dynamic driver speed
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kelly

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So here's a question...

It's been said many times that electrostatic drivers are "faster" than dynamic drivers. By this, I assume it is meant that the image arrives closer to "all at once", has less smearing, more precision of details and space and better tonal accuracy.

Whether the generalization about electrostatics is true or not--I want to know: Do you guys think the same is true between different DYNAMIC headphones? Do some headphone sound faster to you than others?
 
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Electrostatic drivers are typically much lower in mass than their dynamic counterparts.

For some description of just how light (in terms of loudspeakers), check out this page at Martin-Logan (it's sorta pitchy, but still....):

http://www.martinlogan.com/faq_technology.html
 
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kelly

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Jude
My intent was actually not to argue the case for or against electrostatic drivers being faster than dynamic drivers.

The question remains: Are there significant differences in speed between different DYNAMIC drivers?
 
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[size=xx-small] Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
Jude
My intent was actually not to argue the case for or against electrostatic drivers being faster than dynamic drivers.

The question remains: Are there significant differences in speed between different DYNAMIC drivers?


[/size]

Oh, okay.

Yeah, my Etymotics sound "faster" to me than my HD-600s. This could be a by-product of the isolation revealing microscopic details that might otherwise be obscured by ambient noise.
 
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CRESCENDOPOWER

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Oh, yeah! Some phones sound much faster than others, just like some amps sound faster than others. A lot of the time this has to do with the frequency responce of headphones, and impedance driving ability of amps. Although, some phones will sound faster, because they don't have any bass to begin with.
I know this is a little off your topic, and I'm sorry for the change, but I have had a chance to hear the upper echelon of Headroom amps on my system, and I am highly impressed. Most of the time, amplifiers that are truly fast, and have a tight grip on the bass usually have ruthless treble that I can't stand. The upper Headroom amps have a musicality, or smoothness to them that I really like, but still have the wonderful ability to control the transducers. This is without the processor, of course. Now back on topic!
 
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Vertigo-1

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Yep, I do believe some dynamics are faster then others. The fastest I've heard are the Etymotics and the AKG K501s.
 
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«Fast» is a synonym for extended high-frequency bandwidth. And that's not stringently associated with accuracy – which is the criterion for high resolution. Another point is the dynamic, which also may contribute to the impression of quickness.

A frequency response which increases towards the upper auditory threshold may automatically be judged as «fast» sounding... independent from accuracy. So «fast» sounding headphones may be colouring ones.

The Etymotic ER-4s are an example for really accurate transducers, which are fast in an ideal, not exaggerating manner. Responsible therefor may be the very low moving mass of the tiny membrane (low excursion x low mass = accurate transient response), which hasn't to move much air volume, and, in addition, the sound's very direct path to the eardrum without any reflexions (= multipath) from the outer ear.

Another vital criterion for quickness and accuracy is the stiffness of the membrane. The closer to a piston-like movement, the more accurate and fast the sound. But it may be difficult to go through with this concept in the case of a full-range speaker like those in headphones... Nevertheless, the sound of even «large» membranes (5 cm) is astonishingly fast. No wonder, if you compare their moving masses and excursions to those of free-field loudspeakers.

Are electrostatic headphones really superior in terms of «quickness» and resolution? I'm not so sure. I base myself on my listening experiences with different types of electrostatic and dynamic headphones. And I must say that ER-4S and HD 600 are absolutely equal to the best electrostatics I own/know in terms of resolution and quickness – the latter after some modifications, especially removing the foam pad and replacing the cable – though without sounding equally. For electrostatics have a characteristical reproduction of the treble range – not unpleasing, but slightly «technical» anyhow – which give them a fresh and clear timbre, while most of the dynamic types (except the best ones) suffer from a somewhat slow treble range, maybe additionally some resonances throughout the frequency range, which make them sound harsh or nontransparent.

Yes, of course there are clearly audible differences in quickness and resolution between different dynamic headphones.

JaZZ
 
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kelly:

I have an interview with Joe Grado on the HP-1 (Audio 1991) and he mentions how important the thickness of the diaphragm material is. A thin material will yield more high frequencies and have more "speed" but will distort quicker at higher volumes. A thicker diaphragm may sacrifice some of the upper octave and be a tad "slower" but will not break up at higher volumes. So a designer has to find a happy medium.
 
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kelly

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Jazz
Wow. Thanks. I wish you'd said all that in real life so I could give you a puzzled Texan look and say, "Whar you frum, boy? Yew talk funny."

Beagle
That makes sense--but if that's the case, do headphone ever reach such a high volume to cause distortion? If not, it seems like everyone would be shooting to make drivers as thin as possible.
 
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Beagle

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
Beagle
That makes sense--but if that's the case, do headphone ever reach such a high volume to cause distortion? If not, it seems like everyone would be shooting to make drivers as thin as possible.


I think if you tried cranking a Koss Porta Pro up to the same levels as a Sennheiser HD600 can go without distorting, you would take the Koss drivers right out. I've actually done it too. I think the thinner material would be subject to more resonance as well and this is an audible distortion that does not actually "distort" (i.e. severe break-up).

Another thing is the voice coil. Sennheiser uses (or used) a copper coated aluminum voice coil because aluminum is lighter and makes for a quicker start/stop motion.
 
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in addition to Beagle: AKG for example tries to achieve a good compromise with their varimotion drivers - the diaphragms have a thicker inner part and a thinner outer part plus a very flexible part at the rim.

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
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I've been on a hunt for full-size dynamic headphones that are faster than the DT880.

The only sort-of-ish consistent answers are the Sony MDR-SA5000, and the Beyer DT48. The CD3000 and the almighty Qualia are in there too, but that's ridiculous! But even then, there are several head-fier's who disagree with those choices!

I'm tempted to get the Ety's but I'm not sure - I keep hearing that they can't compare to full-size.
 
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Those would be my recommendations, too.

Is there a reason you don't want to try an electrostat? If you don't want to buy another amp, that makes sense.

That's part of the reason I haven't gotten into electrostatic headphones but have gotten into planar speakers. I can run the Quads from the same amp I use to run the ProAcs.

What Jude said is true. The closer you get to a massless driver, the "faster" the driver will sound. My drug of choice is the ribbon - there's a certain magic there not found in other drivers. Problem is, it doesn't hit the low frequencies at all. You might be able to with a really long and wide ribbon (perhaps driven by massive electromagnets, and I might be crazy enough to try some day), but that's less than practical. The Quad ESL-63 is a very good compromise, though, and goes cleanly down to 40Hz.

Anyhow, if you run speakers and don't want a specialized amp, give some thought to planar speakers. Prices are excellent used and you'll get the speed and detail you're after. You'll also get killer soundstage not matched except live music.

P.S. Nice thread resurrection!
 
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Holy FISHSTICKS, what a thread bump by Catharsis!
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by TheMarchingMule /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Holy FISHSTICKS, what a thread bump by Catharsis!



I make hefty use of the search function and hence the thread bumping is the inevitable step of my curiosity


I've been at it alot lately!
 
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