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Final Audio Design Impressions and Discussion Thread - Page 58

post #856 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

Oh my god, everything has changed! I get it! I could tell I was on the brink of discovery, and it hit me full force! I am all smiles! Ian, the Neil Young is what did it. I get it. I am going from describing it as full and rich to" I can feel the Texas heat, and smell the sunscreen while he sings at the local folk festival. With Miles Davis, I can smell the old wood of the bass. I can't go through my collection fast enough. These things are magic! While I am refraining from listening to other headphones, I switched back to the Heaven VI with Neil Young and they sounded horrible in comparison. Ok, I am going back now. 

 

Alright!  

 

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post #857 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

...
As the album continued I became to understand that those micro details we all get addicted to with the accurate IEM's were all still there, the skin against string as it slides down the guitar, the breathy spittle in the harmonica but it was just not taking center stage, I had to listen more to pick it out but what happened was I ended up not bothered as the PF's skill at emotion was what was drawing me in to the performance and making me feel I was in an audience of one with Neil and the band!

 

I completely understand now. The details are all there in the music, but the details make the music and aren't there for the sake of being detail. They draw you in to absorb and engage you. 

 

Edit: Oh and thanks for the Townes Van Zandt. Good Texas music. Sounds wonderful. 

post #858 of 4727

Celebrating a promotion the right way, gents.

 

 

400

post #859 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

Celebrating a promotion the right way, gents.

 

 

400

 

Congratulations! (That mug looks frosty.)

post #860 of 4727

Thank you sir! And indeed it is!

 

Guys and girls, you gotta give this a spin on your Piano Forte's. See if you can find a better quality recording:

 

post #861 of 4727
These earphones are changing the way I listen to music, teaching me to enjoy, rather than listen for the flaws, and broadening the music that I enjoy. My favorite earphone purchase to date, and the most significant.
post #862 of 4727

Just a quick thought, I did some picture editing today, and once again was struck by the analogy of a sepia-toned photograph and (what I like to call) the FAD's strangely beautiful "midrange glow".

 

Here's a cropped part of the picture in question:

 

1000

 

And here's the same thing in sepia. Note how the coloring "cleans up" the picture and irresistibly draws your attention to the sunlight reflections.

That's the "glow" I'm talking about in the FAD's midrange, their irresistible coloring of acoustic instruments and the human voice.

 

1000

post #863 of 4727
SF, I am so happy that your enjoying the PF's so much. James, I think that is a great way of describing them. I had another thought on that. I think the PF's are like agfa colour film and the others like a digital image, does that make sense, I am not a photographer but I have some old Agfa colour images and in comparison I feel the afga's more atmospheric and cozier feeling if that makes sense!

As for me. Well, last night I dug out the LCD's again to listen to as I keep feeling I am being unfair to them as I loved them so much before the PF's. I think I lasted four tunes and just ended up feeling restless and annoyed at the sound, it just did not get me into the music like the PF's do. Now, for anyone who has known me on this forum for a while for me to make that statement tells a great deal about how I feel about the PF's! As SF said, these change the way I listen to music.

So, I think I may have done a deal on a straight swap for my LCD's for a rather nice fountain pen I have had my eye on for some time!
post #864 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by james444 View Post

Just a quick thought, I did some picture editing today, and once again was struck by the analogy of a sepia-toned photograph and (what I like to call) the FAD's strangely beautiful "midrange glow"

 

 

 

And here's the same thing in sepia. Note how the coloring "cleans up" the picture and irresistibly draws your attention to the sunlight reflections.

That's the "glow" I'm talking about in the FAD's midrange, their irresistible coloring of acoustic instruments and the human voice.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

SF, I am so happy that your enjoying the PF's so much. James, I think that is a great way of describing them. 

 

So while I agree that the PF's have that magical "midrange glow" compared to other headphones, I feel they are also the most natural and realistic representation of a human voice, or of a live show. They are completely different, but I feel in the right direction, rather than the "out there" direction once you understand the sound. The PF's make all my other headphones sound like "headphones." Good headphones, but they all lack that realistic, live sound that puts you in the seat of the local folk festival. 

 

I completely understand when Ian mentioned that the PF's make all his other headphones sound "contrived." 100% agree. 

 

The PF's are completely out there, and the most natural and realistic sound at the same time. So what is "out there?" Does everyone else have it wrong? The PF's are changing my whole audio world view. 

