Why Stereophile's reviews are for ENTERTAINMENT only!
I quote from the review " heard a pair at Sennheiser's factory in Wedemark and was stunned by their lowered noise floor, impressive gains in perceived bass response, and a sense of air and sparkle that the regular HD-580s had never quite achieved".
NOISE FLOOR!!?? F###in' NOISE FLOOR!!!?? If you can read the above and believe that Wes Phillips has ANY understanding of how the hell headphones (let alone other equipment) work, then you deserve the consequences! For the neophyte let me explain why I am so FURIOUS about the above (and was when I read it in '98). Dynamic headphones are purely passive devices. They can produce NO SOUND OF THEIR OWN, whether "noise", or music. ALL a dynamic (moving coil, as opposed to electrostatic 'phones which are "active" devices") headphone or speaker can do is reproduce (with varying degrees of accuracy) signals which are fed to them. If you hear noise through a dynamic headphone, it is present in either your source or amplifier! PERIOD! All headphones have a noise floor of ZERO! The cheapest 9.95 "buds" at Wal Mart have a noise floor "lower than 24 bit!". LOL. Headphones HAVE NO NOISE! It isn't possible!
No wonder J. Gordon Holt, the founder of Stereophile, left the place in disgust last year, and now writes for the Absolute Sound, along with Anthony Cordesman, and several other of the really GOOD, KNOWLEDGABLE writers who used to work at "Stereofool". With apologies for anyone on the other side of the "pond" I'm about to offend, unfortunately the purely subjectivist BULLSH*T that so infects British hi fi publications has crossed the Atlantic (along with many of the WORST writers of the breed), and taken residence in America's audiophile publications, such as "Stereofool"! What a sad comment on the American audiophile community that Audio magazine is dead (and buried), but "Stereofool" thrives! ARRRGH!
Do we REALLY want to get audio ADVICE from people who have no idea how the equipment they're evaluating works????? If Wes Phillips is qualified to offer advice on audio equipment, I submit that Stevie Wonder is qualified to offer advice on camera equipment, and George W. Bush should follow his "true calling" and become an English professor!