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Sony MDR-7520 - Page 31

post #451 of 2340

Hi everyone. This is not my first post, but I've been more of a long time lurker than active poster. However, I've had some 7520's for a while so I thought I'd add my opinion.

 

First, some very brief background info. I'm a musician by profession (instrumentalist), and, although I have a small home studio, I'm not involved in music production as such. The studio is used mostly to record myself for other peoples projects - CD's or whatever. My main use for headphones like the 7520's is for tracking, checking a recording, and for listening to music around the home on my iPod/iPhone.

In addition to being a musician I also have a life long interest in HI-Fi. I won't list all my equipment, but the CD chain is Marantz CD12LE, Mark Levinson 38, ATC 100SL's. 'Phone's wise, I have Senn HD600 and 650 open, Sony 7509HD and 7520 closed. HP amps are Fostex HP-P1 and Lehmann BCL.

 

I've read the whole thread from the beginning(!) and I agree with the many positive opinions about the 7520. There are a few things which have been mentioned which I would like to comment on. First, the bass! I agree that it didn't sound good straight away - boomy and somewhat uncontrolled was my initial reaction. It has improved tremendously over time though, and although I still find it too much at times it is very recording dependent, so I think it's more a reflection of a particular recording than a fault with the HP. The mids, as has been said many times, are extremely clear and detailed whilst the highs are very extended and smooth. I think starfly has mentioned sibilance a few times. I think I hear the same thing, although not sibilance as such (I don't generally listen to vocal music), but sometimes a slightly unpleasant shouty quality to something like a rim shot for example. The other criticism that I can relate to is the lack of sound stage. Of course any closed back will not have the sound stage of a good open design, but the 7520 seems a bit more 'closed in', for want of a better description, than some others. Let me say that I think these 'criticisms' are only possible when thinking about the 7520 as a proper Hi-Fi headphone; IMO it absolutely excels and exceeds any expectations that one could have considering it's intended purpose and price point.

 

However, I do have a problem with the 7520, namely the 7509HD! The 7509HD is a headphone which seems to have been largely ignored on Head-Fi and certainly it doesn't seem to be popular here, although some members (Uncle Eric for example) have praised it. I think the frequency response graph for the 7509HD on Headroom might well be responsible for preventing many people from even listening to the 'phone. All I can say is that it shows me that you really can't tell what a HP will sound like from a frequency response graph! The 7509HD is often criticized for a lack of bass, but, although it is certainly rolled off much more than the 7520, it's there(!) and very clear and controlled. The upper mid bass also never gets in the way of mid range clarity, (which I feel it can to some extent sometimes on the 7520) which IMO is even more revealing than the mid range on the 7520. The highs a just as extended and smooth. The one thing which I do hear as better on the 7509HD than the 7520 is a sense of openness and space (the mid range is just incredible!), and yes, sound stage.

 

Comparing the 7509HD and 7520 is perhaps somewhat irrelevant as the former is no longer available (unless you care to buy one here! http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7509HD-Professional-Headphone/dp/B000HHYZV6), but I thought I'd post my thoughts in case it might help anyone who has the 7509HD who is thinking about getting the 7520.

Overall I feel that the 7520 is probably the better balanced of the two and I'm sure the sound signature would be more appealing to the vast majority of listeners, but personally I find the better sound stage and holographic mid range of the 7509HD to be more satisfying. However, both are great closed back HP's which, apart from their studio application, are particularly good for listening to music without an amp direct from a portable music carrier.

 

Edit: I can quite believe the story of Abby Road Studios stockpiling the 7520 before it became unavailable in Europe, but, just for everyone's interest, I do know for a fact that Dave Gilmour purchased several pairs for his home studio. Here's part of an email I had from the UK dealer that I purchased mine from:-

 

'By the way, our rep asked me to pass this on to you. Not sure if you like Pink Floyd, but apparently, David Gilmour purchased 5 pairs of these lovely cans for his studio. :-)'


Edited by Mike F - 12/27/13 at 10:50am
post #452 of 2340

This thread sells 7520's. Sony owe us now. Even Mark Knopfler is convinced :):

 

post #453 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
 

 

Edit: I can quite believe the story of Abby Road Studios stockpiling the 7520 before it became unavailable in Europe, but, just for everyone's interest, I do know for a fact that Dave Gilmour purchased several pairs for his home studio. Here's part of an email I had from the UK dealer that I purchased mine from:-

 

'By the way, our rep asked me to pass this on to you. Not sure if you like Pink Floyd, but apparently, David Gilmour purchased 5 pairs of these lovely cans for his studio. :-)'

Should we expect some bass light masterings from him now? LOL :biggrin: 

post #454 of 2340

FYI- The Violectric V100 matches wonderfully with the 7520s.  Just posted review of it in my blog.  Blog address is below in my sig.

post #455 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannkind246 View Post
 

Hi Shinnbone,

Do you have any comment in sound signature between MDR-7520 and MDR-Z1000?


