JM Audio Editions XTC Headphones
Mar 28, 2024 at 7:12 PM Post #1,051 of 1,189
its probably just me getting old.
i dont seem to have the finger dexterity i used to.
cracked it finally but the air was blue.
Same here! My hands aren't as steady as they used to be.
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 8:54 AM Post #1,052 of 1,189
any of you 2.5 owners had chance to compare with the JM modded GH50?
i ask because they are similar in price
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 9:21 AM Post #1,053 of 1,189
any of you 2.5 owners had chance to compare with the JM modded GH50?
i ask because they are similar in price
I previously owned a pair of Kennerton Gjallarhorn GH50 JM Edition, later modified to Mark 2 status. I now own a pair of JMAE XTC-C ^2.5 Euphoric Xtreme Trip phones. In my mind, to my personal preferences I greatly prefer the 2.5 which is why I have them and sold the JME2 phones. The JME2 is a much darker, smoothed-over, bass-prominent phone while the 2.5 (tuned to Wolf Hawk and using 32 ohm beryllium driver) is much more neutral with a bigger soundstage, enhanced detail, and much less bass that is there only when called for. I much prefer a faster, more detailed, spacious, and less bassy sound. Look at my signature and see my other phones which should tell you my preferred sound.

One thing: If you do prefer a warmer, darker, more bass-prominent sound, JM could probably tune the ^2.5 to sound that way.
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 10:27 AM Post #1,054 of 1,189
2^5 square pad trick, also helps with the other pads. Take two fingers to the outside edge of the pad, vertically aligned to the square or oval and squeeze them a few times. This re-seats the pad to sit evenly on the black plastic plate underneath. It fluffs and re-straightens them. They are even more comfortable and make a noticeably easier seal after that if it needs it. It helps to do this after swapping the pads to make sure they are sitting on there perfectly too
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 11:12 AM Post #1,055 of 1,189
One thing: If you do prefer a warmer, darker, more bass-prominent sound, JM could probably tune the ^2.5 to sound that way.
Enhanced bass detailed on the warm side. However depending on your amp with the closed back you may just want to go linear like I did with my Burson GT.

any of you 2.5 owners had chance to compare with the JM modded GH50?
i ask because they are similar in price
I have both. The GH50’s bass response sometimes can be a little too much overshadowing especially the lower mid range due to the horn loaded nature. They are a lot of fun but you can get that same bass response in a more controlled manner with the 2.5 and maintain the detail throughout.
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 11:27 AM Post #1,056 of 1,189
i think i will hold off until i see the alternative headband that JM mentioned a short time ago.
it will give me time to move on some of my gear that i no longer use.
i think its time to stick to the 2.5 plan rather than me looking for alternatives.
 
Mar 31, 2024 at 11:52 AM Post #1,057 of 1,189
i think i will hold off until i see the alternative headband that JM mentioned a short time ago.
it will give me time to move on some of my gear that i no longer use.
i think its time to stick to the 2.5 plan rather than me looking for alternatives.
I see you use the Phonitor. I have had the X and XE. With their linear nature a little bump in the bass may not hurt.
 
Apr 4, 2024 at 12:29 PM Post #1,058 of 1,189
Yesterday I was listening to the XTC-C ^2.5s and hearing that movie theater-like bass where the bass drum thwacks were distinct from the bass guitar, all this on a slightly-better-than-mediocre old Gentle Giant Free Hand recording on Qobuz. The midrange was totally enveloping and treble was present but not strident. Love those African Blackwood Burl earcups.
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 12:30 PM Post #1,059 of 1,189
Looking at the XTC-2.5C vs XTC-2O, is the choice just whether you need isolation or not? I generally expect Closed backs to have better bass quantity but with the tunings and reviews I've read it seems the Open can be more than sufficient, though I am a bass head. I also can't wrap my head around the various tunings, I feel like warm-yet-detailed is what I would want but not sure if there's a better fit somewhere below or above that.

I can't really describe the sound I'm looking for but I can say I want something of a hybrid between an EMu-Teak, ZMF Eikon, and Meze 109 Pro. I think I enjoy a V/U tuning as well as neutral but I don't like over-emphasized mids. Give me weight behind drums, bass, and piano notes but also give me some staging and imaging with bumped up details.
 
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Apr 5, 2024 at 12:46 PM Post #1,060 of 1,189
Yesterday I was listening to the XTC-C ^2.5s and hearing that movie theater-like bass where the bass drum thwacks were distinct from the bass guitar, all this on a slightly-better-than-mediocre old Gentle Giant Free Hand recording on Qobuz. The midrange was totally enveloping and treble was present but not strident. Love those African Blackwood Burl earcups.

Looking at the XTC-2.5C vs XTC-2O, is the choice just whether you need isolation or not? I generally expect Closed backs to have better bass quantity but with the tunings and reviews I've read it seems the Open can be more than sufficient, though I am a bass head. I also can't wrap my head around the various tunings, I feel like warm-yet-detailed is what I would want but not sure if there's a better fit somewhere below or above that.

