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Found some vintage headphones.. Pleasantly surprising results.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

So here's a thing my girlfriend found at thrift store: The Maruni HV-230v.


 

 

 

 

 


 

Size comparison to the Denon D5000:



 

Size comparison to DT770:



I've just fired them up.

I can't find ANYTIHNG about these online, apart from an Italian blog, that just discusses the brand.

I know that Maruni made some Electret phones back in the day, but I highly doubt these fall into that category. 

I've decided that instead of just asking if anyone knows anything about them, I'll give them a full review myself. No real point, other than just for common interest. 

I'll come back later with a full review, once I've given them some solid hours, but my first impressions so far:

Build Quality: Stunning. Definitely not of this era. A lot of Metal parts, solid housing, and *very* comfortable. We're talking Beyerdynamic comfortable. I have a large head, so it might have something to do with that. It actually has individual volume knobs on each ear. The potentiometers are soft, turn well, and feel great. One is a little crackly, but still turns like a dream. 

 

Impedance: Large. Typical of vintage cans, I guess. But it requires more power than my 250ohm DT770's do, so it's asking for a fair bit.

Quick run-down on sound:

Detailed, strong, layered bass. Surprising for an open-back vintage headphone, honestly I expected it to just sound very mid-heavy, with no top end or bass.. But that's just not the case. The bass isn't as prominent as in the DT770 or D5000, but is dynamic, quick, and textured. 

 

Mids, are where these really shine. I only own one other open-back can, the Fischer FA-011, so maybe it's just that I'm new to the open-back thing, but I'm amazed. Creamy, rich, accurate mids. It's the first time, in a long time, that I've had shivers down my spine from listening to female vocalists (that I listen to regularly). 

Highs, are interesting. There is some roll-off involved, but not enough to muffle anything. It's actually the much higher end of things, the more "sibilant" area of the frequency scale, that has been a little rolled. For me personally, I enjoy a warmer signature, and I tend to like my music quite loud, so I enjoyed this, as it wasn't painfully sibilant. 

The highs are still present, however. They have a relaxed, non-fatiguing sound, but are still bright enough to send chills down my spine. 

Instrument separation - Fantastic. The level of detail on these cans are superb. I'm not sure if it's just me being new to open-back cans, but I do own a few pairs of IEMs (Westone 3, Westone UM3X, thinksound MS01) and whilst these aren't quite reaching IEM levels of detail - they are not far off. A big call, I know.

The Imaging (soundstage?) is very, very wide. Listening to binaural recordings is a very unusual (and great) experience. I think this is why people like open-back headphones so much, and if so, it's something that I can definitely get into.

The cable is a 1/4" Jack connector, and is falling apart. I'd love to re-cable these headphones, purely for longevity. If anyone knows somewhere in Australia to get this done professionally, let me know, as I'm not willing to attempt it myself.

I'll post more details later, if anyone is interested. If you guys have any details on this brand, I'd love to hear it.


Edited by White Lotus - 5/31/13 at 5:05am
post #2 of 20
This is incredible. I want to know more. Maybe you can loan a pair of hd650s to compare?
post #3 of 20

Beautiful condition those ones.  I'd scoop up a set like that without thinking twice. Betcha the price was decent too !

 

There are nearly identical models also under the Dero, Universum, and Prefer brands( possibly one other too I'm forgetting right now ). Prefer and Universum are European( German far as i know ) There is also one NAD NUMARK model that was the same as a Prefer electret, definitely a similar style housing and has to be the same Original Equipment Manufacturer ( OEM ) for all of them during a few model ranges anyhow.

 

Of the above I know Prefer is still around, and also Universum was huge at one point with years and years in their model ranges stretching way back.

 

I have only seen 3 different Maruni models myself which leads me to believe they weren't big enough to bother OEMing stuff.

