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PSB M4U1 - Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by swmtnbiker, Nov 13, 2012.
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  1. richard51

    same here.... [​IMG] i read your review  Bansaku and i had bought a psb mu 1 ....for the cable i am not an engineer also....
  2. JWolf
    Since it is your idea, I think you should. Could you imagine the reviews when people try a balanced cable vs the single stock cable? I would love for PSB to include a balanced cable.
  3. GregH
    I bought the M4U 1's six months ago and love them. They are my first 'real" pair of headphones other than my beloved Etymotic eR6i's.
    The problem is the M4U 1's are so good that I can't stand listening to music through my laptop headphone out jack -- I must get a DAC or a DAC/Amp combo!
    I am leaning toward the Schiit Modi but would like to know what you're using/have used with your PSB's. The M4U 1's seem pretty easy to drive (obviously) so I'm wondering if I just need a DAC to clean up the signal?  Oh, budget would be in the $300 range (the wife, you know).
    Help me, Obi Wan, you're my only hope!
  4. Fullmetalsam
    I've got the schiit modi & magni (original - not the v2) and I love how the M4U 1 sound with them.

    But you're right, they don't need the amp.
    I have to turn the volume way down on the computer to have a confortable volume in the headphone with the amp at about 40%. It's a hassle, because every fraking music player software seem to be made to default to full volume when you start them :)
  5. GregH
    I hear you, Sam. I run my computer at about 25% volume to keep from blasting my eardrums.
    Would you mind pulling the Magni out of the mix and check the headphones with only the Modi?  You have the perfect test bed for this and it would let me know how well just the DAC plays through the M4U 1.
  6. Bansaku
    @ GregH @Fullmetalsam
    You two are using Windows eh? For OS X the big three players Amarra, Audirvana, and Fidelia, all let you bypass (disable) the system/player volume controls which is perfect for external USB DACs/amps. There may be plugins or extension for Foobar that allow for this, but I am not 100% certain.
    Edit: As for amp/DAC, I highly recommend the Audioengine D1.
  7. bigro
    I am a schiit head when it comes to DAC's  So I may be biased.
    I use the M4U1's at work with a Schiit Modi 2 Uber ($149)and a Schiit Vali ($119). I also Have the Magni 2 U . Both Amps will work well the Vali being a miniature tube Hybrid has a slightly different sound than the Magni 2 U .I have had the Regular Modi My ears like the sound from the Modi 2 Uber. Both of those Amps will be more than Enough.
    As Far as Plugging Cans into the DAC. You cant Plug Cans directly into most dacs unless it is a DAC/AMP Combo.  so you will need an RCA to female headphone adapter. I have never tried this but please make sure volume is turned way down.
    By the way A very Inexpensive Way to go is the Schiit Fulla, which is a DAC/AMP combo powered off usb.(one thing to note is it doe not do 24/192 and 24/176). I have one of those too which is always in my headphone case. When I am working on my laptop and not near power this does an excellent Job for something about the size of a pack of double mint gum. I have been Curious About the Centrance DAC ports which may be a purchase if it happened to be on mass drop again. 
  8. GregH
    Thanks for the reply and the advice. After researching further I had come to realize that the DAC is not designed to output to headphones so I proved there really IS such a thing as a stupid question!
    I'm really leaning toward the Uber stack because I would like the preamp to run my M-Audio AV40's as well as the M4U 1's. I've read about the Audioengine D1 but it's USB Audio Class 1 and I have an inventory of HDTracks and lossless .FLAC recordings I'd like to be able to hear at 24/192 ...which brings me back to Schiit.
    Man, this is a lot of Schiit to think about!
  9. ericf
    I'm trying to decide whether the PSB M4U 1 has something to offer that none of my other headphones do.
    In order of purchase:
    Creative Aurvana Live!, Sennheiser HD598, Beyerdynamic DT-880 250 ohm version (not pro, I think), Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7 and Philips Fidelio X2.
    Now, two of these headphones are closed, one is semi-closed and two are open headphones.
    In this video
    Z reviews compares 4 headphones, Nad Viso-HP50 and PSB M4U 1 among them, and he says he'd go for PSB M4U 1 in most cases.
    He also says that the NAD is a more laid back headphone than the PSB.
    The Creative Live is an okay headphone, but its rather muddy bass and slightly recessed mids didn't suit me.
    When I bought the HD598, I wasn't impressed at all. Both online and magazine reviews had been glowing but the sound signature just didn't fit me. I felt the treble was harsh (strident?) to my ears and there wasn't enough energy to the music (pop, rock, electronica) that I listened to.
    When I got the DT-880, I thought I had found the headphone that fit me perfectly.
    It's certainly very neutral, according to most reviews, but it has too little amount of bass when playing 1980's pop and modern electronic music like Seven Lions.
