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Shure SRH1840 and SRH1440 Unveiled! - Page 114

post #1696 of 2016

I've just purchased a set of SRH1440s a couple of days ago as an upgrade from the Audio Technica AD700. In a way I feel the shures and the Audio Technicas have a similar kind of sound presentation although the shures are obviously a lot more refined and sound more 'alive' to me.

 

However I've noticed a problem with my set, I'll have to get them replaced under warranty come Monday as there is definite distorted harmonic to bass from about 150hz down like a farting kind of sound on both the left and right sides but louder on the right side. This is generally mostly inaudible with a lot of music but is quite noticeable with d&b/dub-step or music that has bass that is prominent and separate from other frequencies in the music (Massive attack's Angel sounds horrible until 20 seconds in and 25 seconds from the end of the song is also bad.) It becomes glaringly obvious that there's something not right when I start playing with a software based sine wave generator particularly when my the AD700s don't have anything like this higher frequency distorted overtone that's just as loud as the bass frequency itself.


Edited by J-a-k-e - 8/31/12 at 3:27am
post #1697 of 2016

Sometimes I think some HF members would be happiest with sound equipment that runs in a separate room, hooked up to measurements 24 hours a day.   "Music listening" could then just be looking at the graphs.

 

Measurements can be helpful in product design, but conversely measurements do not exist that predict  either good sounding or accurate equipment.   It's a characteristic of the 21st Century that various people can create an impression that something is true just by saying it over and over - and by posting it on attractive web sites with glossy pictures.  I won't go any further because I don't way to derail the discussion from Shure's open headphones.

 

Two Big Points:

 

1 - The SRH-1840 definitely change quite a bit with burn-in    My impression is that the change is - much less shrillness to the treble and upper midrange, and improved bass response.   It is interesting that this is exactly what people find to be a problem with these headphones.

 

2 - The biggest problem with the SRH-1840 is that the ear pieces do not swivel in 3 dimensions to fit your head.  As a result, out of the box, these headphones do not fit everyone properly.  Even after burn-in, some people are going to find the bass "too light" because it is not fitting properly.   As soon as the bass is too light, then the rest of the spectrum is automatically exaggerated, creating an upper midrange and treble tilt.  (I now know of 3 different people who wear the SRH-1840 backwards, and reverse the cable, in order to make them fit properly - which is interesting, because that does not work for me.)

 

Note that both of these have the same result, so that if someone tries them brand new, and they don't fit properly, the same problems are doubled.

 

As I've mentioned before, the Shure ear pads are too thin for some people.  If you put some cloth or cotton balls under the ear pads, so they puff up, that makes them fit better for many people, improving the response. (I think the Dale Thorn 1440 mod is something different, btw.)

 

Quote:
I'm sure people who like the SR1840 appreciate it for its lack of ringing and tonal balance.

These are both very important for me.   You have to have very good quality sources to hear the lack of ringing.

 

Quote:
Not once have I hated a headphone on day one and then grown to like them later.

Sorry, but I hated the SRH-1840 on day one, and have grown to like them later.   Burn-in made a big difference, as did taking steps to make them fit better.  If these sold anywheres as much as the 701s, then there would be separate threads on SRH-1840 burn-in.

 

Quote:
It's cool if people somehow enjoy these but I cannot find a technical aspect of audible performance they excel at especially for the price.

That clearly shows your listening test lacked something as these are known - even according to people who don't like them - to have superior imaging (only bettered by HD800 and other more expensive products).  Or as someone else put it:

 

Quote:
BTW, what I think separates the 1840s from the HD600s, to my ear, is instrument separation.

Edited by kstuart - 9/3/12 at 3:07pm
post #1698 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

Sometimes I think some HF members would be happiest with sound equipment that runs in a separate room, hooked up to measurements 24 hours a day.   "Music listening" could then just be looking at the graphs.

 

Hey, that's like pretty funny and stuff...  smile.gif

post #1699 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

 

1 - The SRH-1840 definitely change quite a bit with burn-in    My impression is that the change is - much less shrillness to the treble and upper midrange, and improved bass response.   It is interesting that this is exactly what people find to be a problem with these headphones.

