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Toys for Boys

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by musikaladin, Nov 9, 2013.
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  1. musikaladin
    ...you are very right about "picked with care". The hard-core of my set-up are mostly keepers now: Speakers, Phono-Pre, Preamp, Turntable a.s.o... at least until one nice day they refuse to do their job... I am simply so happy with that stuff, that I do not feel like changing anything...
    So, since I still somehow want (and need) to play around with gear for fun, I mainly do so with the smaller stuff, meaning dacs, MC-pickups and of course headphones; whereas there are also some real keepers in between my little headphone collection: namely the LCD-X, K-1000 & AH-D7100...
  2. Bones13 Contributor
    Do you ever listen to the K-1000s with the sub at the same time?  Was something popular back in the day.
  3. musikaladin

    ohhhhh yes, I did! Quite a lot. With one of the best woofers ever made, the Backes Mueller U-Sub2, but also the Audio Pro B2-50, and the Velodyne Ultra 1000. They must be real SUB -Woofers because all you need is the lowest octave from 20 to 40 Hz (I will call it sub-bass in the following). And here is the problem: not with the woofer, but with the expectations.... Many thought by using a subwoofer, they could, in combination with a AKG-1000 give the music that "physical" feeling they are missing compared to their loudspeakers. But the frequencies that are providing this physical impression are much higher, I would say between around 60 to 120 Hz (I will call it upper bass in the following, knowing that this is not exactly how this term is commonly used, but it suits this context here better).

    Now, there is a very different perception of sub- and upper- bass. You can test yourself with a pair of speakers that already provide sufficient "upper physical bass", but not the sub-region.. now you add a sub for the lowest octave. Most less-experienced audience would not even recognize that you added something. For them this upper bass is perceived being "physical" and sufficient; they kind of feel it as punch or power or whateveryoumightcallit, and this is most important to them when judging bass quality. This is also what is mostly expected when a sub is added to the K-1000...

    Now, if you try to add the subwoofer in this upper bass range you would have the headphone and the sub playing parallel in that frequency range.

    It is then
    a) quite difficult to get it phase coherent (also refer to below comment about moving around with your headphones on) and
    b) sounds unclean / undefined and over-emphasized or in other words too "fat" or kind of "wooly" in that frequency-range. Even if you turn the sub's volume very low. It is very hard to get the AKG-1000 just halfway harmonized with the sub.
    Some were also blaming the sub's speed being not fast enough for the K-1000 to integrate, but I can not confirm this, because the U-Sub2 which I used is definitely one of the fastest if not the fastest of all subs.
    Here the U-Sub2 between some of my DIY speakers...

    So, the expectations to get this physical bass feeling were mostly not fulfilled.

    I even tried to use the K-1000 with a high pass filter to avoid the integration issues, but the music then sounded anaemic and artificial, even if the sub brought back the missing frequency range. Still not good.

    But between 20 and 40 Hz the story is a totally different one. Here the K -1000 already is rather "laid back" and also the frequency's wave-length is much longer. Both factors support a easier integration of the sub: volume-wise and phase-wise.
    And then the effect is great. Yes, surely more presence of the music, but rather in a better perception of space than physically feeling bass-vibrations. Of course you can feel something if the recording has it, but again, as explained above, that's not exactly what most people normally would associate with "physical bass".

    I just do not use this configuration because a) it is not nice for the other family members always hearing just sub-bass without any relation to music, and b) I would have to re-adjust my sub every time I change from speaker to headphone and back, and also any time I change my listening position with the headphones... because my phase relation to the headphones is independent from my position in the room, whereas those of the sub isn't...
  4. musikaladin
    So finaly I got something new to play with....
    Nothing major, just some new angled pads.... for the Denon AH-D7000, which I unfortunately do not even own. So what?
    I actually bought them for my HE-400...
    ...and something rather weird happened because the effect is so unexpectedly strong:
    I do not recognize the HE-400 anymore, positively.
    The peak around 9kHz, as you can see it in the graph below (...and which disturbed me quite a bit), seems strongly reduced, at least I do not recognize it anymore as a disruptive factor...
    ...and the bass has much better punch!
    About the reasons I can just speculate. I guess it is related to the facts that
    a) the center of the membrane is not directly beaming into the earchannel anymore (the opening in the pad is a-centric), and
    b) the volume (ccm) of the opening in the pad is significantly smaller.
    So, it seems that this two facts coincidently change the sound in a way I much prefer.
    Now the HE-400 gets much more attention than before...[​IMG]
    audiobean likes this.
  5. Soundsgoodtome
    Good to see the he400 benefits from the angled pads, I like it for the he4 as well. Although it takes some detail away from the treble vs stock velour, the gains make up for it.

