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German Maestro 8.35D Monitor/400/450 Pro mini review

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
First impressions:

Got them three in a neat very light package with the option to return oen or two.
It goes quick to list what´s included. Headphones and a german maestro cap that´s all. No bling no extra ear pads, cables, cds, folding cases. Just three identical understaded black boxes with the headphones.

GMP 400/450 PRO:
Very light weight relatively small headphones in comparison to for example the huge K701 and HD 650. Also smaller than the beyer and Ultrasones I have used. The GMP 400 has round velour pads that is circumaural but just that. The 450 PRO share the same oval pleather as the 8.35D and is supraaural for the most part for me. Look a bit cheaper than the other german headphones I have owned for sure but I don´t see anything that would possibly break on them. They don´t weight anything so dropping them on the floor shouldn´t be any drama since they are so flexible.

Clamping force=0 on both. They both have the same cable. Protected from stretching by a small part of it being curled. Not single ended sadly which bring the comfort down some. They are terminated with a phono plug that can be unscrewed for 3.5 mm. Slightly thinner cables then on K701 and Pro 900 so very flexible.

8.35D Monitor
If you buy headphones by looks stay away from this. Built like tanks. Have a thicker padded headband. Serious clamping force if you tighten them max but quite adjustable for my head. Single ended thick cable however most part of it is curled so you have an effective range of about 1 metre. Cable is quite heavy and is a major annoyance unless you have your amp right next to you or cable extender of course.

Supraaural like the GMP 450 Pros and with the clamping pressure the comfort gets hurt some. There is an option for newer pads which make them 90 % circumaural (my ear snibs don´t quite fit). The only caveat the seal is so good they do get sweaty beaing pleather (again correct me if I am wrong).

In general they don´t reach podium here. The 400/450 Pros would be great if they where single ended and slightly larger cups. However they aren´t uncomfortable by any means no pressure anywhere.

8.35D monitors due to it´s clamping force is slightly less comfortable despite it´s single ended cable with or without the new pads. Somewhat sweaty ears versus somewhat clamped ears.

As usual as I always do except for some reference records I just like to try new fresh things. I am not going into depth just giving you the generals.

Tried them on my Essence, receiver but mostly on my Keces 131 to my Graham Slee Solo. Simply because it sounds the best with all my headphones.

They all share the same house sound but they are balanced quite differently.
In general they are very smooth like the HD 650 you have to look for sibilance and seldom sounds harsh.
The 400/450 PRO sharing the same driver whereas the 8.35D Monitor share driver with the 435S.

GMP 400. The headphones with the most bass emphasis of them all. Warm, relaxed but with voices tending to be muddied and moved further away. The only open headphone but soundstage often feels smaller then the 450 PRO which is brighter and more neutral. The least detailed of the three and the most forgiving as well. Hard pressed to find any sibilance at all here for example.

GMP 450 PRO. The most neutral of the three in stock configuration anyway. Good with voices and clearly more detailed. Here you can see hints of sibilance for example. Closed headphones but they don´t isolate any better then the 400 so 0 isolation!

8.35D Monitor with stock cups: Bass close to the 400 level but a bit tighter with more punch. Superb isolation. Certainly not neutral in this configuration but amazing groove in them and they are still quite serious compared to most headphones I have heard. Speech is clear and they somehow work with everything. As for soundstage they are the most "closed" of the three. Though sometimes they do go as wide as my Pro 900s for example

8.35D Monitors with new cups:
Any bass emphasis removed and is now if anything light on bass! Instead of reminding of a brighter HD 650 they remind me of the Pro 900 more in balance. As the other models it still lack low bass though.

Final Thoughts:
8.35D Monitors with the new cups is really the most high fidelity version of the three. However that takes it a bit close to the Pro 900 and it don´t quite matches that ones dynamics, mid range, soundstage. It´s considerably smoother though and are about as detailed in all areas except for bass.

Which is why I suspect I preferr the version with the stock pads. It gives me another presentation with a lot more warmth, big punchy bass that never sound "weak" like I found many neutral headphones have a tendency too. Slower then the Ultrasone Pro 900) but they do have their own groove... Slow and steadfast. It just matches their other traits better then the "faster" 8.35D with the new pads.

Warm, lush like putting on a warm blanket and they don´t really do anything wrong.

Comfort being the potential Achillesheal. Cable can be fixed by extender though may still feel heavy if you move around. Stock pads being supraaural may not work with all ears.

GMP 450 Pros. Similar to the 8.35D monitors with the new pads. Tad more bass than that and detailed.

