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Yamaha RH5-ma, best sleeper of 2009?

post #1 of 125
Thread Starter 
Over in the ortho thread some of us have developed a real affection for the Yamaha house sound, which usually involves sweet mids and a warm, full sound. It was probably inevitable then that sooner or later one of us decided to investigate the current Yamaha lineup of dynamic phones.

Kabeer got the idea last night and shared it with me on IM, pointing me to a few glowing user comments about the Yamaha RH-5ma, mainly from studio people using them for their daily work. I got curious too, so when we found a local music store selling them for 39 euros it did not take me long before deciding to buy a pair. I went there today and, for once, I have to say it's great to be able to enter a store, pick a box from a wall lined up with tens of them, pay at the counter, and get back home with a new, mint pair of headphones instead of hunting for weeks or months on ebay for old phones, often in awful condition.

I got home, opened the box, and found this inside (pictured next to their orthodynamic ancestors, the Yamaha HP-3)



Smallish semi-closed (vented) phones, with a choice of materials that reminds of the cheap orthodynamic models of the past, and a nice padded headband which is the most comfortable I've seen on cheapish phones.

I connected them to my Starving Student, and put them on without expecting much. And I'm still here about 3 hours later listening to music.

The first thing I noticed as soon as music started playing was bass: big, full, deep, but not bloated or cavernous. And definitely not masking the other frequencies: the RH-5ma have a well balanced sound, with very clear treble and warm, upfront, sweet, full-bodied mids. They are also very fast and detailed for dynamic phones.

I did a quick comparison against my HP-3, and my beloved little orthos sounded thin and somewhat sterile after the RH-5ma. They definitely are not, but the RH5 have such body to their sound that the transition from one to the other is shocking. I then pitched them against my modded and recabled iGrados, and the RH-5ma did sound much better: the iGrados sounded veiled, with distant and lifeless mids, and overemphasized treble details.

The only fault I'm finding with the RH-5ma is their so-so rendering of some acoustic music. I don't know if it's a fault of the specific tracks I listened to, or their full-bodied sound that does not have the delicate touch required for some acoustic instruments. Will investigate more, meanwhile I'm enjoying them a lot with all my other tracks.

I am sure there's a wow factor in play here, and my affection for Yamaha products might make me a bit overenthusiastic, but these are seriously good sounding phones, unbelievably so for their 39 euros price tag. I think that if I had bought them one year ago, I might have saved myself quite a bit of money spent on crappy, low or mid end dynamics.

Kabeer is hunting down a pair too, so he might be able to post his impressions in the near future.
post #2 of 125
This sounds promising. You like it better than the HP-3 then?
Speaking of the HP-3, are those pads a bit worn?
post #3 of 125
Thread Starter 
They are very different phones: the HP-3 have a delicate touch which takes a bit getting used to, but is superlative with latin, jazz, and some other specific genres. And they have all the usual ortho qualities: blazing speed, a black black background, etc.

The RH-5ma are very very good for their price (edit: and better than many dynamics above their price which I had), and I'm liking them a lot with music that requires more body to the sound.

And yes, the hp3 pads look a bit worn, but they are very comfortable and not rough at all on the ears. My other HP-3 have worse pads.
post #4 of 125
If you want to repair the pads a bit, I think it can be arranged, unless you are in a hurry.

I did some reading on the RH5 and it appears Yamaha markets them for mixing bass. Now I'm tempted to try them too... but if you take out the "for the price" in good for the price, then what?
post #5 of 125
Thread Starter 
Well yes, I will need new pads sometime and I like what you did on your orthos.

If I take out the “for the price” they are really good sounding phones, with very good bass, great extension in the low end, nice treble, and sweet full bodied mids. Which I am liking a lot right now.

BTW, edited my previous post as it might have been misleading. They sound good, indipendently from what they cost.
post #6 of 125
Yamaha also makes headphones with s-logic like ultrasone?,i thought that s-logic was patented by ultrasone.
RH10MS
post #7 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post
Yamaha also makes headphones with s-logic like ultrasone?,i thought that s-logic was patented by ultrasone.
RH10MS
To me that just looks like an Ultrasone OEM.....
So nothing of much interest there ....unless of course your an Ultrasone fan.
post #8 of 125
Is this what I think it is? A dynamic headphone? Blasphemy!
post #9 of 125
This is very interesting. At that price point there's no harm pulling the trigger.

I found one at eBay:
YAMAHA RH5MA Professional Monitor Headphones rh-5ma - eBay (item 330300342775 end time Feb-11-09 10:44:21 PST)

And that all black look is so no-nonsense.
post #10 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mypasswordis View Post
Is this what I think it is? A dynamic headphone? Blasphemy!
Dynamics, but Yamaha so still within the ortho canon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFN View Post
This is very interesting. At that price point there's no harm pulling the trigger.

And that all black look is so no-nonsense.
Exactly, they do some great things which I never heard in low or mid-end dynamic phones. They won't of course stand up to the best (and much more expensive) dynamics, but they are a great buy: good looking, very comfortable, with great and very deep bass (how often can you hear clean deep bass in cheap dynamics), and very powerful realistic mids. And if you break them you are only out 30 something euros.

I'd like to have someone compare them against some of the portable favourites on HF, like the ATH-ES7 or the Senn HD 25 II, or some of the open backed favourites like the SR-80, Beyers, etc.

I know they sound much better (or much more enjoyable, which is the same for me) than the more expensive AKG K171 and low end Grados (SR-60, SR-80, MS-1, iGrado) I had. And they are more comfortable and less werid-looking.
post #11 of 125
Thread Starter 
BTW EFN, the ones on ebay are not terribly cheap. There's a pair on Y! japan currently at 1000 yen, which are nearer to you and much more cheap.
post #12 of 125
Do you take requests?

I want to know specifically how (i.e. in what aspects) they are better than SR80's..

Thanks
post #13 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadhanaputra View Post
Do you take requests?

I want to know specifically how (i.e. in what aspects) they are better than SR80's..

Thanks
Well, I gave away the SR-80 about a month ago so I cannot compare them directly. Going from memory, and using the iGrados also, I'd say these have: more and deeper bass, more realistic mids, and a cleaner treble more balanced with the rest of the sound. Their overall presentation is fatter and warmer than the Grados.
post #14 of 125
Looks like a nice buy for €39.
post #15 of 125
Dammit Ludo, I've been eyeing those for a long time now thinking that if they sucked they might make a good foster phone.

Glad they're working out. I didn't get a set as I've got so many awesome phones now it seemed superfluous.

Anyway, been modding the T30 again with more sealing and another pad setup. Believe it or not, those AKG velour pads you sent over seem to work best with them. Gives them a very nice smooth and deep sound. Very pleasant indeed.

I love the Fostex sound but I'm trying hard to warm up to the Yammys
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