Focal SPIRIT PROFESSIONAL Impressions thread
Aug 3, 2015 at 8:01 AM Post #1,561 of 1,765

dakanao

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For your imformation, L2 has a peak in presence region around 2kh, so it feels more bright, not because of it is more neutral.

 
 
I couldn't agree with you more @ohotonge! @dakanao IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it. I own about 19 mid- fi headphones in the $150.00-$700.00 range and always keep my FSP in the rotation because of its neutrality in the treble/presence region.....especially for a closed headphone too.

I never said the Philips L2 was neutral.. The FSP seemed a bit too dark to MY ears, but on their own it's not problematic at all.
 
I can understand why people would love the FSP if they would mix music, but for regular music listening they're a bit too revealing for me, since not all my music is perfectly remastered. And the Philips L2 just sounds clearer (regardless of their 2khz peak) and smoother as well, which gives a way more pleasing expierence enjoying the music imo.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 9:13 AM Post #1,562 of 1,765

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I never said the Philips L2 was neutral.. The FSP seemed a bit too dark to MY ears, but on their own it's not problematic at all.

I can understand why people would love the FSP if they would mix music, but for regular music listening they're a bit too revealing for me, since not all my music is perfectly remastered. And the Philips L2 just sounds clearer (regardless of their 2khz peak) and smoother as well, which gives a way more pleasing expierence enjoying the music imo.


well I don't know about the L2 & have only head the FSP briefly but I can't imagine a smoother phone than the Classic that is also as revealing. It actually at least as detailed as my Dt990 for example but is obviously warmer sounding.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 9:16 AM Post #1,563 of 1,765

dakanao

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well I don't know about the L2 & have only head the FSP briefly but I can't imagine a smoother phone than the Classic that is also as revealing. It actually at least as detailed as my Dt990 for example but is obviously warmer sounding.

By revealing I don't mean detailed, I mean revealing of faults in the recording. In that regard, the FSP was too revealing for me..
 
On the other hand, the FSP is more detailed than the L2, but the L2 is smoother and clearer.
 
But the L2 still has enough detail for me. And they have clearly superior instrument and vocal separation than the FSP.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 11:18 AM Post #1,564 of 1,765

rixlbg

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Focal Spirit Classic owner. Now officially my favorite headphones now the Dt150 has gone.

Don't understand why they're not as popular as the Pro and other headphones.

Smooth and refined as silk but quite able to 'party' when the music demands it. The only headphone I really need as it's so versatile ie home or portable any genre.

I know what you mean. I feel that about the Classic too. Smooth and versatile.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 11:29 AM Post #1,565 of 1,765

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I know what you mean. I feel that about the Classic too. Smooth and versatile.


I see you own the Philips as well also the Momentum. Quite a collection.

Which do you prefer if you don't mind me asking?
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 11:42 AM Post #1,566 of 1,765

ohotonge

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Speaking of neutrality and the FSP, have any owners been able to use it with the Sonarworks Reference 3 Headphone software? (They recently released a calibration preset for the FSP, though they use their own proprietary compensation curve.) If so, can you post your impressions?


I'll admit this much: most closed headphones that have higher clarity than the FSP do have problems in the treble, such as excess brightness.

When you said FSC, did you mean to type FSP? (I have not heard the FSC; only the FSP, but people say the FSC is even warmer than the FSP.)

I am aware of all the STAX prices, both from STAXUSA.com and PriceJapan.com.

Thanks for the clarification. What I mean was FSP not classic.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 12:18 PM Post #1,567 of 1,765

ohotonge

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I never said the Philips L2 was neutral.. The FSP seemed a bit too dark to MY ears, but on their own it's not problematic at all.
 
I can understand why people would love the FSP if they would mix music, but for regular music listening they're a bit too revealing for me, since not all my music is perfectly remastered. And the Philips L2 just sounds clearer (regardless of their 2khz peak) and smoother as well, which gives a way more pleasing expierence enjoying the music imo.


yes, L2 is not standard for 'neutralness', so shouldn't be a standard for the comparison with FSP, that's all I meant, I didn't said that you said it either.  
FSP is slightly dark comparing to the best speakers setup, but only slightly. 
L2 is surely 'clearer', I mean brighter, but not necessarily 'smoother' in my experience or in the measurements.
(check out Golden Ears measurements. ) 
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 1:00 PM Post #1,568 of 1,765

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  By revealing I don't mean detailed, I mean revealing of faults in the recording. In that regard, the FSP was too revealing for me..
 
On the other hand, the FSP is more detailed than the L2, but the L2 is smoother and clearer.
 
