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KOSS ESP-950 Thread - Page 41

post #601 of 1316

Thanks for the detailed info, Milosz. I'll give them a call next week after I have received the 950.

post #602 of 1316
Thread Starter 

All this talk about headphone "soundstage".....

 

I don't know about this, to me there's a lack of imaging to all headphones.  My Quad ESL-57's and my DEQX-triamped  Magneplanar MG 3.6's- now there I hear imaging- depth, lateral staging- sometimes even height.

 

But headphones?  Well there IS a "space" represented but even on well-miked binarual material it all sounds "in-the-head" to me.

 

I guess with some headphones "my head sounds bigger" than others...  but this isn't necessarily a good thing, phase or other time-domain inconsistencies that vary with frequency or between left and right drivers will cause soundstage to increase, but this soundstage isn't in the recording, it's an artifact of the transducers or electronics.  So I don't know what to make of these sonic spatial differences, because there's no standard to compare them to - they don't sound "real" like speakers can, and so comparing the sound to an actual music venue doesn't work.  The psychoacoustic process of creating an  image doesn't work with headphones.  (Although maybe with a Smyth Realizer it does; I've never heard one but the premise looks interesting.)

 

On rare occasions with the right material I've had a brief illusion of being able to "hear through" to another real acoustic space, typically on certain orchestral recordings. The illusion is fleeting.

post #603 of 1316
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

All this talk about headphone "soundstage".....

 

I don't know about this, to me there's a lack of imaging to all headphones.  My Quad ESL-57's and my DEQX-triamped  Magneplanar MG 3.6's- now there I hear imaging- depth, lateral staging- sometimes even height.

 

But headphones?  Well there IS a "space" represented but even on well-miked binarual material it all sounds "in-the-head" to me.

 

 

I guess you haven't tried Isone Pro software? I have never heard the realizer but I can only assume that it is an enhanced version of what the Isone software does for me. Until I started using Isone I also felt that headphones could never compete with speakers. The setup is no fun but once you get it right I think it will surprise you. 

post #604 of 1316
Quote:
Originally Posted by milosz View Post

All this talk about headphone "soundstage".....

 

I don't know about this, to me there's a lack of imaging to all headphones.  My Quad ESL-57's and my DEQX-triamped  Magneplanar MG 3.6's- now there I hear imaging- depth, lateral staging- sometimes even height.

 

But headphones?  Well there IS a "space" represented but even on well-miked binarual material it all sounds "in-the-head" to me.

 

I guess with some headphones "my head sounds bigger" than others...  but this isn't necessarily a good thing, phase or other time-domain inconsistencies that vary with frequency or between left and right drivers will cause soundstage to increase, but this soundstage isn't in the recording, it's an artifact of the transducers or electronics.  So I don't know what to make of these sonic spatial differences, because there's no standard to compare them to - they don't sound "real" like speakers can, and so comparing the sound to an actual music venue doesn't work.  The psychoacoustic process of creating an  image doesn't work with headphones.  (Although maybe with a Smyth Realizer it does; I've never heard one but the premise looks interesting.)

 

On rare occasions with the right material I've had a brief illusion of being able to "hear through" to another real acoustic space, typically on certain orchestral recordings. The illusion is fleeting.

 

What you're saying is absolutely true "in the bigger picture."  My Devore's can produce some carved out images in parts of the room that headphones will never compete with.  

 

But between headphones, it's completely valid to compare 'soundstage.'  Why?  I think all this talk of 'soundstage' on head-fi is completely relative to headphones.  It simply does not mean the same thing as it does with speakers.  With headphones there's only a semblance of imaging.  There's an illusion of it like you said.  But nevertheless, it adds to the credibility of the music.  The other day I was listening to a Cat Power album on my Invicta/UM3X and I could very clearly hear Chan Marshall singing against the mike and the guitar noticeably below at her lap level.  That made things a helluva lot more involving.

 

Where there is space between instruments on tracks, especially on the horizontal plane, many headphones will do a good job of reproducing that.  The exceptional ones will start doing a decent job in terms of depth, some will even do height.  Going back to the person who asked about 950 v. 500, neither fall in the category of exceptional.  The 950 was better in the horizontal plane.  With the HE-500 every detail in the recording, whether background or foreground, was right up against my head.  That's an exciting presentation, but it sounded off to me.

 

Anyway, like you said, it's not particularly important, and that's exactly why 'soundstage' was never a factor when I let either headphone go, and was not a factor when I bought them either.  I think the 950 is better than the 500 for other reasons.  The 500 has flabby bass, a sort of blub, blub, blub sound.  I will take a even FR, and a roll-off over blub, blub, blub any day.

post #605 of 1316
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chodi View Post

I guess you haven't tried Isone Pro software? I have never heard the realizer but I can only assume that it is an enhanced version of what the Isone software does for me. Until I started using Isone I also felt that headphones could never compete with speakers. The setup is no fun but once you get it right I think it will surprise you. 

