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Pioneer SE-A1000 Appreciation Club ( Sennheiser HD 650 for $45?) - Page 45

post #661 of 914

i have got this pioneer se a1000 from a local shop for almost a week just out of fun, it was the last piece in stock lying on the shelves.  After playing with headphones for so many years (stax , beyer , senn , koss , AKG  etc) - and i built my headphones buying parts from various sources most of the time now.     I'm not brand conscious the least , it's kind of meaningless to evaluate if this headphone is better than the other.

 

'll write my review based on my assessment of the pioneer se-a1000.

 

1st week - after 50 hours burn in - straight out from box

- Built > Average - the first thing that caught my eye was the ear cups were huge and shallow (i'll tell you more how i managed to fix this).  Fit was okay , i managed to wear them for 1 hour without

feeling sweaty or fatigue.

- cable > 6m is way long for me.  Anyway this headphone was meant for home movie theather usage - so i can't fault it much.  the norm seems to be 4m for product of this category.-

- Sound quality - 

Highs > detailed , clear , sibilance on some tracks.    

Mids >  thin sounding, clear , neutral.  Definitely not too forward sounding - sits between the highs and the background bass nicely

Bass > good depth - but lacking in sub-bass region.   I own several sennheisser headphones and you can immediately spot the bass "quantity difference".  

Overall dynamics >  There's something missing for sure - the sound is sharp clear at treble at mid / treble zones.. but it lacks the 3D dynamics that high fidelity headphones possess.  Mids were not exactly smooth.  headphone was quite bass shy.

 

Week 2 -  finally got some time from my family life

i closely inspect the headphone in depth and found the areas that needs improvement.

 

1.  Headphone plastic shell (left and right) were very thin and shallow - This is probably fine as this is an open-design headphone - it doesn't need so much of enclosed hollow space to create resonances (i owned a Ath W1000x - wooden cups headphone) - so i'm pretty particular about air flow / resonance and sound stage.   I'll probably think of some ways to improve the pioneer cans.

 

2.  the drivers were not angled.. the driver & the driver plastic shell hits right flat parallel to your ear - this increases clarity but also sibilance.   ** i have to fix this **

 

3. Earpads too thin. - I don't understand since the headphone ear driver shell are so slim - the earpads are pathetically thin and shallow - this causes the isolation to be poor and lack of bass

** i confirm that by changing the ear pads to a leather one with 30 percent thicker foams - it increases the bass especially the sub bass zone **

 

4.  cable 6m resistance -  plug it to couple of sources & players , with amp , without amp - conclusion > the 6m cable increases electrical resistance and causes loss is sound dynamics.

If you don't believe me - go buy a 3m or 4meter - 3.5mm extension cable - plug it to your normal iems..and play it on a average power souce (example ; mobile phone)- you will tell the difference.

 

5- I disassemble the headphone shell (left and right) - 4 screws each side - and took a closer look at the driver.     I realized why the bass is so recessed.  there's sound proofing issues that can be fixed.

 

 

Day 3 of week 2.  ( the start of fixes)

1.  shorten 6m cable to 1.5m - resolder it to a replacement 3.5mm jack ( slight audible differences in sound dynamics - its slightly more lively) - this is pretty staightforward so no pics needed

 

2.  Okay the plastic shell is way too flat - parallel to the ear.  To reduce bright sibilance and harsh highs and create better sound depth - i cut pieces of foam (white) and stick it to the shell to create the angular cups.  ** see picture**

 

3.  earcups too thin -  If you have a spare leather or synthetic leather for replacement - then it solve your problem.  Most other headphone earcaps will be thicker - which will helps with isolation, increase sound depth , reduce silibilance and improve bass.  Okay what happens if you don't have a spare cap ?  Here's what i did to try out as well.

Look for the stiches at the earcaps - remove a few thread stiching and allowing a finger to wriggle into the foam area of the ear cap - buy some foam (those used in making cushions) and stuff it into it to make the earcap fatter.  Stitch back the sewing to complete the job.  ** see picture**

 

4. I managed to change angles of the shell -increase it by 15 degrees by changing 1 of the screws to a longer one and lossen that on each shell. which i can wriggle the shell to change the angle. so that it's not parallel to my ears.  

 

5. Improve sound dynamic - upon close inspection - i realise there are 2 thick cloth paddings stick on top of the driver.   you can remove the outer one (bigger) one first - which you will immediate notice that your dynamics and impact of all your sound frequencies improving.  ** see pics**

 

6.  to fix the poor sound proofing of the drivers - i unscrew the shell (4 screws on left, 4 on right) - till i saw the driver.  The driver is seated inside a plastic shell. This is the problem.  the sound gets leaks and resulting in poor bass.   Here's why i did to improve it.   Get some blue tack - lined the blue tack along the circumference of the driver against the wall of the plastic. So the blue tac seals the drivers circumference against the housing shell.    ** you will immediately notice a 20 percent ** improvement in sub bass region and the bass has better tighter impact.

 

 

Apologies if i could not take photos  - of all those fixes and mods that i did.  I will try to take some more pics after i figure out a good method to alter the angle of the driver.

 

Meanwhile - this pioneer is sounding awesome after all these fixes ! -    i wouldn't comment after all these fixes - does this sound better than this model or that , since sound signature can be very subjective - but all i can say is for this quality of the sound offered by pioneer - its approximately the range of $500-700 comparing to the popular brands.

