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post #121 of 175

I agree, Nicholars, single driver, no crossover, no room acoustics. Plus, being so close to your ears there is no inverse square power loss as with normal speakers, so the driver never has to work nearly as hard.  Drivers sound worse the harder they are pushed.  Despite being a died in the wool 2 channel guy, I feel I am getting as close to, and sometimes closer to, the music with cans. 

post #122 of 175

The dual concentric speakers are pretty good though.... such as KEF and Tannoy....

 

The KEF R series look pretty good I would like to try them... Although still not a single source it is about as close as you can get in mainsteam speakers.

 

Are there any single source external speakers?


Edited by nicholars - 2/27/13 at 4:27pm
post #123 of 175

Yes, dual concentrics have their technical arguements, I have a big set of Tannoys (Westminsters) which are very interesting, and in fact are my usual speaker of choice.  There is a coherency top to bottom that I have not heard any speaker equal, except for Quads.  However, the Quads do not have the dynamics, deep bass, scaling ability, so they leave me frustrated.  I am not disappointed when I go from those to the cans, and not disappointed when I go from cans to those.  However, except for the soundstaging, and the visceral impact, I still have to say that the best cans are more technically perfect.       

post #124 of 175

Cans are a quick way of finding which component doesn't fit from a big rig synergy point of view.  Unfortunately sound stage becomes an issue which is why I can't do much time with any set of headphones.  Some of us hear with more than our ear canal's.  My modified HD 280 Pro with Kimber GQ Mini CU is all that I will ever need due to its simplicity and versatility.  Axed the HD 600's since they were not worth the cost.

post #125 of 175

  There are fundamental differences of course.Headphone listening does eliminate room issues of course.But listening to speakers can give one more of a sense of space.With headphones you do probably have a huge advantage in reproducing low level information.

  I have recently within the last five or six months changed my loudspeakers.Partly because I have wanted to downsize my set up for lack of space in my small apartment.I have bought some emotiva active speakers and a peachtree decco 2 preamp/dac.

  I was happy with the actives before but since I upgraded the fuses in them I have a greatly elevated opinion of active loudspeakers compared to passive designs.I am finding them to be way more faithful than a lot of even very expensive esotreric speakers at reproducing what is actually on cd recordings.They seem to be much more acurate than most passive speakers that I have either owned or heard.

   I am actually beeing quite smitten with their ability to reproduce the acoustic of the space the recording was made in.I also am getting a sense of pace that I have not heard in a lot of passive speakers.These active speakers can also sort things out a lot better than a lot of passive speaker designs when it comes to sepreating things out in a recording. A lot of passive speakers miss this aspect of recorded sound and tend to congeal things a lot more which blurs the perception of different instruments playing at the same time.

  I think headphones can be better at this as well.But they just can not reproduce the spacious presentation that good loudspeakers can reproduce with regard to three dimensionality.

   There are some headphones that can give a sense of space outside of your cranium but there are others that can not.I prefer those that can like the sennheiser 800s and the akg 70x models.These can give a sense of space to recordings that are spacious that somewhat emulates loudspeakers.

    It can also be easier to obtain good sound from headphones than it is to wrest the best that a speaker is capable of due to room interaction.And of course there is cost it is much more affordable to get great sound from a headphone given the ever escalting cost of high end audiophile set ups.Making it much easier for the masses to get great sound for a lot less.


Edited by buson160man - 3/21/13 at 11:22pm
post #126 of 175

It truly is a wonderful thing that headphones bring great sound at such a reasonable cost, making great music reproduction available to a wider audience.  This does relieve the headphone scene from some of the elitism that goes with traditional high end audio where amps at $20k are nowadays viewed as "middle quality", a preamp at $5k the same, and a $1,000 phono stage as downright entry level.  The headphone scene is much "fresher" and more about music, I feel.  A bit off  topic, but a point that hits me often and results in this being the only forum I participate in despite being a 3 decade industry professional.  

post #127 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by buson160man View Post

  .....
   There are some headphones that can give a sense of space outside of your cranium but there are others that can not.I prefer those that can like the sennheiser 800s and the akg 70x models.These can give a sense of space to recordings that are spacious that somewhat emulates loudspeakers.
  /quote]

Give the HE-6 a shot on a decent quality speaker amp. 3D imaging gets very good and the best I've heard on a headphone was with the HE-6 on speaker taps of the I600 of Simaudio.
post #128 of 175

A funny thing, I love the headphone experience (after 30 years in the audio business with strictly speakers) when using really good headphones.  But I don't get a much different "out of head" experience even with HD800s and Stax Sigma, 2 of the headphones heralded for imaging, relative to other headphones.

