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Old 2nd May 2015
  #1
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shortstory's Avatar
Headphone systems

Hi all- we are expanding our studio and I'm looking for recommendations on studio headphone systems for the artists. We will have several large rooms for artists playing/recording at any given time and I'm wondering what you recommend.

We are looking for the systems that allow each artist the ability to adjust their own headphone mix, etc so flexibility and durability are important.

Thanks for your input.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #2
I have a hearback system. Very simple to use for artists. Very happy with it.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #3
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Marcocet's Avatar
We had hearbacks for a long time. They're pretty functional, and it's nice that they carry power as well as signal over ethernet. Downsides are that (A) they sound terrible and have no headroom, (B) clients always want to turn up the "limiter" knob, which should be more accurately labeled "distortion", and (C) they break all the time. Biggest upside is that they're relatively cheap and there isn't much else that comes close in their price range. If you're gonna go that way I HIGHLY suggest you make your own ethernet cables with high quality cable and techflex. That way they won't turn into a sinched up mess that everyone trips over by the second time you use the things. If you can find limp ethernet cable that's even better, but I was never able to track any down.

I've used the small Furman system pretty extensively, and even though it's an analog system so it doesn't add the slight latency the Hearback does it's a significantly flawed product. The bigger Furman is supposed to be pretty alright but I'v never used it.

Recently we upgrade to the Mytek Private Q. It's a whole different ballpark, and the installation wasn't really easy but it's been fantastic so far. Sounds real good, seems pretty hearty (I know people have had issues with the connectors, but as far as I know that was back when they were using DLs, now they're using Centronics which are essentially old computer serial connectors and seem invincible). It was also a whole different price point, and took us years to save up for.

Short version: If you're on any sort of budget the hearback are the best thing I've found on the cost/functionality scale. When you're looking at a real permanent install and you want it to be totally right the Mytek seem like the way to go.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #4
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mytek. from a user's point of view it's the only real viable contender. They are functional and they sound very good.
Old 2nd May 2015
  #5
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

We have two of the Hearback systems here and while the layout on the mixers is a bit odd, I relabel them so they are larger text and easier to read. The system seems to get plenty loud for all of my clients, even the metal doodes. The trick I think with them is to have the master volume on each mixer all the way up then let the players turn up whatever they want based off of the master already being wide open.
Old 3rd May 2015
  #6
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shortstory's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcocet View Post
We had hearbacks for a long time. They're pretty functional, and it's nice that they carry power as well as signal over ethernet. Downsides are that (A) they sound terrible and have no headroom, (B) clients always want to turn up the "limiter" knob, which should be more accurately labeled "distortion", and (C) they break all the time. Biggest upside is that they're relatively cheap and there isn't much else that comes close in their price range. If you're gonna go that way I HIGHLY suggest you make your own ethernet cables with high quality cable and techflex. That way they won't turn into a sinched up mess that everyone trips over by the second time you use the things. If you can find limp ethernet cable that's even better, but I was never able to track any down.

I've used the small Furman system pretty extensively, and even though it's an analog system so it doesn't add the slight latency the Hearback does it's a significantly flawed product. The bigger Furman is supposed to be pretty alright but I'v never used it.

Recently we upgrade to the Mytek Private Q. It's a whole different ballpark, and the installation wasn't really easy but it's been fantastic so far. Sounds real good, seems pretty hearty (I know people have had issues with the connectors, but as far as I know that was back when they were using DLs, now they're using Centronics which are essentially old computer serial connectors and seem invincible). It was also a whole different price point, and took us years to save up for.

Short version: If you're on any sort of budget the hearback are the best thing I've found on the cost/functionality scale. When you're looking at a real permanent install and you want it to be totally right the Mytek seem like the way to go.
Thanks Marc- super helpful. Can you give me a sense of what it costs to actually do a whole set up with the Mytek system- assuming maybe 6 stations for artists. Are we talking like $10k? Just trying to get a sense of what to budget.

Much appreciated. and I've got to get over to see your place; there's just never any time. and I hear you guys are booked solid which is great to hear. all best-
Drew
Old 3rd May 2015
  #7
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shortstory's Avatar
Does anyone have any experience with the Aviom system or tried it?

Thanks all-
Old 3rd May 2015
  #8
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nobtwiddler's Avatar
I wouldn't purchase any of the digital systems, latency makes them a NO GO in my book.

I've owned the two Furman systems, the smaller and mostly useless HDS-6 with 6 channel remotes, and the larger HDS-16. Which is their 16 channel system.

I have three separate HDS-16 systems, one for the studio with 8 HRM-16 remotes and 2 smaller systems for my remote rigs, each with a HDS-16 along with 6 HRM-16 remotes.
After owning all of them for approx. 10 or years or so, the only thing I needed to fix was a output jack (1/4 in) for one of the headphone outs.
Seem to hold up pretty damn good, and never had a complaint from a client ever.

The only other comparable (but not as affordable) is the Mytek private Q and the Manley More me...but the Manley (the king of headphone systems) specifically comes at a much greater cost.
But is the best of the best...

Although there is a new one that recently just came out, I can't remember the company right now, but will check to see if I can find it for ya.
Old 3rd May 2015
  #9
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Motoxxx's Avatar
 

Hearback also has a newer system out...
Old 4th May 2015
  #10
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Manley system's no longer being made as far as I know, though maybe they'd do a custom run for a premium.

Mytek's on VK if you want to check the prices, can't remember exactly what we spent off the top of my head but it was between 5-10k including exterior cabling, but not including the cabling we already had installed in the walls.
Old 4th May 2015
  #11
I've used the aviom, and we have a hearback in our studio.

I agree the limiter is useless - I usually put a piece of tape over it to stop clients fiddling. I've not found latency to be an issue at all, and I'm quite sensitive to latency (put it this way; if tracking on a 64sample buffer on a native system isn't an issue for you, this won't be.

I've also never had one break on me, although I'm very careful to turn the thing off before connecting pods. That's over 10 years of using them in different studios too.

I'd rather have more channels - the new system looks good, closer to the aviom setup. aviom is great but a bit more complicated, and much more expensive.
Old 5th May 2015
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by shortstory View Post
Does anyone have any experience with the Aviom system or tried it?

Thanks all-
Love the Aviom. Sounds great, is highly scalable and expandable, and clients seem to have an easy time wrapping their heads around the mixer.
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