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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 136

post #2026 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post

Have tried PM-1 from variety of amps tube and solid-state. It depends upon the amp. Some SS sounded better than tube, some tube sounded not so good. Whatever the amp, PM-1 is overpriced by $800. It scales poorly with better equipment.

agreed. it was hard to hear much of a difference between my magni and my wa7 with the pm-1. my previous two cans (only ones I've used with both amps) the difference was easily detectable.

something designed for high efficiency/low impedence would be best imo. I had very little room for volume adjustment before it became too loud. around 7-8 o clock on my amps was already loud.
Edited by smellyfungus - 5/13/14 at 8:58am
post #2027 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by purrin View Post
 

 

Have tried PM-1 from variety of amps tube and solid-state. It depends upon the amp. Some SS sounded better than tube, some tube sounded not so good. Whatever the amp, PM-1 is overpriced by $800. It scales poorly with better equipment.

For some of us, 'scalability' is a result of bad design and engineering.  Needing a specific coloration to the amp in order to sound good is pretty pathetic.  For some of us.  Your mileage may vary.

 

But a planar that can run on less than a watt. Sounds worth the price of admission to me.  In an objective sort of way, that is  :bigsmile_face:

post #2028 of 3070

Well it's not like LCD2, HE-400, and T50RP need a watt to really shine either.

post #2029 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

Well it's not like LCD2, HE-400, and T50RP need a watt to really shine either.

True enough, but the 102 dB sensitivity is an amazing specification.  And my modded T50RP (Alpha Dogs) don't need a full watt, but the power certainly helps to clean up the bass.  I guess the Alpha's 'scale' nicely...

post #2030 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by swspiers View Post
 

For some of us, 'scalability' is a result of bad design and engineering.  Needing a specific coloration to the amp in order to sound good is pretty pathetic.  For some of us.  Your mileage may vary.

 

But a planar that can run on less than a watt. Sounds worth the price of admission to me.  In an objective sort of way, that is  :bigsmile_face:

 

How do you describe a can that sound overpriced whatever the amp, then?

 

Lack of scaling can be a result of lack of transparency. A can that sounds the same on every amp might be a good or a bad thing. A can that cost >$1000 and performs consistently like a $500 one on every amp is certainly not a good thing.


Edited by Clemmaster - 5/13/14 at 9:34am
post #2031 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

How do you describe a can that sound overpriced whatever the amp, then?

 

Lack of scaling can be a result of lack of transparency. A can that sounds the same on every amp might be a good or a bad thing. A can that cost >$1000 and performs consistently like a $500 one on every amp is certainly not a good thing.

I disagree with not one word you wrote. 

But I this may be part of the conflict I am reading, in three threads, on the Oppo's.  They seem to be an objectivists dream, and Oppo has taken a very different approach than the other manufacturers.

 

Look, I love the nuances of this hobby.  Playing with DACs, swapping amps, chasing the ultimate combination of transparency/neutrality/euphoria/detail.  But these nuances are what kept me away from headphones since the early 80's, and it's only in the past few years that I have been sucked-in.

 

For a lot of people, the Oppo's will be the ONE headphone purchase they make.  Period.  Instant end-game.  I predict that they majority of those people are not on Head-fi, so they won't even read the ridiculousness of describing them as poo, green or otherwise.

post #2032 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by swspiers View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post
 

 

How do you describe a can that sound overpriced whatever the amp, then?

 

Lack of scaling can be a result of lack of transparency. A can that sounds the same on every amp might be a good or a bad thing. A can that cost >$1000 and performs consistently like a $500 one on every amp is certainly not a good thing.

I disagree with not one word you wrote. 

But I this may be part of the conflict I am reading, in three threads, on the Oppo's.  They seem to be an objectivists dream, and Oppo has taken a very different approach than the other manufacturers.

 

Look, I love the nuances of this hobby.  Playing with DACs, swapping amps, chasing the ultimate combination of transparency/neutrality/euphoria/detail.  But these nuances are what kept me away from headphones since the early 80's, and it's only in the past few years that I have been sucked-in.

 

For a lot of people, the Oppo's will be the ONE headphone purchase they make.  Period.  Instant end-game.  I predict that they majority of those people are not on Head-fi, so they won't even read the ridiculousness of describing them as poo, green or otherwise.


