Home Observations

Your pad definitely needs a bespoke Rousseau DJ Booth

I know quite a lot of readers are into music — and large subset are serious enough that they’ve got a few turntables, some excellent speakers and a host of super-DJ-class equipment to make the experience (for them) and their audiences phenomenal.

There is, however, nothing worse than going round to someone’s pad and finding their DJ ‘stuff’ (the decks, the speakers) jumbled all over the place, with wires strung everywhere and a 15-minute wait before anything will actually work. Your MacBook plugged into a 10-year old PC speaker does not count as a sound control system.

If you’re into music — especially DJing — you need a proper system. The Rousseau DJ Booth is probably what you’re after. It’s bespoke, too. There’s a standard design that you can augment to your heart’s content. By default, it’s configured as a sleek, stylish gun-metal booth. It’ll be ready to take some Pioneer CDJ 2000 decks along with an MJ 800 mixer. You’ll probably want at least one MacBook to help out so, by default, the booth is fitted with a laptop stand. Support for some rather funky looking Genelec speakers (pictured) is also included, but of course, you can specify your precise requirements. One key point is that the whole desk runs from one plug-point. I like that. No need to mess around with multiple cables.

This Rousseau DJ Desk will look rather fantastic in any location, but if you’ve got a bit of space in your basement or — as per the picture above — you’ve got a nice open-plan living area, that’ll be ideal! It might also be appropriate for some funky office entertainment space as well.

Now. Let’s get to the costs: The basic bespoke configuration retails at £6,450 — however this excludes any equipment that you’d like built-in (e.g. the Pioneer CDJ). So depending on what you’re looking for, you’ll need to factor that into the total cost. And make sure it’s a decent MacBook Pro as well. The last thing you need is to get one of these super DJ Booths and then stick an old MacBook from 2007 on it.

Right then — there’s a lot more information on this post at the Rousseau site. Here’s some more imagery:

Chap Who Has Everything Music Technology

Harman’s AKG K3003: The world’s best “reference class” earphones?

I’ve spent a lot of money on earphones over the years. I blame Apple. I was perfectly happy nodding away with my white iPod specials until I walked into the Regent Street Apple Store and found a massive range that I’ve never heard of before. In particular, I was thoroughly impressed by the range of Shure in-ear ones — the price points were, from memory, £69, £199 and then £299. Something like that. I didn’t need any further prompting — I bought the £299 ones. Obviously.


And they were gorgeous. About a billion miles away from the ‘Fisher Price’ style free ones you got with the iPod. And so my expensive habit for headphones began.

More recently I’ve been experimenting with some Etymotic ones and finally, after my friend Tom bought me some RHAs, I have settled there.

I think, however, the search may have ended with the release a few months ago of the AKG K3003 earphones from Harman. That’s them pictured above and the first thing that sets them apart from the competition is the price: These are retailing for £1,000 in Harrods or you can pick them up from AKG directly.

The next thing that makes them special is they’re hand-crafted. (I’d hope so, for £1,000.) And they’re 100% quality-tested after final assembly. Plus, as you might expect, the materials and the engineering are simply exquisite. Here’s how AKG describe them:

Building on AKG’s decades of breakthroughs in audio technology, we’ve combined know-how with premium materials to produce our K3003 reference class 3-way earphones. Each earphone housing is chiseled from one piece of brushed stainless steel, while our specially refined cable materials allow for tangle-free handling. The K3003 earphones come with a genuine leather carrying case individually molded to protect them wherever you go.

And now here’s the AKG Youtube video showing how they’re made:

Right then, that’s me sold.

These are, it seems, the equivalent to buying a Bentley Continental GT. The price point is certainly eye-catching, however I wonder just what the difference is between say, the £29.95 RHA MA-350 earphones and these AKG K3003s. Could I — as a non-audio professional — tell the difference? I suspect that this is more or less irrelevant, though.

I delight in owning and using quality equipment. I really enjoyed using the Shures and Etymotics — and the audio felt better. I suspect that using these AKGs, I’d have a brilliant experience! And although the £1,000 price tag sounds quite a lot, I’ve probably spent that in the last 3-4 years on earphones if I add up all the Etymotic/Shures I’ve bought.

These AKGs are definitely going into my Chap Who Has Everything category here on The Pursuit of Quality. What’s your view? Have you got a recommendation for excellent earphones? And could you see yourself spending £1,000 on a pair?