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Sony MDR MA900 Impressions Thread - Page 46

post #676 of 2254

Alright guys, big post. The spoiler below is my review on the headphones. TL;DR: I don't like them, and I'm returning them. I tried doing the resistor mod, but you have to cut the traces in order for it to work. Since I'm returning them, I can't do anything irreversible. 

 

Review (Click to show)

Sony MDR-MA900 Review: A different sound

 

Let’s get right into it:

 

 

My Audio Setup for this review:

 

Computer: Foobar2k, WASAPI, VST adapter component for Foobar, EasyQ parametric Equalizer VST plugin

 

A: Toslink-out from my computer into the Onkyo receiver I’m using. Using both phono-out and modified L/R speaker channels for headphone output.

 

B: USB-out from my computer into the FiiO E17 (gain 6dB, treble/bass controls flat)

 

Headphones

 

Bass: Well, it’s there, but there’s very little of it. The quality is pretty good for a headphone as open as it is, but the bass really rolls off at around 80Hz. You can eq some bass out, but it won’t be very substantial. The most that I’d eq the low frequencies would be around 10dB. At that volume, you get a little mid-bass punch for very slight SPL reassurance, and it helps out a bit in EDM songs. There is a very good amount of speed, about the same as the AD2000. The amount of bass you get for such an open is very good.  

 

Midrange: Odd. In my opinion, a midrange really blooms when you have some bass to compliment it, and that’s the problem with these headphones. Since these headphones have no bass, the midrange is just standing out there by itself with no support. To me, it sounds thin, light, and delicate.

 

I found that bumping 185Hz by around 5dB really helps out with the midrange, making it sound more organic, warm, and full. It still sounds thin, though.

 

Treble: Great. It’s nice and airy, has very nice extension, and it sounds very soothing. I have tinnitus in my right ear, and I find the treble very easy to listen to.

 

Soundstage and Imaging: Medium-large. You have a good sense of what’s around you, and it’s easy to pick out certain things. They aren’t as wide as I’d like them to be, but the frontward projection is great. The music tends to focus in front of you more than on the sides, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

 

The best part about these headphones is the imaging. Fantastic. The unobtrusive sound signature, and the way these headphones are designed, it’s very easy to figure out where stuff is coming from. The downside is that most of the stuff is in front of you, with sounds on the side being much less prominent.

 

Comfort: The cloth pads kinda scratch your skin a bit, but once you get used to it, they’re pretty comfortable. They don’t have that disappearing factor that my modified AD2000s have, but nonetheless, they are comfortable, lightweight headphones. My ears touch the cloth covering the driver, and that’s the main reason why I can’t seem to get that disappearing factor. If I slide the headphones back so that my ears are tucked in underneath the earpad, they don’t touch the driver, but doing so attenuates the treble a bit.

These headphones kind of feel like grados, but instead of the foam that’s on those headphones, you have a less rough cloth-like material.

 

Transparency: They’re just as transparent as my modified AD2000s, which is in the LCD-2 ballpark (that’s the most expensive headphone that I’ve heard). It’s easy to pick out sounds because there is no bass emphasis. Speaking of the LCD-2, the MA900s have basically the same treble as them. That’s where the similarities end.

 

 

Overall Sound: They sound relaxed, thin, and recessed. There is no emphasis on anything, and they sound dry and weak. The sound signature is very easy to get used to, and they pair well with music that is not focused on the lower midrange and below.    

 

 

Amp friendly? Even with the compensating resistor network, I still find that amps with a high output impedance affect these headphones. The speaker outputs on my receiver, and my FiiO E17, two sources with a near-zero output impedance, sound best with these headphones. The phono-out on my receiver, which has a high output impedance, has the effect of making the treble sound attenuated and quieter than the E17/Speaker outputs.

 

 

Sensitivity: Surprisingly, these headphones aren’t as sensitive as you’d think, and they’re not nearly as sensitive as the specs on the headphones show. My modified AD2000s are much louder than the MA900 at the same volume level. Keep in mind that the modifications I’ve done to my AD2Ks doesn’t change the sensitivity of the headphones.

