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The Next Sony R-10! - Page 5

post #61 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherwood View Post
I think you should take your passion away from manufacturers, and turn it towards the community.
I agree somewhat, even though I am a manufacturer. A strong community yields a discerning audience and weeds out -my- "enemies"...which are crappy manufacturers that are overmarketed and undertalented.

One should be careful though to not give up entirely on the manufacturers. You give up on us, we give up on you... then all you have are Ipod Earbuds... and all we have is the gutter.

Think the goings are tough in the headphone world? The high quality two channel stereo market has suffered through decades of immense hardships, yet certain products still continue to improve.

Dedicated manufacturers and dedicated DIYers and even laypeople that stumble across the stuff and fall in love with it all make the world go round and keeps us at our artform.

-Clark
post #62 of 155
nice thread!

I would love to see an updated R-10 or PS-1.
post #63 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
What I think might change this perspective one day, and perhaps one day soon, is when headphone technology takes a big turn in a positive way into the future. The most amazing thing I've come across since listening to some binaural recordings several years ago was the demo at CanJam '08 of the Smyth Research "head tracking" device (whatever it's called). Essentially, this kind of technology has "breakthrough" potential which could have major implications for the high end headphone market. Suddenly there will be a REASON why typical speaker-based audiophiles would become interested in headphones. When they hear how realistically headphones (using this kind of technology) can reproduce the environment of a 5.1 or 7.1 listening room, of course they're going to want a top notch pair of headphones to go with the package.
I heard the same demo and it was amazing, but I (tentatively) draw the opposite conclusion. Once you get past the way-cool up-front experience of surround sound that sounds (almost) just like your speaker setup, you realise that you're hearing sound that sounds (almost) like your speaker setup. That mimicry capability could have a big impact on the market. Your relatively ordinary headphones can be made to sound like ... just about anything that produces music. (Yes, there will be lots of limits - you can only get so much bass out of a pair of headphones, no matter how much the speakers you are trying to replicate put out, they can't reproduce faster transients just because there's fancy processing going on) - but the world has changed. If the computer-in-the-box can make the music coming out of cheaper headphones sound just like the music coming out of just about any pair of more expensive speakers or headphones, you may not need the high-end headphones to get a high-end experience. There may even be research into headphones that are particularly good for use when combined with that type of processing, but may not sound particularly good on their own. Unless of course you're a purist who won't have any of that DSP stuff in your signal chain...

...but we'll have to wait and see. It's all speculation until we hear it with our own ears.
post #64 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumenco View Post
As a loudspeaker manufacturer, and now an apprentice to making fine full range drivers at Feastrex.com, I can assure you all: we are listening to these requests.
Aaah, thank you. There was a point to starting this thread.
post #65 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasiveMunkey View Post

Maybe Sony could take the R10 design and simplify it (cheaper wood, metal, etc.) while incorporating new technology so that they could sell the new model at a more reasonable price. Maybe they could get 90% of the R10 sound with only 50% of the cost.
Or 110% of the R-10 sound with only 50% of the cost. Why not shoot for the stars! ...Step right up boys and girls of the world. Introducing the one and only, the incredible, the amazing, your ears will think its magic, the King of Sound, the SSSOOOONNNNYYY R-11 !!!!

(too much Don King, not enough circus)
post #66 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blumenco View Post
Think the goings are tough in the headphone world? The high quality two channel stereo market has suffered through decades of immense hardships, yet certain products still continue to improve.
-Clark
I know. I still love two channel stereo! I remember when all the talk was SACD and HDCD. I think the iPod killed all of that. I am waiting for the the generation of Hi-Def iPods. But that is another thread. No need to respond folks.
post #67 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidhunternyc View Post
Or 110% of the R-10 sound with only 50% of the cost. Why not shoot for the stars! ...Step right up boys and girls of the world. Introducing the one and only, the incredible, the amazing, your ears will think its magic, the King of Sound, the SSSOOOONNNNYYY R-11 !!!!

