Pioneer's First Hi-End Headphones: SE-Master 1
Mar 14, 2021 at 3:07 PM Post #1,907 of 1,923

Slim1970

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I just purchased a set of these and should have them soon. I've been wanting to try them out since they were released. Now I'm getting my chance. I'll post some thought on them when I get them.
 
Mar 14, 2021 at 7:08 PM Post #1,908 of 1,923

Oregonian

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This thread is quiet, been like this for a very long time. So you guys still use the Master 1 or you have moved to something else?

Still have mine since 2016 and it's used in the rotation regularly but lately has been my one and only used at work for music and Teams calls. Still love these headphones....
 
Mar 15, 2021 at 4:39 AM Post #1,909 of 1,923

plakat

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I still like my pair, have them put on offer nevertheless: they are not getting as much headtime as they would deserve since I‘ve moved more to closed headphones (yes, work at home etc.). So if anybody is interested just PM me
 
Mar 17, 2021 at 12:56 PM Post #1,910 of 1,923

Slim1970

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Got em'! These headphones sound fantastic. They are very balanced from top to bottom. The SE-Master1's are open sounding, detailed, and clear. They have punchy bass with good extension and a nicely placed midrange. Listening to music on the SE-Master1's is very enjoyable. They remind me of my Z1R's in the way they present music. They are not as in your face as my Abyss AB-1266 TC's. Instead the SE-Master1's are sort of laid back with a bit of musical warmth. The SE-Master1's don't lack detail or clarity. They just seem to get the music just right. The best part about the SE-Master1's is don't tend to favor one particular genre of music. They perform equally well with all music genres very similar to my Z1R's.

IMG_0872.jpg
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 9:16 PM Post #1,913 of 1,923

mrtim6

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Slim1970 I also head the Sony Z1R IMO the Pioneer SEM1 outperformed the Z1R in just about everything. I can’t think of a music genre that the Z1Rs were better at. The Z1R was a bit more forgiving with poorly recorded music.
 
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Mar 18, 2021 at 10:01 PM Post #1,914 of 1,923

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Slim1970 I also head the Sony Z1R IMO the Pioneer SEM1 outperformed the Z1R in just about everything. I can’t think of a music genre that the Z1Rs were better at. The Z1R was a bit more forgiving with poorly recorded music.
I'd agree - had the Z1R for a couple of months and definitely preferred the SE Master 1.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 10:10 PM Post #1,915 of 1,923

mrtim6

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For the record my SEM1 was purchased from price japan (they no longer exist) in 2016. So the headband lasted around 5 years. Once I have given them more time, when the cable arrives ill update my impressions with the new drivers.
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 3:12 AM Post #1,916 of 1,923

Slim1970

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Slim1970 I also head the Sony Z1R IMO the Pioneer SEM1 outperformed the Z1R in just about everything. I can’t think of a music genre that the Z1Rs were better at. The Z1R was a bit more forgiving with poorly recorded music.
I was speaking more about the overall tonality of the SE-Master1’s than about their performance. Tonality wise they do remind me a lot of the Z1R’s sound. With their smooth delivery, liquid midrange, and tight punchy bass. All of which is on par or is better than the Z1R’s. Since they are in two different categories, I can’t really come them directly. I can agree that they do some things better than the Z1R’s. For a closed headphone the Z1R’s are outstanding and are one of my favorites in that category.

Coming back to the SE-Master1’s, I find the sound stage isn’t the widest when compared to something like HEKse’s. The SE-Master1’s do have a lot of depth to their sound and imaging is superb. I also like the snappy transients the SE-Master1’s have. They are a TOTL headphone no doubt and I’m glad I was able to snag a pair to add to my evolving collection.
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 3:42 AM Post #1,917 of 1,923

Benny-x

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For the record my SEM1 was purchased from price japan (they no longer exist) in 2016. So the headband lasted around 5 years. Once I have given them more time, when the cable arrives ill update my impressions with the new drivers.
Thanks for keeping us in the loop. I'm looking forward to your feedback. Hopefully there aren't any differences...
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 3:45 AM Post #1,918 of 1,923

Benny-x

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They are a TOTL headphone no doubt and I’m glad I was able to snag a pair to add to my evolving collection.
I had a look at that evolving collection in your sig, and damn, you've got quite the lineup there.

The other funny thing I noticed was like every full-size you have also has an aftermarket cable. That would drive me crazy that doing that to the SEM1 is such a pain in the ass with those SMC connectors ☹️ I'm still annoyed Pioneer went that way.
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 5:31 AM Post #1,919 of 1,923

mrtim6

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I was speaking more about the overall tonality of the SE-Master1’s than about their performance. Tonality wise they do remind me a lot of the Z1R’s sound. With their smooth delivery, liquid midrange, and tight punchy bass. All of which is on par or is better than the Z1R’s. Since they are in two different categories, I can’t really come them directly. I can agree that they do some things better than the Z1R’s. For a closed headphone the Z1R’s are outstanding and are one of my favorites in that category.

Coming back to the SE-Master1’s, I find the sound stage isn’t the widest when compared to something like HEKse’s. The SE-Master1’s do have a lot of depth to their sound and imaging is superb. I also like the snappy transients the SE-Master1’s have. They are a TOTL headphone no doubt and I’m glad I was able to snag a pair to add to my evolving collection.
Slim1970 you make a good point here in that the Z1R is closed and the SEM1 is open. I always felt the Sony Z1R was a little bit darker and not as resolving as the SEM1. The Z1R build quality was great, for me personally I was a little bit disappointed with the sound, obviously YMMV, as everyones sound system and ears and likes are different. Anyway welcome to the SEM1 club we are all happy to hear your impressions over time. You obviously have some excellent gear and plentry of experience.
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 10:48 AM Post #1,920 of 1,923

Slim1970

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I had a look at that evolving collection in your sig, and damn, you've got quite the lineup there.

The other funny thing I noticed was like every full-size you have also has an aftermarket cable. That would drive me crazy that doing that to the SEM1 is such a pain in the ass with those SMC connectors ☹️ I'm still annoyed Pioneer went that way.
Yeah, some stock cables are really bad and really hamper the sound. The stock cable on the SE-Master1 isn’t that bad, but I‘m wondering if anyone is using an aftermarket cable. I normally pair my headphones with silver cables because I like details and clarity. Based on what I’m hearing, I’m think that a good cooper cable might be a better choice. Interested in knowing what cable everyone is using.
 

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