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The T50RP Paradox | reviews, discussion, & mini-tour impressions (index in second post) - Page 3

post #31 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

It's objective to a point.  Yes, if the graph says it did that at this point - then yes it did it.  But on what amp, with what DAC.  Was there a converter of some kind.  To many variables.  

 

I don't let graphs tell me what I'm suppose to hear.  I let my ears tell me that.  

 

He doesn't like a flat headphone - that's understandable.  Maybe he likes a more fun headphone with some color to it.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Non-tube DACs are pretty darn linear 20-20K.  So are decent solid state amps. They are not going to make something magically appear in the FR that isn't there (though some tube amps do round off a bit.)

 

Graphs don't have to tell you what you're "supposed" to hear - but since they are consistent, they can serve as a "north star" to triangulate your own preferences in a general sense.  In other words, it can greatly help you figure out what it is you like subjectively.  Otherwise you're just buying blind all the time.

 

Agreed, nothing wrong with liking fun or colored headphones.  There's a reason AT has such a large following here.

post #32 of 716

Said very well.

post #33 of 716
Thread Starter 

For references purposes, here is the CSD of the Paradox (measured by purrin) :

 

 

700

 

700

post #34 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

I don't let graphs tell me what I'm suppose to hear.  I let my ears tell me that. 

I seriously hope you are aware that our minds can play tricks on our ears, which is why you should use some objective measurements to make sure you're not just buying snake oil.

post #35 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlySweep View Post

For references purposes, here is the CSD of the Paradox (measured by purrin) :

 

 

700

 

700

I hope the newer Paradoxes are tuned to be better matching, as the CSDs with those particular Paradoxes show a fairly mismatched mid-treble response.

post #36 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

I seriously hope you are aware that our minds can play tricks on our ears, which is why you should use some objective measurements to make sure you're not just buying snake oil.

 

Many people are aware, but this really isn't the place for this discussion. Let's not derail this thread please?

post #37 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

I seriously hope you are aware that our minds can play tricks on our ears, which is why you should use some objective measurements to make sure you're not just buying snake oil.

 

 

Or are you saying our ears can play tricks on our minds?

 

I've been letting my ears do the talking for years now.  They haven't failed me yet.  They let me know what my preference is.  I don't know about you.  But my ears is my audio guide not my eyes.

post #38 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

I only tried the V3's, so I guess it's always possible things have changed since then.

 

I have no idea what music you're listening to, and am not "blaming" anything on it.  I do have certain tracks that I use though to evaluate different frequencies that I know are contained therein.  For instance, this album contains a pipe organ that has a 32 foot pipe with a 16hz fundamental.  I know exactly how far certain instruments in the mix can extend in that case, and feel comfortable making qualitative statements about presence of sub-bass based on performance - (incidentally, no headphone showing rolloff like the earlier magnums has ever passed the sub-bass test, for good reason - its just not there.)  One thing some ortho-listeners talk about is feeling like they're hearing a "wall of sound", which perhaps can be a bit harder to pick specific instruments out of as easily as a dynamic headphone.  This is (some feel) a shortcoming or orthos in general, and is present in varying degrees in those I've owned (LCD-2/3, HE-500, Thunderpants).  

 

I'm not discounting your impressions, and I have no horse in this race as I do not currently own either of these headphones.  I just like getting a feel for what can be extrapolated from one person's impressions to another, and what are purely preference.

 

Sorry I took up a defense :P

Could you maybe upload the track you speak of? or a section of it? I'd like to see if I can hear it on my magnums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

 

 

 

So you don't trust objective data and you don't like your music to sound how it was intended?

 

I'm actually very objective when it comes to my gear (that's why I own an ODAC and O2). I don't trust objective measurements when it comes to headphones, because a lot of the measurements mean nothing to me, frequency plots in particular. Most music wasn't mastered with a pair of objectively flat headphones, or headphones at all. What makes you think a pair of headphones that measure flat would portray the music as "it was intended"? I'm ALL for being objective, but your logic is lacking in my opinion.