 

 

The low sensitivity is probably because of the resistor network on the MA900s. These headphones are relatively 10dB quieter than my AD2000s. How I came to that was I set a volume level for the MA900s, and I changed the volume on the AD2ks until it matched the MA900s. The result was around a 10dB difference. With that said, the specs on Sony’s website when it comes to the sensitivity is wrong.

 

 

How much power do I need? Despite the low sensitivity, headphones are very easy to drive, and something like a FiiO E7 will be all you really need. The drivers in these headphones are very weak and it’s very easy to blow them if you have them hooked up to a powerful amp. With that said, be weary on how loud you listen. If you hear an obtrusive flabby sound whenever the bass hits, then it’s too loud.

 

 

My EQ Setup:

 

This is a visualization of the equalization I was talking about in the midrange section.

 

Do I like them? While these are very good headphones, they just don’t sit well with me. I love a balanced soundstage, and I love bass. Both of those aren’t fulfilled with these headphones. I knew that these headphones wouldn’t have much bass before I bought them, but I was thinking that I could modify them to get the bass out. While it is possible, the quantity that I’d get would be nowhere near the quantity on my ad2000mkiv by a very large margin. While these headphones are around 10dB quieter, they also physically cap out about 10dB earlier than my ad2kmkivs. When you add those two together, you get a headphone with very little potential of improvement in the bass area. If you were enticed by the 70mm driver like I was, thinking that you could modify them to be bass monsters, look elsewhere. I’ve tried to, and it won’t happen. The drivers are too weak to pump the amount of SPL that satisfies me.

 

I was reading around on the MA900 Appreciation Thread, and many users have come to the consensus that the soundstage on these headphones is very large, larger than something like an HD650. Although I haven’t heard the HD600/650, I find the soundstage similar to something like the ATH-AD900, but more centered in front of you.

 

To try to illustrate the soundstage, it would be shaped like an isosceles triangle. Not wide at the bass, but it extends far in the front. On headphones like the Audio-Technica AD series, the soundstage is more like an equilateral triangle that’s wider on the l/r channels. Because it’s wider, the sounds that are projected in the front aren’t as concentrated as they are on the MA900s.  

 

 

Pros:

 

Treble

 

Imaging

 

Comfort

 

Easy to drive

 

Cons:

 

Sounds like a high-pass filter is on

 

Low bass quantity

 

Narrow soundstage

 

Not very sensitive

 

Weak driver

 

High output impedance amps will affect headphone performance

 

Genre limited (suited towards bass-light music)

 

Thin sounding

post #677 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post

Alright guys, big post. The spoiler below is my review on the headphones. TL;DR: I don't like them, and I'm returning them. I tried doing the resistor mod, but you have to cut the traces in order for it to work. Since I'm returning them, I can't do anything irreversible. 
Review (Click to show)
Sony MDR-MA900 Review: A different sound

Let’s get right into it:


My Audio Setup for this review:

Computer: Foobar2k, WASAPI, VST adapter component for Foobar, EasyQ parametric Equalizer VST plugin

A: Toslink-out from my computer into the Onkyo receiver I’m using. Using both phono-out and modified L/R speaker channels for headphone output.

B: USB-out from my computer into the FiiO E17 (gain 6dB, treble/bass controls flat)

Headphones

Bass: Well, it’s there, but there’s very little of it. The quality is pretty good for a headphone as open as it is, but the bass really rolls off at around 80Hz. You can eq some bass out, but it won’t be very substantial. The most that I’d eq the low frequencies would be around 10dB. At that volume, you get a little mid-bass punch for very slight SPL reassurance, and it helps out a bit in EDM songs. There is a very good amount of speed, about the same as the AD2000. The amount of bass you get for such an open is very good.  

Midrange: Odd. In my opinion, a midrange really blooms when you have some bass to compliment it, and that’s the problem with these headphones. Since these headphones have no bass, the midrange is just standing out there by itself with no support. To me, it sounds thin, light, and delicate.