I own both of them...the fit is identical other than a larger ear opening on the 7520's which

is not really noticeable since neither actually fit around the ear; i.e. both rest on the ears

Build quality is also the same as far as I can tell.

 

7520's have more bass and an overall darker sound

Z1000's have satisfactory bass and possibly more detail

Z1000's brightness is not at the very top, it's not "sizzle",

but it's in the upper midrange. 

Neither are fatiguing. 

Soundstage is about the same.

Z1000's have a straight cable,

7520's a coiled cable.

They go into the headphones with a 3.5mm input

and a locking collar.

 

In theory, you can use any 3.5mm cable but the input

is slightly recessed into the earcup, so the plug's housing

has to be slender enough to fit - otherwise the plug will

not seat fully and thus won't work

 

On some albums I prefer the Z1000's, but overall I like

the 7520's more and recommend them highly as the

best sounding closed headphones I've heard for

under  $500.00 or so.  Detailed, full, rich, very good

soundstage, dynamic - an exceptional product.

 

Both the Z1000's and 7520's are made in Thailand,

where Sony has been producing its better headphones

for many years...

post #456 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
 

Hi everyone. This is not my first post, but I've been more of a long time lurker than active poster. However, I've had some 7520's for a while so I thought I'd add my opinion.

 

[edit]

 

However, I do have a problem with the 7520, namely the 7509HD! The 7509HD is a headphone which seems to have been largely ignored on Head-Fi and certainly it doesn't seem to be popular here, although some members (Uncle Eric for example) have praised it. I think the frequency response graph for the 7509HD on Headroom might well be responsible for preventing many people from even listening to the 'phone. All I can say is that it shows me that you really can't tell what a HP will sound like from a frequency response graph! The 7509HD is often criticized for a lack of bass, but, although it is certainly rolled off much more than the 7520, it's there(!) and very clear and controlled. The upper mid bass also never gets in the way of mid range clarity, (which I feel it can to some extent sometimes on the 7520) which IMO is even more revealing than the mid range on the 7520. The highs a just as extended and smooth. The one thing which I do hear as better on the 7509HD than the 7520 is a sense of openness and space (the mid range is just incredible!), and yes, sound stage.

 

Comparing the 7509HD and 7520 is perhaps somewhat irrelevant as the former is no longer available (unless you care to buy one here! http://www.amazon.com/Sony-MDR7509HD-Professional-Headphone/dp/B000HHYZV6), but I thought I'd post my thoughts in case it might help anyone who has the 7509HD who is thinking about getting the 7520.

Overall I feel that the 7520 is probably the better balanced of the two and I'm sure the sound signature would be more appealing to the vast majority of listeners, but personally I find the better sound stage and holographic mid range of the 7509HD to be more satisfying. However, both are great closed back HP's which, apart from their studio application, are particularly good for listening to music without an amp direct from a portable music carrier.

 

Edit: I can quite believe the story of Abby Road Studios stockpiling the 7520 before it became unavailable in Europe, but, just for everyone's interest, I do know for a fact that Dave Gilmour purchased several pairs for his home studio. Here's part of an email I had from the UK dealer that I purchased mine from:-

 

'By the way, our rep asked me to pass this on to you. Not sure if you like Pink Floyd, but apparently, David Gilmour purchased 5 pairs of these lovely cans for his studio. :-)'

 

Having owned the 7509HD's, and the 7520's at present, I must respectfully disagree with your comments about them.

The 7520's IMO are far, far superior headphones in every aspect,

except perhaps build quality as both are very well made.

