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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. plakat

    Something like €320,- as far as I remember...
  2. AppleheadMay
    Over 300€ if remember correctly from asking when I placed my order.
    I didn't buy it because I never heard a difference between balanced and singel ended anyway, not even by comparing 2 identical headphones on a single GS-X MkII using both inputs and switching and mixing around.
    but YMMV.
    If I would want a balanced cable I'd pay the extra 30 or 40% for an aftermarket one I guess. From a decent brand, not the "We make super space age cables because we have a 90% margin on them." kind of cable. The good ones come in a variety of price categories just as well as the bad ones.
  3. Jozurr

    What cable makers do you consider good for aftermarket cables?
  4. Jozurr

    Ouch yeah thats quite steep.
  5. AppleheadMay
    Well, if I answer that it'd also give a hint of those which I found bad. I'm not here to make bad publicity.
    Feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll try to answer it in the next half hour. 
    I'm off work for the holidays but also in some other buy and sell online chat on a secand hand forum. not headphone related.
  6. Wurstteppich
    Yep and I also don't like the fact, that they only offer it with the stupid 3-pin XLR connectors. I guess they still don't offer an alternative to push their U-05 amp/dac. The U-05 is really good, however I would like to check the M1 out on my other amps featuring balanced options as well. 
  7. AppleheadMay
    But 2 x 3 pins is infinitely better than 1 x 4 pins. Don't you read the forums????? [​IMG]
  8. mrtim6
    I have to say I do like the MSE1 in balanced with the GSK MK2. I'm using the Mirus balanced into the GSX so I'm guessing the signal may be improved.

    That said I haven't tried single ended with the fantastic Eddy Current Appleheadmay has, I would think that would be a pretty awsome setup.

    The MSE1 sounded dam good in my Grace M903 single ended too.
  9. AppleheadMay
    Much of it comes down to preferences Tim.
    I had the same GS-X Tim had and while I must say this is a real quality amp that's very capable I found it too clean for my taste bordering on sharp, for my ears that is.
    Indeed, I am a huge fan of the Zana, be it the SE or the S. Never had the original. It bests all the amps I had or have heard of which some even twice the price.
    I got the Black Widow for a couple of weeks now but only listened to it for about an hour yet and only gave it a day of burn in so take my following comments with a bit of salt.
    I find the Black Widow very good but not at the level of the Zana. It has the EC house sound though. Still, I would position my vintage amps, even the little Aiwa between the Black Widow and the Zana. For now that is.
    To me the Zana is a now brainer. It's a real high-end (whatever that is) tube amp at a much more than fair price and it drives any headphone I ever hooked up to it to great satisfaction. And that's a lot of headphones.
    I do read though that difficult phones like the HE6 and K1000 need more grunt. I have experience with the K1000 (owned one hooked up to the speaker outputs of a class A amp) and some planars like LCD-2 and XC abd heard all the other Audeze but only one HiFiMan (540 I believe, if that exists, wasn't a fan). 
    For those difficult to drive cans I'd consider a simple vintage amp regardless of output power and hook it up to the speaker outputs. Careful with the volume knob then, those things have some serious output power.
    The 40W Aiwa for example drives my PM1 bookshelves just as easily as my 4k 165W Marantz PM1. It has problems with my vintage Infinity Kappa 7 floorstanders though but so does the Marantz, these are monsters to drive. My vintage 165W Pioneer SX-1250 drives them without breaking a sweat but you should see the power supply and power caps in that thing. They're exactly the same the 275W SX-198O uses.
    I can't recommend the Zana and decent restored vintage amps enough.
  10. Benny-x
    Man do I ever get right off on vintage receiver pics! The vintage thread is so awesome.

    I'm hoping if things line up over the next year, after having taken a serious kick to the sack this past month, I'll be able to get a nice vintage amp for headphone listening. I really want to test the assertion that basically all headphone amps are under spec'd and a full on receiver should sound top tier. Off the taps, of course :p

    I'm actually waiting to get cables sorted so that I can try my SEM1 with my new Xindak A600 integrated I bought for my HEK. Though the HEK aren't as current hungry as the HE-6, they sure do improve when there's more on tap (zing), and so I wonder if the SEM1 will too?

    Has anyone braved speaker taps and their Precious yet? Like Appleheadmay said, as long as you're careful with the volume knob, there's really no worry.
  11. AppleheadMay
    I'll never let you anywhere near my receivers man. No wonder you got kicked in the sack if you get of on people's receivers. [​IMG]
    No, seriously. I get off on that thread and my receivers too. :wink:
    There's no need to connect most, if any of your phones to the taps of a vintage receiver. Skylab has an SX-1980 that puts out 28W through the phones output. You could try it with your HEK but I'd advise to be careful.
    Those top vintage Pioneers Like Skylabs SX-190 (275W) and my SX-1250 (165W but exactly the same power supply and heavy duty PS caps as the 1980) are built like a tank and in good and fully revised condition can set you back quite a few K$.
    I have a Sansui 9090 (not DB, you don't want the DB version, read the vintage thread) as well. 115W, real Watt.
    If you want a nice vintage amp at an affordable price I sell a dual voltage Aiwa AX-7600, as mint as possible condition for something this age and fully serviced and recapped.
    This one has 40 real Watt on tap so off the taps you can run the most difficult loads of headphones if you want, safer than one of those vintage monsters.
    I put my B&W PM1 2500€ bookshelves on it and compared the Aiwa with my 4k Marantz PM-11 S3 (110W) and the Aiwa has more grunt.
    From the headphone jack, I need to be careful with the volume control with all my cans (SEM1, LA-900, HD650, LCD-XC). 
    SQ wise I'd put the Aiwa between my Zana and EC Black Widow. Everuyone knows how much I love both my EC amps.
    And everyone knows how highly regards the Zana.It beats amps I had that costed me double the price of a full option Zana with the best tubes and amps I heard like the McIntosh new HP amp as well, tried it in August last yead and wasn't impressed, the same feeling I get with most HP amps, expensive or not.
  12. AppleheadMay
    Sorry, Aiwa is 2x45w Sinus measure, 2X65W music measure.
    A beauty in the dark, should make some nice pics sometime.
    I have 2 of these babys by the way.
    Some pics.Check those big caps in a 40W amp. This is their top model of that era by the way.
  13. mrtim6
    Hi Appleheadmay I'm also a big fan of vintage amps - I use a Sony TA-N7 VFET power and the incredible Sony TA-88 pre with my NS-2000s. Unfortunately I can't use either of the Sony's with the SEM1 as I don't want to risk using speaker tapsI have yet to try the SEM1 with my Leben CS300xs with nos tubes. I'll give that a try next time I'm home. I heard the EC Zana is also a match made in heaven for the th900s as well.
  14. AppleheadMay
    Hi Tim, I know you are.
    Why on earth would you hang a SEM1 on the speaker taps? Don't your Sonys have a phones out?
    I can blow up my SEM1 with my little Aiwas phones out if I wanted to.
    I vote for the Zana. No, it isn't a match made in heaven with a TH-900 or SEM1, it's a match made in haven with most phones, very versatile.
    I had the SE and now the S.
    Ask Skylab about the Leben. He had one for many years (maybe still does) and reallly loved it.
  15. TokenGesture
    Still in love with these headphones.
    Superb with classical music, I was wondering if they were too bright for rock (as I found the HD800 to be).  But (brain) burn in seems to be working a treat.  Listening to the new New Gold Dream box set and the precision and clarity of the sound is stunnning.  Not sure I do need another amp now!
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