I found that bumping 185Hz by around 5dB really helps out with the midrange, making it sound more organic, warm, and full. It still sounds thin, though.

Treble: Great. It’s nice and airy, has very nice extension, and it sounds very soothing. I have tinnitus in my right ear, and I find the treble very easy to listen to.

Soundstage and Imaging: Medium-large. You have a good sense of what’s around you, and it’s easy to pick out certain things. They aren’t as wide as I’d like them to be, but the frontward projection is great. The music tends to focus in front of you more than on the sides, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

The best part about these headphones is the imaging. Fantastic. The unobtrusive sound signature, and the way these headphones are designed, it’s very easy to figure out where stuff is coming from. The downside is that most of the stuff is in front of you, with sounds on the side being much less prominent.

Comfort: The cloth pads kinda scratch your skin a bit, but once you get used to it, they’re pretty comfortable. They don’t have that disappearing factor that my modified AD2000s have, but nonetheless, they are comfortable, lightweight headphones. My ears touch the cloth covering the driver, and that’s the main reason why I can’t seem to get that disappearing factor. If I slide the headphones back so that my ears are tucked in underneath the earpad, they don’t touch the driver, but doing so attenuates the treble a bit.
These headphones kind of feel like grados, but instead of the foam that’s on those headphones, you have a less rough cloth-like material.

Transparency: They’re just as transparent as my modified AD2000s, which is in the LCD-2 ballpark (that’s the most expensive headphone that I’ve heard). It’s easy to pick out sounds because there is no bass emphasis. Speaking of the LCD-2, the MA900s have basically the same treble as them. That’s where the similarities end.


Overall Sound: They sound relaxed, thin, and recessed. There is no emphasis on anything, and they sound dry and weak. The sound signature is very easy to get used to, and they pair well with music that is not focused on the lower midrange and below.    


Amp friendly? Even with the compensating resistor network, I still find that amps with a high output impedance affect these headphones. The speaker outputs on my receiver, and my FiiO E17, two sources with a near-zero output impedance, sound best with these headphones. The phono-out on my receiver, which has a high output impedance, has the effect of making the treble sound attenuated and quieter than the E17/Speaker outputs.


Sensitivity: Surprisingly, these headphones aren’t as sensitive as you’d think, and they’re not nearly as sensitive as the specs on the headphones show. My modified AD2000s are much louder than the MA900 at the same volume level. Keep in mind that the modifications I’ve done to my AD2Ks doesn’t change the sensitivity of the headphones.


The low sensitivity is probably because of the resistor network on the MA900s. These headphones are relatively 10dB quieter than my AD2000s. How I came to that was I set a volume level for the MA900s, and I changed the volume on the AD2ks until it matched the MA900s. The result was around a 10dB difference. With that said, the specs on Sony’s website when it comes to the sensitivity is wrong.


How much power do I need? Despite the low sensitivity, headphones are very easy to drive, and something like a FiiO E7 will be all you really need. The drivers in these headphones are very weak and it’s very easy to blow them if you have them hooked up to a powerful amp. With that said, be weary on how loud you listen. If you hear an obtrusive flabby sound whenever the bass hits, then it’s too loud.


My EQ Setup:



This is a visualization of the equalization I was talking about in the midrange section.

Do I like them? While these are very good headphones, they just don’t sit well with me. I love a balanced soundstage, and I love bass. Both of those aren’t fulfilled with these headphones. I knew that these headphones wouldn’t have much bass before I bought them, but I was thinking that I could modify them to get the bass out. While it is possible, the quantity that I’d get would be nowhere near the quantity on my ad2000mkiv by a very large margin. While these headphones are around 10dB quieter, they also physically cap out about 10dB earlier than my ad2kmkivs. When you add those two together, you get a headphone with very little potential of improvement in the bass area. If you were enticed by the 70mm driver like I was, thinking that you could modify them to be bass monsters, look elsewhere. I’ve tried to, and it won’t happen. The drivers are too weak to pump the amount of SPL that satisfies me.