 

As it's largely the realm of opinion, I guess it won't do much good to bounce back and forth comparing the SQ of the two,

but from comments, reviews, and other indicators it's got to be clear that the 7520's have achieved greater

recognition and acceptance not only from music professionals, but from the music listening community at large.

post #457 of 2340
@zazex, 7520 do not fit around your ears? They are clearly circum aural with some room to spare for me with statistically average ears.
post #458 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike F View Post

 

However, I do have a problem with the 7520, namely the 7509HD! The 7509HD is a headphone which seems to have been largely ignored on Head-Fi and certainly it doesn't seem to be popular here, although some members (Uncle Eric for example) have praised it.

 

Damn, those are EXPENSIVE!

post #459 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 


I own both of them...the fit is identical other than a larger ear opening on the 7520's which

is not really noticeable since neither actually fit around the ear; i.e. both rest on the ears

Build quality is also the same as far as I can tell.

 

7520's have more bass and an overall darker sound

Z1000's have satisfactory bass and possibly more detail

Z1000's brightness is not at the very top, it's not "sizzle",

but it's in the upper midrange. 

Neither are fatiguing. 

Soundstage is about the same.

Z1000's have a straight cable,

7520's a coiled cable.

They go into the headphones with a 3.5mm input

and a locking collar.

 

In theory, you can use any 3.5mm cable but the input

is slightly recessed into the earcup, so the plug's housing

has to be slender enough to fit - otherwise the plug will

not seat fully and thus won't work

 

On some albums I prefer the Z1000's, but overall I like

the 7520's more and recommend them highly as the

best sounding closed headphones I've heard for

under  $500.00 or so.  Detailed, full, rich, very good

soundstage, dynamic - an exceptional product.

 

Both the Z1000's and 7520's are made in Thailand,

where Sony has been producing its better headphones

for many years...

Very good information from you. 

Actually I owned a Sony MDR-V6 and  I like its sound signature.

However after listening for sometimes, I want something better than MDR-V6 especially in detail, and bass. 

I hope either MDR-Z1000 or MDR-7520 will give me a "quantum leap" of sound improvement over my MDR-V6 especially in the detail and bass (punchy, tight, fast & deep).

post #460 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannkind246 View Post
 

Very good information from you. 

Actually I owned a Sony MDR-V6 and  I like its sound signature.

However after listening for sometimes, I want something better than MDR-V6 especially in detail, and bass. 

I hope either MDR-Z1000 or MDR-7520 will give me a "quantum leap" of sound improvement over my MDR-V6 especially in the detail and bass (punchy, tight, fast & deep).


Either will give you that "quantum leap" - and a large one at that ;-)

over the MDR V6 - keep in mind, though, that you'll want to use

high quality source material (lossless files - some think 320K files

are OK but I think lossless are the only way to go at this level),

along with the best electronics available to you. 

 

I'll reiterate my preference overall for the 7520's.

post #461 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post

@zazex, 7520 do not fit around your ears? They are clearly circum aural with some room to spare for me with statistically average ears.

 

Same here. My ears fit inside the 7520's cups. They are pretty shallow, though. My left ear touches the driver and gets uncomfortable after an hour or so. I stuffed little pieces of cloth under the pads right behind the ears to thicken the pads a little. I had to experiment a bit -- thickening the pads too much does change the sound noticeably.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mannkind246 View Post
 

Very good information from you. 

Actually I owned a Sony MDR-V6 and  I like its sound signature.

However after listening for sometimes, I want something better than MDR-V6 especially in detail, and bass. 

I hope either MDR-Z1000 or MDR-7520 will give me a "quantum leap" of sound improvement over my MDR-V6 especially in the detail and bass (punchy, tight, fast & deep).

 

7520 definitely is much, much better than the V6. I would say a "quantum leap" of sound improvement. 

post #462 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 


Either will give you that "quantum leap" - and a large one at that ;-)

over the MDR V6 - keep in mind, though, that you'll want to use

high quality source material (lossless files - some think 320K files

are OK but I think lossless are the only way to go at this level),

along with the best electronics available to you. 

 

I'll reiterate my preference overall for the 7520's.

Most of my music sources are lossless (FLAC, ALAC & APE) and high quality MP3 (320 kbps).

Based on your actual listening experience, what kind of "significant" improvement can you notice from V6 to Z1000 & 7250 

if you play the lossless file such as The Eagles' Hotel California from Album Hell Freezes Over?

post #463 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by mannkind246 View Post
 

Most of my music sources are lossless (FLAC, ALAC & APE) and high quality MP3 (320 kbps).

