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Orthodynamic Roundup - Page 10

post #136 of 23449
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj View Post
Well, yes, as expected, but when i say the yh-2 is quiet when severely damped, I mean maybe a third of the output of my 600-ohm cans on the same source. Seems excessive.
It might be, but the 3:1 loudness ratio sounds about right if you're comparing a YH-2 to something like the HD 600. There's a lot of energy under that hump. Sucking it all out makes a big difference.

It is possible to overdamp. What we're after is the point of critical damping, adding more and more damping until we reach the point where the 'fram starts, and most important, stops when it's told to.

By the way, my profound appreciation to you for your work with the microsuede. Meanwhile I'm also trying some nonwoven polyester, like Tyvek only thicker and fluffed up, that's used to stop drafts over doorsills. Sill seal, threshold tape, something like that. Found a big roll of it at the dollar store.

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post #137 of 23449
Thread Starter 

Specs from Germany, YH-100 microsuede results

German HiFi Wikipedia has an entry for Yamaha headphones with a focus on the Orthodynamic series. Why this should be so, I don't know. But here it all is, with dates of manufacture and specifications:

Yamaha Kopfhörer - Hifi-Wiki.de - die freie Gerätedatenbank

A couple of interesting things turn up, assuming the source is reliable. The most interesting, to me, are:


There is no listing for the HP-1a.

The uberOrtho, the YH-1000, is older than the YH-100. In fact, the YH-100 appears to have replaced the fancy-dancy YH-1000, despite having 5dB lower efficiency. They do resemble one another physically... perhaps the YH-100 was a cost-reduced version of the YH-1000?

There are links but no entries for the [mythical?] HP-1000 or the nonmythical YH-5M, the world's first and only orthodynamic IEM.

The impedance shown for the YH-1000 is incorrect. Photos of the the YH-1000's box show an impedance of 100 ohms, not 80. So this source isn't entirely reliable.


An interesting little dab of information against the blackness of space even so.

On to other things. The MicroTex microfiber pseudosuede (which we'll call "microsuede" for short) makes an excellent damping layer (see post #106). In fact, I think it's too good, since it's starting to eat into the fatness of the bass. The YH-100 now sounds kinda like (but don't get excited) an SR-X Mk3 or a Fostex T50, which is to say it's startlingly detailed and ultraclear (it's obvious that Radiohead's Kid A sounds like it was recorded on a 1981 multitrack cassette deck, while the producer of Rachael Yamagata's Happenstance went for a very clean sound, very Neumann U87ish), but it verges on brightness. That's what happens when you overdamp-- you've tightly trapped a layer of air next to the diaphragm, and it acts like the air in an acoustic suspension speaker cabinet-- the natural resonant frequency of the driver goes up since the stiffness of the air in the cabinet adds itself to the stiffness of the driver's suspension, or in the case of a first-gen Orthodynamic, the diaphragm's compliance. This moves the resonant hump upward in frequency while still squashing it and spreading it over a large bandwidth. It's the equivalent of putting a woofer in a box that's too small for it. As ericj found, the efficiency of the 'phones takes a huge hit when there's this much damping.

This is with the microsuede disc directly behind the driver, and just behind that a disc of felt, helping to even out the pressure supplied by the orange foam rubber disc which is behind that.

We're not too far off. [UPDATE: The microsuede might be okay for some isodynamics, but it wasn't what the YH-100 needed at all. It ended up unacceptably overdamped.] The search for a material with the perfect porosity will continue.

It would be nice to find a thin fabric with ideal porosity. I can dream, can't I?

.
post #138 of 23449
Hey, I have a random magneplanar question.

The cable on my Pro 30 is awful. I mean coiled cables are arguably bad to begin with, but this cable has been stretched out and doesn't coil properly anymore.

So i spend too much time wondering if i can improve the cable situation or otherwise make that experience more pleasant.

I love the styling of the Pro 30. But i got this bizarre idea.

I hear people say that the KSC-75 has the same driver as the UR-40. That would mean the same diameter as the Pro 30 driver.

A clip-on ortho? Will the Pro 30 driver fit in a KSC-75 earcup?
post #139 of 23449
wualta
How do you feel about using an electronic solution to resonance taming?
I messed about with this and that damping material but the sound was always more open and delicate with as little material as possible between the ear/outside world.
Using a notch filter or even a simple in line cap [shock horror ] can do a great job at taming lf resonance.