Now, there are some people that have heard many headphones and seen many plots for the headphones, and they can correlate patterns in the plots with characteristics of the headphones. That's great, I'm not one of them. Nor am I willing to blindly believe that some feature of a frequency plot makes headphones sound a certain way, just because someone thinks it might do that. Frequency plots seem to be helpful for determining why a pair of headphones might sound a certain way, but they aren't helpful without the headphone on your head IMO.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoke Signals View Post

I seriously hope you are aware that our minds can play tricks on our ears, which is why you should use some objective measurements to make sure you're not just buying snake oil.

Quite aware and I didn't buy anything :)


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 10/31/12 at 2:42pm
post #39 of 716

@chrislangley4253, I noticed that you have (or extensively demoed) the venerable Stax Lambda Pro but not sure what was used to drive them. To your ears, how do your Magnums and the Paradox compare to the Lambda Pro?

 

Also, what are your thoughts on your Maximo iM-590 and MC5 IEMs? (Relative to your Magnums and Paradox experience.)


Edited by ultrabike - 10/31/12 at 4:56pm
post #40 of 716

Subscribed biggrin.gif

post #41 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

@chrislangley4253, I noticed that you have (or extensively demoed) the venerable Stax Lambda Pro but not sure what was used to drive them. To your ears, how do your Magnums and the Paradox compare to the Lambda Pro?

 

Also, what are your thoughts on your Maximo iM-590 and MC5 IEMs? (Relative to your Magnums and Paradox experience.)

LOL, I got to hear the Stax Lambda Pro too, except I had them for months while, he had them for days.  He didn't have the right equipment though, IMO.  The O2 isn't enough to play decent volumes with the transformer box.  Personally, I like the Lambdas.  BTW, for a sneak preview, I think the Paradox sound similar to the Lambdas, but significantly more natural.

post #42 of 716

@chrislangley4253

 

Thanks for the review! I can't say that I agree, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. 

 

Since you're so used to the Magnum signature, I wonder if you would have the same thoughts after spending a week listening to the Paradox exclusively and then going back. I was very much a Grado-phile, and thought they sounded very natural -- but after exploring other (more neutral) headphones and coming back, I'm always jarred (not in a bad way) by the coloration and tonality. I still very much love my Magnums for particular moods -- they're exciting, their voicing makes guitars so seductive, and the mid-bass hump gives a satisfyingly punchy musical experience.

 

I'm a bit confused by this part of your review:

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post
 The Paradox definitely did not sound natural to my ears. They did have a mostly neutral sound signature, but the tonality really was a turn off for me.

I find this curious, because in my experience, tonality issues usually stem from a headphone's lack of neutrality. Skewed frequency responses will throw off the natural sound of instruments/voices as different ranges will be over or under represented. All of the headphones that I've heard that have an even and neutral sound signature (Orpheus, the TOTL Stax's, UERM and Paradox) tend to have tonality spot-on. On the other hand, Magnums have issues such as shouty mids, extra energy in the sibilance region, pronounced "edge" in the high-mid region, etc. that make them a bit less than accurate tonally.

 

I'm not sure if I agree with Grados or Magnums being a good reference for "natural" sound -- but that's part of their appeal (to me, at least).

 

As far as my own impressions of Magnum vs. Paradox, the Paradox are definitely more neutral and even across the spectrum. The bass of the Paradox indeed reaches further down, although the pronounced mid-bass of the Magnum gives them a greater sense of quantity and punchiness. The Paradox does better at the rumble because it reaches further. Kick drums don't snap quite right on the Magnums because of the bass roll-off, which goes back to the point of neutrality affecting tonality. 

 

Both are great at imaging (neither approach HD800 levels, though), but I found the Paradox to give me better spatial cues (micro-detail) -- partially due to the blacker background. The Magnums do sound more airy. The Paradox sounds faster, As mentioned earlier, I find the Paradox to have more accurate tonality/timbre, which is a big deal to me. And while the Magnums are much smoother than the typical Grado, the Paradox is on a different level of smoothness (almost Stax-like).