I just think, if you don't like poo in your ears, stay away from the PM-1.....simple!  I happen to like them, they sound more similar to the HE-560 in many areas, than different.  My neighbor is a hog farmer, so I know what poo is.  Ridiculous impression, from a MOT!

post #2033 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by cute View Post
 


I just think, if you don't like poo in your ears, stay away from the PM-1.....simple!  I happen to like them, they sound more similar to the HE-560 in many areas, than different.  My neighbor is a hog farmer, so I know what poo is.  Ridiculous impression, from a MOT!

 

I was certainly not displeased with the PM-1 sound, honestly.

Save for the bass that is not how I like (bloated, not well defined), I liked the warm and "integrated" sound they produced.

Sound-stage was not an issue and I found their sound was dynamic (perhaps even more so than the HE-560 on some tracks, but they were not volume matched and I suspect I was listening to the PM-1 at higher volume due to their sound signature). I had no issues with the treble but it was in meet conditions: not optimal to judge extension (at both ends).

 

It kinda reminds me of the HE-500. I would probably not pay $1100 for it if it is not my primary headphones. The PM-2 would be a valid option, though.

post #2034 of 3070
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicman59 View Post
 

Has anybody compared the PM-1 sound out of a tube amplifier versus a SS amplifier? I am curious if other people hear the same as I do.

IMO the PM-1 sound better out of a SS amp. I don't know if it is just my perception or due to its low impedance or what.

I liked it out of the WA5. The Chord Hugo sounds really good with it as well as the AK240. I been lsiteding to it through a c=variety if solid state and tube amplifiers with good success.

post #2035 of 3070

It sounds great from my Pinnacle.

post #2036 of 3070

Hi purrin,

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by purrin View Post

 

Have tried PM-1 from variety of amps tube and solid-state. It depends upon the amp. Some SS sounded better than tube, some tube sounded not so good. Whatever the amp, PM-1 is overpriced by $800. It scales poorly with better equipment.

 

I'm wondering if your conviction that the PM-1 is worth no more than $300 (respecting this as a subjective statement and therefore, absolutely valid), is solely due to "scaling poorly with better equipment" or is your value estimate due to other factors, as well?  

 

Would you say there is at least some (any?) scalability to be enjoyed with the PM-1?  For example, is there anything to be gained by using something like a DACport LX to a 300mW rms portable amp vs a 15mW rms Sansa Clip?  (This is not a trick question, please keep reading...)

 

If so, where would you draw that line?  In other words, what chain would you recommend as being only just nominally sufficient to achieve 95% of whatever scalability the PM-1 can enjoy?  (And... Are we talking about a line in the sand defined by scaling the ouput power, quality of the DAC, or something else?)

 

For example, in my opinion, the LCD-2 rev.1, though not known for its resolution, has just enough resolving power to distinguish the lack of resolution and transparency of a Schiit Lyr (with stock tubes, especially) fed by an April Music Stello DA100 DAC, from the superior resolution and transparency offered by the much weaker Meier Stepdance (fed from the same DAC). But I have to reach for the HD800 if I want to compare the resolution and transparency of the Meier Stepdance to something like the amp section of the CEntrance DACmini CX or OPPO HA-1.

 

It's possible you aren't talking about any lack of resolution or transparency that creates a performance ceiling with the PM-1, but rather something else.  Can you elaborate?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike


Edited by zilch0md - 5/13/14 at 11:23am
post #2037 of 3070

That guy is really funny, so because the PM-1 scales poorly with better equipment then they overpriced by $800 ?

 

I have read what he said about the PM-1 on the other forum and it's quite funny, especially when he said 'Too slow sounding, kind of a mush and veil in the fundamental region, and way too closed in without any sense of openness or depth'.

 

The beauty of the PM-1 is that you don't have to spend $800 on an amplifier to make them sound right...

post #2038 of 3070

Comparison of the Oppo PM1 to the HE500 and HD650:

 

I finally had a chance to sit down and compare the 3 headphones - not as long a comparitive session as I would have liked, unfortunately, but enough to get a sense of the difference.   I'm going to first explain the differences I heard on each track I auditioned, and then an overall summary.

 

I listened to the music on my Audio-GD stack - NFB 2.32 DAC and SA31SE amp.    Source was Audirvana off my dedicated Mac Mini.   

