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Grado modders go Magnum - Page 131

post #1951 of 3215

It is more present on some songs than others. With the SR60i, I can hear flaws in different recordings. Some songs are just way more sibilant than others. But, for instance on Dragonforce's new album, sibilance is fine on SR60i. But with the Magnum V4's... it is incredibly sharp. Every "s" consonant is just glaringly loud and it just makes me want to stop listening.

My current source / amp is NFB 15.1. I'll try more things tomorrow. I'll try different songs straight out of my iPod & Macbook Air as well.

I already contacted Rhydon about it. We'll see what he thinks.

Edit: Earcups are Honduran Mahogany. I bought them from Turbulent Labs.


Edited by Biscuitz - 11/23/12 at 11:34pm
post #1952 of 3215

Personally, I'd point my finger at the NFB 15.1.

 

I don't like or trust AudioGD, at all, but I have no personal experience with any of the "NFB" products. Only their sparrow.. but, a company that is okay with putting out one bad sounding product is generally okay with putting out more. I'd recommend trying a different source, even if it's just something like a sansa clip or ipod. Just my .02, best of luck Biscuitz.

post #1953 of 3215

if he's not having the issue with the grado through the same source, then logic suggests the possibility he got a raw set of drivers. Out of a dozen sets i've heard biscuitz, a couple were particularly edgy. I don't recall them being sibilant, but they may have been and I just didn't mentally note it, as I didn't want to listen long enough to dissect the sound further. The other ten sets however did have an upper end issue, but it wasn't quite sibilance to my ears, but a slight 'radioactive' neon color quality making acoustic guitars and snares sound off. But sibilance primarily makes itself apparent in vocal s's which I didn't recall in those ten sets. Nevertheless, I'd suggest laying out the cash for another set of bananas unfortunately, maybe the latest X version/ Not all bananas are of the same ripeness to use an analogy. Or not all all biscuits cook the same to use another. good luck in the search in any case.......


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/24/12 at 11:24am
post #1954 of 3215

the only other possibility (or variables) in his setup are those cups and cable. Regarding cups, his grado and his mag cups are mahog (although diff species) but the sets his mags are housed in use a poly coating if i'm not mistaken (info via turbulant site). The only way to eliminate that finish and/or that particular mahog as the cause is to try another set of mag drivers in them. If sibilance disappears- it was the drivers, if it remains, it points the finger towards the cups........The only other variable he has got going on is the cable, which could be the culprit as well - although less likely. Unless his mag sets are also using grado cable (as his 60's are using) which biscuitz didn't mention.

 

It's got to be one of those three variables since a grado style headphone is primarily broken down into driver/cup/cable and if he is not annoyed by sibilance with his grado 60's through that particular source with that particular musical material, what else is left to point the finger at other than one or more of those 3 variables?    The only other scenario besides one of those variables being the cause is poor synergy from all three. Combine an unripe set of drivers with an odd/expensive silver cable in the wrong cup and things can go south pretty quick. This is why headphone makers who make full sets, try to carefully create a whole set, it's not as easy as throwing a set of drivers in anything with any cable and expecting great things. With DIY headphones, one can get lucky, but the opposite is also just as likely if not moreso....... but in general, for grado style phones, i'd order blame in this order: drivers, cups, cable, synergy


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/24/12 at 11:25am
post #1955 of 3215

one last approach at coming to grips with biscuitz situation......If we think in basics because basics are neglected in our zeitgeist, we can think of grado hphones as boiling down to drivers/cups/cable and any particular set will have X synergy and X sound. But we can only hear music and therefore hear that particular headphone when it is sent a signal from a source. The signal is one's 'files' LP's, CD's etc. The source is one's DAC basically and the hearing is one's particluar ears/personality. Now people are pretty similar, so lets rule that out for now and files certainly vary but we know that his grado 60's do fine with his files, so let's rule that out for now. Dac's certainly vary but again, not generally adding sibilance and again, his grado 60's work fine, so out it goes for now...............What are we left with? the headphone

 

Now a particular headphone can be both non-synergystic with itself (3 variable non synergy) and it can be non synergystic with the signal, dac, and/or person listening. Until you've optimized the headphone 3 variable setup with itself into a natural sounding unit, it's hard to go further and since this is a DIY headphone it's safe to assume that is where the blame is to lie. We are not professional headphone designers (nor are lots of professional headphone designers today it seems but that's another story).

 

so is it possible that the grado 60 just happens to counterbalance some sibilance produced by his files through his source? I guess it's possible but that is much less likely. What is more likely is that the mag headphone set is introducing the sibilant quality into that system.


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/24/12 at 11:56am
post #1956 of 3215

Yup, i agree that it's probably the headphone.
 

I was just saying, make darn sure it's not the music. And to also question the dac.

