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Pioneer SE-A1000 Appreciation Club ( Sennheiser HD 650 for $45?) - Page 63

post #931 of 945

LOL, I actually use the long cord while doing dishes in the kitchen with it plugged in in my HT a room over.

post #932 of 945

The long cord is great, cans are a bit floppy on the head tho. My TV has dual audio so I leave them plugged in all the time.
Very cheap for the sound you get.

post #933 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phishin Phool View Post
 

LOL, I actually use the long cord while doing dishes in the kitchen with it plugged in in my HT a room over.

It's like having the well-known classic Grado "jump rope" extension cable hard-wired to a pair of headphones. I just need to order these because I think I'm sold on them. Crystalline highs, clear midrange and neutral-ish, faster than average bass is right up my alley. I may not even get the DT 860's after all if these impress me enough!

post #934 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifihedgehog View Post
 

It's like having the well-known classic Grado "jump rope" extension cable hard-wired to a pair of headphones. I just need to order these because I think I'm sold on them. Crystalline highs, clear midrange and neutral-ish, faster than average bass is right up my alley. I may not even get the DT 860's after all if these impress me enough!


You should strongly consider Takstar Hi-2050.

post #935 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifihedgehog View Post

It's like having the well-known classic Grado "jump rope" extension cable hard-wired to a pair of headphones. I just need to order these because I think I'm sold on them. Crystalline highs, clear midrange and neutral-ish, faster than average bass is right up my alley. I may not even get the DT 860's after all if these impress me enough!

As an owner, I approve.
post #936 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post


You should strongly consider Takstar Hi-2050.

Here's a good comparison http://www.head-fi.org/t/677868/pioneer-se-a1000-vs-takstar-hi-2050-open-headphones ;-)

Always wanted to try these and have had them in my cart a few times but for some reason always seem to switch them out for IEMs in the same price range...most recently it was the Havi B3's (which btw are a great value as well)

One thing's for sure (imo) they sure look better than the Pioneers!
post #937 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearMe View Post


Here's a good comparison http://www.head-fi.org/t/677868/pioneer-se-a1000-vs-takstar-hi-2050-open-headphones ;-)

Always wanted to try these and have had them in my cart a few times but for some reason always seem to switch them out for IEMs in the same price range...most recently it was the Havi B3's (which btw are a great value as well)

One thing's for sure (imo) they sure look better than the Pioneers!

I wouldn't believe a single word of that thread, that guy is a troll. :dt880smile:

 

 

To sum up, Se-A1000s are fuller, smoother and more forgiving, while Hi-2050s are tighter, more forward, more transparent, and also brighter (Beyer-like).

 

Best Luck!


Edited by Me x3 - 1/24/15 at 10:48am
post #938 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemercer View Post

I'm an admitted NuJack to both the SE-A1000 (Warren turned me onto these cans within seconds - and I bought them during our listening sesh btw) and the Beyerdynamic DT880!

But, I've devoted my life to the pursuit of killer sounding music (in both audio and music biz sides) and I've been spending more time listening to my personal audio rigs than my reference two-channel system for a long damn time - all that said (and you can ask Warren if you can trust me):

I listened to both the DT880's and SE-A1000 via my reference desktop rig - my E.A.R HP4 (which I know as well as any man can know a component, in terms of its colorations, character, music it likes and music it don't) and I fell in love with the sound of my music through the SE-A1000 because of the masterful command of the low end.  It's not exaggerated, rather what Kevin Halverson would call "correct bass".  Not meaning it's exact, because NONE of us can know that, but the bass is authoritative and dissipates fast.  If there's overhang, I don't hear it on those.  The mids were also coherent and clean, and the highs as extended as I need - because they don't come close to making my ears bleed (rhyme unintended) - I didn't get fatigued at all while listening to them.  If you're rockin a pair of DT880's right now I highly recommend checking out the Pioneer cans for yourself.  I got em for $44.00 bucks on through Amazon!  

The DT880 was a bit lean in the lower midband and the midrange for me.  I felt like there was, at the very least, a small suck-out in the mids on the DT880's. 
I'm not hating on them.  They didn't make my music sound bad to me or anything, but they were certainly not a very exciting listen.

I hope this helps.

