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Martin Logan Mikros 90 On-Ear Headphones - Page 17

post #241 of 6077

Re-cabling has been brought up earlier in this thread.  

 

A couple of us are currently using and reportedly enjoying  the AudioQuest Pipeline ET-4, with solid core SPC conductors.  $24.99 at Radio Shack.  

 

The plug diameter to the Mikros 90 cable input is very small.  My Pipeline just barely squeaked into the recessed hole in the MLs and made full contact with the jack.  Others have not been so fortunate.  doctorjazz gave up trying to fit his Pipeline, fearing damage to his headphones and/or the cable.  PredatorZ had to whittle down his plug barrel (by 1.2 mm) to get it to fit.  I tried a slimline Belkin cable the other day, but even its input plug barrel diameter was too big (and the barrel was metal, with absolutely no give).

 

I have not seen any after market cable yet that looks like a shoe-in for the MLs.  (Just remembered that there is a picture somewhere along this thread of the Mikros 90 fitted with a blue "iConnect" branded cable, too.)  I have contacted Ted (Headfood) and asked about a custom UPOCC silver cable.  If the silver cable is possible, I may also ask him to build a copper one.  I have always preferred silver, as long as it is "done right".  

 

The barrel diameter on the stock input plug is pretty small: about 7/32".  Another option would be to drill/machine out the recessed access hole on the headphones themselves in order to accommodate a wider range of after market offerings.  I may contact ML and ask whether they would be willing to do that for me.  A slightly enlarged input access hole would then give the ML user a host of after market options.


Edited by pataburd - 1/10/14 at 12:30pm
post #242 of 6077

Thanks pataburd for the information

 

 

So I better order a spare cable from ML :)

post #243 of 6077
Would be interested in any possible way to try upgrade cables...like I said earlier, ML had no interest in this, they only wanted to be sure you could replace their cable if it became damaged. Thanks (listening to the Mikros 90 now, Diabe Birch, niiiiiiice....
post #244 of 6077
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikroski View Post
 

Thanks pataburd for the information

 

 

So I better order a spare cable from ML :)

The DIYer might be able to salvage the input plug from an extra cable and use that, but I think it would end up being destroyed/rendered non-useful during the salvaging effort (not sure).  I might check some parts outlets (e.g. Parts Connection PCX) to see if they carry a high quality plug small enough to fit the Mikros 90.

post #245 of 6077
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorjazz View Post

Would be interested in any possible way to try upgrade cables...like I said earlier, ML had no interest in this, they only wanted to be sure you could replace their cable if it became damaged. Thanks (listening to the Mikros 90 now, Diabe Birch, niiiiiiice....

dj,

The Pipeline ET-4 will work, if you are willing to whittle/file down the plug barrel like PredatorZ did.  Another approach would be to visit Radio Shack, bring your Mikros 90 with you, and attempt to fit--by trial-and-error--the cables on hand at the store until you happen upon one that fits your headphones.  Radio Shack folks are usually pretty accommodating to customers in that way, and (usually) do not have a problem resealing and redisplaying products on the rack.

  

I will mention to ML that machining a slightly larger recessed access hole in the left earpiece would make a lot of (present and future) Mikros 90 users very happy.

 

pab


Edited by pataburd - 1/11/14 at 5:29am
post #246 of 6077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

This is a really odd thread.  A few people have trashed the Mikros 90, yet other reviews I have read claim that they are amazing. Reminds me of what happened with the Pioneer SE-MJ591 and the Focal Spirit One.

 

Is it another case of people comparing them to other headphones rather than to the sounds of real instruments and voices? And it is yet another situation where nobody has them available for audition in my locale.

The Mikros 90 are eminently "true-to-source", truly reference quality IMHO.  If an auditioner describes what he/she is hearing as "bad", chances are that it is traceable to the upstream gear and not the MLs.  

 

The bi-polar reactions could be due to competitive listening tastes, or explained by respective psycho-acoustical response, but with the MLs I tend to doubt it.  The audible variation(s), for example--perceived positively or negatively--as the result of simply swapping out cables can be keenly pronounced when using the Mikros 90 (IMHE).  My experience is showing me that the MLs correspondingly "rise" (or "sink") to the sonic occasion afforded them by the source gear.  

 

So when I read that a listener reportedly hears "rolled off highs" and/or "anemic bass" with the Mikros 90, I chalk it up to deficiencies in the upstream gear.  It's either that, or the individual's ears need to be re-cleaned (or re-cloned).  [Last comment said in quasi-jest.]

 

Anatomical variation might also explain the opposite reactions.  And there are folks who are genuinely "tone deaf" (I hear plenty of them during the common sung parts at Sunday Mass).  

 

Head-Fi needs a "listening panel" of experts who can come to consensus on "reference levels" of sound quality/character.  It is done in the food industry with "tasting panels".  Why not here?


Edited by pataburd - 1/11/14 at 6:47am
post #247 of 6077
I'd say (again) that they behave very much like fussy, hard to get a fit/seal iem's, in that if they aren't place just right (and there are posts here on doing that), the bass is mostly missing. This would make it difficult to quickly evaluate in a noisy store throwing them on and not knowing this aspect of them.
Tend to be pretty busy and not very handy, but I suppose filing doesn't require major mechanical skills, maybe give it a try, thanks.
post #248 of 6077

Good point (again) about how listener responses can be so wildly disparate.

