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GERMAN MAESTRO GMP 400 , DENON AH5000, AKG Q701, ULTRASONE Pro900, SENNHEISER HD650

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I thought i would give a quick review of the headphones i have acquired in my quest for the perfect sounding set for the music i listen to which is mostly 60s, 70s rock ,blues country                      

 

GERMAN MAESTRO GMP 400

 

DCP_1775.JPG  DCP_1776.JPG DCP_1774.JPG                                                      The German Maestro Gmp400 is an open back headphone with an impedance of 300 ohm ,they have a 3m cable which is connected to both left and right ear cups ,and has a screw in gold plated  6,3mm adapter, they are a circumaural design with soft velvet ear pads and they employ a floating five dimensional cardamatic suspension system which is very comfortable and helps mold the ear cups to your head and adjusts it self as you move your head about.

 

They are very comfortable and light weight ,feel well built but not as rugged as the cheaper Gmp 8.35 model.

 

These sound like a mix between the HD650 and Q701 to my ears, they have a very nice tight bass ,mostly sub bass without much mid / upper bass much like the Q701 ,the treble sounds very much like the Hd650 in its tone with a high amount of detail ,the midrange is an amalgamation of the best quality's of the aforementioned phones .Drums have a very ,very realistic timbre on these ,vocals are slightly forward in the mix and are clean and free from bass bleed ,crystal clear with no trace of sibilance . Electric guitar sound really beautiful on these ,polished and refined .

 

Soundstage is fairly wide but not that big in depth , i find myself on stage with the musicians all around me .

 

Over all i really enjoy listening to these ,they offer excellent sound quality and tones of details for a fair bit less in cost when compaired to the other phones i own .

 DENON AH5000DSC00136.jpg647.JPGDSC00146.jpg

 

I really like the build quality on these ,they fit nice and snugly on my head and i love the wooden ear cups which encase the 50mm drivers which makes them feel like a quality product ,the only let down here is the cord which is very long and thick and covered in a cloth weave which makes them kink and twist up all the time and is generally very unmanageable.

 

Out of the box these were a little sibilant but soon calmed down over a couple of days and the overall sound is a very nice punchy hard hitting bass ,forward mid range and soft but detailed treble that takes a back seat to the mids and bass.

 

Bass is about 70 percent mid bass ,30 percent sub bass and has a Nice impact while not intruding into the mid range ,it is tune full and there is good separation of bass instruments

 

Mids are slightly forward  and vocals are clean and precise , electric guitars are polished and very nice sounding with a nice bite to them but more polished and tasteful rather than raunchy .strings and acoustic guitars have a nice weight and tone to them and drums have a nice timbre albeit on the heavy side ,piano has a nice weight and tone to it.

 

Treble takes a back seat to the other frequencies but it highly detailed and well extended with a nice sparkle and body 

 

Sound stage is quite wide and more so deep with a portable amp and when amped by my Graham Slee Solo SRG ll ,pre-amped by my Yamaha A2 DSP the sound stage is very wide giving me the illusion that the sound is coming from my floor standing speakers which are in the corners of the opposite wall from where i am sitting.

 

AKG Q701 640.JPG651.JPGDSC00171.jpg

 

The build quality on these seems good for an all plastic design ,the driver housings are huge on these 53mm driver headphones, the head band is comfortable although these seem to be made for people with large heads ,but they fit me on the minimum settings.The cord is nice ,you get two ,one shorter one and one very long one ,10 meters i think terminating in 3.5mm jacks .

 

Out of the box these were quite sibilant but calmed down nicely over a period of a few days leaving a bright very extended and detailed analytical treble which makes for very precise imaging .

 

Bass is about 80 percent sub bass ,20 percent mid bass which gives them a nice rumble but not much impact so not the best phones for rock music like led zeppelin or the all man brothers. Bass has good separation of instruments and does not colour the mid range.