I was reading around on the MA900 Appreciation Thread, and many users have come to the consensus that the soundstage on these headphones is very large, larger than something like an HD650. Although I haven’t heard the HD600/650, I find the soundstage similar to something like the ATH-AD900, but more centered in front of you.

To try to illustrate the soundstage, it would be shaped like an isosceles triangle. Not wide at the bass, but it extends far in the front. On headphones like the Audio-Technica AD series, the soundstage is more like an equilateral triangle that’s wider on the l/r channels. Because it’s wider, the sounds that are projected in the front aren’t as concentrated as they are on the MA900s.  


Pros:

Treble

Imaging

Comfort

Easy to drive

Cons:

Sounds like a high-pass filter is on

Low bass quantity

Narrow soundstage

Not very sensitive

Weak driver

High output impedance amps will affect headphone performance

Genre limited (suited towards bass-light music)

Thin sounding

I think it's the setting you put on the E17! Have you tried low gain?

Just my though
Billson
post #678 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
 

Alright guys, big post. The spoiler below is my review on the headphones. TL;DR: I don't like them, and I'm returning them. I tried doing the resistor mod, but you have to cut the traces in order for it to work. Since I'm returning them, I can't do anything irreversible. 

 

Review (Click to show)

Sony MDR-MA900 Review: A different sound

 

Let’s get right into it:

 

 

My Audio Setup for this review:

 

Computer: Foobar2k, WASAPI, VST adapter component for Foobar, EasyQ parametric Equalizer VST plugin

 

A: Toslink-out from my computer into the Onkyo receiver I’m using. Using both phono-out and modified L/R speaker channels for headphone output.

 

B: USB-out from my computer into the FiiO E17 (gain 6dB, treble/bass controls flat)

 

Headphones

 

Bass: Well, it’s there, but there’s very little of it. The quality is pretty good for a headphone as open as it is, but the bass really rolls off at around 80Hz. You can eq some bass out, but it won’t be very substantial. The most that I’d eq the low frequencies would be around 10dB. At that volume, you get a little mid-bass punch for very slight SPL reassurance, and it helps out a bit in EDM songs. There is a very good amount of speed, about the same as the AD2000. The amount of bass you get for such an open is very good.  

 

Midrange: Odd. In my opinion, a midrange really blooms when you have some bass to compliment it, and that’s the problem with these headphones. Since these headphones have no bass, the midrange is just standing out there by itself with no support. To me, it sounds thin, light, and delicate.

 

I found that bumping 185Hz by around 5dB really helps out with the midrange, making it sound more organic, warm, and full. It still sounds thin, though.

 

Treble: Great. It’s nice and airy, has very nice extension, and it sounds very soothing. I have tinnitus in my right ear, and I find the treble very easy to listen to.

 

Soundstage and Imaging: Medium-large. You have a good sense of what’s around you, and it’s easy to pick out certain things. They aren’t as wide as I’d like them to be, but the frontward projection is great. The music tends to focus in front of you more than on the sides, which is both a good thing and a bad thing.

 

The best part about these headphones is the imaging. Fantastic. The unobtrusive sound signature, and the way these headphones are designed, it’s very easy to figure out where stuff is coming from. The downside is that most of the stuff is in front of you, with sounds on the side being much less prominent.

 

Comfort: The cloth pads kinda scratch your skin a bit, but once you get used to it, they’re pretty comfortable. They don’t have that disappearing factor that my modified AD2000s have, but nonetheless, they are comfortable, lightweight headphones. My ears touch the cloth covering the driver, and that’s the main reason why I can’t seem to get that disappearing factor. If I slide the headphones back so that my ears are tucked in underneath the earpad, they don’t touch the driver, but doing so attenuates the treble a bit.

These headphones kind of feel like grados, but instead of the foam that’s on those headphones, you have a less rough cloth-like material.

 

Transparency: They’re just as transparent as my modified AD2000s, which is in the LCD-2 ballpark (that’s the most expensive headphone that I’ve heard). It’s easy to pick out sounds because there is no bass emphasis. Speaking of the LCD-2, the MA900s have basically the same treble as them. That’s where the similarities end.