(too much Don King, not enough circus)
A bit off-topic but,
I wonder why no manufacturer have dared to label their product with exact "1337" number. Think about this:

Sennheiser HE-1337 MSRP= $13337.00 ? (OucH)
or
Stax SR-1337 and also make the MSRP=$1337.00

Just thinking out loud
post #68 of 155
This has been tried before. After the new batch of HE90 released, some head-fiers (I think Hirsch was one of them) went quite high in Sony asking for another run of R10s, with the success of the new batch of HE90 to backing up their proposal.

Sony wasn't interested at all. R10s were assembled almost manually for just one former Sony employee and when he retired (and considering that Sony wasn't making money with them, and the quality statement was already done) the production was cancelled. I know that it sounds pretty dumb. It has something to do with the fact that the fabrication of the R10 was borderline artisanal (specially on the finish and assembly of the wooden caps). The Qualia was a much "industrial" take on a high-end headphone, much easier to be mass-produced.

Unfortunately, the decision of making them tailored-fitted, and selling it only through Qualia stores, and being in the same "qualia-bag" with a few pretty dumb overpriced qualia products made the product sink.

A new batch of R10 is pretty much impossible. However, a new take on the Qualia approach is much more likely to happen some day. The problem is that Sony is fighting some other wars these days. Still, the victory of the blue-ray might be a good thing for us head-fiers in the long run. Sony is recovering little by little. Portable Audio seems lost forever (at least so far), but TV business are going quite well, specially if they are able to pull OLED off. PS3 is gaining some momentum these days too and even the PSP is not as dead as some people would think.

We have a similar problem with the K1000s. The reason the production ended was because the tools to mass-produce them reached end-of-life and AKG decided it wasn't worth it to re-tool them. So a limited run of K1000s is never going to happen, unless (like with HE90) AKG decide that they have more than enough spare parts (for repairs) to create a few, most likely manually assembled.
post #69 of 155
On a side note, although I support the whole "pushing the envelope" approach, I don't think that the R10 is the "best ever produced". It is just one of the best ones. Depending on tastes and type of music, it really can be that. But this wouldn't be an "universal truth" at all.

And finally, if you really want to improve the high-end offerings, your best bet is to buy GS-1000s, Edition 9s and (specially) Omega2s. This would make more good than millions of letters. If Sony, Sennheiser, AT, etc... see that Stax is making a lot of money with the Omega2s, you bet they will release products rivaling their sonic performance.

For companies, money (and not empty customer letters) talks.
post #70 of 155
In the back of my mind, I have had a theory that a reintroduction of ultra-high-end headphones may depend on a recovery of the Japanese economy. The Japanese -- especially Tokyo residents -- tend to live in smaller living quarters than people in other wealthy countries, making the isolation offered by headphones a highly desirable quality-of-life attribute. (This may explain why the Japanese manufacturers seem to focus more on closed-end than open headphones, e.g. Sony R-10, Denon D2000/D5000, JVC DX1000, AT L3000.)

The Japanese economy topped out in 1990 and it has been in a semi-depression since then, with interest rates and the Nikkei so low that the wealthy there can't be earning much of a return on their savings. So, if Sony couldn't make a profit on the R-10s in the go-go days of 1989 in Japan, I suspect they would be very wary of reintroducing the same or a similar product in the current environment , especially if the bulk of the original demand for the R-10s was from Japanese consumers.

