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Am I the first owner ??? Qualia 010 !!! - Page 17

post #241 of 645
Originally Posted by Nik
I'm very sorry, but the RS-1 compared with the Qualia has the voice of a cat... (sorry!!!). When I said bright I mean: "light" !!!
After hearing the 010's myself, and owning the RS-1's (up til recently), I'd respectfully disagree. I prefer the Grado's. IMO, of course .

Granted, this was not using an Egmont amp, but...
post #242 of 645
Originally Posted by jpelg
After hearing the 010's myself, and owning the RS-1's (up til recently), I'd respectfully disagree. I prefer the Grado's. IMO, of course .

Granted, this was not using an Egmont amp, but...
I love this forum

Originally Posted by jazz
but in terms of its acoustic/sonic properties it's virtually a closed headphone. (That -- among other things -- is why I'm quite sure that the 010 will sound quite different.)

thank you jazz!

post #243 of 645
My memory is starting to fade of my experience with RS-1s with bowls, but from what I remember, the "Grato" sound wasn't as bad as with the 225/325s. However, I believe it is a bit harshe than the non-harsh highs that my MS-2s with flats give me.

At the Qualia meet, the combo of the SR-71 with the Sony 9000ES was probably the brightest setup we had there. When listening to the MS-2, the K1000 and the 010, I would have to put it in the same order for highs.

1)MS-2 - nice detailed highs, but compared to all the heavy hitters around it sounded like molasses lol, what can you do.

2)K1000 - this had the best balance of the three with this setup - those highs were not harsh, but, hmm, sort of dry and bright.

3)010 - this Qualia really matched badly or something - with SRV's 12-String on an acoustic "Pride and Joy" I was dying - it was like a grating washboard with piercing scritchy scratches - I kept looking around for the moonshine jug. Not a very forgiving can.

But remember, this probably won't be the setup you will be using at home with the 010 lol. The 010 struck me as source-dependent - for instance, it fared much better on the warmer Stealth tube amp there.
post #244 of 645
rs-1 highs harsh? ms-2 and k1000 highs not harsh? Sure there....

post #245 of 645


" for instance, it fared much better on the warmer Stealth tube amp there."

ok Iron_Dreamer you called it first but I seconded it. Throw in a Meridian G08 and who knows? Ok only one person to confirm our theory but a start.

R10 - open? hugh, well I do not want to get into technicalities. Ok CD3Ks have a gap but still isolate better than most e.g. Senn 650 and Omegas. But the R10s isolate best of this bunch, not suggesting completely closed/isolated like some of the IEMs but much better than the Omegas. IMHO.

I am very sensitive to noise, irritates me, but also a skill, I hear small things, thanks to head-fi much more astutely than the average person. So far the hearing loss, is offset by cognitive attention. Guessing this is true of most here.

Anyway, between the crickets, cars, a fan, neighboors etc... I do not have a silent room. But also enjoy softer music, can distinguish details better and healthier for hearing. So playing loud is not my desire. Yes I like to jam sometimes, actually too often. But not always. The R10s provide very good isolation, not completely can hear the better half yell but well muffled. Plus she can not hear my music, so do not disturb her in the wee hours when I am jamming.
post #246 of 645
Originally Posted by NotoriousBIG_PJ
rs-1 highs harsh? ms-2 and k1000 highs not harsh? Sure there....


IMHO RS-1 highs are everything but harsh

post #247 of 645
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

i do not think that the Qualia is harsh, ( i can imagine that some persons thinks so...), IMHO the Qualia is a new standard in HD (hi definition) of the sound. The bass, for ex. is clean and very HD.

Another very important thing is how the can fit in your head, if one pad donot fit perfectly and air enter between the ear and the headphone, you have a lot of harschness and low bass, I have experienced this.

The source and the amp and the interconnect cable are very, very important: the littlest + or - in one of these components can determine another kind of sound. In my opinion this is the most sensitive headphones, if your setup is not "right" you will pay a tax with the Qualia.

Use classical to judge this can and then all other kind of music ...

After a long listening section with the Qualia I find the Omega veiled and "confused" in the position and definition of the instruments, the bass is too much exuberant and the highest are dull.


I apologize for what I said about the RS-1 (cat), this is a very good headphones, but (IMO) not in the same class of some others like Qualia, Omega, R10, CD3000.
post #248 of 645
Thread Starter 
Important Considerations about the Qualia 010 !!!

