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Official Goldring DR150 Impressions Thread

post #1 of 720
Thread Starter 
Well, to start it off, one of the first impressions by yours truly:

I actually had a chance to listen at my friends' house where I bogarted his system, which isn't half bad. A vintage solid state Yamaha CA1010 mated with a Rotel CD player. The integrated amp drove my Yamaha HP1's pretty well (which is really tough to do) and cleanly so this will do the trick. I also managed to wrangle his HD650 to include in the comparo. Where do I start...the DR150's are a really good all around pair of cans. Listening to Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, some Bach, Dave Clark Five, Common, Fugees, Queen, and Miles Davis is quite pleasurable with these phones. As mentioned before, the comfort level is second to none with the clamping force starting to calm down a bit. With Jimi, this is where the HF1's really shine. Nothing does guitar solos like Grados do. Nothing. I mean, the HD650, DR150, and HP1's all sound great, but the HF1's do something magical with those guitar licks that are just otherworldly. That being said, the forward presentation of the DR150 made it more musical to listen to on guitar tracks than the HP1 and the HD650. If I didn't have my HF1's I would have been listening to Jimi ripping it up with the DR150s'. Ditto with other instruments as the Dave Clark Five, Bach, and Miles Davis all sound brilliant with both the HF1's and DR150's. With that in mind, the level of detail on the DR150's, however, are just not at the same level as the others. It's almost there and if you're not AB'ing them, it's tough to notice...but it is certainly just a bit behind on the details (but not by much). There were strings that were in the background faintly but noticeably with both the HF1's and the HD650's during some of the Bach Fugues a bit fainter on the HP1's and that I could barely pick up on the DR150's. The bass has plenty of thump while listening to hip hop and was one of the things my friend commented on. He is a staunch believer that all he needs in life is his HD650 (godbless him...he hasn't discovered head-fi), but after listening to the DR150's he was pulled in by how engaging it is. The sound, although not as detailed, is also not as laid back as the HD650 (which is what IMHO makes the HD650's special). I wouldn't call the DR150's warm which something people would probably use to characterize HD650's and the HP1's, but the DR150 are certainly lively and balanced and have a very unique sound signature. I think I mentioned it before, but I think the closest comparison that I could make (bear in mind that I am not an audiophile nor do I claim to be) would be a much more refined version of the popular Koss line (KSC75, portapro, etc.). I am talking about a HUGE improvement, but sound sig wise really quite similar. The sound stage was baffling me a bit when I was listening to Paul van Dyke, but after listening to non-electronica music, I understood it a little better. The sound stage is quite nice. Instrument separation is superb. Listening to Dave Clark Five and their dazzling array of drum solos was awesome on the DR150's which make you feel like you're sitting in the front row of their show instead of on stage.

Well, what can I say...I am extremely pleased with this purchase. In fact, if I can hide it well enough (see my previous sold items) I might just pick up a back up pair. They are that good. I will be using them primarily on the road, when I crash at my hotel room. I love the fact that it uses mini-to-mini interconnects as the cable. In fact, I did a quick test drive and plugged in my canare ic's from markertek and the sound did change...a little bit less bass and the mids became a bit more prominent with the sibilance greatly reduced. I did, however, switch back to the stock cables because I really enjoyed that sound (and the cable was much longer than the markertek). I also enjoy the comfort level of these phones. The combination of velour ear pads, open design, and light weight all combine to make one really comfortable set of cans. Finally, the construction is really quite superb for ~$150 phones. Sure its lightweight gives the appearance of fragility (is that a word?), but they feel very solid and looks like it will withstand the rigors of the road. I would greatly recommend these to anybody who are enjoying their KSC75s/portapros or anybody looking for a real solid performer at the ~$150 price range. Hope this helps!
post #2 of 720
Thanks for starting it off wowie11. OK boys, let's get crackin'! You've had us waiting long enough! Please!
post #3 of 720
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by swt61
Thanks for starting it off wowie11. OK boys, let's get crackin'! You've had us waiting long enough! Please!
I figured the kiddies needed a bit of a push...lol. Our family is growing quite rapidly, eh swt61?
post #4 of 720
I just picked up the box and snapped some shots right before the camera died. I just started to listen. I will post in due time and hopefully remain objective.
post #5 of 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by wowie11
I figured the kiddies needed a bit of a push...lol. Our family is growing quite rapidly, eh swt61?
LOL! Sure is!
post #6 of 720
I see that Wowie11 beat me to the initial punch. Here's my review:

I will preface this review of the Goldring's DR150 by saying I'm somewhat new to this headphile arena in that I don't have a lot of diverse headphile experience. I've listened through PX100, 7506, E2C, E4, HD590, DT770/80, AD700 and have only had a Total Airhead (3 AAA model) and a PA2V2.

