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There's Something About Ultrasone… - Page 13

post #181 of 5935
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
i am not saying they will let anyone down. if you are an ultrasone fan these take it a step further(in sound i mean). if you hate the other ultrasones these will probably not impress you at all. i guess that would mean jpelg.
To be fair to our friend jpelg, m_m, I don't believe he wants to be a hater. He obviously hasn't had the opportunity to hear a pair of Ultrasones performing at their best, and under optimal conditions.

His continued presence here leads me to believe that he is trying to understand what all the fuss is about. Anyone remember a Seinfeld episode where Elaine's boss, Mr. Pitt, keeps staring at one of those Magic Eye pictures?



No matter how hard he tries, he just can't seem to get the picture to snap into focus for him. Until, in an unguarded moment, it finally appears...leading him to smudge ink on his face in his unbridled excitement, and ultimately making him look like Der Fuhrer at a fancy black-tie affair, but I digress.

So I'm guessing that one day, jpelg will have a similar epiphany with the Ultrasones. They will no longer sound muddy to him. And all without any unpleasant and potentially embarrassing 3rd Reichian side-effects!
post #182 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexdexter View Post
To be fair to our friend jpelg, m_m, I don't believe he wants to be a hater. He obviously hasn't had the opportunity to hear a pair of Ultrasones performing at their best, and under optimal conditions.

His continued presence here leads me to believe that he is trying to understand what all the fuss is about.
Thanks for coming to my defense, Dex. You are exactly right. I have no interest in hating any piece of gear. I only want to understand when people's opinions differ so greatly from mine.

While granted I have not owned any of the Ultrasone line, I have heard several of them, including the E7. Admittedly, this has always been under meet conditions. However, the New York area meets (both large & small, incuding this years' Internation meet) do have the benefits of having access to great sources & amps to use with them. For me to have such a dramatically different opinion than the comparatively small percentage of Ultrasone advocates here does naw at my brain a bit.

You have to admit that there is a considerable amount of conflicting information and opinions regarding this line. Within this thread alone, I am having trouble reconciling Kees' impressions to where he comes to a positive conclusion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees
First word that comes to mind when I put them on is: ARTIFICIAL.
Every detail is exaggerated, razor sharp, cold and analytical. All instruments seem to be made of metal and stone and everybody is playing in a concrete cellar. The sound is extremely “bare bones”, there is no meat nor muscle to it anywhere. The bass is missing. There are just the outlines of sounds that should have been bass notes, but what is left is just the details that surround it. It is powerless, like a flat tire, a wet paper...Needless to say I am so far slightly disappointed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees
Still cooking. Takes like forever it seems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees
Update after > 125 hours burn-in: Bass showed up. Pretty good too. On par with HD650. Sizzling sounds in the high frequencies are gone. No sibilance whatsoever. Tonal balance is VERY good...I have never heard a piano this realistic on headphones before.
This sounds absolutely amazing. Speed, articulation and tonal balance are perfect. I am VERY happy so far. But it is not perfect (yet?): Bass could be a bit tighter. There is a weakness in the lower midrange. A lack of energy that takes the punch and drive a bit out of more energetic rock music. Burn-in continues......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees
Don't misunderstand me: I am very happy with what I am hearing now.
I am not slamming Kees here (at least he bought a pair to try), but it is difficult to resolve these. Perhaps the blow-by-blow impressions do not serve well in the end?

Even the Ultrasone rep has confirmed my impressions (re: "muddiness"), citing that my brain needs to change to like what they are doing. Sovkiller makes the same point - repeatedly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexdexter
Out of the box, and for many hours thereafter, they were utterly UNLISTENABLE
Now we are back to the burn-in thing again. I simply do not agree with the extent to which burn-in can/should affect headphones. For people to contend that more than 50 hours is needed to get anything positive out of a headphone is ridiculous.

Wrt to the E9's, I have the understanding that they share the same driver as the older TOTL E7's, which is different from the Proline 750/2500 driver & a totally different positioning. Even if I hadn't heard them myself , logical reasoning would dictate that they sound quite different. Yet m_m states that they are quite similiar to the point that unless you want the luxury factor, you can get most of the same from the far less expensive Prolines.