 

So, revised rank-ordered list of reasons why Mikros 90 reviews have been so polorized:

(1)  Improper placement

(2)  Equipmental and/or environmental deficits

(3)  Individual listening preferences/anatomies.

 

Sandpapering the ET-4, coarse>medium>fine, might work too, and be a little neater/smoother than filing or whittling.  Be careful not to scrape the plating off the plug (you could tape it off).


Edited by pataburd - 1/15/14 at 4:47am
post #249 of 6077
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

 

Head-Fi needs a "listening panel" of experts who can come to consensus on "reference levels" of sound quality/character.  It is done in the food industry with "tasting panels".  Why not here?

 

Because they'd spend too much time arguing on what an expert is :D

post #250 of 6077
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post
 

 

Because they'd spend too much time arguing on what an expert is :D

Sad but true.

post #251 of 6077
had a nice listening session with the 90's this morning, like to listen to on or over ears when I walk the dog (posted some great music-imo, of course-that I heard on the walk on the Discovery Thread). Tangentially related question-I see the in ear Mikros 70 on sale in the $90-110 range, decent price. Anybody have any experience with these?
post #252 of 6077

No experience with the Mikros 70.  They have a 4-star rating on Amazon.  Those favorably reviewing the 70 describe their sound signature to be very similar to (how on-ear enthusiasts describe the sound of) the 90.    

 

You might want to start or join the Mikros 70 thread with this inquiry.  The KEF thread mixes both the M500 and M200 discussions and it's rather a mess.

 

Have been thinking: The Mikros 90 provide more of a cerebral than a visceral listening experience.


Edited by pataburd - 1/13/14 at 6:37pm
post #253 of 6077

Further musings, excerpted from my response on another thread:

 

Opinions on the Mikros 90 are dichotomous/controversial.  But most of us who have owned longterm, enjoyed and subsequently endorsed the Mikros 90 have come to the consensus that (1) difficulty achieving proper placement and/or (2) sub-par equipment and/or environmental conditions (in that order) have probably disuaded many who perhaps would have otherwise come to appreciate the MLs.  Individual listening preferences divide the opinions as well.  Unfortunately, many thread-subscribers may have reached their "guilty" verdict second- or even thirdhand, based on hearsay, without actually having heard the Mikros 90 themselves under adequate conditions.

 

I have had relatively little exposure to supra-aurals and IEMs, so my reaction to and comparative assessment of the Mikros 90 are based primarily on a personal history of mid-to-upper mid-Fi circum-aural headphones (e.g. HifiMAN HE-500/5LE/6, AKG K501/701, Beyerdynamic DT880/600ohm & Tesla T1, Sennheiser HD-600/650, Ultrasone PRO750/2500/2900).  

 

To my ears, the Mikros 90 occupy the top tier among all the headphones I have heard/owned to date.  That is not tantamount to saying that they are "perfect" or the "be-all-and-end-all", but they do seem to bring together into one tidy and affordable package many of the listenability attributes that I, personally, consider critical: balance, clarity, frequency extension, high levels of detail/resolution, coherence, tonality, timbre, PRaT, dynamics and sense of spatiality; but--most importantly--given all the Mikros 90's technical agility, these headphones ultimately produce a satisfyingly musical outcome.  

 

Too, I will re-posit that the Mikros 90 have more of a cerebral than visceral presentation, and have been catalogued by some reviewers as "gentlemanly" or "refined".  But these descriptors should not be taken to mean that the headphones are therefore uninvolving--far be it!  With the MLs, the listener takes a more active than passive role; these headphones favor one who wants to hear the detailed structure of deep bass and not simply feel some bass.  While they lack the midbass hump/thick spot of many popular headphones, I have experienced clean, extended bass from the Mikros 90 that seemed to shake the ground beneath me.

 

 . . . O.K., O.K.  (the EMTs have just administered me the smelling salts), you must have gotten the impression by now that I am a shameless proponent of the Martin Logan Mikros 90.

 

Yours Truly (while gradually coming out of a Mikros 90-induced hyperventilated state),

pataburd


Edited by pataburd - 1/14/14 at 4:12pm
post #254 of 6077

Has anyone a/b-ed the Mikros 90 and either the B&W P5 or P7?  

 

If so, would you(s) care to comment here?


Edited by pataburd - 1/14/14 at 12:49pm
post #255 of 6077

Count me in as a ML Mikros 90 fan. I have had it for a couple of weeks now, I can only say that I am really surprised of how little attention this headphone received. Fit could be a major issue of why that is, but other than that, this one is a killer, best 80 dollars I have ever spend!

 

As for the comparison with P5/P7, I had an earful both in a apple store and a friend's house. I would say that mikros 90 is more in line with P7, sound quality-wise, but with a smoother high and slightly better separation. The clarity is about the same and both bass hits low but P7 has more power in quantity. Tonality and speed, like pataburd said, is so good on the mikros 90 that P7 can't match. The downside however, is that the presentation of mikros 90 lacks body, makes really hard to display all of its merit in a noisy environment such as Bestbuy listening station or starbucks, P7 does better in this regard, with a bigger, fuller sound.

 

I dislike P5 for some reason I can't quite gasp, maybe it's the overall harshness and looser bass, or maybe it's the low quality source... 


Edited by slfan - 1/14/14 at 1:23pm
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