I can't really describe the sound I'm looking for but I can say I want something of a hybrid between an EMu-Teak, ZMF Eikon, and Meze 109 Pro. I think I enjoy a V/U tuning as well as neutral but I don't like over-emphasized mids. Give me weight behind drums, bass, and piano notes but also give me some staging and imaging with bumped up details.
The 2.5 does have naturally more bass impact being closed. I have both the XTC2 open and XTC2.5 closed. With my XTC2 open tuning of Defined Bass with elevated Detail the bass impact is equivalent to the closed 2.5 tuned linear down to 10hz. At that tuning the open is still plenty warm/organic while giving you all the detail and defined bass impact/weight you could want.

The 2.5 does have naturally more bass impact being closed. I have both the XTC2 open and XTC2.5 closed. With my XTC2 open tuning of Defined Bass with elevated Detail the bass impact is equivalent to the closed 2.5 tuned linear down to 10hz. At that tuning the open is still plenty warm/organic while giving you all the detail and defined bass impact/weight you could want.
I am turning into a little bit of a bass head myself in my old age so I think I understand what you are looking for.

I am turning into a little bit of a bass head myself in my old age so I think I understand what you are looking for.
It’s not all about the isolation. While the perceived soundstage on the 2.5 will blow you away for a closed back the XTC2 takes this to a whole other level. You are literally surrounded by music in a perceived deep, large space - assuming your system is very resolving.
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 1:29 PM Post #1,061 of 1,189
It’s not all about the isolation. While the perceived soundstage on the 2.5 will blow you away for a closed back the XTC2 takes this to a whole other level. You are literally surrounded by music in a perceived deep, large space - assuming your system is very resolving.
I can second this for the XTC2. I have never heard anything like it. It’s a very unique experience soundstage wise. And I can also second that the more resolving your gear is and the better the soundstage your gear provides the XTC2 enhances that experience accordingly. If you’ve ever listened to the Sennheiser HD800s, it’s a very different experience sound stage wise than any other headphones. It’s like that experience. I am not saying it sounds anything like the HD800s, it doesn’t. Mine don’t at least, I have the XTC2 with the biowool driver so it’s a totally different sound signature than the HD800s. But I will say that when i sit to listen and I do not want intimacy and instead do want an expansive holographic sound experience I reach either for the XTC2 or HD800s. They make an amazing pair. Two totally different sound signatures with alternatively expansive sonic experiences.
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 1:46 PM Post #1,062 of 1,189
I can second this for the XTC2. I have never heard anything like it. It’s a very unique experience soundstage wise. And I can also second that the more resolving your gear is and the better the soundstage your gear provides the XTC2 enhances that experience accordingly. If you’ve ever listened to the Sennheiser HD800s, it’s a very different experience sound stage wise than any other headphones. It’s like that experience. I am not saying it sounds anything like the HD800s, it doesn’t. Mine don’t at least, I have the XTC2 with the biowool driver so it’s a totally different sound signature than the HD800s. But I will say that when i sit to listen and I do not want intimacy and instead do want an expansive holographic sound experience I reach either for the XTC2 or HD800s. They make an amazing pair. Two totally different sound signatures with alternatively expansive sonic experiences.
Still good bass with the bio?
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 3:25 PM Post #1,063 of 1,189
Still good bass with the bio?
Insane bass with the bio. Amazing. Unlike I've heard in any other headphone. Especially with the fuzzy pads. What I did is cut out the fabric in the ear pads that is between my ear and the driver and that enhanced the clarity and detail and sparkle a lot. I love it so much like this. My brain makes me assume that the bass is so deep with the biowool that it will overwhelm and drown out the mids and highs but it never does. It's a really fun experience.

I originally asked for a middle ground between the ZMF Atrium and the ZMF Verite as a gift for my uncle's b-day. After a good burn in time (I burn in all my dynamic driver headphones for 200hrs) I liked it so SO much that I kept it. I'm not trying to start an opinion battle here so I'll just share my experience but I did notice a huge difference after that burn in. I have also read that other customers were concerned that on first listen what they heard was not what they wanted but after a good long burn it it was perfect. That was my exact experinece.

