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M-Audio Q40 Impressions (long w/pics) - Page 51

post #751 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by My3uka View Post

I already did that, thanks to you and your postings.. :) I don't really mean it is an issue, but since I'm used to an extreme volume listening, that extra sparkle becomes noticeable, even with the mod. I also tried the beyer dt770 velour pads, I have 2 pairs of them, but both silver, doesn't match well these cans.

 

Hehe, np. I think E11 with bass boost enabled will definitely help in your case, if you give more of something else, the other frequency area will also automaticly be "tamed down" as frequency response is all about the balance. I'd also imagine the DT770 pads may not work so great after all, I read the midrange becomes more distant sounding which takes away the fun/intimate/engaging sound of Q40.

post #752 of 1608

I didn' take time to compare them, will do it in a week, when I start to recognise better the sound signature with the modded stock pads. The e11 is comming in a few days, or maybe today, good news for my ears.

post #753 of 1608

Hmm I recently did a series of mods on my Q40... I should post those up soon. 

post #754 of 1608

Now that is a RUMBLE !!! All my bones vibrate on setting 2 through my new e11 - from Iron Maiden to van Buren and Infected Mushroom, the sound just blasts me.. With some tracks I prefer the High Gain setting  over the Low  (the q40 are 64 ohms, don't know if that matters)   - it delivers more lively sound, but still with a deep digging bass and refined high frequences.

Awsome little amp it is )))

post #755 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by My3uka View Post

Now that is a RUMBLE !!! All my bones vibrate on setting 2 through my new e11 - from Iron Maiden to van Buren and Infected Mushroom, the sound just blasts me.. With some tracks I prefer the High Gain setting  over the Low  (the q40 are 64 ohms, don't know if that matters)   - it delivers more lively sound, but still with a deep digging bass and refined high frequences.

Awsome little amp it is )))

 

Yea, Q40 likes high gain appearently, they sound noticably better with ZO2.1 vs ZO2.3 where the main difference is that ZO2.1 has higher gain, have to use aprox 14% vol with ZO2.1 and 19% or so (windows system volume and ZO maxed) with ZO2.3 for similar output volume levels. Like you said with higher gain things get more "lively" like as if dynamic range improved and not just bass got stronger but mids start to jump in your face/more dynamic with more details and highs as well, more forward sounding.

 

I still think the Q40 are very amp dependant and probably scales well with better amps. :)

 

I find the Q40 to have amazing bass quantity vs quality ratio, by far the best I've tested so far, you can even boost the bass significantly beyond stock levels without taking any huge sound quality hit (masked midrange microdetail, worsened transparency etc) as the bass response is very controlled despite it's strong.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/22/12 at 9:55am
post #756 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

 

Yea, Q40 likes high gain appearently, they sound noticably better with ZO2.1 vs ZO2.3 where the main difference is that ZO2.1 has higher gain, have to use aprox 14% vol with ZO2.1 and 19% or so (windows system volume and ZO maxed) with ZO2.3 for similar output volume levels. Like you said with higher gain things get more "lively" like as if dynamic range improved and not just bass got stronger but mids start to jump in your face/more dynamic with more details and highs as well, more forward sounding.

 

I still think the Q40 are very amp dependant and probably scales well with better amps. :)

 

I find the Q40 to have amazing bass quantity vs quality ratio, by far the best I've tested so far, you can even boost the bass significantly beyond stock levels without taking any huge sound quality hit (masked midrange microdetail, worsened transparency etc) as the bass response is very controlled despite it's strong.

 

Excellent explanation.. and now I'm starting to fall in love with these cans, majestic sound for my needs :)

post #757 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
 I read the midrange becomes more distant sounding which takes away the fun/intimate/engaging sound of Q40.

The sound became more spacious, same bass and more prominent highs, not so warm sounding. For some it will be better for others not so, I can't decide for myself - the difference isn't drastic in any way.

post #758 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeckoDeLimon View Post

Count me as the most recent Q40 owner!

Overall, I'm quite pleased with my wife's choice of Christmas gift. I have been moaning for weeks about how my old V6's had died (the right driver just stopped working one day and a complete re-cabling didn't help). How she divined that I had been looking at the Q40 I couldn't say, beyond some snooping of my browser history...

Before I post all my thoughts, let me preface it by saying that I DO spend a lot of time listening via headphones (mostly IEMs & buds through my Nano) but I'm primarily a loudspeaker DIY guy and I value stupidly flat response and low distortion across the entire spectrum. That's what puts a speaker on a pedestal for me.

The Bad:
If the Q40 isn't a basshead's can, then I don't think they make them. I was really shocked at first how pronounced the bottom end was. There's quite a bit of boost in the octaves from 80-160. It's more linear below that. It definitely reaches all the way down to the 30's, but I think that capability gets lost by the tubbiness just above.

The lower midrange is recessed to me. Guitars just don't have enough bite. When I adjust the EQ for +4dB of gain from about 300hz-500hz and place -6dB notches at 160hz & 7khz things improve considerably. Bass tightens, male vocals smooth & come forward and listening fatigue goes away. From here on out, my review continues with these adjustments in place.

