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Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13) - Page 161

post #2401 of 4940

I never understood the vocal vs instrumental forward backwards thing.  We do know that both vocals and the majority of instruments' sound occupy the mids?  Shouldn't the larger treble spike on the HE-400 compared to the HE-500 give the HE-400 more vocal presence, since people like to complain about it having too much sibilance?  tongue.gif  Sibilance is a vocal trait, no?

post #2402 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

HE500. I have both side-to-side for the last few days just swapping between them with music and trying out different earpads, and really in the end, vocals:instruments ratio for HE400 is 1:2 maybe 1:3, while for HE500 is perfectly 1:1. That and the fact that HE500's treble doesn't have the stringency that HE400's treble has, means vocals shine through with HE500 like a glorious golden halo.

 

However HE500 doesn't have the sense of air or space that HE400 has. So for non-vocal music HE400 sounds much more lively and clear, as opposed to HE500 which sounds almost too romantic and with less energy. That's not to say HE500 is lacking though, it's just that HE400 does it so well (the only other headphone I've heard that retains this sense of air and openness while still having the ridiculously great bass and lower midrange is HE6).

Yes I am interested in trying both of those Hp's.  I think that He6's might be out of my price range considering I would more than likely have to upgrade my amp.

post #2403 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I never understood the vocal vs instrumental forward backwards thing.  We do know that both vocals and the majority of instruments' sound occupy the mids?  Shouldn't the larger treble spike on the HE-400 compared to the HE-500 give the HE-400 more vocal presence, since people like to complain about it having too much sibilance?  tongue.gif  Sibilance is a vocal trait, no?

"The mids" is a huge overgeneralization though, our human hearing is honed in on midrange frequencies so it distinguishes between details in the midrange much more succinctly than in the bass or treble, so just saying A and B both occupy the mids doesn't mean much.

 

A big part of human vocals is upper midrange~lower treble, which is much less represented in instrumental sounds except maybe stringed instruments, or digital instruments like electric guitars.

 

Other instruments more bracket the bass~lower mids (all kinds of drums, bass guitar, and beat-producing instruments) and treble (snares, cymbals, etc etc), these are unaffected by HE400's colouration so they blast at full force. So in the end the vocals get pushed back in music that has a whole ensemble of instruments.

post #2404 of 4940

I think you might be over-generalizing things too, though.  All the harmonics that make up the distinct and defining sound characteristics of vocals and instruments are within the upper-midrange.  So if the vocals are recessed in this fashion, then so are many of your instruments.

 

In fact, the majority of fundamentals for most instruments and vocals usually end at around 1khz.

 

 

I still can't say I've magically heard a headphone that puts 'vocals ahead of instruments' within a certain song, unless the mixing of the song made it that way.  I've heard the HD650, and never did I hear the vocals magically become up-front compared to the rest of the background instruments in a song.

 

My experience with HE-400 is just that its upper-midrange reduction causes for less energy to songs.  That's been about the extent of it in my experience.  Snare and kick drum are one of the most affected instruments of the HE-400 btw.  The majority of their snap and slap lies in the 5khz area.


Edited by TMRaven - 1/17/13 at 12:03am
post #2405 of 4940

This has been linked a few times around here. Make sure to roll over the pertinent areas.

 

Generally, if the human voice range (fundamentals mostly in the lower end of midrange) is emphasized (~n-shaped curve) or at least not de-emphasized/recessed (~u-shaped curve), it will get more attention since our hearing is attuned towards voices/language anyway. Of course, any instruments that are mainly situated in that same range will also be emphasized, which is the reason that same kind of headphone is particularly suited for certain genres.

 

(P.S.: That won't magically bring the voices "to the front" since a lot depends also on the mix, "soundstage" in general and other factors. But it certainly helps)


Edited by TheGrumpyOldMan - 1/17/13 at 12:23am
post #2406 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I think you might be over-generalizing things too, though.  All the harmonics that make up the distinct and defining sound characteristics of vocals and instruments are within the upper-midrange.  So if the vocals are recessed in this fashion, then so are many of your instruments.

 

In fact, the majority of fundamentals for most instruments and vocals usually end at around 1khz.

 

 

I still can't say I've magically heard a headphone that puts 'vocals ahead of instruments' within a certain song, unless the mixing of the song made it that way.  I've heard the HD650, and never did I hear the vocals magically become up-front compared to the rest of the background instruments in a song.

 

My experience with HE-400 is just that its upper-midrange reduction causes for less energy to songs.  That's been about the extent of it in my experience.  Snare and kick drum are one of the most affected instruments of the HE-400 btw.  The majority of their snap and slap lies in the 5khz area.

I guess I'm just trying to interpret what I hear lol. Like you said, HE400's colouration causes it to sound laid-back and removes a lot of the forwardness, so instruments and vocals that are typically forward because of that band of frequencies will be laid-back, however other instruments that are predominantly in other frequencies will not be pushed back. The end result is some things are underrepresented while others aren't, in this case vocals are pushed back while drums/basslines aren't, hence my (and all other HE400 owners') experience.

