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Review: SONY MDR-R10 vs. R10—The Dark vs. Light Side of The Bass (56K Warning) - Page 2

post #16 of 33

The R10 are such unique headphones although I have not had a chance to audition. A beautiful poem has even been written for them in a chinese headphone forum when one of the senior headfiers had a chance to listen to one set and was totally moved by the natural sound the R10.

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post #17 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elephas View Post

I also had one bass-heavy and one bass-light R10 at one time, but sold the bass-light unit.

 

I thought the b-light unit had an especially good midrange. Female vocals sounded superb, the voices had a delicacy and vibrancy that the b-heavy unit couldn't match. However, there just wasn't enough bass, and however enchanting the experience, I couldn't just listen to female vocals+piano music all the time.

 

The b-heavy R10 has almost as good a midrange, and to me is more balanced.

 

I believe there's foam stuffing inside the R10 housings that may deteriorate over time, and this may affect the quantity of bass. The b-light versions made in 1989 could be more affected by this than the units produced in the late 90's and afterward. I haven't tried replacing the foam yet, but when earpad-replacement time eventually comes it should be a good opportunity to open the housings and take a look.

 

Oh, if I had to choose I would choose the HE60 over R10. HE60 driven by BHSE, R10 by Zana Deux or Beta 22. The HE60 is very good.

 

Here's a photo when I still had the two units. It was supposed to be a Team Sony shot, so please excuse the presence of the PFR-V1 (I no longer have it).

 

 

Nice group shot.  I have not heard the R10 with the Zana Deux or B22.  I would definitely agree that when paired to the Apache, the bass-heavy version sounded better overall, but when I switched to the Cary, the overall SQ gap had narrowed considerably.

 

I also agree-based on the brief time I have auditioned it--that the HE60 is a great match with the A-10 and everyone on the forum raves about the BHSE, with good cause I'm sure, not to mention it's big brother, the HE90.

 

The 1989 example I had showed no signs of any deterioration by age.  Aside of bass presence, it was every bit as musical as the 1998 version.  In fact, it's sound seemed to improve further after about 50 hours of overall testing and listening time with the Cary.  I had a distinct impression that the phone had been laying somewhere out of sight and out of mind in its storage case for most of its life.  
 

post #18 of 33

Warp08,

 

Great write up.  I really enjoy it.  One addition to your review is that the bass heavy version was also available during the early run.  Mine R10 (SN# 368) and Nikongod's (SN# 366) are also of bass heavy version.  I tried out several R10s in the past in my system and these two sounded identical to SN #996 & SN #10XX, which are also bass heavy.

 

At the end, I sold the bass light and I kept the bass heavy pair.  I feel the bass heavy R10 is more enjoyable.and less forgiving in my system.  It is also a better match to my music taste.

 

Elephas,

 

When I had the 996, the foam around the drivers were in very bad shape, but the bass notes were more pronounced than my bass light pair (SN# 284) so I don't think the deteriorating foam is to blame for bass quantity.  


Edited by purk - 9/11/10 at 9:01am
post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post

Warp08,

 

Great write up.  I really enjoy it.  One addition to your review is that the bass heavy version was also available during the early run.  Mine R10 (SN# 368) and Nikongod's (SN# 366) are also of bass heavy version.  I tried out several R10s in the past in my system and these two sounded identical to SN #996 & SN #10XX, which are also bass heavy.

 

 

Thanks, Purk.  There were no doubt, random variances in the bio-cellulose driver "manufacturing" process.  Perhaps that is the reason why some earlier examples turned out to be different than others.  I can only imagine the defect rate they had to deal with until the process was reliable enough when it allowed precise enough tuning within the undoubtedly super low tolerance levels.  This is now history, but I don't think there will be anything like the R10 anymore.
 

post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by warp08 View Post



 

Thanks, Purk.  There were no doubt, random variances in the bio-cellulose driver "manufacturing" process.  Perhaps that is the reason why some earlier examples turned out to be different than others.  I can only imagine the defect rate they had to deal with until the process was reliable enough when it allowed precise enough tuning within the undoubtedly super low tolerance levels.  This is now history, but I don't think there will be anything like the R10 anymore.
 



According to R10 service manual, there were four versions of drivers that customer could order from Sony.  Sadly, Sony discontinued all of them.  If you need the service manual send me a PM.

post #21 of 33

Excellent review! Well done.

Sure hope I will have the ability to audition a pair some time.

post #22 of 33

Fantastic review! Always been very curious and excited about these phones, and look forward one day to trying out the "king of dynamic headphones" 

post #23 of 33

It's been said but I'll say it again, thanks for the excellent write up. I do miss my bass heavy (serial # in the low 1500s) R10s. With the high price and exclusivity, it's easy to dismiss them as being overrated. And I agree with you; upon casual listening, you wouldn't really experience everything they have to offer. I still don't think they are the perfect headphone, because nothing is perfect, but they are darn close.

 

Thanks again.

post #24 of 33

Wonderful review! Thanks for that. And wonderful set-up as well...

post #25 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post





According to R10 service manual, there were four versions of drivers that customer could order from Sony.  Sadly, Sony discontinued all of them.  If you need the service manual send me a PM.


Thanks, Purk.  I'll take you up on your kind offer.  That kind of stuff may come in handy some day.

post #26 of 33

Hey Lazslo I see you got the review up.  Thanks for taking the time to do it. :)  I am actually letting go of one of my R10s now unfortunately. :(

post #27 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by n3rdling View Post

Hey Lazslo I see you got the review up.  Thanks for taking the time to do it. " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//smily_headphones1.gif" title=":)" width="" />  I am actually letting go of one of my R10s now unfortunately. " class="bbcode_smiley" height="" src="http://files.head-fi.org/images/smilies//frown.gif" title=":(" width="" />


I saw it, but I didn't want to piss off the mods by giving you a 3rd bump in a single day...  It's good that someone else gets a chance to enjoy one of these, but I know how you feel.  They are one of a kind, for sure.

 

Let me know if you get tired of your HE60s.  Just never seem to catch a break to get a mint example with matched (working) transducers. 

post #28 of 33

great review, love the pics, ill bet the r10 make my thin lizzy Lp's sound amazing:)

 

has anyone compare the bass heavy r10 to lcd2

post #29 of 33

If you check the LCD2 thread, I put up a brief writeup of the differences between the LCD2 and bass light R10.

post #30 of 33

Wonderful write up Warp!  It was a great read.  Thanks for contiributing and I can't wait to read your impressions on the HE-6.

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