    If the recording has plenty of bass in it, the DT-880's are great, but if the bass isn't strong, then the DT-880 don't do the job.
    In the case of Seven Lions' track Days To Come, the bass is quite lacking in the DT-880.
    My boss bought the ATH-MSR7 to use for visitors to our library, to listen to vinyl records, and I took it home on weekends to try it out.
    It's a bit uncomfortable (the clamping force) but it has an immediacy to the sound that I like. On some recordings that can be a bit annoying. The music can feel like it's almost attacking your ears, but the combination of great detail in the treble, forward mids and great, punchy bass is wonderful most of the time. However, if the music is recorded with a lot of bass, I feel this headphone can accent that a bit too much which makes the rest of the sound spectrum suffer.
    And finally, I tried the Philips Fidelio X2's in a store during a vacation, and I really liked the soundstage it presented.
    Depending on the recording, vocals can sometimes feel a bit recessed but there's not a lot to dislike about this headphone apart from it being pretty big and somewhat heavy. It is quite comfortable. And it has plenty of good, not bloated, bass.
    With all that said, is there any chance that the PSB M4U 1 will offer something that none of the above described headphones does for me?
  10. pbeg7
    I found a black friday sale for the psb's for $188 CAD, at that price, they absolutely can't be beat. (I own the m4u2's). They are not basshead phones, but have around a +3-4 dB from the subbass through the mids - see goldenears measurements)
  11. GregH
    Well, I don't have a DAC but I did just agree to acquire a Schiit Asgard 2 from a seller here on head-fi!
    Now to continue haunting the For Sale pages until the right DAC appears...
  12. Bansaku
    Out of curiosity to better answer your questions, I d/l'd the album (lossless). Not to criticize your music choice, but Seven Lions sounds like poop! Not the arrangement, it sounded pretty good, but the actual sonic quality! You mention bass with 'Days to Come'? There is none, or very little. The whole album is nothing but upper mids and harsh treble, whether it were my headphones or loudspeakers (which can knock the paintings off the wall 2 townhouses down!).
    Forget what I said! I was lazy and just played the tracks using Quicklook Preview in OS X and I forgot that my SoundBlaster E3 control panel was active; I have presets for watching dialogue that was effecting the sound. Wooooops!
    On second listen, the bass sounds really good with 'Days to Come'. Very clean impact and sub-bass has great weight to it. It is not overpowering but powerful and very fun to listen to. Actually, the whole song sounds Fanfriggntastic! So crisp, fast, and clean! As an owner of the HD598, and previously owned (recently) the DT 770 Pro and T 70 250 Ohm, the M4U 1 definitely sounds like something that you will enjoy more-so than the DT 880; I sold my beyerdynamics because they just couldn't compete with the M4U 1, and my HD598 take a back seat and are only used for gaming (because they are light and I can still hear what's going on in my townhouse).
    Can you perhaps list off some more mainstream electronica that you enjoy (that I might have access to)? ie. Juno Reactor, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, KMFDM, Massive Attack, Crystal Method. (edit: I just aged myself! lol) What about pop or rock?
  13. pbeg7
    M4u2 excel at more mid-centric music. Though stuff with slower, less busy bass, like massive attack, sound superb.
  14. ericf
    Well, I tried out Wang Chung - Everybody Have Fun Tonight (1986, ladies and gentlemen) and it sounds great on ATH-MSR7, a little distant on Philips Fidelio X2 and thin on DT-880 and HD598. The snare drum just taps in those headphones while it has a good impact on the other headphones.
    My favourite album of all time is Propaganda - A Secret Wish from 1985. Haven't listened to it with any of my headphones yet. I wonder why...
    For electronic, I listen to Front Line Assembly a lot. Try Mindphaser or The Blade. How does Culture Beat's World in your Eyes sound on the M4U 1?
    How does The Prodigy's No Good (Start The Dance) sound? It's doesn't have much of low bass in it.
    What about Man With No Name? Earth Moving the Sun?
    I listen to some Japanese music as well. May´n's Welcome To My FanClub's Night! is a good example. She has a rather shrill voice so I wonder how the PSB M4U 1 might render it.
    Also, Imogen Heap (Speak for Yourself and Sparks) . Try You Know Where to Find Me or Run-Time or Headlock.
    How does Daft Punk's Derezzed and End of Line from Tron: Legacy sound?
    Adding a few bands/artists with specific songs here:
    Camouflage - Me and You
    Robert Miles - Children
    Conjure One - Center Of The Sun (Feat. Poe)
    In Strict Confidence - Seven Lives
    ABC - The Look Of Love
    Heaven 17 - Temptation
    Not all that much mainstream electronica, I know.
    I should mention that I listen to music through an Ibasso DX9 DAP and, on the computer, a HRT Microstreamer through Foobar2000.
  15. Star2806
    Does anyone know how the m4u1 compares to the Fischer fa003/Brainwavz hm5?
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