Wow, if the legendary Mike Mercer, who I respect, trust in and agree with often for reviews, says he loves these more than the DT 880, I think I am headed in the right direction with these cans. My pair is already en route for delivery tomorrow. I have heard a boatload of headphones and though I won't have them available for my quick review of these Pioneers, I will do my best to offer comparisons with the ones I have tried (including the HD 800, K812 and SRH1540!) as a contribution to this thread. I'll also add a comparison with planars when I get back home in a few months from now, since a local dealer now stocks high-end HiFiMAN's.
post #939 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post

I wouldn't believe a single word of that thread, that guy is a troll. dt880smile.png




To sum up, Se-A1000s are fuller, smoother and more forgiving, while Hi-2050s are tighter, more forward, more transparent, and also brighter (Beyer-like).

Best Luck!
Thanks for the tip.


If these TakStar's are brighter than what the SE-A1000's graph already indicates, then I am afraid I wouldn't care much for them. Technically, the SE-A1000's are already brighter than the HD 800, which (referring to the SE-A1000's) is about where I want my sound to be--ever-so-slightly brighter and maybe bassier than neutral. Any more treble energy is, in my experience, even brighter than real life and sounds like the TakStars are akin to the Superlux HD 681 in brightness, only even much more than that. In my experience, when headphones get that bright for me, the added definition veils the mids and bass. In such cases, the forced sound of the headphone seems, for me, to take away the inner detail and dynamics just as having too much bass or too much midrange would do. Just as in real life, the actual recorded sound is originally bright and lively but not overly so and that is all I am after, with just a very slight, not-to-DT990-extremes U-shaped sound. My headphone adventure has so far taught me that I find more truly neutral headphones much more lively and enjoyable than bright (DT990) or dark (Sennheiser HD600) ones and that is why I am antsy to try the Pioneers!
Edited by Hifihedgehog - Yesterday at 12:16 pm
post #940 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifihedgehog View Post


Thanks for the tip.


If these TakStar's are brighter than what the SE-A1000's graph already indicates, then I am afraid I wouldn't care much for them. Technically, the SE-A1000's are already brighter than the HD 800, which (referring to the SE-A1000's) is about where I want my sound to be--ever-so-slightly brighter and maybe bassier than neutral. Any more treble energy is, in my experience, even brighter than real life and sounds like the TakStars are akin to the Superlux HD 681 in brightness, only even much more than that. In my experience, when headphones get that bright for me, the added definition veils the mids and bass. In such cases, the forced sound of the headphone seems, for me, to take away the inner detail and dynamics just as having too much bass or too much midrange would do. Just as in real life, the actual recorded sound is originally bright and lively but not overly so and that is all I am after, with just a very slight, not-to-DT990-extremes U-shaped sound. My headphone adventure has so far taught me that I find more truly neutral headphones much more lively and enjoyable than bright (DT990) or dark (Sennheiser HD600) ones and that is why I am antsy to try the Pioneers!

 

I've just made some quick A B C D listening test with DTs, Takstars and Pioneers. Just quick comparative impressions, please take them with a grain of salt.

 

- The Pioneers are the least bright and has the fullest (more boomy) mid-bass among these headphones.

- Takstars are a bit brighter than DT880s and have more mid-bass presence.

- DT990s are a bit brighter than Takstars, and have more bass quantity, probably similar to Pioneers in this regard, but much more controlled and layered.

 

As far as I know there are two types of HD800. There are some measurements, and some impressions that back up this fact.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HD800

 

While the earlier HD800s seem to be similar to HD600s, only a tad brighter around 6 KHz

The later, and as far I know current HD800s are brighter, well into Beyer territory

post #941 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

 

I've just made some quick A B C D listening test with DTs, Takstars and Pioneers. Just quick comparative impressions, please take them with a grain of salt.

 

- The Pioneers are the least bright and has the fullest (more boomy) mid-bass among these headphones.

- Takstars are a bit brighter than DT880s and have more mid-bass presence.

- DT990s are a bit brighter than Takstars, and have more bass quantity, probably similar to Pioneers in this regard, but much more controlled and layered.

 

As far as I know there are two types of HD800. There are some measurements, and some impressions that back up this fact.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HD800

 

While the earlier HD800s seem to be similar to HD600s, only a tad brighter around 6 KHz

The later, and as far I know current HD800s are brighter, well into Beyer territory

Those comparisons are quite decent, covering a wide range of headphones that are prominent and well-received. I do have a thing with HeadRoom's graphs not being as accurate as Headphoneinfo.com's. I do not think they (HeadRoom) are using the right compensation curve and that their HATS is not as accurate a unit as Headphoneinfo.com's. This is what I have heard and observed from the headphones I have owned (underlined) or demoed so far.

