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Mitchell & Johnson - Electrostatz, 2 way hybrid, Headphones Appreciation and Impressions Thread!

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by barondla, Dec 5, 2016.
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  1. RockStar2005
    Yeah. They're only actually better because the studio engineers use BETTER sounding masters (or remasters) on those releases. I know this b/c I downsample my Hi-Res albums down to 512 kbps AAC, and they STILL sound the same. I've even done ABX tests and failed every time. And my hearing is very good still too. lol

    Yes........like I got a digital vinyl copy (with all the record scratches digitally removed) of George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass".........a special Japanese "Toshiba Red Vinyl" copy to be exact. It sounds f'ing INCREDIBLE! Now, they had a Hi-Res version of it, but now that version from like 2010 is hard to find b/c a few years ago, Harrison's son decided to remaster the Hi-Res version again, and that replaced the original one. From what I've read of its reviews, he didn't do a very good job. So instead of buying that one, I'll just happily keep mine. lol

    Yes I did.....................and still do. Initially I used a couple different FiiO amps, then I tried out the Sony Walkman A17 DAP, then the Oppo HA-2 amp/DAC...............but then I started seeing a new trend with smartphones getting better than average amp/DACs put in them, namely by HTC and LG. Got the HTC 10 back in January and LOVED it. The battery life was just alright though, and started getting worse just recently. So I got the LG V30 last week and it's as good if not better on audio, and pretty much better on every other front. I just think it's so much more convenient to have one device (and a portable one too) instead of two. I'm really happy LG and HTC (and Sony too) are offering phones like these. I think if these phones are a success it will make more companies see the importance of having great audio tech on their phones, and therefore they will pour more money into it too. HTC has been struggling, but with Google buying them a few mos ago, I'm hoping that will change things. LG is struggling too, but I think they sell more phones than HTC does at least. Sony is gonna make some big design changes in 2018, so hopefully they can grab a foothold as well because of their reputation and already being a household name (though not for smartphones..........yet lol).
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
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  2. RockStar2005
    Yeah no problem.

    Cool. I'm just gonna leave it in the case when I'm done. lol
     
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  3. barondla
    AC/DC's Malcom Young has passed away. Such a loss of talent. Feel sorry for the family. Listening to a 16/48WAV DualDisc rip of Back In Black on the Pono Player with Mitchell & Johnson MJ2.
     
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  4. RockStar2005
    Nice. Yes it is. And he wrote or co-wrote like all their hits too.
     
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  5. Tor M
    Hi, first post here even though I found out (when I tried to register) that I've been a member for almost a decade:thinking:.

    HiFi used to be a big hobby of mine 10-25 years ago and I used to build my own equipment. But recent years my hi-fi system has been resting in silence. Mostly because it lives in our livingroom which I have to share with my wife and two teenage daughters.
    A month ago I tried a nice pair of headphones and I realized that this is my way back into the world of hi-fi, which I obviously miss.

    Anyway, I started to read up on headphones and was about to buy a pair of B&W PX when I stumbled over a shop that sell M&J's online. With memories of old Quad and ML electrostatics (and sale with 30% off) got me qurious.

    Last week the shop sent me a demo pair of MJ2 which they offer me to buy for $ 375. The phones are in excellent condition and look like new. I do not know how much they have been used because they sounded kind of dull when I got them.

    I've let them burn in for about 80 hours and now they sound very good. My problem is that I'm new to this and not used to high-end headphones and the kind of "closeup" soundstage they provide.
    My reference is my hifi system with (the legendary) Epos ES14 bi-amped with DIY amp and DIY USB-dac which sound good on everything from AC/DC to jazz, but leaves me at a greater distance to the stage.

    I have no sophisticated headphone gear, so I've been using the MJ2 with a Fiio E07K that my brother lent me.

    The MJ2 sounds excellent, midrange and treble sound very open and give me the electrostatic sound I remeber from Quad an ML and provide all of the atmospere on live recordings:thumbsup:.

    I got to compare them against a pair of NAD HP 50. The MJ's sounded better, more open in the midrange and airy treble without beeing "edgy". But they also reveil weakness in the rest of the chain better and the NAD's actually sounded better on one dac amp combination wich got dark and dull on the MJ's. But difference is subtile and I wouldn't pay double price for the M&J if bought at full price.

    Enough rambeling. I'm mostly going to use the phones at home. I've read through this thread and I realise you guys know a lot of equipment and have compared the MJ2's against HD600, HD650 and other well known open back phones.

    I have realised that I need a high quality dac/amp of some sort to get the best out of the MJ2's. But with a dac/amp I could also consider something like the HD600 wich will cost me $75 less or HD650 at the same price as the MJ2.

