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New to the technical world of sound, how about some help?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey Head-fi!

 

I feel like I'm just toying around with sound. My experience is limited to the headphones & IEMs I own, friends headphones, and the ones I get to try out at stores like B&H in nyc. Trying out all those different headphones made me realize I can hear apparent difference in them and that I like some but not others but that I don't understand what I'm hearing or what I should look for in comparing headphones. I troll a lot on head-fi and respect the reviews and collective knowledge. I'd really like to understand what you guys are talking about when you start talking technical like clarity, soundstage, soundforms, muddy/warm/neutral sounds, properly balancing EQs to get an ideal sound, what the ideal sound is, what makes a good/bad headphone, etc. Can you suggest some resources or share some knowledge so I can start delving into this world of sound?

 

I like IEMs. Years ago I bought a $40 pair sony earbuds and was amazed. That opened pandoras box... UE super.fi 3, UE super.fi 5 (blocky ones to become pro), etymotic er-6p (which i hated), and UE super.fi 5 (new ones that became the 600s). I also own a pair of Sony XB-500s. I listen to 320 kbps mp3s cause they sound better. I feel like I'm heading in the right direction but I feel like I'm missing out on so much. Like I can't help but to wonder what the UE 18 Pros sound like and could I really appreciate what I'm hearing?


Edited by jeffyh - 5/11/12 at 1:58am
post #2 of 8

Hi,
I'm not the person to help and explain all of the terms people use regarding gear on here.
And I can't think of any great resources either.
Obviously reading around alot, will help develop an understanding. In saying that, it's very important to learn to see how biased and valid what you're reading is. For example, reading about GM on a Greenpeace website will give you only a very narrowed sighted, biased, misinformed view on something, so it's best to read around. use as many different sources and resources as you can find to learn things, this gives you a broader understanding

 

You seem to have an interest in music. It's easy to forget on these forums, that gear is only there to help you enjoy the music.
As such, the best gear is the gear you enjoy listening to music with the most. Not what graphs best, or has a cult following.

If you enjoy music alot, it's very rewarding to take up an instrument (if you don't play already) as it helps in understanding the aspects of music that you should listen for. And it's good fun too.

I know this isn't really what you're looking for, but it might be helpful.

 

post #3 of 8
You "troll a lot"
What.
Pm me if you genuinely want some advice though.
Cheers!biggrin.gif
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sil3nce View Post

You "troll a lot"
What.
 

i think he means in the sense of Trawl fishing, rather than the meme trolling

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
@sil3nce - soo confused. I always thought trolling was not being a member and not posting but constantly visiting and checking out threads... And thanks, ill probably pm tomm

@pleasantnoise - I really do enjoy music and I know that the gear is a medium to experience it as best that I can. I also have a strong passion for electronics (buying, building circuits, modding) and understanding the principles behind my interests. Head-fi seems to link all three together and I love it. Im just a little lost in all the technical reviews I read, even something as simple as a headphone being analytical, or someone describing the sound as warm or dark. I can make inferences as to what I think it means, but without experiencing it, it leaves me empty wanting to truly understand. Also, I played the flute for 9 years and loved playing technical, classical music. That combined w my appreciation for music theory started my whole love for sound.

Hopefully attending the nyc meet will explain some things. Really looking forward to that!
post #6 of 8
Not being a member and not posting but visiting and reading = lurking
Being a member and posting inflammatory/nonsense to incite people and create hurt feelings = trolling

You might find these threads super helpful:
http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary
http://www.head-fi.org/a/glossary-of-terms

I'd also try giving this a reading over:
http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/about-headphone-measurements.php
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyh View Post

@sil3nce - soo confused. I always thought trolling was not being a member and not posting but constantly visiting and checking out threads... And thanks, ill probably pm tomm

@pleasantnoise - I really do enjoy music and I know that the gear is a medium to experience it as best that I can. I also have a strong passion for electronics (buying, building circuits, modding) and understanding the principles behind my interests. Head-fi seems to link all three together and I love it. Im just a little lost in all the technical reviews I read, even something as simple as a headphone being analytical, or someone describing the sound as warm or dark. I can make inferences as to what I think it means, but without experiencing it, it leaves me empty wanting to truly understand. Also, I played the flute for 9 years and loved playing technical, classical music. That combined w my appreciation for music theory started my whole love for sound.

Hopefully attending the nyc meet will explain some things. Really looking forward to that!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Not being a member and not posting but visiting and reading = lurking
Being a member and posting inflammatory/nonsense to incite people and create hurt feelings = trolling

You might find these threads super helpful:
http://www.head-fi.org/a/describing-sound-a-glossary
http://www.head-fi.org/a/glossary-of-terms

I'd also try giving this a reading over:
http://www.headphone.com/learning-center/about-headphone-measurements.php

 

And I was just about to post those two glossary links. Also since you like modding, you should invest your time to mod one of the cheaper headphones. Personally, that helps quite significantly in understanding how sound works and all the other technical terms compared to just reading about them. I don't know where you are jeffyh, but if you want to do the 'buy 'phones to compare to what other hear' route, you should buy from a respectable store that allow returned goods. Otherwise, the next best thing IMO is modding. 

 

Two of the most popular and relatively cheap headphones to mod are the Grado SR60 and the Fostex T50RP. My 2 cents.


EDIT: Just remembered this gem of a post from the T50RP thread: Interactive FR ranges; Interactive equal loudness countours; before and after EQ audio samples.


Edited by jgray91 - 5/12/12 at 3:01pm
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffyh View Post

Hopefully attending the nyc meet will explain some things. Really looking forward to that!

Hi there - I'm Mike with Ultimate Ears. I'm glad you will be at the NYC Meet. In my opinion, there really is no way perfect way to talk about sound or to explain the UE 18 for that matter. But at the meet, you'll get to listen to our demo units. Sure, they're not perfect - since they aren't really custom made for your ears. But they will give you a very good idea of what to expect. Actually, all our models will be there so you can listen to the UE - Reference and 11's too. It really all comes down to what you like to hear. Evey manufacturer adds flavor and color to their phones  - even when they sound flat. Flat/ reference are colors/ flavors that we add. So the best way to explain it is this - you want to find a set of phones that matches your tastes. There is no such thing as a perfect headphone or a perfect IEM. There is just perfect sound signatures for you.

 

I'd love to talk much more about this in person. I'll be at our table all day long. Let's first talk about music. Then we'll talk about sound.

 

Until then - if anything comes up. I'm happy to answer any questions. I'll always give you a very honest non sales-pitchy answer.

 

Mike

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