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Sony MDR-SA 5000 - A detail lover's paradise? - Page 3

post #31 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

Sony was experimenting with cellulose drivers at that time. Qualia was the first, MDR-SA5000/SA3000 were more affordable mass produced siblings.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/568977/qualia-010-sa5000-and-sa3000-comparison-pics

 

 

thats pretty educative .. eitherway if the qualia too has exposed drivers like the SA-Xk, there can the same risk of foreign bodies penetrating the diaphragm . .and $5000 might not really be justified ... 

 

I've seen threads where detail-freaks throw out opinions of sound .. and andrew_wot> you seem to stick to the W5000 as the most detailed... hmm yet you are the only one...whats your source and amp ?

post #32 of 77

god how did I forget about the Qualia!!!  thanks andrew.  I always liked the SA3k, its velour pads are so comfy!!

post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by facilitator View Post

does anyone have any idea on the history of these headphones .. I would like to dig up some graves! if at all you do get some spare time please help into creating a small dedicated thread to these cans that have solved all my cravings for a 'great' headphone without bursting my wallet .. im pretty sure i wont be bit again by the 'upgrade' bug atleast not till im old.. 

My understanding of their history is that they were Sony's next attempt at a flagship, post biocellulose drivers, once they started to get into synthetic composites (and they are kind of the "grandfather" of all current Sony driver designs in that respect). The MDR-F1 came about sometime in the early 1990s (I've heard 1996 and 1997 variously - I can reliably say 1998), but afiak weren't intended to be a "flagship" headphone (the marketing materials seem to agree with that - the F1 were more in that "weird random stuff they end up selling" category, like the PFR-V1 or MDR-Z1000). The SA5000 came about in 2001 (according to Amazon; according to Wikipedia, Qualia came out in 2004) - and weren't intended as a replacement to the F1 from what I understand (they do incorporate some of the F1's features (open-back auranomic design, all-magnesium alloy frame), but are fairly dissimilar overall (the MDR-SA lack a Zobel network for example); the newer MA900 would be more likely a replacement for the F1).

The drivers in the SA5k and SA3k, iirc, have the same partnumber/order-code, while the Qualia is a different driver - all are "Nanocomposite" as opposed to the biocellulose found in the CD3000, R10, and such (and I have never heard a 100% explanation of what "Nanocomposite" is meant to mean, I've heard the phrases "crushed glass" and "glass fibre" thrown around wrt these drivers though). The F1 have different drivers (PET afaik).

Discontinuation is another interesting discussion with the MDR-SA and MDR-F1; I know the F1 were "officially discontinued" at least twice (once around 2004, when they pulled them from the US, and again in 2011-2012 when they pulled them globally), and I think the SA series saw a similar trend. I'm guessing it's more to do with Sony's broad retail channel causing the "Sega problem" (where they're selling different generations of hardware for different markets), than anything else. For example I remember being in a Sony store in the US in ~2007 and asking about the SA5000, and they claimed they were discontinued; but they were still available from Sony Style's online website, and through a few authorized dealers (like Amazon) up until 2011-2012 when the MDR-F1 also went away "for good" (and I've seen a lot of moves on Sony's part in the last three years that seem to be aimed at consolidating their product offerings and eliminating the "Sega problem" for dealers).

Here's more than you probably ever wanted to know about the MDR-F1:
http://www.sonicstudios.com/mdr-f1.htm

Sony Japan website for the SA5000:
http://www.sony.jp/headphone/products/MDR-SA5000/
And F1:
http://www.sony.jp/headphone/products/MDR-F1/

Unfortunately they aren't like AT, and they don't keep "Sold From" published. redface.gif (At least that I'm seeing)

If anyone reads Japanese, here's the expanded view of the SA5000 driver (left side is the "front", so the second from left would be the diaphragm that Sony is identifying as "nanocomposite material"):


Nothing more is coming to mind - if I remember or find something else (and subsequently remember this thread redface.gif), I'll add.
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by facilitator View Post

 

 

thats pretty educative .. eitherway if the qualia too has exposed drivers like the SA-Xk, there can the same risk of foreign bodies penetrating the diaphragm . .and $5000 might not really be justified ... 

 

I've seen threads where detail-freaks throw out opinions of sound .. and andrew_wot> you seem to stick to the W5000 as the most detailed... hmm yet you are the only one...whats your source and amp ?


If you refer to HD800 vs SA5000 thread, to my recollection none of the opponents had both (W5K SA5K) at the same time, I have both right now and even that it's not night and day difference, give a nod to W5000 for details and overall timbre.

For what it's worth headphonereviews seems to be in agreement

http://www.headphonereviews.org/headphone/Sony/MDR-SA5000

Details: 8.3

http://www.headphonereviews.org/headphone/Audio-Technica/ATH-W5000

Details: 8.8

 

I understand that this score is pretty much useless, that just to counter your point that "I am the only one".