 

Mid range is neither forward or recessed and vocals are quite analytical and with the most micro details ,electric guitars are  more prominent than on the denon but still just as polished and liquid like, acoustic guitars and strings are very detailed with a nice pitch to them but lack the weight of the denon strings, piano has a nice tone to it ,drums have good timbre and are quite snappy 

 

ULTRASONE PRO 900653.JPG649.JPGDSC00210.jpg

 

Build quality on these is again very good for a plastic based phone ,these seem built like a tank and have a nice substantial cord terminating in a 3.5 jack and you also get two cords with these one strait and one coiled .These use a 40mm titanium coated driver 

 

Out of the box these were very treble dominant and harsh sounding with an almost unbearable amount of sibilance in almost every song,reminded me somewhat of that film ,full metal jacket when the Sargent was standing toe to toe with the recutes shouting obscenities into there faces lol.It had read all sorts of crazy figures of 200-300hrs of burn in needed to tame the treble on these, i am happy to say that by around the 20hr mark the treble had fallen into line and was no longer harsh with 90 percent of the sibilance gone , i eq'ed down the 4khz frequencies to remove the remaining sibilance to my ears that makes these sound perfect to my ears , still a very bright but not harsh treble ,well extended and nicely detailed 

 

Bass is around a 20/80 mix of sub bass and mid bass which gives them a slight rumble and a decent impact although i have to eq up the bass a fair bit to get them to hit as hard or sound as bassy as the denon.There is no bass bleed into the mids and the separation of instruments is very good.These are quite fast although that means there is very little decay so the bass notes come and then are gone in an instant which can sound a little strange.

 

Midrange is very nice ,vocals are just right ,not really analytical ,nor recessed , piano has a nice tone and weight to its sound as do strings ,drums have a very nice timbre ,horns and synthesizers and other treble stuff sounds very nice and some what forward ,the real meat of the sound on these to me is the electric guitar ,it really sings, its raunchy while being polished ,plenty of bite and zeal to it ,really makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up 

 

SENNHEISER HD650DSC00228.jpg648.JPGDSC00227.jpg

 

Build quality is good and these feel very light ,and i like the way these feel really secure on my head and i also love the cord on these ,its a bit long but feels really sturdy , i only wish it terminated in a 3.5mm jack instead of the larger jack ,but you do get a rather bulky adapter cord extension piece.

 

Out of the box these were the safest ,no sibilance , little harsh in the treble but hat disappeared after a couple of hrs use, and these have that thinner sounding treble that sennheiser is know for, very extended and detailed

 

Bass ,was a bit muddy out of the box but is much cleaner and more tune full now, these have the most bass presence out of the 4 to my ears , bass is around 30 percent sub bass and 40 percent sub bass and 60 percent mid bass ,bass does not extend into the mids and the vocals are not coloured by the mid bass like on the ie8. instruments can be clearly defined in the bass region.

 

Midrange has that typical sennheiser silky smooth thick sound that a lot of people conceive as a veil ,vocals are the centerpiece of the mids , lush and very full sounding ,drums have a nice timbre , piano and horns and electric guitar all sound nice although that silky smooth tone takes the edge of them a bit ,but its still a nice sounding phone ,Acoustic guitars and strings have plenty of weight here ,maybe a bit heavy sounding but i only have 10hrs on these so am still expecting the sound to improve some yet.

 

Conclusion

 

No 1= PRO 900= perfect for rock and country ,and anything electric guitar dominated when you rock out to your favorite bands

No 2=DENON AH5000= perfect for heavy rock like early led zeppelin & a great all rounder

N0 3=AKG Q701=perfect for analytical listening

No 4=SENNHEISER HD650= great for vocal dominate music and a good all rounder for a relaxing listen 


Edited by lucozade - 1/2/12 at 7:02am
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 

Over the last few days i have put around another 20hrs on the Sennheiser Hd650 and i have to say i am pleasantly surprised at how nice these are now sounding ,they have a certain natural earthiness to there sound that is completely none fatiguing and very addictive to listen to .

 

I am listening to The Mat Schofield Trio live from the archives on them as i type this and though i would try to describe the sound.