 

 

Overall Sound: They sound relaxed, thin, and recessed. There is no emphasis on anything, and they sound dry and weak. The sound signature is very easy to get used to, and they pair well with music that is not focused on the lower midrange and below.    

 

 

Amp friendly? Even with the compensating resistor network, I still find that amps with a high output impedance affect these headphones. The speaker outputs on my receiver, and my FiiO E17, two sources with a near-zero output impedance, sound best with these headphones. The phono-out on my receiver, which has a high output impedance, has the effect of making the treble sound attenuated and quieter than the E17/Speaker outputs.

 

 

Sensitivity: Surprisingly, these headphones aren’t as sensitive as you’d think, and they’re not nearly as sensitive as the specs on the headphones show. My modified AD2000s are much louder than the MA900 at the same volume level. Keep in mind that the modifications I’ve done to my AD2Ks doesn’t change the sensitivity of the headphones.

 

 

The low sensitivity is probably because of the resistor network on the MA900s. These headphones are relatively 10dB quieter than my AD2000s. How I came to that was I set a volume level for the MA900s, and I changed the volume on the AD2ks until it matched the MA900s. The result was around a 10dB difference. With that said, the specs on Sony’s website when it comes to the sensitivity is wrong.

 

 

How much power do I need? Despite the low sensitivity, headphones are very easy to drive, and something like a FiiO E7 will be all you really need. The drivers in these headphones are very weak and it’s very easy to blow them if you have them hooked up to a powerful amp. With that said, be weary on how loud you listen. If you hear an obtrusive flabby sound whenever the bass hits, then it’s too loud.

 

 

My EQ Setup:

 

This is a visualization of the equalization I was talking about in the midrange section.

 

Do I like them? While these are very good headphones, they just don’t sit well with me. I love a balanced soundstage, and I love bass. Both of those aren’t fulfilled with these headphones. I knew that these headphones wouldn’t have much bass before I bought them, but I was thinking that I could modify them to get the bass out. While it is possible, the quantity that I’d get would be nowhere near the quantity on my ad2000mkiv by a very large margin. While these headphones are around 10dB quieter, they also physically cap out about 10dB earlier than my ad2kmkivs. When you add those two together, you get a headphone with very little potential of improvement in the bass area. If you were enticed by the 70mm driver like I was, thinking that you could modify them to be bass monsters, look elsewhere. I’ve tried to, and it won’t happen. The drivers are too weak to pump the amount of SPL that satisfies me.

 

I was reading around on the MA900 Appreciation Thread, and many users have come to the consensus that the soundstage on these headphones is very large, larger than something like an HD650. Although I haven’t heard the HD600/650, I find the soundstage similar to something like the ATH-AD900, but more centered in front of you.

 

To try to illustrate the soundstage, it would be shaped like an isosceles triangle. Not wide at the bass, but it extends far in the front. On headphones like the Audio-Technica AD series, the soundstage is more like an equilateral triangle that’s wider on the l/r channels. Because it’s wider, the sounds that are projected in the front aren’t as concentrated as they are on the MA900s.  

 

 

Pros:

 

Treble

 

Imaging

 

Comfort

 

Easy to drive

 

Cons:

 

Sounds like a high-pass filter is on

 

Low bass quantity

 

Narrow soundstage

 

Not very sensitive

 

Weak driver

 

High output impedance amps will affect headphone performance

 

Genre limited (suited towards bass-light music)

 

Thin sounding

 

I found putting the MA900 on something like the magni and especially tubes as well as a good DAC fixes the thin sound, low bass quantity, and narrow soundstage. I found the headphones fairly harder to make them sound good than normal and they were fairly difficult to drive, they sound worse unamped than the K240 or K612(although the K612 absolutely hates bad DACs and you are greeted with distortion on bad DACs). Actually I found the MA900 to sound noticeably worse on the Magni which is a low output impedance amp than the EF2A which has a higher output impedance, the bass was a bit veiled and muddy on the Magni. The headphone just sounded a whole lot more transparent and simply better on the EF2A. The Magni could be putting too much current into the headphone though.


