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The Best of Head-Fi - Page 4

post #46 of 55
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jason Stoddard View Post

I think that every review, impression, or de facto "this product sounds better than that" statement would be made immeasurably better if it was required to have these three disclaimers:


1. This is only my opinion.

2. I am biased, like everyone else.

3. I have not heard everything in the world.


I am personally amused by DACs that cost like cars. There's no problem comparing them to Yggy, but personally I'd rather travel to some spectacular locations in the world, learn something completely new, take a breather and not worry about money for a while, or, hell, spend the money on a car.


But...this is only my opinion, I am biased like everyone else, and I have not heard everything in the world.

post #47 of 55
Thread Starter 

A good comment about replying to negativity: 


Originally Posted by potkettleblack View Post
Originally Posted by Audeze View Post


The frequency response graph is from a Neuman KU100 head measured at ERP (Ear reference point). There are several ways to measure headphones and other measurements system use DRP (drum reference point) or EEP. These graphs will look different. For an ERP measurement, the LCD4 is pretty much close to ideal. It should have a slow roll-off. Tyll from Innerfidelity has explanation on how to interpret these graphs. There is nothing wrong with these measurements.

I often browse videos on youtube and see the channel owners reply to comments made by viewers. More often than not it is in response to the negative comments and rarely the positive ones. Sometimes even innocuous questions get ignored completely, because the channel owner is too fixated on proving somebody wrong, or lashing out because they have said something negative.


I've followed this thread (and other Audeze threads) for a while now, and 9/10 times this is the type of response I see. Rare posts that are often made simply to prove somebody wrong - very few have contained reassurance or positivity. 


I had an issue with an LCD 3 recently, and instead of help I got a response from (I assume yourself) that sounded more like an argument than guidance.


Just a quick private message would have made the world of difference.


If you are happy to jump on comments from users that have no intention of purchasing Audeze products - it might be wise to channel the same amount of attention to those that care about the company and have genuine concerns and queries. Because (to me, at least) you are being perceived as somebody that has the social skills of a hornet.





post #48 of 55
Thread Starter 

On vinyl mastering: 


Originally Posted by neilvg View Post

WARNING OFF TOPIC THREAD HIJACK please ignore if uninterested:

I deal with mastering and mix engineers everyday. It's true that modern music is definitely more compressed, but you cannot compare compression, especially when its part of the mixing process and production itself, with sound quality. An over compressed master will indeed change the quality of the mix, but in many cases, mixes coming into mastering these days are already heavily compressed. This gives the engineers and production crew more of an artistic choice as to how the music hits and is presented.

Now for that bit on vinyl below: (a summary) : vinyl needs to be taken down in overall VU and treble energy needs to be brought down, mostly so the record can play stably. This actually results in less compression on the master, and a sound that comes closer to the original MIX. However, it is wrong to say that vinyl ACTUALLY has more dynamic range. They are just mastered that way since they need it to play with most modern styli. CD and Digital in general can get away with a lot more compression. This is why the numbers on those measurement sites look the way they do.
Originally Posted by x RELIC x View Post

The 'guy behind the counter' is a nut bar and doesn't know s***. Vinyl is almost always better for dynamic range. I agree, a lot of modern mixes are terrible and it's getting worse. Adele, Bowie, many remasters, it's sad.

So if your thinking sound quality is opposite of compression - you'll think the new Bowie sounds bad. Because it is very compressed. But I actually think it sounds Amazing. It's very modern, but has great vibrancy and impact - which is what any good mix needs for starters. It's not meant to sound live, its meant to be an artistic statement in the studio.

I submit the following: (not my words) - but from below, it's not a simple straight ahead story when it comes to vinyl being better.
Myth: Vinyl requires a better-sounding master because it is physically incapable of reproducing the hypercompressed sound mastered to CD

Different masters can substantially improve or reduce sound quality. Some have less background noise. Some alter the dynamic range. There are other mastering techniques that can also affect the sound.

