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Oppo PM-1 Planar Magnetic Headphone Impressions Thread - Page 64

post #946 of 3153

No transducer made by man is "perfect", not anyone's measurement is ever going to tell you how something sounds. The playback chain has MUCH to do with the final result. 10 years ago the site wasn't constructed and/or construed as a sales vehicle for vendors. The site was simply by, for and about very enthused enthusiast's comparing notes and enjoying music. The climate is so foreboding any longer, an opinion was once honest, now opinions are guaranteed positive when free phones are the reward. 

 

The old adage of "welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet" used to be jest. The pages and the threads therein breed insecurity, emotionally forcing the undisciplined to make expenditure errors while increasing animosity. This post will be deleted.... doesn't eliminate the fact that people are thinking it. 

post #947 of 3153
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffA View Post

I've had the PM-1 since Tuesday. I am using it on two systems: (1) iPod to AlgoRhythm Solo to ALO Pan Amp amp; (2) Bryston BDP-1 to Berkeley Alpha DAC to DNA Sonett 2. I have a Sennheiser HD-800 and Westone 4 earphones. Now a few observations. The PM-1s are very comfortable. Not as comfortable as the HD-800, but way more comfortable than the LCD-X (which I bought, but gave up on due to comfort issues). They require more gain on both systems than the HD-800. The soundstage is not nearly as wide as the HD-800. The imaging is not as good as the HD-800. The HD-800 is a lot more airy. Sound seems to emanate from a black void with the PM-1. With the HD-800, the airiness makes it sound like the music is coming out of a venue. I can listen to the PM-1 for hours, both in terms of comfort and listening fatigue. That is a good thing. The PM-1 has a very nice tone to vocals, and the bass is a bit more present and impactful than the HD-800. On complex music, the HD-800 sounds much cleaner and composed. The PM-1 sounds a little stressed. Perhaps this is what Tyll described as "muffled." I'm hoping that might change as the unit breaks in. On small scale music, the PM-1 really sounds glorious.

 

Would I ditch the HD-800 for the PM-1? No. But that is not what I'm looking for. I love the HD-800. What I have been looking for is a good second phone that is more mobile and that won't make me long for the HD-800, either because it is just as good in its own way or is different enough that I enjoy the experience in different ways. In that context, I am enjoying the PM-1. The build quality is superb and the packaging is exquisite. That makes me want to like them, because it satisfies that pride of ownership feeling.

So far i agree with your observations about sound when comparing HD800 and PM-1 but i want to try different tubes to see if there will be any change but so far i hear no reason to have PM-1 and ditch HD800

Sent from my LG-V500 using Tapatalk
post #948 of 3153

Hi achristilaw, thanks for your post. 

 

I came to reviewing products the old fashioned way, starting in college on our 10 watt radio transmitter, and later on larger broadcast stations, but it was never about the vendors, it was just discussion of products, technology, and value. And curiosity.

 

In fact one part of my graduate thesis, which was ostensibly about photography, but centered on the problems of the promise of digital audio and its "perfect sound forever" promise was centered around the choice that many audiophiles make to spend money on gear, instead of as my thesis argued, on actually attending live performances. it was then that I decided to really put checks and balances on my audiophile pursuits, I had a great GAS Thalia II pre-amp, a Hafler amp that I re-engineered, some wonderful B&W speakers, and a few sets of headphones. So, for the next decade instead of buying new gear, I went to concerts, bought vinyl and CDs from bands I'd never heard of, and enjoyed the music instead of obsessing about the gear.

 

I used to tell friends that I was in a Twelve Step program for Audiophiles! Now I don't have the same excuse!

 

Harris


Edited by Harris - 5/4/14 at 11:02pm
post #949 of 3153
Quote:
Originally Posted by achristilaw View Post

No transducer made by man is "perfect", not anyone's measurement is ever going to tell you how something sounds. The playback chain has MUCH to do with the final result. 10 years ago the site wasn't constructed and/or construed as a sales vehicle for vendors. The site was simply by, for and about very enthused enthusiast's comparing notes and enjoying music. The climate is so foreboding any longer, an opinion was once honest, now opinions are guaranteed positive when free phones are the reward. 

