Headphones with fast spectral decay and without midrange resonances?
Jun 6, 2004 at 12:02 AM Post #16 of 31

reeseboisse

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Just yesterday I was able to audition a Stax system; the SR404 and the 006t. If lightning-fast transient response and delicate, realistic decay is what you're after, I'd suggest looking hard at electrostats. I didn't notice any intrusive resonances either. They may exist, but they were insignificant enough for me not to detect them.

Also, my audition was done before the stators were fully charged (or at least that's what I gather. People generally say that they need a pretty long time to charge up completely, and that before that, you aren't getting 100% out of the 'phones), so their performance could probably be even more intoxicating.
 
Jun 6, 2004 at 12:06 AM Post #17 of 31

wallijonn

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Quote:

Originally Posted by floppy-ear ted
I'm looking for a pair of headphones that will sound pleasant and non-fatiguing, especially in the midrange frequencies.

a slight drop-off at very low frequencies.



If it wasn't for the bass I would recommend the K501 and DT880. Guess you're going to have to mate them with a subwoofer. In which case the subwoofer & K1000 might make a nice pair, but the high end may be too shrill unless driven through tubes. All three headphones will need some serious power to make them shine.
 
Jun 6, 2004 at 12:43 AM Post #18 of 31

floppy-ear ted

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Thanks people
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. Where would it be possible to see measurements of far-field sounds as heard by a dummyhead, especially of sounds above 1kHz? This could probably be done with a high quality tweeter EQ'd with DSP, and played at a sufficient distance from the dummyhead to ensure that resonances are negligible. I was wondering what sort of frequency response would normally be audible, would it be droopy and have lots of notches, or would it have peaks as well? What would the corresponding waterfall plot be?

The reason I said earlier that I was wondering about the DT 880 was because some people prefer them to the HD 600, and they write enticing descriptions of the nice sound. Yet when I look at the measurements by Headroom, the Beyers have much higher distortion and a few peaks in the treble, which I would have thought would make them worse than the Senns, so I'm at pains to find a rational explanation as to why some people think they're better. Perhaps it's actually more natural if there are raised peaks in the treble response like the Beyers have, but how do we know for sure without a comparison to a far-field hearing measurement? Perhaps the Beyers' impedance curve indicates better control in the bass and low midrange, and better damping around 4kHz? When I was designing loudspeakers, an impedance curve like that of the Beyers would indicate excellent damping and resonance control. OTOH the impedance curve of the 600s reminds me of a speaker in a slightly under-damped sealed box. It would result in more bass, at the risk of at least slightly veiling the midrange.

Back to one of my original questions, oh how I would really like to see some cumulative spectral decay plots!

FET
 
Jun 6, 2004 at 1:35 AM Post #19 of 31

floppy-ear ted

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wallijonn
If it wasn't for the bass I would recommend the K501 and DT880. Guess you're going to have to mate them with a subwoofer. In which case the subwoofer & K1000 might make a nice pair, but the high end may be too shrill unless driven through tubes. All three headphones will need some serious power to make them shine.


Thanks wallijonn!
Power will be no problem, as I intend to DIY a headphone amplifier. I think it's more to do with the high impedance than power consumption. You simply have to drive the amp to a much higher output voltage than with 32 ohm headphones. 300 ohms is actually a very easy load in comparison, it's just that you have to twist the volume knob further around to get the same power output so it seems like they need lots of power.

I think I'm edging towards eventually buying the DT 880 and getting it over and done with. To think of all the hours I've spent on the internet - time is good money that I could spend on headphones!

Perhaps electrostatic headphones do have the type of sound that I'm looking for, but the price is too high unless I can find something at around $250?
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FET
 
Jun 6, 2004 at 2:48 AM Post #21 of 31

floppy-ear ted

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I was actually looking at those "in-ear" electrostatics earlier.

Do they block the ears like the Etys and Shures? My ears are pretty sensitive to DC pressure changes, so I wouldn't be able to live with that sort of thing unfortunately.
 
Jun 6, 2004 at 12:08 PM Post #22 of 31

JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by floppy-ear ted
The reason I said earlier that I was wondering about the DT 880 was because some people prefer them to the HD 600...


I was one of those people too. The DT 880 are indeed not too far from what you're looking for, as it has a lot of the cleanness and clarity associated with hard cones. The measured treble peak doesn't correspond to the hearing impression.

26d1196032359-removing-hd650-foam-over-drivers-stereoplay-headphone-curves-2.jpg


This graph (from «Stereoplay») reflects my sonic impression quite well. Note that the curve is kind of smoothed. Nevertheless, unlike to what the mentioned HeadRoom graph may say there's no audible treble resonance, just a treble plateau.

Now in my case the HD 650 has displaced the DT 880. It offers all of the latter's virtues on a higher level, with better tonal balance and much better coherency. I would recommend the DT 880 only if you like a pronounced treble. Which on the other hand lacks any harshness and is free from being fatiguing.

As to electrostatics: I don't think that they resemble hard cones in any way, apart from the high transparency. In comparison to hard-cone speakers (and the best dynamic headphones) the dynamic attack they offer is rather soft, especially in the midrange.
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Jun 6, 2004 at 9:40 PM Post #24 of 31

jesse_w

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Quote:

Originally Posted by floppy-ear ted
I was actually looking at those "in-ear" electrostatics earlier.

Do they block the ears like the Etys and Shures?



I'm told they offer no isolation whatsoever, which would imply they do not.

-jesse
 
Jun 7, 2004 at 4:42 PM Post #27 of 31

halcyon

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Those Koss stats are very good, based on measurements and 3rd party professional reviewers that I've read.

However, they do have a significant issue with shorting and arcing. This can cause snaps and also sudden lose in volume. Many have not been able to get their pair fixed and the Koss support in this regard has been less than stellar, based on what I've read from several owners.

I was seriously considering those cans (with a separate amp, as the one that comes with them is not very good according to many), but the reliability issue with arcing caused me to look elsewhere.

Just FYI.
 
Jun 7, 2004 at 5:25 PM Post #28 of 31

JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs
For what it's worth, IIRC AKG opts for hard cones while Beyer driver designs are the softest.


Interesting! Where did you get those informations from? But I guess the prize for the hardest membrane goes to Etymotics.
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Jun 10, 2004 at 11:54 AM Post #29 of 31

floppy-ear ted

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs
For what it's worth, IIRC AKG opts for hard cones while Beyer driver designs are the softest.


Oh well, just as soon as I get my Beyers I'll be able to put my bias against soft cones to the test
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. If the unthinkable happens and I end up not liking the sound, I can then try AKG. Although it goes against my moral judgement, I'm beginning to think that soft cones are actually a good idea, but only within the context of headphones. A common design flaw among headphones is the presence of hard reflective surfaces because they cause resonances (in the same way solid walls produce echoes). A hard cone is just another hard surface for sounds to reflect from, whereas soft cones by definition are not a hard surface.

FET
 
Jun 10, 2004 at 1:23 PM Post #30 of 31

JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by floppy-ear ted
A common design flaw among headphones is the presence of hard reflective surfaces because they cause resonances (in the same way solid walls produce echoes). A hard cone is just another hard surface for sounds to reflect from, whereas soft cones by definition are not a hard surface.


Good point! Reflections inside the earpieces are one of the main reasons for colorations. But one thing that will prevent soft membranes from being overly beneficial in this regard is the fact that headphone drivers usually don't take much care to a non-reflective, aerodynamically favorable backside -- most of it is blocked by the magnet system, which in the case of a soft membrane can take the part of a hard, reflective surface.

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