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The diary entries of a little girl nearing 30! - Page 522  

post #7816 of 15119

Huh, that's interesting.

 

I was kind of pulling numbers out of thin air, but I think my point still stands that cheap technology and these hand-built flagship headphones sort of exist in different realms.  The merits of having something hand-built are certainly arguable sometimes *cough*Grado*cough,* but a lot of things we just accept as being affordable wouldn't be if, for instance, Apple had a small team of well-compensated/benefited dudes meticulously soldering ever part of their products, which is actually comparable to how some of these headphones are made. 

 

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that none of these flagships are supposed to be practical in the slightest, nor would they want to be. 

 

-Edit-

 

Oh snaps, I thought prematurely upgrading my phone a few months early (kind of had to) would reset that 20-month upgrade cycle Verizon has, but it didn't.  I could buy another smartphone hella cheap right now and pretend I'm Lil B (or to have as a spare)...


Edited by driver 8 - 6/9/12 at 11:57am
post #7817 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

 

I overheard something on CNN the other day saying the Apple was considering moving iPhone production to the US since good Chinese labor was getting so expensive it would only be an extra $25 per phone to make them here.

That's interesting. 


But I guess relatively accessible consumer electronics, e.g. tablets, smartphones, cheaper headphones vs. higher-priced hand-made headphones is an unfair comparisons. Even flagship smartphones compared is a bit .. not comparable actually. I guess it makes so much sense now that headphones are often compared to cars, as like headphones, cars have the practical ones and the obviously luxury ones.

 

Is this why it gets boring, MF?

post #7818 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

Unique Melody is launching their Platform Pure combo in the coming months. Apparently the CIEM will be a new design, mated specifically to the system. Color me intrigued.

 

That being said, I have to admit I'm a bit unsure as to the direction recently announced CIEMs are taking. Ultimate Ear's Personal Reference Monitor for instance will be $2000 USD, and apparently the Platform Pure will be similarly priced. I'm all for innovation, and I recognize that companies are looking for angles to give them an edge over ever-increasing competition, but prices just seem to be climbing while an inconvenient process of acquisition and form factor are made even more inconvenient with trips to neighboring cities just to tune your earphones, or requiring an external amp in what is essentially a portable device. And someone in another thread doubted me when I said the cost of CIEMs was rising just like the cost of universals...

 

I think Canal Work's CW-L51 is a much more sensible example of innovation, allowing one to tune the sound by swapping resistors on the faceplate.

 

I'm intrigued as well. Especially if the active crossover is tunable. In fact it seems kind of silly to not make it tunable. Although doing so would probably send the price up towards Muramasa VIII territory.

 

But this isn't really price inflation yet. For now it represents the costs of making better things, now that there's a market that's increasingly receptive to it. The UERM still costs a grand, same as it did a couple years ago; if it's not the pinnacle of the IEM world, it's because better, albeit more expensive, ways to make custom IEMs have been found. Eventually, hopefully, there might be better thousand dollar IEMs, as new manufacturers come up with new products that replicate the accomplishments of past flagship models with an understanding of where costs can be cut without compromising the advantages. Or not. But in the meanwhile, if you have a thousand dollars to spend on a custom earphone, the UERM is exactly the same excellent custom IEM as it has been; it has not gotten worse.

 

As long as this race to the top represents real improvements rather than garnishments. FAD and Ultrasone have skirted the margin of that "real improvements" qualifier, although I think most of the flak they've each received has been from people missing the point.

 

If companies stop making sufficient sales to profit on their no-holds-barred designs, they'll dial back their ambitions to meet demand. Or else keep them as unadvertised under-the-table sales to preferred customers. The customs world is an odd one, in that everything is made bespoke. So pricing structures have to be considered in a different light than even those for limited-edition production items.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coq de Combat View Post

So, I just finished my earpads for the HD25-1 II in my attempt to make them faux-circumaural. Since this was more of a proof of concept I just glued the leather, since well, I had glue at hand and no needles for stitching these things together. Comfort wise they turned out pretty good. Sound wise, not too shabby, but I'm going to have to a/b the pads in order to know which ones I prefer. One thing's for certain: they look ridiculous.

 

Nice. Does the inner circumference collapse when the cushion is compressed? That might constrict the sound.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

I also think that some tube amps might have specific harmonics that people mistake for reverb or echos or something since a lot of people go on and on about how tube amps have good soundstage.  THe perception of soundstage is tricky but I can almost hear something like that on my Crack.