My laptop seems to be out of drive capability for these (I can hear it clipping and compressing on dynamics), but my ca. 1979 Kenwood receiver at home seems to have no problems. I'm pretty sure, given its age, the receiver is using a voltage divider network and powering the cans off of the main amps. This tells me that they'll respond nicely to their own amp and I think I'll need to add one here at the office (along with an onboard AlienDAC or BantamDAC to complete the picture).

I can also see why the cord fails early. Try as I might, the jack location and connector length mean that the cord rubs against my left shoulder blade as I turn my head. Noted, and we'll see how long this cord lasts.

They make even moderately good MP3s sound like total arse. While this is not an indemnification of the Q40, it's bad for me because I'm going to have to re-encode some of my favorite albums. Again.

The Good:
So the response isn't flat. That's not always a bad thing! Our ears aren't as sensitive to high & low frequencies until the SPL comes up. It means that, when listening at low volumes, the Q40's non-linear response provides a warm, pleasing sound.

The Really, Really, Good:
As I sit here listening to Radiohead's OK Computer (via FLAC on the laptop, with Winamp & the Shibatch EQ plugin), there's loads of detail. Loads. It's everywhere. I know it's trite, but I'm hearing things I've never heard before and I'm accustomed to some very high-end speakers. While it's hard to call the Q40 a "fast" can because of the stock bass performance, they certainly do a fine job of separating the individual strings and there's superb low-level resolution with Rodrigo y Gabriela.

They excel at putting up a wall of sound and I can see why, without EQ, they're not well suited to classical (my EQ made a huge difference). The Q40 seems to really like music fused with electronic elements. "Supermassive Black Hole" by Muse is downright groovy and D4R had it right about the NIN. I'm rediscovering Trent's catalog.

Oh, and they're sexy. They smack of engineering prowess and I think you'd have to step up to a Grado RS to get a better looking can. They don't stick out from your head very much at all for a closed can.

The Mods?
I know it's hard to translate large-scale, far-field, acoustics to the world of headphones, but the physics nerd in me is really wondering about that accentuated treble region. The response graph posted a dozen pages go hints strongly that the dual peaks at 9khz (and the lesser one at 18khz) are caused by internal reflections. While the drivers and the size of the internal enclosure are too small for a full wave cycle to fit, quarter-wave reflections seem like they'd be very possible. I suspect these will respond quite nicely to internal damping. Did anyone create a mod thread for these bad boys? And for those of you that did pad-swaps, did it seem to make any noticeable change in treble response or listening fatigue?

 

could you please recap the exact parametric EQ settings you recommend including the +- db to trim the peaks in the 80-160 range you speak of.... I'm going to save this setting in Equalizer app as a preset so I can A/B. I'll also come up with one so we can compare but I'm interested in yours for now.
post #759 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by cykoakustik View Post

 

 

 

I finally finished reading this long thread.  Whew!  

 

This convinced me to purchase the M-Audio Q40.  I have no regrets in purchasing these headphones.

I don't want to be redundant, so I won't repeat all the positive comments/analysis for the Q40, and just say

I totally agree.  

 

But there is a major problem that bears repeating.  It's the scratches on the headband.  I also have these scratches on my new Q40.

I ordered it online from J&R Music World.  I've purchased many items from J&R previously, and all have been brand new.  J&R is an excellent and trustworthy company.  Seeing these scratches, I had thought they just mistakenly shipped me a used Q40.

 

So I went the next day to J&R personally. The J&R employees are kind and friendly and allowed me to make an exchange after showing the Return Dept the scratches.  I inspected 4 other M-Audio Q40 boxes, all had the same scratches on specific areas of the headband!  

 

This is some strange coincidence, so I inspected carefully all the contents in the box.  


I concluded that it must be the cardboard in the package that holds the Q40. It has sharp edges and when the box/Q40 is moved around, the headband rubs on this cardboard, thus causing damage to the leather on the headband. 

 

A sharp edged cardboard shouldn't have been used to hold the Q40 inside the box since it causes unnecessary damage to the leather part of the headband. Maybe something plastic with out any sharp edges would be better to hold the Q40 inside the box.

 

I wonder how many Q40s were damaged because of this badly designed cardboard.  

 

I've created a Case Number (Avid/M-Audio) stating my analysis of this problem and requested a headband replacement for my Q40.  I will apprise everyone here, if they will replace the damaged headband.  

 

I don't want to open anymore Q40 boxes at J&R and seeing the same scratches/damage.  They must've already thought I was some crazy person after opening the 4 Q40 boxes!  So I decided to just contact M-Audio about this problem.

 

 

This guy needs a TV show
post #760 of 1608

Some mods that I did to mine a while ago...