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post #140 of 23449
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu View Post
wualta
How do you feel about using an electronic solution to resonance taming?
Using a notch filter or even a simple in line cap [shock horror ] can do a great job at taming lf resonance.
Shock horror! (is there any other kind?) No, seriously, it would make the response graph look great, but the transient response would still be gawdawful, or, if you're PG Wodehouse, gawdelpus. I wish the problem could be solved that easily, but it's really a mechanical problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj
Will the Pro 30 driver fit in a KSC-75 earcup?
Ericj, that's a good idea, although the magnets on the old A-T drivers (used in the Pro30 and elsewhere) are a tad heavy. But if the backwave is tamed, no reason why it couldn't work, although the bass will be somewhat attenuated.

And I should say that while the Pro 30 driver is just slightly smaller in diameter than Koss', it is probably, I'm guessing off the top of my head, thicker. So the answer to your question is: maybe it will fit. It can certainly be made to fit.
post #141 of 23449
Quote:
Originally Posted by wualta View Post
Shock horror! (is there any other kind?) No, seriously, it would make the response graph look great, but the transient response would still be gawdawful, or, if you're PG Wodehouse, gawdelpus. I wish the problem could be solved that easily, but it's really a mechanical problem.

Ericj, that's a good idea, although the magnets on the old A-T drivers (used in the Pro30 and elsewhere) are a tad heavy. But if the backwave is tamed, no reason why it couldn't work, although the bass will be somewhat attenuated.
I doubt You would need a super narrow steep notch, I have not found the use of such filters to wreck the sound of systems I have applied them to.
Then I am only using them for gentle fairly wide shallow tweaks.
Very much a case of choosing between ones poisons.
post #142 of 23449
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
I doubt You would need a super narrow steep notch..

Correct-- Just the opposite, in fact. A big "smiley" would pretty much do it. And the 'phone would sound pretty good. Until, of course, you wanted to hear real bass or your Dynavector Hello Kitty with the boron-sputtered bamboo cantilever came a cropper upside a tiny boulder-- then you'd hear the same bad wobblewobble in the bass-- worse, in fact, because more energy is being fed to a resonant system, which simply stores it and spits it out over a spread of time and frequency like a radio transmitter-- and a chokkhh instead of a tic (largely because the lower mids and upper bass are underdamped and thus aren't in sync with the treble).

You bring up a very important point-- why not simply find the frequency response of the driver, calculate its exact inverse, and filter in the digital domain. The reason this would have limited success is, I suspect, the real reason behind many serious Head-Fiers avoidance of EQ of any kind. It solves one problem but leaves entirely untouched a worse one, and they've heard it in all its... well, shock horror.

Most systems don't have transient response quite as poor as the undamped Orthodynamics have in the bass, so it's usually not a big problem if corrective EQ is applied to those systems. But most systems do have a bete noir somewhere, usually in the bass or mids, and the bete often has a litter of little betelets scattered throughout, and we learn, or not, to live with them, as long as EQ doesn't feed them and make them grow too big to keep. But it might.

So it's not a matter of the characteristics of the filter wrecking the sound-- it's more a matter of the filter revealing problems that can make listening uncomfortable, often on a subliminal level.

I'm not saying your approach is wrong; it's just that the Orthodynamic driver has such a big problem mechanically that it should be solved at least partly mechanically, otherwise things could get ugly. In fact, I've advocated EQ for headphones in general, both as an aid to better listening and to assess transient handling. Further, in fact: I'm still listening to my damped YH-100 with some boost in the low bass and high treble because while I still consider its diaphragm insufficiently under control, it's good enough that EQ makes it better rather than worse.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
Very much a case of choosing between ones poisons.

This is so true, it's positively truthful. We trade off. We agree that spaciousness is more important, so we let transient response slip a bit and we have the Stax Lambda. We add mechanical damping and we have the SR-X Mk3 with its blitzen transients but a crippled soundstage.


Edited by wualta - 7/11/10 at 4:13pm
post #143 of 23449
Quote:
Originally Posted by wualta View Post

You bring up a very important point-- why not simply find the frequency response of the driver, calculate its exact inverse, and filter in the digital domain. The reason this would have limited success is, I suspect, the real reason behind many serious Head-Fiers avoidance of EQ of any kind. It solves one problem but leaves entirely untouched a worse one, and they've heard it in all its... well, shock horror.
On the other hand, this discussion has me thinking that something like Jan Meier's Psychoacoustic Bass Enhancer could be handy for cans that will just never have any bass, like the Pioneer piezo films.

