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Crosstalk on Audio Technica M50

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I've been using ATH-M50 for about 2 years, mostly for listening music and a bit of sound editing for church recording. Recently I notice that I hear some crosstalk when I use test tone to test the left and right drivers.

The test:
- I generate test tone using Audacity (freeware), in this case I created 100Hz sine wave.
- Created one for left channel, the another one for right channel.
- When I play the left channel track, I can hear that track softly from the right driver of the M50. To make sure, I just listen to the right driver of the M50, move away the left driver from my ear, and then I play and stop the left track test tone a few times, and yes, there is a bit of the left track tone I can hear softly on the right driver.
- I do the other way, playing the right track test tone, I could hear the same crosstalk on the left driver.
- I tested a few IEMs, no crosstalk heard.
- Initially I use PC with firewire interface (Saffire LE), and I transfer the test tone trakcs to iPod, and do the same test, same result, I can hear some crosstalk with M50, but none with IEMs.
- I borrow my friend's newly bought M50, did the same test, I can hear the same crosstalk.

Any M50 users here experience crosstalk with ATH-M50?
Did Audio Technica put somekind of crossfeed circuit in M50?

Here is 440Hz test tone for your convenience:
440Hz Test Tone

Thanks!
post #2 of 40
Thread Starter 
Has anyone experience this phenomena with other headphones? Tx!
post #3 of 40
I have very slight crosstalk on mine. You really have to listen for it though, and I only notice it when I pull the side the audio is shifted to away from my ear.

Last night while listening to them I shifted the balance between the left and right drivers and noticed it then. This was using the Win7 audio controls while listening with FB2K.

Today I tried it on my Rockboxed Fuze and noticed it on that also.

So there probably is a circuit built in for it.

I can try my 440's later to see if they do it.
post #4 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot for testing! I wonder if any other full size cans have similar crossfeed effect. Hopefully it is not due to bad cables or grounding. AT just recalled some of their full size models due to bad grounding.

For convenience, here is some left, center, right, test tone in 440Hz:
440Hz Test Tone.zip

Maybe others can try on different models?
post #5 of 40
Yeah, I hear it on my Sony MDR-V6 and DR-S5, Sennheiser PMX-100, as well as a bunch of cheapo headphones/headsets.

It was not present on my Creative Aurvana Live or the Bose Triports (Don't hate, it was $26 shipped @ eBay) that I had.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
Wow, so it is quite common?
Thanks for the update! Other forum also reported that it is heard on Beyer DT231, and others.
post #7 of 40
all non balanced headphones have crosstalk have a good day
post #8 of 40
All stereo systems exhibit some level of crosstalk; but it's more a problem of the amplifier and interconnects, than of the headphones. It usually gets worse as the impedance of the headphones drops, as the load on the amplifier increases.

Amplifiers with active ground help alliviate the problem, while a fully balanced system (from source to headphones) theoretically does away with it completely.

cheers!
post #9 of 40
you'll notice this on isolating single ended headphones with low impedance. I say isolating because normally the effect is so faint that if there is any ambient noise leaking in, then this effect is under the noise floor.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjrabon View Post
you'll notice this on isolating single ended headphones with low impedance. I say isolating because normally the effect is so faint that if there is any ambient noise leaking in, then this effect is under the noise floor.
What I heard on ATH-M50 is definitely above noise floor.

Do you mind to explain further, how to isolate single ended headphones with low impedance?

Thank you!
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
I did some experiments, recabling my M50. The original M50 cable has 3 conductors, 1 wire as ground wire for both left and right. I want to know if replacing the 3 conductor cable with a starquad (4 conductors) cable will help to reduce the crosstalk. With starquad, I can have 2 wires for ground, one for each channel, separated from the mini jack end.

Here is some pictures of M50.

Original wiring:




I modified a little bit to hear if by bypassing the left driver pcb will give any audible difference. No audible difference heard.


I search for small starquad, the only model available in the shop is Canare L-4E5C, and only blue color available in stock. This cable is actually a bit to big in diameter, cannot go in fully into the M50 left driver enclosure. I know that Belden has smaller starquad, they call it micro starquad, but not available here.


I use blue wires for ground. At the minijack end (I use Neutrik), I combined the blue wires and the shield. At the driver end, I use one blue wire for each driver.




The result is good! The crosstalk has been significantly reduced

The two wires ground with starquad cable is proven to reduced crosstalk significantly

But I have another problem with this cable, I can hear microphonic previously not heard with the ATH-M50 original cable But that's ok, I don't move around much when using it
post #12 of 40
Great job
post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 
I did some test with another unmodified ATH-M50, to record the crosstalk difference between the original cable compared to the starquad cable. I played test tone (440 Hz tone) on the Left channel, and measured the crosstalk on the Right driver.

Here is the test:
1. I use iPod to play the test tone, connected to a headphone amplifier with 2 paralel outputs, one output for Recabled M50, the other one for M50 with original cable.
2. I open the Right drivers of both M50, and tap directly from the driver terminal, to the input of my firewire audio interface (by soldering the test cable to the driver's terminal). Input 1 connected to Right driver of the recabled M50, input 2 to the Right driver of the M50 with original cable.
3. Play a mono test signal, to set the input gain of both channels, to get equal level of signal from both drivers.
4. Play test signal only on the Left driver, and measured the crosstalk on the Right driver.

I played and stoped the left channel test tone a few times as you can see on the picture. The result, no crosstalk detected on the M50 driver with starquad cable, while the one with original cable, a significant level of crosstalk was detected

post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_equalizer View Post
All stereo systems exhibit some level of crosstalk; but it's more a problem of the amplifier and interconnects, than of the headphones.
yes, but using a dual mono design(two single opamps for instance), I've never experienced any audible crosstalk on any of my unbalanced phones.

except if there's some funky electronic in the phone itself, it's a source issue more than anything else IMHO.
post #15 of 40


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_equalizer View Post
All stereo systems exhibit some level of crosstalk; but it's more a problem of the amplifier and interconnects, than of the headphones.
yes, but using a dual mono design(two single opamps for instance), I've never experienced any audible crosstalk on any of my unbalanced phones.

except if there's some funky electronic in the phone itself, it's a source issue more than anything else IMHO.


Agreed, dual mono works too. As does minimizing the length of the shared ground return, as the OP did by recabling his 'phones. Nice job on that, by the way!  I've been wanting to recable my SR-60is with Canare StarQuad too and experiment with a balanced a47 amp.

 

cheers!


Edited by the_equalizer - 5/6/10 at 3:23am
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