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Should I Buy the ATH-L3000s? - Page 3

post #31 of 64
Ok, I am listening to the samples you sent and have rolled tubes again back to Syl VT-231 in front and GE 6BL7GTAs in back.

As far as keeping up with complicated/fast passages i think you will be satisfied. The L3000 are much more impactful than the R10, less resolved, but overall more appropriate to this type of hard rock. The bass is way bigger but less tight than the R10.

Now I don't listen to this type of music so I had my friend (who used to be in a heavy metal band) listen for a few minutes to both headphones. He started with the R10s, then as soon as he put on the L3000 he told me these were the right choice for this music.

If I had to choose I might still go for the R10, but maybe not, it is a bit polite for this music. I am just a big fan lately of instrument separation and resolution. But I will say that the L3000 just feels more right with this music.

Now if the 6BX7/6BL7GT are in the mix, these phones may be perfect for you.

You may just need to try them in your system and find out for yourself. These are just my limited experience opinions.
post #32 of 64
You've got to like a lot of bass to love the L3000.

And after a little more listening I am back to the R10s. Just too thick for me with these tubes. I will try the 6BL7GT/6BX7GT before I give up completely.

Ghost, what is the serial on your R10?
post #33 of 64

ASR

Going back to the AD2000, ASR briefly had them balanced (they got robbed if I remember correctly) and could give you impressions about them vs single-ended.
post #34 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGhostWhoWalks View Post
Hmmmm, interesting suggestion, though I've heard next to nothing about these headphones... Any threads around here?
ldj325 has balanced Edition 9. Send him PM, he'd tell you more.
post #35 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post
Ok, I am listening to the samples you sent and have rolled tubes again back to Syl VT-231 in front and GE 6BL7GTAs in back.

As far as keeping up with complicated/fast passages i think you will be satisfied. The L3000 are much more impactful than the R10, less resolved, but overall more appropriate to this type of hard rock. The bass is way bigger but less tight than the R10.

Now I don't listen to this type of music so I had my friend (who used to be in a heavy metal band) listen for a few minutes to both headphones. He started with the R10s, then as soon as he put on the L3000 he told me these were the right choice for this music.

If I had to choose I might still go for the R10, but maybe not, it is a bit polite for this music. I am just a big fan lately of instrument separation and resolution. But I will say that the L3000 just feels more right with this music.

Now if the 6BX7/6BL7GT are in the mix, these phones may be perfect for you.

You may just need to try them in your system and find out for yourself. These are just my limited experience opinions.
Thanks very much for the response. I think your findings really support the idea I've had all along that the L3Ks really are just what I'm looking for. I just wanted to make extra sure before I dropped $2k on them. Thanks for everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post
You've got to like a lot of bass to love the L3000.

And after a little more listening I am back to the R10s. Just too thick for me with these tubes. I will try the 6BL7GT/6BX7GT before I give up completely.

Ghost, what is the serial on your R10?
While I'm not a basshead, the R10s lack of bass volume and impact really stands out on tracks like Meshuggah's Rational Gaze - 8-string guitars + distorted bass = ubermajorbass - or Lacuna Coil's To the Edge (two of the samples I sent), and when it comes to most rock and metal the rhythm is carried through the bass, so without that you lose a lot of rhythmic drive that makes this music effective.

Yes, I would imagine they would be too thick with Sylvania VT231s and 6BL7GTAs. The Syls are very musical tubes with good soundstage, air, balance, and overall musicality, not too much on the detailed/resolution end, and the BL7GTAs are, as I said, odd ducks to my ears... I should really do some major tube rolling with the GTAs if only to try and pinpoint their sound. I would suggest 3 combinations to try before you give them up:

6CG7+6BL7/X7GTs - speed, detail, resolution, soundstage and air.
6CG7+5687 - More speed, detail, and linearity and great dynamics. The 5687s hurt the soundstage, but they also have a tendency to thin the sound, which might be a good thing on very thick, bloomy, slowish, and congested headphones.
6BL7/X7GTs+5687s - You get back the soundstage and air of the BL/BX7GTs, and keep the linearity and detail of the 5687s.

