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Martin Logan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones - Page 9

post #121 of 5013

Just tried out the Mikros 90 last night.  Immediately switched the cable to the Pipeline ET-4--much better than the stock cable.  Listened through modified SONY BDP-S780 via Linn Intek headphone out using the Dakiom F-203.  

 

Really nice first impressions: highs are extended and even; mids are clear, rich, tonally complex and energetic; bass is tight, deep and well-balanced.  (There might be a hint--at least initially--of lower midrange/upper bass leanness, but it didn't bother me, especially because the mids overall were delightful.)  Sweeter, better balanced and more involving than the HFI-780 that I also had on hand.  Sarah Vaughn was enchanting!  : )

 

Soundstage is not awfully big, but it is well apportioned, with excellent separation and nice dimensionality.  All-in-all a very enjoyable and ultimately musical time with the MLs.  Well worth the (discounted) price through NewEgg. 

 

Will listen to a bit more later.  These are not through the 20-30-hour break-in yet.


Edited by pataburd - 12/3/13 at 3:11pm
post #122 of 5013

Another long evening with the Mikros 90.  They have opened up considerably since yesterday.  

 

Soundstage, recording-dependent, can assume very large proportions.  

 

The music just seems to float free from any physical constraints.  

 

Bass is balanced, deep and tight with excellent pitch.  

 

Midrange is balanced, saturated and very coherent.  Vocals are rendered beautifully.

 

Highs are detailed and extended without glare. 

 

I can hear deep into the details of the recording.

 

I have them set a little forward, with the front edge of the drivers resting on the back edge of my cheekbones. 

 

Brought them to work.  Am now running them from an older modified Oppo DV-970HD via Virtue Audio interconnects to a KMF Audio headamp and through the Dakiom F-273 (still using the AudioQuest Pipeline cable and a SID disc mat).  They definitely scale up with better equipment (sounding better through my home system--but they are no slouches on my office rig, either).

 

Just put on Cal Tjader, "Roots of Acid Jazz".  This recording is vibrant, detailed and clear.  Ahhhh!  "Soul Sauce" and I'm gone away with the music!

 

The ML Mikros 90 are definitely on my "Top 10" list, and a supra-aural to boot!  : ) 


Edited by pataburd - 12/4/13 at 2:25pm
post #123 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post
 

That being said, they are the best $60 headphones on the market.

 

This is the only thing I can agree with you regarding these headphones.

 

I got them for $60 since there were not many good Black Friday deals to be had.  Out of the box, without burning them in, they sound very, very good.  Yeah, these are the best $60 I have ever spent on a headphone. 

 

Sure, my Momentum and my DT1350 are better, but there is not a night a day difference in SQ between the three.   I think these are better than the P5 and the Vmoda M-80.

 

Nice call Beagle - I bought them after reading your impressions.

 

 

I'll let them play for around 50 hours and then I'll put them on again.

post #124 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post
 

Just tried out the Mikros 90 last night.  Immediately switched the cable to the Pipeline ET-4--much better than the stock cable.  Listened through modified SONY BDP-S780 via Linn Intek headphone out using the Dakiom F-203.  

 

Really nice first impressions: highs are extended and even; mids are clear, rich, tonally complex and energetic; bass is tight, deep and well-balanced.  (There might be a hint--at least initially--of lower midrange/upper bass leanness, but it didn't bother me, especially because the mids overall were delightful.)  Sweeter, better balanced and more involving than the HFI-780 that I also had on hand.  Sarah Vaughn was enchanting!  : )

 

Soundstage is not awfully big, but it is well apportioned, with excellent separation and nice dimensionality.  All-in-all a very enjoyable and ultimately musical time with the MLs.  Well worth the (discounted) price through NewEgg. 

 

Will listen to a bit more later.  These are not through the 20-30-hour break-in yet.

 

Totally agree with you. 

 

Yeah, better than the HFI-780, HFI-580, ATH-M50, and a host of others.  They are built better and produce better sound.

 

 

 

And they can be had for $60.  :eek:

post #125 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

 

This is the only thing I can agree with you regarding these headphones.

 

I got them for $60 since there were not many good Black Friday deals to be had.  Out of the box, without burning them in, they sound very, very good.  Yeah, these are the best $60 I have ever spent on a headphone. 

 

Sure, my Momentum and my DT1350 are better, but there is not a night a day difference in SQ between the three.   I think these are better than the P5 and the Vmoda M-80.

 

Nice call Beagle - I bought them after reading your impressions.

 

 

I'll let them play for around 50 hours and then I'll put them on again.

