It seems that the TV in the room next to mine is getting louder and louder.
Not wanting to be the grumpy old man, demanding all the time to lower the volume, I decided I need another closed headphone, preferably a higher ohm one, and none I tried so far.
In the past I had been eyeing the MB Quart QP 805 HS, but couldn't find enough information about their sound quality. After Headfi-er Pianist received one, and raved about them, I decided to try their successor the GermanMAESTRO GMP 8.300 D Professional.
Yes, try, because the great GermanMaestro loan program provided this.
BTW: there's a US loan program as well.
Thanks to Thomas from GermanMaestro, I received the GMP 8.300 D Professional 300 ohm, along with some extra ear pads for evaluation. Those are the velour 41-6085, and are not included original but available as separate spare part.
Note: I have the 8.300 D on loan. If I want them, I have to pay for them.
Build and comfort:
The cable is straight, 3 meter, the plug is angled. No coiled cable.
Cable and headphone are rock solid. These are indestructible, period.
The headphone is rather stiff, not much bending can be done.
The clamping force is medium, much like the DT770 Pro.
Earcups are not hung up to a swivel mechanism.
Comfort with the stock pads is not so good if you have big ears, see below.
Isolation is great.
The 8.300 has the same stock pleather ear pads as the GMP 250.
Those pads are too small for my big ears.
Unfortunately the provided velour pads has the same problem, not enough room for my ears.
This is not only a comfort issue, but affects also the sound, because I can't get a good seal.
Listening with these ear pads won't give the right impression of the 8.300 D sound.
Others might not have a problem with these ear pads though. The GMP velour pads are much like the AKG velour ear pads, so if the AKG ones are no problem for you, these velour and also the 8.300 stock pads will do fine.
I switched to other pads.
First the BeyerDynamic Aviation leather ear pads. Not bad at all, after a little “fit-in” of the pads. Good, even and balanced sound. Gives the best comfort. Slight 'honky' sound, especially on male voices.
Then the DT770 velour pads: a bit bright, a little less impact, still very good sound.
I tried the Beyer Manufacture leather pads as well, which also gave a very good, even better result (more bass etc.), but you can't buy those.
A piece of felt was added by me on the drivers. One or two layers of felt are enough to give a little more body and warmth, especially needed with the DT770 velour pads. The more worn out the velour pads are, the better the results due to being shallower.
GermanMaestro pleather oval ear pads 41-6050 arrived later, courtesy of Thomas, to try them with the 8.300 D.
Pictures and information about these pads can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/406658/the-german-maestro-gmp-8-35-d-monitor-in-the-studio-serious-about-audio-indeed/60#post_5904579
These are really nice earpads, made of high quality pleather. They are soft and good looking.
Now my ears fit in completely, but since they are rather shallow, the drivers are resting on my jumbo ears.
Sigh, I do have odd shaped head and ears :-(
I wish these pads were deeper. For normal ears, they must be as comfortable as the Denon D2000 earpads (which are a lot thicker).
The sound of the GMP 8.300 D with these oval pads was thin and lackluster.
Perhaps because they don't make a good seal with my head. When pushing the earcups, the sound became better. And on my Philips Sextett, which have a death grip on the head, the sound was very good.
Maybe these pads will sound better with the 8.300 D with the vented holes at the back taped, but I haven't tried that.
First thing I noticed was the high sensitivity.
They play much louder than my other headphones, even louder than the DT880.
Surprisingly they work very well with the SS headphone amp in my Denon pre-amp. I prefer this combination to my tube headphone amp, because the tube amp is boosting the already upfront mids and thus making the 8.300 less warm.
The CD player used is the Nakamichi CDP-2E.
Furthermore I used the gear as listed in my profile.
CD's were various albums with folk(rock), Americana, singer-songwriter, (roots-)rock.
Some names: Kim Richey, New Pornographers, The Hold Steady, Trilobite, Josh Ritter, Justin Currie, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Natalie Merchant, Sally Spring, The John Henrys, Micky Newbury. Donna Ulisse, Rush, Bruce Springsteen.
These are fast sounding, my feet keep on tapping. Good PRaT.
As I wrote before, the sound is even and balanced, although the mids are slightly boosted.
Highs are well articulated, not too loud, just right.
Mids are full and detailed, vocals are a joy to listen to.
Despite being rather revealing, they handle sibilance very well. Sibilance isn't exaggerated at all, though it shows when it's on the record. Still it's not annoying due to grainless and clean sound.
Acoustic guitars have the right weight and timbre, drums pound when they are supposed to.
Bass is tight, punchy and very textured. For some the bass might be too lean. If you like a loud, fat bass (think D2000, DT770/80, Pro900), these are not for you. But the bass is one of the best I heard.
Soundstage is average, not as wide as say the DT770 consumer edition, DT150 or my K270 Playback.
The more I listen to them, the more they remind me of the K-400, for their fluency, delicate and tight sound. Alas without the soundstage of the K-400, but with more weight to the music and therefore more suitable for rock.
There isn't a type of music that sounds better with the 8.300, sort of an all-arounder IMO.
From bluegrass to hard rock, it's all handled with grace and impact. Though they like the more intimate music better.
No headphone is perfect. Neither is this one.
Comfort could be better. The headphone is stiff, the earcups don't swivel. The stock earpads are too small for big ears.
Soundstage could be wider.
There could have been more air around the notes, but that's hard to achieve on closed headphones.
A smidgen more mid bass would have made them warmer, but still they are not overly bright.
To sum it up:
All in all, I like the GMP 8.300 D a lot. Fiddling around with different earpads brings out the best in them.
Then they are IMHO as good as the DT770 Manufaktur 600 ohm, who are maybe a bit more refined, but also duller and way more sibilant.
They are also comparable to the K271/2, with more PRaT.
The GMP 8.300 D are 124,- Euro at the GermanMaestro webshop.
A bargain, if you ask me. Even when you buy other earpads along with them.
I can wholeheartedly recommend the GMP 8.300 D.
Another win for GermanMAESTRO!
Note: After hearing several reports that the MB Quart QP 805 HS are sounding dark, I'm not sure if these are the same as the GMP 8.300 D. The latter are anything but dark.
Maybe GermanMaestro has altered their 8.300 D from the original MB Quart QP 805 HS and did some tweaking.
With stock pads:
With GermanMaestro velour pads:
With the GermanMaestro oval pleather earpads:
With DT770 pads:
With BeyerDynamic aviation leather pads:
Edited by Tiemen - 7/19/12 at 7:01am