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Pioneer's First Hi-End Headphones: SE-Master 1

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by edric li, Apr 28, 2015.
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  1. Wurstteppich
     
    I would need to follow a lot of threads and would be quite busy reading up on them, if I would follow all the ones with headphones I heard in the past, even the ones with the low post count :) However as an acoustical engineer I guess it's part of the job then.
     
    Quote:
     
    Maybe the sound signature of the Pioneer simply wasn't to your liking and didn't match the expectations you have towards a headphone. As someone who is into stats, I can understand that the unique sound signature might not have been to your liking. And it doesn't have to be. However sarcasm on the popularity on the headphone and negative comments on the pricing doesn't have to be in that case as well :wink:
     
     
    I wouldn't call it an agenda, but the sarcasm about this headphone in the post I mentioned is a typical indication of the behaviour I mentioned before. The behaviour which people tend to fall for when people start comparing their toys and different opinions collide. 
     
     
    I don't come from the same "audiophile" history, but I have a social history, knowing the dynamics in discussions and the behaviour of people discussing :wink:
     
     
    I personally don't dislike the sound of the stats, actually I like it very much. I can even admit that from the sound quality they are better than dynamics and therefore also better as the Pioneer, however it's not what I consider an interesting headphone. I am more into headphones which are edgy somehow, but reproduce sound on a high level at the same time. Headphones which bring their own character caused by their little "problems". 
     
     
    I am always open to second opinions or second encounters with headphones I heard before. However I agree with you that this is not the place to discuss Stax amps. I just mentioned it to show you that a rating on the high price of the Pioneer, coming from someone who really spends a lot of money for the last few percent always looks a little bit strange given your history in this thread.
     
     
    For sure it is, therefore it is and it will never be everyone's darling, but that's exactly what makes this headphone so unique and in the end also worth the money. 
     
  2. arnaud Contributor
    Cheers to that. We're pretty much coming at this with the same attitude, just happened to be sitting at opposite ends of the table. In the end, I asbolutely agree with you it'd be a very boring field if there was only one sound to all.

    Please accept my apologies for the inappropriate tongue in cheek comment...

    Arnaud
     
  3. phonomat
    Except that it might just as well be the other way around. [​IMG] We just don't know that yet because so far there is too little reliable data to tell. I seem to remember two very distinct critics of it in this thread and quite a few fans, but that might not be representative. Also, I have to say that when I listened to the M1 for the first time at a European meet, the guy whose turn it was before me took it from his head after a blink and said: "Nope, not for me". It was literally a matter of seconds, much like when I listened to the HD 800 and instantly knew I would never come to terms with what it had to offer. Whereas when it was my turn listening to the Pioneer, I was like: "I won't let go of this thing, you'll have to pry it from my dead, cold head." *shrug* Just goes to show, for the umpteenth time, how much taste differs and that what we are attempting to do here is oh so very futile. Go out and listen to it yourself because you will not learn anything about how any headphone or piece of gear sounds even if you read the whole internet cover to cover; all you can do in places like this is whet your appetite, but you'll have to do the eating yourself. It's the best part though, if that's any consolation, so dig in!
     
    arnaud likes this.
  4. Wurstteppich
     
    Apology accepted.
     
    I don't think we sit at the opposite ends of the table, I would just call it different places. When I first heard a Stax SR009 it was connected to the first version of the Luminare (not the new 2016 edition) and at the time I was very much disappointed, since that old version of the Luminare simply hadn't enough power to get something out of it (for dynamics and planars it was perfect), however lately I heard the new version (2016), which was a whole different story, not boring and without life like on other amps I've heard it before at all. I could absolutely understand why people pay so much money for it and the matching tube amps (same story with the Malvalve). I even can imagine the the BHSE adds its part on top of that experience. So don't get me wrong, I am not a Stax hater. I can appreciate their advantages over dynamics or planars, while I still prefer other systems.
     
    Coming back to the Pioneer. I have to agree with phonomat here that even with the long phase of burn-in it needs, it's still a matter of taste if you like it or not and many people I've met who listened to that headphone could judge on that within the first minutes they heard it. Nevertheless it has qualities (like the resolution) which can't be denied, however it's a matter of taste if you like the sound signature or not. It also has some weaknesses of course, like it lacks a little bit in the upper regions (unlike other dynamics or the stats of course). However this weakness may also be one of the reasons for the unique sound signature.
     
    So those kind of "faults" can be a plus for some people and for others it will be one and only to turn away from that headphone. It's the same story with the Beyerdynamic T1. The so-called "Beyer-peak" is one reason for people to not like the T1, but in my opinion it adds a unique character to that headphone. That is why I was disappointed in the new v2 edition released lately. You can clearly hear that they tried to adjust it more to what is considered the optimum (add more bass and reduce the peak in the upper region), but that somehow destroyed the character, which made it so enjoyable before.
     