 

It's all relative though, so it might not sound "off" on its own, but would be clearly different in presentation when A/Bd against something e.g. HE500 that objectively is more forward.

post #2407 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

I guess I'm just trying to interpret what I hear lol. Like you said, HE400's colouration causes it to sound laid-back and removes a lot of the forwardness, so instruments and vocals that are typically forward because of that band of frequencies will be laid-back, however other instruments that are predominantly in other frequencies will not be pushed back. The end result is some things are underrepresented while others aren't, in this case vocals are pushed back while drums/basslines aren't, hence my (and all other HE400 owners') experience.

 

It's all relative though, so it might not sound "off" on its own, but would be clearly different in presentation when A/Bd against something e.g. HE500 that objectively is more forward.

I guess ill start saving for the HE-500 right away jsut in case.

I own the HE-400 but some things it has are nto "exactly" the way i like them. Ill have to see if another hp like the HD600 could have that apart from the HE-500, as for me, the HE-500 would be a rather large investment (1 month salary that is).

 

However if i do decide to get the HE-500 i guess ill be selling the HE-400...

post #2408 of 4940

DavidMahler, what you think about dt880 and amb beta 22? 

 

Do they sound good?

post #2409 of 4940

Any chance of seeing how the Paradox compares?

post #2410 of 4940

Wow...Great read!

post #2411 of 4940
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

I found the LCD-3s smoother and not as etched in the treble (in comparative terms only...definitely not in absolute terms) as the LCD-2 rev.2s. Overall that gave an impression that the LCD-2s were brighter (and conversely the LCD-3s darker...but quite a bit smoother). Throw in better detail retrieval and imaging on the LCD-3s and they are my second favourite headphones I've ever heard.

Hmmm, thanks:)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

I never understood the vocal vs instrumental forward backwards thing.  We do know that both vocals and the majority of instruments' sound occupy the mids?  Shouldn't the larger treble spike on the HE-400 compared to the HE-500 give the HE-400 more vocal presence, since people like to complain about it having too much sibilance?  tongue.gif  Sibilance is a vocal trait, no?

It depends on the voice and instrument, but generally a recessed midrange will bring vocals backward and a forward midrange will bring vocals forward.  Although many instruments are also midrange focused, the overtones of the most vocals are extremely mid focused and this can sometimes have an impact whereas an instrument may have more upper harmonics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOXY View Post

DavidMahler, what you think about dt880 and amb beta 22? 

 

Do they sound good?

I haven't heard that pairing so I'm not sure, but I think it would be good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FNgr8 View Post

Any chance of seeing how the Paradox compares?

It's gotten a lot of requests.  We shall see, though it was not at the top of my list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigshow33 View Post

Wow...Great read!

thank you!

post #2412 of 4940

Just want to say thanks again David!

 

The LCD-2 just came out on top of the HD800 to my ears - I don't have the money to support the HD800 like it truly needs, but it is quite difficult to build a good rig around the HD800...
 

post #2413 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

I agree that the differences between cables, amps, dacs and tubes are exaggerated on head-fi.  It's too bad because a lot of people spend the big bucks and then wonder what happened, if anything.  For the noob, it can take a while to figure out how much and when to filter out the hyperbole.

Yeah, meets usually turn into gabfests so they are of limited value.  I've had good success at trying out cans via amazon.  Great return policy.  I've spent money but I didn't have to keep every single headphone I listened to.

Good post.
Am sorry to say it..but when i went from the mstage to my 337 with the tubes i now have it was almost astouning how big of a difference the soundquality upgrade was.. Okay i admit..the 337 and he500 are known to be one of the best pairs around..but still.. With the right and reasonable investment in ur rig u do get better sound quality.. In my case i couldnt and didnt wanna belive it at first...as in my eyes the mstage was excellent already with the he500.
Problem is..when u start..its sometimes hard to know when to stop.. wink.gif
post #2414 of 4940
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifimanrookie View Post


Am sorry to say it..but when i went from the mstage to my 337 with the tubes i now have it was almost astouning how big of a difference the soundquality upgrade was.. Okay i admit..the 337 and he500 are known to be one of the best pairs around..but still.. With the right and reasonable investment in ur rig u do get better sound quality.. In my case i couldnt and didnt wanna belive it at first...as in my eyes the mstage was excellent already with the he500.
Problem is..when u start..its sometimes hard to know when to stop.. wink.gif

 

 

I have 3 amps here and 2 on the way that says - "Says Who"? very_evil_smiley.gif

post #2415 of 4940

David, have you heard Hifiman HE5LE? Ive spent some time with it and these still surprise me after few months. They also scale very good with better equipment and I dont know wheres the end of their potential. I would like to hear more opinions vs highlt praised HE500 which I never heard. HE5LE look to me like forgotten diamond a little.

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Battle Of The Flagships (58 Headphones Compared) UPDATE: AUDEZ'E LCD-2 Revision 2 (6/4/13)