 

Preface:

I got into audiophile listening at the age of 13 at the very moment I laid my eyes and ears on the HD 201 and let curiosity get the best of me. Shaking out my old piggy bank and paying for them with my hard-earned cash from chores around the house, I was immediately in hog heaven--or so I thought. I soon began to notice little issues here and there in the sound, like resonances, muffling, lack of bass impact or detail--a list an arm's length long of the stereotypical audiophile criticisms against lower-level equipment. Not but a year or two later, I was the happy owner of the Sennheiser HD 555. I consider that was my very first moment of being floored by a headphone and owning a true audiophile-class headphone. I found such beautiful detail and accuracy that my family's home theater could only dream of. Over the last 10 years, other headphones followed: the Grado SR225i, Audio Technica ATH-m50, Shure SRH840, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Pro, Shure SRH940, AKG Q701, Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 600 ohm and countless others bought and sold or sought out and demoed, all in the name of searching out and obtaining the ultimate sound I had in mind. What is the vision of sonic excellence I am after? It is neutrality with fun factor and detail. I have gotten surprisingly close to that with the Beyerdynamic DT 860 and I hope to finally reach my personal ultimate sound in purchasing the Pioneer SE-A1000. Below, you will see that search reflected in my comments in the form of both positive remarks and negative criticisms. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I had fun writing it. I may add some clarifying comments, such references to test material such as music and movies, and practical examples for the frequent technical babble I make about certain regions of the sound spectrum. In spite of any changes, my overall opinions about each model should remain very much the same.

 

Sennheiser HD 800

Pros:

+Flat bass and midrange to the middle midrange (~800 Hz)

+Upper treble reaches to the 12 to 16 KHz "air and brilliance" range without issue.

Cons:

-Slight relaxation in the upper midrange and lower treble (~2 KHz to ~5 KHz) but not to the overwhelming degree the DT 990 does this; the resulting voicing in the midrange is majestically relaxed and "floaty" in its fashionable and well-recognized holographic way, though this is not actually realistic

-Slight treble peak at ~6 KHz but very mild and insignificant compared to Grado and Beyerdynamic

 

 

Grado SR80 (Owned similarly sounding SR225i)

freq.jpg

Pros:

+Thanks to there being no treble de-emphasis up to 10 KHz in conjunction with its primarily midrange being somewhat well-behaved, there is amazing detail going on here for an on-ear, especially for one of this price

+The midrange and upper- and mid-bass is surprisingly flat with one "gotcha"

Cons:

-Sharp peaks in the upper midrange and lower treble (~2 KHz to 4 KHz), which are quite noticeable since they are located in a highly sensitive region of the human hearing

-Though the treble is indeed quite present, due to a sudden drop at ~10 KHz, it lacks that certain wow factor that definition and crispness there would provide 

 

 

DT 990 Pro

freq.gif

Pros:

+No noticeable roll-off on either of the extreme ends of the spectrum, most especially the extreme treble above 10 KHz

+Added excitement due to a noticeable U-shaped increase in bass and treble

Cons:

-Stark, jarring treble peak (author note: also present on the DT 880) centered around ~8 KHz to 10 KHz that makes higher volume listening unsafe and unenjoyable

-Its bass boost bleeds into the midrange, with the decline dipping -8 dB in reference to the bass response; the result is an overly warm midrange voicing giving a hazy veiled tone to instruments, voices and sounds found in the midrange

-Although the extreme treble is quite present, the detail and nuances found there are obscured by the prevailing bass and aforementioned adjacent upper treble boost

 

 

Beyerdynamic DT 860

freq.jpg

Pros:

+Possesses a flat mid-, upper-bass and midrange response through 4 KHz rivaling headphones many times its price

+Delivers excellent extension on both extremes of the sound spectrum; together with its flat response, it is able to produce a natural sense of detail and energy in a lively and yet unforced way

Cons:

-Slight drop and then ~5 dB peak at 6 KHz, but even-handed and easy to ignore and miss like the peak found on the HD 800

-Hardly noticeable -3 dB drop in the extreme (+10 KHz) treble region but still more detailed sounding than all others mentioned, except the HD 800, due to an uncommonly flat response throughout

 

 

 

Now for the headphone which is the highlight of this comparison:

 

Pioneer SE-A1000:

(Note: These are my predictions. I will change them once I evaluate the Pioneer tomorrow.)