The old adage of "welcome to head-fi, sorry about your wallet" used to be jest. The pages and the threads therein breed insecurity, emotionally forcing the undisciplined to make expenditure errors while increasing animosity. This post will be deleted.... doesn't eliminate the fact that people are thinking it. 

I don't see it this way but aight.
I am relatively new here but I found head-fi to be one of the most helpful websites and anything but insincere and product centric/promoting...
IMO.
post #950 of 3153
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post


I don't see it this way but aight.
I am relatively new here but I found head-fi to be one of the most helpful websites and anything but insincere and product centric/promoting...
IMO.

Everything has a beginning, then a metamorphosis if it survives any length of time. I liked the early version better! Most were experienced in two channel and just broadening the horizons. Today, life is downsizing and headphone are a separate niche, I understand the newbie "kid in the candy store mentality".

 

The tone was always more civilized, with folks being even more helpful. That's what I miss........ I have forty years in audio, two channel won't survive in the current business model.... so if this is it? Headphones are not an evolution, they are just what's left. Music was social.... now it's more separatist than ever. It was better before, that's all I'm trying to convey. 

post #951 of 3153

A comfort question directed to those who have enjoyed extended sessions with the PM1:

 

What's the temperature like?

 

Strange question I know, but it stems from the fact that I avoid full size headphones due to suffering from overheating ears with EVERY over ear 'phones I've tried ( within minutes usually ).

 

No-one else here on Head-Fi seems to suffer this malady, so I guess it's just me :confused:

 

I'm excited by the impressions of the PM1, but will struggle to even afford the USD price of the PM2, much less the price here in the UK.

Hopefully it will come down some?

post #952 of 3153

Hi Q Mass,

 

I've been using the calfskin pads, which are perforated, and have had no trace or sense of overheating. Once I feel I know the sound with these pads, I'm going to switch to the velour to see how they affect the fit and sound.

 

I remember my first pair of Koss 4AA's, whose vinyl ear cups left little round donut sweat shapes on my hair. That and head and neck aches...

post #953 of 3153

Do you find any other cans fry your ears?

The only full size cans I own are a pair of Fostex T40 RP's which I've fitted leather Audeze pads to ( early ones which are fairly slim ) and they cause 'earferno' within 20 minutes, despite the leather.

 

Are velours generally known to be warmer than leather ( or vice-versa )?

 

I'd just go for some Sony MDR F1's, but it sounds as though they lack Bass ( I'm a borderline basshead ) and the PM1's sound like they might meet my needs as long as they won't set my ears afire like all other full size cans I've tried.

post #954 of 3153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Mass View Post
 

A comfort question directed to those who have enjoyed extended sessions with the PM1:

 

What's the temperature like?

 

Strange question I know, but it stems from the fact that I avoid full size headphones due to suffering from overheating ears with EVERY over ear 'phones I've tried ( within minutes usually ).

 

No-one else here on Head-Fi seems to suffer this malady, so I guess it's just me :confused:

 

I'm excited by the impressions of the PM1, but will struggle to even afford the USD price of the PM2, much less the price here in the UK.

Hopefully it will come down some?

 

I have not had any oveheating problems with the PM-1 with the leather pads. I've not had a chance to try the velour as of yet. I normally have heat problems with on-ear rather than over-ear.

post #955 of 3153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Q Mass View Post

Do you find any other cans fry your ears?
The only full size cans I own are a pair of Fostex T40 RP's which I've fitted leather Audeze pads to ( early ones which are fairly slim ) and they cause 'earferno' within 20 minutes, despite the leather.

Are velours generally known to be warmer than leather ( or vice-versa )?

I'd just go for some Sony MDR F1's, but it sounds as though they lack Bass ( I'm a borderline basshead ) and the PM1's sound like they might meet my needs as long as they won't set my ears afire like all other full size cans I've tried.

Velours generally produce less heat than leather I believe. Leather is second and protein leather is last. Cloth is good as well
well.
post #956 of 3153

Thanks for the advice, especially you zilch0md  ( who sent me a link to some acoustically invisible headphone covers, they also appear to be visually invisible too Mike! )

Sorry if I derailed the thread briefly.

post #957 of 3153

Am looking for a good portable amp for the PM-1. I have a Wavelength Audio Wavelink USB DAC and want something that would pair nicely with that as well. Any suggestions??? Thanks for any help.

post #958 of 3153
I think I know how to keep this thread on track... Someone let me borrow their pm-1
post #959 of 3153

WARNING: DO NOT REPLY TO OR DISCUSS THIS POST.