I purchased these 'phones due to Team DR150's founding father - SWT61 - and his opinions and the very reasonable $125 shipped cost (Mantra Audio). My most recent set - the AD700s - have been a very pleasing experience but with some of the driving music I listen to they are a bit too laid back. From what I was hearing from SWT61, the DR150s were the answer. And indeed they are...

Upon initial inspection I can see how money was saved in the manufacturing. All plastic construction. The ear cups are symetrical so only one mold needed for both sides. Don't get me wrong, though - these are nice looking cans and nicely built. I love the size of them as well. As compact as circumaural cans can be. The headband is nicely padded with a covering of velour. The padding of the ear cups is just like my HD590s.

Comfort: The clamping pressure is just a tad high - hopefully it will loosen up a bit over time. I wore these for nearly 3 hour straight, though, and if it wasn't for the feeling of some pressure these cans just disappeared, they are that comfortable. In terms of comfort, my HD590s are a 10. These I would rate at 9.5. If the headband loosens up - it will easily be a 10.

Now for the most important part - sound: Because I plan on using these mostly with my Zen Sleek / PA2V2 combo, that's what I tested these with. The music I listen to is as follows:

Electronic - Ambient and Downtempo a la Biosphere, Boards of Canada, Carbon Based Lifeforms, etc
Rock - Jack Johnson, Peter Gabriel, Beth Orton, Cowboy Junkies, Derek Trucks, Counting Crows, some Pearl Jam, etc.
Blues - BB King, Sonny Landreth, SRV, Ronnie Earl, John Lee Hooker
Classical - guitar pieces played by the likes of David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, Julian Bream, Angel Romero, etc. Also I'm a Wagner fan with Tannhauser being my fav.

In short, I threw a little of everything from above at these cans and it handled them all from quite good to quite astonishing. These are lively cans and certainly more up front than my AD700s. This is not to say they don't have any kind of soundstage - oh, yes they do. Maybe not expansive but it is open. They are also detailed. The first song on JFC's Electronique Love has this one part where there's a bass sweep that I always enjoy testing cans with and these cans not only handled them just fine but I picked up on some nuances I hadn't heard before. I'm kind of a junior basshead and these cans deliver! I love the tight bass response and this is right out of the box. The midrange is nice and present. Vocals sound terrific. The highs are well represented as well though I did hit a couple of songs where they became slightly piercing but then I was never a treble guy.

These cans are just a ton of fun. They are exciting and handle Blues, Blues/Rock and Rock just fine thank you very much. I'm loving my Electronic music as well. Maybe not as much space as my ATs but absolutely no complaints. I don't listen to a lot of classical and listening to Tannhauser I can see where the higher end cans would be preferred but for this occassional listener - I was quite satisfied.

The gist of it is that these are the most balanced 'phones I've ever listened to. They kind of remind me of the DT770/80 but with the mids there. Okay, the bass is not as present as the Beyer's but I'm more than happy with it.

$125? An absolute bargain!!!
post #7 of 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by daashford0404
I just picked up the box and snapped some shots right before the camera died. I just started to listen. I will post in due time and hopefully remain objective.
We don't wanna...hurry...rush you...hurry..., please take...hurry...your time. Then give...hurry...us an objective...hurry...review.
post #8 of 720

The fun has started.. but sadly not for me yet!!!

I'm getting quite rabid now... my order was confirmed on Tue and I still have not got my phones... but then again, I'm in Singapore.. so it might take a while longer to get them here... hopefully it's just a WHILE longer..

Glad to see everyone started on their phones and having fun.... mm.. initial impressions are good, I see..

So how big are we now?? the last I counted was 14..

Would be good if someone could get a hold on the reviews of the DR150 in those hifi mags... just curious what the other people think about it..
post #9 of 720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalidor
I'm getting quite rabid now... my order was confirmed on Tue and I still have not got my phones... but then again, I'm in Singapore.. so it might take a while longer to get them here... hopefully it's just a WHILE longer..

Glad to see everyone started on their phones and having fun.... mm.. initial impressions are good, I see..

So how big are we now?? the last I counted was 14..

Would be good if someone could get a hold on the reviews of the DR150 in those hifi mags... just curious what the other people think about it..
Duggeh lives in Scotland and could not find "Hi-Fi World". Not sure if it's actually on the stands yet. If anyone finds the May issue please get it and post the DR150 review! I'll owe you.

