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Dynamic sound vs Planar Magnetic sound

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by lord voldemort, Dec 20, 2012.
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  1. ultrabike
    I don't consider the HD650 a reference in many departments. In the sub-bass area it's probably not reference material. I also slightly prefer the HD600 to the HD650. The upper mids and the treble are not without some bumps. However, I like the tone better than the LCD-2, HD700 and HD800.
    Furthermore I don't think the HD700 had a reference level upper mid and treble response at all. Relative to an HD6x0 model, the HD700 seems way more colored and bright.
    The HD800 OTOH needs some modding to tame it's analytic tone (somewhat lower treble emphasis and a little tilted response).
    The fact that the HD6x0 (& HD580) models have been able to hold their own even today is remarkable to me.
  2. SP Wild
    The only time the impulse response even remotely correlated with my listening is the PX100 and Portapros...very little cavity resonance so to speak of - as there really isn't any major cup cavities in those cans.
  3. ultrabike
    Well, cavity resonance might introduce standing waves, which in turn might introduce sort of a combing filtering effect. It could also just color the frequency response depending on the reflection(s) amplitude, phase, delay and so forth. IMO best to look for the effects in the FR or CSD which are both a function of the IR anyway.
    I have not heard or measured the PortaPros, but I have heard and measured a few KSC-75s which are somewhat similar. I think those have a null around 4 kHz. It could be due to some cup resonance (maybe around the edges at the front of the driver) or driver limitations or whatever. Either way, things like these may impact frequency response.
    As far as correlating measurements to what I've heard... Well, things are not perfect. Several places and people do them different. IMO best to use a baseline from the same site (preferably a can that you heard/own) and use them relative to such baseline.
  4. SP Wild
    Yes, Inner Fidelity is my baseline - Great big thanks to Tyll and his hardwork.  [​IMG]
  5. ultrabike
    I also have a great deal of respect for Tyll and his work. However, when I talked about a baseline, I did not necessarily meant by that a particular website.
    What I meant was to take a look at a particular set of measurements of a headphone that one is fairly familiar with, from say Innerfidelity. Correlate ones own impressions to those measurements to form a baseline. Then look at the differences between those measurements and the ones of other headphones (from the same website), and get an idea how those differences affect perceived sound quality.
    omniweltall likes this.
  6. MrMateoHead
    Or, Go over to headphone.com and set the graph to +- 10 dB and sit back in horror. [​IMG]
  7. moses1258
    This looks like a good place to post my quandry.
    Currently I have an HD-800 that I love through a tube amp (CSP2+), but I am looking for a complement.  I agree with most Head-fi posters and other industry people (Tyll) who say the 800's sound "analytical."  Most folks say the planars are the way to go and I agree that they do bass great.  The only thing is, I just don't get the level of detail that I do with my 800's.  So ultimately is that the trade off or am I just so enamored with my dynamic choice that no planar will sound as good.
    I may soon try an HE-6 and LCD-3 through a First Watt F3 and see if Nelson Pass can solve the issue[​IMG].
    And for anyone in the know, might an HD650 be a good compliment (more bass please) to the HD800?
  8. Xenophon
    I own the HD-800 and for my tastes too (classical music) their treble is a bit too harsh and they're just a bit too analytic/resolving, which can be a real pain with older recordings.  
    I like them on my tube amp, it takes them 'down' a bit (for a tube amp it's quite neutral with my TS 5998/RCA 'red hots') but the price to pay is a slight loss of clarity.  I also own the HE-500 and the HE-6, the 500 has an absolutely glorious midrange, it's voiced on the warmer side and does great with small ensembles/strings and vocals.  But again:  no hyper clarity.  
    The HE-6, lastly, brings everything to the table imho.  Only 2 problems:  it's a bear to drive (power) and (a small niggle) sometimes I find the treble just a bit on the hot side.  Nothing but praise for the rest; not the huge soundstage of the HD-800 but very neutral, clear, engaging.  If you try the 6, make sure to give them 50 hours to settle (manual emanations 150 hours burn in but that's overkill imo).  For me they represent the very best, except (maybe) for the electrostats that cost >12 kUSD with their amp.
    I have a FirstWatt F3 on order, will only be able to audition it mid april though.  Of the FirstWatt models it's the one that brings a 'tube sound' though still very clean and neutral to the table.  Or so they say/I hope.  Curious what you'll find.  If it works out that'll be my designated HE-6 rig and double as a room heater (15 W pure class A...200 Watt power use).  I also have a resistor box on order that will enable me to safely use it with the HD-800.
    Interesting times, I'll have to exercise my patience a bit.
  9. moses1258
    Thanks Xenophon.  It sounds like your experiences mirror mine.
    By the way, the best I ever heard the planars sound is through an RSA Darkstar.  Just don't want to lay down $3600!
  10. Xenophon
    Yes, the RSA amplifiers....I believe what you say but my problem with them is that the maker hardly lists any clear, technical details and specifications and lack of those is an instant kill in my book, especially at the price of the B-71.  Have to add that I never heard one of them myself, from what I gathered here in the community they're working with extreme gain, also not a very good thing in my book.  I read one quite positive review about the Darkstar on Headphonia but that didn't help either because while I like the guys running the site, I find that more often than not I disagree with their assessment of gear that I also own.