 

However, with really good headphones I get a nicely spread stage, in my head, that quickly translates into a mental image of listening to real music in real space.  Totally enjoyable.

 

The ongoing debate of the visceral experience of speakers relative to headphones is an interesting one, and it seems most of us cite the vibration of speakers hitting our body overall as a big factor.  Some of that must be true, but I had an interesting experience this week where I drove my speakers and headphones at the same time.  Volumes were matched as I drive my headphones from my speaker amp and I have a resistive network to match the levels.  Even though the HD800s  I was using are open, when wearing the headphones I hear only them sounding just as they always do!  When I slide them off, I hear the speakers as normal, of course, but the interesting thing is that they sound more visceral, even though I am getting that impact when wearing the headphones.  So this is a complex matter, involving how our brains compensate and interpret the headphone experience.  And I am sure this varies from person to person.

post #129 of 175

EDIT: This is a lot easier to understand if you skip the parentheses, those are just there to specify the exact gear

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

A funny thing, I love the headphone experience (after 30 years in the audio business with strictly speakers) when using really good headphones.  But I don't get a much different "out of head" experience even with HD800s and Stax Sigma, 2 of the headphones heralded for imaging, relative to other headphones.

 

However, with really good headphones I get a nicely spread stage, in my head, that quickly translates into a mental image of listening to real music in real space.  Totally enjoyable.

 

The ongoing debate of the visceral experience of speakers relative to headphones is an interesting one, and it seems most of us cite the vibration of speakers hitting our body overall as a big factor.  Some of that must be true, but I had an interesting experience this week where I drove my speakers and headphones at the same time.  Volumes were matched as I drive my headphones from my speaker amp and I have a resistive network to match the levels.  Even though the HD800s  I was using are open, when wearing the headphones I hear only them sounding just as they always do!  When I slide them off, I hear the speakers as normal, of course, but the interesting thing is that they sound more visceral, even though I am getting that impact when wearing the headphones.  So this is a complex matter, involving how our brains compensate and interpret the headphone experience.  And I am sure this varies from person to person.

It also depends greatly on the cans or speakers you have. I prefer my own speakers through a cheapie laptop soundcard but an affordable but decent soundsystem. (an old Marantz pm230 and the speakers, custom made from old components, bought second hand at a frequent-flyer price, priced down from $320-ish to $170-ish) than my headphones (Sennheiser HD25II0) through the same soundcard, but prefer the listening experience through my friends headphones (Mackie Onyx + Sennheiser HD25II0's) to his stereo (Mackie+Paradigm Speakers+Arcam amp). In general I agree that the feeling of vibration you get from speakers adds to the experience immensely. As for sonic detail, I believe I've heard more of that on forest and desert dancefloors with a wall of FunktionOnes, but that may have been the LSD experience rather than purely audio, and the vibrations there are more intense than any club I've ever been to.

 

This was not conclusive at all, so I shall give my opinion without rambling any further, I prefer the speaker experience due to a (in my opinion) better soundstage and a potential for the at least same amount of sonic clarity.


Edited by MrLazyAnt - 3/24/13 at 3:56pm
post #130 of 175

Speakers.  I love listening to music and laying down.  It sucks falling asleep and feeling a headphone push onto your face when you roll onto your side...lol...

post #131 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by buson160man View Post

  There are fundamental differences of course.Headphone listening does eliminate room issues of course.But listening to speakers can give one more of a sense of space.With headphones you do probably have a huge advantage in reproducing low level information.

  I have recently within the last five or six months changed my loudspeakers.Partly because I have wanted to downsize my set up for lack of space in my small apartment.I have bought some emotiva active speakers and a peachtree decco 2 preamp/dac.

  I was happy with the actives before but since I upgraded the fuses in them I have a greatly elevated opinion of active loudspeakers compared to passive designs.I am finding them to be way more faithful than a lot of even very expensive esotreric speakers at reproducing what is actually on cd recordings.They seem to be much more acurate than most passive speakers that I have either owned or heard.

   I am actually beeing quite smitten with their ability to reproduce the acoustic of the space the recording was made in.I also am getting a sense of pace that I have not heard in a lot of passive speakers.These active speakers can also sort things out a lot better than a lot of passive speaker designs when it comes to sepreating things out in a recording. A lot of passive speakers miss this aspect of recorded sound and tend to congeal things a lot more which blurs the perception of different instruments playing at the same time.

  I think headphones can be better at this as well.But they just can not reproduce the spacious presentation that good loudspeakers can reproduce with regard to three dimensionality.

