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Sony MDR MA900 Impressions Thread - Page 47

post #691 of 1272

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 #692 of 1272

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.

post #693 of 1272
I am liking my ma900 more and more everyday. Yes, the bass roll off, the treble roll off, the mids is not as detail as hd650 vocal is not as weighty as hd650, but MAN!!! the sound is so relax I can listen for HOURS without fatigue. This is good for lenghty movies. No surprise 'attack' that can cause tiredness after a while, Everything sounds like listening to speaker in front of you.
PLUS, the comfort, lightweight, no torturing clamps, no skull crusher weight, no heat build up around the ear. It's like bookshelf speaker mounted near your ears. I am loving it!!!
post #694 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Thin sounding is one of the last things I'd ever consider the MA900 to be

x2

 

Just wanted to also say the bass on these are nice, and I do listen to electronic music as well as everything else. Alot of people think the Mad Dogs were bass light too, I felt the bass was perfectly proportioned.

 

I think there is quite a few people running around here thinking they are not bass heads, but they really are and they just don't know it yet.

 

 

Also to kind of go along with what another gentleman said earlier in this thread about taping the adjusters and how it adds a notch in the bass department. I did this initially to keep the sliders from changing position which occasionally they do. Not a big deal but slightly annoying. After messing with it a bit more yesterday and taking the tape off and on. I do believe it adds a certain extra control over the bass like he says. Its only ever so slightly noticeable in some songs but more so in others with more bass quantity. I also used the black gorilla tape fwiw. Its barely noticeable.


Edited by kcee - 11/3/13 at 7:56am
post #695 of 1272
X3! Bass is fine for me.
post #696 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

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.

In fact, Sony considers the various pieces of material, the placement of the driver and the slots to be a patented technology that has electrical equivalents:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bycO_H52RGI/T_FhETJ21yI/AAAAAAAAAsI/8No3PsI_aGI/s1600/tech2.png

So I would say that this headphone is "highly modded" already in the factory, and that one is only going to make something worse by modding it (in terms of the driver in the cup).   This is not a T50RP, i.e. not a raw, unimproved simple design.

 

The MA900 designer stated:

Quote:
 "By utilizing an acoustic damping material, the low-frequency response is first concentrated, and then radiated to the pinna directly. This acoustic focusing technique has been used previously with MDR-F1, and consequently, the low frequency response should be perceived more or less the same by any listeners."

Edited by kstuart - 11/3/13 at 4:16pm
post #697 of 1272
This is precisely why I tend to not mod my headphones. Other than some serious modding (T50RP modders like MrSpeakers), I just don't trsut modding outside of something simple like pad swaps, and pad alterations (HE400 pad modders like jerg).

I love the MA900's sound as is, and the only thing I want improved is the pads which are just way too thin. But like always, pad swaps tend to change things for the worse, so I personally don't experiment.

I remember doing the quarter mod on the KSC75, and I couldn't stand it. Sure, there was a bump in clarity... ALL in the treble. It made it harsher and sibilant.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 11/3/13 at 10:15pm
post #698 of 1272

 

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. 

 

*jumping to the relevant point in the review*

 

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.

 

This reaffirms my view that Head-Fi is extremely YMMV. I found the treble easily the weakest aspect of the MA900, and in dire need of an EQ boost to bring in line with everything else. Maybe I'm just too used to bright headphones and the sparkle they deliver without EQ that the MA900 needs a little boost to provide by comparison.

 

We seem to agree overall on the imaging, at least, and even I notice the sub-bass roll-off, but I've simply resigned myself to the fact that no headphone is ever going to punch down cleanly to 20 Hz. Only a high-end subwoofer can do that. Not that most of my music needs that kind of extension...

 

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.

 

Well, that explains everything. I'm no basshead, and any headphone that did that to me would quickly find itself being ripped off my head and repurposed as a torture device from which nobody will escape with functional ears.

 

I don't mind bass presence-it's certainly desirable to bass absence-but don't give me a head concussion in the process!

 

Overall, though, I think I'm sort of an anomaly among the MA900 userbase. Here I am, taking a dark headphone and intentionally skewing it to sound brighter without detracting from the rest of the spectrum, all because of the soundstage, imaging, comfort, and sensitivity combined make for a very desirable gaming headphone that still works well for general use. Its natural midrange/vocal reproduction also helps a lot.

post #699 of 1272
I also wanna mention that when people tend to do mods, like removing the resistors, they don't have a stock pair of MA900's to compare. So their opinions are questionable. They listen to a modded pair, and without being able to go back and compare, they're more than likely to choose whatever they listen to last. Expectation bias and all. Head-fi has the notion that if it's modded, it's better. That is simply not true. You gain some, you lose some. Sometimes, things are not broken, so there is no need to fix it.
post #700 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I also wanna mention that when people tend to do mods, like removing the resistors, they don't have a stock pair of MA900's to compare. So their opinions are questionable. They listen to a modded pair, and without being able to go back and compare, they're more than likely to choose whatever they listen to last. Expectation bias and all. Head-fi has the notion that if it's modded, it's better. That is simply not true. You gain some, you lose some. Sometimes, things are not broken, so there is no need to fix it.