R10 Serial #1181
post #36 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGhostWhoWalks View Post
Thanks very much for the response. I think your findings really support the idea I've had all along that the L3Ks really are just what I'm looking for. I just wanted to make extra sure before I dropped $2k on them. Thanks for everything.
Good on you if you score a pair at just 2K, let us know your impressions once you have them and hear first hand!
post #37 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by blubliss View Post
Ok, I am listening to the samples you sent and have rolled tubes again back to Syl VT-231 in front and GE 6BL7GTAs in back.

As far as keeping up with complicated/fast passages i think you will be satisfied. The L3000 are much more impactful than the R10, less resolved, but overall more appropriate to this type of hard rock. The bass is way bigger but less tight than the R10.

Now I don't listen to this type of music so I had my friend (who used to be in a heavy metal band) listen for a few minutes to both headphones. He started with the R10s, then as soon as he put on the L3000 he told me these were the right choice for this music.

If I had to choose I might still go for the R10, but maybe not, it is a bit polite for this music. I am just a big fan lately of instrument separation and resolution. But I will say that the L3000 just feels more right with this music.

Now if the 6BX7/6BL7GT are in the mix, these phones may be perfect for you.

You may just need to try them in your system and find out for yourself. These are just my limited experience opinions.
Wow! This kind of post in this kind of thread exemplifies what the high end forum ought to be all about, operationally speaking. The high end forum ought to do a bunch of other things, no doubt, but this is a prime example of how helpful we can be to each other with pinpoint questions and 100% on target responses. SDS-XLR, check. Balanced R10's, check. Balanced L3000's, check. Experiment with different tube combos that would seem most appropriate, check. Listening to actual sample tracks sent by the person asking for advice, and having a true metal head listen for a confirming opinion, now that's just priceless!
post #38 of 64
Thread Starter 
Indeed Wmc. I've praised this whole forum ever since discovering it many years ago as it's always been very helpful and full of people both looking to help and share their passion for music and audio (I really should've joined sooner and should post more). But this thread is taking it to an even higher level!
post #39 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGhostWhoWalks View Post
Indeed Wmc. I've praised this whole forum ever since discovering it many years ago as it's always been very helpful and full of people both looking to help and share their passion for music and audio (I really should've joined sooner and should post more). But this thread is taking it to an even higher level!
I think it's "proof in the pudding" (so to speak) that adding the high end forum will yield net benefits to our members. It's not as though this sort of thing could not have possibly happened without the high end forum, but I think by it's nature, it will encourage a deeper exploration of these specific sorts of questions and issues that people are having.

The high end forum is a place where people will not be afraid to ask such targeted questions. While you may not get the kinds of specific answers you're looking for, it will be much easier to identify the types of people who are most likely in a position to offer advice.

Prior to the advent of this forum, I wouldn't have even thought of asking something like that! But now I won't be afraid to.

Furthermore, when I saw your opening post, I figured I might as well chime in because my experiences may have been about as close to what you were looking for as you would find. But of course I was still speculating and trying to make inferences. I'm not sure how many SDS-XLR amps are even in existence, let alone folks who have balanced R10s.

It used to be that nobody had the guts to even try to recable R10s because it's such a tricky mod to attempt and there is no turning back once you open them up. If you mess them up, you're stuck with a terribly expensive wreck on your hands and no way to replace them.

Anyway, I'm getting off point. The main point is that I'm getting a real buzz out of this thread and see it as a flagship example of some of the good things that can come out of this particular forum.
post #40 of 64
$2Ks a great deal these days. Should add the slam you are looking for which the R10s don't excel at.
post #41 of 64
I can understand some of the comments about the L3000 sounding unrefined....to a point. Compared to the 010, R10, HE90, 4070, or well-driven OII, they certainly don't have quite the refinement or pinpoint precision. However, they're still ahead of most headphones, and quite a few very very good ones.