 

The bass end is nice and fat sounding and extends quite deep into the sub bass regions giving a nice gentle rumble ,not earth shattering but nice all the same ,and can hit plenty hard if it is asked to do so by the music.

The mid range is buttery smooth and flows along seamlessly along with the supporting bass and the treble.Vocals are articulate and forward of the drums and bass and never sibilant, Mats electric guitar sound polished and smooth ,i would like a bit more edginess and vigor to there sound as this is the blues although with more than a hint of jazz  ,but smooth is how i would describe electric guitar on these ,nice,but a little tame sounding for my preference.The drums have a good timbre to them as well ,very realistic sounding ,although the buttery smoothness of the hd650 tend to take away a bit of the crisp snappy sound i like to hear in drums ,There is also an organ playing and the tone sounds right ,not to bright or empathized 

 

The cymbals are sounding very natural with just the right amount of shimmer to them .happy_face1.gif

 

Now moving on to Buddy Whittington 's Six String Svengali ,an altogether more lively Texas rock/ with a hint of blues album , shows how versatile the sennheiser can be, 

 

Electric guitar here is much more lively,edgy and comes across with more vigor and pomp , vocals are still forward of the other musicians and never sibilant and natural sounding and uncolored by the bass also very articulate

. Drums are much more noticeable on this album and hit a lot harder as dose the bass guitar

 

Bass is harder hitting on this album ,pumping out a lot more mid bass than sub bass so less rumble ,bass guitar and the bass drum can still be distinctly heard as separate instruments.

 

The cymbals retain there timbre quality and display a tasteful shimmer .There is also a triangle or something similar sounding on some tracks that has a nice crisp bright tone to it.

post #3 of 24

Thanks for the review,

 

I just got the HD650s and I should do a comparison with my D7000s and Ultrasone Pro 2900s... I think it'll be a nice compliment to your review. I'm actually very sensitive to sibilance... I had the Pro 900s for a while and they were very harsh (like you said) they never really tamed, but the Pro 2900s tamed really quickly, I like the sound much much better than the 900s. After getting the Sens, I'm wondering if I should get rid of one of other phones cause I was really looking for a more laid-back sound and the Denons and Ultrasones tend to be more up front.. How much burning in do you have on your Sens so far? I have about 30 hours I feel like there should still be room for improvement.. otherwise they are definitely lacking in detail compared to my other phones and the build quality on the Sens seem so-so (the Denons and Ultrasones are really nicely built, though the Denons seem a bit fragile).


Edited by Ahzari - 12/10/11 at 4:43pm
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks ..I have around 100 hrs of use on the Hd650 ,and i did not really notice any change in sound after the first 20hrs to be honest,along with my pro 900 they tend to get the most use out of my full size cans ,i do not find them lacking in detail as apposed to the others ,however they are the most laid back and like i mentioned electric guitars are just to to tame and overshadowed on a lot of albums by the bass for my rock and blues music, i much prefer the pro 900 for that type of music , Everything from Dire straits  through to groups like Within Temptation - children of bodom -  sound great on them and anything live is just really a joy to listen to on the pro900 .

 

I shall look forward to your review of the d7000 & pro900 ,i also see you had the dt990 in the past ,this is a phone i am considering ,is it different sound enough from my other phones to warrant getting ?

post #5 of 24
Thanks. I'm interested in the Pro 900 to compliment my Q701s. How does the soundstage compare? Wideness and depth? Thanks!
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post

Thanks ..I have around 100 hrs of use on the Hd650 ,and i did not really notice any change in sound after the first 20hrs to be honest,along with my pro 900 they tend to get the most use out of my full size cans ,i do not find them lacking in detail as apposed to the others ,however they are the most laid back and like i mentioned electric guitars are just to to tame and overshadowed on a lot of albums by the bass for my rock and blues music, i much prefer the pro 900 for that type of music , Everything from Dire straits  through to groups like Within Temptation - children of bodom -  sound great on them and anything live is just really a joy to listen to on the pro900 .