Based on your actual listening experience, what kind of "significant" improvement can you notice from V6 to Z1000 & 7250 

if you play the lossless file such as The Eagles' Hotel California from Album Hell Freezes Over?

 

Much more detail, dimensionality, richness, fullness,

softer high end with no loss of information - more information,

in fact.  Tighter, deeper bass.  Greater clarity throughout.

 

It's an experiential difference.  Not a small difference.

 

I don't know your location, but if you're in a place where

you can buy and return them if they're not for you, I

suggest you do that. 

 

I'll also mention that although they don't need an amplifier,

they do benefit from one - particularly with respect to

soundstage and dynamics.  But IME pretty much all

high quality headphones benefit from an amp.

post #464 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew_WOT View Post
 

Well, actually, I guess they lose some bite and definition esp in the bass after all. Hmm, back to stock for now. :confused: 

 

EDIT: Should stop posting, really. :biggrin:

Switching back and forth between two and can't really tell if there is appreciable difference at all besides increased soundstage with velour pads. There could be a pinch more bite in bass with stock pads, but could be just psychoacoustical effect as well as velour is fuzzier and softer than pleather.

 

EDIT2: Yep, they do make 7520 sound loose and "boomy". Not the best match, me think.

If anyone interested in brand new Shure 940 velour pads, PM me. 

I decided to give Shure 940 pads another chance.

Couple of things I did differently this time:

- Properly adjusted them on the mounting rim, they are slightly bigger than stock and need extra care to make sure that lip goes all way in the slit.

- Extended headband by one click to have them seal around ears properly

So now after all that I can't really tell which I like better, stock or these.

It does seem that bass became drier and there a bit more treble, but depending on how you look at it, on 7520 it actually could be a positive thing. 

I'll probably spend more time with them before jumping to any conclusion.

It would definitely helped if I had two pairs side by side to do a proper A/B as switching pads takes time and when the difference is not so obvious auditory memory does not serve that well, accordingly to some researches it's just 2 sec for "subtle" differences and I am not that fast (yet) LOL. :biggrin: 

 

EDIT: There is some clarity loss in midrange, guess due to thicker foam filter, on OEM it's just thin transparent mesh.

Going back to stock and it feels just "right", something is off with that velour, doesn't sound as balanced and clear as OEM pads.


Edited by Andrew_WOT - 12/28/13 at 11:45am
post #465 of 2340
Quote:
Originally Posted by zazex View Post
 

 

Having owned the 7509HD's, and the 7520's at present, I must respectfully disagree with your comments about them.

The 7520's IMO are far, far superior headphones in every aspect,

except perhaps build quality as both are very well made.

 

As it's largely the realm of opinion, I guess it won't do much good to bounce back and forth comparing the SQ of the two,

but from comments, reviews, and other indicators it's got to be clear that the 7520's have achieved greater

recognition and acceptance not only from music professionals, but from the music listening community at large.

 

I totally agree that the 7520's have achieved greater recognition and acceptance, (quite possibly because it 'replaced' a very successful and well known consumer model) and I did say, 'overall I feel that the 7520 is probably the better balanced of the two and I'm sure the sound signature would be more appealing to the vast majority of listeners'. I'm just making the point that, IMO, the 7509HD is an excellent headphone in it's own right and not as far behind the 7520 as many believe, and that in some respects I actually prefer it. I respect your opinion of course, but I disagree that the 7520's are far, far superior in every aspect (except build quality), and it seems that I'm not alone in that opinion. I've found two informed reviews comparing the 7509HD and 7520 which go beyond just saying that the later is better than the former, and they closely reflect my views.

 

 

Here's the first from a member on Gearslutz:-

 

I'm selling a pair of 7509s on ebay and was asked a comparison question and wrote this response which I thought I'd share on here in case anyone else wanted a comparison. This is just my take/opinions on the headphones.


"Sure .. I own the DT770s also. In my opinion the 770s don't have as an even of a frequency response, the bass is a little overexaggerated and it seems to run together with the mids sometimes, I also think it needs quite a bit of headroom to even it out (even with a 80ohm headphones, which I have).