 

Predictions:

Pros:

+Well-executed present and palpable slight +5 dB mid- and upper-bass boost; unlike the DT 990, this accentuation does not bleed into the midrange region and color the tonality

+Crisp, clear, slight +3 dB treble boost with no noticeable roll-off in the extreme treble, translating into a heightened sense of sharpness and detail

+Wow factor due to the very slight boost in the bass and treble and the associated superb extension in both cases

Cons:

-Ever-so-slightly warm upper (~2 KHz to ~4 KHz) midrange and lower treble; even so, slightly more neutral in this region than the HD 800

-Not the last word in neutrality, being arguably slightly less accurate than the DT 860 if referring to the midrange and bass and to some extent the HD 800 if referring to the upper and extreme treble; however, it can be much more enjoyable and delightful on the whole

-The treble boost can sometimes result in a slightly too bright sound when listening to compressed or brightly recorded media, but not to the ear-piercing levels of the DT 990 (or DT 880, not reviewed here, but also previously owned by the author)

 

Observations:

(To be filled in tomorrow.)


Edited by Hifihedgehog - Yesterday at 5:09 pm
post #942 of 945

I find it hard to believe as trustable a FR graph where the right ch. has a treble spike 10dB louder than the left ch. If the measurement was correct, then those were faulty DT990s.

 

It would be interesting to know if the HD800 they've measured is an early one or not.

 

In my experience Se-A1000 bass 'bleeds' into the mids, much more than DT990s.

Se-A1000 have really high distortion in the bass region (innerfidelity measurements).

Most of the times, high levels of THD in the bass make the perceived bass louder. (Similar effect on Shure Srh-1840s)

 

Frequency response graphs are important tools, but comparing headphones that have important differences in terms of technical capabilities might not be very useful. Some other very important parameters come into play and make the topic much more complex.

 

It's quite true that Philips Downtowns measure very similar to JPS Labs Abyss from 30Hz up to 2KHz. It's also true that under 30Hz, Abyss roll off and Downtows stay flat. And more so, Abyss present more THD than Downtowns across the spectrum. It's also true that Abyss headphones sound much better than Dowtowns.

 

In my experience, DT990s are more capable than Se-A1000. Bass frequencies are clearly faster and more layered, this translate into more detail and more contrast/dynamism.

Se-A1000s by comparison are slow and diffuse.

Similarly, DT990s have the edge over the Pionners in so many (almost every) other aspects that a simple FR comparison is not very useful.

 

Not trying to bash the Se-A1000, don't get me wrong, these Pioneers are very musical headphones (I've enjoyed them for countless hours in the past, and still like them nowadays).

Se-A1000 is not the typical audiophile (studio-like) headphone, but it wasn't intended to be that way. It's a warm and forgiving, very easy on the ears, open and often sweet sounding headphone, that works well with almost everything (source and music)

They could have a balance that pleases you. For the money, they are great value.

 

Best Luck!

post #943 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

I find it hard to believe as trustable a FR graph where the right ch. has a treble spike 10dB louder than the left ch. If the measurement was correct, then those were faulty DT990s.

 

It would be interesting to know if the HD800 they've measured is an early one or not.

 

In my experience Se-A1000 bass 'bleeds' into the mids, much more than DT990s.

Se-A1000 have really high distortion in the bass region (innerfidelity measurements).

Most of the times, high levels of THD in the bass make the perceived bass louder. (Similar effect on Shure Srh-1840s)

 

Frequency response graphs are important tools, but comparing headphones that have important differences in terms of technical capabilities might not be very useful. Some other very important parameters come into play and make the topic much more complex.

 

It's quite true that Philips Downtowns measure very similar to JPS Labs Abyss from 30Hz up to 2KHz. It's also true that under 30Hz, Abyss roll off and Downtows stay flat. And more so, Abyss present more THD than Downtowns across the spectrum. It's also true that Abyss headphones sound much better than Dowtowns.