 

I shall look forward to your review of the d7000 & pro900 ,i also see you had the dt990 in the past ,this is a phone i am considering ,is it different sound enough from my other phones to warrant getting ?


The dt990s were like mixing the pro 900s with the denon d2000s.. They were definitely more neutral than the ultrasones, but again the sibilance bugged me and beyers are known to be sibilant, but it was a good phone, otherwise (clean bass and treble with good mids and well built). Considering your current phones, I don't think you would feel they are all that different from what you have. I would save up and get the LCD2s or LCD3s. Those seem to be the top contenders for "best" headphones these days.. I definitely want to get my hands on a pair at some point.  

 

I'm on the verge of ordering a Woo WA6, I'm going to wait and do my review once I get that amp in (really weary about spending so much $$ though..). I'll post a link on this thread.

 


Edited by Ahzari - 12/10/11 at 4:41pm
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahzari View Post


The dt990s were like mixing the pro 900s with the denon d2000s.. They were definitely more neutral than the ultrasones, but again the sibilance bugged me and beyers are known to be sibilant, but it was a good phone, otherwise (clean bass and treble with good mids and well built). Considering your current phones, I don't think you would feel they are all that different from what you have. I would save up and get the LCD2s or LCD3s. Those seem to be the top contenders for "best" headphones these days.. I definitely want to get my hands on a pair at some point.  

 

I'm on the verge of ordering a Woo WA6, I'm going to wait and do my review once I get that amp in (really weary about spending so much $$ though..). I'll post a link on this thread.

 


Thanks for the advice on the dt990 and i will look into the LCD models . It certainly is worth getting a good amp ,my graham slee solo srg2  does wonders for my cans , ie much more expansive sound stage ,gives an illusion i am listening to my full sized speakers , cleaner tighter controlled treble , much less sibilance and tighter more powerful bass and much better definition and resolution of the midrange and treble and a more dymanic sound accross the board.

 

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenErik View Post

Thanks. I'm interested in the Pro 900 to compliment my Q701s. How does the soundstage compare? Wideness and depth? Thanks!


Well the Q701 has the biggest soundstage of my cans ,both in terms of width and depth ,in contrast the pro900 is a much more intimate listening experience ,ie the q701 is like being at an open air concert with the stage a fair distance away whist with the pro 900 its like being on stage with the musicians all around me.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucozade View Post


 



Well the Q701 has the biggest soundstage of my cans ,both in terms of width and depth ,in contrast the pro900 is a much more intimate listening experience ,ie the q701 is like being at an open air concert with the stage a fair distance away whist with the pro 900 its like being on stage with the musicians all around me.

Sounds good to me. While the soundstage probably can't compete with open cans, would you say the Pro 900s have a rather large soundstage compared to most closed cans? That is what I have gathered from my readings.  I'm looking forward to trying these out. biggrin.gif I want to experience that b-b-b-ass.

post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenErik View Post

Sounds good to me. While the soundstage probably can't compete with open cans, would you say the Pro 900s have a rather large soundstage compared to most closed cans? That is what I have gathered from my readings.  I'm looking forward to trying these out. biggrin.gif I want to experience that b-b-b-ass.



In terms of closed cans i currently only have Denon d5000 to compair with the pro900 and the denon has the larger soundstange of the two.

post #11 of 24

Yea, I have the D7000s and from what I remember they had a much better soundstage than the pro900..

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

German Maestro Gmp 400 added to initial post 


Edited by lucozade - 12/27/11 at 6:01pm
post #13 of 24

lucozade, does the GMP 400 you reviewed have perforated(on the back) earpads?

 

post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

lucozade, does the GMP 400 you reviewed have perforated(on the back) earpads?

 


How do you mean perforated on the back ? as far as i can tell the pads can not be removed ,but there is some perforated material over the drivers DSC00251_mini.jpg

 

post #15 of 24

I mean if the back side of the earpads is perforated like this:

 

41-6049_0020_Back.jpg

 

The earpads can be removed but you don't need to do it to see these holes.

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