Edited by kman1211 - 11/2/13 at 4:57pm
post #679 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by kman1211 View Post
 

 

I found putting the MA900 on something like the magni and especially tubes fixes the thin sound, low bass quantity, and narrow soundstage. I found the headphones fairly harder to make them sound good than normal and they were fairly difficult to drive, they sound worse unamped than the K240 or K612(although the K612 absolutely hates bad DACs and you are greeted with distortion on bad DACs). Actually I found the MA900 to sound noticeably worse on the Magni which is a low output impedance amp than the EF2A which has a higher output impedance, the bass was a bit veiled and muddy on the Magni. The headphone just sounded a whole lot more transparent and simply better on the EF2A. The Magni could be putting too much current into the headphone though.

Well, the E17 sounded exactly like the Magni I had before I returned it. While it was a good amp, it sucked at bass performance. My E17 outperformed the Magni in bass performance while sounding exactly like it (transparency). The only benefit of the Magni was that it could drive my headphones much louder. But as far as the Magni paired with the MA900s, I'm sure that the headphones would crap out first in the bass department before the amp did because these headphones can't handle the bass without serious modification (removing the felt material and modifying the plastic grill protecting the diaphragm membrane). I even duct-taped the openings on the headphones (large openings on the back, and a small slit on the bottom) so the bass wouldn't leak out, and the bass sounded exactly the same. I slapped on a pair of my beyer gel earpads, and it sucked out the midrange and gave me even less bass. 

 

None of the amps could fix the thin sound either. Only with my equalizer setup I made could it improve the mids, and it's still lacking. They just sound too refined and distant. The mids on my ad2kmkiv are much more up front, and they take up a large portion of the head space, which gives you a more rounded, natural presentation. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillsonChang007 View Post


I think it's the setting you put on the E17! Have you tried low gain?

Just my though
Billson

I've tried all settings on the E17 after doing the review. The gain is basically a pre-amp, and it won't change the quality of the sound or anything. The bass on the headphones will never be good because the felt material covering the driver absorbs the bass and some of the midrange, and the grill covering the driver is like 2mm from the membrane, which means that the membrane can't move that far without tapping the grill. The E17 is able to make the membrane hit the grill. 

 

 

To be honest, I really don't care that these headphones aren't that good in the bass department. I was fully aware that they wouldn't have any bass quantity before I bought them. It's just those mids sound so odd to me. I've never heard mids like these before. While they are neutral, they just don't sound natural, like they do on my ad2k mkiv. 

 

If these were the only headphones I had, I know that I would get used to the sound signature, and I would enjoy them a lot, but my ad2ks refuse to let me use any other headphones haha. They just sound too good for me to keep the MA900s. I know that if I kept the MA900s they wouldn't get a lot of usage. 

post #680 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
 

Well, the E17 sounded exactly like the Magni I had before I returned it. While it was a good amp, it sucked at bass performance. My E17 outperformed the Magni in bass performance while sounding exactly like it (transparency). The only benefit of the Magni was that it could drive my headphones much louder. But as far as the Magni paired with the MA900s, I'm sure that the headphones would crap out first in the bass department before the amp did because these headphones can't handle the bass without serious modification (removing the felt material and modifying the plastic grill protecting the diaphragm membrane). I even duct-taped the openings on the headphones (large openings on the back, and a small slit on the bottom) so the bass wouldn't leak out, and the bass sounded exactly the same. I slapped on a pair of my beyer gel earpads, and it sucked out the midrange and gave me even less bass. 

 

None of the amps could fix the thin sound either. Only with my equalizer setup I made could it improve the mids, and it's still lacking. They just sound too refined and distant. The mids on my ad2kmkiv are much more up front, and they take up a large portion of the head space, which gives you a more rounded, natural presentation. 

The Magni does suck in bass performance and I didn't really find it that transparent, but to me tube and hybrid amps sound more transparent than SS amps at least in my experience. I see, I'm just not getting even a remotely thin sound out of the MA900 on my main system, everything else they sound a bit thin on though, so I know exactly what you mean by their tendency to sound thin. What DAC are you using?