The 7509HD are my preference purely from a personal perspective. I think they fit well with electronic/bassy and electronic rock music. They are fairly even across the spectrum, I think the highs and mids can be slightly hyped sometimes but nothing too noticiable. I think they are "clearer"/more hi-def compared to the 7509s, which sound a little muddier to me in comparison. Again, that's just my opinion. They both share the same over tone though.

The 7520 is different. I think it has a more neutral and even frequency response across the board, and it really separates things (more than any headphone I've owned, including the Sennheiser HD600 and Beyer DT880, although these were good). What I didn't like about them was their tone, which is just personal. I think I bought them expecting to get a similar sound to the 7509HD, but they don't really share that. I feel like I was missing some mids that I was used to getting with the 7509HDs .. of course those are probably a bit hyped on the HDs. The 7520 might be a bit dipped there though. The Bass is clearer and fuller and I could pick things out, but I missed the mids and highs a bit. Overall, I'd probably be ok to mix on any of the Sony's. The only reason I would probably choose the HDs is because I know them so well, but I think the 7520s would give an easier/more honest representation of what's going on".

 

 

And the second from a recommendation on B&H:-

 

MDR 7520 and MDR 7509HD
 

I am a classical musician who records in concert halls- mostly chamber music (piano, brass, strings, percussion). I have always used Sony headphones when I engineer and produce, although I have tried out a number of other brands (Sennheiser, Grado). I would be the first to say that headphone sound, like speaker sound, is a personal choice, so read on with a grain of salt.

I was looking to upgrade my headphones and decided to try out a few pairs. After some research I focused in on the Sony MDR 7520 and the Sony MDR 7509HD. I am thrilled with both. They are clean, accurate and present in terms of sound. I can hear lots of detail in the variety of musical ensembles I have recorded, however it is a pure sound, uncolored and true to what you would hear live. I should also add that I use a variety of microphones, but stear mostly towards the Earthworks omnis- mics known for their true sound, no coloration- they pick up just about exactly what you hear- great for recording classical music in a hall. The Earthworks/Sony combo feels like a great pairing. The 7520 and 7509HD are both excellent phones for producing, engineering and editing- you get an incredibly true sense of what is being recorded.

For kicks I tried these headphones out on my stereo system listening to mastered and released recordings- the sound was as you would expect- very present, somewhat bright, almost too clear for "casual" listening- you get the detail that you hope for when recording and none of the coloration. I then went back to my pre-mastered Pro Tools sessions and listened with both pairs (7520 and 7509) and made the realization of why these are such great studio headphones- clarity and accuracy of sound, perfect for hearing what you are recording. They no longer sounded bright like they did on my stereo- they just sounded true.

If I had to compare these two headphones, the listening I did on my stereo of mastered recordings sort of helped in the distinguishing of each- the 7520's felt brighter than the 7509HD on released recordings, which made me think I preferred the 7509HD; but when I went back to listening in Pro Tools I found the 7520's to have a bit more clarity and detail. This was a very slight difference, but a difference none the less. Kind of like going from 11 point font to 12 point font (not a big deal to read 11 point font on its own, but when you compare it side by side with 12 point, there IS a difference- each will do just fine, but why not go with more detail if you can get it). I decided to keep both, since I usually have a need for at least two pairs of headphones at recording sessions- might as well have a choice.

The only negative I found was that the 7509HD made a little bit of noise if my head position changed while listening- since they fold for storage, the hinges have some give, thus creating a little bit of sound when you move slightly- not a huge deal, but when you are listening with a fine tooth comb for any and all sounds in the mix, you want the phones to be snug and quiet. The 7520's don't make ANY extraneous sounds. Both headphones fit well, are comfy and look fantastic- the 7520's have an especially smooth, simple design- very sharp aesthetically. I'd say that even though the 7509's move a bit when on, they are likely to be the more comfortable of the two for most people- bigger ear pads, larger cup around your ear, less gripping on your head; but having said that, the 7520's still feel great when on.

I would say, and this is typical with any Professional level Sony headphone, you're money is well spent on either of these. I am very happy with my purchase (of course, I did end up keeping both).

 

 

Certainly these two people don't think that the 7520 is far, far superior to the 7509HD, and neither do I. Of course, as you (and they!) say, it's a matter of preference, but I'm posting this because there is so little information on the web comparing these two models and it may be of value to someone else.

 

 

 


Edited by Mike F - 12/28/13 at 12:55pm
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