 

Edit for format


Edited by SoundFreaq - 1/8/13 at 2:54pm
post #865 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post

 

 

So while I agree that the PF's have that magical "midrange glow" compared to other headphones, I feel they are also the most natural and realistic representation of a human voice, or of a live show. They are completely different, but I feel in the right direction, rather than the "out there" direction once you understand the sound. The PF's make all my other headphones sound like "headphones." Good headphones, but they all lack that realistic, live sound that puts you in the seat of the local folk festival. 

 

I completely understand when Ian mentioned that the PF's make all his other headphones sound "contrived." 100% agree. 

 

The PF's are completely out there and the most natural and realistic sound at the same time. So what is "out there?" Does everyone else have it wrong? The PF's are changing my whole audio world view. 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRQ6RoSbln1_R0MTl3YyBu89i3Dl82HTM5oyKuB8Gwmh0kaNuTk

 

Welcome

 

 

You're not alone. It took a while for me to readjust to my other iems.

 

I think the metal housing, plus the FR, plus the open nature of the PF, all combine to make the most remarkable IEM I've heard. In this case, the whole is more than the sum of its parts...kind of like Captain Planet.

post #866 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundFreaq View Post


So while I agree that the PF's have that magical "midrange glow" compared to other headphones, I feel they are also the most natural and realistic representation of a human voice, or of a live show. They are completely different, but I feel in the right direction, rather than the "out there" direction once you understand the sound. The PF's make all my other headphones sound like "headphones." Good headphones, but they all lack that realistic, live sound that puts you in the seat of the local folk festival. 

I completely understand when Ian mentioned that the PF's make all his other headphones sound "contrived." 100% agree. 

The PF's are completely out there and the most natural and realistic sound at the same time. So what is "out there?" Does everyone else have it wrong? The PF's are changing my whole audio world view. 

Oh thank goodness, another that feels the way I do! I too feel they are a natural sounding earphone and the most realistic in terms of replicating a live voice or instrument. As I said in my previous post I went back to the LCD's, headphones I raved about for so long for how they portray music but I had not heard anything else other than 'HiFi" headphones and in comparison to those they are great. I never thought the day would come where I truly found them harsh and artificial sounding in terms of natural presentation.. Now I do, to the point as I said where I find them annoying.

I can stand my ER4S's and Ortofon e-Q5's because I can allow for the fact they seal out external noise and allow me to listen out and about but as soon as I am in a quiet environment back on go the PF's as they allow me to access fully what the artist intended me to hear.

I can qualify that last statement as I work with a number of musicians, some well known, others known in their genre's. I have now had six of these artists who's music ranges from American folk, to classic string quartet and on to rock listen to these and my LCD's. Many heard my LCD's before and loved them but all came to the same conclusions I have once listening to the PF's. All of them have said that through the PF's they feel their musical message gets across more authentically, more how they envisaged it when they wrote or performed the stuff!

This past few days I have been re-discovering a wonderful album, The Beatles Love album. I enjoyed it before but not to the extent where I wanted to listen all the way through, with the PF's that changed, just like greendale, I get what George Martin and his son intended with this album. Just listen to the Bass on come together, it will knock your socks off in terms of feeling and detail through the PF's, detail and texture that is wholly missing on all my other headphones!
Edited by ianmedium - 1/8/13 at 8:13am
post #867 of 4727

My love affair with the Piano Forte seems a bit more complicated. I've never really felt they were "right" or "natural" like some of you seem to feel. By the same token, I've enjoyed them immensely precisely because they seem so alien to me. Like I was telling another head-fier via PM: to me they seem like an impressionist painting, like Starry Night. They don't strive for an outward realism, yet they are able to effectively convey the inner state of the artist, and in that sense they are more real than "outward" reality. Their truth is absolute, but it is their own. They are the clearest and more confrontational, most unyielding expression of Final Audio's vision.

post #868 of 4727
MF, I wonder if this makes sense, I used to think Neutral= Natural but I don't think it does. Neutral is a flat line response I feel to create a bass line to judge. I used to think that was how to think about things sounding right but I have been discussing this a great deal with Colleagues who are producers, mastering engineers and sound engineers and their thoughts are they aim for neutral initially and then tweak to get natural.

For me I think I went down the HiFi neutral sound route for so long it changed how I perceived natural. When I listen to live music, either as part of my work in the studio or live it is a natural sound I hear, not a neutral sound. I just wonder if I am like so many here and had gotten confused about the two?

