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K-Tek taking pre-orders for the new Harness!


dfisk
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Hey Everyone! We are extremely excited to announce the launch of the K-Tek Audio Harness. Dealers are now taking orders for this game changing product. Take a load off your back with the rigid spine, 6 mounting points, breathable material, and many other features. The KHRN1 Harness while be shipping within two weeks. Price is $249. Contact your dealer to get yours ordered, and check out our website right now for all the details, photos, and video.

 

http://ktekpro.com/product/kshrn1-stingray-harness/

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Looks very well made. My thoughts are that it requires 6 points of attachment, perhaps not super fast for those we've got to go NOW! moments? Although you can probably get away with 2 points for a while and connect the other 4 when you get a chance?

Also I can see how weight is transferred to the hips and legs via the vertical rigid spine (set up by the adjustment provided for personal size - very nice) , but this depends on the wrap around the hips being tight and secure, and this seems to be achieved via attachment to the bag, and the bag becomes part of securing the 360 degree wrap around, if however the harness had it's own (flat buckle of some kind), connection round the front, it would not be dependent on the bag, which would make it more universal, and require two less points of attachment. Or it could be both, an independent (part of the harness) front connection, and provision for a bag connection.

I'll quite likely get one, but will probably be looking to mod it for securing round the hips without the bag.

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  • 1 month later...

from the freelance sound mixers group on facebook:

Just spent a day using the new K-Tek harness. It is fantastic! It offers tremendous support with it's three point bag attachment. And the built in rigid back spreads the weight better than any harness I've ever used. Bestharness for people who have back issue or who want to avoid them. 

Carlos Maeda Loving my Stingray harness. Definitely does take a little getting used to, but well worth it to keep my back happy.  

Aaron 'Cujo' Cooley I've been using one for 11 months...
It's simply awesome.

Aaron 'Cujo' Cooley It is everything a bag harness should have been for decades.

Adam Risner Good, you excelled where Orca failed. To tighten the waist it is so much easier to pull the straps forward than backwards.

Edited by dfisk
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I do agree that the strap tightening mechanism is genius (pulling forward instead of backward).

I haven't had a chance to try out the harness for an entire day, but the few minutes I had it on felt great. Very comfy and it did feel like it worked as advertised.

My only complaint, and this is just my opinion, is that when the bag is off, the only thing holding the harness onto my body is the tiny strap between the top two attachment points. The other four attachment points sort of dangle. And because of the weight of the rigid spine, the harness would slide down on my back, with the small strap being the only thing securing it to my body going up against my neck. It seems like if there was a strap to clip around your waist, then at least there would be two points where the harness would be secured to your body.

It seems maybe like the harness was designed to be taken off entirely with the bag, at least since it seems faster / more efficient to put it on along with the bag when one side of the harness is all clipped onto the bag, then just slide into it and clip the other side.

All that said, seems like an excellent product. Congrats!

Edited by Jose Frias
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Completely agree with Jose above. Here's my FB post in full...

Loving my Stingray harness. Definitely does take a little getting used to, but well worth it to keep my back happy. A couple observations from my first week with it… 

Most of the weight is carried by the middle straps (top, closest to body). Very litt
le weight on the top shoulder straps. They're basically there to add stability and keep the bag tilted level; one could easily work w/o the top clipped in. To me, this makes the entire rig feel like an oversized waist belt. Big plus.

Felt great with my old Petrol bag with a Nomad and some SRbs. When I used it with an Orca filled with a 788t, 4 Wisys, 2 NPs, IFB Tx, etc. the metal frame began to dig into my abs; probably because there was no padding or large pocket that pushed the frame away from the body. I remedied the problem by sandwiching the bag's padded shoulder strap in between. Don't think it'll be a problem for other bags.

I've become accustomed to wearing a harness the entire day, and clipping onto the bag when needed. When not attached to a bag, the weight of the rigid spine wants to pull the harness downward. Only thing that stops it is the center chest strap catching at the neck. To remedy this, I clip the bottom straps together forming a makeshift belt to hold everything in place when not clipped in. A waist strap that stays attached to your body with/without a bag attached would be a nice addition in future revisions. Since the inside of the spine has MOLLE-type straps running the entire vertical length, I'll probably get some accessory clips and attach simple web belt down the line.

The middle and bottom carabiners are attached to the straps via semi-rigid foam pads. These made clipping in and out a little awkward at first, as the carabiner can swivel back and forth if not held right. Took a little getting used to, but easy enough to manage. Maybe it's because I haven't used the harness with a matching Stingray bag, but the foam pads themselves were nowhere near my body and served no purpose. I suspect with the Stingray bag's contoured back, the attachment points will be closer to the body, allowing the padding to work properly. Perhaps a sliding pad that can be moved around would make for a more universal harness in future revisions.

Here's my procedure for clipping into and out of a bag. This seems to be the quickest and easiest for me so far, but YMMV… Before clipping in, I attach the top and middle straps together, essentially reverting back to a 4-point harness. I leave the middle straps adjusted so that I don't have to tighten them much further once the bag is attached. With the bag in the air, I clip the middle straps first, then the bottom. I clip the top straps to the front of the bag and adjust only after I've tightened down the bottom. To remove the bag, I just reverse the procedure.

