Sony's new flagship 2014 - MDR-Z7
Jan 24, 2015 at 7:09 PM Post #4,051 of 9,071

Bill-P

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Yeah, Z7 will have better soundstage. Frankly, I think it has the biggest soundstage of all closed-back headphones I have ever heard... save for maybe the TH900 where the Z7 either ties with, or only a little bit less wide.
 
And Z7 won't need very special amp/DAC IMO. The PHA-3 has been said to do some special processing in order to make the Z7 sound good.
 
I don't have the Z7 with me right now, but... I have also found from the service manual that the stock cable indeed is... SPC (silver-plated copper). This explains why I kept hearing the stock cable as being "cleaner" than the OFC cable that I rigged for the Z7. Although solid-silver works best for extracting clarity.
 
Now, this is not a knock at the Kimber Kable or its owners but... as far as I know, the Kimber Kable is OFC, and I don't think I'm hearing "improved clarity" or anything like that from OFC. If anything, it made my Z7 sound even bassier than stock.
 
Granted, I kind of like that with my modded pair, but I can't imagine it doing anything beneficial to the stock version.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 7:38 PM Post #4,053 of 9,071

Bill-P

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No problem!
 
I'll let you in on a little something... a friend of mine has the T5P. After listening to my modded Z7, he put his T5P up for sale. He'll even trade it for a Z7 if you'd like... though my honest opinion is to just hold on to the Z7. It is a very special headphone once it's modded.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 7:49 PM Post #4,054 of 9,071

MaceHane2

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Right now I don't any longer have my Z7 as I returned it to Amazon, but as soon as new funds are in place (I hope within the next couple of months) I suspect I may buy one again, if not quite for as low a price as this unit was.
Aside from the lack of a short cable to complement a longer one, I simply loved the design and ergonomics and my brief listen to it through my iPhone 6+ was interesting enough. It was only brief but I have been using a Yamaha Pro500 for a good few months now as my take-anywhere headphone, and hearing a few of my most-listened to tracks on the Z7 was really fun.
When I do get a new (NEW!) Z7 I will come back here and read back over posts to fully acquaint myself with your modding thoughts for the Z7 - maybe by then you may have added a Z7 mod guide in addition to the few in your profile.
 
Appreciate you taking the time to write so much here.
 
Be well.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 8:01 PM Post #4,055 of 9,071

MacedonianHero

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  Yeah, Z7 will have better soundstage. Frankly, I think it has the biggest soundstage of all closed-back headphones I have ever heard... save for maybe the TH900 where the Z7 either ties with, or only a little bit less wide.
 
 

 
I agree with you here...the TH-900s are still the sound staging closed headphone kings in my book, but the Z7s ain't too shabby either.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 8:45 PM Post #4,056 of 9,071

Anthony1

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Ok Ive come back and bought a pair after auditioning them with my RX3B and DX50. I got a deal that I just couldn't refuse from Simon at Perth Sony store - he gave me ~30% off. Will be building a silver balanced transportable cable for them.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 10:19 PM Post #4,057 of 9,071

takato14

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I agree with you here...the TH-900s are still the sound staging closed headphone kings in my book, but the Z7s ain't too shabby either.

Have you heard the TH600? Do you think it performs similarly or equivalently in this regard?
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 10:28 PM Post #4,058 of 9,071

MacedonianHero

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  Have you heard the TH600? Do you think it performs similarly or equivalently in this regard?

I have heard it, but not extensively, nor at home. In terms of imaging it was right behind the TH900s. I would need to have it side by side with the Z7 to see how they compare.
 
Jan 24, 2015 at 11:55 PM Post #4,059 of 9,071

takato14

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I have heard it, but not extensively, nor at home. In terms of imaging it was right behind the TH900s. I would need to have it side by side with the Z7 to see how they compare.

Thanks for the input. Guess I should wait until I can try the TH900 before pulling the trigger on it, as the TH600 was one of the most confused sounding headphones I've ever owned...
 
The MDR-Z7 was much nicer on this front. I just couldn't get over the bass/frequency response.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 12:54 AM Post #4,060 of 9,071

Sonic Defender

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Don't get too hung up on the T5P. It is a better headphone than the Z7 at stock... if you don't listen to bass-heavy music.
 