It's not a headphone that I go to all the time. For me it's not a do-all swiss army knife of a headphone. This is very important. This is exactly what I wanted. It's a very unique specific tool that does something I have never expeinced. When John was messing with drivers to get the sound I wanted we were emailing back and forth and he sent me an email describing how much he loves the sound on the biowool drivers. He described it as being enveloped in a warm thick detailed blanket of music and I back that 100%. I really do. It adds an amazing lively density to music like jazz and classic rock that I didn't know I needed. It's pretty wild. The soundstage everyone describes also makes it my #1 pair of headphones I lean into when I listen to the type of jazz and rock that is recorded in the way that make it sound all the way in the left channel and all the way in the right channel with a huge separartion in the center. It makes it sound sort of like there is some crossover happneing with the music that is recorded with extreme L and R. It sounds like it is coming close to adding a center channel. It's super impressive. I've never heard another headphone do that this well. I often use devices with crossover do fix that problem and my XTC2 seems to fix that on it's own. I can also hear parts of notes and reverb that I can't hear on anyting else. Especially with deeper instruments like cellos and deep bass drums. It's amazing. It makes me feel like I can actually hear the room. I have a Schiit Yggi OG connected to an Audio-GD HE9LE crazy epic way too big full tilt class A headphone amp. It's not amazing on all headphones, but the soundstage on that set up combined with the soundstage, clarity, and bass of my biowool XTC2 finally showed me what everyone has always been talking about when they talk about a true holographic 3D soundstage. It's pretty nuts. I get that with anything that has an R2R + class A sound and/or topology. It respnds very well to amps that have a lot of drive. I have a Audio-GD R28NOS on my desk and I get a lesser but similar experince. I also have the Cayin RU7 dongle and the same. All that said, when I connect it to a delta sigma stack like the Geshelli Labs J2S 4499 and Archel 3 pro with Sprkos SS2590 dual opamps all the way through it still sounds amazing retaining the deep bass you asked about and the clarity and warmth I described. It has that all the time but really scales incredibly well which I love.

Maybe too many words hahahaha. I just get super excited when I find stuff in hifi that makes me feel the way this headphone does. John is also super rad. I have sent him many many emails and he has always been super gracious, patiend, and crazy fast reposnsive. I'm going to be ordering from him for a long long time.
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 5:18 PM Post #1,064 of 1,189
Insane bass with the bio. Amazing. Unlike I've heard in any other headphone. Especially with the fuzzy pads. What I did is cut out the fabric in the ear pads that is between my ear and the driver and that enhanced the clarity and detail and sparkle a lot. I love it so much like this. My brain makes me assume that the bass is so deep with the biowool that it will overwhelm and drown out the mids and highs but it never does. It's a really fun experience.

I originally asked for a middle ground between the ZMF Atrium and the ZMF Verite as a gift for my uncle's b-day. After a good burn in time (I burn in all my dynamic driver headphones for 200hrs) I liked it so SO much that I kept it. I'm not trying to start an opinion battle here so I'll just share my experience but I did notice a huge difference after that burn in. I have also read that other customers were concerned that on first listen what they heard was not what they wanted but after a good long burn it it was perfect. That was my exact experinece.

It's not a headphone that I go to all the time. For me it's not a do-all swiss army knife of a headphone. This is very important. This is exactly what I wanted. It's a very unique specific tool that does something I have never expeinced. When John was messing with drivers to get the sound I wanted we were emailing back and forth and he sent me an email describing how much he loves the sound on the biowool drivers. He described it as being enveloped in a warm thick detailed blanket of music and I back that 100%. I really do. It adds an amazing lively density to music like jazz and classic rock that I didn't know I needed. It's pretty wild. The soundstage everyone describes also makes it my #1 pair of headphones I lean into when I listen to the type of jazz and rock that is recorded in the way that make it sound all the way in the left channel and all the way in the right channel with a huge separartion in the center. It makes it sound sort of like there is some crossover happneing with the music that is recorded with extreme L and R. It sounds like it is coming close to adding a center channel. It's super impressive. I've never heard another headphone do that this well. I often use devices with crossover do fix that problem and my XTC2 seems to fix that on it's own. I can also hear parts of notes and reverb that I can't hear on anyting else. Especially with deeper instruments like cellos and deep bass drums. It's amazing. It makes me feel like I can actually hear the room. I have a Schiit Yggi OG connected to an Audio-GD HE9LE crazy epic way too big full tilt class A headphone amp. It's not amazing on all headphones, but the soundstage on that set up combined with the soundstage, clarity, and bass of my biowool XTC2 finally showed me what everyone has always been talking about when they talk about a true holographic 3D soundstage. It's pretty nuts. I get that with anything that has an R2R + class A sound and/or topology. It respnds very well to amps that have a lot of drive. I have a Audio-GD R28NOS on my desk and I get a lesser but similar experince. I also have the Cayin RU7 dongle and the same. All that said, when I connect it to a delta sigma stack like the Geshelli Labs J2S 4499 and Archel 3 pro with Sprkos SS2590 dual opamps all the way through it still sounds amazing retaining the deep bass you asked about and the clarity and warmth I described. It has that all the time but really scales incredibly well which I love.

Maybe too many words hahahaha. I just get super excited when I find stuff in hifi that makes me feel the way this headphone does. John is also super rad. I have sent him many many emails and he has always been super gracious, patiend, and crazy fast reposnsive. I'm going to be ordering from him for a long long time.
I have the Xtc Open 1.0 bery and love it! May be time to upgrade. Thanks!
 
Apr 5, 2024 at 7:09 PM Post #1,065 of 1,189
I have the Xtc Open 1.0 bery and love it! May be time to upgrade. Thanks!

The open line is so good.

One of my coworkers has been getting interested in headphones and, after relaying all my experiences with @John Massaria , he picked up a pair of the XTC opens last week. Excited to see his thoughts on it especially since this will be his first real high end set up.
 

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