Become a Site Supporter and Never see Ads again!

Author Topic: Headphones disillusions  (Read 6773 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline noam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2016, 08:31:05 AM »
I want to hear the Focal Utopia

The December issue of Stereophile has an unusually honest review of $4,000 headphones by Herbert Reichert on page 43. He dares to trash politely the 4,000 Audeze LCD-4, saying their too high impedance make them sound dark, remote, distant; the $4,000 Focal Utopia "empty-sounding", but he likes the $1,000 Focal Elear.

I had read nothing but rave reviews of the Utopia until you said this

I saw 2 more reviews that preferred the Elear over the Utopia, one was a video and I can't remember where I read the other, but it stated that the Elear have a more "exciting" sound.

Noam

Offline dabbler

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 209
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2016, 03:52:43 AM »
The HD600 and HD650 are my all-time favorite headphones for the majority of my listening, too.  The main weakness they have is distortion in the bass region, which can make them sound slow and muddy on my head-baffled omni recordings.  I suppose bass distortion makes studio recordings sound more realistic, and I've read the latest HD800S uses the same trick to improve perceived bass response over the original HD800.

But I often prefer the original HD800 because their bass is better defined due to low distortion.  The bass is not louder, but clearer than any other headphone I've tried.  That works out great for head-baffled omni recordings I make.  I don't find the highs or resonance annoying like many do: I suppose my sideburns tame the ringing; and I EQ the hell out of the highs on DPA 406x recordings regardless.

The HD800 is a lab microscope.  An incredibly detailed tool for analyzing and spotting faults in my own recording and editing; but not something I would use to enjoy less-than-impeccable sources with.

The other great thing about he former/present flagship Sennheiser models is the availability of replacement parts.  Not just foam pieces and cables, but drivers, carbon fiber frames, and grilles, too.  Just call them directly.


But IMHO, the best bang-for-the-buck is still the $15 Koss KSC75.  I use them when I'm away from full-sized cans and speakers.  Bass is even more distorted than the Sennheisers HD6X0, but all the mids are right where they need to be.  Wearing them under a beanie or headband improves the clamp and bass response.  Lifetime warranty, too :)

Offline page

  • Trade Count: (25)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 8389
  • Gender: Male
  • #TeamRetired
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2016, 12:35:06 AM »
The HD600 and HD650 are my all-time favorite headphones for the majority of my listening, too.  The main weakness they have is distortion in the bass region, which can make them sound slow and muddy on my head-baffled omni recordings.  I suppose bass distortion makes studio recordings sound more realistic, and I've read the latest HD800S uses the same trick to improve perceived bass response over the original HD800.

But I often prefer the original HD800 because their bass is better defined due to low distortion.  The bass is not louder, but clearer than any other headphone I've tried.  That works out great for head-baffled omni recordings I make.  I don't find the highs or resonance annoying like many do: I suppose my sideburns tame the ringing; and I EQ the hell out of the highs on DPA 406x recordings regardless.

The HD800 is a lab microscope.  An incredibly detailed tool for analyzing and spotting faults in my own recording and editing; but not something I would use to enjoy less-than-impeccable sources with.

I agree with this assessment in many ways regarding the flagship Senns. The 600s are my favorite; lightly low on bass and mildly cloudy (the 800s weren't but had their own nuances I wasn't fond of), but yeah, a great all arounder and priced wonderfully.

Since almost 2005 I haven't had speakers cause I've lived in apartments so I've cycled through a number of amplifiers, and cans. Currently, my wife uses my old Denon D7000s which were modified to give a slightly more balanced response. She uses them for piano and i agree, they were magnificent in that application as they also are for many forms of rock music or funk. I went to the Audeze LCD-2 a while ago and haven't looked back (orthos for lyfe). They are the most sterile and clear headphones I've heard in terms of hearing small details in sharp relief and I've been to a couple of head-fi meetups. I drive them with an SPL Phonitor Mini which creates such a transient and bass response that it's almost nauseatingly intoxicating to listen to for any period of time. Now, I'm totally cool with that because I'm a member of team DPA (without using a psp2/sax/etc to dirty the sound or soundstage) so ymmv. Were they worth it? To me, given my current living constraints, yes (totally). Would I do it if I also had a hifi-sound system? Probably not. I have zero interest in the LCD-3/4; too rich for what my aging ears can differentiate and I could use that cash for something else, but I don't regret the $900 or so I dropped on the LCD-2.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11537
  • Gender: Male
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2016, 09:09:45 AM »
[I agree with this assessment in many ways regarding the flagship Senns. The 600s are my favorite; lightly low on bass and mildly cloudy[snip]

Good description. A slight subjective improvement in those two specific areas are why I gravitate to the 650s over of the 600s.  And the modifications I did to my 650s tweaked their mildly cloudy aspect a bit further. 

