Meze 99 Classics Discussion + Impressions Thread
Apr 18, 2019 at 10:48 PM Post #5,476 of 7,499

Technohawk

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Hey guys just got my first Meze headphones, the 99 Noir, today.

Can we go back a bit to replacement pads? For instance, do we have a verdict for the objectively best brainwavz replacement pads available? If not, what are the main advantages of one over the others?

Microsuede
Hybrid PU leather
Velour
Sheepskin
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 11:09 AM Post #5,478 of 7,499

Dramlin

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Can we go back a bit to replacement pads? For instance, do we have a verdict for the objectively best brainwavz replacement pads available? If not, what are the main advantages of one over the others?

Microsuede
Hybrid PU leather
Velour
Sheepskin

Some opinions on the Pleather, Velour, and Hybrid BW's (and others) are back on page 307
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mez...ressions-thread.794593/page-307#post-14651050

My sheepskin summary is here:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mez...ressions-thread.794593/page-309#post-14669444

A super high level summary for BW is..
- Pleathers push the sound out, and do little to tame the bass.
- Velours push the sound out and make the cans more open. Bass is near perfect but the treble is very increased. There is a lot of sound leakage and the overall sound is very 'canny'.
- Hybrids are the same as velours. I'd say they are 80-90% velour sound, and 10-20% pleather. If you want a true Hybrid, I'd recommend the Yaxi Stpad 2 which uses pleather and alacantra in a proper mix.
- Sheepskins are an improvement from the stock 3rd gen pads. Others use and enjoy them, but for my issue (bass bloat) it didn't fix the issue enough for me to recommend them.
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 11:29 AM Post #5,480 of 7,499

Dramlin

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I'll defer to others on the comfort of the Sheepskins and Microsuedes. It's been a few months since I've used the sheepskins on any headphones, so I've since forgotten their comfort compared to stock. Vague memory tells me they are very similar to stock being plushy while a hint farther away, but again I'll defer to others.
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 3:07 PM Post #5,481 of 7,499

chupacabra314

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Ok another experiment. Decided to try the cotton damping mod mentioned earlier in this thread.
Instead of loose cotton (didn't have any) I tried placing a cotton makeup removal pad sliced in two on either side and slightly behind the damping foam inside the cup. Kudos to Meze for making these so easy to take apart by the way.
Then tried the large "stock" pads again. I don't know if it's a placebo effect since I have no easy way to AB test reliably but the sound seems more decent now. Bass doesn't seem as uncomfortable, even on bassy tracks, although the slight midbass bleed is still there, and overall it is still slightly more than with the small pads. Highs seem to now have the sparkle they have with the small pads.

Again, YMMV. It was just a non-destructive experiment I could easily do. Sorry, I didn't take pics during the disassembly and don't want to take them apart again. Will keep the cotton in for a few days.

EDIT: Just AB compared this configuration with the m50x I have. m50x has more of a U-shape with slightly more subbass but its upper treble is thinner. 99 in this mod sound more balanced and natural, and are more musical.

IMG_3273.JPG
 
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Apr 19, 2019 at 7:52 PM Post #5,482 of 7,499

koover

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I truly have a simple question/statement that’s sincere. All I seem to be reading is how everyone thinks this headphone is too bassy. If that’s the case, why even own them? I know a lot has to do with the lastest iteration of pads but if that’s the pads that come with the classics?..... then everyone knows those are the pads and should pass on these.

You MUST like bass if you plan on or are buying this headphone. If you’re looking for neutral, this isn’t for you.
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 9:28 PM Post #5,483 of 7,499

dissembled

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I decided to pass on the Noirs (for now) and bought a lens for my A6500 instead.

I feel naughty. I have sinned, Head-Fi, I have sinned.

Does anyone how long the drop will last? Maybe I can still redeem myself in the near future if the drop will still be active.
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 9:31 PM Post #5,484 of 7,499

Mhog55

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I truly have a simple question/statement that’s sincere. All I seem to be reading is how everyone thinks this headphone is too bassy. If that’s the case, why even own them? I know a lot has to do with the lastest iteration of pads but if that’s the pads that come with the classics?..... then everyone knows those are the pads and should pass on these.

You MUST like bass if you plan on or are buying this headphone. If you’re looking for neutral, this isn’t for you.
I think they're gaining traction again with the introduction of the Noir, which comes with a 2nd set of pads, similar to the originals. With this style pad, I don't consider the headphones overly bassy at all. Neutral, no - but these cans respond incredibly well to equalization. I can make the low end pretty neutral. The entire frequency spectrum really. That being said, I wouldn't purchase either if they only came with the new pads. I couldn't EQ my way out of that one. Then again, I wouldnt buy a chocolate shake if I wanted vanilla.
 
Apr 19, 2019 at 11:32 PM Post #5,486 of 7,499

bcaulf17

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I too purchased them hoping the pads that come with the Noir bring some balance. If I don’t like them with either set of pads and through my portably AMP/DAC then I probably won’t keep them. But at $200, it doesn’t hurt me that much really. I’ve been wanting to try them for a while.

Was expecting to receive them today but FedEx decided to tease me...
 
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Apr 19, 2019 at 11:50 PM Post #5,487 of 7,499

chupacabra314

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I truly have a simple question/statement that’s sincere. All I seem to be reading is how everyone thinks this headphone is too bassy. If that’s the case, why even own them? I know a lot has to do with the lastest iteration of pads but if that’s the pads that come with the classics?..... then everyone knows those are the pads and should pass on these.

You MUST like bass if you plan on or are buying this headphone. If you’re looking for neutral, this isn’t for you.
Good question. Basically most closed backs come with some big drawback(s) and it's a matter of which you're ready to live with. So far of all the closed backs I've tried the 99s come closest to the signature I like and pads are an easy modification to improve the sound even more.

Also there's bass and there's BASS. I definitely like my bass north of neutral but not at levels that overpower the rest of the spectrum.
 
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Apr 20, 2019 at 8:33 AM Post #5,490 of 7,499

chungjun

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Hahaa... just want to say thanks and acknowledge that HeadFi is a great community with such members:-

@Dramlin is, in his/her own way, a “resident expert” when it comes to Meze 99 ear pads by the sheer number of pads s/he personally tried.

Don’t think I’ve come across anyone else who tried quite exhaustive number of pads and shared their (subjective) views here.

Some opinions on the Pleather, Velour, and Hybrid BW's (and others) are back on page 307
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mez...ressions-thread.794593/page-307#post-14651050

My sheepskin summary is here:
https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mez...ressions-thread.794593/page-309#post-14669444

A super high level summary for BW is..
- Pleathers push the sound out, and do little to tame the bass.
- Velours push the sound out and make the cans more open. Bass is near perfect but the treble is very increased. There is a lot of sound leakage and the overall sound is very 'canny'.
- Hybrids are the same as velours. I'd say they are 80-90% velour sound, and 10-20% pleather. If you want a true Hybrid, I'd recommend the Yaxi Stpad 2 which uses pleather and alacantra in a proper mix.
- Sheepskins are an improvement from the stock 3rd gen pads. Others use and enjoy them, but for my issue (bass bloat) it didn't fix the issue enough for me to recommend them.
 

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