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Sony Qualia 010 Owner's Club - Page 4

post #46 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post
I know some Qualia owners who couldn't find a smaller headband so modded theirs by sewing sponges into the pads for a better fit.

 

smile.gif

 

q010_twk.jpg

post #47 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

That said, yes, it was an incredibly fortuitous acquisition!  I picked the pair up on A'goN for little over half the asking price on the FS forum pair.  The tradeoff is that it came without silk cloth, stand or documentation - in other words, a collector may be a bit ambivalent towards purchasing them with these accessories missing.  But I'm no collector.  The plus side is that it's the most pristine pair I've seen, and it came with a small headband, meaning I don't need to drop ~$700 for a new one.  It's got a few smalls scuffs on the rubber strips protecting the carbon fiber headband, but there is no paint loss on the hinges, such as the pair currently available on the forums appear to display.  The seller was local to me, and was the original owner.  So I picked them up in person today and paid in cashier's check, obviating the need for shipping and PayPal fees.  In short, saying I'm lucky is a huge understatement.

I'm glad to have the opportunity to own these headphones.  Sure, they're short a few accessories, but that doesn't make them sound any worse.

That sounds fantastic, great find. cool.gif
post #48 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

That sounds fantastic, great find. cool.gif

 

Thank you sir.

 

People weren't kidding about how fit-dependent they are.  I have to mess with them for a few minutes each time I put them on before they sound right.  But it pays off nicely in the end.

post #49 of 128
Thread Starter 

So, sridhar, how are you finding their sound?

 

It's definitely what I'd characterize as stereotypically "analytic," and I can imagine some people thinking it's a bit too dry and clinical, but I love it. The level of detail is artificially hyper-focused and there's definitely an emphasis in the higher end, but I feel this is offset somewhat by its capable bass response. I think what really sets it apart from the crowd however are its spatial abilities. Few headphones have such precise imaging and an almost downright eerie sense of presence.

post #50 of 128
I haven't seen the FR charts but I've heard 010 is another of those headphones that sounds much better than it measures, like the TH900s. The one time I heard a set of Qualias they sounded odd, the mids seemed metallic and hollow. Not really sure how else to describe it. Maybe it was the amp... it was attached to a RSA. wink.gif
post #51 of 128

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuppetFace View Post

So, sridhar, how are you finding their sound?

 

It's definitely what I'd characterize as stereotypically "analytic," and I can imagine some people thinking it's a bit too dry and clinical, but I love it. The level of detail is artificially hyper-focused and there's definitely an emphasis in the higher end, but I feel this is offset somewhat by its capable bass response. I think what really sets it apart from the crowd however are its spatial abilities. Few headphones have such precise imaging and an almost downright eerie sense of presence.

 

Thanks for your impressions.  I'm quite taken by them myself.  They're like the HD800, but better in all the places that it counts, with better headstage depth, plenty of detail, and solid bass when it's there on the track.  They're not as effortless-sounding as the SR-009, but they have more of that ethereal "music materializing from the depths of nowhere" feeling than any other dynamic I've heard.  I'm pretty blown away by the "rightness" of the bass as well.  Definitely not a mids-centric headphone though.  I suspect they would make a good complement to the MDR-R10, though this is just conjecture, given I haven't heard a pair yet.  Maybe you could comment on that a bit.

 

I personally don't find them as bright as the T1, and I haven't had any issues with ear fatigue yet, but I also haven't engaged in an extended (2+ hour) listening session.  I was listening to "Hell Freezes Over" yesterday, and the vocals absolutely do have an "eerie sense of presence" (I don't have a better way to describe it, so I just borrowed your phrase biggrin.gif).  They rip apart bad recordings.  There were a few songs I just couldn't listen to.