I'll keep my ears open for a chance to listen through the LCD2.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

Offline weroflu

  • Trade Count: (3)
  • Taperssection Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2016, 02:00:09 PM »
Hmmm...

Page: Have you ever listened to beyer dt48? I had a pair for a few years and they were sort of exactly what people had described. At first you hate them because there is almost no bass. Then you acclimate to the lack of bass and the lack of distortion/clarity in the mids and highs is (insert superlative).  I got rid of them because the  earpads kept coming off. Replaced with beyer t51p, not even close but I'm glad to have something very portable. The muddiness of the newer beyers (also had some dt770's) was never apparent to me until spending time with the 48's. Long story short, I'd be interested in comparisons between the dt48's and any reasonably good planars.

I'm almost sure I'm going to like planars a lot, but never really thought of them as clinical (in the good way) until I read what you said about the lcd-2. I guess I'm looking for an excuse to get some good planars.

Offline page

  • Trade Count: (25)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 8389
  • Gender: Male
  • #TeamRetired
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2016, 07:36:49 PM »
Hmmm...

Page: Have you ever listened to beyer dt48? I had a pair for a few years and they were sort of exactly what people had described. At first you hate them because there is almost no bass. Then you acclimate to the lack of bass and the lack of distortion/clarity in the mids and highs is (insert superlative).  I got rid of them because the  earpads kept coming off. Replaced with beyer t51p, not even close but I'm glad to have something very portable. The muddiness of the newer beyers (also had some dt770's) was never apparent to me until spending time with the 48's. Long story short, I'd be interested in comparisons between the dt48's and any reasonably good planars.

I'm almost sure I'm going to like planars a lot, but never really thought of them as clinical (in the good way) until I read what you said about the lcd-2. I guess I'm looking for an excuse to get some good planars.

I actually haven't. I had a chance once at a meetup and passed on it to hear the HD800. Not all planars are created/sound equal. The HifiMan set are the Grados of planars, you either like that sound signature or you don't. As Gutbucket has noted; go to a head-fi meetup. Some folks are sort of out there in terms of judging gear, but it's a great chance to take a few studio and audience recordings you *really* know well and run tracks through their paces. I picked 4 tracks when I did mine and listened to about a minute of each on various setups. It was worth the 2 hour drive each way to the DC area to do it.

Outside of the bass slam and transient response that I get pairing them with a solid amp, there isn't anything magical about the cans; they just show you whats there really well. Some stuff is sort of ugly (the Dave's Picks recordings from the 70s being textbook examples; fun to listen to, but you hear all the warts), but on great material, it's sublime.
"This is a common practice we have on the bus; debating facts that we could easily find through printed material. It's like, how far is it today? I think it's four hours, and someone else comes in at 11 hours, and well, then we'll... just... talk about it..." - Jeb Puryear

"Nostalgia ain't what it used to be." - Jim Williams

Offline noam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2016, 04:59:43 PM »
I made an impulsive purchase on Massdrop of the Sennheiser HD6XX (=650) and I just received them. I compared them A-B with the 600 on both jacks of the Benchmark (playing Verdi's Otello and Strauss' Salome). Straight out of the box the 600 sound more high pitched and colored than the 6XX. Why not say that the 6XX are more low pitched in timbre and colored? Because for some reason the color of the 6XX sounds more natural. Also, the 6XX have deeper, better bass, significantly more detail, especially in the bass, better, clearer soundstage. Everything sounds significantly better within 60 seconds of comparing.

All these are improvements over a product that I previously judged perfect (the 600). When I checked the HD800 I thought they were garbage out of the box. And then, all this doesn't matter, because if I start really using headphones for more than 20 minutes a day I will get tinnitus. But these 6XX cans really beckon...

Offline fanofjam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 90
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2016, 02:54:01 AM »
^ Your HD6xx might warm up after you burn them in. I used to think burn in was silly talk but a pair of HD600 I once owned warmed up nicely after 60 hours or so.  I've also had cans that didn't change much at all with burn in.

Offline ts

  • Trade Count: (55)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2785
  • Gender: Male
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2016, 10:37:35 AM »
I made an impulsive purchase on Massdrop of the Sennheiser HD6XX (=650) and I just received them. I compared them A-B with the 600 on both jacks of the Benchmark (playing Verdi's Otello and Strauss' Salome). Straight out of the box the 600 sound more high pitched and colored than the 6XX. Why not say that the 6XX are more low pitched in timbre and colored? Because for some reason the color of the 6XX sounds more natural. Also, the 6XX have deeper, better bass, significantly more detail, especially in the bass, better, clearer soundstage. Everything sounds significantly better within 60 seconds of comparing.