 

My bias - I like a lush, warm sound, and my reference is (where possible) the sound of the live, unamplified instrument as heard in a concert hall.

 

Track 1:  Kazuhito Yama****a's guitar rendition of Mussorgy's Pictures (ALAC CD Rip)

The HE500s did the best job of representing the attack of each guitar note and pluck - however, the sound was weighted more towards the string, and less towards the body of the guitar, compared to the Oppos, which brought out the sound of the guitar's body a little better but at the cost of losing out a little on the "bite" of the initial pluck.     The HD650s had a better sense of decay than either of the two (in terms of how the note seemed to hang in the air), but the guitar lacked a little bit of the immediacy and presence.

My preference:   Oppo PM1s, but I could see how someone would like the HE500s as well  

 

Track 2:  "Quarter Chicken Dark" Yo-Yo Ma, Goat Rodeo Sessions (256kbps MP3 Mastered for iTunes)

All three did a really good job of reproducing the initial violins - the HE500s had the most presence compared to the Oppos and HD650s (no surprise that).    However, when it came to the weight of the bassoon, the HD650s did the best job of reproducing what that instrument would sound like live, with its heavy notes reverbing in the chamber.    The HE500 and the Oppo's bass was indeed leaner and possibly more accurate - however, real life bass is never lean (atleast in no concert I've attended), and the HD650s lusher bass gave the bassoon a very real body and impact.

My preference:   HD650

 

Track 3:  "Bolero" - Charles Munch / BSO  (24/176 HDTracks)

The HE500s did not acquit themselves that well here.   The snare drums are too treble-heavy and lacking in weight, and while they probably gave the most detailed rendition of the music, the music was lacking visceral impact.   The HD650s and the Oppos both did a better job here - the HD650s presented the snare drums better, but the Oppos had the better overall clarity.    I have to admit none of the 3 gave me goosebumps the way the LCD2s (or, rather surprisingly, the Fidelio X1s) do.

My preference:  slight edge to Oppos over HD650s, although on a different day/frame of mind, i might prefer the other

 

Track 4:  Metallica "Am I Evil", Garage Days (ALAC CD Rip)

Back when i used to do jujitsu/MMA stuff, this was the song I listened to amp myself up and even now.  The initial sequence of Lars beating on the drums, and then the guitars kicking in... aaaah.    Sends chills down my spine.    The Oppos presented a nicely balanced sound - drums had heft, guitars were in front of the drums (as they should be) & the vocals were neither too far forwards nor overshadowed by the guitars.   Compared to the Oppo's balanced sound, the HD650s were definitely skewed a little more towards the drums - they had more impact but by comparison, the guitars (starting with the riff at 1:48 or so) lacked a little bite and seemed recessed compared to the vocals and drums.     The HE500s, as you might expect, were skewed the other way - the drums lacked some of the body compared to the Oppos, but the guitars were more etched.    If you like a more guitar-intensive presence, you'll like the HE500s.   The Oppos made me want to go mosh with my golden retriever - who was not impressed and went and hid under the desk.

My preference:  Oppos (although those who like forward guitars will love the HE500s)

 

Track 5:  "So What" Miles David (24/192 HDTracks)

The HE500s presented the music with a clarity that both the Oppos and the HD650s were missing - a lot of details, very clearly presented and with a  clear, sparkling (in a good way) sound.

My preference:  HE500s

 

Track 6:  "Take Five" - Dave Brubeck (24/192 HD Tracks)

The HE500s did a very good job here - cymbals had a shimmery presence to them, and the the trumpet shone through with a lot of clarity.   The HD650s had noticably more bottom end presence and bass compared to both the HE500s and the Oppos - the cymbals lacked just a little of shimmer, and the trumpet was a little smoother (normally I like smoother - in this case, I preferred the HE500's trumpet).     The Oppos straddled the middle - and in this case, that didnt work to their advantage.   I feel the presentation of both the HD650s and the HE500s was more interesting - both of them presented a particular interpretation of the music, while the Oppo's presentation seemed like a compromise.