Yours will show up soon! I can feel it!
post #10 of 720
I suspect that it simply hasnt reached the shelves yet, i havent seen the may issue of hifi choice or what hi-fi either.

My eyes remain peeled.
post #11 of 720
I have only posted one pseudo-review here at Head-Fi and it was less than stellar. I want to remain objective and stay organized.

Equipment Used:
GoldRing DR150s>RockHopper Pimeta>Nordost cables>Cambridge 500SE CD

Music tested:
Kamelot-Epica, Leaves Eyes-Vinland Saga, Ghostface Killah-FishScale, Nightwish-Wishmaster, Therion-Deggial


Build Quality:
Let me start off by saying these are darn nice cans for $125.00 USD. They are comprised of an all plastic design with velour ear cups and headband. The clamping force is noticeable but not unbearable. I feel that they will loosen with use. The are quite comfortable and very light. The weight is just right for headphone of this size. I have heard them described as just big enough for circumaural cans. That pretty much nails the size comparision. They breath well and remain fairly cool. They are cooler after an hour than my AKG 240S. The mini-mini interconnect is a nice touch for a can in this price range. Overall I'm sastified with quality and design of the DR150.

Sound Quality:
This is where the rubber hits the road. After all it can be the most beautiful and hardy can in the world, but it does not good if the sound is lacking. I have no complaints in the sound department. For reference I have listened to SR60s, HD 485s, AKG 240S, CX 300 and PX 100. I bought the DR150s in the hopes of attaining an affordable level of detail, speed and impact without the brightness of the Grados. I loved the Grados in bursts but ultimately found it fatiguing in a long term listening session. Metal in the vain of Nightwish, Kamelot, Leaves Eyes and Therion can quickly become a muddied mess or a shrill experiment in brightness. The AKG 240s sound wonderful but the lower register becomes muddied and overwhelms the mids. The AKG 240S also is somewhat deficient in the instrument seperation department. The DR150 makes good in these deaprtments. I have the detail, speed and impact without a hint of brightness. My RockHopper pimeta drives them well. I also feel that my interconnects add to the perceived speed and detail. I jacked the Nordost flatwire interconnect out of my main speaker rig. These interconnect where carefully choosen to maximize the tonal qualities of my Magleplanars and I believe continue to exhibit their nature in my headphone setup. With all that being said, I am very impressed with the sound after an hour of head time. They really do get guitars right. The sound is very engaging without being overbearing. They are slightly toned down Grados with a soundstage, dynamics by the gobs and did I mention a soundstage? I threw some hip-hop at them for a change of pace. I have always been a Ghostface fan and the new CD is great. It handles the bass lines deftly without destroying any detail. The bass is tight and Ghostface sounds great. I can understand every word and all the nuisances of every song come through in spades. The before mentioned sibilance is slight but noticeable non the less. Ive heard that this subside with some burn-in. We will see.

Overall:
I am impressed with overall package at the price. I will be reaching for these alot over the next few months. The HeadFive amp will be ready in July and so will Goldrings. These have kept me involved all night. They are musical.

Thanks to SWT61 for pioneering.

Peace,
D
post #12 of 720
have you tried a different source yet? OMG, how SWT61 was right about these cans being source sensitive! i plugged them directly into my Audigy 2 ZS Platinum break out box and the soundstage almost all but disappeared and the bass became kind of muddy. almost sounded like i was listening through an added layer of cloth. i then put my PA2V2 in between and that definitely helped but my Zen Sleek/PA2V2 still sounded the best. i haven't tried these with my Yamaha receiver yet but it'll be a curious experiment.
post #13 of 720
Edit: Double Post
post #14 of 720
daashford0404, They do loosen there headvise grip after a short time. Fun can huh? Good review! I really love these headphones (as i've made people painfully aware), but am glad to hear others expand on the qualities that i hear. We all love to have our thoughts confirmed. I'm just happy that i haven't led anyone astray.
post #15 of 720
Hi,I'm in the UK and have read the hifi world review without taking all that much notice i'm afraid,if i'd realised how popular the DR150 was proving on head-fi i'd have taken in more info,all i can say is the the guy thought they punched well above their price and outperformed his [i think] senn hd570.I think the DR150 was described as a good rock can.
I also noticed in another mag called hifi choice a small piece about the DR100+DR150 where they were rated 77%,it was suggested the DR150 suffered a little from sibilance.
To be honest i never buy or take much notice of mags when headphones are involved,hell i might pick a pair of these up during the week and see how they stack up against my hd-25-1's for rock! sorry not to be more help but it was at least a week ago when i saw the above mag's.
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