Planars: Ok, I finally get it.
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dmdm

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I have been a dedicated dynamic driver guy since I started this hobby nearly 8 years ago, and never considered planars. I listened to an expensive set one time a few years back (Mr. Speakers I think?) but wasn't really impressed -- too smooth, too big, too heavy. I was on a quest for as much detail and realism as possible. But once I achieved the near pinnacle of detail & tonal balance last year (in the form of the Focal Clear), something in me changed and I started to wonder whether I might be ready to give the cozy clarity of planars another try -- a real try this time -- just for a change of scenery. So I took a (small) gamble and got a set of Monoprice M1060C a few weeks ago and to put it simply: my whole headphone perspective has been turned on end. I just love this sound and can't stop listening to these things! I don't know whether it's the planar sound in general that I'm digging so much, or the M1060C in particular. But knowing these are far from high end, I can't help but wonder about what delights await a tier or two up. (The reviews of the Audeze LCD-2C (Classic) really got my attention, for example.)

Anyway, I highly recommend anyone who's been curious about planars to consider giving the M1060C a try. (I mean they're just $250 for Tyll's sake!)
I hear ya. I was dynamic all the way, but then I bought the audeze LCD x, xc , and now just last week the LCD 4. I absolutely love planars.
 
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We are in the early phases of two promising technologies to add to the familiar three - AMT and ribbon. I'm sure both will produce cans that have great mids and highs in the near future.

Bass would be somewhat in question for those two. The e-stat version has problems with moving air in the bass. They have speed and tone down. So it looks like Planar and dynamic are the best choices for bass.

The ideal can for me would by planar bass, e-stat mids, and ribbon highs - in about 10 years when it might be possible.
 
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I have been a dedicated dynamic driver guy since I started this hobby nearly 8 years ago, and never considered planars. I listened to an expensive set one time a few years back (Mr. Speakers I think?) but wasn't really impressed -- too smooth, too big, too heavy. I was on a quest for as much detail and realism as possible. But once I achieved the near pinnacle of detail & tonal balance last year (in the form of the Focal Clear), something in me changed and I started to wonder whether I might be ready to give the cozy clarity of planars another try -- a real try this time -- just for a change of scenery. So I took a (small) gamble and got a set of Monoprice M1060C a few weeks ago and to put it simply: my whole headphone perspective has been turned on end. I just love this sound and can't stop listening to these things! I don't know whether it's the planar sound in general that I'm digging so much, or the M1060C in particular. But knowing these are far from high end, I can't help but wonder about what delights await a tier or two up. (The reviews of the Audeze LCD-2C (Classic) really got my attention, for example.)

Anyway, I highly recommend anyone who's been curious about planars to consider giving the M1060C a try. (I mean they're just $250 for Tyll's sake!)
Do keep in mind that the M1060C is among the bassiest or possibly even the bassiest closed back planar headphone available and there are not many options available in the same category (of bassy closed planars). The ones I know of are Audeze Mobius, Aeon Flow Closed ReTuned version, LCD-XC, LCD2C Closed Back. I have the last one and it's not nearly as bassy as the M1060C.

There are also different mods to further improve the M1060C sound described in its own thread (posted my own mod there along with a comparison graph).

EDIT: Having now put a balanced cable on my LCD2CCB, they are closer to the M1060C on bass.
 
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We are in the early phases of two promising technologies to add to the familiar three - AMT and ribbon. I'm sure both will produce cans that have great mids and highs in the near future.

Bass would be somewhat in question for those two. The e-stat version has problems with moving air in the bass. They have speed and tone down. So it looks like Planar and dynamic are the best choices for bass.

The ideal can for me would by planar bass, e-stat mids, and ribbon highs - in about 10 years when it might be possible.
Here's a visualization of how AMT physically work. The way it moves air is different than a large driver with it's surface area. I can see it being fast, but not sure if it's possible to get it to perform well for low frequencies. When I looked at the HEDDphone measurements, it does tilt downward as the frequencies gets low. Looks kinda similar to electrostat response, but only way to really know is to see if we can feel large quantity of air moved for the lows.

 
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Here's a visualization of how AMT physically work. The way it moves air is different than a large driver with it's surface area. I can see it being fast, but not sure if it's possible to get it to perform well for low frequencies. When I looked at the HEDDphone measurements, it does tilt downward as the frequencies gets low. Looks kinda similar to electrostat response, but only way to really know is to see if we can feel large quantity of air moved for the lows.

Interesting, thanks for sharing this information
 
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Looking at the way it moves. I have doubts about 'bass impact.'
In speakers you don't see them (AMT) doing bass work. ribbons likewise are pretty much mid and highs too, with the Apogee exception (needed a lot of space).

Planars which I like do tend to have the most problem with ringing. The HE-6 and HE-500 we both know have it. It just goes to show that the first impulse in a note if its reproduced well is what the ear really locks on. With the 6 and 500 you also get the back wave. In a room with well placed Magnepans that really helps with "coupling". Try cupping your 500 or 6 sometime - ouch - it would be murder coming up with a closed version that didn't make it sound like a blizzard of early reflections - a pernicious issue with speakers/rooms where there are reflective objects close to the speakers/listener - it helps blur the first wave.
 
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In speakers you don't see them (AMT) doing bass work. ribbons likewise are pretty much mid and highs too, with the Apogee exception (needed a lot of space).

