Originally Posted by lbbef
I was considering getting a set of W3000ANVs.
Tried it at my local store, but it sounded very sharp and bright.
Is it supposed to be like that?
I suspect it may be the amp pairing too.
Tried it on the iCAN, fulliFi setup, HDVD800 and HP-A4
Even more important is what audio signal did you feed to the player + amp + W3000ANV chain. What was its quality and did it have a balanced sound ? Did it have screwed up treble to begin with, was the track or album badly mastered ? W3000ANV are neutral headphones with a slight 'warm' sound; when tubes/valves are in the audio signal path W3000ANV's sound shifts a little bit further to the bass end of the spectrum. That said, the treble of W3000ANV is at the edge of being 'sharp' and the shrill tracks and albums will be exposed as shrill, especially when used with solid state amplifiers.
A possible cause of the treble problem that you reported - from the review of ' iCAN ' about what happens when flipping the 3D switch : "Unfortunately this switch also boosts the high end frequencies a bit and so if your headphones or music are already kind of bright, it can be a bit too much. "
Other possible causes of treble excess aside from the 'components' mismatch :
A - There has been no reported cases of mistuned W3000ANV drivers but nothing in this world is perfect and there is a slight possibility that you found drivers that are somewhat 'off the tune'.
B - There are personal slight variations of the perception of sound, naturally, since we do not share the same set of ears. The size and shape of one's ears, the diameter and length of the ear canal and the number of neurons and quality of the interconnectivity of one's brain neurons that deal with processing sound all play roles in how we hear. Another variable is damage to one's hearing caused by years of listening to very loud or even just loud music if there have been no adequate periods of quietness between listenings. In this case there would be an oversensitivity to high frequency sound.
C - A personal sensitivity to high frequency sound of one is used to a certain sound signature, if one is used to listening to 'laid back' and treble reduced sound of music. In this case it would take a few weeks or months to get used to the sound that has a different frequency balance. When adjusted, the sound processing part of your brain will filter out some excessive treble and you will hear more mellow sound.
A hybrid tubes/valves + solid state components amplifier or a full tubes/valves amplifier helps in flattening the treble of W3000ANV a bit if you find these headphones too 'bright'; even a portable hybrid like the Continental is a help. But to my ears W3000ANV do not have sharp treble, in fact the treble is just about right and I even wish it was a bit more extended.
My feeling is that you listened to a sound of lousy quality or an up-chain component was not good enough or not good enough fit. There is a lot of badly mastered music out everywhere. Garbage in means garbage out of headphones. If you own these headphones then you need a second set of headphones of inferior quality that have reduced/rolled off treble, to use them when listening to shrill tracks and albums. W3000ANV is a tool to enjoy, preferably, the recordings of high quality.
An example of a well mastered HD track, the treble of W3000ANV is perfect, perfect when the music flows, well present and with a cutting edge but smooth and non offensive.
Edited by zorin - 2/14/14 at 8:26am