It only makes sense to plug the magnums into a different source to make sure the problem is with them. After doing that.. Well, it's gotta be the headphone. Isolate the problem for sure.. before taking action with the headphones.

post #1957 of 3215

agreed, always start with the simplest fix. It's also a good excuse for him to go out and buy a $40 sansa clip so he can rule out the source as being responsible. What a great little unit it is. My gut tells me he simply got some sub par drivers possibly mixed with cups and cable that are not optimized for it, but still, the bulk of the blame would go to the drivers as it is 'the driver' and the most powerful variable in the 3 pronged grado attack.

post #1958 of 3215

I tested different songs from different bands & albums and compared sibilance between SR60i and Magnum V4's. Please note, the Magnum V4's only show sharp sibilance on some recordings, so I do understand that much is to blame with the recording in many cases. That is to say, on well recorded music, the Magnum V4's are just great! But when with less than great recordings the SR60i shows really behaved and even enjoyable sibilance and the Magnum V4's shred the recording apart, I have to wonder if the blame is more with the recording or more with the drivers I have.

On a number of songs I tested and confirmed the sibilance is fine with SR60i but razor sharp on the Magnum V4's. I also tested on my iPod Classic, as it's my only other source besides my desktop setup (NFB 15.1) and my Macbook Air. The issue didn't dissolve with a change in source.

Am I being unrealistically expectant of the Magnum V4's to be as forgiving as the SR60i is with music? I always thought the SR60i was fairly revealing of poorly recorded music. Maybe it's more forgiving than revealing. Also note, I use my SR60i with L-Cush, which if anything makes sibilance more present.

My case song is Cry Thunder by DragonForce, off their newer album. On my SR60i the sibilance is behaved, non-distracting, and non-painful. On the HE-400 that I had for a while and then returned, there was no issue with sibilance with this song. Same goes with the HD600 I had for a short time, but that is a somewhat forgiving headphone as I understand it. But, this song on the Magnum V4's is glaringly sibilant. I know it's not exemplary as far as recording quality goes, but this song is an archetypal example of the sibilance issue I am encountering.

As for trying another set of drivers, that very well may happen soon. My situation was such that I ordered the Magnum V4 Build from Turbulent Labs, only to find out the very next day that Rhydon would be supplying Turbulent Labs with his new Magnum drivers. I felt a bit slighted by the seller of the Magnum V4 Build, who knew well that the new drivers were coming but failed to inform me of that. I suspect he wanted to get rid of his last Magnum V4 drivers. In any case, Rhydon, upon learning of my situation, said in order to right the situation he'd be sending me a set of the new drivers on the house as soon as he had more made. What an upstanding guy Rhydon is!

So when that happens, we'll see if the new drivers have the same issue with sibilance or not. I don't know when that will be though.

Thanks for taking the time to try to diagnose this with me guys!

post #1959 of 3215
Will the Headphile C-Pads fit onto MarinCustomAudio's cups?
post #1960 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitz View Post

I tested different songs from different bands & albums and compared sibilance between SR60i and Magnum V4's. Please note, the Magnum V4's only show sharp sibilance on some recordings, so I do understand that much is to blame with the recording in many cases. That is to say, on well recorded music, the Magnum V4's are just great! But when with less than great recordings the SR60i shows really behaved and even enjoyable sibilance and the Magnum V4's shred the recording apart, I have to wonder if the blame is more with the recording or more with the drivers I have.

On a number of songs I tested and confirmed the sibilance is fine with SR60i but razor sharp on the Magnum V4's. I also tested on my iPod Classic, as it's my only other source besides my desktop setup (NFB 15.1) and my Macbook Air. The issue didn't dissolve with a change in source.

Am I being unrealistically expectant of the Magnum V4's to be as forgiving as the SR60i is with music? I always thought the SR60i was fairly revealing of poorly recorded music. Maybe it's more forgiving than revealing. Also note, I use my SR60i with L-Cush, which if anything makes sibilance more present.

My case song is Cry Thunder by DragonForce, off their newer album. On my SR60i the sibilance is behaved, non-distracting, and non-painful. On the HE-400 that I had for a while and then returned, there was no issue with sibilance with this song. Same goes with the HD600 I had for a short time, but that is a somewhat forgiving headphone as I understand it. But, this song on the Magnum V4's is glaringly sibilant. I know it's not exemplary as far as recording quality goes, but this song is an archetypal example of the sibilance issue I am encountering.

As for trying another set of drivers, that very well may happen soon. My situation was such that I ordered the Magnum V4 Build from Turbulent Labs, only to find out the very next day that Rhydon would be supplying Turbulent Labs with his new Magnum drivers. I felt a bit slighted by the seller of the Magnum V4 Build, who knew well that the new drivers were coming but failed to inform me of that. I suspect he wanted to get rid of his last Magnum V4 drivers. In any case, Rhydon, upon learning of my situation, said in order to right the situation he'd be sending me a set of the new drivers on the house as soon as he had more made. What an upstanding guy Rhydon is!