I won't even get into the frequency graphs as these are often an even bigger point of contention. But given all this contradictory information, you can understand how certain conclusions are difficult to accept.
post #183 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
the e9 does not take this technology to the moon or something. it improves it somewhat. how much, i guess will be up to each individual person that hears all of the offerings. don't let the bling factor pull the wool over your eyes. i can't wait to sovkiller get's his. i wonder if he will agree with me or think they are out of this world. we'll see soon.
Well they will ship thursday according to the last report as they had another delay...Well indeed I'm not expecting a miracle neither, the 2500 sounds extremelly good, and is hard to imagine anything performing a lot better. The main reason what I ordered it was becasue of the closed nature, which I need, and also to get that little extra, if maybe not performance wise, at least manufacture wise, and a better look, the blue is not my cup of tea neither, but I'm not expecting a day and night difference neither, and right now without hearing them I can tell you that if someone ask me I would recommend the PROLines instead, as they use almost the same and the are three times as cheaper...
post #184 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
Thanks for coming to my defence, Dex. You are exactly right. I have no interest in hating any piece of gear. I only want to understand when people's opinions differ so greatly from mine.

While granted I have not owned any of the Ultrasone line, I have heard several of them, including the E7. Admittedly, this has always been under meet conditions. However, the New York area meets (both large & small, incuding this years' Internation meet) do have the benefits of having access to great sources & amps to use with them. For me to have such a dramatically different opinion than the comparatively small percentage of Ultrasone advocates here does naw at my brain a bit.

You have to admit that there is a considerable amount of conflicting information and opinions regarding this line. Within this thread alone, I am having trouble reconciling Kees' impressions to where he comes to a positive conclusion:

I am not slamming Kees here (at least he bought a pair to try), but it is difficult to resolve these. Perhaps the blow-by-blow impressions do not serve well in the end?

Even the Ultrasone rep has confirmed my impressions, citing that my brain needs to change to like what they are doing. Sovkiller makes the same point - repeatedly.

Now we are back to the burn-in thing again. I simply do not agree with the extent to which burn-in can/should affect headphones. For people to contend that more than 50 hours is needed to get anything positive out of a headphone is ridiculous.

Wrt to the E9's, I have the understanding that they share the same driver as the older TOTL E7's, which is different from the Proline 750/2500 driver & a totally different positioning. Even if I hadn't heard them myself , logical reasoning would dictate that they sound quite different. Yet m_m states that they are quite similiar to the point that unless you want the luxury factor, you can get most of the same from the far less expensive Prolines.

I won't even get into the frequency graphs as these are often an even bigger point of contention. But given all this contradictory information, you can understand how certain conclusions are difficult to accept.
I can see why you're confused. I was too, and curious, that's why I bought a pair of 750s.
I can also understand my initial and blow-by-blow impressions are not helping a lot yet to get a comprehensive picture. I'll try to complete the picture soon. Right now I've just not listened to them enough to get the picture complete in my own head.

About the burn-in. Seriously, these change dramatically after 100+ hours of burn-in. And that is not psycho-acoustically, because I did not listen to them in between. I have never experienced a change this big with any phones before. This includes the K701. Difficulty for me is now to determine when they stop shifting in sound signature, because by now the shifts are minimal, but still there. On the other hand, since I started to listen to them now, some of these changes can be contributed to me getting used to them. I decided I would just have to wait until everything seems to have settled (either in the phones or in my head) before I start judging what I hear.

In the mean time I did hear them perform exceedingly well in certain pieces. For instance the before mentioned piano piece. This gives me the indication that they are indeed capable to perform in the same range as HD650 or K701. It is too early to tell if they will be able to do so on the long run, consistently for a wide range of music.

For now that is all I can say. Hope that helps a bit.
post #185 of 5935
I agree with jpelg about the burn in, IMO it is more in your brain that with the heapdhones themselves, I had two pairs of them side by side and honestly the differences out of the box and my old oneare not that great as to define a love/hate situation as usually in audio, you will find many people that will like omne thing and others will like others, that is life, and that is why all those heapdhones exist and coexist....