    A fellow Head-Fi'er (handle's preproman) is also a big HE-6 fan and he's tested MANY headphone and speaker amps (ss and tube) with them, I believe he must be one of 3 or so real hands on experts with the HE-6, especially where speaker amps are concerned and I trust his judgment.  Nowadays he uses a FW F1-J amplifier; according to him the best he ever heard the HE-6 with was with the Sim Audio 600i Amplifier.  Problem was, in his next sentence he mentioned the price tag:  a cool 8k USD.  That's too rich for me.
  11. moses1258
    I own an RSA Intruder and it is a very good amp.  Only thing is the volume pot developed "scratchyness" within a couple of weeks.  That seems way too soon to me.  Some folks have said all you have to do is turn it back and forth quickly, but that seems like a rather "stopgap" method.  Also, I've read that the chips in the DS have very bad noise characteristics and that combined with the extreme ouput levels would probably lead to a small amount of noise...I've read about this in the DS post.  I still thought it sounded great at Canjam, but at venues like that I may not be able to judge the "quietness" of an amp.  I, like you, like a dead silent amp...I listen to classical music and notice any noise during silent passages.
    To get this thread back on track, I will wait for the F3 and various planars to see if I can get the level of reproduction I want.  Maybe dynamics are the only way to go for me.
  12. JamesHuntington
    I got the wall of sound with my yh100. That was one of my first impressions compared with the dynamic. The Yamaha ability to play multiple sounds without overloading them puts them ahead of dynamic IMO. I could hear sound coming from many different areas inside the hp, which I don't hear in dynamic to this day. It reminds me of the difference between a one way and a three way speaker system.
  13. MrMateoHead
    True - you can't beat the "realism" and "space" that planars can deliver. When I listened to crowd noise and realized, for the first time, that it didn't sound like white noise, I knew I was experiencing something new. Some dynamics and speakers are really, really, good, but planars' ability to separate out and render individual pieces of a recording are uncanny at times.
  14. SP Wild
    You talk of all these measurements...it sounds like this to me. blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
    Frankly transients cannot be seen in any of the measurements you state.  I can only trust my ears...cymbals, snares, kick drums, piano key strikes, cowbell strikes, guitar plucks - these have an attack that gives away to me what might be going on.
    If cymbals on the HD650 sound rough and grained - not like cymbals in real life, and on a Fostex T50 RP, LCD2, HD800, SE530, D7000, T1- regardless of treble amplitude produce a crisp real precise sound - like in a ride cymbal, it sounds so much true to life with minimal graining what can I hypothesise?
    The only logical hypothesis is that on the HD650, the driver is not accurately tracking the electronic signal.  If not, why not?  On the other cans the definition on ride cymbal sounds correct regardless of amplitude, if so why so, we can hypothesise that possibly because the driver more accurately tracks the signal?  Its not just cymbals either, it encompasses all of the sounds I listed before.
    Planars are quick - the 80 dollar T50RP Fostex has far superior cymbal definition and piano key definition than the HD650 - regardless of poor housing or frequency response.
    LCD2s recessed in the mids?  you mean upper mids? upper mids being the same thing as lower treble.  Regardless...what if I told you it doesn't sound all that recessed to me at reference volume.  If one person is adamant that it is muffled and another person is adamant that it is not - who do we believe?  Perhaps one is listening at lower volumes so it sounds muffled - how low?  If lower than an actual performance level - or reference level, then this is void as neutral cannot be established below reference - we become subject to the loudness curves.  If opposing views are presented at reference levels than we can hypothesise that one person is hearing the upper frequencies at a magnified level compared to the other.  If so, why so? All these hypothesis are entirely falsifiable and falls within the jurisdiction of science.  I do not have the equipment to falsify these hypothesis - but they are open to be falsified.
    Your assumption seems to be that drummers merely bash on the kit with no consideration to their band members...and what if the leading lady would like to perform a ballad?  The key aspect with band members is to listen very carefully to one another - not play to drown another out, this requires careful playing to matching volumes by everyone, we do this by listening carefully to each other...especially when hardly always only drumming to heavy metal - ask the leading lady, she likes to perform love songs all the time.  Don't underestimate any member of the 5 piece band - they know the sound of their members instruments very well - and often switch positions if necessary.  The guitarist often can drum, the pianist often can guitar - enough for practice to continue.
    The whole idea of recreating music in the audience perspective is flawed - musicians play to themselves, not to you.  In classical music - only the Maestro knows how an orchestral piece sounds - he conducts for himself, not for you. 
    The LCD2 is not perfect, but any planar to my ears are faster than most dynamics, and the best planars are faster than the best dynamics to my ears.  Yes the HD800 has a smoother, more even treble response - it must, it is peaked there.  But in no way to me do the attack of instruments sound more precise than the LCD2 - in all my amps - regardless of amplification and dac.  I'm confident to say, the HD800 is no more articulate than the 80 dollar Fostex T50 RP.
  15. Xenophon
    @SP Wild:  Are the LCD's good with classical?  Never heard 'em so I can't say but based on the reviews I read I had discounted them (especially the 3) for that genre (which is, apart from some jazz/blues what I listen to).  I do agree that one of the benchmarks (for my ears) is the way a piano note or cymbal is rendered, many fall flat there (no pun intended), sometimes it's the cans, sometimes the amp.
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