 

 

It is also interesting to note that I've never once heard of burn-in changing headphones for the worse for people on head-fi.  It's usually the case of 'x bass heavy headphone's bass tightened up after 300 hours' and 'y tinny headphone's treble settled down after 300 hours.'  

 

300 hours seems to be a popular number too, but I think I've seen 3000 thrown around a couple of times on the AKG threads.  Don't know why 3 is so magical.  Not that those numbers have anything to do with your post.

 

About the only time I've seen people document perceived changes for the worse in headphones has been a couple M50 owners unhappy about their bass losing presence over time.  Perhaps those new guys are not exposed enough to confirmation bias that plagues this hobby?  My guess it is.

 

From my personal experience I've never once witnessed a noticeable change in a headphone's sound signature over a long period of time.  There was an instance with the M50, but that small change happened after only 20 minutes or so of usage.  If it takes an exhaustingly long time for a headphone to reach its glory state, then we have a defective product.

post #1700 of 2016

I once bought a set of headphones that sounded perfect right out of the box. Sadly, I had to stop listening after 10 seconds so they wouldn't start sounding worse.

post #1701 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

I once bought a set of headphones that sounded perfect right out of the box. Sadly, I had to stop listening after 10 seconds so they wouldn't start sounding worse.

 

 

That's a safe way to make sure they always sound good.

post #1702 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

I once bought a set of headphones that sounded perfect right out of the box. Sadly, I had to stop listening after 10 seconds so they wouldn't start sounding worse.

 

Maybe that's what happened with the MJ591... I seem to remember it sounding decent right out of the box.

post #1703 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhythmdevils View Post

 

If you followed Purrin's CSD plot thread, you would already know that he listens first because he spent months posting subjective impressions, followed up with csd measurements.  He was usually spot on, but not always. 

 

 

 

It doesn't take me a week to figure out how headphones sound especially not when they have glaring problems.  Not once have I hated a headphone on day one and then grown to like them later.  The opposite has happened, but never that extreme.  I have slowly discovered more flaws in headphones over periods of years as my hearing abilities got better. 

 

I can hear headphones pretty accurately in 5 minutes, and it only takes about 5 seconds to hear the glaring issues most phones have. 

 

I also don't see anyone "interpreting graphs to match their subjective experiences".

 

 

Honestly, I expect statements like these from amateurs in this hobby...

post #1704 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

 

1 - The SRH-1840 definitely change quite a bit with burn-in    My impression is that the change is - much less shrillness to the treble and upper midrange, and improved bass response.   It is interesting that this is exactly what people find to be a problem with these headphones.

300 hours seems to be a popular number too, but I think I've seen 3000 thrown around a couple of times on the AKG threads.  Don't know why 3 is so magical.  Not that those numbers have anything to do with your post.

In this case, it was about 24 hours for most of the change.  There are plenty of scientific explanations, having to do with materials changing after use.

 

You've never had a tight pair of shoes loosen up after wearing them ??

 

Tyll did a test that confirms measurable changes in headphone response over time.   In fact, that is one thing that a measurement can certainly do - tell if there is a change.
 

...If everyone who reports such extreme sound quality problems with this headphone are the same people who don't believe in burn-in, that would explain things.

 

Again, no "confirmation bias" in my case, because I was already planning to sell them - the improvement was surprising to me.

post #1705 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post


Tyll did a test that confirms measurable changes in headphone response over time.   In fact, that is one thing that a measurement can certainly do - tell if there is a change.
 

...If everyone who reports such extreme sound quality problems with this headphone are the same people who don't believe in burn-in, that would explain things.

 

Again, no "confirmation bias" in my case, because I was already planning to sell them - the improvement was surprising to me.

 

And as even Tyll mentioned, the measurable change was not dramatic and even then I don't think it would translate to listenable changes... I don't believe in burn-in per se, just your brain/ears adjusting to the new sound. Still, I didn't notice any changes with brain burn-in but did notice that they were not bad... (just a bit over-priced which could be debatable since they provide a good box with extra accessories... but still...)

post #1706 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

In this case, it was about 24 hours for most of the change.  There are plenty of scientific explanations, having to do with materials changing after use.

You've never had a tight pair of shoes loosen up after wearing them ??

