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What does "not very fast" mean? (Sennheiser hd600)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I am new to the audiophile community, so bear with me.  I have the senn hd600 and people talk of them not being "fast"...I did a google search and couldn't really dig anything up for that term on headphones.  Can anyone explain this one?

post #2 of 19

It's a word that usually isn't used as it should be.  On a pure technicality side, it should deal with how well the headphone deals with transients and how fast it decays-- which can be shown in csd plots.  People usually call the HD600/650 slow, but I whole-heartedly disagree.  Going back to the not used as it should be thing, I have a hunch because they're used to phones with treble spikes.

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply.  But I'm a bit lost on the terms...does fast mean it keeps up with the beat or something?  I heard the not very fast term used with the 600s in particular with rock music or bass heavy rap.

post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

It's a word that usually isn't used as it should be.  On a pure technicality side, it should deal with how well the headphone deals with transients and how fast it decays-- which can be shown in csd plots.  People usually call the HD600/650 slow, but I whole-heartedly disagree.  Going back to the not used as it should be thing, I have a hunch because they're used to phones with treble spikes.

This is how I have used that term before, long before purrin and other members were taking measurements using time-domain frequency analysis.  Its a phrase that I do not like to use anymore, because a lot of headphones I thought "sounded fast", in actuality exhibited a lot of time domain resonances.  

post #5 of 19

Yes I don't really like to use it either-- not in an absolute sense anyways.  I much rather say 'x headphones sounds fast' rather than say 'x headphone is fast.'

 

So there you have it ColtMrFire, 9 times out of 10 it's a word with no meaning.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

To the 600s work beautiful with rock and rap...I am loving them.  They are so good that bad recordings almost make me regret buying them!  They are so brutally honest.  Then I will listen to a wonderfully recorded song and can't believe how good it sounds, especially with voices.  James Blake's "I never learnt to share"...just wow. 

post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer5150 View Post

a lot of headphones I thought "sounded fast", in actuality exhibited a lot of time domain resonances.  

 

I recently equalized a set of cheap earbuds to be seemingly as fast as anything could, i.e. they had a perfect impulse response, something not found even in $5000 headphones. http://www.head-fi.org/t/633507/what-is-a-slow-vs-fast-headphone/15#post_8817568. Whether the driver itself became faster or not, the end result at the microphone nonetheless had the transients at just about 100% perfect in terms of speed.

 

Which blurs the line between fast headphones and simply a fast yet accurate sound achievable by any headphones.

post #8 of 19

CSD plots of the earbuds from the above test.

 

Original

LL

 

Equalized (convolved)

 

In other words, the driver had instant decay – if one trusts CSD plots as a measure of speed.

post #9 of 19

^I don't believe that plot. Too good to be true.

post #10 of 19

^ Every modern convenience readily available to you now was too good to be true at some point in history, so too-goodness may not be a solid basis for not believing in something, eh?

 

Waveform plots, part of the original MLS signal in grey, same part of the signal recorded off the earbuds in light red:

 

Original

 

Convolved

 

Despite roughness at the top and bottom (possibly due to noise in the recording itself), the convolved earbuds reproduced the decay of the transients very much perfectly. Hence, the CSD plot is most probably correct.


Edited by vid - 2/20/13 at 4:36am
post #11 of 19

It's interesting the little nuance that someone introduced here, i.e the difference between it's faster, and it sound faster.

I found many claim  on the forum that the hd800 "are fast", but I can't really say I get some "adrenaline rush"

by listening fast paced music. While with my srh940, it was like putting "brain on acid".

Perhaps some little "domain resonances" are a bit necessary to give that sensation of speed.

In the other hand my hd595 , win the price of sluggishness, and they are not exactly lacking in "domain resonances",

but the fast paced music would leave you indifferent, you are merely realizing there's speed.

 

I'm guessing that between the hd595, and hd800, the hd650 doesn't "sound fast", although technically it could

perfectly handle fast music. I'm not sure what is the missing ingredient for "sounding fast", and that doesn't ruin accuracy.

 

Anyway, here are two music that I found "very fast" (an overwhelming feeling) , on  the srh940:

 

Skazy - Anarchy

 

 

Holy F***- Stilettos


Edited by extrabigmehdi - 2/20/13 at 4:54am
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

^ Every modern convenience readily available to you now was too good to be true at some point in history, so too-goodness may not be a solid basis for not believing in something, eh?

 

Waveform plots, part of the original MLS signal in grey, same part of the signal recorded off the earbuds in light red:

 

Original

 

Convolved

 

Despite roughness at the top and bottom (possibly due to noise in the recording itself), the convolved earbuds reproduced the decay of the transients very much perfectly. Hence, the CSD plot is most probably correct.

If I understand it correctly, you have made something like a sine sweep/test track specially for that 'phone to avoid/minimize resonances and the like? It doesn't work with regular music, right? Can you explain a bit more, or perhaps throw some links?

post #13 of 19

I always thought that the term was applied to headphones that had looser bass, as opposed to "fast headphones" that have a tighter, more impactful response, which can make the music be perceived as going "faster", although the tempo is very much the same.

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

If I understand it correctly, you have made something like a sine sweep/test track specially for that 'phone to avoid/minimize resonances and the like? It doesn't work with regular music, right? Can you explain a bit more, or perhaps throw some links?

 

It's an equalization specific to those headphones and that 'ear', one that seeks to accurately reduce the frequency response to flat in that context. I myself don't understand how it works, but you can wiki for convolution and go from there. It should work with any sound, but only for that specific ear for which the original frequency response was measured. Since I can't embed a microphone to my eardrum, and thus don't know the frequency response at my eardrum, I can't create the effect for my own ear.

 

The case might be simpler for IEMs, since only the ear canal is involved, and you can probably simplify the canal geometry to a straight, half-open tube. So in theory you could record the frequency response like that, adjusting the length of the artificial tube so that its resonances match those that you hear, and maybe end up with a good approximation of the frequency response at your own eardrum. Then you might convolve the IEMs razor flat, or to whatever other shape.

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

 

It's an equalization specific to those headphones and that 'ear', one that seeks to accurately reduce the frequency response to flat in that context. I myself don't understand how it works, but you can wiki for convolution and go from there. It should work with any sound, but only for that specific ear for which the original frequency response was measured. Since I can't embed a microphone to my eardrum, and thus don't know the frequency response at my eardrum, I can't create the effect for my own ear.

convolution is used by reverb plugins such like reverberate.

I guess you could create a custom impulse, and use the reverb plugin for that.

Even foobar has a convolver component.

I'm not fond of by he way of stuff like tb isone that are supposed to give the illusion of speakers :

it's " a convolution" reverb, and it completely mess up the frequency response.

 

I'm not sure I've understood what you managed to do, but anyway, how does it sound ?

I don't think it would be as good as a "stock" hd800 or what.

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