 

 

Here is an example of the Prefer equivalent more or less from an auction site still up. Model # HD84V

 

If I run across the HV 230V ( Same Maruni # you have ) I will let you know in here.  HV most likely stands for High Velocity, not sure how it compares to the HD designation as far as sound if at all. High Velocity is marketing mumbo jumbo simply for Dynamic Driver

 

And the larger model # may mean something, or may not. That may simply be company specific.

 

I'd love to see a quality picture of the insides, but unless you are careful and used to opening stuff up I can wait.bigsmile_face.gif

 

I forgot to ask are the pads Pleather/leather, or are they fabric/velour. If they are fabricy can you tell if the pleather coating had maybe peeled off over time or if they are stock fabric/veloury? Curious.


Edited by nick n - 6/1/13 at 10:09pm
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

 

I'd love to see a quality picture of the insides,

 

Seek, and ye shall receive.



 

User Takato14 taught me how to take them apart:

You can see how the volume pots are wired. Rad. Also, the vents. 
 



The foam around the driver. Evidently this would stop large bass reverberations, around such a big enclosure.





The driver itself:
 

 

 

 



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

 

I forgot to ask are the pads Pleather/leather, or are they fabric/velour. If they are fabricy can you tell if the pleather coating had maybe peeled off over time or if they are stock fabric/veloury? Curious.

 


Velour, strangely in great condition, not sticky/stiff at all. I think they were loved and stored properly, or maybe not used very often? Can post more photos if you like. Thank you so much for your help.. I'm loving these cans.

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jensy View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

I'd love to see a quality picture of the insides,

Seek, and ye shall receive.




 
User Takato14 taught me how to take them apart:


You can see how the volume pots are wired. Rad. Also, the vents. 

 





The foam around the driver. Evidently this would stop large bass reverberations, around such a big enclosure.







The driver itself:

 










 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nick n View Post

I forgot to ask are the pads Pleather/leather, or are they fabric/velour. If they are fabricy can you tell if the pleather coating had maybe peeled off over time or if they are stock fabric/veloury? Curious.
 



Velour, strangely in great condition, not sticky/stiff at all. I think they were loved and stored properly, or maybe not used very often? Can post more photos if you like. Thank you so much for your help.. I'm loving these cans.
The reason they're in such great shape is that they're not really all that old. My Numark-branded OEM is from the early '90s. I'd assume the same is true for these.

l upload a photo of the HV-215v's driver tomorrow, but I can say right now that there is a slight difference.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by takato14 View Post

l upload a photo of the HV-215v's driver tomorrow, but I can say right now that there is a slight difference.


You're a worse tease than my ex-girlfriend. 

post #7 of 20

I guess we'll find out more when this thread has 10000000 replies in 2 years...

post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ytisawfulnow View Post

I guess we'll find out more when this thread has 10000000 replies in 2 years...

Uh.. what?

 

 

Anyways, the drivers appear to be identical except for this odd plastic sleeve on the magnet of the HV-215v's driver. It reminds me somewhat of those little coffee cream containers you see at restaurants. It doesn't appear to do anything and doesn't want to come off, but it's not glued.  It spins around freely and moves up and down a little, but it won't come off. EDIT: Just got it off. Testing for sonic changes once I get the other off. 

 

 

As you can see it also has a big ring of foam. I tried removing that before and that seemed to open up the sound a bit, but it also compromised the sound by making it extremely bloomy and unpleasant.


Edited by takato14 - 6/2/13 at 5:33pm
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank-you for posting these!

I'm guessing the cup is insulation to protect the driver from the volume control pot?

post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jensy View Post

So here's a thing my girlfriend found at thrift store: The Maruni HV-230v.


 

 

 

 

 


 

Size comparison to the Denon D5000:



 

Size comparison to DT770:



I've just fired them up.

I can't find ANYTIHNG about these online, apart from an Italian blog, that just discusses the brand.

I know that Maruni made some Electret phones back in the day, but I highly doubt these fall into that category. 