The Ed9 and PS1 are both bassier sounding than the L3000, IMO. The small but pinpoint soundstage of the Ed9 along with its' uber-bass (both depth and impact) make it perhaps the best electronica headphone, but for me, the headphone is not natural sounding enough for music featuring real instruments and voices. I've heard the PS1 sound great, and I've heard it sound like a bassier HD650. However, even when it sounded great, the bass quite dominated the sound, though it was a very tight and powerful bass.

The L3000 is my ultimate rock headphone for a few reasons:

1) Bass which is extremely punchy and deep, yet also very quick and not over-emphaized. In other words, excellent bass that can keep up with the fastest of rhythms, without taking over the rest of the frequency spectrum.

2) A very nicely balanced sound. If anything, the highs are slightly attenuated, which can help considering the recording quality of rock/metal. But I never get the feeling that a certain range of frequencies is either absent or overly present. This results in a very natural sound.

3) A direct, intimate presentation, which still has a reasonable sense of space and 3-D, with the ability to resolve many different layers of instrumentation. This is where Grados somewhat fail for me. While the "on-stage" effect might work for 80's thrash, it is just too congested for more busy and highly produced material.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGhostWhoWalks View Post
Listening to really aggressive music through the R10s is interesting, because it's almost like it attempts to turn everything into classical. This isn't really a negative, because with that huge soundstage and rich, 3D presentation you sure do get music that sounds HUGE, and that works equally well for symphonic metal as it does for symphonic symphonies. However, no matter what I do - even switching to using 6CQ7 input tubes and 5687 outputs - I just can't get the R10s to sound viscerally exciting enough on this kind of music. I'm wondering if the L3Ks would solve that problem without completely losing the soundstage like with Grados.
Your impression of listening to metal with R10's virtually mirrors my own, most commonly with Edwood's non-bassy, non-balanced R10.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmcmanus View Post
In that case, I think it would be worth a shot. Just from what I know about the differences between the R10 and L3000 (both stock and single ended), if those same differences translate equally well when going balanced, then the balanced L3000 should be exactly what you're looking for!

Even single ended, the L3000's are IMO the absolute champs in terms of PRaT and dynamic impact when playing complex passages. They really have a TON of life in them, that's for sure!
I'm definitely on board with these observations.
post #42 of 64
Thread Starter 
I think Iron Dreamer just sealed the deal on this decision... as well as cost me a nice $2k of hard earned money. (Geez I - or should I say 'we' - must be a glutton for monetary punishment.) I just wrote Mikhail and asked what address to send the headphones to, and when I hear back I'll go ahead and put the order in...

A thought: It would be REALLY sick if they sold between now and then. *Knocks on wood*

I'll definitely give my impressions when I get everything settled in. I'm not sure yet just what all I'm going to do besides the recabling... Common sense tells me I might as well send my SDS-XLR in and have it tuned for the L3Ks and go ahead and make some general mods/upgrades... wait... HOW much did I say this is going to cost me?
post #43 of 64
i would buy it if i get a good deal on it, too but anyways...

i use r10 the most.
i had a hard time fixing this thing and now they sound pretty balanced.
and i like it.

when i dont feel like using b22, but just dac1, i use hd580. this is the only SE headphone that i have.
post #44 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGhostWhoWalks View Post
I just wrote Mikhail and asked what address to send the headphones to, and when I hear back I'll go ahead and put the order in...

Common sense tells me I might as well send my SDS-XLR in and have it tuned for the L3Ks and go ahead and make some general mods/upgrades... wait... HOW much did I say this is going to cost me?
I would think twice before sending a headphone to SP for recabling. Mikhail doesn't seem to be able to recable the R10 or L3000 correctly.

You should ask blubliss about his L3000 that Mikhail recabled with the drivers installed incorrectly.

APureSound would be a better choice.

If you're also thinking of sending in an SP amp for upgrades, you probably have a lot of optimism, patience and tolerance for excuses and delays.
post #45 of 64
On my Supra, I've found that L3000 sound very good with Bendix 6385 (premium 2C51) as input and 6BX7GT as output with high voltage setting. The 6BL7GTA's weren't a good match for me and other input tubes didn't have the all round ability the the Bendix has.
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