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I want to buy headphones specifically for a single song. - Page 5

post #61 of 71

Agreed that 2 steps from hell doesnt have the best mastering on their music, but thankfully it's not as bad as most of today's music, and still retains some dynamic range.

post #62 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

Lets see if this will finally work. Head-Fi maintenance...

 

Oh excellent. So I assume you have an ear for that type of stuff. Are you able to recognize it in it's various forms with any of the epic music you listen to? Because it's all there. Throw one of the audio files into Audacity and analyze the waveform. Notice how much clipping is in each song. Now, I've still heard music that had pretty good sound quality but was clipped all over the place, but unfortunately, that isn't the case for this type of music. I'm no expert in the whole mastering, recording, and encoding process; but I know a lousy technical side to a song when I hear one. It's the type of music that sounds worse and worse the better your chain of components get. Or, in some cases, not necessarily worse, but never better... never improving. This is what I get from this genre.

 

Nevertheless, one shouldn't be critically listening in the first place. Music is best enjoyed when you don't have your poker face on and pencil in hand. Good music will always be good, regardless of equipment or source. It's just a shame when it "could" have been better, but isn't, and never will be.

Well, I have to be honest with you. This surprises me quite a bit. I would think guys like Bergersen would master with reference/audiophile quality gear. I dunno.. I've heard that Infected Mushroom, for example, masters using HD800s. So I would expect their music to sound great on HD800s.

 

I do recognize that the Epic genre is no stranger to compression, though. I'll have to see how that translates through to the HD700s tomorrow night and report back.

post #63 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by B M Tarr View Post

Well, I have to be honest with you. This surprises me quite a bit. I would think guys like Bergersen would master with reference/audiophile quality gear. I dunno.. I've heard that Infected Mushroom, for example, masters using HD800s. So I would expect their music to sound great on HD800s.

 

I do recognize that the Epic genre is no stranger to compression, though. I'll have to see how that translates through to the HD700s tomorrow night and report back.

 

Yes, it surprises me quite a bit too! Still dumbfounded to this day as to why they couldn't master their music better when they obviously had the chance and equipment to do so. With the caliber as to which they can compose music, you'd think they'd also pay the same attention to sound quality. Unfortunately, that isn't so. Its just absolutely unfortunate. I will admit though, I believe TSFH is a bit better mastered than Audiomachine. If you've got the album Epica, listen to track #4, Transcendence (especially towards the end during the final crescendo). One of the worst I can remember hearing, and an absolute shame, as that's one of my favorites songs on the album. That song will actually sound significantly worse the better your gear is, while many of the others simply don't improve.

 

I'm curious of the results you'll discover. Please report back when you've had some time with the HD700. I honestly hope you get better results than I did. smile.gif


Edited by Katun - 2/4/13 at 1:43pm
post #64 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

 

Yes, it surprises me quite a bit too! Still dumbfounded to this day as to why they couldn't master their music better when they obviously had the chance and equipment to do so. With the caliber as to which they can compose music, you'd think they'd also pay the same attention to sound quality. Unfortunately, that isn't so. Its just absolutely unfortunate. I will admit though, I believe TSFH is a bit better mastered than Audiomachine. If you've got the album Epica, listen to track #4, Transcendence (especially towards the end during the final crescendo). One of the worst I can remember hearing, and an absolute shame, as that's one of my favorites songs on the album. That song will actually sound significantly worse the better your gear is, while many of the others simply don't improve.

 

I'm curious of the results you'll discover. Please report back when you've had some time with the HD700. I honestly hope you get better results than I did. smile.gif

I will definitely report back! I've heard the HD700 settles down quite a bit after a while (or maybe your ears adjust) so I'll provide an initial comparison between that and the HD650s and the Beats Pro then later on after they settle (or my ears adjust) I'll come back with a final assessment.

 

I will be surprised if TSFH doesn't sound better both initially and in the long run on the HD700s vs. the Beats Pro. But re: the HD700 vs. the HD650 I am not so sure, now that you've provided the info above.

post #65 of 71
Thread Starter 

Katun,

 

Have you listened to "How To Control The Dream" by Immediate Music?

 

Curious what you think. There is obvious compression, especially in that crazy pulsing synth bass.

post #66 of 71

I actually have not. Immediate Music is the only artist I do not like in that genre. Too rock oriented, and I don't like the pacing to their music.

 

Perhaps I'll give them another shot one of these days...

post #67 of 71
Thread Starter 

Oh my.

 

I am listening to the HD700 + AudioQuest Dragonfly + rMBP for the first time.

 

I won't listen to To Glory until I feel like these are burned in... but right now I've got Safe From Harm (2012 Mix/Master) by Massive Attack on.

 

So far, best headphones I've ever heard.

 

Edit: At *max* volume with the Dragonfly I would say the volume is just a tiny bit too loud. Perfect.


Edited by B M Tarr - 2/6/13 at 8:51am
post #68 of 71

Hehe, I've listened to this song hundreds of times to mark the differences in the speed and intensity of a headphone's presentation of the music. This song also spotlights treble harshness because despite being poorly mastered, it does have some dynamic range and at some of the most intense parts towards the end it will absolutely scream treble into your ears. Of the headphones I've heard my favourites are the Hifiman He-500, Fostex TH900 and Sennheiser HD800, as all three have a significantly different presentation and bring something unique to the table.