    I'd be willing to sell mine for $40 shipped with the hifiman rings already on if anyone is interested, it's in like new condition.

  6. musikaladin

    ...that's kind of confirming my imressions. And yes, the HE-400s with the mentioned peak around 9kHz strongly benefit from it!
  7. kilspeed111
    These K1000's are so sexy, damn I'm jealous..
    Oh and great comparison!
    musikaladin likes this.
  8. ph58
    Hi , musikaladin , what do you think about the Denon AH D7100 ?
  9. musikaladin

    Hi PH58,
    sorry for the belated answer. You can find my impressions here. Let me add, that in between I like it even more. The D7100 goes so well with my all my ipods (especially my 64gigs touch with the Onkyo high res app) and FiiO X5 and also performs just fabulously with my Terreatec AureonXfire8.0HD.
    Just now listening to https://archive.org/details/fr2005-11-23akg480ck63.flac24 via the D7100. Check out the first title "Orchard Lounge".  Killer!!!
    I love this phone and also the addition of a Audeze LCD-X to my little collection couldn't change anything about that.
    PS: Concerning the allegedly "imprecise & bloated" bass of the D7100... Besides a substantial burn-in you also should preferably use amps with very low output impendance, below 1 Ohm would be great. This increases the damping factor of the amp-phone combination. Like that to me the bass surely still has serious substance creating a very physical presence making it sound so amazingly realistic; but I wouldn't call it bloated or imprecise.... Combined with such low impendance amp it even sounds much better than with my HDVD800... and in comparison to my original review of the D7100 I also would call it an "allrounder" now...
  10. musikaladin
    Here my latest pocket-toy: The FiiO X5
    As you can see my Krell KID is also back to the rig. Repaired and as good as ever.
    Still, at the moment I prefer the FiiO X5 digitally connected to the HDVD800 playing 24/192 flac files. So cool how easy it is hardware-wise to integrate High Res Audio in a home or even portable set-up.
    I have 2 x 64gig sd cards in the X5, one used for normal CD quality and the other one for High Res only.
    Whether portable or in the stationary rig, the X5 sounds great. Still, if used without a dedicated headphone amp, I recommend that your cans are rather on the higher-efficiency side. In-ears obviously go very well, but also full-size cans like the AH-D7100.
    My complaints would be rather on the firm- / soft- ware side:
    1) The FiiO user interface: I find it a little uncomfortable to work with the "lockscreens". Especially concerning the volume adjustment.
    After lockscreen is active, the volume buttons on the upper left will only adjust volume by clicking step by step, and the steps are small... so you have to click a lot to increase or lower the volume remarkably. If you remain longer on the button (what adjusts the volume just fine as long as the lockscreen isn't active), it then jumps to the previous / next song. For lockscreen 1 this makes sense since all other buttons are inactive. But this even remains the same when you use lockscreen 2, whereas now there should be the two dedicated buttons below the jog-wheel used for jumping titles back and forward. I really hope there will be another firmware update soon.
    2) the other software issue still making it uncomfortable to use such players like the X5 has nothing to do with the players itself. It is is the annoying issue with tagging especially .wav files with any windows software and also the iTunes tagging mode. The industry as such should really be ashamed, to trouble their customers so badly with their nonsense war over standards. I tried a lot of different free software (I simply do not see why I should pay for a software just to tag files), but all of those had their serious limitations. Even the trial versions of programs which are payable didn't work as I would have expected. Actually it should be possible to tag any music-file just by using the windows explorer or any respective other file management software by "properties" > "edit"... as simple as renaming files... that's it!
    Maybe somebody can recommend a way how this can be comfortably done with one (!) software for all (!) formats.
  11. musikaladin
    ...just put up my new desktop system:
    Aurasound speakers with the excellent Linaeum tweeter and a linear-drive mid / bass unit. This is combined with a Velodyne Microvee...