So when that happens, we'll see if the new drivers have the same issue with sibilance or not. I don't know when that will be though.

Thanks for taking the time to try to diagnose this with me guys!

First, sorry to hear you had a bad experience with your Magnum v4 build. I personally love mine and experience no sibilance--and i even listen to them at high volumes. One thing that may make a difference is I decided to buy aluminum chambers from Rhydon a while back rather than go the wood route. If you get the new drivers and still have problems, either the Magnum sound isn't for you, the dac/amp you use doesn't suit the magnums, or perhaps the wood doesn't jive as well with the magnums as the aluminum chambers they were designed around. 

 

Anyway, good luck and please report your findings with the new v5 drivers! I ordered mine a few days ago and expect to be testing them soon!

post #1961 of 3215

For those of you looking to make your magnums sound awesome on a budget, check out my review of the Aune T1 here:

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-dac-tube-amp-discussion-thread

post #1962 of 3215

biscuitz, that dragonforce tune is way super overthetop processed digitalness. Especially in the upper mids. Look at the rack of digital gear that guitarist is using in the vid. Not to mention the keys and the overall oversampled wall of sound. That's going to be tough on any revealing phone. An audeze or planar mag phone might be mellow enough to deal with it but an upper end dynamic driver grado type phone maybe not as much. The grado60 must be mellow in the area in question though. So maybe that and tunes like it just don't mesh with the magnum. I felt the magnum had color in that area and maybe just shows itself more where some tunes themselves are over produced. So with this tune in mind, I may take back my suspicion you have a particularly off or edgy set of mags. You may have a normal set indeed.  The edgy sets I had where edgy a little higher up in the eq than this tune is problematic. Plus not many people claim to own edgy sets so they may be rare and an anomoly of production at some point. So my money is on tunes like this just exaggerating the upper mid color of the average magnum. I hate to say anything neg about the mag since it is our only grado driver solution, but I heard what I heard. just one mans opinion though and worth about 2 cents. good luck sorting it out.

 


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/24/12 at 10:49pm
post #1963 of 3215
Quote:
Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

biscuitz, that dragonforce tune is way super overthetop processed digitalness. Especially in the upper mids. Look at the rack of digital gear that guitarist is using in the vid. Not to mention the keys and the overall oversampled wall of sound. That's going to be tough on any revealing phone. An audeze or planar mag phone might be mellow enough to deal with it but an upper end dynamic driver grado type phone maybe not as much. The grado60 must be mellow in the area in question though. So maybe that and tunes like it just don't mesh with the magnum. I felt the magnum had color in that area and maybe just shows itself more where some tunes themselves are over produced. So with this tune in mind, I may take back my suspicion you have a particularly off or edgy set of mags. You may have a normal set indeed.  The edgy sets I had where edgy a little higher up in the eq than this tune is problematic. Plus not many people claim to own edgy sets so they may be rare and an anomoly of production at some point. So my money is on tunes like this just exaggerating the upper mid color of the average magnum. I hate to say anything neg about the mag since it is our only grado driver solution, but I heard what I heard. just one mans opinion though and worth about 2 cents. good luck sorting it out.

 

 

But I'm wondering if we're hearing the same thing. You're talking about upper mid glare? I'm not, I'm talking specifically about sibilance. The sharp "sss" sound on S's and T's and other consonants. Or is this what you're talking about as well? I'm not sure which frequency range sibilance exists in, but I thought it was quite high.

Also, I'm in Skype with some friends at the moment, and the Magnum V4's also have pronounced sibilance, more so than with any other headphone I've used with Skype. Is this just the Magnums being more revealing of poor sources, or is there a peak somewhere where sibilance exists?


Edited by Biscuitz - 11/25/12 at 1:19am
post #1964 of 3215

s-sibilance is upper mid/lower treble in my book. close to the upper end of the guitars but a touch higher maybe. I've never had a sibilance issue with mags, only colored strings, snare drums and LP surface noise, but it's similar in range with your issue. Other factors in your case such as cups and cable may push that issue a touch higher up in the eq curve and voila, sibilance. That's my best guess as to what's going on for you. Do you have other problematic tunes to listen to for more references........whether it's a case of being 'revealing of poor sources' or imperfections in the freq response is hard to say but like alot of things in life, both could be true. Yes the mags are fairly revealing and detailed so poorly recorded tunes (sorry but i'd classify the one in question as poorly recorded) will sound worse than on the sr60 but it may also be true that the freq response is adding to the issue.


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/25/12 at 3:49am
post #1965 of 3215

for reference, here's what i'd call a well recorded tune in similar genre as you posted:

you shouldn't hear sibilance here even though this is just a lo-fi youtube clip................


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 11/25/12 at 3:47am
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