The Smyth Realizer tracks head movement via IR and adjusts level / phase / delay / frequency response accordingly.  So, for example, if are listening to 5.1 surround sound material, you can turn your head to face the rear, and move closer to the rear, and you will hear the rear channels....   

 

A stereo image is built up by the brain as you move your head in a given space.  The Smyth Realizer duplicates this by tracking your head in real time and using DSP to adjust the sound that is fed to the headphones.

 

Is this what Isone Pro does?

post #606 of 1316

the Realizer doesn't do 180, more like +/-30 but the head tracking/compensation is a big help in maintaining stable sound stage outside of your head, fixed in space - like your brain is wired to expect

 

perhaps the confusion is that it does measure the speakers behind you in a 5.1 or 7.1 setup - but as they sound for a roughly +/-30 degree motion of your head in the forward facing direction - which means their motion compensated images do "move opposite" to those of the speakers in front of you

 

one of the calibration tricks is to do a "multichannel" calibration with just one speaker, rotating your chair rather than moving the speaker from spot to spot for each multichannel speaker location


Edited by jcx - 12/1/12 at 9:05pm
post #607 of 1316

Isone Pro is just a less sophisticated room & speaker emulation plug-in.  Both have some overlap in functionality.

post #608 of 1316
Quote:
Originally Posted by sphinxvc View Post

Isone Pro is just a less sophisticated room & speaker emulation plug-in.  Both have some overlap in functionality.

Isone Pro allows you to tune your headphones to your ears through the use of  HRTF adjustments and it also allows room simulation if you choose to use that function. It is designed for stereo use only. It does an amazing job in replicating the sound of near field monitors. There are also adjustments to allow for different speakers, but I always have mine set to flat. Unlike the realizer it cannot track head movement or deal with multi-channel source. It is an inexpensive vst plug-in that I could not live without. It takes the image out of your head and lays it out in front of you in layers. Properly set up, it does not mess with the sound signature of your headphones like all other plug-in's I have tried. The placement within the sound stage is massively better than headphones alone. The better the headphones the better the results (it cannot make a bad system sound good). Considering the low entry cost, it is certainly worth your time to give it a try. The set-up is a pain, but the results when done are amazing. The guy who designed this software is a genius in this area. No, I have no vested interest in his software, I just believe it is under rated and generally misunderstood by the audiophile community.

post #609 of 1316

?

 

Thank you, but I didn't ask about it.  I first tried/calibrated Isone in my rig in 2011.  

post #610 of 1316
Thread Starter 

I'll have to give ISONE a try.  

post #611 of 1316

There is a deals thread but the current Koss discount on these is disturbing not bad with free shipping it said.

 

 discount code is KHP30

 

I just HAD to mention it here also. 

 

EDIT: it showed up originally on the first page as $400 total then when I went to checkout it was back up to $699. Oh well. Must have been a glitch.Maybe it stays cheaper in the US, never know, the free shipping is only US I noticed.

 

worth checking if you are in the US.

 

 

sigh.


Edited by nick n - 12/10/12 at 1:32am
post #612 of 1316

is it still possible to build a exstata or khsshv?  whats the best source for getting the boards for these project, besides getting new batch done with gerber files?

post #613 of 1316

Headinclouds recently proposed a board run for the KGSSHV.

 

Check this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/582131/is-anyone-building-the-kgsshv/300

 

Go to post #306,

post #614 of 1316

Folks:

 

I've had my ESP-950s for a few days now, and I like them.  I don't absolutely love them, but I like them a lot, as long I don't crank them too loud.  Too loud produces sibilance and headaches.  They are very nice for the price if you can get them for ~$600.  I do like my T 1s better: similar sound signature, but more meaty than the Koss.  On the other hand, they cost me almost 2X what the Koss did, and that was on sale too...

 

And neither one can come close to the LCD-3s for most music.  I paid full price for those, and feel it was worth every penny, though many head-fiers disagree.  But that's how all of these manufacturers stay in business:  we each have our own internal analog sound processors, and our own preferences for price/performance.

 

In any case, I'll be keeping the Koss for now.  And the T 1s.  And the LCD-3s.  It's only money.  WAIT, IT'S MY MONEY!!!!  Well, it used to be my money...

post #615 of 1316
Gary - I agree on the preference thing, but "sibilance" and "ESP/950" does not compute. confused_face_2.gif
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