My preference:  Tie between HE500s/HD650s

 

Track 7:  The Power of the Orchestra / Rene Leibowitz - "A Night on Bare Mountain"

This track has excellent dynamic range and is one of my go-to tracks for determining how much slam and impact a headphone has.   The HD650s did a very, very good job here - thumping when thumps were called were for, going from pianissimo to fortissimo when needed.    The Oppos, by comparison, lacked the same thumpiness and weight on the instruments, due to a slightly lower bottom end, but the better attack and initial "bite" to the sound made the instruments sound a lot more vibrant.    The HE500s also lacked the rumble and thump of the HD650s, but their better treble was both their strong point and undoing - it made some portions of the music sound amazingly lifelike and timbrally rich - but it also took away a little from the impact of some parts.    This one is really hard to grade, as each presentation has its own appeal

My preference:  Wash (although if you put a gun to my head, I'll pick the HD650s)

 

Summary

The first thing that comes to mind is how good all 3 headphones sound - my preferences bias me more towards the HD650/PM1 compared to the HE500s, and the above is reflected in how often I chose those.    However, the differences are relative - all these 3 headphones presented the music in a way which I found enjoyable and which i could listen to for extended periods of time.

 

The second thing to note is - your listening preferences are going to dictate which one you prefer.  If you listen to music analytically, you'll find the the HE500s more towards your taste.  If your goal is a rich, full-bodied sound with lifelike bass (not to be confused with "lean and accurate bass" - there is no such thing.   Think bass that shakes the paint off the walls and hangs around in the room).   The Oppos are technically better than either of the two, IMO.   Both the HD650 and HE500 have a voicing bias, whereas the Oppo - while also warm and smoothly voiced - is the most balanced of the lot.    That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your preferences.   If you have a strong preference for PRaT or for a clear, airy sound, you'll prefer one of the other.     I personally wouldnt be able to settle on just 1.

 

If the HD650s had a little more bite in the high end, or the Oppos had a little heft in the bottom end, that would be a different matter.     IMO, the Oppos do better across a broader range of music - but where the HD650s excel, they REALLY excel.

 

The most surprising thing to me was how good the HD650s still are, and how well they hold their own against newer headphones.    I was planning on selling the HD650s now that I have gotten the Oppos, but now I am actually considering selling the HE500s and keeping the HD650s.  That being said, to be fair to the HE500s, they arent really voiced according to my listening preferences, so my own preferences are having a big impact on my evaluation.

 

Hope this helps.


Edited by vkalia - 5/13/14 at 12:13pm
post #2039 of 3070

you should test the new he-560 to give a fair comparaison to the pm1

post #2040 of 3070

Vkalia and I have been trading messages re: the comparison of the HD650 & PM1.  We each have both.  In my case I'm only going to keep one.  Here are some of my (newbie) thoughts I shared with Vkalia that may (or not) be helpful to the group.

 

"I received my PM1's yesterday and have been going back and forth between the two and have some preliminary thoughts.

Right now I'm using a IPod 5th gen with a Vorzuge Pure II amp and I also made some comparisons using a Denon 5840 AV receiver.  Since I'm waiting for my RWA AK120-S mod to arrive any day now I'll refrain from making a definitive conclusion until then. I can't wait to try the PM1 with some hi-rez tracks!

 

My ears are much different than yours because I wear hearing aids and use them with my headphones.  I'll go first here goes...

 

This in only my 2nd day with these phones so my option may/will change after burn-in and more time...

 

I'm far from a headphone expert but I'm a audiophile :)

 

PM1 vs HD650

 

more body in the midrange of PM-1, more balanced frequency range vs a more dynamic FR of the 650

very similar bass, the 650's goes slightly lower but the PM1 is slightly cleaner and nearly extended

vocals have more presence and breath with the 650's, not sure which is more realistic

on some well recorded music like Steely Dan's Second Nature the 650's highs sound a little too hyped up, the PM1's give a more relaxed feeling

650's seems to have a wider sound stage more open/airy sound vs the PM1's

650's have a more open but "inside a can" feel vs the PM1 that has a more balanced and less echo-ey feeling/sound

greater isolation from the PM1's

the snare drum & cymbals on the 650's have a more snap/pop/shimmer and in my mind slightly more realistic sound vs PM1's (coming from a drummer :)

650's are lighter and a bit more comfortable

PM1's wins the beauty contest hands down 

 

This is a very hard choice for me but I hope it will be clearer to me very soon.  

 

So the bottom line is there is no clear winner take all for me. Once I get my AK back and more time, I should be able to fair out my preference better."

 

Cheers!

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