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AKG K60 Vintage Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 122 93.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 5 3.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 4 3.1%

  • Total voters
    131
Seems like AKG made their own dummy heads with microphones in it in 1951 already.... long before I was even born.
 
Hello,
There is no measurement of the headphone on this AES paper. They only discuss about impedance coupling between ear and headphone.
I'm surprised about these measurements, could this very sample of headphone have a problem itself due to its age ? Even though 70's are pretty far away technically speaking, they did know how to make correct headphones...

Jerome.
 
There is no measurement of the headphone on this AES paper. They only discuss about impedance coupling between ear and headphone.
I'm surprised about these measurements, could this very sample of headphone have a problem itself due to its age ?

It could be. I wonder if @Sean Olive has access AKG historical archives or if someone at AKG has the official spec.

We clearly live in the “best” timeline for headphones where modern headphones perform so well at an affordable price and stuff like the Apple USB-C dongle performs so well too!
 
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But these are beautiful I must say
 
What sort of suspensions does this product's drivers have, I'm with the people wondering why these should be expected to perform as they did fifty-odd years ago? ...As far as speakers, what is the first thing likely to significantly fail, rubber surrounds, electrolytic capacitors in the xover, the spider, the structural integrity of an mdf enclosure?
 
If these are meant for humans, that must mean I'm not human because they are clearly not meant for me.
 
Aren't the 'golden eared subjectivist audiophiles' who only trust their ears lucky? My ears broadly follow that hearing loss eq curve (less sensitivity at 250hz especially in one ear and a slightly deeper dip at 4 - 6khz but some recovery above, hence my 'dull with tinsel' findings of sounds without the aids. My bone conduction test also mirrored the traditional test as per the pic above.

The low bass difference of older and new suggested curve may give differing opinions, but I love the close-to Olive curve the Zero 2 earphones offer as the extra low bass re-enforcement gives the psychoacoustic impression of a large loudspeaker which I love :)
 
Considering that these Cans were produced in 1965. This sample could be almost 60 years old! I’m surprised they did so well. Noticed the replacement foam pads might just slightly reduce the bass. The driver material has certainly aged and possibly failed in the surrounds. :oops:

Thanks for the 50 year late review Boss….Now if you have been sitting on some good Scotch for 50’s years let me come help you test that.;)

A little history about these Headphones. Apparently John Lennon used them during the final mastering of The Beatles’ final album, “Let It Be,” in 1969.

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“John Lennon wearing the AKG K60 headphones.Launched by AKG in 1969, the Austrian-made AKG K60 headphones were greatly admired by John Lennon. This was evident by the many photos of him using this model.

These headphones were considered top-of-the-line at that time.

The AKG K60 headphones had a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz, a sensitivity of -62 dB, and an impedance of 150 ohms.”

Credit: AKG-K60

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Our first headphone with negative score?
Deserved for the first A shaped tuning I've seen.
They clearly were trolling, maybe the first at this too when the term didn't even exist.
Chapeau.
 
Is there something wrong with it due to age or did they find that performance to be acceptable? Were people in the 70s deaf to good sound quality in headphones?
 
Is there something wrong with it due to age or did they find that performance to be acceptable? Were people in the 70s deaf to good sound quality in headphones?
I strongly suspect that they have failed to some degree from age. Produced in 1965. I don’t think we should think this is how they performed new. Amir can correct me if I’m wrong or he is aware that they were properly reconditioned at some point in the last several decades?
 
Amir can correct me if I’m wrong or he is aware that they were properly reconditioned at some point in the last several decades?
These were advertised as New Old Stock and everything about them looks and feels that way. So if something has happened to them, it would have to do with age, not usage.
 
Back in those days humanity had only recently evolved to see colour (hence why movies were black and white). It would be decades until the first genome mutation allowed humans to experience sub 100hz frequencies.
lol. I'd love to see some Altec 605a monitor speakers measured.
 
These were advertised as New Old Stock and everything about them looks and feels that way. So if something has happened to them, it would have to do with age, not usage.

These are mine. It actually came with the original box (not shipped to Amir) and even the cardboard box was in pristine condition. No sign of moisture damage, etc. So it was pretty clearly kept in good condition.

Ironically, I stored the box in my garage and there was a water leak from the apartment below me and above the garage, which destroyed the box. The headphones were thankfully kept in climate controlled environment.

The ear pads on these were superior to my “NOS” Sony MDR-7506 from Japan. Foam is intact and sponge. Even the cable itself (when it arrived originally) had the normal perfect condition bends and the metal plug had no scratches until I used it.



Were people in the 70s deaf to good sound quality in headphones?

This is actually the 1960’s! I wonder if voices and guitars stayed in the range that worked for these. I was able to look at speakers from the late 1940’s:

The WE 755A was marketed as a full range speaker, but it only went to 13 kHz

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The “Harman curve” is based off a reference JBL M2 which measures anechoically and then in an “average room” they saw the downsloping frequency response at the listening position. The Harman target for headphones was then to replicate the experience of that with headphones. In both cases, you are replicating how the M2 would sound.

I can imagine that if you took your reference as something like the WE 755A, the listening position would be even more rolled off in the treble due to the single driver beaming, etc.

The Altec 640E which was used in studios in the 1960s looked like this:

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This was the first setup to use in-ear microphones to measure the output. Clearly, the limiting factor will be how neutral their microphones were.

Interesting the way they tested with "in-ear" microphone:
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None of this tiny mems microphones we have today! Never mind the broken seal impacting bass.
 
The paper has this graph:
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They show a narrow peak around 1.5 kHz. Seems that they tried to back that out in the response of the headphone:
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That would explain the trough we see between 1 and 2 kHz. Further, they show another huge resonance starting around 5 kHz would explain why that response is pulled down as well. If so, that validates our mid to high frequency response measurement as being what they intended.

Likewise, in bass they show the impedance constantly rising would could explain partially why the measurements show so little bass response.
 
Its not difficult to believe the headphone still measures like new.
The headphones that were around 60 years ago simply weren't that great sounding. At least not the ones I know of from that time period.
Many of them were just some small 8ohm radio speakers (often even paper cone) in an enclosure with plastic pads with foam in them.
Only Sennheiser was really being 'novel' with their foam on-ears.

They are just fun for historic reasons. There weren't many different headphones around anyway.
I remember being totally in love with the sound of the headphone a friends father had.. the Pioneer SE305 (the coconut)
Measured one a while ago.
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Yep, how I remember is is not how it sounds/measures now.

And ... I don't think you can really rely on AKG being totally objective in their advertising.. even right up to this day.
Below is what AKG has to say about a recent headphone (my emphasis):
Mix and master your tracks with uninhibited clarity with the AKG K***over-ear, closed back headphones. Professional-grade 40mm drivers reveal even the subtlest nuances, so you can be confident your mix will translate accurately on any system. Whether you’re fine-tuning track levels within the mix or mastering the final product, the self-adjusting headband and lightweight design will provide hours of comfort. Designed by the company whose mics and headphones have helped create some of the world’s most iconic recordings, the durable K*** is a serious headphone that delivers great sound in the studio and beyond.
Below is what they are talking about.
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This is what they produce 60 years later and write beautiful words about. Amir measured it too and still owns it AFAIK.
 
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