Author Topic: Cans.....Whats on your head?  (Read 49338 times)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #60 on: December 28, 2013, 10:56:37 AM »
Immersion I would say they are bright....they are well balanced across the whole frequency spectrum.  Certainly no dark mud...lots of detail and air.
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Seren

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #61 on: December 29, 2013, 03:18:43 PM »
I would not say the Grado's are about the treble. You can have treble without clarity....you can have treble that is just harsh, unbalanced and muddy in it's own way.

The headphone forum's are full of varying opinions on all makes and models, so it is hard to make sense of what everyone is saying - many people seem to prefer different headphones for different genres of music.

For me, I enjoy the Grado 325's clarity and detail - I sound tested them with a number of other makes and after my Beyerdynamics (see earlier in the thread)  they were the only ones to make me go WOW. I took my portable cd player and CDs I knew well - did not want to get swayed by listening to a system I did not know and can't afford.

I have a Kodo CD and there is a point where one of the drummers moves across the soundstage - on everything else he (assuming it is a he) is sort of 'vaguely here and moving to vaguely there'. On the Grado's it is a pinpoint positioning and I can 'see' him move all the way across.....and this is on my 1999 technics player, not a modern state of the art player.

With them I have heard sounds and textures in my own music I had never heard before -  unfortunately not always for the good in some of my older stuff. Hopefully the headphones are helping me to be in more in control of my own sounds since I got them. it is hard to know as whatever else I play my music on I am uncertain how much of what I am hearing is what is being played or what I remember while making the music....

They are not comfortable or styled for fashion - so I assume all the money goes into making the sound as good as it is.

I've not compared them to the tesla's or other hi-flying phones, such as electro-statics to see what I'd have to do for an improvement I can hear and enjoy....
« Last Edit: December 30, 2013, 06:53:33 AM by Seren »

APK

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #62 on: December 29, 2013, 03:37:02 PM »
Just a side issue. I find I use my AKGs much more than the Sonys because I prefer the non-coiled lead on the AKGs. I don't like coiled telephone type leads they always get in the way. But I'm mainly talking about while recording, not just sitting back listening.
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Seren

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #63 on: December 30, 2013, 02:31:16 PM »
A good treble will help bring out the details, but good overall clarity should have good bass and mid as well - otherwise the headphones (imho) are just overbright and harsh...

For me the whole spectrum should have clarity and detail - no point having a great treble if the bass is just mud or the mids sounding like through the bottom of a dustbin.

I would in general agree that a good amp and source are important - but with the grado's I heard new details in the music being played on my 15 year old Panasonic 'walkman' cd player.....the hi-fi shop said that I obviously knew what I was doing for the listening test and were very respectful and helpful.

The grado's can pull great detail from even basic equipment due to their sensitivity and level of overall detail and clarity.

I then got to play some of my music on the £16,000 set up they had in the shop - was very nice indeed.


Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #64 on: December 30, 2013, 07:48:02 PM »
I listened to the AKG K712's at AES a few months ago and these are what I am saving up for.
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mgriffin

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #65 on: January 05, 2014, 12:12:30 AM »
The Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro, 250 ohm version, is on sale right now at Amazon for $148, an excellent price for such a highly-regarded headphone.

http://slickdeals.net/permadeal/111254/amazon---beyerdynamic-dt-990-pro-250-open-headphones-250-ohm

Of course you'll probably want to use a headphone amp to get the best sound out of these, but if you're open to that (and not just plugging this directly into your iPod or something) this is quite a deal... which reminds me, I've been meaning to start a topic to discuss headphone amps.
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mgriffin

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #66 on: January 05, 2014, 09:45:43 AM »
The same thing is true of many good headphones in the $200 - $500 range. They tend to be higher impedance, so they need an amplifier to really perform. Maybe it doesn't seem so bad to pay extra for an amp for a really expensive headphone, but as you say, if you buy a $150 headphone, you might end up paying more than that for an amp.

The way I look at it, though, is the amp and the headphone are separate purchases. If someone is just getting into better-quality headphones, maybe something like this DT990 Pro 250 ohm is their "gateway" to higher-end headphones. Maybe they have to buy an outboard amp for $150 to $500 more, but then they can continue to use that amp if they move up to even better headphones later.

I didn't really appreciate my Sennheiser HD580s until I plugged them into studio gear that had strong output at the headphone preamp. They improved even more with a dedicated, standalone amplifier. 

Lately, there are some good, high-output headphone amps for not too much money. I've been meaning to create a new topic about headphone amps, and I guess this is a good time to do so. I'm off to do that now!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2014, 10:01:19 AM by mgriffin »
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Scott M2

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #67 on: January 05, 2014, 12:30:07 PM »
At the bottom end of the headphone scale... i recently bought a set of the current Apple iPhone earbuds to update the ones that came with my iPhone4S and they have a much more balanced response with less highend edge. A great $30 upgrade for portable listening if you have an older iPhone.

In the studio I still use the AKG K240 as it's a sound I like and know (and I don't like cans that rest on my ears). Always test on the buds too though. The headphone out on my RME Fireface UCX is quite good for a small interface that you can easily gig with.