One clarification, and I know that from Floriam himself, the Edition 7 same as the Edition 9, does indeed share the same drivers, and the same drivers as the small siblings 2500 and 750 as well, they use the same 40mm titanium vaporized drivers in all four models...but the positioning is a little different, while still displaced, those later ones IIRC are more offaxis than the higher end models...
post #186 of 5935
After reading all these mails, I am starting to get really curious about the sound of the Proline myself... I notice that these headphone's are controversial, but I think I should just go for a pair of 750's to find out myself... I already informed this afternoon at the distributor here in Holland, but it will take between 2 to 3 weeks before they have them in stock . If I will get them, I will let you know my experiences...
post #187 of 5935
Thread Starter 
Sharkie, come to the meet in Terneuzen on February 4th. Click the link in my signature, and post there to reserve a place, if you can join us.

There will be plenty of Ultrasones to try and loads of other fascinating stuff!

Cheers, Dex
post #188 of 5935
I've been checking in and out of this thread but have not followed it closely, so I'm not sure exactly what is the point of contention in terms of break in and such.

But for the sake of jpelg (and maybe others) who heard my pair of Edition 7 at a NY meet several years ago, let me throw in my 2 cents. First of all, those headphones were brand new out of box at the time. As in maybe 1 or 2 hours of listening time while I was in Florida before flying up to NY for the meet. At the time, I also had a new pair of L3000 and PS-1. It was quite the week for a headphone junkie, and I didn't have time to break any of them in before leaving for the meet.

I remember all of this because someone at the NY meet must have had a pound of Crisco in his hair. After the meet, the 'special' pads on the Edition 7, made from whatever exotic animal's hide, were forever ruined. When I left NY, I went out to California to attend another Head-Fi meet, and while there, I tried to clean the pads with some special leather cleaner that was recommended to me by Doug (ServinginEquador), but to no avail. It might have helped a little, but they were stained pretty badly.

After some time, I realized that the stained pads were really nothing more than a terrible design problem, just like the 15 foot long white lamp cord that they put on these $3k cans. What were they thinking by putting on extremely soft and fragile light grey pads?

To make matters worse, they sounded absolutely terrible right out of the box. I've described it several times here at Head-Fi as a "reverb" problem that was extremely noticable. Most of the people in NY and California felt the same way I did, so I kind of gave up on the Edition 7's for a long time. They just sat there (once back in Cayman) while I listened to a variety of what I thought were much better headphones.

Then I had them recabled by Larry at Headphile, and after getting them back, began to break them in for a couple hundred hours. About the time I was really starting to hear great things from them (the reverb had settled down to the point of being almost entirely gone), I got a chance to sell them for a resoanable amount and jumped at it.

As I've said earlier on this thread, I've always kind of felt a bit of remorse about selling them. They really were beginning to come into their own and on at least two occasions, I had wonderful listening sessions with them. My eyes were wide open and I couldn't even believe they were the same headphones. I'm sure (way back when) I've described that experience as well. What it taught me is that break-in can be real, not that I think it always is real or that it makes a huge difference for all headphones. For the non believers, consider this: I never did spend any significant time with these headphones. It wasn't like my ears were getting used to what they did by becoming "trained" to their sound (as some have argued here). In total, I doubt that I spent more than 10-15 hours listening to them during the entire time I owned them!

They quite simply changed. They changed a lot in fact. The reverb settled down to the point that it was hard to hear, and kind of cool when I did hear it because I was listening to some roadhouse blues type of material that it worked well with, or at least it seemed to fit the mood of the music.

Since I've always wished I would have given them a proper chance, I've recently purchased a pair of 750 and 2500 to see if there is anything that Ultrasone can do for me that the other manufacturers can't. They do have a sound unto themselves, I'll agree with that. But I'm not yet sure what to make of it. Both the 750 and 2500 are now in that same state that my Edition 7's were when I first gave up on them: very few hours on either, maybe 3-4 tops. What is different this time, however, is that they both sound pretty good to me right out of the box. I'm not hearing any Edition 7 type of reverb at all, and the presentation of each of these headphones is engaging in terms of details and soundstage.