 

The value of tube amps is often in their simplicity -- even amps that are complex for their genre tend to have lower parts counts than relatively simple solid state amps. This can help with phase coherence, which helps better keep the acoustic space intact. A good single-ended triode system, powering some really good bookshelf speakers, can conjure ghosts, the soundstage illusion is so rich. Albeit at the cost of evenness in the highs and lows, but that can mean the strong mid-upper-midrange isn't impeded either...

 

Some tube amps are pretty bad for microphonics: You can shout into the array of tubes and be heard over the speakers. That's pretty extreme, though it justifies things like stabilizing bricks and tube dampeners.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalFreak View Post

I think the headphone and earphone industry is on the same fast track that speakers took years ago and there will come a time when this hobby will start to become so financially extreme a lot of people will turn their backs and walk away.

 

The existence of $500,000 speaker systems has in no way impeded the ability to get some really fantastic $300 speakers. In fact, more designers of god-tier speaker systems seem to be getting interested in the lower ranges of the boutique market; Technics already has an impressive line of them. Similarly, $5000 and $3000 headphones don't seem to have impeded the continuing firehose stream of headphones in the $150-300 range. I think it's a concern, for those who insist on having the best (by whatever terms they set for best-ness), most exotic, and most expensive, to be worried about the stakes continually raising, but for the rest of us, I don't think it matters much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post

Ahh I see. So the chance of my musings is close to nil, and in the event that it does happen, it's probably crosstalk. I don't suppose the more expensive ones have this problem to a very minimum, considering the price they are asking. And since people like/dislike crossfeed, it is prudent to tout it for customers to choose whether to use it or not.

 

Can separation and placement and emulation of distance (imaging?) be exclusive of each other?

 

Soundstage is frequently discussed in terms of space: width (left to right) depth (closeness and distance from you), height (yep, two-speaker systems can emulate height; it's uncanny when you witness it for the first time); and in terms of how that space is filled -- some systems seem to have an amorphous mass of sound generation in that space, so that everything kind of smears together, so the electric bass notes are mostly coming from arm's length, vaguely center-left-ish, while the guitars mostly sort of blend together, and so on -- some systems have overly-sharpened sound points, where for example each piece of the drum kit is distinguishable but seems meters apart from each other, requiring a drummer five meters tall to play...

 

Most systems are somewhere between those extremes, or present other illusions entirely.

 

High-end audio systems make bragging rights of how little inter-channel crosstalk their is, and it's touted as one of the big advantages of dual-mono designs (the channels can't be mixed if the amp for each is not even in the same box). For the most part, though, crosstalk for the average good-quality, well-maintained amp is going to be undetectable without measuring equipment.


Edited by ardgedee - 6/9/12 at 12:02pm
post #7819 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by gelocks View Post

So... I just posted a "comparison" on my blog... was wondering if I should post it on the forum...

 

http://bienvenidogeeks.blogspot.com/2012/06/faceoff-skullcandy-mix-master-mike-vs-v.html

Both are sort of like fashionable/ statement headphones, so I guess it would make an interesting thread to post here. The only thing is would you link your blog post or adapt your post and rewrite/copy it here, I guess.

post #7820 of 15119
Thread Starter 

I've been seeing a lot of comments on the forums to the effect of "it's all about the music" or "I focus on the music these days instead of comparing headphones."

 

I can see the appeal in that, but again, this just strikes me as that "headphone = tool" mentality. Must these be mutually exclusive? I'm into music just as much as the next person, but I'm also really into collecting headphones. The two hobbies nurture one another.

 

I guess there's this view of audio equipment that borders on mistrust. It's kind of silly? Like, out gear is getting in the way of the real music, and it's out duty as audiophiles to minimize the gear as much as possible. Again, I can see the appeal, and at times I like the SR-009 because it just seems to get out of the way so to speak, but I don't really see headphones as getting in the way.

post #7821 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 

 but again, this just strikes me as that "headphone = tool" mentality. Must these be mutually exclusive? I'm into music just as much as the next person, but I'm also really into collecting headphones. The two hobbies nurture one another.

 

Defensive attitude, heh? I think there are musicians who actually make music and they are not headphones collectors. 

post #7822 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

I've been seeing a lot of comments on the forums to the effect of "it's all about the music" or "I focus on the music these days instead of comparing headphones."

I can see the appeal in that, but again, this just strikes me as that "headphone = tool" mentality. Must these be mutually exclusive? I'm into music just as much as the next person, but I'm also really into collecting headphones. The two hobbies nurture one another.

