Pioneer's First Hi-End Headphones: SE-Master 1
Feb 13, 2016 at 2:14 PM Post #511 of 1,962

plakat

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I find it weird he never reviewed the TH900 - didn't he previously have the Denon (Fostex made) D7000 on his wall of fame? Most owners of both headphones have said the TH900 is superior to the D7000 in every way. Shame he only does positive reviews - I guess his sight is becoming a bit like 6 moons which has never reviewed any poor Hifi gear ever. Lacking some objectiveness with that approach.


He once explained his stance in a rather long piece. As I remember it boils down to: everyone has a different taste and listening to something one dislikes after a short while is a waste of time. Plus negativity does not help anyone...
 
Feb 13, 2016 at 5:59 PM Post #512 of 1,962

Oregonian

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I find it weird he never reviewed the TH900 - didn't he previously have the Denon (Fostex made) D7000 on his wall of fame? Most owners of both headphones have said the TH900 is superior to the D7000 in every way. Shame he only does positive reviews - I guess his sight is becoming a bit like 6 moons which has never reviewed any poor Hifi gear ever. Lacking some objectiveness with that approach.


He had all three of the early Denon's on the wall of fame.  I own all three to this day, owned the TH900 and TH600 (since sold) and to my 54 year old ears, the sound was so close that to me there was no big divide if any between the D7000 and TH900.  Plus I prefer wood cups for the looks, yes, even over the Urishi cups.
 
Feb 13, 2016 at 9:07 PM Post #513 of 1,962

Benny-x

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I find it weird he never reviewed the TH900 - didn't he previously have the Denon (Fostex made) D7000 on his wall of fame? Most owners of both headphones have said the TH900 is superior to the D7000 in every way. Shame he only does positive reviews - I guess his sight is becoming a bit like 6 moons which has never reviewed any poor Hifi gear ever. Lacking some objectiveness with that approach.


I don't know his reasoning nor his clarity on that point, so I can't say one way or the other about how I feel of his reviews. I can say that he has a lot of useful information on there and a lot that I have used for my own gains in head-fi understanding.

About having a place that has objective reviews on many products and contains both positive and negative reviews, I actually don't know of one. When I'm looking something up all I can do is read as many reviews, find as many references to things I personally know, and try to find whatever else will help me place it into an understanding that I actually understand. I use his, along with many others, in that combination and that's all.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 1:57 AM Post #514 of 1,962

Benny-x

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Initial thoughts
 
Fit, finish, and wearing:
They're super screwing well made. They're a joy to look at and handle. I'm already happy I bought them, just to handle such a well made piece of gear. The fit is highly adjustable and can really be dialed in. The suspension strap makes them very comfortable and ready for marathon head-time sessions. 
 
Sound:
The bass roll off on the FR graphs isn't accurate. All the armchair warriors out there harping on them because of some graphs they've seen need to get their crap together. Go listen to a set. These have a very well endowed low end and have no trouble reproducing EDM or rock in very satisfying ways. I've also cycled through classical and Japanese TAIKO drums, very pleasing. The bass seems to have an almost tangible presence to it, makes the headphones almost addictive to listen to. 
 
I'm still warming up to the signature. The soundstage isn't cavernous, which unfortunately is what I like, but we'll see how they break in on my portable setup. I've got some hum/hiss in the GO1000 right now and that's certainly negatively affecting the sound, but I can't tell in what ways and to what degrees. Anyway, vocals seem alright, but nothing special so far. Instruments though, whatever combination, sound fantastic. I almost hate to hear people coming in on the vocals. I'm also hearing things in tracks that I haven't before, for whatever that's worth. 
 
That's all I've got so far. Replacing the hissing DAC+amp is the first step, then more listening. I'll be letting these burn in for ~800 hours before I start getting serious about what I think about them. Unfortunately my home gear, and gear I trust not to blow these up, is at home. It'll be a month before I get back to that and another month before I get them adequately burned in. Serious listening and thoughts is several months off now.
 