Tyll did a test that confirms measurable changes in headphone response over time.   In fact, that is one thing that a measurement can certainly do - tell if there is a change.

 
...If everyone who reports such extreme sound quality problems with this headphone are the same people who don't believe in burn-in, that would explain things.

Again, no "confirmation bias" in my case, because I was already planning to sell them - the improvement was surprising to me.

*sigh* You cannot avoid/ignore/remove confirmation bias simply because you know it exists on paper. That isn't how it works.

Regarding the measurements - please don't use measurements to make a claim they don't support. Tyll's data showed around +/- .5 dB of deviation over 125 hours of constant measurement:
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/break-part-deux

.5 dB of deviation is not perceptible. 2 dB is around the JND.

And his final conclusion disagrees with your assertions - which is a really naughty thing to do (it's generally considered bad form to cherry-pick a citation that ultimately disagrees with the point you're making, as evidence for the point you're making).

Now, if you believe in burn-in, that's perfectly fine. But please don't go down the "no I'm immune to all forms of cognitive bias and there's this data that shows some infinitesimally small deviation that is known to be blow the threshold of perception and was done with different equipment than what I'm talking about, DANGIT I'M RIGHT" hole. redface.gif

The shoe analogy is pretty weak too - it's completely unrelated. With leather and other hide materials they really do soften with use and exposure to heat or oils. But that's actually antithetical to what you want with the ideal speaker driver - stiffness and return to original shape is the goal. You don't want them to sag, deform, or otherwise change over time - that is unpredictable and naughty.
Edited by obobskivich - 9/4/12 at 11:14am
post #1707 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

The shoe analogy is pretty weak too - it's completely unrelated. With leather and other hide materials they really do soften with use and exposure to heat or oils. But that's actually antithetical to what you want with the ideal speaker driver - stiffness and return to original shape is the goal. You don't want them to sag, deform, or otherwise change over time - that is unpredictable and naughty.

 

So I guess we have to store our speakers and headphones in a cool, dry place to avoid dust, heat, humidity, airborne grime etc. 

post #1708 of 2016

I've now owned the 1440's for a few months. My initial impressions, which mirror those of Mr. Thorne, have only been confirmed. To be honest, I have not even felt the need to add any extra foam pads. At the moment I'm listening to M'shell the bass demon and she sounds very fine indeed.  I'm searching hard for distortion and to be honest I simply don't hear it. Each bass note is distinct and full, not muddied or muffled. Now don't get me wrong. These are obviously not basshead cans, but I find them to be impeccable for the midrange-centric cans that they are.  The level of separation and detail throughout the bandwidth is pleasing, situated as it is within a full soundstage presentation. 

I normally listen to the shures through my home system, but they sound almost as good on a portable rig, as they are easy to drive. I have a little custom-built 6V6 15 watt per channel combo speaker/head amp, circuit courtesy of Jim Nicholls.  I have it hooked up to the 'EPL out' on my Conrad Johnson PV-15 preamp, which is fed by a Rega DAC and a Cayin CD-T23 I use as a transport.  But these headphones really shine with vinyl. The bass is quite satisfying while listening to something like Bob Marley Exodus on my VPI. 

 

I suppose I forgot to mention I purchased them for $300 on an open box return discount?  What a steal.

post #1709 of 2016
Shure just needs to realize that they can't improve upon the perfection that is the 840
post #1710 of 2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabocat View Post

I've now owned the 1440's for a few months. My initial impressions, which mirror those of Mr. Thorne, have only been confirmed. To be honest, I have not even felt the need to add any extra foam pads. At the moment I'm listening to M'shell the bass demon and she sounds very fine indeed.  I'm searching hard for distortion and to be honest I simply don't hear it. Each bass note is distinct and full, not muddied or muffled. Now don't get me wrong. These are obviously not basshead cans, but I find them to be impeccable for the midrange-centric cans that they are.  The level of separation and detail throughout the bandwidth is pleasing, situated as it is within a full soundstage presentation.

 

Yeah, but they measure horribly so how could you possibly be enjoying them so much rolleyes.gif

 

 

Nice to see that you are hearing them the way they were designed and meant to be heard. They provide superb clarity and separation in every part of the FR spectrum.

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