I guess there's this view of audio equipment that borders on mistrust. It's kind of silly? Like, out gear is getting in the way of the real music, and it's out duty as audiophiles to minimize the gear as much as possible. Again, I can see the appeal, and at times I like the SR-009 because it just seems to get out of the way so to speak, but I don't really see headphones as getting in the way.

I think it's a matter of focus. For some people, getting and comparing headphones is a way to 1. satisfy some curiousity and 2, find something they like for whatecer they use headphones for. For others the collection is the point and they may not listen to much music, as music, at all.

Then there's the big bunch in the middle that are a combination of 1 & 2. From what I read on Head-Fi, the role of a audiophile is to maximize gear, not the reverse.
post #7823 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post

 

Defensive attitude, heh? I think there are musicians who actually make music and they are not headphones collectors. 

 

I don't need to be defensive about my hobbies; I couldn't give a flying flip what someone may think about them.

 

Most certainly, I realize there are different focuses represented on head-fi, different goals and different levels of experience. I know several musicians who know next-to-nothing about headphones, nor remotely care about them. I've met some musicians here on head-fi who view audio equipment as tools for listening, and I've also met musicians here on head-fi who are into collecting headphones too and fetishize them just as much as non-musician collectors.

 

Primarily, I'm speaking about a certain type of audiophile who may or may not have a background in music but seems to not be aware, or at least acknowledge, that there are other facets to headphones beyond their function as a tool.

 

I'm speaking about the relationship that people have with their headphones and how it's informed by this perspective. To me, it simply strikes me as humorous that there's almost an antagonism that occurs when one sees audio devices as merely tools. At that point it becomes about minimizing their presence. The collector, on the other hand, enjoys their presence.


Edited by MuppetFace - 6/9/12 at 1:33pm
post #7824 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardgedee View Post

 

Nice. Does the inner circumference collapse when the cushion is compressed? That might constrict the sound.

 

 

It did collapse a bit. I'm not sure how to solve that one, however, I can't honestly hear any impact on the music or sound quality.

 

I did however think they were slightly too big for me. So guess what I just did?

 

032.jpg036.jpg


Edited by Coq de Combat - 6/9/12 at 1:48pm
post #7825 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

 I'm speaking about a certain type of audiophile who may or may not have a background in music but seems to not be aware, or at least acknowledge, that there are other facets to headphones beyond their function as a tool.

 

I'm speaking about the relationship that people have with their headphones and how it's informed by this perspective. To me, it simply strikes me as humorous that there's almost an antagonism that occurs when one sees audio devices as merely tools. At that point it becomes about minimizing their presence. The collector, on the other hand, enjoys their presence.

 

Both are weird and both spend the most. biggrin.gif popcorn.gif


Edited by mutabor - 6/9/12 at 2:40pm
post #7826 of 15119
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mutabor View Post

 

Both are weird. biggrin.gif popcorn.gif

 

Agreed.

post #7827 of 15119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jgray91 View Post


But I guess relatively accessible consumer electronics, e.g. tablets, smartphones, cheaper headphones vs. higher-priced hand-made headphones is an unfair comparisons. Even flagship smartphones compared is a bit .. not comparable actually. I guess it makes so much sense now that headphones are often compared to cars, as like headphones, cars have the practical ones and the obviously luxury ones.

 

It's all about economies of scale.  Even the cheapest "disposable" cell phone you could buy at a grocery store with a prepaid minutes card is orders of magnitude more complicated to produce than ~95% of the audio gear talked about on here.  The difference is that the marginal cost of most of these kinds of things plummets when you decide to make hundreds of thousands instead of just hundreds.  Making the hardware a loss leader helps a lot too.  You can sell cell phones or game consoles at a loss to stimulate other downstream game sales or contracts but even discounting "piracy" nobody has enough vertical integration to make that work with headphones, amps, and music.

 

If the market for "audiophile" headphones, DACs, and amps was as large as the smartphone market I think an 80% reduction in the price of most items not limited by handcrafting (e.g the W3000ANV's and TH900's lacquer) wouldn't be unreasonable to expect.

 

P.S.  I was almost going to include extra heavy tube amps in my exclusion but then I remembered that my recently acquired full tower case for my PC weighs 40 pounds when empty and newegg only charged $15 for shipping.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

I've been seeing a lot of comments on the forums to the effect of "it's all about the music" or "I focus on the music these days instead of comparing headphones."

 

I can see the appeal in that, but again, this just strikes me as that "headphone = tool" mentality. Must these be mutually exclusive? I'm into music just as much as the next person, but I'm also really into collecting headphones. The two hobbies nurture one another.

