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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. flameas
    Have some mixed opinions about the MJ2 which i got from massdrop for 99 bucks. I have done ~40 hours of burn-in and midrange sounds still muddy at times. Also with some tracks / bands (Nightwish and Amy Winehouse for example) the vocals are not clear/forward enough. They also struggle with the complexity of Nightwish "Ghost Love Score" and it sounds really muddy. On the other hand some bands sound really good - Rammstein for example - a lot of detail and suprising amount of soundstage. I have been using different sources, but mostly Fiio X3 gen 3 and Fiio E09K with Schiit Modi 2. Maybe things will change after more burn-in. Still, for 100 bucks they are fine atm, but for retail price i would be dissapointed.
    Two more things to mention - the box looked cheap. Putting a attractive female on the box to sell headphones is cheap, mid 90s thing. Looks really stupid tbh. Another annoying thing - the stock pads. For a retail 500 euro headphone you would expect more. Putting brainwayz angled sheepskins on improved the headphones A LOT. Headband could use more padding too.
    Philimon likes this.
  2. RockStar2005

    They do custom ear pads, and a great job at that. I would recommend sheepskin leather, which is not listed, but I've confirmed it available as an option.

    See this page from earlier in this thread for more info. Read it all, esp to get exact measurements to give them to make yours.


    Hope it helps!
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
  3. eugene2
    if you have mold inside the box that may mean moisture has affected the headphones thus some of the problems people are blogging. I ordered both Massdrop phones since they were so inexpensive. Took the MJ2 and just got the JP1 to my recording engineers house. He had his buddy a famous drummer there. Both my boxes were clean and sealed in plastic. The MJ2 have about 100 hours burn in. They listened to both along with some Elears and Sennheisers he had (sorry forgot which model) through my Hugo2. We all concurred in no way do the MJ2 sound congested, in fact they both want to order a set. The JP1 have more of a fun factor out of the box. Need more break in to get an understanding.
    I guess moral of story is we all hear differently so listen for yourself especially at the current price they have no peers. If you have moisture inside your box I would exchange due to the nature of the driver.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    barondla likes this.
  4. Sujay Rao
    [QUOTE="Still, for 100 bucks they are fine atm, but for retail price i would be dissapointed.
    Don’t know about that. An audiophile product should assure a minimum standard. I can understand if a $2000 headphone sounds vastly superior. A $99 may not match that, but, as an highly specialised product, should never be noticeably bad. If it’s so wanting, it shouldn’t be offered to audiophiles at any price!
    That said, I got my MJ2 from the first drop out of the box (decent one, no tits and arse) sounded held-back but very listenable. Burned in 150 hours much to the annoyance of all at home. Huge improvement.
    Endorse your observation on song to song variations. This doesn’t happen so much with Mexze 99, DT880, Fostex and HiFiMan planars.
    Maybe it’s the “bi-wired” design where both sides are wired side-independent for stereo? I wonder if the different two channel mastering of tracks reacts oddly with this arrangement.
  5. barondla
    Many people tend to label the MJ2 as having a slightly mid centric forward sound. Your set probably needs more burn in to reach their full potential. It takes time.

    Agree on most of your construction comments. These were obviously built to a certain price point. $500 sounds expensive, but probably doesn't allow M&J to do all the things you mention. Expensive Sennheiser, Focal, and AKG still only a single dynamic driver in each earcup. Contrast that with M&J that has twice as many drivers, a crossover, and a transformer, in each earcup. M&J wisely spent most of the money on the sound quality. Earpads, headband pads and other things can be upgraded by the user. The Euro brands should be glad M&J didn't bring out a more upstream version.
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  6. jwbrent
    Fortunately, the MJ2 is in a zippered plastic case, so I believe that safeguards the headphones from any moisture damage.

    My final analysis of the MJ2 is that for the money, especially if you do get a moldy box which means there’s a $20 credit, these are a steal. I doubt there is anything out there for $99/$79 that can touch the good build quality and overall sound. And nothing else looks like it.

    With that said, to my ears there is a discontinuity between the midrange and trebles that creates a sense of artificiality to the sound. I’m looking for liquidity in this frequency range, and even after 150 hours, it’s just not there for me. I’m highly critical of this area.

    The bass/sub-bass performance compared to my other closed back headphones is a bit wanting, but I image most people will be quite happy.

    I’ve enjoyed my time with the MJ2, but Xmas is here and I have a friend who would love these headphones, so they’ll be a gift for him.

