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Why don't the well known audiophile amp companies make headphone amps? - Page 4

post #46 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

because unlike most speakers which are reasonably good, most headphones are actually crap.
that's why the notion of a 2000$ headphone with +/-10dB in the highs is not laughable. in the speaker world you couldn't get away with that in a 20$ speaker.

What?

post #47 of 63

I'll decode...

 

Speakers, even bad ones measure fairly flat within their spec.

 

Headphones, even good ones don't measure flat top to bottom.

 

Headphone do some things better dollar for dollar, but tonal balance isn't one of them.

post #48 of 63
The only problem with that though is that there is no set way to measure headphones and far as which correction method is being used.

But even given that not everyone is even attempting to work towards being flat in regards to at least one of the methods, they all color the sound on purpose. I'd say that is much less prevalent in speakers.

The other thing would be that, it's much easier to make a flat multiway speaker, than it is to make a flat single driver headphone. This is why I think if you want as close to perfect tonality in headphones, customs are as close as you'll get, being multiway designs with a crossover
post #49 of 63
I'm not talking about "slightly" bad here, I'm talking about +/-10dB at 10kHz, phase shifts you can get a camel through and enough ringing to tickle your pinna.

And the it's "hard" excuse ... please, you want 1000$ from me. It's supposed to be hard.

The state of headphones is so bad that LFF guy can get a 100$ headphone, tune it (reasonably) neutral and sell it for 500$. It's THAT bad! And the funniest / most depressing thing is, it's probably worth it. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by eugenius - 12/23/12 at 1:52pm
post #50 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by eugenius View Post

The state of headphones is so bad that LFF guy can get a 100$ headphone, tune it (reasonably) neutral and sell it for 500$. It's THAT bad.

 

Try upwards of $730

post #51 of 63

[Redacted]s


Edited by LFF - 12/23/12 at 1:44pm
post #52 of 63
Hehe, I got LFF to comment. smily_headphones1.gif Don't worry that was not an attack at all, in fact it was meant as praise. I consider LFF the good guy so I edited my post so there's no misunderstanding.

The bad guys are the guys who slap some wood on it. And the guys who sell cables that cost more than the headphones. They're around here like rats. smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by eugenius - 12/23/12 at 2:05pm
post #53 of 63

$730 is not the entry point for the Paradox.  It is the bells and whistles no-holds-barred (aesthetically) version.

 

To be clear, eugenius' point is not an indictment of the Paradox - it is an indictment of the rest of the industry that none of the companies out there could do what LFF has done at anywhere near the price point.  I think part of it is demographic - by and large much of the audiophile speaker market is after neutrality - due to age, genre preference, listening environment (on the go/transportable), and possibly inexperience, the headphone market seems largely tailored to a different clientele.  The accountability that comes with third party measurements has been around decades longer than headphone measurements (and whereas speaker measurements are more mature and refined, headphone measurements are still... learning) means that companies could get away with a lot more without public outcry.  

 

Eugenius, you are aware that with most current methods of compensation (Tyll's for instance) headphones aren't supposed to measure in a flat line, right?

post #54 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

$730 is not the entry point for the Paradox.  It is the bells and whistles no-holds-barred (aesthetically) version.

 

To be clear, eugenius' point is not an indictment of the Paradox 

 

 

Understood.  Shucks I bought a pair myself.biggrin.gif

post #55 of 63
I know that Radio_head, that's why he has a corrected and a raw line in his measurements. Even if his method is somehow flawed, it's still the best we have and it's a good reference to compare headphones.

Getting back to the thread: the fact is, most headphones are bad. Most speakers are not. Maybe a high end amp manufacturer got some headphones, listened to them and said: what the hell, this doesn't sound like music. I don't need to make this crap sound extra crappy. It's either that or they needed to take a pen and a pad and get some lessons from dr. Dre. smily_headphones1.gif


That by the way is the whole problem with neutral amplifiers. We already have them and they're very cheap and very good. We just don't have the headphones for them.

In fact the headphone correction apps developed by goldenears and dirac are the best development in recent headphone audio.
Edited by eugenius - 12/23/12 at 2:28pm
post #56 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

Eugenius, you are aware that with most current methods of compensation (Tyll's for instance) headphones aren't supposed to measure in a flat line, right?

 

A flat corrected line is a flat response.  Granted that's not the same as ideal because headphones have their own set of problems.  No physical bass presence, no distance for treble to lose its edge, etc.

post #57 of 63

Given that speakers are designed to measure flat in an ideal environment and the normal environment for speakers and headphones are, respectively, rooms and people's ears and in most cases neither are consistent or ideal, I think that view of the headphone industry is somewhat of an unfair one.

 

I have heard the Maddogs and was impressed. However, I think the kinds of ideals we have isn't shared by everyone (and that goes back to the reasons why manufacturers don't make headphone amps, or only basic ones, not to mention why CDs are still popular with hi-fi buyers). In our niche market our interests are a niche inside that.

post #58 of 63

There is no universal standard for how an ideal headphone should measure (diffuse field equalization versus free field equalization, etc). This article is very informative on the subject:

http://www.stereophile.com/features/808head/index.html

post #59 of 63

That article comes up often and lots seem to walk away from it thinking... if they can't agree on which of the 2 is most correct... then personal preference is also a valid model /facepalm

 

No, just no.  The point of the article and the science is there are 2 standards and if you decide one isn't better than the other, you are still bound to fall inside their differences.  This is the correction model of the 2.  To be 'flat' you need to fall inside the 2.  Or put another way... Tyll's bottom trace needs to look like.

 

 

 

1000

 

The other thing to note... the 2 aren't wildly different ;)


Edited by Solude - 12/24/12 at 1:13pm
post #60 of 63

The article doesn't say there are 2 standards - there are several camps including the free-field and diffuse-field proponents. I quote:

 

"If you suppose that, as a result of Theile's work, there is now a headphone-industry consensus that the DF response assumption is the correct one, prepare yourself for disappointment. Headphones continue to espouse widely differing response philosophies: some close to FF, some close to DF, and others nearer to flat. Which is "right" remains a bone of contention.

From the point of view of those who measure headphones, then, there is no hope of being able to apply a universally accepted correction to generate a "flat is correct" response. The best we can do is apply both FF and DF corrections and hope to learn by experience which, if either, truly correlates with the best subjective performance."

 

For the free-field camp, there's not an agreed upon curve. The graph you referenced below shows 2 different free-field measurements of the same test condition. These will sound substantially different, being >5dB apart at 2kHz alone.

 

Then to add to the mix is diffuse-field versus free-field equalization

 

 

In my experience over the past 20 years listening to different headphones, each listener should pick which sounds best to them beerchug.gif

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solude View Post

That article comes up often and lots seem to walk away from it thinking... if they can't agree on which of the 2 is most correct... then any are /facepalm

 

No, just no.  The point of the article and the science is there are 2 standards and if decide one isn't better than the other, you are still bound to fall inside their differences.  This is the raw model for the 2.  To be 'flat' you need to fall inside the 2.  Or put another way... Tyll's bottom trace needs to look like.

 

 

The other thing to note... the 2 aren't wildly different ;)


Edited by Donald North - 12/24/12 at 11:57am
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