There are documented instances of different masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. A bass note which is panned hard to the left or right will cause the needle on an LP record to jump out of the groove, an early example of this is the song Crazy by Seal which had to be remastered for vinyl with the bass repositioned in the centre stage. Another notable example is The White Stripes' Icky Thump. However, there are also instances of the same masters being used on vinyl releases compared to CD releases. In fact, if you purchase an album produced in the last two decades on vinyl, it is likely that the master will be no different than the one used on CD. Alternative masters for vinyl cost money, and mastering is a significant cost of producing a record. The reason for different masters is that producers possibly view digital media (like CD) and analog media (like Vinyl) to be different in nature, so they might produce a different master for each medium. Some even believe that Vinyl will automatically yield a superior sound, despite the well known technical limitations and disadvantages compared to the CD.
The technical details behind this myth are as follows. The cutting heads used for creating the vinyl lacquer (or metal mother) are speaker-like electromechanical devices driven by an extremely powerful amplifier (several hundred watts). At extremely large/fast cutting head excursions, the cutting head coils may physically burn up, much like how a speaker's voice coils may be destroyed by an excessive current. Also, the diamond cutting head stylus may prematurely wear or break. This places important constraints on the maximum levels that can be recorded to a record.

A very high power output is required to cut grooves with a high acceleration. Acceleration at the same signal amplitude is higher for higher-frequency signals. Heavily clipped and limited CDs in the modern mastering style have more high-frequency content than earlier masters. In general, increasing the perceived volume of a record - whether by increasing the recording level or by limiting/clipping/compression - raises the cutting head average power.

Additionally, during playback, the turntable's stylus has limits on what grooves it can successfully track. Cartridges can only track grooves of a finite modulation width (measured in microns) that decreases in frequency. For instance, a cartridge may only be able to track a 300 µm-wide groove at 300 Hz, and yet only 50 µm at 20 kHz. This also places limits on the acceleration and velocity limits the record master can take.

The most obvious way to work around these issues is simply to reduce the recording level of the vinyl master. That's exactly what vinyl mastering houses do, using multiband limiters that dynamically reduce the treble content of the master, to limit the cutting head power usage.

Effect of vinyl mastering on dynamic range

A related myth is that when vinyl has a higher dynamic range than CD, it means the audio was sourced from a different, more dynamic master, and that the difference in dynamics will be audible.

It is true that recordings on vinyl sometimes have a spikier waveform and a measurably higher dynamic range than their counterparts on CD, at least when the dynamic range is reported by crude "DR meter" tools that compare peak and RMS levels. The higher "DR value" could indeed be a result of entirely different master recordings being provided to the mastering engineers for each format, or different choices made by the engineers, as happens every time old music is remastered for a new release.
But even when the same source master is used, the audio is normally further processed when mastering for the target format (be it CD or vinyl), and this often results in vinyl having a spikier waveform and higher DR measurement. There are two types of processing during vinyl mastering that can increase the DR measurements and waveform spikiness, thus reducing the RMS and increasing the basic DR measurement by perhaps several dB:

The audio is subjected to low-pass or all-pass filtering, which can result in broad peaks becoming slanted ramps.
The amount and stereo separation of deep bass content is reduced for vinyl, to keep the stylus from being thrown out of the groove.
It is quite possible that these changes are entirely inaudible, despite their effect on the waveform shape and DR measurement.
The dynamic range of the waveform is also affected by the vinyl playback system; different systems provide different frequency responses. Factors include cartridge, tonearm, preamp, and even the connecting cables. A vinyl rip with weak bass may well have a higher reported DR value than a rip of the same vinyl on equipment with a stronger bass response.
post #49 of 55

.... and here, I thought vinyl was something to make cheap tablecloths and shower curtains out of...........       :wink_face:   Live and learn....    :L3000:

post #50 of 55
I think I should clarify my initial vinyl comment as I believe I've grossly generalized and I was not clear with my intention. Btw, the context of my quoted reply was an employee screaming at a customer, which I took issue with.

Now, what I meant to say is that the very nature of the vinyl medium does not allow for clamped music which is more often found in CD than vinyl. On these mixes that are over driven and clamped from the studio (because they can with digital) a different level output needs to be done specifically for the vinyl pressing or else the stylus will skip out of the groove. In this case a vinyl version will be better dynamically than a clamped CD version of a particular mix. The dynamic range of the formats themselves is not in question, just that the tendency to create mixes too hot and that clip on CD will sound better on the vinyl version. With the headroom in the studio mix the tracks often don't need new masters, just to reduce the intensity in the mix for the vinyl press.

