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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. barondla
    Can't post the rectangular ear pad link. Just search for it.
  2. fpessolano
  3. barondla
    Can't get the ebay link to post. Here is a different pad and link. https://www.cnet.com/news/the-20-headphone-makeover/

    These look promising. They even attach the same way. https://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/Original-ear-pads-Cushion-for-JBL-J55-J55i-J55a-J56-bt-headphones-The-headset-skin-earmuffs/1756367_32656107893.html
  4. barondla
    Playing with headband padding on the MJ2. Even with the headphones at the smallest setting, there is a 1/4 inch or more gap between the band and the top of my head. This fine in bed, but not while moving around. If the MJ2 sag too much, it causes a suck out in the midrange. Amazing how the sound changes.

    Haven't bought a pad yet. Just trying different DIY to get in the ball park.
  5. zeroduke
    My new GL2 SE arrived. Nice box, very nice headphones design. They are comfortable too. At this stage, I can only give first impressions. For now, the headphones are connected for playing non-stop burning in.

    I started listening with WooAudio WA2, then switched to PrimaLuna Dialogue Premium HP integrated amplifier. CD Player was Accuphase DP65V and Marantz SA11S1 for SACD. GL2 SE performed better with PrimaLuna. Well, GL2SE is 32 ohms… WA2 is OTL.

    I am not comparing GL2SE headphones to any other headphones but real sound. How can it be HiRes? It sounded like there was no electrostatic driver. Bass and low midrange were the better part, but too loud in the bass. The rest compressed not much treble. Harpsichord was non-existent in classical music, lost in the orchestra. Strings sound compressed, no airy sound. A Steinway piano sounds like a Baldwin played inside a giant empty warehouse. Strings texture completely lost.

    In the case of singers: sibilant “s” sounds “sh”. Cymbals… no crystal clear sound from them. They sounded far away and opaque. This was my first impression after an hour of listening. I gave up. Let’s see if there is any change after 12 hours non-stop, I thought.

    Next day… it improved. A lot. But I am not convinced by the way high frequencies are reproduced yet. Perhaps more break-in needed? Quite fortunately a Steinway sounds like a Steinway again. Cymbals are now a little bit clearer, but when a tambourine is playing along drums (cymbals) distinction is not clear enough. In fact, there are no crystal clear high frequencies yet. Everything is veiled. I tested GL2SE plugged directly to CD players output with same results.

    It is interesting the bass. Strong, deep, but not distorted. In my opinion, it ought to be more subtle but it’s good. Will break in soften it? Let’s see.

    Then I tried the headphones with the original Focal Spirit Pro cable (which fits perfectly well) and sound gains midrange clarity and balance. I bought a Canare cable with proper slim plugs. It’ll be useful for the Focal too. Still waiting for them.

    So far, only electronic music seems to fit them without major unfavourable opinion. Jean Michel Jarre sounds pretty good. I still am optimistic about future performance…
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  6. barondla
    Glad you received the GL2SE. They do require lots of break in. There are more parts to break in with 2 drivers, a capacitor, and a transformer in each ear cup. As stated previously, I have never heard break in make a bigger difference.

    When broken in they will still sound different than the normal electrostat. They will be warmer, and not quite as forward sounding. The highs will not be bright, but do sound delicate and airy to me. For closed back headphones, these sound big. Remind me of a good flea watt, single ended tube amp.

    Here is a free break in program. It includes tones up to 30K! found this too late to use on my GL2SE. Wouldn't use this for the complete burn in. Prefer music for the majority of break in. https://www.jlabaudio.com/blogs/news/17725953-warm-up-your-new-headphones-with-audio-burn-in
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  7. zeroduke
    Thank you, barondia.

    As you say they are warm and highs are not bright. That's good for some recordings, because they are forgiving headphones. Sometimes headphones like these are a must.

    You have never heard break-in make a bigger difference, neither have I. But in this case I can tell you the difference after 30 hours non-stop (with music) is astonishing. Before that, I was thinking to send them to the litter bin. That's the difference. Obviously they needed the break-in. Now they have a good performance... and improving.

    I will continue with the break-in for a couple of days and let you know the results.
  8. barondla
    30 hours is a start. They need more, much more. You might consider letting them rest a little and then start the break in procedure again. Enjoy.
  9. zeroduke
    Excellent. I'll do as you say. How many hours do you consider as break-in for GL2SE?
  10. barondla
    Hard to say exactly. Probably 150 - 200 hours. You will know they are getting there when the notes decay properly and the floaty soundstage kicks in. The GL2 can be mesmerizing.
  11. Richter Di
    Can only say from my MJ2 that they need 200 hours of break in before they start to sound great.
    barondla likes this.
  12. zeroduke
    That is encouraging. Then there is still hope for substantial improvement.
  13. barondla
    The two headphones break in differently. The MJ2 break in more like other speakers and components. Their basic character shines through right out of the box. There isn't a drastic change to their core sound. Everything just improves. There is never a time the MJ2 sound discombobulated.

    I got the Kickstarter GL2SE 1.5 hours before leaving on a long weekend. Listened to them in the hotel that night on the PonoPlayer and was kinda sick and disappointed. The bass was one weird note and seemed totally unattached to the mid- hi stat driver. I knew going in it would be hard to make the two drivers mesh sonically. I've had full range electrostat speakers for 30 years. The GL2SE had a seam the size of the grand canyon. It all comes together with time. The GL2SE and MJ2 use different dynamic drivers and that must be some of the break in difference.

    You are correct, the GL2SE are a more forgiving signature. I love them on voice and prog rock soundstaging. The MJ2 are more focused, forward, and detailed. More the "electrostat" tonal balance many are used to.
  14. zeroduke
    Yes, that's what happened. I was sick and disappointed when I first listened to them. Never before I'd had that experience with any headphones. But the GL2SE is improving as you said.

    They have 60 hours of "training" now. They sound a lot better, but it's obvious they need more. Let's see when they reach the 200 hours. I do agree: they are getting better in voice and progressive rock now. And electronic music. I also found that organ classical music sounds good too because of the bass the headphones perform. The GL2SE is starting to show something. And it's good.

    Yesterday I bought an AKG K340. They were made in the early '80s. They will be here in 2 or 3 weeks, I think. It will be interesting to listen to them, they are hybrid too. And they were top of the AKG line then, when there was no Harman around. There will be a comparison between the two. It will be interesting to see how this project, the hybrid headset separated by more than thirty years, have evolved.
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  15. barondla
    A friend owned the hybrid AKGs when they came out. As I remember, they sounded good at the time. But, headphones have improved a lot since the '80's. He ended up buying the Grado with phase reversal switches on each ear. Think he liked them better than the AKG. I wasn't majorly into headphones back then. They didn't compete well with my Magnepan, Acoustat, and Dahlquist DQ10.

    I just wish the GL2SE could be used in balanced mode without hefty modification. Oh well, the MJ2 do it without modding. Just had to build a cable.
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
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