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What do great mids sound like? - Page 7

post #91 of 153

You're taking this too personally, Obobskivich, and I really have no idea why.  It began with a simple questioning about any possible 'weird humps' in the 701's upper midrange.  Some harmless examples in the form of graphs and certain people's experiences later, and you're taking it as if we're trying to attack your credibility.  There have already been a couple of reviews stating that the Anniversary Edition mitigates these would be peaks of previous iterations of the 701/2.  If your argument is that these bumps only lasted through a couple of batches of these cans, then that's fine.  That still doesn't take away these people's experiences with the Anniversary Edition vs the regular 701/2.

 

On the topic of using the game graphs or not to point out possible 'characteristics' in a headphone or not, most anybody who measures would tell you that it's best practice to use the same data gathering process for assessment.  Even if the point is to just assess the frequency response of one headphone, that assessment is all but meaningless unless you take it into consideration against other headphones measured with the same data gathering process.


Edited by TMRaven - 1/6/13 at 2:33pm
post #92 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus_farmer View Post

I've heard it said that when you're listening to singing voices through a headphone with great mids, should you hear a really deep, chesty feeling, as if the voice was originating from your own voice box.

 

But then I thought that that wouldn't be accurate, because when you're listening to someone else singing the voice should sound like it emanates from your voice box because... it's not - it's coming from someone else's voice box, so you shouldn't hear that bassy, chesty tone?

 

Does a headphone that renders voices really well always provide this deep, 'chesty' sort of sound to the voice?


I think the answer to that is purely subjective. For me great mids must have a few qualities.

In order of importance:

1. Must not be fatiguing. If i find myself wincing even at low volume it's a deal breaker. HD205 is an example of 'doing it wrong'

2. Must be forward in the mix but not coloring. Good cans might accentuate certain frequencies but only a few db and they should do it smoothly. On a frequency measurement this looks like little bumps as opposed to jagged peaks.

Those are my two deal breakers.

Now as to what makes a great midrange. I want to hear vocals, I want to detect every little inflection of the singers voice, like my eardrums are riding on the grooves of a record their voice is etching. I want to be able to tell if they are a smoker or not, if they have recently had anything to drink, if the air in the room is dry and it's making them slightly hoarse. I want detail. I'm willing to forgive a little sparkling and sibilance but only if it's implied, not domineering. In spite of all of that detail I also demand smoothness. I want to imagine that the drivers in my headphones are the finest silk, absorbing all of the resonance peaks and grain and turning them into fluttering detail.

post #93 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

You're taking this too personally, Obobskivich,

Where have I taken anything personally? This is going to be the first point where I have taken something personally, because I take offense when people put words in my mouth or tell me how I'm feeling about something.

Thus far, I have responded to the relatively OT diversion into discussing the K701 because it's been relatively interesting. Thus far.
Quote:
It began with a simple questioning about any possible 'weird humps' in the 701's upper midrange.  Some harmless examples in the form of graphs and certain people's experiences later, and you're taking it as if we're trying to attack your credibility.

No, the point on credibility was not about my own. It was broader. I completely understood the "weird bumps" in example from Jerg's post as being the ~2k bubble on the 701, I'm not even denying it exists. I posted the other CSDs mostly for kicks, not as a "challenge" to anything - primarily because of the K701 inconsistency idea. GE actually shows the same bump, and so does He&Bi if you look at it long enough. It seems to be one of the few qualities that comes through. It even appears in the FR from GE.

Where I'm in disagreement is with interpretation - I have never heard the 701 as "shouty" and do not think a very wide and gentle "bubble" at 2k is going to produce that effect either (especially when it decays into the overall waterfall within ~1ms). Generally the nastiness you'll see through a CSR are expressed as ridges that stick out across space and time. And the 701 don't show that. Yes, the mids are a bit forward, but "shouty" or "cupped hands" sounding disagrees with many thousands of hours of listening on my part. But I'm not even implying "those people" (thus far I've only seen MLE say this, and I'm not disagreeing) are wrong - they wouldn't be saying it if they hadn't heard it (right?). So then what explains it? We know they've screwed with them at least once in production (the headband was changed, who knows what else changed), and they've likely changed parts as they've moved through various re-badging iterations (likely as cost control measures).
Quote:
 There have already been a couple of reviews stating that the Anniversary Edition mitigates these would be peaks of previous iterations of the 701/2.  If your argument is that these bumps only lasted through a couple of batches of these cans, then that's fine.  That still doesn't take away these people's experiences with the Anniversary Edition vs the regular 701/2.