 

In my experience, DT990s are more capable than Se-A1000. Bass frequencies are clearly faster and more layered, this translate into more detail and more contrast/dynamism.

Se-A1000s by comparison are slow and diffuse.

Similarly, DT990s have the edge over the Pionners in so many (almost every) other aspects that a simple FR comparison is not very useful.

 

Not trying to bash the Se-A1000, don't get me wrong, these Pioneers are very musical headphones (I've enjoyed them for countless hours in the past, and still like them nowadays).

Se-A1000 is not the typical audiophile (studio-like) headphone, but it wasn't intended to be that way. It's a warm and forgiving, very easy on the ears, open and often sweet sounding headphone, that works well with almost everything (source and music)

They could have a balance that pleases you. For the money, they are great value.

 

Best Luck!

Cool! Thank you! Let me respond to clarify and elaborate on some of your points.

 

First of all, you mention a 10 decibel spike of a channel difference in the treble for the DT 990. That is actually incorrect. Following the given scale of 5 decibels per line, it is actually a 3 to 5 decibel different in only a few minor locations. Having owned and tested the DT 990 Pro myself, I noticed some sound balance anomalies in the high frequency. (There are documented issues of this and driver rattling in the forums.) However, in real-world listening, given how small these anomalies were and given their location near the higher end of the high frequencies, it is was not noticeable. Interestingly, perhaps due to the fact that it was a costly version of the product, the DT 990 Premium 600 ohm I owned add little if any such anomalies when I ran some frequency sweeps. Let me reemphasize that all the headphones above I have listened to for more than 2 hours and in many cases for months or more and so, having tested and confirmed these graphs extensively myself, I know that they are correct--for me, at least. See the spoiler below to see which headphones I have owned or demoed:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I have extensively demoed (or owned, in bold) the following headphones:

AKG K812, K712, K702, K701, Q701, K550, K271, K240 Studio, K77; Audio Technica ATH-M50X, ATH-M50, ATH-M40X, ATH-M40fs; Beats by Dr. Dre Executive, Pro, Solo HD, Studio; Beyerdynamic T5 P, DT 990 Premium 600 ohm, DT 990 Pro, DT 880 Premium 250 ohm, DT 880 Pro, DT 860, DT 770 Pro-80; Bose Quietcomfort 15, Quietcomfort 3, Quietcomfort 2, AE2; Creative EPH-630; Denon AH-D7100, AH-D600, AH-D340; Etymotic ER-6; Grado PS500, Grado GS1000, RS1i, RS 1, RS 2i, RS 2, SR325is, SR325i, SR225i, SR225, SR125i, SR125, SR80i, SR80, SR60i, SR60, iGrado; Koss Porta Pro, KSC75, The Plug, UR10; The House of Marley Redemption Song; Sennheiser HD 800, HD 650, HD 600, HD 598, HD 595, HD 558, HD 555 (also modified to HD595), HD 380, HD 280, HD202, HD201, PX 100, Momentum On-Ear, Momentum Over-the-Ear; Shure SRH1540, SRH940, SRH840, SRH440, SE835, SE535; Skullcandy Aviators, Crusher, Hesh; Sony MDR-X05, MDR-XB500, MDR-7506, MDR-V6, MDR-55, MDR-CD30 (I almost forgot about these; purchased at a garage sale about 10 years ago); Superlux HD681, HD688BUltimate Ears TripleFi 10 (family member owns them); Ultrasone HFI-780; Westone UM Pro 30, UM Pro 20, UM Pro 10.

 

Second of all, I will have to see about the bass and distortion in the SE-A1000 you mention while listening to find out if it has any profound effect on the sound. In my experience, the distortion only affects the sound's "clean-ness" and clarity if it is in the higher registers and the headphones are being used at higher than recommended volumes, or 85 decibels. 

 

Third of all, in your example of the Downtowns and the Abyss, the similarities you discuss in the 30 Hz to 2 KHz range are only a small part of the larger picture that defines the sound. To simplify, tonality is affected by the response there but the entire sound signature itself is a bit more than that. From 2 KHz to 16 KHz is the treble range, which, among other things, determines how much clarity, presence, airiness, echo and reverberation is heard from recordings.

