Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution
Nov 4, 2017 at 7:13 AM Post #8,132 of 11,509

Dobrescu George

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I appreciate the reply. Probably will go for the classic as it looks so damn sexy for me and I was quite happy with what it had from the listening test.

The Classics is my top choice as well because I like touching and analyzing the wood texture.

@MezeTeam did an awesome job by implementing real wood there, it is a delight to sometimes graze it with my fingers while listening to music.
 
Nov 5, 2017 at 8:06 PM Post #8,133 of 11,509

markm1

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It's actually probably the best time possible to be in the market for a mid-priced IEM. There has been a flood of great flagship stuff in the past couple of years, but not much excitement in the more accessible $200-$300 range. I feel that has really changed this year.

I just reviewed the Periodic Beryllium a couple of months ago, I feel like that one is a big-time contender at $299:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazi...dio_Beryllium_In_Ear_Monitors_IEMs_Review.htm

FWIW, I know Jude is a big fan of it as well, he and I were chatting about it at CanJam SoCal. I find the Periodic Be is a strong choice for prog, death, metalcore, thrash - basically the faster and more demanding genres.

Another impressive entry into this new school of affordable IEMs is the 1MORE Quad Driver ($199), which I also just reviewed:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0617/1MORE_Quad_Driver_IEM_Review.html

I feel the Quad is a bit better suited for sub-bassy stuff - it destroys with industrial. If you happen to like EDM, it's obviously killer for that, too. For most of my metal listening I would prefer the Periodic Beryllium.

There is also a new IEM being introduced by Acoustic Research in the next month or two called the AR-E10, which is priced at $199. That one has 1 balanced armature and 1 beryllium dynamic driver and may turn out to be the best out of all of them. I've heard it on a couple occasions now and was floored by the performance both times I heard it... I'm anxiously awaiting the final version, as I have a feeling it has the potential to be a giant killer.

Hansotek, as usual you knocked it out of the park. Remember these posts?

I went to Capital Audio Fest today and I was thrilled to see Periodic Audio was attending. I've had those Beryllium in my mind since your post back in July. I went through their line up with my Ipod-just an Ipod, and the Beryllium sounded freaking fantastic. Now, I haven't heard many upscale IEMs but for $300 I was very impressed. There's a local retailer that I'm friendly in D.C called Linear Tube Audio that should have some of their stock in a few weeks. I'm sold.

Now to the source. You gave me some great recommends on DAPS and were enthusiastic about the Mojo + Poly. I was hoping to listen to one but they're still not available. I was able to listen to a Sony and Questyle DAP. The vender was selling a QP1R for about $600. The new upgrades QP2R is now in and it's going for about twice that. I'm tempted to see if he'll still sell the QP1R to me. Otherwise I might weight and see if I can listen to the Mojo + Poly when it's available.
 
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Nov 5, 2017 at 10:11 PM Post #8,134 of 11,509

Hansotek

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Hansotek, as usual you knocked it out of the park. Remember these posts?

I went to Capital Audio Fest today and I was thrilled to see Periodic Audio was attending. I've had those Beryllium in my mind since your post back in July. I went through their line up with my Ipod-just an Ipod, and the Beryllium sounded freaking fantastic. Now, I haven't heard many upscale IEMs but for $300 I was very impressed. There's a local retailer that I'm friendly in D.C called Linear Tube Audio that should have some of their stock in a few weeks. I'm sold.

Now to the source. You gave me some great recommends on DAPS and were enthusiastic about the Mojo + Poly. I was hoping to listen to one but they're still not available. I was able to listen to a Sony and Questyle DAP. The vender was selling a QP1R for about $600. The new upgrades QP2R is now in and it's going for about twice that. I'm tempted to see if he'll still sell the QP1R to me. Otherwise I might weight and see if I can listen to the Mojo + Poly when it's available.

Yeah, I totally remember that. Glad to hear!

The QP1R sounds great with everything from IEMs to full size cans. I really can't knock it sonically. My only complaints about it are that 1.) it doesn't have streaming support, 2.) the UI is from the Stone Age, and 3.) that wheel they use for navigation irritates me... I'd rather have a touchscreen. Getting past all of that while keeping that same level of audio quality is a costly proposition, so if you're not bothered by the aforementioned issues, it's going to give you the most sonic bang for the buck. If you want the touchscreen, streaming, etc., plus equal versatility and as-good-or-better sound quality, you'd have to double that budget to go for the Sony WM1A.

