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Yamaha YH-100 Orthodynamic on eBay

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 

I've mentioned these in my posts and others have expressed a desire to acquire them. I'll update this thread to track the prices and frequency-of-appearance of the YH-100 on eBay after the auctions end.

Full name: Yamaha YH-100 Orthodynamic headphones. They're from 1981, they're planar-magnetic, and they can be tinkered up into killer 'phones (arguably, but then, so is everything on Head-Fi). They're not very efficient by today's standards, but they're easy to drive (150 ohms with very low reactance). Good for people who like to improve things and see big changes for relatively little work.

If a particular pair has moderate cosmetic flaws and no original box, you can expect the bidding to stay relatively low. Since I'm not a collector and have found good quality items with and without original boxes and paperwork, I'll concentrate on the most affordable auction results. I have no monetary interest in any of the auctions. I have nearly zero monetary interest, period.

UPDATE, May 2005: Auction # 5770453169. They went for $35 plus shipping, an encouraging sign for Orthodynamicists trolling the eBay waters.

UPDATE, May 2005: Another pair, #5777099048, went for $45 plus shipping on May 24. Condition of item very similar to above.

Two in the last month. Interesting...
post #2 of 49

link for people who are too lazy
post #3 of 49
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I'll only be posting auctions that've already ended; I don't want to appear to be trying to influence ongoing auctions.

I should point out that the photo above is of my own first YH-100. I now have several, figuring I'm gonna mess up at least one trying to mod it.

EDIT: That YH-100, Ol' Numba One, is now owned by HFer ericj, who figured out how to realign the bunged-up ball joint but is still, as of this writing, figuring out a way to repair the cracked strut (for those who don't know the mechanical foibles of the classic Bellini Yamaha headset, see the Orthodynamic Roundup thread). I have faith he'll find the answer, and when he does, Orthodynamic owners will no longer have to fear dropping their headphones.

post #4 of 49
Thread Starter 
The appearance of yet another pair within a month made me think that we were practically swimming in YH-100s. Comparatively.

The auction photo was noteworthy: It was a Cartman doll with a hockey mask or something over it, wearing the YH-100. Yeah, when I think Cartman, I automatically think high-quality sound. Heh heh.

They went for $30 plus shipping. Pretty good, considering you couldn't hardly see 'em in the photo.

NB to all prospective YH-100 revelers: Remember the rule: These 'phones need modification. Don't buy a YH-100 unless you're willing to take a screwdriver to it. And felt. And maybe a little open-cell foam.

post #5 of 49
Thread Starter 
Whoa-- $33.03 shipped on Oct 2 2005! The record low for the YH-100 in the year-plus I've been watching them. Definitely a downward trend. C'mon, DIYers..

UPDATE, 7-30-06: It's been quiet awhile, but the YH-100 is still as affordable as it ever was. One that looked to be in excellent shape went for $36 + shipping ($7, which is typical) on July 27 2006.

As always, lie in wait like the shopping predator you are, watching for the killer deal. Meanwhile you can accumulate the necessary modding materials: #1 Phillips screwdriver, blu/yellow tack, various densities of felt, plastic trash bag or any other kind of plastic film, 3/4" self-stick dots from the office supply store, etc.

UPDATE, 11-06-07: The market for the YH-100 has changed drastically since Q3 2006. As of November 2007, the demand has shot up because folks have discovered this 'phone's virtues, but the supply has inexplicably gone poof. Online auction prices still haven't reached outrageous levels, but right now and for the foreseeable, expect to pay closer to $100 for a YH-100 in good nick, if you can find one.

Be vigilant.. Keep watching the skies.. Don't pay outrageous prices and the market will correct itself.

post #6 of 49


Hi, New to this site.
I've been looking for some headphones and saw a Yamama YH-100 on eBay.
Why would someone want a 26 year old headphone?
What is a YH-100 worth in todays market?
How and why do or would you tweek them?
Again i'm new, be easy, till my brain explodes.
post #7 of 49
Originally Posted by Graceman View Post
Why would someone want a 26 year old headphone?
Because of how they sound. Or in the case of the YH-100, how they can be made to sound with a little work.

What is a YH-100 worth in todays market?
"Worth" is a loaded question. It'll cost you / sell for anywhere between $30 and $250.

How and why do or would you tweek them?
"How" is a question for the Orthodynamic Roundup thread.

"Why?" - same reason the people on this forum do anything.
post #8 of 49
ebay is no longer the place to get a YH-100, unless price doesn't really matter to you. At least, not ebay in the US. Now the bargain hunting that led us to the YH-100 would be better spent with less-glamorous orthodynamics. And for that, once again, look to the Orthodynamic Roundup thread. Those willing to spend a few hours reading will learn what's out there and what can be made of it.
post #9 of 49
They're not any good at all, ignore them.

Seriously though these can be fantastic headphones with very little effort. They've been selling way too high lately IMO, but I prefer modded YH-100s to many much more popular headphones. I'm still one of the people to argue that a strong amp is necessary for getting everything out of them.

Age plays very little role in SQ of headphones IMO. Most of my favorite phones are discontinued, and 20-30 years old.
post #10 of 49
Being new to this world of Head-Fi, i've got alot of research to do.
When you say "what they can be made to do", i'm ignorate to the concept, since I don't know what tweeking will do performance wise.
Are you saying I should be asking these questions in the orthodynamic thread?
They are already over $50.00 on eBay, what would you deem them worth before and after tweeking?
If i never tweeked them, do you think I would be happy with as they are with a thought of tweeking later as my knowledge increases on the matter?
post #11 of 49
I'm not gonna answer the "worth" question with a number.

An item is worth what you can get for it the very second that you sell it, and that price has no meaning outside of that individual transaction.

Value on the other hand is another question. If you're willing to buy some felt and spend some time with scissors and a screwdriver making some adjustments, the YH-100 can sound better than some new headphones costing $300 or more.

Edit: And it amazes me how many people are willing to pay top dollar for vintage orthos and then aren't willing to buy some scraps of felt and spend an hour tinkering. No, i don't think you'd be happy with the way the YH-100 sounds without modification.

But "sounds good" is all relative and there is no "best".
post #12 of 49
I wouldn't suggest that you ask basic questions in the orthodynamic roundup thread, rather that you spend some time reading that thread, daunting though it may seem. If you don't feel like taking apart your headphones and rebuilding them, or if you want headphones that don't need a powerful amp, or have a warranty, or sound good straight out of the box, don't bother with these vintage headphones. There are plenty of new dynamics that will serve your needs much better.
post #13 of 49
Thanks for all the input,I really dug into the orthodynamic thread last night.
I believe i'll take a shot at the 100, get a hands on education of before and after.
All your helps is greatly appreciated.
post #14 of 49
UPDATE, April 2010: Another pair, #280484287093, went for $417 plus shipping on Apr 01.
post #15 of 49
yeah, i was watching that pair too, insane ending price. lol
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