   There are some headphones that can give a sense of space outside of your cranium but there are others that can not.I prefer those that can like the sennheiser 800s and the akg 70x models.These can give a sense of space to recordings that are spacious that somewhat emulates loudspeakers.

    It can also be easier to obtain good sound from headphones than it is to wrest the best that a speaker is capable of due to room interaction.And of course there is cost it is much more affordable to get great sound from a headphone given the ever escalting cost of high end audiophile set ups.Making it much easier for the masses to get great sound for a lot less.

I think that has more to do with the speakers.  I get that "concert hall" effect from my passive speakers, too.  I think good speakers are good speakers...

post #132 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLazyAnt View Post

It also depends greatly on the cans or speakers you have. I prefer my own speakers through a cheapie laptop soundcard but an affordable but decent soundsystem. (an old Marantz pm230 and the speakers, custom made from old components, bought second hand at a frequent-flyer price, priced down from $320-ish to $170-ish) than my headphones (Sennheiser HD25II0) through the same soundcard, but prefer the listening experience through my friends headphones (Mackie Onyx + Sennheiser HD25II0's) to his stereo (Mackie+Paradigm Speakers+Arcam amp). In general I agree that the feeling of vibration you get from speakers adds to the experience immensely. As for sonic detail, I believe I've heard more of that on forest and desert dancefloors with a wall of FunktionOnes, but that may have been the LSD experience rather than purely audio, and the vibrations there are more intense than any club I've ever been to.

 

This was not conclusive at all, so I shall give my opinion without rambling any further, I prefer the speaker experience due to a (in my opinion) better soundstage and a potential for the at least same amount of sonic clarity.

 

I'll disagree with that last line that I changed to bold, above.  Deep into the high end audio business for 3 decades, listening to the best speakers out there, the most expensive speakers out there, owning a crazy number of the best speakers, listening in the homes of other manufacturers, no speaker I've heard has the absolute low level clarity of the best headphones.  Maybe if I stick my ear up to the mouth of a wide range driver it gets more like headphones.........

 

Now, if someone states a preference for imaging with speakers, or convenience, or "feel", or palpable bass impact, or a presentation that they say is spacially more like real music, I can't disagree.....preference is preference.  But there are 2 places where I feel the best (meaning not all)  headphones exceed speakers is the low level detailing and coherency.  

post #133 of 175
Quote:
Originally Posted by aural addict View Post

Speakers.  I love listening to music and laying down.  It sucks falling asleep and feeling a headphone push onto your face when you roll onto your side...lol...

 

One cannot argue with that, an opinion on what feels good, what is convenient for your lifestyle.

 

My opinions about the sonic excellence of headphones has nothing to do with convenience.  Using the same system, right down the amps, for the headphones, I choose to listen using headphones when I will not be moving around, will not be doing other tasks, will not be sharing the experience with anyone, when I will be sitting in my favorite chair, deeply reclined, to just be transported by the music.  In that regard I recognize I am spoiled, having several of the best speakers and headphones.           

post #134 of 175
I once thought all I would ever need were headphones, as all the speakers I listened to that beat them out cost a lot more than a comparable pair of 'cans. That was until I heard a pair of Magnepan MMG's, which, at a comparative price, absolutely blew every headphone I'd heard out of the water, at least to my ears. Even after purchasing a pair and playing them in a bedroom, I still think they are much better than similarly priced cans. So IMHO, if you have the space (only has to be small) and the lack of other people who may be overly disturbed, then I could not but give these the recommendation over almost all headphones. Originally I had my eyes set on A HE500 rig, but that has Since been abandoned. That's just me though, I merely prefer that sound. To me it feels more real, like the band is playing in front of me, full size, rather than, I don't know... Miniaturized, maybe?
post #135 of 175

"To me it feels more real, like the band is playing in front of me, full size, rather than, I don't know... Miniaturized, maybe?"

 

 

I cannot argue with that, nor how you weight those attributes.

 

Sometimes I feel like my favorite speakers.  Sometimes I feel like one of my favorite headphones.

 

My only "non-subjective" claim is that none of these real-world priced speakers can equal the combination of low distortion and extension both ends and cohesiveness and low level detail.  I'll say that even compared to $100k speakers that I own, so there is no "my most expensive hear is best" going on here.  Just objectivity over how fantastic a $2k or under set of headphones can be.

 

Certainly those Maggies are one of the most cohesive speakers you buy even for much, much more money.

 

The big issue is that you have a low coloration low distortion speaker that you are enjoying music with.  That is fantastic.  It is what it should all be about.  I know many folks with $500k system that are more listening to the systems than music, and are mostly interested in the next upgrade to come down the pike.   

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