Interesting reference to Headphones in the new UHF [No. 72]
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philodox

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They have a section in UHF Magazine where people can ask for advice. One of their readers wrote in asking if Headphones would be good for auditioning equipment at a Hi-Fi store since then you have less variables to worry about. [Different amps, room setup, etc]

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ultra High Fidelity Magazine
If in any case you intended to buy headphones there's no reason to hang back.

[...]

When it comes to using headphones to evaluate a CD player or amplifier, however, things get more complicated. Most amplifiers are not optimized for headphone listening. Specifically, because headphones are so sensitive [being stuck right to your ears] you're going to hear a lot more noise. That's why serious headphone fans prefer to use an aplifier specifically designed for phones. By the way, these amps are usually small enough to be carried to a store along with your phones.

As for evaluating a CD player, it's importants to get thoroughly familiar with the sound of your headphones, and to understand the differences between phones and speakers. With headphones you're going to hear enormously more detail than with speakers. That's an obvious advantage, but you have to know that the added detail can distract you from elements that could, in the long term, be important. Also, the frequency balance is necessarily different from the way it would be with speakers. For instance, if a player has an anomaly in the way it reproduces extreme highs, that anomaly can be exaggerated. Or, depending on the phones, it can be hidden altogether.

Of course, if you'll be doing all your listening with headphones, that's another matter.



It is hard to say if he meant that last sentence as:

"If you'll be doing all your listening with headphones you are a complete nutjob."
OR
"If you'll be doing all your listening with headphones, I've got just the website for you..."


 
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wualta

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
"If you'll be doing all your listening with headphones you are a complete nutjob."


Hee hee. As a proud nutjob myself, I hope that's what he meant.

No, I think he actually meant that headphone listening is so different from speaker listening that a headphone listener might possibly miss something that's important to speaker listeners. If we're talking about spatiality that makes sense on speakers but seems de trop on headphones, then maybe I can see his point. Sounds like he's pitching his advice to a hi-fi tyro, and if so I have no argument with him.

If, however, he's saying that headphones are so revealing that a careful, semi-experienced listener might miss something, then I'd say we have one o' them there prima facie contradictions in terms. But it's easy for a hifi writer to get tied up in his own web of cleverness, so let's not string him up just yet.

Is UHF a Canadian magazine?
 
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philodox

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Yep, it is printed in Montreal I believe. Their website is www.uhfmag.com

My Wife bought be a subsciption to the magazine as our 1 year wedding anniversary present. It must be love.


There were a couple other good articles in this issue, including a reprinted article from the 60's called 'The Plot to Kill Hi-Fi'.

I'm thinking about emailing them with a question or comment to see if I get included in the next issue.
 
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"With headphones you're going to hear enormously more detail than with speakers"

UHF is a good mag as far as audio mags go, but it is not dedicated to headphones. The above statement, for example, is quite a statement to throw around and not necessarily true in many cases..
 
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philodox

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I agree, but in general the statement is correct when comparing a high-end speaker to a high-end headphone. There are tons of things that the speaker will do better, but headphones are great for picking out the little details.
 
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Zanth

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I like UHF. They are well balanced (most of the time they have 4 guys giving a "final impression" following a review. Great for reading a myriad of impressions from pros. They also review a lot of foreign gear (read not NA nor UK) which is fantastic. They don't shy away from Chinese gear, they really help in exposing the poplace to French gear (the French make some fabulous stuff but is often overlooked in the US).

The lead guy is apparently a nutjob though. But that aside, I really enjoy it. Plus it is cheap! Not Stereophile cheap (with subscription) but cheap nonetheless.
 
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philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Zanth
The lead guy is apparently a nutjob though.


Really?
 
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Zanth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
Really?




This is what I keep hearing from folks who actually know the guy. No idea myself, but this comes from folks I know well enough and I trust their judgment.
 
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