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[Review] Gamma LH-036

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

If you have been to Taiwan, you likely have seen one of these inside a CD store. It is one of the most widely-used headphones for CD listening stations there.

It was in fact my first exposure to "hi-fidelity" sound - when I was a teenager, I remember being completely blown away by these phones!

They can still be found for less than $30, which IMO makes them very competitive against the Superlux HD668b.

 

Materials & Craftsmanship:

The packaging is pretty barebone, though you do get a 1/4" adapter.

 

Materials feel cheap, obviously, but you get what you paid for $30. The LH-036 does have one feature I really like: The cups are connected to the headband via a ball joint, which pivots very easily for a good fit. Unfortunately the screw that affixes the earcups to the joint have the tendency to get a bit loose after a while, and each time this happens I have to open up the housing to tighten them (the joints also get squeaky if these aren't tightened).

 

The earpads are made of pretty cheap pleather, but they are very easily removable and serviceable.

 

Comfort

I don't find the LH-036 to be comfortable due to my ear size - the earpad opening is on the small side and not very deep. Clamping force is decent though, and the headband is actually very well-padded.

 

Audio Quality

The LH-036 sports large 50mm drivers, and the sound quality is actually very good for its price.

 

Technical Specifications:

  • Driver: φ50mm Neodymium
  • Impedance 32Ω
  • Frequency Response: 5-25,000Hz
  • Maximum Output: 100mW

 

Treble: The treble is my biggest complaint with the LH-036. It is very sharp and bitey - a problem I seem to also have with the Superlux HD668b. This is an extremely sibilant headphone and will require a good amount of EQing in order to sound pleasant. That said, detail and clarity is decent, though not quite as good as the HD668b.

 

Mid-Range: The mid-range is actually pretty good (when the treble is behaving). The LH-036 by default has a V-shaped presentation, but the mid-range clarity is decent and I would say have a slightly warm tilt.

 

Bass: With a good amp these headphones actually put out a decent bass with good extension and tightness. I actually think the extension is better on these than the HD668b.

 

Sound Stage: The sound stage is actually pretty ok. It's comparable to the HD668b, though imaging isn't as good (due to treble clarity not being on-par).

 

Conclusion

The Gamma LH-036 has been around for over two decades now - it's actually held up pretty well considering its age and price range. If you are in the market for some budget head gear and don't mind EQing for good results, this should definitely be on your list.


Edited by Bagheera - 9/26/15 at 6:56pm
post #2 of 3

Thanks for the detailed review, i've seen them mentioned among some audiophile taiwanese friends. They look fragile. 

 

Any chance to use the drivers on them with a different headphone housing? 

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwess View Post

Thanks for the detailed review, i've seen them mentioned among some audiophile taiwanese friends. They look fragile. 

 

Any chance to use the drivers on them with a different headphone housing? 

Oh, as cheap as they may look and feel, they are anything but fragile. xD The headband is very sturdy, and there are no thin plasticy bits on the frame like in a lot of traditional designs. The only moving parts are the pivot joints, and those can take a ton of abuse (I dropped mine quite a number of times).

 

As for moving the drivers to a different housing - that's something I've actually been meaning to find out as well - problem is where to obtain higher-quality housing. :P I suppose I can always buy up some broken headphones to try.

 

I am not too sure about the capabilities of these drivers - big as they are - since the design is so antiquated.  The treble presentation (the LH-036's weakest point) likely won't improve much, since treble typically isn't affected by the housing. Mid-range... may have a chance of improving - I think if it's recessed a bit, clarity and detail may get a bit better. Bass is always the fun part for modders, of course - as far as I can tell the bass is tight (though extension isn't all that great); increasing the quantity of bass may make these cans more exciting to listen to.

 

Anybody have any broken headphones laying around? biggrin.gif


Edited by Bagheera - 2/6/13 at 4:28am
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