 

Everyone, please re-read the Posting Guidelines. In all honesty, 99% of the problems that come up in discussion are the result of people replying to offensive, off-topic or otherwise inappropriate posts. Posting about how the thread has gone off track or whatever just makes it worse! Don't do it! That includes replying to or discussing this post. When someone posts something that makes you annoyed, ignore, flag (if it is inappropriate) and move on.

 

WARNING: DO NOT REPLY TO OR DISCUSS THIS POST.

post #960 of 3153

I'll go a little more in depth on my impressions now that I've had a pair on hand for the weekend. The setups that I've used at home are all visible in my signature below, and the combo I heard before taking it home to try with me was a Benchmark DAC1 > SPL Auditor, which used to be my work chain before I sold my PS1000 last year.

 

The PM-1 is significantly warmer than the HD800, T5p, and PS1000, but isn't as warm as an LCD-2, TH900, or W3000. As I've said, it occupies a spot in the TOTL realm that is very simliar to the spot that the HD650 has in the mid-fi world. I could also make a comparison to the place that the SR007MKII holds in the statement headphone realm, sitting between genre-dependent niche models like the ED10 and Muramasa and all-out detail seekers like the Abyss and SR009.

 

Around the $1K price range, there are still only a few models that are truly suitable to be driven from portable sources. Even the PS1000, a traditional dynamic with a 32-ohm impedance, is fairly lackluster when driven directly from an iPod, which is why I always kept a decent setup at work with them. The only other model at this price bracket I can think of that truly work to near its full potential from a DAP is the T5p, but Beyerdynamic's design is aging and uncomfortable compared to the PM-1, and doesn't really beat it at anything. The PM-1, on the other hand, is fully capable of giving 98% driven directly from a decent DAP, and that 98% sounds great.

 

Now that a general comparison of sound signature and portability have been established, all the rest of my impressions are derived from listening on setups 1 and 3 in my signature. The AMC 1100 isn't exactly spec matched well to the PM-1 via the rule of eight (with 100 ohm output impedance), but it still sounded top-notch to my ears. I didn't find that the HeadSave Classic improved my listening much on the iPod, but I paired it with the ODAC on occasion to see how the PM-1 would respond to a warmer amp. It's not a stellar portable amplifier, but it's all I had on hand. My thoughts are as follows:

 

As a lover of the HD650 for involved, relaxing listening sessions, I have to say that I believe the PM-1 is a notch above it in every sonic category, and does everything the aging Senns do, but better. Now that the industry has moved up in price and in development investment over the last ten years, I believe that the PM-1 is a worthy successor to the HD650 as a top-rung headphone for those who love for their music to speak for itself, and not have to listen to the harshness or peaks and valleys introduced by TOTL equipment. It's effortless, euphonic, and involving, with an intimate soundstage and outstanding instrument placement emerging from a black background. If somebody had told me that Sennheiser had introduced these as an alternative to the HD800 for lovers of the classic Sennheiser flagship sound, I would not have batted an eye.

 

With all of this praise coming from my mouth, it's important to note that the PM-1 is not for everybody. As I've stated, I absolutely adore the HD650. Though I keep a variety of more neutral and resolving cans on hand for critical listening, most of the time my mood veers towards sitting back, closing my eyes, and enjoying the music as a whole instead of focusing on certain details. If you like the presentation of headphones like the KNS8400, M500, HD800, or SR009, these are going to be too warm for your liking. On the other hand, if you love the TMA-1, PRO900, or LCD-2, these are going to be too bass-light and perhaps less impactful than you would like overall. The PM-1 is best suited to somebody who wants a warm yet fairly balanced sound signature, or maybe an alternative to a more resolving or visceral can for casual listening.

 

TL;DR In my opinion, the PM-1 is essentially the spiritual successor to the HD650 with all the improvements brought about by a decade of progress in the industry.

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