Differences in High-End Ultrasones
Jan 11, 2013 at 7:20 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Levaix

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Hopefully this isn't too presumptuous of me as a new member, but I figured this would be a much better alternative to posting the exact same question several times and hijacking multiple existing threads.
 
Ultrasone makes and has made several different models of high end headphones, and it is not always clear what the immediate differences are. Generally it seems that the Edition 9's are remembered most fondly by those who enjoy the "Ultrasone sound." However, they were a limited edition (pun intended) and have since been "replaced" by the Edition 8's, which have an entirely different sound signature. The newer Signature Pro's are seen by many as superior to the Edition 8's, but on occasion several people will chime in that the Ed. 8 are in fact better despite being less neutral, and have a certain special quality (especially after extensive burn-in) that the SP somehow lack. To make matters even more confusing, now Ultrasone has released the Signature DJ model, which many anticipated to be a bassier, less refined version of the SP. There were some initial impressions that confirmed this idea, but also some conflicting reports of the SDJ having a much larger soundstage than the SP. (The Edition 10 falls a bit outside of all of this, being open cans as opposed to closed.)
 
It is rightly assumed in these forums that different people can often have drastically different tastes in what sounds good, but it seems obvious that something a little screwy is going on in this category. There have been several possible explanations offered (inconsistent manufacturing, bad QC, different perceptions of S-Logic, the use of naturally varying leather, materials used for the drivers), but so far nothing very concrete (as concrete as this hobby can be, anyway). This thread's goal is to attempt to compile and centralize the impressions of people who have been able to listen to multiple high-end Ultrasones, for the purpose of trying to create a more cohesive understanding when choosing which pair a person might like.
 
After that big long introduction, I wish there was something more I could input to be useful, lol, but the nicest pair of headphones I've even heard are my Pro 900's. I intend to get the Signature Pro's when I can afford them (likely at tax refund time), but that decision was mostly reached by digging through hundreds of pages of posts in multiple threads, and even now I'm only 90% set on my decision. For people like me who do not have the means to drop nearly a thousand dollars to see if they even like a pair of headphones, a solid discussion on this can (and, I hope, will) be an extremely helpful resource.
 
Jan 12, 2013 at 10:24 AM Post #2 of 12

Rayzilla

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This is a great idea for a single thread to discuss the differences of the upper end Ultrasones. I agree with a lot of what you said. I loved (and still love) my Pro900s but I wanted to try the Ed8 because of some of the good things I was reading about them. In the end, I bought a pair without even trying them first because I just felt confident about Ultrasone's products. No regrets in doing so. In my opinion, they look so nice, solid materials, amazing isolation for portable use, easy to drive, etc.

I would like to test The SP and the DJP.

Let's bring it on.
 
Jan 12, 2013 at 11:29 AM Post #3 of 12

HeatFan12

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Don't forget the Edition 7, that started it all with 'limited' runs (999).  Several years ago I almost pulled the trigger on them and regretfully passed up on them.  Finding them now is not an easy task and if you do, expect to pay crazy money.
 
Not my pic (I believe someone here posted this a while back)
 

 
 
So, I'm guessing the high-end 'Sones will include:
 
Sig DJ
Sig Pro
Ed. 7
Ed. 8
Ed. 9
Ed. 10
 
Would be great to hear the differences between them...
 
Cheers!
 
Jan 12, 2013 at 6:11 PM Post #4 of 12

Levaix

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I didn't list the Ed. 7 because they're EXTRA limited. 
tongue_smile.gif
 And from what I hear are very similar to Ed. 9. That being said, if not this would be exactly the thread to say so, wouldn't it?

I love that they're sitting on a Kleenex box... ugh...
Quote:

 
Jan 22, 2013 at 3:31 PM Post #8 of 12

pietcux

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You might want to wait till I got my Signature Pro later this week. Up to now I only have PRO 550/900/2900 which are not considered to be discussed here....
tongue_smile.gif
 I bought them only to be able to post here
beerchug.gif

 
Apr 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM Post #9 of 12

pietcux

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So now the Signature DJ is inbound. Later this week I can post about differences on high end Ultrasones.
 
Apr 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM Post #10 of 12

pietcux

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Btw. I hope you got the Signature Pro back and that it is ok sounding now.
 
Apr 15, 2013 at 12:48 PM Post #11 of 12

Levaix

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Awesome! I forgot I made this thread, haha! Looking forward to your comparisons. :)
 
Yes, I did finally receive my SP's back... The message I got with them was fairly hilarious, and I'd say it's probably in the top 10 letters I've ever received. Basically, the engineer tested them "for a long time" and found that yes, there was an imbalance, "but only a little bit." So he put brand new drivers in it, lol... They do seem better than they were before. As to whether they're fine now, I did run some tests and they seem to be okay. Something about them still sounds a little quirky, though, but I'm not sure if it's that I'm simply not used to them. It's almost like the soundstage moves when a new instrument enters? And it still seems slightly stronger in the left. I wonder if maybe my Aune has a little imbalance as well, that could have made the headphones' problem more exaggerated... I'll probably do some more tests using the FiiO.
 
EDIT: Just ran some extra tests on the Aune, looks like everything is within the margin of error. What's weird is even the slightest placement shift will launch my decibel meter several clicks in either direction. S-Logic...
 
Apr 15, 2013 at 4:24 PM Post #12 of 12

pietcux

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You know maybe the channel imbalance is related to the analog potentiometer of your amp. I use the Meier-Audio Stepdance, which has :
 
Quote: Meier Audio website for the Stepdance's successor Quickstep
[size=x-small]a discrete volume control (32 positions, two gain settings). This volume control is not a standard industrial solution but uses a concept in which the position of an analog potentiometer is measured using a low-power ADC and in which the output of this ADC is used to control electronic switches that set the volume level. The result is a very clean and detailed sound without any channel imbalances.[/size]
 

The Stepdance amp is highly recommended by Skylab and the reason I got into HeadFi at all. I had an AKG K401 which sounded kinda lifeless unamped from my brand new Ipod classic back in 2008. 300 bucks seemed very expensive to me that time. But when I finally got the amp after the K 401 was long replaced by a HFI-2400 that was replaced by............. Signature Pro ....... I came to the conclusion, that this amp is really something very Special, an Amp To Rule Them All, make them all shine....
 

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