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The main thing I'm concerned about is the fact that the rigid spine can't shorten (nor should it), as I have a short torso.  For reference, on my orca harness (which I don't like at all) I have the waist strap and the strap that connects the waist to the upper back tightened almost all the way, and my or30 is still riding extremely low. Obviously I could tighten the shoulder straps to raise it up but that defeats the purpose of having a waist strap entirely.  

So what I foresee happening is having the shoulder straps on the ktek harness slammed all the way down with the spine poking me in the back of the head. 

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I actually prefer to keep my harness attached to my bag and take the whole thing off rather than have the harness on me when I take the bag off. That's just how I've always been, though, and I know we all work differently

 

In regards to the spine and height:

I've had really short people try it out. I'm talking 5'1". The only way the spine could poke you in the back of the head, even when you shorten it up, is if you lean your head back far. It's probably best to get in to a dealer and try it out. 

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My only complaint, and this is just my opinion, is that when the bag is off, the only thing holding the harness onto my body is the tiny strap between the top two attachment points.

As it is, with my porta brace 4-point harness, i always attach the bottom two clips to the top two when i take off the bag to prevent the points from dangling everywhere.  When I tried the ktek harness, I also did immediately what Carlos did and it resolves the weight balance and securing issue.  But I'd imagine you'd want to anyway since the attachment wings on any harness with more than 2 points would just flap everywhere when you walk. 

I also typically keep my harness on when not bagged so that was the second thing I tested.

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I just received my harness and so far I really love how it feels when on and tightened up. I haven't had a chance to use it in the field for a shoot day yet, but I can tell I am going to love it. As others have mentioned, the on and off process is a little more time intensive than other harnesses. (Also, note that I am using an Orca bag and not a stingray, so that may be part of the awkwardness.) A few easy modifications on my own, and I feel like I'll be 100% happy. I have already attached Nite Ize S-Biners (size #3) onto the supplied red carabiners for the middle and lower attachments. They are MUCH easier to slap on one-handed with no fuss. I may get fancy down the road and remove the supplied ones and attach grommets or somehow find a better way to use the S-Biners by themselves. For now, piggy backing off of the supplied red ones works just fine. 

Lastly, I might attach a small belt under the waist wings so it can be permanently attached to my body when a bag is not in use (and this way I don't have to completely loosen the waist straps in order to attach them around my waist. But for now that's a good alternative to a permanently attached belt).

So far I am extremely happy how it distributes the weight. I'll be doing some very long documentary days with lots of walking when the Pope comes to visit Philly this week and will report back how it does out in the field in the midst of that craziness.

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I fully agree with all the excellent feedback posted above. I'm using the harness with a heavy PortaBrace AO-2X bag. Here are my pros and cons after a brief field test:

Pros

  • Superb weight distribution and back support (hardly any weight on the shoulders, which is great for booming). The rigid spine system actually works (and is adjustable)!
  • Extremely comfortable, even with a heavy bag.
  • Leaving the neck area open frees up neck movement and prevents chafing of the skin (an issue with certain "tight-neck" harnesses).
  • Good quality materials and excellent breathability. 
  • Ingenious forward-pulling strap tightening mechanism.
  • Folds up nicely into a convenient storage pouch.
  • Looks great!

Cons

  • The six mounting points add to the stability of the design, but also complicate the process of clipping the harness onto the sound bag. The swivelling carabiners are awkward to grab hold of and attach. Gearing up with the KSHRN1 is not as quick and intuitive as it should be. Possibly easier with K-Tek's own Stingray bag (or an instruction manual!).
  • Difficult to wear the harness without a bag attached due to the lack of a waist belt.
  • The harness is a snug fit when properly adjusted. Unfortunately, this means that some bags (incl. the PB AO-2X) will be reined in to the extent that they start exerting pressure on the abdomen, causing discomfort. The only way to counteract this is to loosen the middle straps (or to add padding, as suggested above) at the expense of optimal weight distribution.   

Overall, this is without a doubt the best harness I've ever used. It offers excellent back support, rigidity and comfort, and does a wonderful job at weight distribution (even with heavy bags). A few minor niggles that I'm hoping will be addressed in future revisions.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Just want to say that I spent this last week using my new K-Tek harness and I am a very happy customer.

My concern before buying it was how bulky and/or rigid it might be as compared to my trusty, well worn and broken in Versa-flex (I've been using it for 19 years !) In fact, the Versa-flex harness is the one piece of equipment that I have never switched out, it has been with me since my first year in the biz. Over the years it has kind of formed to my body and feels really comfortable, but I was looking for something with a little more support, and after that many years even with lots of washing the Versaflex is starting to be a little dingy.

When I saw the promo video for the K-tek, it looked like it might be just the solution I was looking for, but I was hesitant because it seemed like it might be big and cumbersome but it has been exactly the opposite. It is very flexible and breathable in the shoulder and waist straps, and only rigid where you need it, in the spine area. Having the extra pair of mounting points, as compared to my Versaflex, really does seem to make  a difference to the feeling of carrying the weight. I'm totally sold on the new harness and I might just be retiring the Versaflex now. If anyone is on the fence about getting this harness, I suggest you head down to your favourite retailer and try one for yourself.

Hopefully this harness will be good for my next 20 years in the biz !

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