 

HE-500- First of all, these sound the best of the three at lowest volumes, retaining the most dynamics of the music and vocal clarity thanks to that famous ortho transparency. They also have the least harshest treble at high volumes and the nice weighty mids help divert attention from the synth and strings which can dominate the presentation of the song to its detriment (the K701 exemplifies this problem) as these are undeniably the worst arranged parts of the music. The HE-500 are easily fast enough to cleanly separate the instruments while having richness to the sound and a wide soundstage. The bass is a little indistinct and tubby yet has a pleasant physicality to it, a touch of EQ from the 30-60hz regions makes it more enjoyable to my ears. Overall, these need the least EQ'ing to sound good and can be listened to the longest.

 

Fostex TH900- DAT BASS. A fantastically brutal and physical presentation while retaining a sense of scale and grandeur thanks to its great soundstaging. The highs are actually the harshest and most present of the three no doubt due to the v-shaped freq. response and unevenness in the treble relative to the other two. But man, those drums are sure fun. All the precision and clean impact of the HD800 with great rumble and slam added on top. My scalp feels like its been given an intense workout after one listen (hell yes do I EQ up the subbass!). Very energetic presentation with a very clean midrange that feels a little distant sounding on the vocals which is actually not a bad thing because they are not particularly distinct or clear in the song itself, but this does draw attention more to the massed strings. Great for an intense, short listen with liberal use of EQ to tone down the 4-8khz region by 3-4db or so.

 

HD800- Obviously the huge soundstaging and 3D imaging are the draw here. The scale of the music is all-engulfing and the sense of dynamics feel tremendous. Fast and effortless, the midrange itself feels like well, like it has more range to it. These also require EQ from 4-8kz and a solid 5db boost to the subbass. From 3:20 onwards on loud volumes the treble will be a shrill clatter of compressed sound which is actually painful to listen to (I dread to think how the HD700 would handle this part). The imaging is very precise, which is to say the music has very little imaging information and the HD800 will clearly show you this. Ultimately its a majestic if contemptuous performance, the HD800 is bored by this music and will show it for the artificial and compressed blob of noise that it is, yet the unhurried presentation is strangely addictive. Good for a few listens if you like to sneer at modern mastering techniques.

post #69 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by B M Tarr View Post

Oh my.

 

I am listening to the HD700 + AudioQuest Dragonfly + rMBP for the first time.

 

I won't listen to To Glory until I feel like these are burned in... but right now I've got Safe From Harm (2012 Mix/Master) by Massive Attack on.

 

So far, best headphones I've ever heard.

 

Edit: At *max* volume with the Dragonfly I would say the volume is just a tiny bit too loud. Perfect.

 

Looking forward to more of your impressions dude!

post #70 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle 491 View Post

Hehe, I've listened to this song hundreds of times to mark the differences in the speed and intensity of a headphone's presentation of the music. This song also spotlights treble harshness because despite being poorly mastered, it does have some dynamic range and at some of the most intense parts towards the end it will absolutely scream treble into your ears. Of the headphones I've heard my favourites are the Hifiman He-500, Fostex TH900 and Sennheiser HD800, as all three have a significantly different presentation and bring something unique to the table.

 

HE-500- First of all, these sound the best of the three at lowest volumes, retaining the most dynamics of the music and vocal clarity thanks to that famous ortho transparency. They also have the least harshest treble at high volumes and the nice weighty mids help divert attention from the synth and strings which can dominate the presentation of the song to its detriment (the K701 exemplifies this problem) as these are undeniably the worst arranged parts of the music. The HE-500 are easily fast enough to cleanly separate the instruments while having richness to the sound and a wide soundstage. The bass is a little indistinct and tubby yet has a pleasant physicality to it, a touch of EQ from the 30-60hz regions makes it more enjoyable to my ears. Overall, these need the least EQ'ing to sound good and can be listened to the longest.

 

Fostex TH900- DAT BASS. A fantastically brutal and physical presentation while retaining a sense of scale and grandeur thanks to its great soundstaging. The highs are actually the harshest and most present of the three no doubt due to the v-shaped freq. response and unevenness in the treble relative to the other two. But man, those drums are sure fun. All the precision and clean impact of the HD800 with great rumble and slam added on top. My scalp feels like its been given an intense workout after one listen (hell yes do I EQ up the subbass!). Very energetic presentation with a very clean midrange that feels a little distant sounding on the vocals which is actually not a bad thing because they are not particularly distinct or clear in the song itself, but this does draw attention more to the massed strings. Great for an intense, short listen with liberal use of EQ to tone down the 4-8khz region by 3-4db or so.

 

HD800- Obviously the huge soundstaging and 3D imaging are the draw here. The scale of the music is all-engulfing and the sense of dynamics feel tremendous. Fast and effortless, the midrange itself feels like well, like it has more range to it. These also require EQ from 4-8kz and a solid 5db boost to the subbass. From 3:20 onwards on loud volumes the treble will be a shrill clatter of compressed sound which is actually painful to listen to (I dread to think how the HD700 would handle this part). The imaging is very precise, which is to say the music has very little imaging information and the HD800 will clearly show you this. Ultimately its a majestic if contemptuous performance, the HD800 is bored by this music and will show it for the artificial and compressed blob of noise that it is, yet the unhurried presentation is strangely addictive. Good for a few listens if you like to sneer at modern mastering techniques.

 

Great read, nicely put kyle491. You have a thing for articulating sound. 

post #71 of 71

Thanks for the comment. I enjoyed writing that and listening to the song again too :)

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