But the L2 still has enough detail for me. And they have clearly superior instrument and vocal separation than the FSP.

 
For me, it was missing some detail and wasn't revealing enough, especially of faults in the recording, but I want the ultimate headphone, so I'm much pickier than most. I want to emphasize here that despite all the criticisms I have for the FSP, it is one of my favorite headphones. I actually like it more than the HIFIMAN HE400i and Sennheiser HD 650.
 
FSC is one of the most neutral 'closed' phones and even more neutral than some of the open phones. Still, my feeling tells me that you probably wouldn't care. And that's the problem.
you don't have a realistic perspective, when it comes to absolute 'neutralness' whole headphones things is meaningless, because 99 percent of music are recoded in stereo speakers.
that means even the best neutral headphones have to be felt colored compared with the best neutral speakers.
And my friend, official usa price for 2170 system is 790dollars. Without amp, stax is nothing so we have to compare with system price.
https://www.staxusa.com/STAX-SRS-2170.html
Unofficially I got my fsc 140dollars, even though I dont even in USA! so unofficial price is not important here.

 
Replying to this again, since you edited the post.
 
Yes, the best neutral speakers can get closer to neutral than headphones, and the FSP is more neutral than some headphones, but my point was that there are plenty of headphones that are much more neutral than the FSP. My only problem here is that people are calling it neutral without context, implying that it aligns with the compensation curves, when in reality, nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down, well under the compensation curves. Without EQ, it's far too dark for serious studio or audiophile purposes. That being said, it's still enjoyable to listen to. The only reason I continue to post in this thread is because I'm an FSP fan.
 
I feel that unofficial price is important too because it determines how affordable something is to people who want better deals than full retail. I got my SR-207 + SRM-212 system used for $330, and it's the same thing as the $790 (or under $500 if imported from PriceJapan) SRS-2170 system except the amp is an older version, but basically the same amp. You don't have to buy the systems they sell as bundles; you can get a more affordable amp on the used market, even for under $100 if you're lucky. My reason for mentioning the prices here was that someone said "IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it."...so this needs proper context as well.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 1:28 PM Post #1,569 of 1,765

dakanao

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yes, L2 is not standard for 'neutralness', so shouldn't be a standard for the comparison with FSP, that's all I meant, I didn't said that you said it either.  
FSP is slightly dark comparing to the best speakers setup, but only slightly. 
L2 is surely 'clearer', I mean brighter, but not necessarily 'smoother' in my experience or in the measurements.
(check out Golden Ears measurements. ) 

With my music, the Philips L2 was smoother, as in less harsh drum sounding instruments for example. The FSP may be smoother however if a recording has a lot, and I mean A LOT of sibilance in the upper treble compared to the L2, but the L2 is nowhere near problematic or even slightly annoying imo, and my ears are sensitive to treble.
 
The FSP WAS problematic to me because a lot of times they would sound just too harsh with certain instruments. But that's all imo ofcourse.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 1:48 PM Post #1,570 of 1,765

ohotonge

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For me, it was missing some detail and wasn't revealing enough, especially of faults in the recording, but I want the ultimate headphone, so I'm much pickier than most. I want to emphasize here that despite all the criticisms I have for the FSP, it is one of my favorite headphones. I actually like it more than the HIFIMAN HE400i and Sennheiser HD 650.
 
 
Replying to this again, since you edited the post.
 
Yes, the best neutral speakers can get closer to neutral than headphones, and the FSP is more neutral than some headphones, but my point was that there are plenty of headphones that are much more neutral than the FSP. My only problem here is that people are calling it neutral without context, implying that it aligns with the compensation curves, when in reality, nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down, well under the compensation curves. Without EQ, it's far too dark for serious studio or audiophile purposes. That being said, it's still enjoyable to listen to. The only reason I continue to post in this thread is because I'm an FSP fan.
 
I feel that unofficial price is important too because it determines how affordable something is to people who want better deals than full retail. I got my SR-207 + SRM-212 system used for $330, and it's the same thing as the $790 (or under $500 if imported from PriceJapan) SRS-2170 system except the amp is an older version, but basically the same amp. You don't have to buy the systems they sell as bundles; you can get a more affordable amp on the used market, even for under $100 if you're lucky. My reason for mentioning the prices here was that someone said "IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it."...so this needs proper context as well.