Cable->headphone Connectors:
I can't say I'm a fan of the MMCX connectors. They seem alright, but not something I'd have wanted for a full size headphone. If the idea was to add the ability for replaceable/aftermarket cables, then why did they use a friction based, micro sized connector? Hirose(MrSpeakers) or mini-XLR(Audeze) should have been what they went with. Or even a larger friction connector like the HD800. If I decide to keep them and I finalize my modular cable system soon, I'll be replacing the jacks with mini-XLR connectors and using mini-XLR cables. 
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 2:45 AM Post #515 of 1,962

up late

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"armchair warriors" lol! i was completely unaware that knowing how to read an fr chart qualified me to be one. you wouldn't be the first person whose subjective opinion conflicts with the objective measurements, but that doesn't necessarily make them inaccurate. and i'd be only too happy to get my crap together if it didn't mean having to buy this can in order to hear it.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 3:11 AM Post #516 of 1,962

Benny-x

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"armchair warriors" lol! i was completely unaware that knowing how to read an fr chart qualified me to be one. you wouldn't be the first person whose subjective opinion conflicts with the objective measurements, but that doesn't necessarily make them inaccurate. and i'd be only too happy to get my crap together if it didn't mean having to buy this can in order to hear it.


I'm happy that you believe you know how to read a graph, but I said the graph wasn't accurate. That's where experience vs. theory comes in, and also where armchair warriors come from. Talk about what you don't actually have experience with based on something that's unfortunately not absolute.

The graph looks like crap, I was very sceptical about the SEM1 after I saw it. But after hearing some bass notes and bass drops I couldn't see how they agreed with each other. I felt compelled to add that to thread because I don't want perspective listeners to pass the opportunity solely based on "I -THINK- it'll be XYZ vs. it -IS- ABC(IMO) because I actually heard it.

And just because I state something against the posted FR chart doesn't make it untrue, nor does it make it negatively subjective. In fact, couldn't you more successfully argue that because I saw the FR charts first my expectation bias should have made them sound bass-neutered? You can't chose to use the bias as you see fit and ignore that MASSIVE alteration to my perspective beforehand.

All of course all of the abovr is in my opinion, and in an opinion based on thinking and then listening, vs. thinking and then knowing.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 3:59 AM Post #517 of 1,962

thomson

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Measurements may be objective but that doesn't automatically make all measurements accurate and as far as I know, measurements have only been done on a small number (or only one?) SEM1 so there is also the odd chance that the measurements are not representative of all the other SEM1s (and since the SEM1s are said to be assembled manually by one person only, he could perhaps have bad days and good days like the rest of us).
 
I see measurements as a guide, but I don't see them as the absolute truth and if my senses do not agree with the measurements, I usually trust my senses. I see measurements a bit like a map. I usually trust the map but when the map does not correspond with the environment, I usually don't insist that the map still is correct and that the environment must be wrong...
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 5:39 AM Post #518 of 1,962

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I'm happy that you believe you know how to read a graph, but I said the graph wasn't accurate. That's where experience vs. theory comes in, and also where armchair warriors come from. Talk about what you don't actually have experience with based on something that's unfortunately not absolute.

The graph looks like crap, I was very sceptical about the SEM1 after I saw it. But after hearing some bass notes and bass drops I couldn't see how they agreed with each other. I felt compelled to add that to thread because I don't want perspective listeners to pass the opportunity solely based on "I -THINK- it'll be XYZ vs. it -IS- ABC(IMO) because I actually heard it.

And just because I state something against the posted FR chart doesn't make it untrue, nor does it make it negatively subjective. In fact, couldn't you more successfully argue that because I saw the FR charts first my expectation bias should have made them sound bass-neutered? You can't chose to use the bias as you see fit and ignore that MASSIVE alteration to my perspective beforehand.