But as soon as you play any bass at all, the Z7 holds a significant lead over the T5P.
 
And the modded Z7 is simply leaps and bounds better than the T5P.
 
And that's only where sound is concerned. Comfort, design, etc... the Z7 would easily surpass the T5P.


What about unmodded? I will guarantee the vast majority of head-fi members will not or can't mod a headphone. As well, once we start modding things unless we use very carefully designed blind testing expectation bias is a significant concern. You seem to mod all of your headphones, is this just what you do, or do you mod once you find problems that you can ascribe to design elements that modding can overcome?
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 1:08 AM Post #4,061 of 9,071

Sonic Defender

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@Mink, you said:
 
"I agree on most parts.The mids posed the biggest issue for me, that huge difference in upfont to laid-back, sometimes even with tracks on the same album. It almost made me return them."
 
A headphone can't change, it is a static entity, the music changes. It is extremely common for different songs on the same album to be engineered to be different. The Z7 will always be the same, it can't dynamically change how it portrays music, unless I'm missing something.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 1:27 AM Post #4,062 of 9,071

Bill-P

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What about unmodded? I will guarantee the vast majority of head-fi members will not or can't mod a headphone. As well, once we start modding things unless we use very carefully designed blind testing expectation bias is a significant concern. You seem to mod all of your headphones, is this just what you do, or do you mod once you find problems that you can ascribe to design elements that modding can overcome?

 
I did mention unmodded. Unmodded, T5P bests Z7 in clarity, mids, treble, etc... IMO. Note: good T5P. T5P, like many other Beyer's Tesla models, has some issue with quality control, and so two pairs of T5Ps may sound very different.
 
And yeah, I'd agree that the vast majority of Head-Fi members can't mod or will not mod a headphone. For those who will not mod, well, they're missing out on the Z7. For those who can't mod, I think others can offer a modding service.
 
As for modding, though, while some mod with no concrete idea of what they're doing, there are also those who mod having an idea or two, because they have had experience working with speaker dampening and so on. Same principles would apply here. Granted, I'd agree that modding the Z7 is a completely different process and approach for me due to the fact that I wanted more than what "dampening" can possibly give. And the reason is because I can hear and even "see" (on graphs) the potential of the Z7. It's got the potential to be a great headphone. And I suspect Sony already knew this, but they are intentionally holding back just so they can release other models based on this same driver for some years to come, or perhaps they're gauging market interest before they release the true R10 successor.
 
As for how good the modded headphone is... I think I'll leave it up to Purk to compare and contrast. But there is not a doubt in my mind that the modded Z7 is far far far ahead of the stock Z7.
 
On a side note, I don't just blindly mod any headphone, or purchase any headphone. I used to do that, but nowadays, I'd only mod headphones that I know have the potential to be great. I can adjust the sound and make the sound "tighter" through modding, but there is no way to overcome physical limitations. If the driver can't reproduce certain frequencies, then... well, it just won't be able to. There is nothing that can be done to fix that, except for maybe redesigning the drivers.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 5:17 AM Post #4,064 of 9,071

Mink

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  @Mink, you said:
 
"I agree on most parts.The mids posed the biggest issue for me, that huge difference in upfont to laid-back, sometimes even with tracks on the same album. It almost made me return them."
 
A headphone can't change, it is a static entity, the music changes. It is extremely common for different songs on the same album to be engineered to be different. The Z7 will always be the same, it can't dynamically change how it portrays music, unless I'm missing something.

You obviously are right, but what I was trying to say (and what I have said a couple of times in this thread) is that the Z7s are extreme in showing the differences in recordings.
My D5000s and A900Xs don't alter the soundstage THAT much. My A900Xs for instance - although they let you hear the differences in recordings - overall remain pretty upfront all the time. The Z7s don't seem to have a basic 'sound-stage signature', they can be very upfront (even more than the A900Xs) and very laid-back.
BTW, I am not the only person in this thread who noticed this 'inconsistency'.
 
Jan 25, 2015 at 7:18 AM Post #4,065 of 9,071

ButtUglyJeff

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  Have you heard the TH600? Do you think it performs similarly or equivalently in this regard?

 
When my TH600s were stock, I believe they had a soundstage edge over the Z7s, but barely.  But now that they are LA600s, they have even more.  But maybe at the cost of some of the thickness in the bass region.
 

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