All these are improvements over a product that I previously judged perfect (the 600). When I checked the HD800 I thought they were garbage out of the box. And then, all this doesn't matter, because if I start really using headphones for more than 20 minutes a day I will get tinnitus. But these 6XX cans really beckon...

I missed this drop. Hope they add more. $200 is insane.

Offline Gutbucket

  • record > listen > revise technique
  • Trade Count: (13)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 11537
  • Gender: Male
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2016, 01:23:45 PM »
I missed this drop. Hope they add more. $200 is insane.

If so please post here, thanks.  I'd like to pick up a second pair but don't monitor Massdrop regularly.
volition > vibrations > voltages > numeric values | numeric values > voltages > vibrations > virtual teleportation time-machine experience

Offline ts

  • Trade Count: (55)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 2785
  • Gender: Male
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2016, 05:14:21 PM »
I missed this drop. Hope they add more. $200 is insane.

If so please post here, thanks.  I'd like to pick up a second pair but don't monitor Massdrop regularly.

They sold 5000 in the first drop and have requests for 35000 more. If they do have another at that price they will sell out in seconds. It also seems the price in this drop has lowered the 650 from $499 to $315. I even saw new for $299.

Offline Craig T

  • Trade Count: (8)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 4231
    • LMA
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2016, 12:47:13 PM »
The price fluctuates on the 650.  I bought mine new for $299 earlier this year.  Great cans!
Schoeps cmc6/4v / Line Audio CM3, OM1 / ADK A51 / Church Audio CA-14
Naiant Tinybox v2.2 / NBox(P) / Apogee Mini-MP / Church Audio ST9200 / CA-UGLY
Sony PCM-M10 / Tascam DR-70D

Offline capnhook

  • All your llamas are belong to us....
  • Trade Count: (19)
  • Needs to get out more...
  • *****
  • Posts: 3358
  • All your llamas are belong to us....
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2016, 01:18:47 PM »
Great thread.  Got a near-minty HD600 200ohm version on fleaBay, really impressed by them.

Thanks y'all for putting me in the right direction on these.
Proud member of the reality-based community

BSCS-L->JB-mod NAK CM-300 (CP-1,-3)->LSD2->CA CAFS-Omni->Sony ECM-907**Apogee MiniMe Rev. C->CA Ugly II->Oade line-mod SBM1**Edirol OCM R-44->Tascam DR-22WL->Sony TCD-D8


"Don't ever take an all or nothing attitude when it comes to making a difference
and being beautiful and making the world a beautiful place through your actions.
Every little bit is registered.  Every little bit.  So be as beautiful as you can as often as you can"

"It'll never be over, 'till we learn."
 
"My dream is to get a bus and get the band and just go coast to coast. Just about everything else except music, is anti-musical.  That's it.  Music's the thing." - Jeb Puryear

Offline noam

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 177
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #28 on: December 23, 2016, 06:58:24 PM »
I compared the HD6XX to my speakers. I will never get used to headphones. Headphones are more analytical and provide a ton of tiny detail - I can identify different tracks and spliced in takes. Most of the details are annoying and "too much information". But with the speakers I get a better overall sense of the hall ambiance and it's better integrated. And then there is one quality that only the speakers give me, and that is the most important factor. I thought hard how to describe it. Speakers give me the feeling a real singer is standing on a real stage in a real hall and the voice has the impact of a real voice, a real violin, a real orchestra. It's like speakers have more body, but not in the timbral sense - they have more body like a real living creature has more body than the projection of an image of same on a wall. With headphones I have the feeling it's very sophisticated electronic wizardry but I never forget the presence of the headphones. Speakers disappear. And then there is the elemental deceit which is that IMO headphones compress the dynamics, which is why they can be so analytical.

Offline scrtaper

  • Trade Count: (2)
  • Taperssection Regular
  • **
  • Posts: 84
  • Gender: Male
Re: Headphones disillusions
« Reply #29 on: December 23, 2016, 11:55:58 PM »
I have always enjoyed Grados, just a suggestion
Ca14 cards> Rode M5 > Nak CP-1,CP-2,CP-4 >Superlux S502
Ugly Box 2
Tascam DR60D MKII > R-09

 

RSS | Mobile
Page created in 0.223 seconds with 36 queries.
© 2002-2017 Taperssection.com
Powered by SMF
Website Design by Foxtrot Media, Inc., a Baltimore Website Company