I can't say much more at this point because I haven't found the time to spend with them yet. I'll report back at some point when I get to know them better.
post #189 of 5935
@ wmcmanus:
I see your experiences thus far are somewhat similar to mine. I'm really looking forward to your further impressions on the 750 and 2500. Btw, what amp are you using for them?
post #190 of 5935
Honestly Wayne, using the same cord and the same pads I heard Rudi's, out of the RP1000, and other of his amps, and I did not notice the reberveration, you stated, maybe an extra burn in pair will not exhibits it, but just ot mention one curious element, I noticed imediatelly that effect or similar in the Qualias (but other members also state the CD3K has reberverations that I do not hear them neither) And that makes me wonder if maybe some persons are more prone to that kind of effect than others...But honestly the Qualias were indeed unlisteneable regarding that issue, I have tried a few of them, different sizes, differet amps, and even the one Mikhail had at the meeting balanced, and recabled, and even while to a lesser degree it was still present, so I think that I am prone to it, but who knows, Wayne experience is far longer than mine with htem, let's see if I noticed it with the Edition 9....
One thing you will have for sure, if it is there, I will sell them, I will not tolerate this disgusting effect in a high end heapdhone...So let's wait a few days more...
post #191 of 5935

sorry, off topic for a moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
I remember all of this because someone at the NY meet must have had a pound of Crisco in his hair. After the meet, the 'special' pads on the Edition 7, made from whatever exotic animal's hide, were forever ruined. When I left NY, I went out to California to attend another Head-Fi meet, and while there, I tried to clean the pads with some special leather cleaner that was recommended to me by Doug (ServinginEquador), but to no avail. It might have helped a little, but they were stained pretty badly.

this is why i rarely will share my belongings. i know that this is the spirit of this site, but at every meet someone ends up sorry. i'd rather it was not me!

also, very rarely will i post pictures of my stuff on the internet. i just do not see that as being a "safe" idea.

i am not too keen on the "post your serial number" threads either.

i'd rather be safe then sorry. even if it makes me seem selfish(or paranoid).

music_man
post #192 of 5935
1. The issue with the Qualia 010 is fit, not burn-in. Get the fit right, no issues. No brain transplant necessary.

2. Until the last NY meet where I had an opportunity to spend some decent time with a pair of Proline 2500's, I could have attributed my past dissappointments with the Ultrasones on burn-in (or lack thereof), I guess. However, this particular pair was one used for a forthcoming review by an esteemed fellow member. I believe it was actually on loan from someone else, so I assume that it has had quite sufficient burn-in time. The 2500's were connected to a Meridian G08 source & Rudistor amp. In the same configuration, a pair of Sennheiser HD600's & Beyerdynamic DT880 ('03 version) blew the Ultrasones away - no contest, not even close.

It's possible that I could accept what has been posted here as plausible. However, my own direct experience flies in the face of it all *shrug*.
post #193 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kees View Post
Btw, what amp are you using for them?
All kinds of amps. Mostly my big bad Angstrom Research two box amp.
post #194 of 5935
Quote:
Originally Posted by music_man View Post
this is why i rarely will share my belongings. i know that this is the spirit of this site, but at every meet someone ends up sorry. i'd rather it was not me!

also, very rarely will i post pictures of my stuff on the internet. i just do not see that as being a "safe" idea.

i am not too keen on the "post your serial number" threads either.

i'd rather be safe then sorry. even if it makes me seem selfish(or paranoid).

music_man
As I mentioned, it really was a product design issue as far as I'm concerned. I'm pretty sure it was nothing more than sweat. The 'pound of Crisco' comment wasn't really fair. This meet was held at a very crowded and hot Grado Labs (way back in those days before we started having mega meets in NY). Anyway, the pads would have gotten stained from my own head sweat eventually, so it didn't matter in the end.

Ultrasone should have learned from the Edition 7 and used more sensible materials and colors on their pads, but apparently they're still using exotic animal hides for the Edition 9. This is where marketing products toward exclusivity, image and snob appeal has to be tampered with common sense. The velour pads on the 750 and 2500 are just fine, IMO.

No real comments about whether you should or should not share your stuff. That's up to you. I don't mind doing it myself. It's just stuff.
post #195 of 5935
Thread Starter 

The Challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post
Thanks for coming to my defence, Dex. You are exactly right. I have no interest in hating any piece of gear. I only want to understand when people's opinions differ so greatly from mine.

While granted I have not owned any of the Ultrasone line...
James, if I were still living in the States I would gladly send you my PROlines to try at your leisure.

Nonetheless, I do have a sporting proposition for you to help shed a little more light on this matter, if you feel up to the challenge.

Check your PM inbox shortly for my cunning plan!

Best, Dex
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