'hangin' wit Tyll' part IV: detroit rock city
Jun 7, 2002 at 4:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 28

arnett

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Just got back from the headroom world tour Detroit. Unfortunately, I got lost and was an hour late. So I only had an hour’s worth of listening to do. That’s too bad because I easily could have spent four + hours in there.

So I must say that my impressions are the VERY initial kind. I would listen to an amp/ headphone for a few minutes and then move on.

Let it also be said that my ears are different than most on this board. But here it goes.

Senn HD580 vs. HD600.
Used both with a HR home with the crossfeed in and the treble boost off (this is simply how I use my amp).
Not that much of a diff, IMO. The 600 has a bit (and I mean a bit) more treble extension, but with more bass bloat. I cloud see how the HD600 would be better with a thinner sounding amp.
Result: I’m not upgrading my senn580s any time soon.

Grado RS-1.
Again used with a HR home amp with crossfeed in and treble boost off. A very rich and relaxing sound. It did not sound at all like the other grados I’ve heard. I could live with a pair of these. Switching over to the SR-325, I said aloud *blech!*. The SR-325 had that crummy grado sound I don’t like. But the RS-1 was very smooth.

AKG K401 and K501.
Thin and lifeless to me. Very un-involving.

AKG K1000.
WOW! These things DO have bass after all. I loved the way these things sounded. Clear and smooth. Quite involving actually. Too bad the amp that can power these has yet to be invented.

Beyerdynamic DT831 and DT250-80.
The DT831 was too bright and thin to my ears. The 250-80 sounded better with more of a grado-type sound.

Sony CD3000.
A joke. People actually pay money for these?! One of the worst headphones I’ve heard. Ever.

Stax 4040.
OMFG!!! Great, great, great. One of the best things I’ve ever heard. I thought stax were suppose to be bright. I found these to be dark, with great bass, and a smooth treble. These things blew me away.

Wheatfield HA-1.
The amp shocker. I dismissed tube amps as being lite on the bass. Not this one. The sound was rich, warm, and full. Sort of tube midrange with SS bass response. This will be the next amp I’ll buy.

Regular little vs. little more power.
Not much difference. Little more power had a bit more treble. I won’t be upgrading to a more power anytime soon.

Corda HA-1.
Huh. Very neutral. No frequency was exaggerated with the corda. Also, there was no tonal shift with the crossfeed engaged. But overall, somewhat boring to these ears (I’m not one for complete neutrality).

E.A.R. HP4.
Didn’t like this one at all. It was paired with a HD600 with an equinox cable. The bass seemed very bloated to my ears.

Orpheus.
Sounded good, but not worth $12,000. Not even close. Like you can’t get something almost as good for ¼ of the price!

Blockhead with cardas.
Brighter than I thought (even with crossfeed on, treble boost off). Detailed and crisp. Better bass than with the orpheus.

Stax omega.
I really liked these. Like the stax 4040, I found the omega dark. Very dark. Great bass though. Tyll thought I needed to get my hearing checked as everyone thinks these are bright. Not to me.

So, to me the biggest surprises were the stax line, wheatfield HA-1, and the AKG K1000.

Meeting Jude was another thrill. Having respected his opinion for so long, and finally meeting him was really cool. Of course, we argued politics after the show was over. But I’ll forgive his political stance . . . for now.

Jude took some pics I’m sure he’ll post soon.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 4:55 AM Post #2 of 28

Nick Dangerous

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We had similar experiences, I think.

The HD600's bass is tighter than the HD580. Dunno how the HD600's sounded "bloated" in comparison... but they shouldn't have!

Personally, I thought the MG Head OTL sounded better than the Wheatfield HA-1, but it was a quick demo. Did you get to try the MG Head?

Ah yes, the AKG's are nice. I thought mine sounded best when coupled with a Parasound HCA-1000A amp. When the K1000 was coupled with the tube amps at the Headroom show (ASL AQ1005DT and EAR V20) they didn't seem to deliver quite the same level of excitement. If Tyll succeeds in getting a custom Headroom amp built for the K1000 that delivers a smooth midrange... watch out. It would be a killer combination that may even rival the Blockhead/HD600 experience.
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 4:58 AM Post #4 of 28

arnett

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Quote:

Originally posted by Nick Dangerous
Did you get to try the MG Head?


well i owned the DT for 4 months.

i tried the OTL at the show. i didn't like it nearly as much as the wheatfield. however, the OTL sounded better than i remember my DT sounding.
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 4:59 AM Post #5 of 28
Quote:

Originally posted by arnett
Meeting Jude..... Of course, we argued politics after the show was over. But I’ll forgive his political stance . . . for now.

Jude took some pics I’m sure he’ll post soon.
smily_headphones1.gif


LOL! Yeah, arnett and I each debated politics with one eye and ear, and watched/listened to the Detroit Red Wings with the other eye and ear. arnett, it was a pleasure meeting you, too -- if you're ever on my side of town, please do give me a call. Obviously, we can talk headphones, music, audio, and, ahem, politics.
wink.gif


I'm actually struggling to get the few pics I took off of my Captain Caveman Edition digital camera -- it seems to not want to let go of the pics in it. I should be able to post these pics tonight, along with some comments.

-- Republican Jude --
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 6:21 AM Post #6 of 28

Eagle_Driver

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Quote:

Originally posted by arnett
Grado RS-1.
Again used with a HR home amp with crossfeed in and treble boost off. A very rich and relaxing sound. It did not sound at all like the other grados I’ve heard. I could live with a pair of these. Switching over to the SR-325, I said aloud *blech!*. The SR-325 had that crummy grado sound I don’t like. But the RS-1 was very smooth.