 

Specifically what about these sound better than the V-80? I am interested in a new sound signature, but I have to admit I find the V-80 for portable use very good. Can I assume you have used the V-80 yourself? Look forward to your thoughts. Cheers.

post #126 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

 

Specifically what about these sound better than the V-80? I am interested in a new sound signature, but I have to admit I find the V-80 for portable use very good. Can I assume you have used the V-80 yourself? Look forward to your thoughts. Cheers.

It has been a while since I owned (and quickly returned) the Vmodas.  I don't remember the mids or the highs at all, but I do remember the boomy, uncontrolled bass, which is the reason they went back.  The Mikros bass is more refined and balanced.   The bass of the Martin Logans falls somewhere in between the bass of the Momentum and the DT1350.   Just read pataburd's description because that is exactly how I hear things.  The isolation is really good since they clamp hard...but somehow, they are not uncomfortable.    The soundstage is larger than that of both the Momentum and the DT1350.    

 

I'm really impressed with this headphone and I think they are worth much more than what they are currently selling for.  I would even say that the original asking price was not too unreasonable...though at that price I would rather buy the DT1350 or pay a little more for the Momentum.   I would have priced them at $200 when they were first released.


Edited by elvergun - 12/22/13 at 8:53am
post #127 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by elvergun View Post
 

It has been a while since I owned (and quickly returned) the Vmodas.  I don't remember the mids or the highs at all, but I do remember the boomy, uncontrolled bass, which is the reason they went back.  The Mikros bass is more refined and balanced.   The bass of the Martin Logans falls somewhere in between the bass of the Momentum and the DT1350.   Just read pataburd's description because that is exactly how I hear things.  The isolation is really good since they clamp hard...but somehow, they are not uncomfortable.    The soundstage is larger than that of both the Momentum and the DT1350.    

 

I'm really impressed with this headphone and I think they are worth much more than what they are currently selling for.  I would even say that the original asking price was not too unreasonable...though at that price I would rather buy the DT1350 or pay a little more for the Momentum.   I would have priced them at $200 when they were first released.  I'm not sure why Martin Logan discontinued them, but after listening to them I am certain that the SQ is not the reason.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit that I don't find the bass on the M-80 boomy or uncontrolled, at least not after I applied a gentle parametric EQ to them through my music player software (Neutron). Not sure if that in itself accounts for our differing perception of the bass, but I find the bass to actually be fairly articulate, albeit still tilted a little forward, but I don't mind that. In general, I typically prefer a leaner bass presentation over bloated and flabby bass. For instance, I quite enjoyed my HF2s and my DT 880s which in my opinion were slightly bass shy (more the HF2 than the 880). I am quite intrigued by the Mikros, but I will have to wait into the new year as I can't buy any toys for me with Christmas expenses just around the corner. Thanks for your input.

post #128 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post
 

Just tried out the Mikros 90 last night.  Immediately switched the cable to the Pipeline ET-4--much better than the stock cable.

 

 

Paraburd did you mod the end of the ET-4 to fit the ML's ?

   I just purchased one at Radioshack for 19.99, I had to grind off quite a bit of material to get the plug to fit, they are directional, the web site states "

  • Silver-plated copper conductors
  • Foamed polyethylene insulation
  • Gold-plated connectors
  • PVC jacket with Nylon braid
  • Rigorous QC testing

 

The Box that they came in makes no mention of silver plating just "Solid High-Purity Hi-Performance Copper (HPPC) conductors completely avoid stranded-interaction distortion."

  Appears to be a well made cable, at 20 bucks its a pretty fair deal for a cable made by AudioQuest, imho.

Ill post pics of the box if anyone is interested, otherwise they should be available at a local store. appears to be a 5$ discount that ends the 7th of Dec.

 

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13098169#showFullReviews

post #129 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

Has anybody been able to compare these with the V-Moda M-80 which I own and like? I wouldn't mind trying a new portable sound signature, but it is hard to tell how these might fare against the M-80 and I certainly don't want to move sideways so to speak.

The Mikros is flat by comparison, particularly the low end.  The high end does extend further with the Mikros, but you would miss the bass too much.

post #130 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post
 

The Mikros is flat by comparison, particularly the low end.  The high end does extend further with the Mikros, but you would miss the bass too much.

 

I do worry about missing the lower end. Prior to the M-80 I was using a DT770 so I guess I became acclimatized to a fair amount of oomph down low. I find I am more tolerant of some extra bass emphasis and even less control in portable environments than I would be at home.  

post #131 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by PredatorZ View Post
 

Paraburd did you mod the end of the ET-4 to fit the ML's ?