 

The best result I got in terms of making them more intimate and aggressive sounding is switching to my nos RTC tubes on my amp, it became a little too aggressive, dynamic, and intimate for my liking though, the slam and attack caused some ear fatigue, so I went back to the stock tubes.


Edited by kman1211 - 11/2/13 at 5:31pm
post #681 of 2254

I'm using the dac that's in my computer and the one in my receiver. First, the dac on my computer passes the digital signal through the toslink-out, then it's converted to analog by the DAC in my receiver (I think it's rated up to 192/24). I know I'm good in the dac area. 

 

As far as amps go, maybe the MA900 will pair well with a different amp, but I'm not buying another amp for a long time because I have my own beliefs when it comes to headphone amplification. 

 

Anyways, I don't think you really understand how thin these headphones really are. Maybe you just got used to the sound signature. I can listen to the MA900s for a half an hour, and get completely get used to, and admire, the sound signature of the headphones. I can easily dismiss the cons of these headphones once I got used to the sound signature, include my eq setup, and I can see myself being satisfied with these headphones if I didn't have anything else that sounded as good as they do. 

 

When I put on my ad2ks, I am immediately reminded on how thin the MA900s sound, and I'm back to square one. There's no contest. You just have to hear it to believe it.The only thing that the MA900s are better at is the very unique way on how it does the front soundstage. Vocals are projected in front of me on the MA900s, while the vocals on the ad2k mkiv are more stereo-like. 

post #682 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
 

I'm using the dac that's in my computer and the one in my receiver. First, the dac on my computer passes the digital signal through the toslink-out, then it's converted to analog by the DAC in my receiver (I think it's rated up to 192/24). I know I'm good in the dac area. 

 

As far as amps go, maybe the MA900 will pair well with a different amp, but I'm not buying another amp for a long time because I have my own beliefs when it comes to headphone amplification. 

 

Anyways, I don't think you really understand how thin these headphones really are. Maybe you just got used to the sound signature. I can listen to the MA900s for a half an hour, and get completely get used to, and admire, the sound signature of the headphones. I can easily dismiss the cons of these headphones once I got used to the sound signature, include my eq setup, and I can see myself being satisfied with these headphones if I didn't have anything else that sounded as good as they do. 

 

When I put on my ad2ks, I am immediately reminded on how thin the MA900s sound, and I'm back to square one. There's no contest. You just have to hear it to believe it.The only thing that the MA900s are better at is the very unique way on how it does the front soundstage. Vocals are projected in front of me on the MA900s, while the vocals on the ad2k mkiv are more stereo-like. 


Ah I see.

 

I know thin from full all too well, it's not a matter of getting used to the sound signature, people I let try the MA900 are impressed by the fullness of the sound and bass and the average person is quite bass loving. None of my headphones sound even remotely thin on my set-up, I can't stand thin sounding headphones. I can get the MA900 to rumble and roar with bass easily, the bass is definitely there and it can pack quite a wallop on certain tracks.

post #683 of 2254

I forgot to mention that I'm a basshead :p The kind of bass I'm getting out of my ad2k mkivs will violently vibrate your eardrums and make your eye vision blur.

 

The best way I can put it is that my headphones are like full range loudspeakers, while the ma900s are like satellite speakers. I'm actually listening to an old stereo setup right now (something like this, but with only the l/r speakers), and they have the exact same sound signature as my ad2k mkiv. My old 2002 bose lifestyle system sounds more like the ma900s (I got the system for free...I'd never buy bose :D ).

post #684 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
 

I forgot to mention that I'm a basshead :p The kind of bass I'm getting out of my ad2k mkivs will violently vibrate your eardrums and make your eye vision blur.

 

The best way I can put it is that my headphones are like full range loudspeakers, while the ma900s are like satellite speakers. I'm actually listening to an old stereo setup right now (something like this, but with only the l/r speakers), and they have the exact same sound signature as my ad2k mkiv. My old 2002 bose lifestyle system sounds more like the ma900s (I got the system for free...I'd never buy bose :D ).