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all, and we’ll catch up with each other on another thread ...
    trellus and Philimon like this.
  7. jwbrent
    Oh, the gear I’ve been using for my final listening sessions is an AK240SS into an RHA DacAmp using CD/hi res flies.
  8. eugene2
    I agree, and you have some very fine ears ( and I’m not being cynical)! I’ve listened to them more between the Elears (which I eq through a Schiit Loki) and some Audeze LCD 3’s and eq’d Isine 20’s.
    That type of liquidity will not be found in a 100.00 headphone or for that matter a 500.00 headphone. You need my Hifiman he1000 II or ZMF Aeolus or the Audeze headphones. These play well below that group. I still think the MJ2’s are pretty good for the money. They remind me of lower end Martin Logans, slight discontinuity between the dynamic bass driver and the electrostatic element. Again I do believe they are relatively clean players though.
    trellus and jwbrent like this.
  9. barondla
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  10. Sujay Rao
    Don’t you think customers and audiophiles in general should push for a lot more detail being provided for each product. Massdrop has become an established audiophile source. That comes with high expectations from customers who, by definition, are driven by such detail. Don’t accept products with shoddy spec-sheets.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2018
    Philimon and RockStar2005 like this.
  11. willsw
    Do you mean that the wiring pinouts should be provided? I like to see detailed spec sheets and get info on how things are wired, but I've also spent a lot of time learning what I can and, more importantly, cannot assume from certain specs. From my experience from many angles within the hobby, many consumers have enough knowledge to make a judgement based on a certain spec, but a much smaller number have the experience to understand that specs and measurements are only ever a part of the whole. Whether the total product sounds good to you is rarely evident except through listening. Making more information easily available can be risky, as it opens the product up to more negative assumptions that may not be true.

    That's my objective view. Personally, I do like to see as much detail as possible, and products that purposefully obscure details are not attractive to me. On the other hand, there are so many things that could or could not be shared. Do we really want to realize that M&J has essentially been a British marketing story stuck onto some (very slightly) superficially altered Chinese headphones this entire time, or do we like and thus enjoy our headphones more with the story on top and the big "discount" Massdrop is now offering? We're all listening in some part to our expectations, so it can be good to have those steered by the company, even if we think we want otherwise.
    Philimon likes this.
  12. willsw
    double post
  13. Sujay Rao
    Well said. I understand completely. When one eats at a gourmet restaurant one does so to experience the chef’s creativity and skill, and let the flavours do their magic. One doesn’t say, hold the mustard! I too would put more stock by the sonic experience and less by technical nitty gritty. However well specified, I would not keep or go back to a device whose musical rendition I did not enjoy.
    What I meant however are two things:
    - individualistic devices with quirky features like unusual wiring that affects people who may wish to modify them need to offer more detail.
    - some devices, such as a recently offered DAP in a hip-flask shaped wooden casing had so little information as to be laughable.
    - I believe that there is a class of audiophile who take a broad and less technically obsessive (for want of a better word) view of their hobby, who would be very pleased to have a slightly flawed device that delivers music in a way that pleases them. I would call them the Music Centrics.
    There is quite another class, the Machine Centrics, that is utterly passionate about technicalities and who would agonise and suffer over the smallest matters of specification. I’m not for a moment saying that they don’t care about the music. I’m saying that their priorities are skewed towards the machine. Such enthusiasts form a significant proportion of the community. If one is going to seek a reputation as a credible audiophile platform one has to service their needs too.
  14. Stenso
    A good point - I am proudly music-centric!
    RockStar2005 likes this.
  15. Snodge

    I also got the MJ2 cans from Massdrop, and I've been listening with them for the last week or so - PC - USB to Schiit Yggdrasil, balanced out to Schiit Mjolnir 2. After 30 mins of listening there was a noticeable improvement in the sound, and after 4 hours, the listening got to the point that it was pleasant to listen to. After that, the burn in wasn't as noticeable for me, but is still continuing to improve. I guess I have just over 20 hours in total on them at the moment.

    I think that if I had paid full retail price, I would have been disappointed. My Grado 325e is brighter, the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro are comparable with the Massdrop price, are probably more comfortable, but not as resolving. I've also got a Grado GH2, which I feel are a bit better all round, however I've got a problem with one of the drivers, so I can't really compare them at the moment - plus comparing open and closed cans is quite subjective due to their nature.

    While I feel the full price for them isn't worth it, they're not far off with the price/performance, and the Massdrop price just made it a no-brainer for me.
    HungryPanda and trellus like this.
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