PM-3 v. DT-1350 v. MT-220 v. CL: A Hand Gallop Review
Jul 21, 2015 at 6:42 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1


Headphoneus Supremus
Jul 1, 2003
New York State
SID disc mat
Neotech UP-OCC interconnects
KMF ss headphone amplifier
APC filter
DakiOm Stabilizer
Choices/Brian Bromberg
Water Sign/Jeff Lorber Fusion
Greatest Hits/Earl Thomas Conley
Thriller/Michael Jackson
Greatest Hits/Harry Chapin
Tenderly/George Benson
Yamaha MT-220: Verdict: overly lean, sometimes hard/strident in the upper midrange/lower treble for me.  Excellent detail, articulate bass.  Wide and high, but not particularly deep soundstage: more layered than 3-dimensional arrangement in space.  Non-exchangeable cable--a real mistake on Yamaha's part, I think.  Now up for sale.
Beyerdynamic DT-1350: Verdict: sounds artificial to me, especially the treble, which also does not transition coherently with the midrange.  Good sense of 3-D spatiality and exemplary transient response.  Non-exchangeable cable--a real design faux pas on Beyer's part, too, I fear. Alas! another nearly-complete Beyerdynamic disappointment for me.  Now up for sale.
Oppo PM-3:  Verdict: clear, detailed--even nuanced--with excellent instrument separation.  Articulate bass, but midrange can sound hard/confined at times.  Soundstage [like its PM-1 forebear] layered, but not convincingly 3-dimensional and a bit smalliish overall.  Definitely benefits from an aftermarket cable; the original long cable does not convey the dynamics and bass punch that these headphones are capable of.  If you can come up with the extra cash and don't mind open cans, the PM-1 are better/more refined in every respect.  Now up for sale.
harman/kardon CL:  Verdict: a pleasant surprise, and by far the runaway best bang-for-the-buck among the headphones listed.  Musical, detailed and quick, with excellent 3-dimensionality [the best of this bunch for me, anyway].  Bass-prominent?  Yes.  But not slow, muddy or dark to my ears.  Bass goes deep, stays fairly tight, well-tuned and lends to an overall musically appealing audition.  Better after market cables bring these headphones to the brink of bangiest-for-the-buckiest.  
I am currently running the CL with a Mark Tunis SPC cable with Near terminations and the match is virtually perfect: cleaner and smoother in the upper midrange than the MT-220; more musical, natural-sounding and with a better integrated treble than the DT-1350; quicker, more 3-D and consistently more midrange-pleasant than the PM-3. 

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