    So how do the MJ2 compare to theese Sennheisers, are they worth an extra $75 over HD600?

    If I buy the MJ2's can anybody recommend a matching portable dac/amp?

    Best regards

    Tor Martin
     
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  6. barondla
    Hello Tor. Welcome to Head-Fi again and the Mitchell & Johnson forum. You have a nice home system and speakers. As you have noticed headphones do image well these days. But they still don't image the same as speakers. Takes time to get used to that.

    I have both the MJ2 and Sennheiser HD600. You may have seen my size comparison pics earlier in this thread. The HD600 are excellent headphones. The HD650 are supposed to add a little more bass and high frequencies. Haven't heard the HD650. Many prefer the HD600 as being more neutral. Once I received the MJ2, the Sennheisers have gone mostly unused. Probably played the HD600 3 times in the last year. I would easily pay $75 extra for the MJ2. Even if the sound was comparable, the metal & wood vs plastic construction would swing the deal. But they don't sound comparable. The MJ2 have smooth, extended, and effortless high frequencies.

    I am a little unclear about what you are wanting to hook the headphones to? Are you wanting to use your home system? You mention a portable dac/amp. Give us a little more info.
     
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  7. RockStar2005
    Hey Tor,

    Glad you love the MJ2s!

    Regarding the DAC/amp question, I can suggest 2 really great ones that aren't too pricey either................

    1) The AudioQuest DragonFly Red: ($199) The more portable option of the two listed here. Hard for me to say if this or the Oppo is better, but I can promise neither will disappoint! This gets powered by your smartphone battery.

    2) The Oppo HA-2SE: ($299) This DAC/amp costs more but offers more options, like a "Bass Boost" option as well as having the option to use it as a battery pack to recharge your phone (yes, it uses its OWN battery, so it must be charged). It comes with a rapid charger which is really fast! I owned the previous version (the HA-2), and it sounded incredible! This is a slight upgrade to that.

    Note: "What Hi-Fi?" is my GO-TO reviewer. So if they say it's great, then your search is over. lol

    Let me know if you're interested in either, and I'll let you know more! Hope this helps.
     
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  8. Tor M
    Hi again,
    Thank you for your advice:thumbsup:!

    Sounds like sticking with the MJ2's are the best option here:slight_smile:. I must admit I would have a hard time returning them. They both look and sound great.
    As long as the sound is good I find closed backs to be an advantage also, both for me and the people around me.

    I probably was a little unclear. I will mainly be using the phones at home, but I don't have my own "Sheldon-spot" so will probably be listening mulitple places in the house. So a portable dac/amp seems convenient. And they seem to get good reviews at resonable prices theese days.
    But I must admit that the DIY person in me is kind of sceptical. If I remember right (never drew the scematics) I have 120VA, dual regulated supply with atleast 10000uF of capasitors in my homemade dac (ok, probably overkill).
    So when they manage to fit both dac and amp into a USB stick, powered only from the USB lanes and get it to sound good there are some logical flaws there. But I realise the world of Hifi is changing and with digital amps/powersupplies you can get fantastic sounding amps with 2 x 200w that is weighing only 6kg:astonished:.

    Anyway, a portable dac/amp seems like a good place to start, but I am open for suggestions.

    The Dragonfly Red is easily available in my hometown in Norway and is resonable priced (same as US). Seems like a very practical choise if it sounds good with the MJ2's.

    Oppo is only available online and cost about $400 here. Almost twice the price of the DFR.

    I also looked at the iFi Nano iDSD BL. A little bit more expensive than DFR but $120 less than Oppo.
    But I saw that "What Hi-Fi?" only gave it 4 stars:thinking:... Thorsten Loech at iFi used to be "the" DIY guru back in the days, so I kind of trust his designs.

    Regards

    Tor Martin
     
  9. barondla
    The ifi and Dragonfly should both be good choices. Haven't heard either, but there are lots of great reviews. Both were designed by great designers. Gordon Rankin (Wave Length Audio)designed the USB sound transfer tech that many license.

    Does the Mitchell & Johnson dealer have any amps or suggestions? What are you using as a source? Cell phone. Disc spinner? Computer? Do you actually need a DAC?