 

I would surmise the Abyss has a much better treble response which accounts of its heightened perceived detail and accuracy compared to the Downtowns. The treble range is how our brains and ears "see" the sound so it would go without saying the sonic "picture" would be much cleaner and clearer with better treble reproduction. Tuning the treble response is one of the hardest things to do since that involves curving the sound response to match the interactions with the pinna, ear canal and, to a lesser extent, the surrounding tissues.

 

I have not heard the Abyss myself so I cannot say if it is good or not, at least for me. I know the HD 600 was not for me because of issues with its treble frequency having medium to large dips or trenches in certain spots. Having seen the Abyss' frequency plot previously, though it seems to have a far superior upper treble response to the HD 600 and other headphones, it has a massive dip in the upper midrange and lower treble. I know from experience that headphones with such responses do not appeal to me, having owned several and demoed dozens more, but I look forward to demoing it one day to experience for myself what its actual sound is like.

 

For now, the real test for me will be trying the SE-A1000 and seeing how it sounds. I loved the DT 860 and likely will get another pair since it is being discontinued, but the sound response on the SE-A1000 looks more appealing still. I can safely say the bass response on the DT 990 was not a particular favorite of mine. Though it was certainly a step up in some ways from the HD 555, ATH-m50 and others, in other ways, its bass had issues with clouding the midrange constantly. The interesting thing to note for me is that headphones with more neutral responses in the bass, not enormous emphases, like the HD 600, DT 860 and Q701, sounded much better, with more focused, firmer impact, and faster bass. The SE-A1000's graph response is much closer to neutral than the DT 990 and I expect it to follow that it will sound better in the bass, for example, as these headphones did and many others.

 

On a side note, I am very confident I will like it since Mike Mercer, a well-regarded professional reviewer, gave them the thumbs up over the DT 880. Getting his attention and his positive feedback is a nod to the SE-A1000 for being an truly excellently crafted headphone.

 

I have a system down for reading and analyzing graphs and I know my sources well--which match up well and which aren't quite right. I trust my ears which have confirmed for me personally which of these graphs are the best for me when choosing headphones. Everyone here has a method to their madness, and I think mine works rather well for me. For me personally, as I have familiarized myself more and more with graphs and headphones, this method has gotten me to bigger and better headphones consistently. These specifically are the sources I look to for graphs with them in order of preference towards and confidence in their accuracy, the topmost ones being my first choice:

http://headphones.reviewed.com/

http://www.head-fi.org/t/409732/some-more-frequency-response-graphs

http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/

http://www.headphone.com/pages/build-a-graph

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566929/headphone-csd-waterfall-plots

http://www.geocities.jp/ryumatsuba/review.html

 

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me. Best of listening to you!


Edited by Hifihedgehog - Yesterday at 9:10 pm
post #944 of 945
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hifihedgehog View Post
 

Cool! Thank you! Let me respond to clarify and elaborate on some of your points.

 

First of all, you mention a 10 decibel spike of a channel difference in the treble for the DT 990. That is actually incorrect. Following the given scale of 5 decibels per line, it is actually a 3 to 5 decibel different in only a few minor locations.

 

5dB up there, my bad! It's still not great at all because it's hard to know if Left or Right is the representative of the headphone sound.

 

Having owned and tested the DT 990 Pro myself, I noticed some sound balance anomalies in the high frequency. (There are documented issues of this and driver rattling in the forums.) However, in real-world listening, given how small these anomalies were and given their location near the higher end of the high frequencies, it is was not noticeable. Interestingly, perhaps due to the fact that it was a costly version of the product, the DT 990 Premium 600 ohm I owned add little if any such anomalies when I ran some frequency sweeps. Let me reemphasize that all the headphones above I have listened to for more than 2 hours and in many cases for months or more and so, having tested and confirmed these graphs extensively myself, I know that they are correct--for me, at least. See the spoiler below to see which headphones I have owned or demoed:

 

DT990s are bright, that's sure! With the right recordings they sound very good, but picking the right recordings is a must. (IME)

 

Second of all, I will have to see about the bass and distortion in the SE-A1000 you mention while listening to find out if it has any profound effect on the sound. In my experience, the distortion only affects the sound's "clean-ness" and clarity if it is in the higher registers and the headphones are being used at higher than recommended volumes, or 85 decibels. 

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/PioneerSEA1000.pdf
I think the high THD could be the responsible for the added warmth I hear. I haven't seen a CSD waterfall plot of these Pioneers yet.