    So you could ask now, why the old T1 (or the new one) has such a low price compared to the Pioneer and if the Pioneer still is worth its money, since both headphones are what I call unique in their way. Yes it is, because from what I hear the Pioneer has a higher resolution, more dynamics and a better build quality (and therefore also comfort) at the same time. However as I mentioned before I am not a big fan of doing price comparisons if some headphone delivers a great experience to at least some people. In my opinion a lot of systems in the high-end headphone market are priced to high (even if I have to admit that some prices are also caused by the fact that those systems have to be shipped, payed tax for and so on), however if it makes people happy and deliver what they are looking for, it's perfectly ok with me.
     
    arnaud and Ali-Pacha like this.
  5. plakat
    I still keep coming back to the Master-1 again and again, despite it not being perfect (but what is?).
     
    Maybe @arnaud feels about it a bit like I do about the Technics EAH-T700: I had high hopes and was quite disappointed with its tuning. Just skimmed through the Technics thread and bit my tongue... one report there reads like the person listened to a completely different headphone from how I heard the Technics, but still commenting on that won't say anything worth writing down. And I got tired of the very repetitive nature of forums anyway... so I don't want to add to that by repeating myself. Still I feel disappointment, would have been nice to see a headphone I like to listen to published under the Technics brand. Oh well.
     
    arnaud likes this.
  6. up late
    this remains an intriguing can for me. would love to try it some day.
     
  7. RogerWilco
    I have been reading through the entire thread ,i appreciate all the time and energy put into discussion here  . Have been on the fence undecided  ,but still considering purchasing .
     
  8. phonomat
     
    I have to concur re: the EAH-T700. Heard it at the Munich High End show earlier this month without knowing its MSRP (frankly, I hadn't even known that it existed), and the sound was, to put it politely, "mid-fi"; sort of unrefined and closed-in with boomy bass. As one does, I stuck a price tag on it in my mind, putting it quite firmly in the €500,- to €700,- bracket, even though it looked and felt quite nicely. My jaw must have dropped when I asked the girl at the booth and she looked it up and unblinkingly said "1999 Euros". [​IMG] When I checked online and saw that she'd made a mistake and it was actually €1199,-, my faith in humanity was partially restored, but nonetheless ...
     
    I'm not saying that sound necessarily relates to price, but what I heard was really nothing to write home about, and I'm quite sure that most everyone could find a headphone they'll like more for a lot less money.
     
    But who knows, there might be someone out there who falls in love with it, although it seems to me like headphones are not Technics's strong suit. I have a lowly model I sometimes use for bedroom DJ'ing -- it's a bass cannon, but veiled like Sheherazade, and I keep it mainly for its looks.
     
    RP-DH1250-famasom5.jpg
     
    (Which reminds me: the new 1200 turntables on the other hand ... yummy! [​IMG] )
     
    But like our friend Tyll, I prefer to talk about cans I really like, so are there any more impressions of the SE-Master1? Anyone? This thread is on fire right now (well, relatively speaking), it would be nice if we could keep it burning just a little longer.
     
  9. Duncan Moderator
    I'm looking to get back into full sized headphones, and it is a toss up between these or the HD800S...

    Decisions decisions... :)
     
  10. AppleheadMay

    If you want my opinion and the difference in price doesn'r matter: M1 all the way!
     
  11. phonomat
    Oh, DEFINITELY! I tried the 800S, and for me at least, they were still much too close to the original 800; the SE-Master1, in my opinion, rivals both in terms of soundstage, imaging and resolution, but brings a lot more to the table (like bass, for example). It sounds airy and well-grounded at the same time, kind of hard to explain, really. A very immersive and "speaker-like" sound, if that makes any sense at all.

    I'm loving them more by the hour, and it would be great to hear what you think about them (*if* you can get a hold of a pair, that is. :laughing:)
     
    AppleheadMay likes this.
  12. Duncan Moderator
    Oh yes, I know where there is a pair :) - arranged a demo for Friday :)
     
  13. ChatAlors
    Still rockin' mine after a first complete year.
     
    AppleheadMay likes this.
  14. cradon
    Heard these a while back and thought they did some things really well. However, I was turned off by the bass bleeding into the mids on Patricia Barber's "The Wind Song", from her album Smash.
     
  15. TokenGesture
    Would you guys say the M1 is a cross between the HD800 (soundstage/air) and LCDX (bass/impact) at all?
     
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