El culto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #68 on: September 19, 2014, 05:21:51 PM »
Being a DT 770 Pro (250 Ohm) user for many years, i was recently looking for a second headphone to double check mixes. So, I´ve ordered for a test:

:: Focal Spirit Pro

:: Shure SRH 940

The Focal looks very stable and HQ made but unfortunately it´s not an over-ear model. The ear-pressure of this closed HP is quite heavy and makes the wearing uncomfortable after 10 minutes already. Mid and high end are sounding very neutral to my ears but the bass definitely lacks power and definition. Spending an hour with this HP was enough to return it back.

The Shure is a closed over-ear model and very pleasant to wear (even for many hours). Though, it doesn´t look stable like the Focal and my DT…it feels more like a DJ HP with a lot of plastic and quite week in each day usage. In contrast to the Focal, the lower end is very precise and "full" sounding. The mids are VERY precise and easy to judge. So far so good if there wasn´t the high end…totally disappointing for me! Obviously there is (like on many speakers) an increasing made for the high end. When listening to jazz and especially classical music all sounds fake in this frequency region…violins are sounding like someone is cleaning a window (shrill and "plastic"). For spotting problems in the high end this HP might be a perfect solution but it can be very annoying for other purposes.

I´ve read here and there people complaining about the DT concerning the bass ("hyped") but when comparing it with this 2 models the DT is a real easing! Yes it pushes a tiny bit the bass but acoustic instruments (i.e cellos, violins) are sounding so real as they supposed to be. Another issue is the spatial issue..while the DT offers a "room" in the head the other tested models sounding just straight left-right.

I know, many people swear on AKG´s, but i never liked any of their models (construction, sound). BTW: My search was for an closed model only!

« Last Edit: September 19, 2014, 05:54:58 PM by El culto »

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #69 on: September 20, 2014, 04:26:47 AM »
Hi Tomas...have you looked at these. Shure SRH1540.  They were on my audition list but I stayed with the Focal Spirit so never did hear them.  Not cheap but what is.

« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 03:31:37 PM by Julio Di Benedetto »
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #70 on: October 09, 2014, 03:44:59 PM »
FYI my Focal Spirit Pro headphones cracked today within the swivel housing......so one side sort of hangs without pressure against the ear.  Not good and in less than a year.

Sound was good, as I think I said sort of boring which is ok for studio purposes but Im not going to replace them with the same so Im back in the can search.

First up is the shure's I suggested to Tomas above.....open to suggestions on closed backed headphones.

I still have my notoriously uncomfortable Grado SR325 open backs.... to date the best sounding cans Ive listened to (the discomfort fades when you hear the sound) but I need closed back as well.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 04:02:25 PM by Julio Di Benedetto »
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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mgriffin

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #71 on: October 09, 2014, 04:30:57 PM »
Last year I bought a pair of Fostex T50RP, after reading how they could be wonderfully improved by modification. I still haven't gotten around to modifying them yet. Has anyone else tried this?
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petekelly

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2014, 02:57:32 AM »
Julio,

I still use the lower-end Shure SRH840's, they're pretty good - albeit not a perfect fit for my noggin.
Soundwise, they're supposed to be flat enough for 'reference' duties.

I still haven't found the 'perfect' headphone (if it exists in the world of form)

Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2014, 05:31:27 AM »
Thanks Pete....I check out the Shures

The only other closed back phones mentioned in this thread were the sony 7506 and the akg 240.  Had a pair of the sony 12 years ago so I dont remember much about them.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #74 on: October 10, 2014, 12:59:23 PM »
Seems like the Focals are still under warranty  :)  False alarm but thanks for the suggestions anyway.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #75 on: May 17, 2015, 05:30:24 AM »
Some may have read this elsewhere like rM several months ago and for some reason I did not post it here in a thread I actually started, so hear it is.






A Tale of 3 Headphones & an Amplifier

I had been thinking of upgrading my monitors but had realized that I recorded all my music using headphones and not monitors for a while.  There were times I had not turned the monitors on for months.  This made me think some more…. a monitor investment  to improve upon where Im at now was going to be very costly.  So what was all this fuss about headphones I had been hearing as a way to remove the room out of the mixing equation …..Im not an audiophiles though I do love great sound and you cant mix on cans…..well thats not true, many do with success. 

Then began a lot of reading and anytime someone said neutral sounding or microscopic detail that would suit audio pros for mixing and mastering I took note.  The one headphone that came up constantly in this context was the Sennheiser HD 800.  As I got further into this I discovered that the Sennheiser HD 800 had seemed to have become the standard that all other cans were judged.

Then the whole notion of open and closed cans came up so I wondered if there were any  closed cans that could compete with the HD 800 reputation…..one name kept coming up, Foster TH 900….more reading, pros cons etc and yet I had not heard anything, I was listening to words not sound.

I then come across a small ad on the side banner of some headphone forum that said “The headphone Lending Library...listen before you buy”.  It turns out thats what The Cable Company does, they sell and lend audiophile cables and also headphones.  Ok now I can hear what all these words I had read are trying to describe.