Ah I see, that will explain it, the MA900s aren't thin sounding except on certain systems. I wouldn't call myself a basshead but I do appreciate a good bass as I have a wide variety of genres I listen to and some genres good bass is vital, I don't like bass that interferes with the midrange though, I like a well balanced sound. If you want head-vibrating bass from a headphone, the DT 990 Pro with DT 770 or K240 pads will get you eardrum vibrating bass and eliminate the brightness. The DT 990 is a great basshead can to tinker with because almost all of the bass comes from the driver itself, the stock pads add very little bass so just throwing on different pads causes crazy bass boosts. If you like bass, you should try a warm tube amp sometime if you haven't already, it will add a nice presence, texture, and depth to the bass and midrange.


Edited by kman1211 - 11/2/13 at 7:30pm
post #685 of 2254
Basshead? No wonder. Explains everything. You cant just expect basshead performance from a quite linear, open dynamic. The bass was perfectly fine, other than the 50hz roll off. Also, depending on where you place them on the ear, the bass can disappear. The MA900 is extremely sensitive to ear placement. Thin sounding is one of the last things I'd ever consider the MA900 to be, unless you just had a terrible placement of the ears. These soundlike tthey're on tubes all the time, to me. Very analog, smooth, and rich.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 11/2/13 at 7:32pm
post #686 of 2254

Yeah, I was thinking that I could modify the headphones to sound the way I wanted them to like I did my ad900s. I guess some headphones are exceptions. The good thing that came out of this was I got a taste of what non-basshead headphones sound like. Now that I think about it, they sounded very similar to a pair of Grados that I heard a while ago (I wanna say sr 225i, but I'm not sure. They all look the same :p ).

 

Now, I gotta start researching for some more headphones that interest me. I'm thinking the HE-400 will be a good pair to start out with.  


Edited by Trae - 11/2/13 at 8:13pm
post #687 of 2254
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trae View Post
 

Yeah, I was thinking that I could modify the headphones to sound the way I wanted them to like I did my ad900s. I guess some headphones are exceptions. The good thing that came out of this was I got a taste of what non-basshead headphones sound like. Now that I think about it, they sounded very similar to a pair of Grados that I heard a while ago (I wanna say sr 225i, but I'm not sure. They all look the same :p ).

 

Now, I gotta start researching for some more headphones that interest me. I'm thinking the HE-400 will be a good pair to start out with.  

since you are a basshead, Fidelio X1 might be for you..... btw ma900 sounds nothing like 225i to me. 

post #688 of 2254

Then I guess those weren't it. Maybe they were the RS2i. I listened to like 5 grados that day, and I didn't like the sound of any of them, especially the only one I can distinctly remember, the GS1000i. Those headphones are SUPER bright. 

 

I was just looking at the X1 too. They may work, but I need to research some more. 

post #689 of 2254

I too found the sound of the ma900 lacking for my taste, they were great for rock but felt they were missing the deep bass needed for electronica, if someone wanted to trade their x1's for my sonys I would be very happy to do so.

post #690 of 2254

I agree that the MA900 is a bit rolled off in the bass, though for an open headphone that isn't planar or orthodynamic, it's pretty darn good. The headphones that I have heard that beat the MA900 in sub-bass performance is the HD650 (which is a bit like a darker MA900) and the DT880 (which has tigher bass but sounds completely different).

 

I also agree that the MA900 doesn't actually have a super wide soundstage, perhaps because treble is a little polite. It sounds very natural and relaxed with good placement, but it doesn't have the kind of (perhaps artificial) spaciousness of something like my AD1000X.

 

Oddly enough the cheaper headphones in the MA range (I bought a MA100 and MA300 out of curiosity but have yet to review them) are bassier than the MA900. The MA300 in particular is one of the bassiest open headphones I have ever heard. But if the build quality on the MA900 seems poor, man the MA100/MA300's are like those plastic fantastic headphones they hand out on airplanes.

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