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Best headphone amps for the studio Studio Amplifiers
Old 29th April 2003
  #1
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Best headphone amps for the studio

Hi guys,

I'm in the process of upgrading our headphone amps in the studio.

The goal is for the artists to be in total bliss while tracking.

Am looking at getting a few Bryston 2B LP Pro amps (60W/side at 8 ohms). They run about $1400 over here each, not including VAT.

So what would you all recommend as the best headphone amp, or best for the money with great sound?

Jon
Old 29th April 2003
  #2
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Best headphone amps for the studio

Quote:
Originally posted by jon
Hi guys,

I'm in the process of upgrading our headphone amps in the studio.

The goal is for the artists to be in total bliss while tracking.

Am looking at getting a few Bryston 2B LP Pro amps (60W/side at 8 ohms). They run about $1400 over here each, not including VAT.

So what would you all recommend as the best headphone amp, or best for the money with great sound?

Jon
Assuming that you are not building a multi-channel let the musicians mix their own headphones system, I've been very happy with the StudioQ from Music Row Technology.

http://www.shopmrt.com/studioq/thestory.html
Old 29th April 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Best headphone amps for the studio

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Assuming that you are not building a multi-channel let the musicians mix their own headphones system, I've been very happy with the StudioQ from Music Row Technology.

http://www.shopmrt.com/studioq/thestory.html
what's the price on that package?

how is the furman stuff, is it that rough?! (HDS-16)

If you have to drive traditional 240s and lower impedence stuff, it definately limits the options in the budget end.

And what about the OZ stuff??
Old 29th April 2003
  #4
Jax
Lives for gear
 

I like my Oz Q-Mix quite a bit, but I think jon is convinced he has to spend a lot to get great results. No argument.. that's what you'd expect from Capitol Studios, France. If I was a client there, I wouldn't expect to see a Furman or Oz anywhere in the house, even if I knew it would suit my needs perfectly. The Oz sounds really good and can do a few tricks, but only in a barn, not a rodeo palace.

If I had a need for a great sounding headphone amp, I'd check out:

Mytek PrivateQ Headphone Monitoring System

If you still want to spend more for something less flexible and perhaps marginally better sounding, go with the Bryston.
Old 29th April 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

I have the Furman stuff in a live install, irt works great, at the studio I use a crown 6 channel install amp for 3 stereo mixes and it sounds like the queens knees with just one small dip at 1 K ( more of a sony headphone issue i think...
Old 29th April 2003
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
Chae Ham's Avatar
 

Have you seen these yet?
<a href="http://www.prodigy-pro.com">Hear Back System</a>

We were using Furman's in the studio before but, the features on the Hear Back are great, Especially the built in DSP limiter! --extra insurance against a musician wanting to sue because they accidentally got blasted
Old 1st May 2003
  #7
Ted
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Jon,

I have the HRM/HDS Furman stuff and it's pretty good but the ultimate is the Grace 901 for pure sonic bliss/2chnl device. I have one in the CR.

Thanks,
Ted.
Old 1st May 2003
  #8
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
If I had a need for a great sounding headphone amp, I'd check out:

Mytek PrivateQ Headphone Monitoring System
thats badass... i love the more-me monitoring systems. **** those stereo cue mix feeds from the CR... how ****ing amateur. i just have the furman 6 channel ones but its the best investment i have made for tracking. it totally puts the musicians in total bliss because i never have any complaints about what they are hearing in their cans.... guess im in total bliss as well.
Old 1st May 2003
  #9
Ted
Gear Maniac
 

Yea no doubt the "more me" has seemed to solve a lot of problems out in the studio especially with the drummers. I enjoy the Grace and HD600s for listening to mixes in the CR only. Setting up cue mixes and trying to make everyone happy is a pain in the ass...

Thanks,
Ted.
Old 1st May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Sometimes the musician-generated cue mix systems can pose their own problems. For one, you can't monitor what they are hearing from the control room, and so it is harder to tell if the reason they are having a problem is because they've totally screwed up their cue mix.

Which is not an unlikely scenario.

I can generate six individual stereo cue mixes from the control room. If they want more or less of something, they can ask me.
Old 1st May 2003
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The 6 channel Furman deal ROCKS!!! Sure, it's not real high-end but the whole rig with 3 boxes costs the same as one cable for the Mytek system. For my cheap little studio it's the best thing since sliced bagels.

Jon, what is your current headphone rig like?
Old 1st May 2003
  #12
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by littledog
I can generate six individual stereo cue mixes from the control room. If they want more or less of something, they can ask me.
and thats the whole point... it takes away from things i need to be focused on. its so funny too. after everything is setup, i tell em to jam a song and by a few bars into it after a little tweaking of their stations, they are rocking. no more "hey man, can i get a little more ______?", "i cant hear ______"... its a time saver. its a vibe saver. its a sanity saver. its a bitch saver.
Old 1st May 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
littledog's Avatar
 

Hey AJ:

I'm sure 98% of the time both ways work just fine. Then there's the 2% of the musicians that will totally screw up whatever system you have, no matter how bullet-proof.