 

Both are excellent. The Magnums can be more fun if you like their specific coloration. But the Paradox is a better 'phone from a fidelity standpoint.

 

As usual in this hobby, it's all subjective / we all hear differently / we all have different preferences / YMMV / etc. 

post #43 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxid10t View Post

LOL, I got to hear the Stax Lambda Pro too, except I had them for months while, he had them for days.  He didn't have the right equipment though, IMO.  The O2 isn't enough to play decent volumes with the transformer box.  Personally, I like the Lambdas.  BTW, for a sneak preview, I think the Paradox sound similar to the Lambdas, but significantly more natural.

 

I agree with this. The Lambdas and Paradox are very similar, with the Lambdas leaning slightly toward brightness and the Paradox leaning slightly toward warmth. Both are neutral, smooth, fast, and detailed. 

 

The Lambdas excel in its effortless detail and airiness. There's something about Stax treble that just pours into your ear. 

 

The Paradox excels at its bass extension, which lends a nice weight and solidity to the music. It's a nice counterpoint to that "weightless" feeling of the Lambdas, which would be my minor complaint of them. 

 

Looking forward to your (and everyone else's) impressions. 

post #44 of 716

Okay, now I'm really intrigued. For those of you comparing the Paradox and Lambda series:

 

-What about comfort? If there's one thing I really like about a vintage Lambda, it's the very light clamping force. Could wear them for hours on end because of that...but I still haven't tried a stock T50RP, let alone the Paradox. (Yet.)

 

-How about soundstage and imaging? I know that's a Lambda series strong suit, but I don't know if the Paradox can compare there just because of the T50RP housing it's still using, which doesn't seem too open. (I just want it to be spacious and "3D" enough to bring out the cues with CMSS-3D Headphone, Dolby Headphone, etc. so that it feels like I'm there.)

 

-Have any of you had experience with the Normal bias SR-Lambda in addition to the Lambda Pro when making your Paradox comparisons? The latter's said to have more bass and treble extension, but a really recessed midrange, and I wouldn't like it if it's anything like the SR-202 where the vocals suddenly start taking a back seat.

post #45 of 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

@chrislangley4253, I noticed that you have (or extensively demoed) the venerable Stax Lambda Pro but not sure what was used to drive them. To your ears, how do your Magnums and the Paradox compare to the Lambda Pro?

 

Also, what are your thoughts on your Maximo iM-590 and MC5 IEMs? (Relative to your Magnums and Paradox experience.)

 

Oh boy. I mostly used an O2 to drive them. The gain was sufficient for all but very quiet tracks. I don't really feel comfortable giving impressions on them, but I will say that I preferred the tonality of the magnums. The Lamdas were too detailed on the high end and too bright. They sounded kinda wonky and unnatural to me.

The iM-590 I haven't listened to in a while, the MC5 is pretty bad in general, just very dry and bright. I haven't seen much praise for the MC5 out of anyone, they were an impulse buy to see how well etymotics would fit in my ear (not that well, it turns out)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by linuxid10t View Post

LOL, I got to hear the Stax Lambda Pro too, except I had them for months while, he had them for days.  He didn't have the right equipment though, IMO.  The O2 isn't enough to play decent volumes with the transformer box.  Personally, I like the Lambdas.  BTW, for a sneak preview, I think the Paradox sound similar to the Lambdas, but significantly more natural.

 

I had them for a decent amount of time :-/ At least a week, all the time I needed. Also, the volume was plenty for me, just not for you. I did like them better off your qinpu though. I think it's safe to say the paradox sound similar to the lamdas, but more natural.. that's actually a pretty good description.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post

@chrislangley4253

 

Thanks for the review! I can't say that I agree, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. 

 

Since you're so used to the Magnum signature, I wonder if you would have the same thoughts after spending a week listening to the Paradox exclusively and then going back. I was very much a Grado-phile, and thought they sounded very natural -- but after exploring other (more neutral) headphones and coming back, I'm always jarred (not in a bad way) by the coloration and tonality. I still very much love my Magnums for particular moods -- they're exciting, their voicing makes guitars so seductive, and the mid-bass hump gives a satisfyingly punchy musical experience.