 

The current issue for me is that I'm not driving them with a dedicated amp as of this moment.  I'm using the amp section on a Benchmark DAC1.  My Gilmore Lite wasn't working properly, so I sent it back to Justin for repair.  He actually received it yesterday, fixed it last night, and is shipping it back to me today, so he really did me a solid on that.  Astonishingly fast work.  I'm also curious to see how they sound off an SPL Phonitor and a 300B tube amp, just for comparison.  Looks like I get to play the amp/source matching game again.  Haven't played roulette in a while, so I expect it might be fun.


Edited by sridhar3 - 7/7/12 at 8:23am
post #52 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

I haven't seen the FR charts but I've heard 010 is another of those headphones that sounds much better than it measures, like the TH900s. The one time I heard a set of Qualias they sounded odd, the mids seemed metallic and hollow. Not really sure how else to describe it. Maybe it was the amp... it was attached to a RSA. wink.gif

 

Maybe they weren't on properly?  They sounded bright, thin and tinny until I got them positioned properly, which took a good five minutes the first time I put them on.  I think the easiest way is to put on a song and then move them around until they sound "right".  Like Justin, I have the small headband, and it's set to the smallest setting possible.

post #53 of 128

my impressions of the Qualia with a properly fitting small pair are totally different than when I had previously heard them in the usual Medium size.

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
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post #54 of 128

Now, I wonder who is the chief designer/constructor of the Sony headphones? Succession, of course, for the last two-three decades. And what kind of music do the Japanese engineers listen to? Serious headphone design starts with measurements, then listening. Anything else would be inefficient both economically and technically.

 

Sony headphones have a sort of "house sound" that some call analytical, others artificial. But this is the sound they opted for, and I wonder why? It's far from neutral. They must have thought that this sound is attractive to hi-fi buffs.

 

I like many of the Sony headphones but I don't listen to any of them regularly, except perhaps the MDR-CD2000. I haven't heard the Qualia but measurements and reviews indicate it may not be far off from the SA5000. It was introduced in 2004, when headphone companies weren't expecting or used to independent measurements.

 

I can't vouch for this comparison between the Audeze LCD-2 and the Qualia, but look at the graphs!

 

http://www.ethereality.info/ethereality_website/about_me/wordpress/?p=994


I'm sure these questions have been asked and maybe answered on Japanese sites. What Head-Fi needs is input from serious Japanese headphone fans.

post #55 of 128
Thread Starter 

I don't think Sony has a single "house sound." The Qualia 010 is a very, very different beast than the R10 for instance. Like a hot spring versus a cold shower.

 

Also there are definite similarities between the SA5000 and Qualia 010, especially when you listen to them unamped; however on the right setup the Qualia 010 scales up to a whole 'nother level in my opinion. Kind of like the HD800: people who say the SA5000 and HD800 are on the same footing are likely not listening to the HD800 on a setup that can fully exact its performance (and I don't mean an expensive setup necessarily--- just one that is synergistically a good fit). The SA5000 is no slouch, as it too scales up surprising well, but its limitations become more apparent when you hear what the Qualia is really capable of.

 

As for the LCD-2 and LCD-3, I've written some comparisons here on head-fi between the two of them and the Qualia (I think in the TH900 thread of all places? I'm not sure). They're very different headphones that will appeal to very different tastes.

post #56 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by sridhar3 View Post

Maybe they weren't on properly?  They sounded bright, thin and tinny until I got them positioned properly, which took a good five minutes the first time I put them on.  I think the easiest way is to put on a song and then move them around until they sound "right".  Like Justin, I have the small headband, and it's set to the smallest setting possible.

That is probably it, the headband on the set I tried was too large for me and I had to use my fingers to press the cups to my head. It's likely I wasn't getting a very good seal and you know what meet conditions can be like.
post #57 of 128

Sony Qualia FR.jpg

 

Sony Qualia 300Hz.jpg

post #58 of 128

http://www.head-fi.org/t/82995/nyc-meet-at-sony-qualia-store

 

 

Check out meet impressions from 2004 at the Sony Qualia store in NYC

post #59 of 128
post #60 of 128
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