It makes me wonder if equipment that measures perfectly is actually messing up the sound rather than giving us an authentic representation, sort of flatting out the mastering engineers work?? Just some thoughts, I am not saying right or wrong here, just throwing out some thoughts.
Edited by ianmedium - 1/8/13 at 3:40pm
post #869 of 4727
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmedium View Post

MF, I wonder if this makes sense, I used to think Neutral= Natural but I don't think it does. Neutral is a flat line response I feel to create a bass line to judge. I used to think that was how to think about things sounding right but I have been discussing this a great deal with Colleagues who are producers, mastering engineers and sound engineers and their thoughts are they aim for neutral initially and then tweak to get natural.
For me I think I went down the HiFi neutral sound route for so long it changed how I perceived natural. When I listen to live music, either as part of my work in the studio or live it is a natural sound I hear, not a neutral sound. I just wonder if I am like so many here and had gotten confused about the two?
It makes me wonder if equipment that measures perfectly is actually messing up the sound rather than giving us an authentic representation, sort of flatting out the mastering engineers work?? Just some thoughts, I am not saying right or wrong here, just throwing out some thoughts.

 

Well, I wasn't suggesting the Piano Fortes didn't sound natural to me because they aren't neutral. They simply don't sound natural to me. Similarly, a perfectly flat FR doesn't really sound natural to me either. Really though "natural" is kind of a problematic term to employ, as it kind of has a very personal meaning I think.

 

To that end, I'm of two minds with regard to what you're saying.

 

On the one hand, I think it's a little problematic to assume the Piano Forte is conveying the way something is mastered "naturally." It may sound natural to you, but can we really presume that's the way the engineer intended it to sound? Ideally, a more neutral pair of headphones will allow the mastering to come through without adding anything to it. In other words, they reach that baseline and tweak it to sound natural to them using their own headphones and not the Piano Fortes. Seems obvious enough, but really it speaks to the fact that listening with very colored headphones like the Piano Fortes is more about what we personally conceive as natural and not the producer. And that's fine. We tweak things to suit ourselves. However I think there may be a tendency to conflate the window with the scenery outside, if that makes sense.

 

Assuming the producer tunes something to be natural to his / her ears, the Piano Forte's very distinct coloration is adding to that on our end, doing more than simply letting what the producer "intended" through the gates (unless he / she masters specifically with the PF in mind). I suppose I'm saying that, for me, the truth of the 1601/1602 doesn't lie in its allowing that truth to come through, but rather in its offering a very unique and singular vision of that truth. Here's another way of looking at it: if the Piano Forte's truth is really universal, then why is it so difficult for so many people to get? More people don't like the sound of these than do in my experience. Perhaps it's a bit naive on my part, but I tend to think that "natural" sounding music is more obvious and has more of an immediate, recognizable appeal. No, to me this is exotica.

 

Speaking of conflations, I think there's also a tendency to confuse "flat" with "analytical." I've seen it time and time again: people calling headphones like the K701 neutral or flat. That's simply not the case. Some people mistakenly associate headphones with big treble tilts and massive detail emphasis as being flat. In actuality, a flat headphone like the Paradox doesn't sound very artificial or analytical in my opinion.

 

On the other hand, for my personal tastes, I think audio playback is at its best when the entirety of the system is considered. This sort of holistic approach is common in higher-end Japanese audio like Kondo Audio Note and Shindo Labs. They seem to favor a more organic and unified view. In this sense, I absolutely agree that achieving a "natural" sound isn't just tuning something to be flat. There's a certain vitalism, a certain... spirit to music, and one needs to consider every component of the audio chain. It's not just the headphones that contribute to good sound, but the amp and source, and beyond that the engineering and mastering, and beyond that the microphones and recording, and beyond that the artists and their soul and passion. It's all a singular line of continuity from one human's mind to another. So I can see the appeal in having transparent gear that gets out of the way. However we have to consider transparency for what it really is IMO, and that isn't necessarily neutral or "flat." In fact something neutral can be distracting, what I like to equate with deafening silence. The lack of something can be a distractor. A lack of coloration can itself be coloration. I think true transparency is, at its most basic, a connection to the music. I can see in that sense how the Piano Fortes can be transparent for you. For me, they simply aren't.

 

Hmm. I really didn't intend that to be a cliche "we all hear differently" post. I actually think our hearing is more similar than not. I think our tastes are what differ, what our tolerances are and what we are used to, which can directly effect what allows us to connect to what we're hearing. It's that old "listening to gear versus listening to music" thing.


Edited by MuppetFace - 1/8/13 at 5:01pm
post #870 of 4727
Great and thoughtful post MF. Lots of food for thought there, thank you.
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