This headpohnes i sthe most hard to judge, because is really a advanced object. First I whant to tell that my “work” is not to have finally what I ever desired, but if is possible, to know the highest limit of sound reproduction with headphones. Example: I said a lot of things that the Qualia do better than the Omega, but I did not said wich one I PREFER, that is totally another speak, good?
I can prefer the Omega even if I know that is not at the same level of “fidelity” as the Qualia…

The Qualia, as I said, MUST be perfectly fitted in the head of the listener, I understand why Sony have adopted this kind of headband and why they send to the buyer that gauge for the precise head size before selling the can.

Another aspect I noticed is that the Qualia is very fine and in highest technology. It is very hard to tell the sound caracteristic of this headphones because extremly dipendent from the other gear you are usingm but even from the low or hi quality of the recroding you are testing with them. You you have very different opinions if you are listening one or another recording, thi is incredible. No any other headphones as this sensitivity…

I’d can say that this Qualia is a object too much advanced for the other gear you can use with them (Sony tell that is projected of rthe new ormats as SACD-DVD…).

So this is not a “universal” object, the best for everyone, NO is the most hi-end headphone evermade (IMO). Not sugested for any setup… or any person.

I think that is impossible to do a little test with this headphones without your equipment, your custom headband and specially without a lot of time dedicated and a lot of different recordings (!!!).

post #249 of 645
Nik and Kevin,
The Qualia 010 sound like a perfect pair of headphone. Congratulations to both of you. Amazing.
post #250 of 645
Wow......the HOLY GRAIL has revealed its self as a Sony...................
post #251 of 645
Originally Posted by Usagi
Wow......the HOLY GRAIL has revealed its self as a Sony...................
Oh, but of course!

It should surprise no one...
post #252 of 645

Heads Up - A REALLY Wordy Reply with Impressions

Hello Nik – and all “listening in” !

I’ve been following this thread on your new 010s with great interest, and your 2 postings earlier today seem to be very consonant, in some respects, with my initial experience of them this past Sunday at the NYC Sony Qualia Room – along with bozebuttons, jahn, jpelg and Lan. Your remarks also resonate with my intuitive feelings about the phones that day, despite the all-too-brief time available and what we all agree was a few makeshift configurations . . . though to have had that wonderful opportunity was definitely better than not having heard them at all! No slight intended on the very respectable components that their owners generously carried in and set up – it’s just a matter of lack of synergy with the Qualia.)

If you (and other members viewing this) haven’t yet done so, go the Member’s Lounge / Meet Impressions (“Sony meet at Qualia store”) and glance at our first impression comments. Our comments are, of course, inadequate – so please take into consideration the conditions of our mini-meet. I am most surprised that Sony Qualia did not endeavor to prepare the ultimate system configuration to best show off their new golden child! They’ve really left it – and prospective buyers -- to flounder, with just the Sony 9000ES and it’s headphone jack as source and system. As I noted, the resulting sound from the 9000ES headphone output was raw and untamed, with sizzlingly hot highs and thin disjointed bass. I couldn’t tolerate listening to that sound long enough to form an in-depth description of it. (I’m sure the Qualia engineers know how sensitive it is to every component, so I wonder if Sony’s marketing group eagerly rolled out their pride and joy without the benefit of expert advice and preparation?)

I think you will find in my remarks – both here and in the “Meet Impressions” pages -- some of what you’ve expressed, though I was and still am very tentative, not knowing and trying to guess at how the various components were affecting what I was hearing, and not sure what the 010 is really capable of. I am genuinely wary of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” syndrome and I found lots of problems or obstacles with the Qualia, but I may have felt more positive than some of the others at the mini-meet.

You are in a wonderful position to explore their possibilities and I will watch for your future discoveries and reports.

I definitely feel that the Qualia 010 is an immensely sensitive, detailed and revealing instrument and I am really eager to experience it with some really intelligently and thoroughly prepared systems – and hopefully in a well-isolated and damped environment. They are incredibly transparent to ambient sounds, and have almost no attenuation whatsoever to even soft external sounds. The K1000 was more able to mask the conversation in the room than was the Qualia.