On a side note I am increasingly frustrated with studios creating 'hot' mixes to sound better with mediocre gear with less and less regard for audio fidelity. Just because 'you can' doesn't mean 'you should'. In the end I agree with the great info from @neilvg
Edited by x RELIC x - 2/8/16 at 11:37pm
post #51 of 55

Progress is not necessarily progress......     :blink:

post #52 of 55

It's a pity there isn't more action in this thread - it'd be a nice way of catching-up on some good content.


I'll add anything worthwhile, as and when it happens to cross my path :beerchug:

post #53 of 55
Thread Starter 

When you simply can't wait for the company to make an accessory:


Originally Posted by Staxton View Post

Here is my latest (and most likely final) all-in-one portable transport enclosure for the Mojo: the "MojoPi".


Size comparison with iPhone 6s


It consists of:


Raspberry Pi 3 Mainboard with built-in WiFi, but with the LAN, USB, HDMI, and audio ports removed.
Waveshare Spotpear 3.5" Resistive Touch Screen or equivalent (see http://www.ebay.com/itm/291722114342?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)
Adafruit 2500 mAh Lithium battery to power the RPi3 (at least 3hrs play time)
Adafruit Powerboost 1000c (to convert the 2500 mAh 3.7 volt battery to 5 volts and to charge the battery)
Anker USB Dual SD/MicroSD reader removed from shell
SD to Micro SD FPC Extender
2 PNY 512GB SD cards
200GB Sandisk MicroSD card (OS + Music) inserted in RPi3 microSD card slot
Adafruit Switch
Chord Mojo
3D Print Enclosure


Its dimensions are 125mm long x 98.2mm wide x 26mm high and it weighs 358g. The Mojo is connected to the RPi3 via a DIY microUSB cable soldered directly to the RPi3. The dual USB SD/MicroSD card reader is also soldered directly to the RPi3. The MojoPi can hold up to 1.2 TB of music on 2 full-size SD cards and a 200 GB microSD card. The interface is Rune Audio (based on Arch Linux). I can access Rune Audio through the screen or remotely via WiFi on a web browser using the IP address of the MojoPi.


The touchscreen is resistive, not capacitive, and so requires a fingernail or a stylus; it is not very easy to scroll. There doesn't seem to be a readily-available 3.5" or smaller capacitive touch screen that works with both the RPi3 and Rune Audio.


I need to insert a USB 2.0 Micro-B Male to Micro-AB Female Adapter into a slot on the side to charge the Mojo.


I think this is as small an enclosure as possible that contains both a 3.5" screen and a Mojo without removing the Mojo board from its case and connecting the Mojo directly to the RPi instead of using the Mojo's microUSB port. That would potentially narrow the unit by about 10 mm. A smaller board (One example is the Odroid C0), containing just a SOC for the operating system, an on-board battery booster/charger, and USB connections to SD cards, could provide for either more storage or a larger battery, but wouldn't change the overall size very much, since the Mojo and the screen pretty much determine the minimum dimensions of the enclosure. The plastic enclosure is fairly sturdy, but a harder plastic or metal enclosure would clearly be preferable.


I haven't done any kind of real comparison between the MojoPi and a more traditional phone/Mojo or PC/Mojo setup, but to me it sounds great. Despite the slapdash internal wiring, I haven't had any noticeable clicks or interference. I've played 44.1/16 up to 192/24 PCM without any problem. DSD64 seems to work well enough, although I have had the occasional drop-out.


Is it just me or does anyone else think it would be cool if Chord came out with something like this?





Originally Posted by rumina View Post

Chord Mojo docking station with a extra:




I made a docking station for the Mojo with a Raspberry Pi Zero in it, i stream music via wifi from my nas via tablet and
bubble upnp as controller - and of course the Mojo get charged.


