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Mid-fi Shootout - HD600 - HD598 - Focal Spirit One - Philips Fidelio L1 - Page 3

post #31 of 68

First off - very well done write-up! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. 

 

You are about the 4th person I've heard from recently who enjoys listening to the HD598 more than the HD600. They all seem to agree that the HD600 is technically the better can, but just don't enjoy listening to it as much. It's an interesting phenomenon. 

 

Anyway, thanks again for the effort. 

post #32 of 68

Thank you Maxvla for your detailed comparison and review. I find it very informative.

 

I suggest adding a short summary in view of the length of your review/comparison.  However, even without summary, it is still excellent work.

post #33 of 68

Hey Maxvla. Awesome review. Thanks for putting this all together.

post #34 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post

Nice review, I will definitely need to try L1 at some point as it seems to have the sound I like but I'm getting somewhat hesitant about Focal Spirit One headphones after this review.

There's one line regarding the L1 headphones though, what you mean by "Tonality is often questionable, especially vocals"
? You never explained exactly what you think seems off, to me this is a burning question as I personally regard an accurate tonality highly for vocals.

Would this have to do with it perhaps:

350x191px-LL-3253c052_l1.png
Maybe the 2kHz peak makes the vocals sound shouty, nasal or colored as it's not perfectly even perhaps?

You have it correct.
Edited by Maxvla - 3/15/12 at 9:43am
post #35 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by astroid View Post

This peaks my interest in the HD598, HIFI S+V slaughtered it when reviewed , saying it was the dullest , most boring sounding headphones they had ever listened to. HIFI S+V are pretty sketchy reviewers though, so i wasnt swayed by this too much.

Do they leak a lot, say SR60i levels?

They are completely open, so yes, they leak significantly.
post #36 of 68

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post


You have it correct.


OK thanks for confirming, usually it takes true audiophiles with lot of experience to point something like that out. :P I had expected it to be like that based on the graph but then I didn't see people mentioning it and graphs can't be 100% trusted either. Oh well it can probably be corrected quite nicely with EQing, looks to be about 5dB too big peak.

 

I know what nasal vocals sound like when tonality is off due to uneven midrange, V-Moda LP2s have the same issue, probably a lot worse though than Philips L1 and it really bugs me unless taking care of with EQing.

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 3/15/12 at 10:28am
post #37 of 68

An oldie but a goodie for HD580/600 owners:

 

http://apuresound.com/hdsennmod.html

 

I can neither confirm nor deny the magical attributes attributed to this mod in other threads, but I suspect that it has as much to do with the amp as the changes wrought by opening them up. 

post #38 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

An oldie but a goodie for HD580/600 owners:

 

http://apuresound.com/hdsennmod.html

 

I can neither confirm nor deny the magical attributes attributed to this mod in other threads, but I suspect that it has as much to do with the amp as the changes wrought by opening them up. 


I did that a while ago (before reading about it) simply because the foam started to disintegrate and I happened to open the back and see that the one behind the driver was also coming apart.  I'm pretty sure my HD580s are quite a bit more brighter/forward without the front foam.  I'm actually getting replacement pads and cushions for backups, and to see how it sounds 'original'.  I don't think it's far fetched to believe that removing the foam in front would change the sound- removing the one on the back probably has a more subtle effect (just a guess).

 

post #39 of 68

Great write-up.  This was very engaging and you did a great job of connecting us (the reader) to you and your methods.  Really glad you took the time and went the extra mile.

post #40 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertstern View Post

Great write-up.  This was very engaging and you did a great job of connecting us (the reader) to you and your methods.  Really glad you took the time and went the extra mile.

Thanks, glad you enjoyed.
post #41 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomscy2000 View Post

Great writeup! You're a luthier? As a longtime violinist, I have much respect (and an absolute need) for you guys!

 

BTW, my recabled 598 seems to have reached 600 levels of detail, even when it's not a full-on recable of all the circuits... or maybe it's all in my head...



You're not the only one! I got the same impression. However my HD-600 with DHC is probably going to dethrone my HD-598 as a favorite. HD-600 now is very, very addicting to listen to, but I dislike it with stock cable and it puts me to sleep. What wire did you go with? DHC if I remember right?

 

HD-600 isn't too hard to drive either. No clue how, but it sounds even amazing without an amp and from a X-Fi Go, which is a $40 DAC. I've been listening to it for the last 3 hours without a single complaint(!)

 

I've noticed before too that the HD-600 does lack detail somewhat without a good computer DAC. My 598 didn't seem to benefit much from one that I recall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #42 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdockweiler View Post

You're not the only one! I got the same impression. However my HD-600 with DHC is probably going to dethrone my HD-598 as a favorite. HD-600 now is very, very addicting to listen to, but I dislike it with stock cable and it puts me to sleep. What wire did you go with? DHC if I remember right?

 

HD-600 isn't too hard to drive either. No clue how, but it sounds even amazing without an amp and from a X-Fi Go, which is a $40 DAC. I've been listening to it for the last 3 hours without a single complaint(!)

 

I've noticed before too that the HD-600 does lack detail somewhat without a good computer DAC. My 598 didn't seem to benefit much from one that I recall.


I used a Cardas smurf cable, actually. I'm now thinking of going in to match the internal circuitry with the same wiring, but that endeavor probably won't happen for a while.

post #43 of 68
Thread Starter 
Having not heard the Focal Spirit One headphones in a few days (since I posted my review), I came home from work and plugged them in before any others. Coming at them fresh they aren't too bad really. I can still hear the harshness of the highs, the thickness in the delivery of details, and the mid-bass hump, but without instant reference I would say these are merely mediocre rather than straight out bad.
post #44 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Having not heard the Focal Spirit One headphones in a few days (since I posted my review), I came home from work and plugged them in before any others. Coming at them fresh they aren't too bad really. I can still hear the harshness of the highs, the thickness in the delivery of details, and the mid-bass hump, but without instant reference I would say these are merely mediocre rather than straight out bad.


I doubt that a manufacturer like Focal would put out a bad headphone. Maybe the Spirit One is actually "correct" and the others are "wrong"? Nobody ever mentions tonality or musicality, it's always bass and treble. Does it feel like music or just a bass/treble/midrange delivery system?

 

Myself, I've always found that headphones that sounded great right away usually were bad in the long run, and ones that sounded "odd" initially turned out to be wonderful.

 

post #45 of 68
Thread Starter 
I did mention tonality in my post (maybe not on the Focals, though). Musicality is too subjective to quantify really so I avoid the term whenever possible.

Now that I've listened to them for an hour I just popped my UERM (my main can these days) back in and it of course blows the Focals away in every aspect (as they should). I put the Focals back on and I can't believe I said positive things about them...
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