It's a shame that I'll never care enough to actually *build one of those monstrosities.
post #144 of 23449
wualta
I agree that one should try to first perfect the mechanical design before resorting to electronic band-aids.
Though it is not uncommon to see filters used in ribbons etc to correct such things cavity resonance.
But I guess thats the penalty one pays with such designs as ribbons and planars , their perceived benefits exist because of this lack of mechanical restraint!
My own future target was to experiment with developing more lossy diaphragm materials to shift resonance into more benign controllable areas.
In my view the problem with using mechanical damping at lower & lower resonance frequencies is that one requires materials that have a growing deleterious effect on the upper registers, well in my experience.
Ideally the lf resonance would be good if it were below 20hz.
In fact if one considers the lack of energy or lf roll off usual here maybe a little lift would be good?


[In passing,during some experiments I did consider one crazy approach to eliminating the need for most stiffness in a ribbon/diaphragm.
Really slack floppy ribbons sounded good but would flop all over the place and centre themselves wherever gravity chose, not good for headphones!
Sooo, I considered whether a small dc current could be made to work to centre the diaphragm....]
post #145 of 23449
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
..though it is not uncommon to see filters used in ribbons etc to correct such things cavity resonance.
Sure. But that's equivalent to correcting for room response with an ideal loudspeaker. It's not meant to correct a problem with the ribbon itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
But I guess thats the penalty one pays with such designs as ribbons and planars, their perceived benefits exist because of this lack of mechanical restraint!
To some extent, yes. But I'd say it's mostly the ability to handle transients and not store energy that makes this type of transducer attractive. If a designer can do it by using nothing but air to damp the nasties (Lambda Signature is the poster 'phone here), more power to him/her. What you want is sail area. Doesn't the Omega II have more diaphragm area than the Lambda? The isodynamic driver doesn't have that option. Not unless someone builds a nice big one with lightweight electromagnets. Imagine how geeky that would look!

Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
In my view the problem with using mechanical damping at lower & lower resonance frequencies is that one requires materials that have a growing deleterious effect on the upper registers, well in my experience.
Elaborate on this, please. What happens to the uppers?


Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
Ideally the lf resonance would be good if it were below 20hz.
Now you're starting to think like a cardioid mic designer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by setmenu
Really slack floppy ribbons sounded good but would flop all over the place and centre themselves wherever gravity chose, not good for headphones!
Celestion built a ribbon (detailed in my man Martin Colloms' book High Performance Loudspeakers) which used strings of silicone rubber to counteract this love of gravity you speak of. There may yet be a way to unobtrusively suspend and center. All eyes are on you.
post #146 of 23449
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericj
On the other hand, this discussion has me thinking that something like Jan Meier's Psychoacoustic Bass Enhancer could be handy for cans that will just never have any bass, like the Pioneer piezo films.

It's a shame that I'll never care enough to actually *build one of those monstrosities.
Good thing too. What an enormous effort to achieve psychoacoustic (=fake?) bass! It inspires respect and shock horror at the same time. Makes you want to yell to the designer "Turn on a subwoofer!"

I wonder what would happen if a layer of PVDF were bonded to a thin layer of Mylar? Efficiency would suffer, but maybe bass would improve along with the mechanical properties of this film sandwich.

Those old Pioneer HPM 'phones do reasonably well as they are. My gut says it wouldn't take a whole lot to tip them over to producing "real" bass. Of course, I could be wrong. Can't beat 'em for sheer simplicity, though. Maybe add a KSC-75 driver...
post #147 of 23449
Quote:
Originally Posted by wualta View Post
Good thing too. What an enormous effort to achieve psychoacoustic (=fake?) bass! It inspires respect and shock horror at the same time. Makes you want to yell to the designer "Turn on a subwoofer!"
Yup. Fake bass. The circuit boosts the harmonics of the real bass, to trick your mind into believing that you're hearing bass that isn't there. He swears it works. Has a patent and everything.

Quote:
Those old Pioneer HPM 'phones do reasonably well as they are. My gut says it wouldn't take a whole lot to tip them over to producing "real" bass. Of course, I could be wrong. Can't beat 'em for sheer simplicity, though. Maybe add a KSC-75 driver...
heh. Some sort of K340 inspired hack. May actually work.