 

I'm a bit confused by this part of your review:

I find this curious, because in my experience, tonality issues usually stem from a headphone's lack of neutrality. Skewed frequency responses will throw off the natural sound of instruments/voices as different ranges will be over or under represented. All of the headphones that I've heard that have an even and neutral sound signature (Orpheus, the TOTL Stax's, UERM and Paradox) tend to have tonality spot-on. On the other hand, Magnums have issues such as shouty mids, extra energy in the sibilance region, pronounced "edge" in the high-mid region, etc. that make them a bit less than accurate tonally.

 

I'm not sure if I agree with Grados or Magnums being a good reference for "natural" sound -- but that's part of their appeal (to me, at least).

 

As far as my own impressions of Magnum vs. Paradox, the Paradox are definitely more neutral and even across the spectrum. The bass of the Paradox indeed reaches further down, although the pronounced mid-bass of the Magnum gives them a greater sense of quantity and punchiness. The Paradox does better at the rumble because it reaches further. Kick drums don't snap quite right on the Magnums because of the bass roll-off, which goes back to the point of neutrality affecting tonality. 

 

Both are great at imaging (neither approach HD800 levels, though), but I found the Paradox to give me better spatial cues (micro-detail) -- partially due to the blacker background. The Magnums do sound more airy. The Paradox sounds faster, As mentioned earlier, I find the Paradox to have more accurate tonality/timbre, which is a big deal to me. And while the Magnums are much smoother than the typical Grado, the Paradox is on a different level of smoothness (almost Stax-like).

 

Both are excellent. The Magnums can be more fun if you like their specific coloration. But the Paradox is a better 'phone from a fidelity standpoint.

 

As usual in this hobby, it's all subjective / we all hear differently / we all have different preferences / YMMV / etc. 

 Yeah, I should probably have given them some more head time before handing them off to linux.. Maybe I'll grab them back from him and only listen to the paradox for a while. Don't get me wrong, the paradox wasn't unlistenable or anything.. It was just vastly different from my magnums which are my day to day can and they suite my preferences pretty well. Also, all magnums vary a good deal, I don't know what magnums you have heard, but they weren't my specific pair. The drivers vary and the cup material and size varies. Both can affect the sound quite a bit IMO. 

I'll agree that the paradox are more even, I just don't like the sound. I think maybe kick drums not sounding right has to do with your cups. The type of material (aluminum and the different types of woods) and the chamber length matters quite a bit. Drums didn't sound right to me with aluminum magnums, the limba cups fixed that for me. Basically, no one has any business including DIY magnums in an impressions thread, but they are my go to can.. so, I had little choice. If I had a different pair like, say HD650, I'd be more comfortable comparing the paradox to it. The magnums are more airy, the paradox is faster. Maybe that smoothness is what turned me off, too smooth is bad to me. I don't agree that one or the other is better from a fidelity standpoint, I would call it a tie. In fact, I picked up bass details in my music a bit easier on the magnums, I swear. That could easily be blamed on the mastering engineer though :)

*edit*

The Paradox pick up more details.. The magnums have a colored top end that makes them seem more detailed. Also, I think I was having issues with the pads causing me to not hear the bass correctly.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Questhate View Post

 

I agree with this. The Lambdas and Paradox are very similar, with the Lambdas leaning slightly toward brightness and the Paradox leaning slightly toward warmth. Both are neutral, smooth, fast, and detailed. 

 

The Lambdas excel in its effortless detail and airiness. There's something about Stax treble that just pours into your ear. 

 

The Paradox excels at its bass extension, which lends a nice weight and solidity to the music. It's a nice counterpoint to that "weightless" feeling of the Lambdas, which would be my minor complaint of them. 

 

Looking forward to your (and everyone else's) impressions. 

What were you driving the Lambdas with? I thought they were a bit more than slightly bright, but that might have been due to driving them with an O2. They were definitely more bright than my magnums.


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 11/9/12 at 1:49pm
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