Did I say it did? Did I even make an argument about anyone else's experiences? Have I even challenged any of those reviews (which I've admittedly not even read)? Like I said - I take offense when people put words in my mouth or tell me how I'm feeling.

As I speculated two pages ago (which seems to have been completely ignored), improving the pads and headband on the 701 (without touching anything else) would probably help the sound, as it would help them fit and seal better and reposition the drivers in a better way. And that's what AKG reports they did (no idea if they've ever actually changed the drivers, and I doubt we'll ever know conclusively) - and MLE said it improved them, and now you're saying "other people" also are saying this, so I guess my theory is supported by "those people."

And yes, my argument is that the 701 have been inconsistent since their release (and I'm so glad I have your permission to make it) - I've only said it about a dozen times today (and I've only been saying it for a few years); the reviews are too inconsistent (including reviews from people who I otherwise tend to agree with very much). I don't think that little bump by itself is enough to create that kind of division and difference of opinion. Again, radiation is probably a serious consideration here (and it usually tends to be the "experimental" wide soundstage type cans that are usually most sensitive to this), but there's less than no data available on the subject.

I'm still curious what your interest in this is though - since you're apparently fairly invested in it. Despite that, most of your posts have been based on second-hand comments, hearsay, and a lot of "these people say" and "those people say" and so on. I've yet to see you actually stake out "I heard these and this is what I hear" or similar - you just keep posting other people's accounts, other people's opinions, and so on. Why? Are you hoping to appeal to a majority consensus by trying to "side" with other people? Do you not have an opinion of your own on the matter? So again, what is your interest here?
post #94 of 153

If you didn't mean to convey it with the diction in your previous post with your 'attack on credibility' and 'chest-pumping' comments, then fine, you didn't take it personally.  Saying I'm trying to put words in your mouth when I'm merely trying mitigate any conflicts and taking offense to it?  Well, that's your prerogative, and i personally don't want anything to do with it.  The last thing I want to do is make enemies with randoms online.  

 

I originally commented bout using the same measurement system for the sake of consistency in the discussion, but if it's something that manifests itself into paragraphs of personal rambling, then so be it.  I want nothing of it.  I actually have no interest in the 701 and its lovely lady lumps.  The only reason why I still even have the numbers 701 in my post is because I'm having to respond to heated posts that might've been sparked by a simple confusion.

post #95 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

I want to hear vocals, I want to detect every little inflection of the singers voice, like my eardrums are riding on the grooves of a record their voice is etching. I want to be able to tell if they are a smoker or not, if they have recently had anything to drink, if the air in the room is dry and it's making them slightly hoarse. I want detail. I'm willing to forgive a little sparkling and sibilance but only if it's implied, not domineering. In spite of all of that detail I also demand smoothness. I want to imagine that the drivers in my headphones are the finest silk, absorbing all of the resonance peaks and grain and turning them into fluttering detail.

I...want this too. That sounds absolutely beautiful. basshead.gif
post #96 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

blah blah blah

Not even gonna bother arguing with you. We speak two different languages.


Edited by jerg - 1/6/13 at 4:13pm
post #97 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Jerg, you should really get a better amp than the e17 for the HE-500 biggrin.gif

It deserves it!smily_headphones1.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

 

+1...they do need more juice than what the e17 can provide. Come on man, step it up!!

 

I know I know. The E17s are so bottlenecky I could feel the bottleneck shape in the HE500 sound signature almost.

 

M&Ms or Objectives though? That is the question.

post #98 of 153

The Schiit Stack obviously!

post #99 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

 

I know I know. The E17s are so bottlenecky I could feel the bottleneck shape in the HE500 sound signature almost.