I'm hoping to find a reasonable deal on some HPM cans some day. I'm in the midst of retooling the power supply on my M^3 amp so it can swing +/-18v for inefficient cans. I bumped the gain up to about 17, and now the YH-2's sound beautiful out of it, but on the +/-12v it's got to work with at the moment, there's some hard clipping at the top end of the dial (also present for my old DT-880-S, etc - so it's not just the ortho drivers).

One of these days i need to put that amp in a decent enclosure.
post #148 of 23449
Thought I'd alert the brethren, Sennheiser HD25 (and HD25sp) earpads fit the Yamaha orthos just as well as the Sony MDR-V200 pads, are more durable, easier to come by, and available in velour for anti-pleather snobs like me.

You still need to tape or glue them on, but it's a small price to pay.

They look a little fluffier than the original pads or the Sony pads. I'll have to do some listening tests with the hd25sp pleathers i have + my YH-2's.

Pleather are $15, sennheiser part H-75527. Velour are $13.67, part 69417. You can buy these 7 days a week at shop.sennheiserusa.com.
post #149 of 23449
Thread Starter 

Toward A Damping Strategy

Excellent. Most Ortho earpads turn up intact, unlike the Audio-Technica and Stax pads from the '70s and early '80s, but for those that don't, this is useful information, and it's great to have the velour option.

I too feel I must alert the faithful and reprint here some speculation I tucked away on a thread about the HP-3. It came to me that it isn't enough to suggest that modders try to hit some unspecified optimum amount of damping (the socalled critical amount). What is needed is the basic information that will allow each owner to plan a damping strategy based on his religious beliefs and the abilities of the equipment available. Here's that random thought taking form and shape before your eyes:

Since we now have several imminent mod jobs being done by several people with their differing expectations and preferences and materials, a thought on how much to damp. How far should you go? For some, too far is not far enough, and normally I'd take the engineer's approach and say the point of critical damping, this far and no farther, would be the point to shoot for. But then I thought, no, damping does two things simultaneously: it gets control of the diaphragm, which is good, but it also changes the frequency response-- it makes the 'phone brighter and brighter the dampier it gets. It could very well be that at the point where your ears tell you that transients are now splintered-quartz sharp and that's the way you like it, uh huh, the bass is quite a bit rolled off. This is more likely to happen with "tight" Orthodynamics, eg the HP-1/2/3 and the YH-1/2/3, than it would with "loose" ones like the YH-100 and [probably] the YH-1000.

Where you then find yourself is the same place the guys at Electro-Voice were when they had this idea that you could build a vented speaker with overdamped bass (the sixth-order Butterworth alignment used in the Interface series) and then compensate for the rolled-off bass with an outboard EQ box, and how many crazy audio nuts could they possibly sell it to. In other words, you may want to make a damping-beyond-the-pale choice whereby you now have a pair of what we might call "EQ 'phones", 'phones that must have EQ to sound right. The upside is that these 'phones will have transient handling like you've never heard-- every single jot and tittle in the recording is audible, and bass thwacks become downright dangerous to your hearing at high volume. The downside is that power handling in the bass will be reduced by the amount of bass boost you have to apply, and your amp might clip that much sooner, etc. etc. At this point the 'phone may have a slightly elevated, even rising, treble, which might have to be tamed with more EQ.

The difference between EQing an undamped Ortho and EQing an overdamped Ortho is night and day. One will simply make existing problems worse, the other merely lifts bass of an extraordinary quality up to proper listening level.

And I know some folks have religious objections to EQ. This is not for them.

Anyway, it's just a thought. You might want to explore the Overdamped Side just to hear what it's like. You'll need a good amp and a preamp with enough flexibility to apply bass in the quantities and locations on the FR graph where it's needed.

Now: imagine having this much user control over a typical dynamic headphone's diaphragm and sound. You perhaps begin to see why I've come to call the Orthodynamic line "kits"-- they're damping-optional. You supply the damping you want to get the sound and detail you want.

.
post #150 of 23449
Interesting read wualta. I'm one of those that's not too keen on using EQ, and have no tone controls or EQ (CDP is my main source). I'd probably opt for the damp to taste method, but it's still an interesting idea. I do have a very powerfull amp on the way, so no problem there. Oh and my HP-1's arrived today! Not as dark as memory lead me to think they'd be. All I have to run them from now is my headphone out jacks on my CDP and preamp, so no real impressions yet. My amps will be here next week, and I'll be recabling these balanced so I can use them with said amp very soon. I'll wait until the recable to start playing with the damping, so I have a better reference point.

Can I find stiff enough felt at most fabric stores, or should I be looking for an old felt hat in a second hand store?
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