To me, the difference is totally worth it, because the Sony is the complete package, but you might not value those things the way I do.

Another alternative to the Mojo/Poly combo is the Mojo with the Shanling M3, which can store files locally and also lets you stream Apt-X Bluetooth from another source for streaming. It sounds pretty good on it's own, but does allow for digital output to Mojo (or another DAC of your choice) ... so you've got several options for a digital transport there.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 2:09 PM Post #8,136 of 11,509

Monsterzero

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I really like the Atticus for metal,in fact its replaced my trusty sextetts as my #1 metal headphone,something the HE-6 wasnt able to accomplish.

The ZMF Blackwood on the other hand isnt great for metal.The presentation is too far back and theres no immediacy in the attack of guitars...i like it for sub bass heavy genres but not for rock/metal.

Those are the only two ZMF headphones Ive had enough experience with to comment on.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 3:32 PM Post #8,137 of 11,509

mysticstryk

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Has anyone ever ranked the various ZMF cans specifically for metal music?

Having owned all but the classic and Atticus (The Atticus I had a week long home audition of) I'd rank them for metal in this order:

Atticus>Eikon>>>>Blackwood>/=Ori>>>>Vibro. Not ranking the classic as I haven't heard it. I haven't heard the Auteur either but am getting a review unit at the end of the week.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 3:41 PM Post #8,138 of 11,509

bmnathe

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Having owned all but the classic and Atticus (The Atticus I had a week long home audition of) I'd rank them for metal in this order:

Atticus>Eikon>>>>Blackwood>/=Ori>>>>Vibro. Not ranking the classic as I haven't heard it. I haven't heard the Auteur either but am getting a review unit at the end of the week.
Interesting that you rank Atticus above Eikon. Auteur sounds absolutely ideal to me based on reviews but I prefer to buy used (and not wait) if I can!
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 3:48 PM Post #8,139 of 11,509

mysticstryk

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Interesting that you rank Atticus above Eikon. Auteur sounds absolutely ideal to me based on reviews but I prefer to buy used (and not wait) if I can!

They are probably about equal honestly. The Atticus is a bit better for my tastes though. Better complement to my hd800.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 3:53 PM Post #8,140 of 11,509

Hansotek

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Has anyone ever ranked the various ZMF cans specifically for metal music?

I'll add to @mysticstryk's list, because I tend to agree with the rest of it:

Auteur >> Atticus >/= Eikon>>>>Ori/Blackwood>>>>Vibro.

For slower stuff and classic metal, the gap between Auteur and Atticus narrows considerably. With faster and more complex music, it's wider.

Also, depending on the amp, Eikon can climb up considerably. I heard it with the Cavalli Liquid Tungsten prototype (RIP, you sweet, sweet amp!) and it make Eikon sound pretty much on par with my Abyss/Milo Combo... though both of those combos would have run you about $7,500 at the end of the day. I imagine the Auteur would be even better, but I doubt I'll ever find out.

IMO, Auteur is the safe bet for an all-rounder and the best overall, but I still love my Atticus for it's super sweet, thick sound.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 4:25 PM Post #8,141 of 11,509

joincoolkidclub

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I mostly listen to second wave and atmospheric black metal (Mayhem, Blut Aus Nord, Satanic Warmaster, Paysage D'Hiver, Sapthuran, Ildjarn, etc) and have been enjoying my new Paradox Slants- much more engaging, impactful, and balanced sounding than my previous A900x. I am currently running them out of a few different sources un-amped as I try and decide on a synergistic SS amp. I have noticed, however, that on certain albums such as Ultima Thulee the phones sound dark and sluggish. Is this just an indication that they're not being powered to their potential? I haven't listened to planars in some years so I may also be adjusting to the new presentation. I have to use closed headphones otherwise I would tend toward the detail and transparency of something like a Sennheiser HD6xx. I was leaning towards something like the Jotunheim or other powerful SS amps that will hopefully compensate for some of the darkness/muddiness I'm hearing now.