I've decided that instead of just asking if anyone knows anything about them, I'll give them a full review myself. No real point, other than just for common interest. 

I'll come back later with a full review, once I've given them some solid hours, but my first impressions so far:

Build Quality: Stunning. Definitely not of this era. A lot of Metal parts, solid housing, and *very* comfortable. We're talking Beyerdynamic comfortable. I have a large head, so it might have something to do with that. It actually has individual volume knobs on each ear. The potentiometers are soft, turn well, and feel great. One is a little crackly, but still turns like a dream. 

 

Impedance: Large. Typical of vintage cans, I guess. But it requires more power than my 250ohm DT770's do, so it's asking for a fair bit.

Quick run-down on sound:

Detailed, strong, layered bass. Surprising for an open-back vintage headphone, honestly I expected it to just sound very mid-heavy, with no top end or bass.. But that's just not the case. The bass isn't as prominent as in the DT770 or D5000, but is dynamic, quick, and textured. 

 

Mids, are where these really shine. I only own one other open-back can, the Fischer FA-011, so maybe it's just that I'm new to the open-back thing, but I'm amazed. Creamy, rich, accurate mids. It's the first time, in a long time, that I've had shivers down my spine from listening to female vocalists (that I listen to regularly). 

Highs, are interesting. There is some roll-off involved, but not enough to muffle anything. It's actually the much higher end of things, the more "sibilant" area of the frequency scale, that has been a little rolled. For me personally, I enjoy a warmer signature, and I tend to like my music quite loud, so I enjoyed this, as it wasn't painfully sibilant. 

The highs are still present, however. They have a relaxed, non-fatiguing sound, but are still bright enough to send chills down my spine. 

Instrument separation - Fantastic. The level of detail on these cans are superb. I'm not sure if it's just me being new to open-back cans, but I do own a few pairs of IEMs (Westone 3, Westone UM3X, thinksound MS01) and whilst these aren't quite reaching IEM levels of detail - they are not far off. A big call, I know.

The Imaging (soundstage?) is very, very wide. Listening to binaural recordings is a very unusual (and great) experience. I think this is why people like open-back headphones so much, and if so, it's something that I can definitely get into.

The cable is a 1/4" Jack connector, and is falling apart. I'd love to re-cable these headphones, purely for longevity. If anyone knows somewhere in Australia to get this done professionally, let me know, as I'm not willing to attempt it myself.

I'll post more details later, if anyone is interested. If you guys have any details on this brand, I'd love to hear it.

 

 

 

 

how much did you get it for?

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
My girlfriend found them at a second hand store for $49 AUD. The store is run by old ladies.

Edited by White Lotus - 2/9/14 at 10:21pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jensy View Post


My girlfriend found them at a second hand store for $49 AUD. The store is run by old ladies.

 

 

 

nice, that is affordable. smily_headphones1.gif also the headphone sounds like its worth its price, based on your impression 

post #13 of 20

No sonic changes whatsoever. And yeah, it might pose the potential for shorting out the potentiometer's terminals. Back on it goes.

 

Also, after getting over the massive (and I mean utterly disorientating) bass emphasis, I'm realizing that these are actually a VERY nice pair of headphones. Maybe a little boomy, but smooth and very detailed, with EXTREMELY wide soundstage presence. Definitely not selling these just yet, I just gotta see if that bass hump goes away with a bigger amp...

post #14 of 20

Sweet pick-up! Looks like you found yourself a nice hidden gem. Hope they continue to work well for you!

post #15 of 20

Yep, Dero D-560 looks pretty much the same inside. Albeit mine is not in as great a condition.

The drivers are huge, so these can work well for transplant jobs as well.

 

I think a few more notable differences in all these OEMs is the shape of the baffle, of which the Dero has it's center in dome made of slits, rather than any hex or crossing patterns.

Mine also has oval earpads though... I do wonder if it was simply deformed.

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