All of course all of the abovr is in my opinion, and in an opinion based on thinking and then listening, vs. thinking and then knowing.


it appears that you also believe that you can read a graph and it's obvious that it doesn't accord with what you hear. as i said, it wouldn't be the first time that's happened at this forum. but when you say that the fr graph is inaccurate, what you're really saying is that your subjective perception trumps it, which is a ridiculous claim to make. i'd prefer that you say something sensible like "i hear this headphone differently to how it is represented in the fr graph". now if you could refrain from misinterpreting what i say and lose the attitude, then i might be interested in conversing with you.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 6:05 AM Post #519 of 1,962

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Measurements may be objective but that doesn't automatically make all measurements accurate and as far as I know, measurements have only been done on a small number (or only one?) SEM1 so there is also the odd chance that the measurements are not representative of all the other SEM1s (and since the SEM1s are said to be assembled manually by one person only, he could perhaps have bad days and good days like the rest of us).

I see measurements as a guide, but I don't see them as the absolute truth and if my senses do not agree with the measurements, I usually trust my senses. I see measurements a bit like a map. I usually trust the map but when the map does not correspond with the environment, I usually don't insist that the map still is correct and that the environment must be wrong...


i think it's safe to say that measurements are objective. :wink: i also regard headphone measurements as indicative and useful. however, i would never judge the merit of a can on measurements alone. my ears are always the final arbiter regardless of what the measurements show. that would also apply to the se-master 1 fwiw. but that's more a matter of personal preference than a conflict between my subjective perception and the objective measurements.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 8:52 AM Post #520 of 1,962

Benny-x

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So since we're going in circles on this and appear to be saying similar things, why don't we discuss the sound of the actual headphone vs. what it "could" sound like based on one FR graph? This also means that though I agree that the tone of my response wasn't happily taking your subjective opinion of a product you haven't heard and it's own non-happy feel in a positive way, I'm not going to continue bickering about it because I can.
 
On discussion:
I had read somewhere in here that there may be some kind of damping layer on the driver that needs to get worked in before it's fully operational? Does anyone recall what that was? And if other users could chime in with their initial feedback vs. their feedback over time it'd be interesting to read now that I can provide another data point. 
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 9:10 AM Post #521 of 1,962

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i don't think that we are saying similar things at all actually, but i am happy to agree to disagree and ignore your abrasive posts in future.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 3:19 PM Post #522 of 1,962

Benny-x

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i don't think that we are saying similar things at all actually, but i am happy to agree to disagree and ignore your abrasive posts in future.


Let's move this along to discussing the actual user experiences of the headphone now, please.

I'm thinking of trying out a pair of Audeze LCD-3 pads on them. Has anyone else experimented with different earpads yet? No real reason to, just wondering.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 5:44 PM Post #523 of 1,962

npdang

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In my experience, a lot of the time the problem isn't with the accuracy or objectivity of the measurements.  It's with correlating those measurements to what you hear, or perhaps expect to hear, and I believe there is some subjective element to that.  Personally, I don't see a lack of low end extension or "bass rolloff" with the SEM1 so much as I see a midbass hump centered at 100hz, and I believe based on what others have reported thus far, that this is perceived as a boost in the midbass/lower midrange rather than a lack of low end bass.  If you use a wide q filter to remove the midbass hump, the bass is actually quite flat to nearly 20-30hz.
 
Feb 23, 2016 at 10:22 PM Post #524 of 1,962

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we've witnessed an example of the kind of discrepancy to which you refer in this thread. with regard to the fr measurements, the innerfidelity chart shows a mid-bass boost or "hump" at 100hz and the roll-off beginning at 60 hz with it shelving at 40 hz and falling away from 30 hz. that "hump" would add some bass punch or "slam" presumably.

i'd like to reiterate that my comment about the se-master 1's bass roll-off was in response to a claim made earlier in the thread that it went deeper than the th900. i was sceptical of that and the fr measurements for both cans suggest that it was warranted. if that makes me an "armchair warrior" then i'll wear it like a badge of honour. :wink:
 
Feb 24, 2016 at 10:50 AM Post #525 of 1,962

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I'm interested in these headphones, but not the price -- which seems way too high for a dynamic. Also consider the HD800 can be had used for well under $1,000 (not that I'm particularity interested in those either). But does the Master-1 really out-perform the TH900 in terms of bass performance? Does it really out-perform the TH900's 1.5 Telsa backed cellulose drivers? I frankly have a hard time believing that.
 

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