GMP 400 bassiest of them all. Gets to much for my taste quite often. Not bad though but the one I liked the least despite having the best comfort of the bunch with it´s circumaural velour pads. Being open I had hoped for more regarding it´s soundstaging but it doesn´t match the other twos most of the time.

Completely Subjective conclusions
So the 8.35D Monitors with the stock pads it´s. Completely different to the Pro 900 but the GMP configuration I really enjoyed the most in companion with that one. One speaks to my right brain and the other to my left. One day I preferr listening to the the 900 and vice versa. They both share the very important trait that they seem to be able to take pretty much every kind of music and make something good out of it! .
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
Oh and of course excuse my poor english and structuring is not my strong side either.
post #3 of 19
Nice review, very helpful.

What sound card or other equipment did you plug these headphones into?
post #4 of 19
Loving my new GMP 8.35 D Monitors with the stock pads too. I'm running them out of an E-MU 0404 USB as my DAC and amp for now. Thanks for the review!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Keces 131 mk 2 DAC most of the time. Like 90 %. I tried them straight out of my Essence and Receiver and they sound superbly unamped too! Forgot to mention that for this spend all your penny on a great source.

400/450 PRO is 300 ohms but not hard to get volume out of them so quite efficient.

btw: As a side note it would be interesting if any DX 1000 owner have heard the 8.35D monitors primarily?
post #6 of 19
Oqvist, great job on the review. How you compare the GMP 400/450 PRO to the K701 in terms of clarity, transparency, and overall sound resolution?
post #7 of 19
Interesting...I mulled the idea of getting the MB Quart QP 400s before they become GMP. I've owned the QP 55X for over 15 years now, and they were very bright with light bass, adjustable somewhat by removing a piece of felt from the cups. I'm surprised to read that the GMP 400s have a lot of bass.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Acix View Post
Oqvist, great job on the review. How you compare the GMP 400/450 PRO to the K701 in terms of clarity, transparency, and overall sound resolution?

I will bring up my dictionary and check lol. K701 don´t get much head time I admit will try to get it going some more later on.

And yes I can´t imagine anyone finding the GMP 400 or 8.35D Monitors with stock pads bright. I don´t feel I have sources or amps that is crazy on bass. The Slee Solo certainly aren´t .
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well with new pads just as transparent as the K701. With the exception K701 have more detail in the bass and more bass volume.

Definition well the 8.35D Monitors is better then the K701 with voices surely.
Stock pads well K701 is better in the above areas except for voices again.
post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by oqvist View Post
Well with new pads just as transparent as the K701. With the exception K701 have more detail in the bass and more bass volume.

Definition well the 8.35D Monitors is better then the K701 with voices surely.
Stock pads well K701 is better in the above areas except for voices again.

I'm glad you like the 8.35, I'm wondering what the Goldpoint will bring to the table. I'll take a guess here, and I think you will be very surprise with the Goldpoint and the 701 combo.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
K701 is going out the door though not before I got the goldpoint headphone pro but that will take some weeks. 450 Pro have kind of seduced me as of late! Can´t believe I almost missed it the isolation of the 8.35D monitors kind of seduced me I suppose. It still sounds superb but for jazz, classical, movies the 450 Pros just sound so natural with considerable better soundstaging and balance. The music just flows with no low bass that start/stop the music to much. Still warm.

I am kind of forced to hear the 435S now since they have similar frequency response to the 450 Pro but even more linear . It may even have potential as a Pro 900 killer seeing how close the 450 Pros are. They are surely better in some areas but soundstage not quite up there and sometimes you miss the low bass a bit.

I am probably going for a Pro 900/435 S as my hopefully final headphone combo unless the headphone pro changes things
post #12 of 19
Did you find the 450 Pro to have more bass resolution, and overall balance compare to the K701?
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Better balance then the K701. As mentioned they don´t go quite as low but otherwise about as detailed as the K701 not quite as detailed as the Pro 900.
K701/450 Pro being high definition pro 900 ultra definition. But the lack of low bass is one thing that make the 450 Pro so fluid I suppose. They have little low bass to stop the music from flowing so to speak without being bright
post #14 of 19
If any cans can surpass the PRO 900 overall, post it here, as I will want to get a set.
The PRO 900 bass goes the LOWEST of any can I have ever used.
I will not give that feature up at all.
My PRO 750 comes the closest to the 900.
But the 900 is king.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Not arguing lol

In term of bass extension no it´s no match but that isn´t everything .
Will have to do some big allround test with this or the 435S when I get a chance to try that.
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