    I have very little experience with headphone amps on the GL2SE and MJ2. Most of my use is just plugging them into a PonoPlayer. Built a special balanced cable and the combo sounds fabulous. The amps I have heard briefly with the MJ2 were at a Head-Fi mini meet. Heard the JDS Labs Element. It sounded nice. Heard a few different Schiit Audio models. They all sounded nice except there was 1 tube model called the Lyr. It sound excellent on the guy's Sennheisser HD800 but really dull and bassy on the MJ2. Might have been a problem with high out impedance. The MJ2 are very efficient but also a little complicated to drive. This is expected with 2 very different drivers, a transformer, and crossover in each ear cup. Guessing the tube Schiit has a high output impedance and it wasn't the best choice for driving the complex 32 ohm load. Dad's much less expensive Schiit Magni sounds far better. The PonoPlayer has 3.3 ohm (single ended) and double in balanced mode and it sounds amazing with the M&J. None of these amps are portables.

    If you don't need on board battery or DAC, have you considered building a headphone amp? I wouldn't mention this to most people, but you have the technical ability. There are threads here at Head-Fi and http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/index.php has pages of amps to build. The JLH HOOD 1969 is recommended a lot. The price is unbeatable. If you don't count your time. Your "over kill" statement hit home. I built two Pass Son of Zen monoblock class A amps from scratch. They weigh 220lbs each and are 3ft tall.

    What types of music do you listen to?
     
  10. RockStar2005
    Tor,

    Well whatever works for you. I trust "What Hi-Fi?", so I'm gonna side with their opinion as I've always found them to be reliable when comparing their reviews for products I end up buying. Anyway, hope you end up with something that makes you happy!
     
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  11. RockStar2005
    I think EVERYONE benefits from a solid amp/DAC barondla. So I think Tor should definitely keep looking! Or just get the Red! lol

    The MJ2 only has a 32-ohm impedance rating, which is very low. ANY of the amp/DACs suggested so far will be MORE than ample to drive them.
     
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  12. Tor M
    Decicion made, I'm buying the MJ2's and wishing for a DFR for Christmas:santa:.
    Your Son of Zen monoblocks are certainly heavy Hifi:thumbsup:! In that world, looking inside a Lyngdorf amp without any transformers at all is kind of weird...
    Thank you for advice about DIY amp. I know myself well enough to know that a DIY amp will probably come. Not much spare time lately, but suddenly it's holiday, one start reading up on old electronc skills, suggestions like JLH HOOD 1969 appear, no harm in going through old part bins that are stored in the basement and... It has happend before:upside_down:. DIY-audio is great fun and with a good amp I can use my old dac, I'm curious how it sounds through the M&J's.

    My source will probably be laptop and android phone. I converted all my cd's to flack back in the days and I reckon Tidal is the way to go for the future.

    I listen to all types of music from classical music, jazz to Rammstein depending on mood. All time favourite are probably Pink Floyd even though Johnny Cash, Norah Jones and similar get more playtime when I have the house to my self and time to relax.

    My daughter play the trumpet and are currently playing in 3 bands and attending a music program at High school.
    I'm chairman of the school band where both my daughters attend, so live brass- and wind band music is probably what I listen to the most (more or less voluntary):thinking:.
    I agree that "What Hi-Fi?" tends to be very consistent and to the point in their reviews. Haven't been paying attentions to hifi news latley, but always used to trust them.

    Regards
     
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  13. RockStar2005
    Tor,

    That is awesome! I hope they meet all your expectations! I myself haven't tried the MJ2s, but I hope to one day (I'm in the U.S. btw).

    Well instead of wishing, maybe you should just BUY the DFR?! :L3000: lol

    Yeah......... I've only been into the Hi-Fi world for about 3 years now, but they gave 5 stars and/or special awards to all the devices I've loved..............well many of them anyway (the rest just weren't reviewed by them)...................the AKG K550 (which keeps winning awards year after year), the Oppo HA-2, the DFB, and the DFR, as well as the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-Ears, which I haven't tried, but might be checking out soon? So I have good reason to trust them. I only wish they did a REAL full review of the MJ2s instead of just an overview.

    Well let us know how you like the MJ2s! The clarity, how wide the soundstage is, comfort, etc. And then when "Santa" brings you the DFR, you can elaborate on that as well. lol
     
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  14. Tor M
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  15. barondla
    Tor, looked at my MJ2. There are also small gaps I never noticed before. Think I remember seeing pictures of a M&J headphone disassembled. If I remember correctly, there was a gasket between the driver plate and the wood ear cup to help seal it. That is possibly what we are seeing. Other wise an air leak would kill the low frequencies. Since your MJ2 have nice, balanced low end, they must be fine.

    If the headphones still have the original warranty I wouldn't worry. M&J are good about taking care of things.

    Hope you get that DFR for Christmas. What is one of the most impressive sounding albums you've heard on the MJ2 so far.
     
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