 

headphonesreviews used to have very nice Iron Dreamer's W5000 review where he compared it against SA5000, can't find it now, they might pulled it out due to the age.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 2/3/13 at 1:32pm
post #35 of 77

Obobskivich, good stuff! smile.gif

 

Sennheiser seem to borrow some Qualia/SA5000 design elements for HD800, too bad they couldn't keep magnesium frame and opted for easily scratched painted Leona plastic.
 

post #36 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post


If you refer to HD800 vs SA5000 thread, to my recollection none of the opponents had both (W5K SA5K) at the same time, I have both right now and even that it's not night and day difference, give a nod to W5000 for details and overall timbre.

For what it's worth headphonereviews seems to be in agreement

http://www.headphonereviews.org/headphone/Sony/MDR-SA5000

Details: 8.3

http://www.headphonereviews.org/headphone/Audio-Technica/ATH-W5000

Details: 8.8

 

I understand that this score is pretty much useless, that just to counter your point that "I am the only one".

 

headphonesreviews used to have very nice Iron Dreamer's W5000 review where he compared it against SA5000, can't find it now, they might pulled it out due to the age.

 

apologies if i offended you or anything ... 

 

thanks for those links .. 

post #37 of 77
Thread Starter 

obobskivich

 

thanks for the detailed look into the product life of the SA-5k and MDR-F1.. 

 

and also for the great understanding of Sony's issues .. 

post #38 of 77
Hmmm..The SA3000 is still available on Amazon for $170. Aside from the Magnesium construction, the main difference from the SA5000 is cloth earpads instead of leather and sticker covering holes on the drivers rear. I think that with some mods and a recable that these could be as good or better than SA5000 but you would need to retrofit leather pads for equal bass.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by facilitator View Post

 

apologies if i offended you or anything ... 

 

thanks for those links .. 


Not at all, smile.gif both are details monsters, claiming one is more detailed than the other in their case is splitting hairs. W5000 with superior soundstage and layering just provide more air around instruments that make them stand out w/o stepping on each other, that make them sound as if they were more detailed. Anyhow, I still like SA5000 a lot. In fact I was quite surprised how mellow they sound out of GS-1 with upgraded modules now, no harshness at all. Definitely more pleasant timbre than DT880.

 

There is interesting review of them, comparing to other phones including HD800, this is google Japanese translation, so forget its Engrish. bigsmile_face.gif

 

http://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&hl=en&ie=UTF8&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://www.geocities.co.jp/ryumatsuba/mdr-sa5000.html&usg=ALkJrhgH5Mhm_tG1QOVmTh_Q6ok9X65W4w


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 2/3/13 at 10:15pm
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzraelDarkangel View Post

Hmmm..The SA3000 is still available on Amazon for $170. Aside from the Magnesium construction, the main difference from the SA5000 is cloth earpads instead of leather and sticker covering holes on the drivers rear. I think that with some mods and a recable that these could be as good or better than SA5000 but you would need to retrofit leather pads for equal bass.

iirc the SA5000 pads are pretty expensive, assuming you could even find them. But generally speaking, yes, they're fairly similar beyond the pads, as long as you can play around with the interior damping on the SA3k a little. I remember when both were available, the SA3k was running around $170-$190, and the SA5k around $330, and at the time it was *not* cost effective to try and hotrod the 3k. redface.gif
post #41 of 77
Thread Starter 

I've gone through a couple of threads on the SA-5000 and almost everyone quotes that they have a 'bright' signature that can be tiring in the long run and offensive

 

personally I have never felt the sound to be bright or rather offensive.. I would rather put them as 'cold' ,  un-emotive & effortless .. 

 

If they consider the SA-5000 to be bright - they should hear the DT-990 pro .. that has very piercing treble unless through a tube amp ..

 

I will be auditioning the tube-magic A1 within another week - will keep you updated on the synergy ..

 

regards,


Edited by ayaflo - 2/5/13 at 4:59am
post #42 of 77
I may pick up an SA3000 in a couple weeks if I decide not to get the CD900ST. Probably do a recable right away, hook them to the speaker output on my vintage amp.
post #43 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzraelDarkangel View Post

I may pick up an SA3000 in a couple weeks if I decide not to get the CD900ST. Probably do a recable right away, hook them to the speaker output on my vintage amp.

 

all the best beerchug.gif

post #44 of 77
Thread Starter 

observation #4

 

the instrument seperation is spectacular .. I sometimes feel that even the sibilance is seperated from the voice .. just kiddin..

 

I am right now suffering from Acute Pharengytis.. so under the influence of lotsa drugs hence such insane observations..

 

 

....they provide a very microscopic view into the music none the less ..


Edited by ayaflo - 2/5/13 at 7:49am
post #45 of 77
Thread Starter 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7lVG9RqU1E

 

 

this is one track by Rusko that the sonys excel with..

 

the bass is as tight as denim on a supermodels butt 

and the detail in short is overwhelming ..

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