Harsh treble characteristic of HP-890?
Apr 12, 2002 at 7:32 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

HappymaN

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Hi guys, my Philips headphones have been used for about 40 hours so far, and I'm under the impression that the treble is quite harsh, and piercing, at times. I'm sorry about not knowing the proper terms to describe such sounds.

For example, in the Dave Matthews Band track, #41, when Dave first starts to sing, he says, "Come see..."

When he says "see", my headphones give a somewhat piercing "S" sound. Is this considered harsh treble? Is this characteristic of the HP-890's. Can't I expect this to change with use?
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 9:09 AM Post #2 of 10

r4z0r

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What is your source? Are you playing a mp3 version of the song?
Give the phones a solid 100 hr break-in before jumping to any pre-mature conclusions about its sound characteristics.. generally speaking treble becomes more tame with time.
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 11:22 AM Post #3 of 10

El Scorcho

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The HP890 is not an ideal can for music other than classical or jazz, for this reason. My HP890 has been thoroughly broken in, and it sounds really sweet with classical music, but still has noticeable sibilance with almost all types of rock and popular music. I've tried it with reference quality sources and compared the results to my Senns and Grados; it appears that this is an inherent quality of the HP890.

Note: Do try to experiment with different recordings. I've found that NIN, for some strange reason, actually sounds fantastic on the HP890.
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 2:05 PM Post #4 of 10

NickG

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Quote:

Originally posted by HappymaN

For example, in the Dave Matthews Band track, #41, when Dave first starts to sing, he says, "Come see..."

When he says "see", my headphones give a somewhat piercing "S" sound. Is this considered harsh treble? Is this characteristic of the HP-890's. Can't I expect this to change with use?


Try a few different CDs since the way the way the music was recorded and mixed has a hugh impact on your listening enjoyment. For example, the concert DVD James Taylor Live at The Beacon has wonderfully large dynamic range, is very well recorded and mixed but for some reason is a tad on the bright side, yet it sounds great with my Senns HD580s since to me they are a somewhat warm sounding can. The 580s warmth balances out the brightness of the recording. On the other hand the Carol King live DVD is a somewhat flat sounding recording and sounds best to me listened to through my Grado SR80s which brightens things up nicely and makes it more enjoyable than through the HD580s.

Some food for thought.

Regards, Nick
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 3:16 PM Post #5 of 10

Blighty

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NickG is probably right. These are rather unforgiving headphones and will show up weakness in your audio chain including the recording itself. Grados are noticeably brighter than the HP890 yet do not exhibit much sibilance unless the recording or source is poor. Extensive break-in(100+ hours) seems to tame the treble some more.
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 4:42 PM Post #6 of 10

LTUCCI1924

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HappymaN
HI:
I also have the philipd 890s. Now frist of all I respect what each member has posted and think that they are all right with what they have posted. I am not steping on any toes or making and bun at anything. I just am giveing you my thoughts on what you are hearing and I might be totaly wrong with what I say. Now with that out of the way lets talk 890s. I have found that burn in dont change the sound highs mids or lows. I found that after hours of use that they just seen to really open up and somehow seem to get much louder. With that in mine you could try the same music on a different source and maby that problem will go away. Buy the way I use my philips mostley on rock and roll and new age and I think that you could use these cans on any type of music. I do know that they seem to requier a lot of power for them to sound at their full potential.
 
Apr 12, 2002 at 10:08 PM Post #8 of 10

MacDEF

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Quote:

Originally posted by Blighty
These are rather unforgiving headphones and will show up weakness in your audio chain including the recording itself.



Just to give another point of view, I didn't find the 890 to be unforgiving at all (compared to headphones that I think are truly "unforgiving"). In my experience, the 890 actually smooth out a good deal of weaknesses in the source/recording. Again, this is compared to headphones that are clearly better, but I just wanted to provided a different opinion.
 
Apr 13, 2002 at 12:56 AM Post #9 of 10

HappymaN

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Thanks for the replies guys.

I'm actually listening to CD's through the headphone jack of my Denon UD-M30 micro-hifi system. I've found that there is less sibilance with my MP3's from the computer.

 
Apr 13, 2002 at 1:12 AM Post #10 of 10

Buddha

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The HP890 are indeed "unforgiving" of particular studio mixes.

For example....

If the sound engineer has adjusted the eq. to accentuate the treble, the already 'bright' 890s will not sound their best.

The flip side of course are those recordings which have always sounded rather dark and murky... which the 890s will magically bring to life.

Perhaps there *is* a valid case for Team Eq.

smily_headphones1.gif
 

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