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Has anyone noticed how Sony MDR-CD1700's _require_ a good source?

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Out of all the cans I ever plugged into a sound card or a portable, I'd say the CD1700's are _the worst_ for non-amplified listening. They are _distant_, congested, and very cold.

Naturally, all that changes when you feed them lots and lots of current, but even Sennheiser HD600's and Beyerdynamic DT831's sound less incompetent straight out of my Game Theater XP, or my portable Panasonic SL-SX510.

On the same note, the Grado RS-1's are _amazing_ at making a good thing out of bad sources. I can listen to 128kb mp3's with them out of my Game Theater and enjoy myself, whereas I can't do that with the 1700's.
post #2 of 25
Yup... I wasn't too impressed when i heard them on a heaphone rack at some big-box electronics store...

I'd have to disagree that they're the worst though... My Koss A/200's are unlistenable without an amp (BRIGHT, shrill, thin), yet sound absolutely amazing with a good amp.

Interestingly, both of these headphones got discontinued recently... Probably the average person doesn't have good enough sources to enjoy them?
post #3 of 25


I just tried for the first time to use my Sennheiser 580 on my 10 years old Sony Discman, and the sound was S***. When ever there's a drum beat or a low note in the music, the volumn drops! and I need to turn it up to maximum to get it to a normal listening level. That's in a silent room, no way could I use this on the move, I couldn't hear a thing otherwise.

So I guess my Senn 580 and my X-CANv2/X-PSU will never part.
post #4 of 25
My MDR-CD1700's sound like cr%p out of most of my electronics! They really require an extremely expensive audio electronics source to deliver anywhere near their full potential!

All of my other headphones (in my listed inventory) sound way better from my sources.
post #5 of 25
Do you really want headphones that compensate for shortcomings in your source? What happens when you upgrade your source? How can you tell if you made an improvement if your phones are adding to or altering the sound? Or do you plan on having to upgrade your phones every time you buy a new source? Sorry, but I am curious.
post #6 of 25
actually, that's why i prefer headphones that are natural to the sound. Add nothing, take nothing away. (sony cd1700, koss a/200, sennheisers, electrostatics) These headphones will sound amazing with good recordings with good equipment, and will sound like crap for everything else.

i actually like these type of headphones, can't stand colouration, unless the recording is aweful.

I guess one advantage of headphones is that you can keep a pair of these neutral headphones for most recordings, then switch to a more coloured pair for bad recordings/bad sources...
post #7 of 25
Well, if you can't upgrade your source for quite awhile, getting headphones that aren't so accurate and revealing is probably the best and most enjoyable option, if not the most future-proof.
post #8 of 25
I agree! Duh!
post #9 of 25

By the way, why would you want to use a Hi-Fi headphone on a non-hi-fi source? That doesn't make much sense, seems like a waste of money to me, IMO.

To get the most of of your headphones, I belive that your system should be balanced (everything should be equal to each other).
post #10 of 25
As mediocre as most consumer electronics are, crappy headphones will always sound much worse than what the consumer electronics themselves are capable of reproducing!
post #11 of 25
Thomas, I agree with you. Totally. When I had the opportunity to listen to the Orpheus (albeit in a crowded room, but anyway...) my favorite thing about them (apart from the comfort) was their transparency-the sound was so accurate to the original recording. (And I use the CD "Mercury Living Presence: Fennell conducts Sousa Marches" as a test CD. There's nothing better than Nobles of the Mystic Shrine complete with bell-tree-thingy [I've completely forgotten the proper term] to ferret out any 'issues' with the headphones)
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Odd. I find it weird that anyone'd call the CD1700's "neutral"

They're _super_ warm. They're a little compressed on the top and bottom (although Ian's mod frees up the top), but they have this liquidy midrange that I like.

They sound like closed, cheap(er), somewhat less detailed (Then again, I haven't done the treble mod) RS-1's (and yes, I have RS-1's too)

The only thing is, the RS-1's can make a bad source sound bouncy enough. The CD1700's balk at it. How or why? No clue. But they sounded fairly glorious out of my amp (It's somewhat of a toss-up between the ampless RS-1's and amped CD1700's, even with a portable Panasonic, for me)

I need some sleep, it's 3 AM.

post #13 of 25
Must admit, my CD1700s sound alot better coming from a better source. I'm currently hunting down an X-cans v2 (just ask Raymondlin) and in the meantime have to make do. My usual listen is straight out of the headphone output of the Marantz CD63 on my desk (harsh and unforgiving, and I can't get the digital volume control to go as low as I want for "background" listening). I have tried it using my SFCD-1 as a source and despite the rather circuitous signal chain (have to go into my SONY tape deck via my amp's tape loop as neither cdp nor amp have 'phone jacks) the sound is A LOT better.

Raymond - STILL waiting to hear back about that 2nd-hand Xcans!

post #14 of 25

keep waiting

Hamsta - still no news? well, keep hoping, I am sure one will turn one soon.

And do you think it's a good idea to get a spare Senn580 since they are discontinued? I an get them for £60 over here.
post #15 of 25
Originally posted by Hamsta

Raymond - STILL waiting to hear back about that 2nd-hand Xcans!

Sorry it didnt work out with Movement Audio mate (dont aske its a long story!) Is there a reason that you are against V1 of the x-cans??
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