well, see what you just typed, "nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down", and on what grounds? where your mids and treble start and ends? even in your compensation, they are not, some area have slightly more energy and some areas less. think about it, what kind of headphones have a characteristics of  "nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down" which means that the headphones has only a bass, but still "enjoyable to listen to", how is that possible? even in your compensation FSP is not that out of the line except 4-7kh dip and even open hd600 does that kind of characters(in innerfidelity measurements).   why? because like I said before, the dynamic drivers can't escape that uneven break-up, so if you are engineers, you have to choose where it should have dips and where have a peak that compensates the dip, in the case of FSP, the engineers had a fantastic job in those decisions. 
 
index.php.jpg

but let's think about stax vs FSP. in your stax measurements, they doesn't have sub bass at all, but I'm not gonna say that stax doesn't have sub bass except multi thounds dollars of models of SR series, so it is no use in under bass area, I wouldn't say that. I would say that it just have different interactions with fake heads, and in other cases you can measure sub bass. that's the realistic perspective. 
but having said that, stax 2170 sounds harsh in many times and feels like having a "non-neutral treble peak" when compensated in olive welt - which is your love in the first sight compensation - 


look at the nssc compensation for stax which is the compensation borrowed from olive welt. where is the sub bass? and it has a dip in the upper treble. and the peak in the 10kh. 
but I'm not gonna say FSP slays, more neutral or etc..., that's too childish, and I woulndt say no to the people who said that FSC is the most neutral under 1000 dollars, because you don't have the answers.
db2dcadfa1069318db0022dc2b688ab4.jpg.png
 
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 2:04 PM Post #1,571 of 1,765

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  well, see what you just typed, "nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down", and on what grounds? where your mids and treble start and ends? even in your compensation, they are not, some area have slightly more energy and some areas less. think about it, what kind of headphones have a characteristics of  "nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down" which means that the headphones has only a bass, but still "enjoyable to listen to", how is that possible? even in your compensation FSP is not that out of the line except 4-7kh dip and even open hd600 does that kind of characters(in innerfidelity measurements).   why? because like I said before, the dynamic drivers can't escape that uneven break-up, so if you are engineers, you have to choose where it should have dips and where have a peak that compensates the dip, in the case of FSP, the engineers had a fantastic job in those decisions. 
  but let's think about stax vs FSP. in your stax measurements, they doesn't have sub bass at all, but I'm not gonna say that stax doesn't have sub bass except multi thounds dollars of models of SR series, so it is no use in under bass area, I wouldn't say that. I would say that it just have different interactions with fake heads, and in other cases you can measure sub bass. that's the realistic perspective. 
but having said that, stax 2170 sounds harsh in many times and feels like having a "non-neutral treble peak" when compensated in olive welt - which is your love in the first sight compensation - 

look at the nssc compensation for stax which is the compensation borrowed from olive welt. where is the sub bass? and it has a dip in the upper treble. and the peak in the 10kh. 
but I'm not gonna say FSP slays, more neutral or etc..., that's too childish, and I woulndt say no to the people who said that FSC is the most neutral under 1000 dollars, because you don't have the answers.

 
I already posted the graphs. Just look at them. Not counting the part around 4 kHz, the entire frequency range of the FSP from 300 Hz all the way to 9 kHz is dipped down significantly below the compensation curves. I never said the mids and treble were nonexistent. The SR-207 only rolls off below 20 kHz, which is inaudible. After 20 kHz, it actually has a bump in the bass, though a separate set of measurements with SR-507 ear pads does not have this bump. I use the green line as my neutral reference. Note that all planar magnetic headphones follow the green line in the bass, not the black one. The SR-207 sounds very neutral and accurate to me, and the measurements support that. It does not sound harsh to me, and it's nowhere near as bright and harsh as the Sennheiser HD 800 and Sony MDR-7506.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 2:09 PM Post #1,572 of 1,765

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For me, it was missing some detail and wasn't revealing enough, especially of faults in the recording, but I want the ultimate headphone, so I'm much pickier than most. I want to emphasize here that despite all the criticisms I have for the FSP, it is one of my favorite headphones. I actually like it more than the HIFIMAN HE400i and Sennheiser HD 650.
 
 
Replying to this again, since you edited the post.
 
Yes, the best neutral speakers can get closer to neutral than headphones, and the FSP is more neutral than some headphones, but my point was that there are plenty of headphones that are much more neutral than the FSP. My only problem here is that people are calling it neutral without context, implying that it aligns with the compensation curves, when in reality, nearly the entire mids and treble are dipped down, well under the compensation curves. Without EQ, it's far too dark for serious studio or audiophile purposes. That being said, it's still enjoyable to listen to. The only reason I continue to post in this thread is because I'm an FSP fan.
 