   I just purchased one at Radioshack for 19.99, I had to grind off quite a bit of material to get the plug to fit, they are directional, the web site states "

  • Silver-plated copper conductors
  • Foamed polyethylene insulation
  • Gold-plated connectors
  • PVC jacket with Nylon braid
  • Rigorous QC testing

 

The Box that they came in makes no mention of silver plating just "Solid High-Purity Hi-Performance Copper (HPPC) conductors completely avoid stranded-interaction distortion."

  Appears to be a well made cable, at 20 bucks its a pretty fair deal for a cable made by AudioQuest, imho.

Ill post pics of the box if anyone is interested, otherwise they should be available at a local store. appears to be a 5$ discount that ends the 7th of Dec.

 

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13098169#showFullReviews

PredatorZ,

No.  I just pushed the --> end of the ET-4 into the Mikros recepticle.  It is a bit of a force-fit, but works fine.  

The ET-4 sounds surprisingly good, and seems to be a very suitable cable for the Mikros.  Got mine at Radio Shack, too.  Did not realize that they were an AudioQuest product until later.  (My first pair of "audiophile" speaker cables were a pair of bi-wired AQ Cobalt.)  The ET-4 is, admittedly, a little stiff and microphonic, but since I only listen at home or at the office (not on the go), these are not issues for me.

Wow!  I can't seem to get enough of the Mikros 90!  I would even say that their tonality betters that of the HE-6.  Have to resist the urge for a UPOCC custom cable  right now!

The Mikros 90's crazy-good performance is a turnabout of fair play, though, since my ML Dynamo 700 subwoofer has been in-and-out-of the repair shop for the last month!

Would like to a/b the Mikros 90 and the KEF M500.  . . . Now if I could only find a pair of the M500 for $79!

Keep me posted.

 

Pataburd


Edited by pataburd - 12/6/13 at 9:31pm
post #132 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

 

I do worry about missing the lower end. Prior to the M-80 I was using a DT770 so I guess I became acclimatized to a fair amount of oomph down low. I find I am more tolerant of some extra bass emphasis and even less control in portable environments than I would be at home.  

For me, the Mikros really nail the bass.  It goes deep, is extremely well controlled, and can hit with some real slam.  The MLs extract bass information from tracks I've heard many times before that other headphones completely miss.  

 

I used to pine the loss of my Denon D2000.  I remember having a similar revelatory "bass" experience when first auditioning the D2000, but I have to say that the Mikros do it better, with more speed, control and accuracy than the Denon.  After the Mikros came onto the scene, I have since stopped surfing the classifieds for the D2000 (used and over-priced).  My HFI-780 are also over-tipped in the bass by comparison, but also sloppier and not as extended as the Mikros.  

 

Having never heard the DT770, I cannot speak about their low end quantity, control and extension.  But I will venture to say, to my ears, that the Mikros 90 bass easily outperforms not only the HFI-780, but the 750Pro and the (open) 2900Pro.  In addition, the Mikros' treble and midrange are leaps and bounds beyond the Ultrasones'.

 

The MLs are one of the best, most balanced-sounding headphones I've ever heard.  But above all, they are emminently musical and emotionally involving.  I don't know how ML pulled all this off: first time out and in such a small package, but they did.  Simply amazing! 


Edited by pataburd - 12/6/13 at 9:21pm
post #133 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post
 

For me, the Mikros really nail the bass.  It goes deep, is extremely well controlled, and can hit with some real slam. 

:confused_face_2:

post #134 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic Defender View Post
 

 

I do worry about missing the lower end. Prior to the M-80 I was using a DT770 so I guess I became acclimatized to a fair amount of oomph down low. I find I am more tolerant of some extra bass emphasis and even less control in portable environments than I would be at home.  

I recently auditioned the Polk Buckle and think that might match your preferences, at least worth an audition at Best Buy.

post #135 of 5013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craigster75 View Post
 

:confused_face_2:


Pretty much everyone who purchased a pair agrees with pataburd.    A couple of people who had a quick listen at a Best Buy kiosk keep saying they suck.   Hmmm...

 

How do you become an expert on a particular model after having a quick listen?   One thing is to say that you did not like them, yet you exaggerate by continuing to claim that the headphone sucks and when you continue to question the "ears" of those who like them.

 

 

 

 

 

The rule on Head-fi is that you can't comment on a headphone you haven't heard.   There should be another rule that you cannot become an expert on a model you've only quickly heard under the worst of conditions.

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