Planars which I like do tend to have the most problem with ringing. The HE-6 and HE-500 we both know have it. It just goes to show that the first impulse in a note if its reproduced well is what the ear really locks on. With the 6 and 500 you also get the back wave. In a room with well placed Magnepans that really helps with "coupling". Try cupping your 500 or 6 sometime - ouch - it would be murder coming up with a closed version that didn't make it sound like a blizzard of early reflections - a pernicious issue with speakers/rooms where there are reflective objects close to the speakers/listener - it helps blur the first wave.
It's interesting you mention cupping because I just realized a certain unnatural sound planars can output, and I don't fully know what it's actually caused by. It's a hollow type of sound, and it particularly stuck out with Verum one which has a covering on it's cup. Some sort of dampening covering. I feel like this sound comes out when the acoustics are not ideal. Not sure if it's ringings, but it's a sort of blur or hollowey sound. I've heard it on Audeze in the past as well, and it may have been related to how it was driven?

I get a feeling it's might be the way the diaphragm is being moved or being disturbed in it's movement.
 
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Do keep in mind that the M1060C is among the bassiest or possibly even the bassiest closed back planar headphone available and there are not many options available in the same category (of bassy closed planars). The ones I know of are Audeze Mobius, Aeon Flow Closed ReTuned version, LCD-XC, LCD2C Closed Back. I have the last one and it's not nearly as bassy as the M1060C.

There are also different mods to further improve the M1060C sound described in its own thread (posted my own mod there along with a comparison graph).
I've heard several of those. Even though they are not perfect, the MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 are the best sounding planars I have heard that are closed. Used prices remain high, which gives a clue on longevity and quality. They are said to be bass shy until they get 100 hours of break-in. They would be considered bass neutral - but with quick and good tonality by the bass crowd. They EQ nicely. But the mids and highs are IMO better than the LCD2C and M1060C.
 
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It's interesting you mention cupping because I just realized a certain unnatural sound planars can output, and I don't fully know what is actually caused by it. It's a hollow type of sound, and it particularly stuck out with Verum one which has a covering on it's cup. Some sort of dampening covering. I feel like this sound comes out when the acoustics are not ideal. Not sure if it's ringings, but it's a sort of blur or hollowey sound. I've heard it on Audeze in the past as well, and it may have been related to how it was driven?
"ortho wall" ?

Tyll's 2011 piece on planars, just as they were catching fire in the marketplace. Probably the single most important piece that there is on the topic in a consumer magazine. A watershed moment.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work
 
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All that said, late last night (my weakest time) I caved and pulled the trigger on a set of LCD2C off the Audeze website. It was stupid and I can't afford them. But I just have to hear them and with no stores being open now . . . anyway, I can always return them if they don't blow my mind (yeah right). Assuming I do keep them, look for a good handful of listings by me in the classifieds, because I'm really serious when I say I can't afford these.
I hope you will be able to keep and enjoy them as long as you can. I received a pair of the LCD2-Classics recently and have been impressed. They have large (106 mm) planar drivers and it creates a wall of sound that I feel is more immersive into the music and the bass is beautiful. Also these are heavier than most other cans but the build quality is excellent, pads are nice and seems like it will last many years.
 
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There is no clear winner between planar or dynamic headphones, it comes down to personal preference of music and sound. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. I listen to a lot of electronic music with complex layering and deep bass, so bass clarity, slam and extension keeps me in the planar camp.
 
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"ortho wall" ?

Tyll's 2011 piece on planars, just as they were catching fire in the marketplace. Probably the single most important piece that there is on the topic in a consumer magazine. A watershed moment.

https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/how-planar-magnetic-headphones-work
They must have coined the term because it looks like a wall on a 3D perspective view CSD plots. Calling it a wall really makes no sense. Ringing does however. It looks like some sort of resonance if it's lasting. I really can't take these graphs beyond a grain of salt, so if the 'ortho wall' shows up on a crappy rig, why would I believe it really does exist (unless I heard it before I saw it in measurements)? Instead of supposing something is there on from a crappy measurement rig, it would make sense to prioritize an accurate measurement rig than speculate from a result that accuracy is questionable.
 
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They must have coined the term because it looks like a wall on a 3D perspective view CSD plots. Calling it a wall really makes no sense. Ringing does however. It looks like some sort of resonance if it's lasting. I really can't take these graphs beyond a grain of salt, so if the 'ortho wall' shows up on a crappy rig, why would I believe it really does exist (unless I heard it before I saw it in measurements)? Instead of supposing something is there on from a crappy measurement rig, it would make sense to prioritize an accurate measurement rig than speculate from a result that accuracy is questionable.
Well, if you don't know your rig is crappy, you would think it spits out only good things. BTW, I'm quite convinced of ringing with orthos, and also convinced of the "wall" on a CSD graph (perhaps not that one).

Let me try this analogy:

#1. Senn HD-600 is to your Bryston

as the

#2 HD-500 is to your BHC w/ speedball.

#1. clean, analytic, quiet, "bright" due to clarity - not distortion

#2. THD, thick, smoky, there are clearly things going on after the initial wave, yet the sound itself is so sweet and musical.

The two faces of audio: tube vs transistor; analog vs digital; headphone vs speaker (or is it iem?), objectivists vs auddophiles.....

BTW on a personal note have you heard any ZMF's on your BHC?
 
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