 

I guess there's this view of audio equipment that borders on mistrust. It's kind of silly? Like, out gear is getting in the way of the real music, and it's out duty as audiophiles to minimize the gear as much as possible. Again, I can see the appeal, and at times I like the SR-009 because it just seems to get out of the way so to speak, but I don't really see headphones as getting in the way.

 

You seem to be one of the few on here that manages to do both in a healthy manner.  tongue_smile.gif

 

I say that kind of thing fairly often but it's usually in reaction to the kind of people you criticize about here who are audiophiles in the pejorative sense, who only listen to the gear via the music instead of listening to the music through the gear.  Since you articulate yourself so well I'd be confident in saying that you manage to do both.  You like to collect and try out different things but your appreciation for the gear seems clearly distinct from your appreciation for the music since you don't let your gear dictate your music like the "only listen to classical" people you mention.

 

That's the kind of thing that really bothers me.  I die a little inside when I see someone say they stopped listening to music they once enjoyed because of some new piece of gear.  I just want to scream, "You're doing it wrong!" and give them a b***** slap through the monitor in hopes of returning them to their senses because I get the impression some of these people become unhappier after upgrading their gear.  I hate it when I see newbies being talked into buying gear that they obviously won't enjoy or when people are told not to bother with good headphones because their music isn't up to "audiophile" standards.  I think that a good deal of the people you mention probably mean something along those lines.  I suppose that I, and probably the people you refer to, could be a little clearer.  As you may have noticed, I usually have trouble expressing myself in short easy to read posts as qualifiers and clarifications compound so if pressed for time I may often give the wrong impression by mistake.  I'd imagine that others may be similarly misinterpreted from time to time.

 

Personally I do view my gear as simply a tool to get music to my brain but I do understand where you're coming from because I find headphones to be an interesting tool.  It's certainly not just a wrench or a hammer.  They're useful to study because they have so much more room for improvement then the sorts of things that usuall come to mind when someone thinks of a "tool".  I might not get exactly the same things out of owning a large collection like yours but I'd still enjoy it, even if the reasons are a little different.  I wouldn't really get that sort of "collector's satisfaction" since I don't much a drive for that.  (I have a small collection of shot glasses but that's mostly because they're such a bog standard souvenir they make a good record of places you've been to while being small and not wearing out like t-shirts, the other bog standard.)

 

I rarely feel the urge to grab another headphone just to get "another take" on the same track either like some others do.  I pretty much use the same headphones, per situation, 95% of the time.  PFE232 at work, T50RP at home, KSC75 when doing chores, etc.  I really do want the gear to just get out of the way so I don't have to think about it but I still enjoy listening to different headphones though.  That's because nothing is at a level where I won't have to think about it yet and I think that comparing different models is a good way to learn.  You can figure out more about what traits you do and don't like as well as having more points of comparison to models you haven't heard yet and might like better than what you have now.

 

Assuming a proper budget, I'd probably collect just as many headphones as you have though I'd probably view them a bit differently than you probably view yours.  I'd just have a few that got the vast majority of use and the rest would just be like bugs pinned to a display board or small animals in jars of formaldehyde.  They'd sit on a shelf in a back room and serve as reference samples for when I needed to make a specific comparison, measurement, or just remember what something sounds like.  I'd probably get rid of them all if I ever found something that completely satisfied me by getting far enough out of the way that I never thought about it.  Assuming that you just like collecting for it's own sake your ends would essentially be my means to a different end so even though it's not an exact alignment we would have a lot in common.

 

Of course that doesn't mean that I think there's anything wrong with what you or anyone else does because it doesn't appeal to me in the same way, if it appeals to me at all.  Plenty of people collect things that are completely useless and that doesn't bother me (or most other people) at all.  I say just go ahead and do whatever sort of hobby makes you happy.  I think the music/gear distinction hits a little to close to home for many.  Some, no doubt, just want to be smug and superior but I think others are trying to place an emphasis on the music in order to counteract an endless cycle of changing gear that can lead to unhappiness from losing sight of the original goal.  Just talking about music more would probably help with the focus but many people, including me, seem to find musical preferences strangely personal for some reason.  Even though I think it's of paramount importance I rarely feel comfortable talking about it in much detail.  Again, I'd imagine others are in the same boat.

post #7828 of 15119

Just sighted in the comments over at Voldemort's blog.

 

One of the most hilarious handles I've seen.

 

DeliciousFlatFrequencyResponse

 

(Highlight to see the rest.)

post #7829 of 15119

I could do with DeliciousFlat only though. 

 

:|

post #7830 of 15119

DeliciousFlat everything!

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