If this theory sounds reasonable, I doubt a letter writing campaign will be successful. In fact, given the recent recovery in the European economy, it might be more fruitful to hound the executives at Sennheiser than at Sony. (The strength of the Eurozone economy could explain the fact that the most expensive current-production headphone on the market is manufactured by Ultrasone, a European producer.)
post #71 of 155
Quote:
Originally Posted by minimus View Post
(The strength of the Eurozone economy could explain the fact that the most expensive current-production headphone on the market is manufactured by Ultrasone, a European producer.)
How much is this Ultrasone?
post #72 of 155
If we could build Head-Fi to 10 times its current size, with commensurate increase in R10 interest, then MAYBE we would be a fleeting thought in the minds of Sony.
post #73 of 155
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
This has been tried before. After the new batch of HE90 released, some head-fiers (I think Hirsch was one of them) went quite high in Sony asking for another run of R10s, with the success of the new batch of HE90 to backing up their proposal.

Sony wasn't interested at all. R10s were assembled almost manually for just one former Sony employee and when he retired (and considering that Sony wasn't making money with them, and the quality statement was already done) the production was cancelled. I know that it sounds pretty dumb. It has something to do with the fact that the fabrication of the R10 was borderline artisanal (specially on the finish and assembly of the wooden caps). The Qualia was a much "industrial" take on a high-end headphone, much easier to be mass-produced.

Unfortunately, the decision of making them tailored-fitted, and selling it only through Qualia stores, and being in the same "qualia-bag" with a few pretty dumb overpriced qualia products made the product sink.

A new batch of R10 is pretty much impossible. However, a new take on the Qualia approach is much more likely to happen some day. The problem is that Sony is fighting some other wars these days. Still, the victory of the blue-ray might be a good thing for us head-fiers in the long run. Sony is recovering little by little. Portable Audio seems lost forever (at least so far), but TV business are going quite well, specially if they are able to pull OLED off. PS3 is gaining some momentum these days too and even the PSP is not as dead as some people would think.

We have a similar problem with the K1000s. The reason the production ended was because the tools to mass-produce them reached end-of-life and AKG decided it wasn't worth it to re-tool them. So a limited run of K1000s is never going to happen, unless (like with HE90) AKG decide that they have more than enough spare parts (for repairs) to create a few, most likely manually assembled.
Wow, thank you for such a thorough response. I still am going to try even though I have zero hi-fi credentials. I too felt that the R-10's were "artisinal" to some degree. They were not just, "transducers". I am an artist and when I finish a painting, I pack into a $600 crate. The R-10 just oozes elegance right from the black leather case with shiny hardware.
post #74 of 155
Thread Starter 
There is a reason why I said the NEXT Sony R-10. As much as everyone loves the R-10 and would want another limited run of them, it would be great to have many choices of reference quality headphones from all of the manufactures. I have only heard Stax headphones shortly but I was very impressed with them and it is fantastic that they are committed to absolute excellence. But in any case, doubting is good, it is realistic, but it is always better to ask than not to ask at all. How nice is it that we have IEM's pushing the boundaries as we speak. The Grado GS1000 and Ultrasone 9's are two headphones that many consider excellent. Are they the new reference? Its not for me to decide but they are just two. We need a lot more. Sometimes I feel like a cheerleader trying to rally the troops. Give me an "R"! Give me a "1". Give me another "1". What does that spell? What, I can't hear you?
post #75 of 155

R10s

Anyways, they definitely had some major sonic issues, IMO.

there was a high frequency resonance at the same place in both the phones I heard. sounded like in the 13-15khz region. not unlistenable, but definitely distracting to me. also, (and this is coming from someone who is an AVID supporter of art SOUND), the color of the sound was a little on the heavy oversaturated side.

granted, I was brought to tears from a pair of R10s. they are relentlessly musical. just a little heavy in places. I far preferred the Orpheus to all other headphones.

on a construction note, does it really surprise you that much that they were hand built? machines just can't compete with a human being's ability for quality control and precision construction at the "real world" scale. miniature things, sure leave it to the injection moulders. At Feastrex, we have some of the very tightest voice coil gaps in the industry, and the cones are COMPLETELY hand built from COMPLETELY hand made paper.

Granted, the machining of the magnetic circuit parts is done by state of the art CNC machines...

So one must use the best tools for each application.

-Clark
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