I feel that unofficial price is important too because it determines how affordable something is to people who want better deals than full retail. I got my SR-207 + SRM-212 system used for $330, and it's the same thing as the $790 (or under $500 if imported from PriceJapan) SRS-2170 system except the amp is an older version, but basically the same amp. You don't have to buy the systems they sell as bundles; you can get a more affordable amp on the used market, even for under $100 if you're lucky. My reason for mentioning the prices here was that someone said "IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it."...so this needs proper context as well.

When I stated "IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it" in a previous post it was to mean as a stand alone headphone based on sound direct from source.  Not the FSP and BLANK AMPLIFIER presents with the most neutral sound. I know that graphs or compensation curves are valuable assessment tools but I don't dwell too much on these things. Thank you for shedding light on them (graphs) though. I hope this clarifies the context in which I made that statement. I believe the FSP to be the most neutral in its respective price range from any source without amplification.
 
However, I always use amplification when listening to my headphones for better driver control as well as to squeeze every last detail or musical nuance I can. Amplifiers can add a significant total cost to any desk top or portable rig and for that reason a discussion on pairing the FSP with BLANK AMP would be a whole other topic all by it self as amplifiers can colour sound too. I prefer the CypherLabs Picollo amplifier to my Schiit Asgard 2 for different reasons because of how they drive my FSP's with various sources. I find my HiFi M8 to be a tad sibilant with some recordings when paired with the FSP. With that being said if I had to grab my phone/ipod and plug in the FSP's it would be the most neutral HP's I own. I will say they are a darkish neutral in general even when compared to my Grado Rs1i's or B&O H6 but both these headphones have bright treble presentation imho. 
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 2:44 PM Post #1,573 of 1,765

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  When I stated "IMHO I don't think there is any sub 1k headphone out there that can make the FSP sound veiled without a non-neutral treble peak in it" in a previous post it was to mean as a stand alone headphone based on sound direct from source.  Not the FSP and BLANK AMPLIFIER presents with the most neutral sound. I know that graphs or compensation curves are valuable assessment tools but I don't dwell too much on these things. Thank you for shedding light on them (graphs) though. I hope this clarifies the context in which I made that statement. I believe the FSP to be the most neutral in its respective price range from any source without amplification.
 
However, I always use amplification when listening to my headphones for better driver control as well as to squeeze every last detail or musical nuance I can. Amplifiers can add a significant total cost to any desk top or portable rig and for that reason a discussion on pairing the FSP with BLANK AMP would be a whole other topic all by it self as amplifiers can colour sound too. I prefer the CypherLabs Picollo amplifier to my Schiit Asgard 2 for different reasons because of how they drive my FSP's with various sources. I find my HiFi M8 to be a tad sibilant with some recordings when paired with the FSP. With that being said if I had to grab my phone/ipod and plug in the FSP's it would be the most neutral HP's I own. I will say they are a darkish neutral in general even when compared to my Grado Rs1i's or B&O H6 but both these headphones have bright treble presentation imho. 

 
Ah, I see. I'd be interested in your impressions of the Yamaha HPH-MT220 if you ever get to hear it. It's the only closed headphone I like more than the FSP.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 2:46 PM Post #1,574 of 1,765

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I can appreciate headphones that have a noted peak in the presence region for certain genres of music. I feel my Grado RS1i's fit this description quite well and I love them with acoustic/jazz, classical, or singer/songwriter genres. Whereas I have been using my FSP's for alternative and edm/electronica because of it's detailed yet extended bass response. I must admit I am a recovering bass head and have only recently been acquiring neutral or detail oriented cans/iem's. My search is now for that headphone which has detail (without sibilance), articulate bass response, and unadulterated mids, with a super wide soundstage of course too. The FSP has come close to being that headphone for me so enjoy immensely.
 
Aug 3, 2015 at 2:49 PM Post #1,575 of 1,765

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  I can appreciate headphones that have a noted peak in the presence region for certain genres of music. I feel my Grado RS1i's fit this description quite well and I love them with acoustic/jazz, classical, or singer/songwriter genres. Whereas I have been using my FSP's for alternative and edm/electronica because of it's detailed yet extended bass response. I must admit I am a recovering bass head and have only recently been acquiring neutral or detail oriented cans/iem's. My search is now for that headphone which has detail (without sibilance), articulate bass response, and unadulterated mids, with a super wide soundstage of course too. The FSP has come close to being that headphone for me so enjoy immensely.

 
I do love the FSP with electronic music. <3
 
(But the MT220 far more still. Has punchier, more enveloping bass and a more engaging, clear sound.)
 

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