Just curious to hear your thoughts regarding whether I should invest in the best power for the Slants, assuming they will deliver a neutral and detailed experience once driven properly, or look for another phone?
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 4:50 PM Post #8,142 of 11,509

bmnathe

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I mostly listen to second wave and atmospheric black metal (Mayhem, Blut Aus Nord, Satanic Warmaster, Paysage D'Hiver, Sapthuran, Ildjarn, etc) and have been enjoying my new Paradox Slants- much more engaging, impactful, and balanced sounding than my previous A900x. I am currently running them out of a few different sources un-amped as I try and decide on a synergistic SS amp. I have noticed, however, that on certain albums such as Ultima Thulee the phones sound dark and sluggish. Is this just an indication that they're not being powered to their potential? I haven't listened to planars in some years so I may also be adjusting to the new presentation. I have to use closed headphones otherwise I would tend toward the detail and transparency of something like a Sennheiser HD6xx. I was leaning towards something like the Jotunheim or other powerful SS amps that will hopefully compensate for some of the darkness/muddiness I'm hearing now.

Just curious to hear your thoughts regarding whether I should invest in the best power for the Slants, assuming they will deliver a neutral and detailed experience once driven properly, or look for another phone?
I actually really like my HE560 for that type of stuff. But they need to be eq'd a bit - especially increasing the lows. They sound to me like a better HD6xx. Neutral and resolving - I can dig through the layers of the track fairly easily.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 4:51 PM Post #8,143 of 11,509

Hansotek

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I mostly listen to second wave and atmospheric black metal (Mayhem, Blut Aus Nord, Satanic Warmaster, Paysage D'Hiver, Sapthuran, Ildjarn, etc) and have been enjoying my new Paradox Slants- much more engaging, impactful, and balanced sounding than my previous A900x. I am currently running them out of a few different sources un-amped as I try and decide on a synergistic SS amp. I have noticed, however, that on certain albums such as Ultima Thulee the phones sound dark and sluggish. Is this just an indication that they're not being powered to their potential? I haven't listened to planars in some years so I may also be adjusting to the new presentation. I have to use closed headphones otherwise I would tend toward the detail and transparency of something like a Sennheiser HD6xx. I was leaning towards something like the Jotunheim or other powerful SS amps that will hopefully compensate for some of the darkness/muddiness I'm hearing now.

Just curious to hear your thoughts regarding whether I should invest in the best power for the Slants, assuming they will deliver a neutral and detailed experience once driven properly, or look for another phone?

Yes, Paradox Slants require a good bit of power to sound their best. Jotenheim and a balanced cable is probably a good, safe bet for you.

Another good budget option would be tracking down an old vintage receiver and running them directly off the speaker taps... the only catch is the volume knob sensitivity and the space it would take up. If you go that direction the late 70's/early 80's stuff from Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, Harmon/Kardon and Yamaha is great. @monsterzero is a good guy to ask, but you can get a lot of bang for the buck that way.

If you have the coin, the Wells Audio Milo absolutely crushes with T50-derived headphones. And of you need something small and portable, look into the Ray Samuels stuff.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 5:08 PM Post #8,144 of 11,509

joincoolkidclub

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Yes, Paradox Slants require a good bit of power to sound their best. Jotenheim and a balanced cable is probably a good, safe bet for you.

Another good budget option would be tracking down an old vintage receiver and running them directly off the speaker taps... the only catch is the volume knob sensitivity and the space it would take up. If you go that direction the late 70's/early 80's stuff from Sansui, Pioneer, Marantz, Harmon/Kardon and Yamaha is great. @monsterzero is a good guy to ask, but you can get a lot of bang for the buck that way.

If you have the coin, the Wells Audio Milo absolutely crushes with T50-derived headphones. And of you need something small and portable, look into the Ray Samuels stuff.

Should have specified my use and budget probably! Looking to spend up to $800 and it can be stationary. So far considering Jot, Asgard, and Liquid Carbon. I've had a few issues using vintage receivers in the past and would want to keep the finickiness to a minimum. Though, it would be nice to have another option to hook my tape deck up to.

Sounds like I will spend some more time trying to get the Slants to shine rather than switching gears. If anyone else has specific experience with the LFFs and can recommend a clean, resolving amp that would be much appreciated.
 
Nov 8, 2017 at 5:10 PM Post #8,145 of 11,509

Monsterzero

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Speaker taps? Forgive the ignorance as im not familiar with Paradox slant,and a quick Google didnt give me any specs....what is the sensitivity?

Vintage gear can be hit and miss...My Kenwood Eleven GX is a problem child,meanwhile my Onkyo and recently acquired Aika are pain-free vintage goodness.
 

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