 

900x900px-LL-784793d8_IMG_5563.jpeg

pull the pads off and you'll see a few screws to undo

 

 

900x900px-LL-4d15dcb0_IMG_5564.jpeg

stick a piece of acoustic foam into the cup

 

900x900px-LL-e4ecf1ff_IMG_5565.jpeg

 

slap down some vibration dampening on the baffle plate rear

 

 

900x900px-LL-08a587ad_IMG_5568.jpeg

 

as well as some thin strips to wrap around the driver 

 

 

900x900px-LL-1ed661f2_IMG_5578.jpeg

a piece of velour on top of the foam and plumber's putty (soft clay) into the edge to seal against the baffle plate

 

 

 

900x900px-LL-2c371e9b_IMG_5566.jpeg

900x900px-LL-543a8099_IMG_5567.jpeg

and cut a circle of felt and stick it into that ring in front of the driver

 

 

Overall changes in sound:

- tamed treble peaks

- slightly reduced bass and rumble, but clarity improved

- which overall brings the mid balance forward


Edited by Armaegis - 8/2/12 at 12:18am
post #761 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Some mods that I did to mine a while ago...

 

900x900px-LL-784793d8_IMG_5563.jpeg

pull the pads off and you'll see a few screws to undo

 

 

900x900px-LL-4d15dcb0_IMG_5564.jpeg

stick a piece of acoustic foam into the cup

 

900x900px-LL-e4ecf1ff_IMG_5565.jpeg

 

slap down some vibration dampening on the baffle plate rear

 

 

900x900px-LL-08a587ad_IMG_5568.jpeg

 

as well as some thin strips to wrap around the driver 

 

 

900x900px-LL-1ed661f2_IMG_5578.jpeg

a piece of velour on top of the foam and plumber's putty (soft clay) into the edge to seal against the baffle plate

 

 

 

900x900px-LL-2c371e9b_IMG_5566.jpeg

900x900px-LL-543a8099_IMG_5567.jpeg

and cut a circle of felt and stick it into that ring in front of the driver

 

 

 

Overall changes in sound:

- tamed treble peaks

- slightly reduced bass and rumble, but clarity improved

- which overall brings the mid balance forward

 

these are the mods id like to reproduce... can I buy the kit (materials) from you so I don't have to buy in bulk?
post #762 of 1608
I really don't know what headphones to buy now. These look great and from what I've read they have more bass than the Beyerdynamic dt770 pro 80's. They are a bit cheaper as well and I already have an E11 which looks like it pairs well with these. There is a few things that concern me though that are putting me off.

1. The arm that attaches to the headphone cup looks like its made from plastic and that worries me since my last pair of headphones (Denon AH-D1100) had the same plastic arms and they cracked and eventually fell apart. That critical part seems like it will break after some time or stress fractures may occur which is why I like the Beyers as they are metal at this part of the headphone.

2. The ear pads seem shallow and look uncomfortable. I know the Beyerdynamic velour pads will go on these but it's extra money I don't have at the moment.

These are the things that put me off but it seems I could be underwhelmed by the Beyerdynamic's bass after using the D1100. I need some advice re-assurance from owners of these about my concerns if possible. Thanks. smily_headphones1.gif
post #763 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by frenchjay View Post

I really don't know what headphones to buy now. These look great and from what I've read they have more bass than the Beyerdynamic dt770 pro 80's. They are a bit cheaper as well and I already have an E11 which looks like it pairs well with these. There is a few things that concern me though that are putting me off.
1. The arm that attaches to the headphone cup looks like its made from plastic and that worries me since my last pair of headphones (Denon AH-D1100) had the same plastic arms and they cracked and eventually fell apart. That critical part seems like it will break after some time or stress fractures may occur which is why I like the Beyers as they are metal at this part of the headphone.
2. The ear pads seem shallow and look uncomfortable. I know the Beyerdynamic velour pads will go on these but it's extra money I don't have at the moment.
These are the things that put me off but it seems I could be underwhelmed by the Beyerdynamic's bass after using the D1100. I need some advice re-assurance from owners of these about my concerns if possible. Thanks. smily_headphones1.gif


I don't have reassurance to offer you, but rather some further consideration before buying.  Yes, the bass is fantastic.  While the mids and highs are accurate, I returned primarily due to sibilance.  I recently purchased ATH-PRO700MK2s that actually have better bass and better build, but they are uncomfortable and you will need to buy M50 pads to make them comfortable.  I purchased for $104 at Buydig.com; the pads are from Sweetwater.com for $20.  These headphones are dark, but I EQ'd with a V-curve and they are excellent.

post #764 of 1608
Hmmm the sibilance on my pair isnt too bad.
post #765 of 1608
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakhar View Post

Hmmm the sibilance on my pair isnt too bad.

 

I have zero sibilance with my pair, maybe Craigster got a bad sample. Well ok at first when I got them I had some sibilance then I don't know if it's mainly because of the deepened pad mod that also covered some of the holes on the underside of the pads or burn-in or a bit of both which sibilance has disappeared completely, the highs have now the exact presence I want in a headphone from having ever so slightly too much presence around 9kHz out of box. 

 

It could also be that FiiO E11 might not be such a good combo with the headphones as E11 is known to be quite bright compared to other offerings around the same price point.

 

Even Demi Lovato - Skyscraper which has unusually "sharply" mastered female vocals sounds fine and I know Craigster had probs with some female vocals so

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 8/7/12 at 11:14am
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