In practice, after the first few adjustments, no one bothers me much for the rest of the session.
Old 1st May 2003
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

a hundred watts per ear is nice

...

in the last session, i used a behringer 4-way distribution amp which worked mighty fine for me and the engineer, who was able to set up perfect cues for me, the drummer and the bass player

as a singer/guitarist, having a right mix made for at least a 25% improvement, if not a qualitative difference in the performance, and, although, i normally enjoy keeping my hands on the knobs, i found it relaxing not having to take care of any part of the recording process, so i could just get in front of the mike, hear the bass, feel the kick and go

cheers
max
paris, france
Old 2nd May 2003
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

just an opinion

Having had quite a bit of experience with the nemesys (which isn't great) system, I can safely say that musicians really dig the more-me systems. It saves so much time and it's not true that setting up 5 or six cue mixes on a desk is easy. It always gets confusing at some point when the drummer is hitting hard and the guitar player is trying to explain that the piano could be louder and you're working on the bass amp. I think that from a business point of view it's worthwile having a more me system, because musicians will want to come back to your place because the sessions run smoother. It's also up to engineer to go out and check each desk is about right. Which is why it's good to have 2 seperate headphone controls on each station.

You could also get one really nice set of cans for doing lead vocals with a reasonable priced amp. I don't think headphone amps have to be audiophile to be work fine. I think one has to remember that most musicians aren't as maniac as engineers are on quality and a comfortable sound will suit most people just as well as the ultimate experience in headphones. Not that it's not important. Just that what you put into your cans is more important. Just an opinion.

Cheers
Bruce Keen

BTW Jon's studio rocks. I'm mixing and tracking there at the same time and his live room sounds great. Quite big but surprisingly tight for a room that size. His attention to detail makes recording great fun. And even though nobody uses SSL 9k preamps I have found them to be cool, especially on bass. That desk makes you glad to be in the studio.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #16
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
You know, the one complaint I've heard time and time again in every studio I've worked at has been "My guitar sounds like poo in the headphones". It doesn't matter what the amp driving them is. Could be a Behringer, an old Crown DC300, a new Hafler P3000 or whatever. I always tell people not to worry about what the headphones sound like as long as they can hear everything and it sounds good in the control room. If it sounds bad in there then we have a problem.

I used to run a stereo mix and a mono mix. I'm way happier with the Furman 6 channel setup, and yes, maybe 3% of my clients can't quite grasp the concept even though it has knobs and I label them. I send those people a stereo mix and tell them not to worry about the other knobs.
Old 2nd May 2003
  #17
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Thanks, guys, for the great suggestions! Lots of things I didn't think of....I'm checking them all out. I didn't quite realize all the possibilities out there. Thanks again!



Hi Bruce, I appreciate the kind words about the studio.

Funny you mentioned the 9k pres for bass, because I also like them for bass guitar, even better than 1073s, and occasionally they are better on (gasp) electric guitars, too. Truth be told, one sees many engineers using them for everything during a tracking session....Ed Cherney tracking the Rolling Stones last May, Pete Schwier tracking basics for the C. Atlan album last fall, Stephane Prin tracking Jean-Louis Murat's soon-to-be-released album, or Hubert Salou tracking the new Adamo album.

Old 2nd May 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
atticus's Avatar
Jon,

I found a really great headphone monitoring system from Aviom. It's a digital distribution system that uses CAt5 cable to connect various musician stations. It allows a "more me" mix of up to 16 signals. Their website is www.aviominc.com
Good luck
Old 7th March 2011
  #19
Lives for gear
Is the Mytek PrivateQ Headphone Monitoring System expensive? or cheaper than digital?
Old 18th October 2017
  #20
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs View Post
The 6 channel Furman deal ROCKS!!! Sure, it's not real high-end but the whole rig with 3 boxes costs the same as one cable for the Mytek system. For my cheap little studio it's the best thing since sliced bagels.

Jon, what is your current headphone rig like?
Hi, how would you describe the difference between Furman and high-end amplifier? What would be the difference? Something significant or.. ? I saw some studios that records the top cats use Furman so I guess they can't be bad.. As I said I wanted to ask about a difference and for example does Furman has enough power for the headphones as Rupert Neve headphone amplifier? I need some good headphone amplifier for tracking vocals and guitars with enough loudness in my headphones Akg k240 mk II so any recommendation would be great since there is not much info on this topic.. Is it all about a loudness they give in headphones or there is something else like if some headphone amplifiers offer an eq-ing ? If it's all about power /loudness I don't see why there should be so much drastic differences in quality for tracking vocals purposes because in the end you hear whats coming out from your preamp/eq, compressor and you just need more power to hear it well in headphones if your interface or mixer doesn't provide enough loudness.. am I right or.. ? Thanks
Old 18th October 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkyGoldstein View Post
Is the Mytek PrivateQ Headphone Monitoring System expensive? or cheaper than digital?
More Id say but its all analog with zero latency.. Works great off my console and I have all the inputs on my patchbay so super easy to set up
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