The name Audeze LCD X came up on radar….Planar Magnetic Headphones.

I contacted the Cable Co. and after several weeks the Sennheiser HD800, Foster TH900 and the Audeze LCD X arrived at my door for an auditioning period of about 10 days.

Headphones that I considered but for a reason or not decided against.  Beyerdynamics Tesla T1, AKG K 801 & Grado PS 1000e

The Amplifier

As I was researching my intention was to plug the headphones into my mixer which has a headphone amp…..I did not want an independent headphone amp and then when I do want to use the monitors I will need a passive switch which would mean the sources would be difference…...thats where the SPL Phoniter 2 came into the picture.  Firstly a headphone amp thats made for mixing with crossfade and angle capabilities and happens to have a pair of balance outputs designed to drive active monitors.  Sold!  To my astonishment the monitors came alive as I had never heard them before when fed by the Phonitor 2.  Ive had my monitors for 9 years….I know them but what I was hearing had some much more presence, detail and space….I was shocked and this was just the icing not the cake….the cake was for the headphones.  FYI my mixer and Metric Halo uln2 headphone amps drove these cans quite well but could not touch the sound coming through the Phoniter 2

As I write this Im in the middle of the audition period…..heres a selection of music thats being used with these headphones.  These recordings are great sonic examples of performance, recording, mixing and mastering and are reference cds I know.

Donald Fagan, The Nightfly & Morph the Cat
Diana Krall, The look of Love
Pat Metheny, Bright Sized Life
David Gilmore: On an Island
Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon
David Chesky, The Body Acoustic
The Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Peter Gabriel, Security
Beethoven Symphony No7, Academy of Ancient Music, Hogwood
Pieter Nooten / Michael Brooks, Sleeps with the Fishes
Ma Ja Le / James Johnson, Seed

Very little ambient except for Seed….a stunning recording, performance, mixing and these gentlemen put the mix in the hands of a very good mastering engineer. 

The Headphones.

At this level all cans are really very good and it would come down to personal taste, however the Foster Th 900 lacked the soundstage of the HD 800 and LCD X, understandable they are closed and considering they did really well.  The Audeze LCD X was a little disappointing, its hard to say why, perhaps they come across a little bloated by a dominant low end for my taste though I suspect its because of the stellar performance and resolution of the Sennheiser HD 800...everything that you may have read about the HD800, assuming your interested of course, is true.  The soundstage and placement of the music and instruments is breath taking...its not that the headphones disappear, its that you disappear into the music.  The main concern that I read was that the HD 800 is bright and can fatigue, perhaps for an audiophile who is used to listening to silk, cream and warmth they could be fatigued, but to someone who is used to a studio audio / neutral honesty then the Sennheiser HD 800’s are a sonic delight.

For more details and opinions on these headphones search the web….what most people say about them seems to pan out from my actual listening experience and if your in the market for headphone its really worth it to borrow a few from the Cable Co.

How all this will translate into my personal music production has yet to be determined but its sounding good….
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:57:19 PM by Julio Di Benedetto »
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

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mgriffin

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #76 on: May 19, 2015, 11:38:02 AM »
Great post, Julio. I love reading this kind of stuff.


I've been considering for a while that I have several pairs of very good headphones, but no great ones. Maybe instead of multiple $200-400 headphones I should try something really high-end. We shall see...
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2015, 01:11:34 PM »
Great post, Julio. I love reading this kind of stuff.


I've been considering for a while that I have several pairs of very good headphones, but no great ones. Maybe instead of multiple $200-400 headphones I should try something really high-end. We shall see...

If and when you do Mike I can really recommend  The Cable Co and their headphone lending library.....

http://www.thecableco.com/Catalog/Headphone-and-Accessories 

The ability to try before you buy at this price point is pretty crucial and to be able to have 3 of some of the best cans on the market to demo is unheard of.  They will also lend headphone amps as well.  The cost was about $250 for a 10 day trail period which if you buy through them they will put that towards the headphone cost so you are only out of pocket for the shipping.  Very sweet.

Its the best sonic investment I have made.  It has completely changed the way I hear music, for pleasure or for studio work.
"Life is one big road, with lots of signs, so when you ride to the Roots, do not complicate your mind, ... "  Bob Marley

http://digitalvoices.bandcamp.com/
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2015, 07:58:20 AM »
First of all thanks for the compliment on Seed Julio, and second I agree with Mike, great post!

I just upgraded my headphones to the new Audio Technicha ATH-M70x and all I can say is WOW! The clarity is stunning. The low end may seem shy to some, but its really more that it is not exaggerated like some headphones.

http://eu.audio-technica.com/en/products/product.asp?catID=5&subID=39&prodID=4715
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APK

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Re: Cans.....Whats on your head?
« Reply #79 on: May 21, 2015, 11:42:36 AM »
Ha ...  I was going to try out the Audio Technica ATH-M50x phones when at a store again. I'd heard very good things about their quality given their relatively affordable price point. Now I may have to spend more for the M70x !!!

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