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Martin Logan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones - Page 16
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Don't know, sounds dirty!!!
- 3,979 Posts. Joined 6/2011
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There's a difference between pure resolution and enjoyability. There are a bunch of headphones on the market at almost any price range that have an edge over everything else in terms of getting all the details in (KNS8400, K712, HD800), but still others stay competitive at each of those price ranges (M50, MD, LCD-2). Not everyone hears the same way as others, not everyone prefers the same kind of sound, not everyone has the same taste in music... I could go on forever.
The reason there are literally hundreds of headphones to buy out there in the market is because everyone's listening preferences are different. Head-Fi is a whole community that actively debates about which headphones are "best", and an answer will never be found because everyone has different tastes. The SR009 is more accurate and resolving than the old HE90 Orpheus, but the Orpheus still sells for $30K on eBay because some consider it better than the SR009 due to their personal preferences for a warmer, more orchestra-oriented sound signature. The same type of situation goes for the K1000, the MDR-R10, and plenty of others.
It's all down to what you hear as best, not what we tell you is best. The most helpful we can be is in giving advice based on our own subjective experiences, and hoping you interpret something from the general consensus.
The really unique thing about the Mikros 90, IMHO, is that they are both very highly resolving and very highly musically enjoyable.
Many headphones that resolve detail lapse into a somewhat cold or clinical sound signature (e.g. SONY MDR-SA5000, Beyerdynamic DT880/600, AKG K70x, etc.). The MLs are perhaps the first set of headphones I have heard that manage to extract and resolve lots of detail while at the same time maintain a commensurate level of musicality.
Tonal balance and tonal color/"temperature" with the Mikros 90 are among the best--if not THE best--I have heard. I think this is what sets the MLs apart from the most of the other "detail-oriented" products on the market. The result is a highly involving, technically masterful yet eminently musically satisfying listening experience.
. . . and they are designed and engineered in the good ol' U.S. of A (but--sigh--made in China).
Edited by pataburd - 1/10/14 at 12:19pm
edit: the soundstage is very intimate and I think I like it that way, very immersive. However, on songs like In Your Atmosphere (live version), they sounded very open and I was surprised at how wide and beautiful they sounded. They also seem to leak... Will test this out more later. If they leak too much I may be forced to return them, I can't be distracting people in the library.
Edited by alexv131994 - 1/7/14 at 7:59am
Ha...and that is how you enter the road to perdition. The destination = the poorhouse.
Take your hdj-2000s and leave this site (run) if you know what's good for you.
Haha I still need to find cheap IEM's for when I'm on the go!
Seriously though, when I actually get done with college and career-building, I can see myself wasting a lot money on headphones and eventually speakers for the house :D
Tried the Belkin 3.5mm to 3.5mm AUX/car cable ($15 at WalMart). Too big to fit the MLs. With the metal plug barrel there is no give at all. I have used the Belkin "PureAV" series speaker cables, which employ UPOCC copper conductors, with good success in the past. They make a PureAV 3.5-to-3.5 cable, too, but there is no way those hunky [PureAV] plug barrels will ever fit the MLs. Maybe the access hole diameter in the earcup can be enlarged by drilling it out by +1 to +3 mm. Though it would be difficult to get the enlargement all the way down without the drill tip hitting/ruining the top of the input jack.
Just wrote HeadphoneLounge and am looking into a custom UPOCC silver cable for the Mikros 90. Also wrote ML for the plug barrel OD dimension and a frequency graph for the headphones. I have listened to frequency sweeps over the MLM90 and got down to 24hz before I heard a dropout in the bass response.
Would really like to see an exploded view of the transducer, but that might be naive/overly optimistic on my part. (Really don't want to tear apart my MLs to find out, either, but am tempted to!) Would like to see how they get so much of sonically "everything" out of such a small package. KEF uses copper-coated aluminum to lighten their voil coil, and--in my ears--their M500 sound a lot slower and a lot less responsive than the Mikros 90. To me, the Mikros 90 absolutely crush the M500 with regard to resolution and speed.
The stock ML cable on my headphones acted up (like elvergun's or PredatorZ's?): could only get full stereo by pinching the middle button on remote, or by withdrawing the plug from the source jack by about 1/32" (not very stable). Scott Gribble, customer service ML, has already shipped the replacement. He reminded me that the cable was specialized for iPod/iPad-type use. Maybe ML can provide a second "audio-only" cable, sans control buttons, like KEF does with their M500. Can't compliment ML enough for their customer support--like others on this thread. Do not have "i" devices, so I cannot try the cable on any of those applications.
ENJOY your Mikros 90s, fellow Head-Fiers who took a chance and hit the headphone jackpot!!!
Edited by pataburd - 1/8/14 at 6:15am
No problem with my cable. I use the Mikros with an iPhone and iPad and I'm quite happy with the cable and the controls,.
Another enchanting evening with the Mikros 90.
Switched out interconnects from source (Denon 1940CI) to headphone amp (Fitz-improved Bada PH-12). Had been using the EVS IC-95 copper cables. Replaced them with the ($69 when I originally bought them) SoundSilver Trilogy cable.
The Trilogy, utilizing three soft-annealed pure silver signal path conductors, are remarkably transparent, extracting lots of detail, but at the same time conveying a rich, mellow tonal and acoustic character supported in a well-balanced yet subtly liquid matrix. Not as thick-sounding as the copper cables they replaced, but incredibly open. Supporting higher volumes, the Trilogy's depth of field seemed inexhaustible. An intoxicating listening session to say the least. I spent several hours listening to complete recordings, many of which I had already heard a day or two before. The vocal from Cat Stevens' "Into White" (from Tea for the Tillerman/A&M) came across so well that I listened to it four times in succession (and was still at the ready for a fifth go-round while succumbing to sleepiness). I was left pining for more tubes to roll (I have a boxfull of 6SN7s at my apartment in the remote city where I work on the weekday) and more discs to play (drawer/shelffulls of them in my office).
I can only say this because the Mikros 90 do such a good job of helping me denote system/equipment changes. These are truly "reference" level headphones that simply get out of the way and warrant a listen, or two, or three . . . Accordingly, I have been recommending the Martin Logans to practically every soul on the "Help and Getting Started" thread whose listening bent appears to be tilted in the Mikros 90's general direction.
Another thing. Ironically, right after I had put a hefty sum into further improving the Bada PH-12 (Thanks again, Fitz!), I began developing a predilection for low impedance headphones (Denons, Ultrasones). Low impedance headphones are, unfortunately, not the Bada'a particular forte. Tube noise and microphonics effect these types of headphones when driven by the Bada, and they can, in extreme cases, come off as sounding thin or edgy. The Mikros 90 (26 ohms), while still exposing tube noise, are the best-sounding low impedance headphones I have ever tried with the Bada so far, which is good news for me, since the Bada does not have sufficient juice for the HE-6 (not enough to make the HifiMAN sound their best, anyway). The Bada has consequently lain dormant while the HE-6 have been driven (straight from the speaker taps) with either the Linn Intek or Qinpu A-1.0X integrated.
Needless to say, I cannot wait to get back to the apartment and utilize my top source (an EVS-modded Sony BDP-S780--wish I had Ric's fully tricked out Oppo 105!), together with the Bada and different tube configurations. I also intend to do a thorough comparison between the HE-6 and the Mikros 90.
Just wanted to bump this thread back up to the surface and get the word out to Head-Fiers near and far.
Oh, and did I happen to mention that I really, really, really like the Martin Logan Mikros 90?
YOU can, too!!!
Edited by pataburd - 1/10/14 at 12:26pm