 

This is exactly why I want to get a second pair (or a friend's pair) and do the resistor mod and a blind test. That way we can work out if the effort is really worth it. Though of course this will never be completely scientific just because there may be individual sample variation and I am not about to go buy 10 pairs of MA900's just to increase the sample size. 

 

Though I guess you could just test them unmodded first to get a control.


Edited by a_recording - 11/3/13 at 11:17pm
post #701 of 1272
Here is my assumption: My guess is that removing the resistors will reduce the warmth and low end (when some people are having issues with the bass not being full for their ears, this can't be a good move), make the MA900 sound faster, and bump the upper mids and treble.

Since I love the MA900 for their warmth and non-fatiguing upper range, the resistors are right where I'd like them to be.

You probably gain clarity by reducing everything that makes the MA900 the MA900.
post #702 of 1272

Actually, here's my suggestion...

 

What's stopping people from making the impedance compensator resistor network external, as in part of a jack passthrough? I don't see the cable length having a drastic effect on the end result.

 

This way, it works on headphones other than the MA900, and it's a cinch to test with it on or off if the headphones themselves are modified.

 

Not that I feel like cracking open my set and breaking out the soldering iron, since it sounds mostly fine once the treble gets an EQ boost.

post #703 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Here is my assumption: My guess is that removing the resistors will reduce the warmth and low end (when some people are having issues with the bass not being full for their ears, this can't be a good move), make the MA900 sound faster, and bump the upper mids and treble.

Since I love the MA900 for their warmth and non-fatiguing upper range, the resistors are right where I'd like them to be.

You probably gain clarity by reducing everything that makes the MA900 the MA900.

Same here. I used to not like dark/warm headphones (as much as bright ones anyway) but the ma900's soundstage counters that.
post #704 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by a_recording View Post

This is exactly why I want to get a second pair (or a friend's pair) and do the resistor mod and a blind test. That way we can work out if the effort is really worth it. Though of course this will never be completely scientific just because there may be individual sample variation and I am not about to go buy 10 pairs of MA900's just to increase the sample size. 

Though I guess you could just test them unmodded first to get a control.

^ You may want to firstly match volume between resistor mod and stock. Resistor mod would change impedance and thus volume output (in response to same source power). A slight change of volume output may be perceived as change of sound quality, when in reality there is none.
post #705 of 1272
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
 

 

 

This reaffirms my view that Head-Fi is extremely YMMV. I found the treble easily the weakest aspect of the MA900, and in dire need of an EQ boost to bring in line with everything else. Maybe I'm just too used to bright headphones and the sparkle they deliver without EQ that the MA900 needs a little boost to provide by comparison.

 

We seem to agree overall on the imaging, at least, and even I notice the sub-bass roll-off, but I've simply resigned myself to the fact that no headphone is ever going to punch down cleanly to 20 Hz. Only a high-end subwoofer can do that. Not that most of my music needs that kind of extension...

 

 

Well, that explains everything. I'm no basshead, and any headphone that did that to me would quickly find itself being ripped off my head and repurposed as a torture device from which nobody will escape with functional ears.

 

I don't mind bass presence-it's certainly desirable to bass absence-but don't give me a head concussion in the process!

 

Overall, though, I think I'm sort of an anomaly among the MA900 userbase. Here I am, taking a dark headphone and intentionally skewing it to sound brighter without detracting from the rest of the spectrum, all because of the soundstage, imaging, comfort, and sensitivity combined make for a very desirable gaming headphone that still works well for general use. Its natural midrange/vocal reproduction also helps a lot.

Well, I like my treble kind of dark because my tinnitus can't handle a lot of treble. Well, it can, but only for a short period of time. That's why I liked the treble on them.  

 

I'm not trying to brag, but on my ad2k mkivs, I can feel down to 2Hz (not 20Hz), so your'e assumption that headphones can't go that low is wrong. I actually blew one of my ad2000 drivers before because I accidentally knocked up the volume when it was playing at 20Hz...had to buy another one. 

 

Anyways, I just shipped out my MA900s this morning for a return. Goodbye headphones! I'm thinking about waiting for the AKG 812 to come out so I can direct order their drivers. Since they're 53mm large, they should be able to fit in my AD900 chassis with minor modification, since it accepts 53mm drivers. 

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