AKG K401 and K501.
Thin and lifeless to me. Very un-involving.

Sony CD3000.
A joke. People actually pay money for these?! One of the worst headphones I’ve heard. Ever.


My impression of the Grado RS-1 was almost the same as yours, but I thought it was somewhat bright as opposed to the waaaaaay-too-bright sound of the SR-325.

I actually rather liked the AKG K#01s, especially after comparing them against the Sony MDR-CD2000 (which to my ears sounded much like the K401, but at nearly double the price). And I didn't think the Sony CD3000 was as horrible as you thought, but I thought the CD3000 was obviously overrated.

cya l8r

-- "Right-Wing" Eagle_Driver --
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 2:31 PM Post #8 of 28

neil

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I haven't made it to any other ones, so I sure as hell wasn't going to miss this one. Well, I almost did (Wings game was on -- you know, the game where they crushed the Canes?). But I managed to squeeze in and phew - what a site!

First off, let me say that you guys that have gone to some of the other Headroom shows took some swell pictures -- but man, they just don't do some of those amps justice. The Orpheus, I can imagine, is a hard one to capture in a picture because it's so reflective.. and phew, was it cool looking.

I wish I knew the names to have of that equipment.. but let me just ring a few things off the top of my head. Oh yes, the Grado RS-1 -- first time I've ever listened to them.. I love 'em. I love how they feel on my head for starters (esp. compared to a pair of 225's sitting next to them). But man, the sound is very rich and full, with the signature Grado sound that my SR-80s pump out, but, of course, far more refined.

HD-600s further than the eye could see. The funniest part of the evening is when a fellow walked into the meeting room and said, Are there any Senn HD-600s here?, and Jude said, Just look around, they're everywhere.. I think I take them for granted, but man, I definitely will pick up a set of these.

On the premium amp setup, I was very impressed with the Orpheus. Tyll had me comparing the Orpheus setup with the Blockhead & HD-600 setup -- if I would have just had about 5 more days, or weeks maybe, of comparison time -- hey, how about a couple evals?
biggrin.gif


That was just great fun. Thanks to Tyll for doing the tour. Surely, if they're stopping in your town, do yourself the favor and GO. Bring your own music too. I wish I could have stayed longer -- but it paid off.. the Wings won.
tongue.gif
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 4:13 PM Post #9 of 28

jbannow

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Well, I worked this show and it was alot of fun. I didn't get to listen as much as I would have liked, but I got to meet some great people and have a good time. Boy do my legs ache from the lifting though.
eek.gif


I was particularly impressed by the AKG K1000s and the Etymotics ... I have more items on my buy list now.
biggrin.gif
Still prefer the w2002s over any of the other "standard" cans that I heard at the show, though the 600s out of the Max were nice. I don't think I could deal with the seperate channel controls on the Blockhead though.
smily_headphones1.gif


We need to have a Detoit get-together, seeing the turnout at the show.
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 5:05 PM Post #10 of 28

The Quality Guru

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Quote:

E.A.R. HP4
Didn’t like this one at all. It was paired with a HD600 with an equinox cable. The bass seemed very bloated to my ears.


It's about time someone spoke the truth!
very_evil_smiley.gif
Seriously, though, I know that these are great cans--I just had to pull that quote out because Nick Dangerous said:

Quote:

Dunno how the HD600's sounded "bloated" in comparison... but they shouldn't have!


I do like the no-******** description that arnett gave though! It's about time that someone stood up against the 'EAR HP4 + HD600 =Perfect' Regime! I'm sure that combo's still pretty good, though.
evil_smiley.gif
tongue.gif


On a more serious note, um, thanks to all for posting opinions on the show; I always like to see upsets about cans turning out to be far less calliber than what they've been overrated to be!
wink.gif
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 8:56 PM Post #11 of 28

arnett

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concerning the E.A.R. HP4 with the HD600s and the equinox:
tyll was playing a sara K CD from the chesky label. as most of us know, cheskys are not exactly bass heavy.

the track i heard featured a double bass. the sound i heard through the E.A.R. HP4 had boomy, bloated, and almost distorted bass.
frown.gif

i heard the same track on the other high-end amps and it sounded fine.
(normally, i don't find the HD580s bloated at all.)

i don't konw if it was the song, the amp, the equinox, or the way it was set up.

also, i only heard the AKG K1000 out of the ASL tube amp.
cool.gif


i also found out that i listen at a lot softer levels than everyone else.

 
Jun 7, 2002 at 9:30 PM Post #12 of 28

The Quality Guru

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Quote:

Originally posted by arnett
i also found out that i listen at a lot softer levels than everyone else.


I have always wondered what my listening level was compared to other people . . . it's so hard to compare with so many different amps having different relative volumes.
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 9:36 PM Post #13 of 28

BenG

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Quote:

Originally posted by The Quality Guru

. . . it's so hard to compare with so many different amps having different relative volumes.


THis is a good point. If I go to the show in SF, I'm going to try to remember to bring a sound meter. In a perfect world you would also want to do blind comparisons to get the most valid results.

I also can't help but wonder how all those amps hooked up together and at the same time would make comparisons less than ideal(power quality). And I doubt hotels have the cleanest power either.
 
Jun 7, 2002 at 10:10 PM Post #15 of 28

acidtripwow

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The thing that I noticed when listening to the different systems at the Chicago show was the amount bass that I heard. I even told Tuberoller that one system that he liked was too bass heavy. He didn't agree with me and said it sounded fine to him.
 

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