Now the Mojo is a dnla renderer. Endless opptions depending on the linux version, use it as a dlna renderer, create a

media server etc. You find all the infos and 3d files here:




have fun :-)

post #54 of 55

Aye, you can't fault their creativity in devising those solutions. I have been quietly admiring both those designs, in the Mojo thread.


What it is they say necessity is the mother of? :regular_smile :

post #55 of 55
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post

As a thank you to the Head-Fi community, we're pleased to share a modified version of the Alpha Dog 3D printed headphone for the community to build DIY projects and perhaps improve on the tuning and performance of the headphone.  We are posting this fully unlicensed, though we hope people will use this for personal, not commercial purposes.  


Note: Headphone modifications are not without risk to the headphones and their parts.  MrSpeakers takes no responsibility for any damage caused to your Fostex headphones by following the steps outlined in this guide, either as a result of errors in our documentation or execution errors on your end.  


In addition, this will not be a “supported” thread, we’ll help a early users with any questions or issues and then hope the community is self-sustaining.  We’ll check in time to time to see how it’s going.  We will not answer questions for you via telephone or email. We’ll think about answering your question if you send a telegram, candy-gram, wire, bat signal, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, or a package with treats for the staff.  Most importantly have fun doing this and don’t be afraid to ask the community for help. 



Open Source Alpha Preliminary Directions (if something is unclear or incorrect please post or PM me so we may revise)


Step 1: Remove Drivers

  1. Start with a Fostex T50RPx, T40RPx, or T20RPx.
  2. Remove ear pads
  3. Unscrew baffle.  NOTE: the internal leads to the driver are short, when the baffle detaches open it carefully.  If you pull a lead hard it will tear the solder pad off the driver and your driver is bricked. 
  4. Desolder the driver leads.  Work fast, you do not want to overheat the pad.  Blow on the solder pad cool it as soon as the leads are removed to reduce risk of delamination.
  5. This step is optional but recommended.  The Fostex driver has two layers of protection over it, a fine screen and a thin black felt. Using a very sharp exacto knife, cut through the black felt and follow the obvious square seam that surrounds the driver, then peal the felt back.  Try to leave the mesh in place.  If the mesh comes away you can tack it down with cement around he periphery, or leave it off completely if you are using Alpha Pads, as the pads have a dust screen built in.  See Fig XX to visualize what the driver looks like with the felt removed.
  6. Repeat for the other driver
  7. Unscrew the three screws on the ear-side of the baffle to detach drivers from the baffle.  Store the baffle screws in your zip lock bag for later use.
  8. Set drivers to side, and put baffles in your “discard” pile


Step 2: Detach Fostex Baffles

  1. Using wire snippers, cut the small wire where it enters both sides of th headband, cutting as close as you can to the plastic the wire feeds into.
  2. At the interior center of each cup is a raised post.  Using a thin, flat blade, gently pry the plastic cover off the post.
  3. Unscrew the large silver Phillips screw.
  4. Detach the cup from the headband and shake out the screw AND the ball socket it holds in place. 
  5. Collect the plastic end caps from the slider, the screws and the plastic ball join and store them in your zip lock bag.  DO NOT LOOSE THESE PLASTIC PARTS unless you wish to buy another T50. 


Step 3:  Cup Preparation

  1. Refer to the Open Source Alpha, Exlpoded View PDF
  2. Solder wire leads to the HiRose jack, a 1.5” 28AWG multi-stranded wire is fine.  Heavier gauge is not recommended as stiff wire may stress on the driver pads (pinout is in the Open Source Alpha, Exploded View PDF
  3. Before assembly, line the cup with acoustic foam, such as Akasa Paxmate.
  4. Install the HiRose jack and secure it in place with the nut.  Depending on the printer some material may need to be removed from the cup inner wall to allow the nut to rotate.  We recommend use of Loctite 243 to ensure the part stays put
  5. Fill the cup with your choice of damping material.  Alpha dogs used cotton, Alpha Prime switched to wool.  Experiment and have fun.


