to be particularly rare but I do not like the vynil ones at all. Velour are slightly better but I want to find leather ones. From your experience and knowledge, do you know any that fit these requirements?

 

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Celebrity endorsement/design cooperation is certainly not a new thing, and especially not in the world of music gear - think amps, guitars, etc. - and I think that the right artist can offer a lot when working closely with teh correct manufacturer. But the key phrase here is 'working closely with', so not just agreeing to his/her famous name being used.

Celebrity endorsement also can help bring products into the focus of those who might not normally consider them - and I think anything that helps persuade the 'man/woman/girl/boy in the street' to upgrade from 'portable player bundled buds' can pretty much only be a good thing. 

Of course, not all 'celebrity headphones' deliver class-leading performance, but AKG demonstrably knows what it's doing with headphones - it has, after all, been in the headphone business for over 60 years. (And its count of over 1,400 international patents points to a somewhat innovative approach, too!)

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RE: So sad to see how AKG have developed

Busted! Actually, my signature 'was' there, but seems to have disappeared from my profile. No matter, it's back now. Cheers, John. (And, Mr Clough!)

For the record all, I am a partner in a media relations and marketing firm. We primarily handle consumer technology brands and I work with Sound Technology, exclusive distributor of AKG in the UK. Previous to this role, I worked at... What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, where I was, latterly, Tests Editor.

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