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PSB M4U1 - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by swmtnbiker, Nov 13, 2012.
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  1. diamondears
    For those who find the PSB M4U 1's treble a bit strident to their liking, try using an OCC headphone cable. Sounds really great.
  2. diamondears
    Still no news on this? If it's SQ is similar to the M4U 1, I'm definitely going to get this.
  3. tfischer

    I know that these two HPs are in completely different classes (>$1,000 vs <$300, open vs closed, etc.), so I would have assumed that a comparison between the two would be more or less completely futile. It's interesting to see that you find an advantage on at least one aspect of your listening experience with the the M4U 1 over the LCD-2.2. I assume that this favorable comparison might break down in other areas (sound stage, mids, treble, etc.)? Is this type of comparison even worth talking about?
    I'm a very satisfied owner of a pair of PSB M4U 1s for 1.5 years now (driven by the LHLabs GeekOut 450 dac/amp), but lately, and partly due to the fact that I'm still pretty much a newbie in the head-fi hobby, I've been wondering what else is out there: What would the next step up be for me? I've been pretty curious about the new Audeze EL8 (open-backed), but haven't yet had a chance to audition them... If the M4U 1 is being favorably compared to an LCD-2.2, perhaps I'd just be better off staying where I am with what I have? 
  4. diamondears
    If you ask me, my honest advise is stay with the M4U 1. It trumps the LCD-2.2 in ALL departments. Even the airy-ness, which is supposed to be an advantage of an open back HP like the LCD-2.2. That said, the difference isn't big, but you'll notice easily.

    The bass--the M4U1 is more articulate. I liked the LCD-2.2 for having an articulate bass, but was really surprised the M4U1 is even better, and it does so on my iPhone 6. The LCD-2.2 needs a separate amp that's powerful enough. The M4U1's bass and sub bass extension is really impressive, I could now hear the texture and vibrations of the bass...the rumbling.

    On the mids, the M4U1 is more realistic. The LCD-2.2's mids are "creamy" and "lush", but is slightly "unrealistic", some would use the term "colored", and I agree. The mids are also bit behind (as opposed to forward). The M4U1 is just right.

    The treble--the M4U1 is much more detailed, but not emphasizing anything. The LCD-2.2's treble is also bit colored, and I'll describe it as "mono-sounding" as treble sounds the same although different in tone. The "lush-ness" of the mids is also an apt description for the treble. It's like they're all smoothed out. With the M4U1, everything, again, sounds realistic. If ever there's a weakness on the M4U1's treble, it would be that it's sibilance is a bit more than the real thing, bit emphasized, bit strident. However, I find this to be completely gone when I used my Oyaide OCC HP cable (HPC-35). So this is probably a function of the stock cable.

    As to soundstage--totally obliterates the LCD-2.2 in this regard, even considering it being open-backed. As the term RoomFeel implies, the soundstaging is really like you are in a room listening to speakers. Of course the sound comes more from inside your head, but that's a limitation of HPs in general, not the M4U1. This RoomFeel stuff makes the sound so...believable...realistic...it's like Norah Jones is right there singing just for you...or Rebecca Pidgeon...or Diana Krall...take your pick...did I say realistic?

    So try to hear before you buy other HPs. Save your money for a 128gig iPhone 6 is my suggestion. This iPhone 6 and PSB M4U1 are quite a pairing.
    Jess70 and tfischer like this.
  5. intlsubband
    I have settled on an M4U2 for my portable rig and my HE-500 for my home rig, and I'm so happy with this that I can't imagine an upgrade, and these have remained my go-to headphones in each category for close to a year now. I've been using the PSB for about 2.5 years and, each time I tried different portable headphones, wondering if there is a better sound out there from a portable, but I always go back to this. It is really the best portable I ever tried.
  6. Jess70

    Thanks for the tip on the cable.

    Edit: Just placed an order for it. Unfortunately I have to wait until the end of the month.
  7. Bansaku
    +1 Agreed. The stock cable adds glare and actually congests the upper-mids and lower treble. Upgrading to an Unltralink OCC 3.5mm interconnect essentially cured this issue. Upgrading to my custom balanced cable(s) the M4U 1 are in another league. It is an embarrassment that the printing of the PSB logo on the leads cost more than the cable itself. Ok I jest, but seriously it is garbage. Even a pack-in 3.5mm cable that came with my cheap Logitech speakers actually sounded better.
    On that note I have yet another cable I just completed that I am going to share once I can get some decent lighting (been kind of dreary out) for pictures.
  8. diamondears
    What's the exact model of that Ultralink cable you mentioned? Is it stranded OCC or one piece OCC wire?
  9. Bansaku
    Oh snap the Ultralink is OFC not OCC. My mistake. Here is where I purchased it from and has all the info. Yes, it is a solid core for the +, plated twisted coper for the -.
  10. diamondears
    Try the OCC headphone cable of Oyaide. Very cheap. You might not have gone the bother of doing the custom cable.
  11. Bansaku

    The OFC cable I am using is good enough for now, but eventually I do want to find some nice shielded OCC cable and nice looking leads with metal housing. That will come after I rewire the inside, which is why I started off on my cable projects, the internal wires; They are as piss-poor as the cable. I wanted to bypass the signal passing through what amounts to a rat's nest of cheap IEM wire.
    Perhaps I will simply order 2X Oyaide cable and a killer 1/4" phono plug and splice them up. May be easier. Damn, that is a good idea!!
    Edit: I just want to add, when I take out either side's plug, I can hear an echo of the other driver opposite to the side I removed. One more reason I want to rewire so there is nothing connecting the two nor will there be any wires running through the band.
  12. Bansaku
    Ok, here is my final "Cable I made from *** I had laying around". I stopped by my local electronics supply store and grabbed 2x 3.5mm plugs and a 6.35mm, along with some nice silver solder. Cost me $10. No change in sound but a heck of a lot nicer leads and no need for a 6.35mm adapter.
    IMG_0119.jpg   IMG_0125.jpg
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    IMG_0123.jpg IMG_0113.jpg IMG_0126.jpg
    SoonerCaniac likes this.
  13. Bansaku
    Do both ends of the cable fit inside the slot, or does one fit snugger than the other?
  14. diamondears
    Both fits, but one end is designed to be plugged into the cups while the other is designed for the player/amp.
  15. Bansaku
    Thanks! Next question, do both ends fit without rubbing the slots in the cups?
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