 

M&Ms or Objectives though? That is the question.


I like it with tubes. Anywayz, I could settle permanently with the HE-400 and my x-can v8 (3 yr old 500$ tube amp), but not with the e17 and either of the HE-400 and 500.

There is much to be desired :P

post #100 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post


I like it with tubes. Anywayz, I could settle permanently with the HE-400 and my x-can v8 (3 yr old 500$ tube amp), but not with the e17 and either of the HE-400 and 500.
There is much to be desired :P

The new V-CAN-II is a fantastic amp in its own right - it doesn't have the tube buffer section out of the X-CAN series, but is otherwise a fantastic desktop amp. Very quiet and clean, and the build quality is there. Or you can get the M1...cool.gif
post #101 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

The Schiit Stack obviously!

 

This is really tough to beat for two bills. 

post #102 of 153
The HE400 sounds great off the Schiit stack. If you don't care about matching equipment, the ODAC+Magni sounds slightly better. Slightly.
post #103 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
As far as the 701 and their midrange - they're good, but not great. The soundstage is too wide and it creates trouble for the midrange. As John Grado reportedly said a few years ago (speaking about the GS-1000 if I recall correctly),when designing a headphone you can either have intimate and engaging mids, or a wide soundstage, but not both. And by and large, even if he didn't say it, I would agree with that claim. The 701 unfortunately fit into the later category - they have a wide soundstage, and as a result don't have intimate and engaging mids. Sure, they have good mids, and they have clean mids, and I'm sure someone will say "no but it's a ruler from 100 to 1k (or whatever other arbitrary points) - PROOF!" (rolleyes.gif) - but that's only one aspect of the overall design. Radiation is a big deal that almost nobody talks about. It matters for speakers, and it matters for headphones. The real trick that the 701 pull off is having as good of a mid-range as they do, despite their very large soundstage. Especially for the money (they are probably the best overall performer for the money today; there are a few cans that have gone out of production in the last year or two that cost around what the 701 do, and I would contend they are competitive if not slightly better in some regards, but none of them are made anymore). It still doesn't change the fact that they have a wide soundstage, and that gets in the way of "perfect" mids - there's only one headphone I've ever heard that will begin to challenge Grado's claim on intimate mids and a wide-soundstage (the Sony MDR-F1, if anyone feels like digging up history), and they are not without flaws - they also are (if I'm remembering ancient marketing literature and the original revision of their owner's manual correctly) the result of Sony (and not modern "broke as a joke" Sony, 1990s "ocean of money" Sony) putting their R&D know-how into solving that problem. Every follow-up that Sony has attempted (and I haven't heard the newest MA900) has tried to address the F1's various flaws, and ultimately ends up more closely re-creating the K701's problems than improving on the F1 (which leads me to believe the F1 represent a very real "wall" for designers).

 

I'd like everyone to elaborate on what they mean on "intimate and engaging mids".

 

I mean, while I can't speak for the AKG 70* variants, I'm here listening to the SR-Lambda as usual, and I find music quite intimate and engaging already while having the trademark Lambda vast soundstage. Couldn't say the same for the SR-202, though; mids are noticeably recessed, at least with an SRM-212. The general sentiment amongst Stax enthusiasts is that the original Normal bias SR-Lambda is as good as it gets for midrange 'til you start shelling out the big bucks for Omega-series flagships.

 

Maybe it's because I'm "engaged" more by the music than the headphones I'm wearing, for all I know. I mean, headphones do help bring out certain parts of the music, but if the excitement wasn't there in the music to begin with, then no set of headphones is going to help with that.

post #104 of 153

I know I'm less than a junior here, but good mids mustn't sound... good? I mean, you may prefer neutral, colored or emphasized mids. What you like is what is good! Can't be as simple as that though!

post #105 of 153

Sorry guys, I've never really understood what high and mid are classified as. I will be writing a comparison soon, so I better get up to speed on my vocabulary. Also what the difference between mid-bass and sub-bass. Also, PLEASE add in song examples. I really need some help here guys.

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