Auditioning the 010 via bozebuttons’ Phillips SACD1000 / Krell amp combo, I was able to hear some hints of what the phones may be capable of: rich, complex & subtle texture, harmonics and detail around instruments, voices and objects -- and a sense of the surrounding environment. I did not hear a wide 3D soundstage in that setup, but there was good separation, distinct placement, and air around performers, and depth. (The R10s did some of this, but very differently, in a muscular in-your-face kind of way.) The stage was wider thru the 010 than with the R10. The character of the phones seemed to me to change significantly with different software – SACDs and Red Book CDs, Live Jazz – Country/Bluegrass – Orchestral - Choral – Pop – Rock - etc. Compared to the Qualia, the R10 seemed like a “plush armchair of a headphone”, which the Qualia will likely never be. Through the Phillips/Krell, the R10 had a big and powerful bottom end while retaining a good bit of mid- and upper-end detail, placement of instruments and a fairly deep soundstage. It was immediate and engaging, and I understand why bozebuttons and jpelg are addicted to it. It’s just not my cup of tea. I prefer not to sit with my face right in front of the stage or next the bass player’s amp. I like to have a big picture of all the instruments and a complete, well-rounded, lucid sound . . . not lightweight, just more revealing. I do want to hear and get an impression of feeling the mass and impact of the instruments that I feel at a live performance. I don’t want to hear a tinkly piano that seems to have lost its entire huge wooden case. I love the deep resonances of a string bass, the gut-rumbling throb of electric bass and kick drum, the head and spine tingle of a great trumpet or sax, the ripping attack of electric guitar, the thrilling soaring oneness of a great string section, etc. I do like to sit fairly close to a stage, but usually not in the first row with the bass amp’s air punching my cheek bones. I’ve got my own neuroses and obsessions.

My particular quest is to experience headphones/systems that bring me ever closer to at least the sound (if not the experience) of a live performance – and I don’t feel the goal is even close at this time -- but it is a fun carrot to keep us trotting forward. Great live performances are intensely textured, visceral, chilling & thrilling. In a small club, the sound waves move around and through your whole body (and of course the performers’ energies are the most unique and unreproduceable element of the event). It’s obvious that whereas a good speaker system will really move air, shake the floor and walls, and more easily create an illusion of an immersive, viscerally-felt soundspace – headphones simply cannot move volumes of air around your body (until an entirely new paradigm of sound reproduction is discovered). The best to hope for now is a pretty good holographic illusion in one’s head.

My own highly subjective take on the neutrality-versus-colorations issue is that when attempting to reconstruct/recreate the sound and ambience of a performance, everything adds colorations. RayEarth mentioned this on page 6 of this thread. I look for devices that allow to pass through to my ears more of the complex nuances that made up the original performance sound. Since all audiophile technologies are ever in a state of becoming, just chose your preference of colorations – what sounds right to you. Rather than declaring that a device is neutral, flat, colored, euphonic, etc. – offer detailed subjective descriptions of the perceived sound in its environmental context (all components from the music up, and relevant info about the conditions…).

The Qualia seems able to recreate lots of complexities and nuances. It does seem like a raw and powerful tool in need of control and direction. Our brief audition of them in the NYC Sony Qualia room was such an improvised and ultimately unsuccessful assemblage of very nice equipment that I could only get “glimpses” of the power and possibilities of the phones. Even bozebuttons -- who still love his R10s and went back to them most of the time – said he’d like have both (the 010 as well as his R10). It seems that jpelg developed a real distaste for the Qualia, and I can understand that. There was much that sounded wrong with them in that context. I hope he (and I, and all of us) get to hear them soon at their best.

It seems like a big challenge to experiment and discover the “ideal” system for the Qualia. I don’t think anyone is going to come up with one “in the twinkling of an eye”, and I’d be a skeptical if someone easily claims to have done so.

It would be wonderful if the upcoming Fall NYC Meet includes the Qualia 010 with one or more systems that could reveal the 010’s best capabilities and a variety of great program material to play-through.

I’m sure my chat here rambled far afield, but I really wanted to give my “impressions”.
post #253 of 645
hello almost 1:30am here and so tired but just thought of something - maybe the perfect amp would be a Singlepower Supra. Can you imagine the 010 with some forcefed bass? As long as it didn't seem like an artificial addition (too colored) I would say the 010's detail with the R10 bass (too much to ask for a Grado bass) would be an ideal can.
post #254 of 645
Originally Posted by Jahn
hello almost 1:30am here and so tired but just thought of something - maybe the perfect amp would be a Singlepower Supra. Can you imagine the 010 with some forcefed bass? As long as it didn't seem like an artificial addition (too colored) I would say the 010's detail with the R10 bass (too much to ask for a Grado bass) would be an ideal can.
I'm working with Mikhail on a balanced SDS amp that should be quite different from anything he made so far and the headphone I'm thinking of getting to use with the balanced output capabilities would definitely include the 010. I'm hoping that the amp will be finished by the upcoming NorCal meet so if anyone is coming to with a 010, hopefully we can get a balanced cable for it to use with the SDS in balanced mode. I won't be getting an 010 until around January at the earliest.
post #255 of 645
since the low point for the 010 may be the cable, being microphonic and all, and since the cable LOOKS detachable (i dont think we asked, the metal screws on the side where the cables connect to the can may just be for adjustable purposes as i now recall) a cable swap to independent left and right cables for each driver would be a cool upgrade - if you dare fool with such an expensive beast.
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