Fig1 :  Detail of acoustic foam lining cup



Fig 2: Cup with acoustic foam and cotton fill


Step 4: Baffle Preparation

  1. Refer to the file Open Source Alpha, Baffle Assembly PDF
  2. Glue the two pieces of the baffle together, making sure the glue provides a continuous 360-degree seal.  Apply weight (e.g. a book with a 10 lb weight on it) until the parts are thoroughly bonded
  3. Install the driver to the baffle using the Fostex screws you stored in the zip lock bag.  Be certain the foam gasket is in place; a poor fit here may reduce bass output. 
    1. If your baffle surface is rough (depends on the printer) you may wish to prep it by washing quickly with acetone to fuse the ABS material, or by using silicone glue in place of the foam gasket.
    2. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE BAFFLE SCREWS.  The Fostex driver is made of a plastic that can easily be stripped or even cracked by excessive force.  Use a gentle touch.  A stripped screw can be rethreaded with a larger screw but the risk of cracking the plastic is high.


Fig 3:  Fostex driver installed in baffle assembly (note: felt cut away from driver per Step 1 line 5)



Step 5: Cup and Baffle Assembly

  1. Put the plastic cap pieces on the T50RP arm
  2. Place the cup over the plastic cap, insert the Arm Pivot Ball into the well in the cup and screw the assembly together with a #2 Phillips.   Check that the cup rotates smoothly.  Some printers may undersize the hole or leave residue that must be cleared before the joint moves smoothly.  Your results may vary based on the printer.
  3. Carefully solder the positive lead to the + pad on the driver and negative lead to the – pad.  As before, working quickly is essential lest you damage the driver.  Do not add solder, use the material on the pad and heat it only until the solder wicks into the wire, then remove the heat, keep the wire in contact with the pad and blow to cool and set the solder as fast as possible.
    1. Check across the driver to ensure the resistance is between 45 and 55 ohms (Fostex drivers vary), if it’s higher you may have a damaged trace on your driver, if it’s lower you may have a solder bridge or short)
  4. Per the exploded view drawing, apply a thin bead of silicone glue to the baffle where it lays on the rim of the cup.  Failure to seal this seam will result in unbalanced bass response.  Alternatively, you may use a thin, very soft closed cell foam tape (must compress to less than 1mm thick).  Foam tape allows easier opening and closing of the cup for tuning.
  5. Attach the baffle to the cup using the #2-28 screws.  Tighten enough to ensure a snug fit from the baffle to the cup.  Do not over tighten, if you strip the screws you’ve probably lost the cup.
  6. Apply foam or felt around the driver (ear side of the baffle).  Wool felt has the most absorption across a broad range; if your headphone sounds hot, consider felt.  Foams generally do a bit less.
  7. Attach your cable to the headphone and check the impedance across each channel one last time to verify it’s between 45 and 55 ohms.


Fig 4: Baffle ready to attach to cup


At this point, you are essentially done.  Tuning the headphone is easy enough, just remove the baffle to change internal damping materials, or cover the bass vents/insert small screws to tune and balance bass.  IMPORTANT NOTE:  3D printed plastic is quite tough, however screw holes can vary in strength depending on your printer.  Tuning requires repetitive opening and closing of the parts, and care is required to ensure screw holes do not strip.


Tuning tips:


  1. The paper on the back of the Fostex driver has a significant effect on 1KHz and up.  We have found significant variation in driver frequency response on the T50RP driver modules.  These variations may often be addressed by manipulating the back of the driver in the following ways:
    1. If you have too much midrange in the 1-3K range, placing an “air tight” object on the back of the driver reduces airflow and increases damping.  Any solid adhesive material will do, you can use a tape with a good adhesive or even felt anti-skip bumpers from an Ace hardware.  The more blocking material you apply to the driver the lower the upper midrange outputs (you may see an increase in high frequency output as well).  Note some adhesives may clog the paper and continue to affect performance even if you remove the blocking part.
    2. If you are not getting enough bass or mid-bass output, you may consider making a small perforation (e.g. a 3mmx3mmx3mm triangle) in the exposed paper.  This is obviously a non-reversible action and should you not like it, may require additional modifications to the driver to re-balance it. 


Assembly Diagrams








STL Printer Files











Image Grabs of Printer Parts Orientation on Printer for Best Print Results 



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