 

 

Pic ; Showing fix number 5 mentioned above- there are 2 thick cloth paddings covering the drivers ( where my thumb is).  Remove the 1st one.  leave the 2nd one (smaller one) as it is - having both ends up muffling up the sound.

 

 

 

Picture  showing fix number 2 -  the foams were added and stick to the shells to create the angular - which allows the sound to have better depth and reduce sibiliance / harsh highs yet with the same wide sound stage.   you can see the left earcaps is so much thicker after the mod .. the right earshell is with the white foam stick on.

 

 

Pic ; you should only cut the foam is a semi-cicle and not full circle in order to create the angle..

 

 

 

Picture showing fix 3 ; - Make a small slit - (enough for your finger to wriggle into) - take some cushion stuffings or buy from diy shop or more sponge foams - stuff it in till

the earcap is fuller and bigger.   the tighter and bigger it is - the better the sound isolation and bass impact. 

 

Of course you can also buy a leather earcaps with thicker foam for best results.  - i'm just experimenting modding the original ear caps.

 

 

post #662 of 914

I just got them. On first listening, they sound really bad.. Veiled whole range, muddy bass, way too flat highs.. Hope Burn-in for these is real thing.

post #663 of 914

I think some of you could find this comparison quite interesting.

 

Takstar HI-2050 vs Pioneer Se-A1000
 

What to expect from each one and how do they compare in terms of sound quality?

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/677868/pioneer-se-a1000-vs-takstar-hi-2050-open-headphones#post_9812151

 

Best Luck!

post #664 of 914
you should mod it.. straight from the box sounds pretty ordinary .. muddy loose bass, thin sharp mids, sharp detailed highs treble that appears shouty on some tracks
post #665 of 914
FWIW I am no headphone efficianodo but am a bit of an audiophile coming from the Ht/2 ch world and I have iwned the se-a100 for several months now and IMHO in the $50 and less bracket there are none better and while not everything to everybody they readily compete with cans in the 250-300 range (where their orig MSRP was)
post #666 of 914

Pioneer SE-A1000 or HD598's for gaming?

post #667 of 914

The sennheiser hd598 for gaming are better but $200 better is your call.

post #668 of 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vague View Post
 

Pioneer SE-A1000 or HD598's for gaming?

 

If your going to use them primarily for gaming, I'd say they'll be fairly similar (both excel in imaging with a large soundstage). 

 
If you're going to listen to a fair bit of music, the HD598 is a class above.
post #669 of 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirazir View Post
 

 

If your going to use them primarily for gaming, I'd say they'll be fairly similar (both excel in imaging with a large soundstage). 

 
If you're going to listen to a fair bit of music, the HD598 is a class above.

 

Ahh and the FOTM finally dies out. I like how we went from "same level as the hd650"
To the hd558/598 being a class above

post #670 of 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by wafflezz View Post
 

 

Ahh and the FOTM finally dies out. I like how we went from "same level as the hd650"
To the hd558/598 being a class above

 

To be fair, they never should've been compared in the first place.

 

The Pioneers are great headphones for the price and they punch well above their weight with a few mods but they're not on the same page as the HD650. Hell, they're not even in the same book.

 

All this said, I'm listening to and enjoying them as we speak. :)

post #671 of 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by shirazir View Post
 

 

To be fair, they never should've been compared in the first place.

 

The Pioneers are great headphones for the price and they punch well above their weight with a few mods but they're not on the same page as the HD650. Hell, they're not even in the same book.

 

All this said, I'm listening to and enjoying them as we speak. :)

 

Agreed...excellent value at $40 to $50 but wouldn't consider them on par with my 558s

post #672 of 914
Took you guys long enough lol
post #673 of 914

radi9red:

 

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  I thought that these cans sounded way more bass heavy than I wanted them to... I like to hear 'sizzle' and 'air' when I listen to music, and I was concerned upon getting these that they were another bass oriented set... (yes, I consider them bass heavy, since I have a large head).  I had to mod the monoprice 8323 cans to make them even slightly reasonable to listen to, and now, tearing off that padding... made a huge difference!  Bravo!  I haven't tried the other mods yet, but I knew I had to do something to kill the 'dark' sound.

 

Thanks again,

 

IBJamon

post #674 of 914
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBJamon View Post
 

radi9red:

 

I just wanted to say THANK YOU!  I thought that these cans sounded way more bass heavy than I wanted them to... I like to hear 'sizzle' and 'air' when I listen to music, and I was concerned upon getting these that they were another bass oriented set... (yes, I consider them bass heavy, since I have a large head).  I had to mod the monoprice 8323 cans to make them even slightly reasonable to listen to, and now, tearing off that padding... made a huge difference!  Bravo!  I haven't tried the other mods yet, but I knew I had to do something to kill the 'dark' sound.

 

Thanks again,

 

IBJamon

 

That's the first time I've heard these being called "bass heavy".

 
If those mods fixed the issues that I had with these when I owned them, which it sounds like it does, they are well worth the $40 you can now find them for. I did not like the stock sound much at all.
post #675 of 914

Well, they don't seem to lack bass to me.  Not overpowering; reasonably balanced to me.  And the highs were definitely missing before.  It might be almost a little too bright now, and I can see how some might find it so, but I would prefer that rather than all of the details missing like it was stock...

 

IBJamon

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