 

Third of all, in your example of the Downtowns and the Abyss, the similarities you discuss in the 30 Hz to 2 KHz range are only a small part of the larger picture that defines the sound. To simplify, tonality is affected by the response there but the entire sound signature itself is a bit more than that. From 2 KHz to 16 KHz is the treble range, which, among other things, determines how much clarity, presence, airiness, echo and reverberation is heard from recordings.

 

I would surmise the Abyss has a much better treble response which accounts of its heightened perceived detail and accuracy compared to the Downtowns. The treble range is how our brains and ears "see" the sound so it would go without saying the sonic "picture" would be much cleaner and clearer with better treble reproduction. Tuning the treble response is one of the hardest things to do since that involves curving the sound response to match the interactions with the pinna, ear canal and, to a lesser extent, the surrounding tissues.

 

You can EQ the Abyss to make it measure similar to the Downtowns in the treble as well. And you can also reproduce instruments or voices with little to none treble presence with both. I bet the Abyss would still be far better in both scenarios.

 

I have not heard the Abyss myself so I cannot say if it is good or not, at least for me. I know the HD 600 was not for me because of issues with its treble frequency having medium to large dips or trenches in certain spots. Having seen the Abyss' frequency plot previously, though it seems to have a far superior upper treble response to the HD 600 and other headphones, it has a massive dip in the upper midrange and lower treble. I know from experience that headphones with such responses do not appeal to me, having owned several and demoed dozens more, but I look forward to demoing it one day to experience for myself what its actual sound is like.

 

That dip in the lower treble looks like too much! I agree.
Trying headphones is always the best way to make a personal judgement. I think there isn't a single Abyss in my country, so I'll have to wait for them!

 

For now, the real test for me will be trying the SE-A1000 and seeing how it sounds. I loved the DT 860 and likely will get another pair since it is being discontinued, but the sound response on the SE-A1000 looks more appealing still. I can safely say the bass response on the DT 990 was not a particular favorite of mine. Though it was certainly a step up in some ways from the HD 555, ATH-m50 and others, in other ways, its bass had issues with clouding the midrange constantly. The interesting thing to note for me is that headphones with more neutral responses in the bass, not enormous emphases, like the HD 600, DT 860 and Q701, sounded much better, with more focused, firmer impact, and faster bass. The SE-A1000's graph response is much closer to neutral than the DT 990 and I expect it to follow that it will sound better in the bass, for example, as these headphones did and many others.

 

I have a system down for reading and analyzing graphs and I know my sources well--which match up well and which aren't quite right. I trust my ears which have confirmed for me personally which of these graphs are the best for me when choosing headphones. Everyone here has a method to their madness, and I think mine works rather well for me. For me personally, as I have familiarized myself more and more with graphs and headphones, this method has gotten me to bigger and better headphones consistently. These specifically are the sources I look to for graphs with them in order of preference towards and confidence in their accuracy, the topmost ones being my first choice:

http://headphones.reviewed.com/

http://www.head-fi.org/t/409732/some-more-frequency-response-graphs

http://rinchoi.blogspot.com/

http://www.headphone.com/pages/build-a-graph

http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads

http://www.head-fi.org/t/566929/headphone-csd-waterfall-plots

http://www.geocities.jp/ryumatsuba/review.html

 

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with me. Best of listening to you!

 

Thanks and you're welcome, it's always nice to share and compare personal views (Often useful for other people)

 

Please share your impressions about your Pioneers once you get them!

 

Best Luck!

post #945 of 945

I don't think this site's graphs are all that accurate since the frequency plots have too much smoothing applied or something, but here's the CSD. It's actually quite clean. I've seen much worse and, actually, I have seen few better in the 1 KHz and up region in particular. The bass does have some added delay, which is what you may be hearing here as added darkness or haze. Still, the treble is on par with the DT 880's ultra low resonance and distortion, which is a commendable achievement on the part of the SE-A1000's engineers. All of this, of course, is dependent on the fact of whether or not these measurements are even accurate to begin with.

 

SE-A1000-Accumulate.gif 

 

 

 

And for comparison's sake, here are the CSD's of the two headphones you own from the same site:

 

K701-Accumulate.gif

 

DT880-Accumulate.gif

 

Source: http://www.geocities.jp/ryumatsuba/review.html


Edited by Hifihedgehog - Yesterday at 10:38 pm
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