    As you can see I was listening to Nhato aka Tatsuya Fukumuro's album "Etude" title "Gossip" as recommended by TJ Elite here.. what shall I say, I was simply blown away [​IMG], and I'm afraid so were my neighbors [​IMG].
    ...then some natural sounds with Rabih Abou Khalil...
    ...my first impression was confirmed. Extremely high resolution, excessively dynamic and very neutral... what more could I ask for?
    As you can see there is also a new headphone in my collection, the Denon AH D-600; have it since a month now.
    As a huge fan of the d-7100 I was quite exited to finally get this one too. Again I started with "Gossip". The headphone seems to be created for this music. Pace and impact are just what you need to have this "blown away" feeling.
    TJ Elite wrote "(...) It is something to be listened to loud on a great pair of floorstanding speakers (...)" (which besides my desktop system I also did); still the D-600 did a great job, punch and resolution are just right for that music and create a great almost physical listening experience.
    But also any other music was presented in a very convincing way by the d-600.
    So what is the difference to the D-7100? The D-7100 does everything a little better (...don't get me wrong, not that the D-600 is doing anything bad, no, I really love this headphone...) . The music sounds a little more natural, the bass is slightly more present and slightly more dynamic (the major point of criticism of the D-7100 is its "pronounced" bass, but after burn in there is just a "forward" bass left and I absolutely love it; it makes this phone sounding so convincingly real, somehow with real body. Only very few headphones can do or come close to this kind of realistic & physical presence). The D-7100 has the higher efficiency of both. Let's see what happens with the D-600 after more burn-in, my D-7100 has more than a thousand hours and took around 300 hrs to reach its actual quality level in the bass region...
    Comfort-wise both are great, but here the D-7100's pads really excel compared to the D-600's, which are still very good, but feel a little "stiffer" than the D-7100's.
    So finally I went to bed at 5am... this desktop system is really addictive..
  12. Malfunkt
    That is an awesome setup you have musikaladin. Good to hear your impressions on the D600. If I ever decide to upgrade them I'll have to consider the D7100. I got the impression they were the same driver with just different material. Judging by the frequencies clearly they are different sounding. Have you tried the new Fostex line Th-900 / 600? How do they compare?
  13. musikaladin
    ...yes, I had the chance to shortly listen to the TH-900 but I couldn't directly compare to the D7100. From that short listen I liked the D7100 better (mainly more excitement), but that is not a fair comparison since I was so much used to the D7100's sound-signature when I auditioned the 900.
    ... the graph might give us some answers (...and even more questions...):
    It was stated that this series of headphones was the first that Denon did without using Fostex as OEM... and some people said this was the reason why the Denons sound worse than the earlier series... which I absolutely do not agree!
    Still, the graphs suggest that the drivers have the similar genes. Whether Denon still gets the drivers from Fostex or they produce it to the same / similar blueprint... I have no idea; would be nice to get more info here.
    I recently read a test of the TH-600 in a German HiFi magazine and they pointed out that the TH-600 is quite close to the TH-900. They questioned the additional value of the TH-900 compared to the TH-600 when compared to the price difference. Considering the fact that a new TH-900 is still only available well above the 1k US$ level they might have a point there. With the Denons that might not apply since the D7100 is already available even significantly below half of its original asking price. As such, to those who appreciate the D600, I would highly recommend to get the D-7100 if they look for an upgrade.
    They make up a great team: the D7100 for home and the D600 for travels or any other occasion when you simply do not want to take the more distinguished D7100.
  14. kurochin
    What are you using to angle the speakers? I can't tell from the picture (except that you bought it at Popular bookstore). Is it a stack of note cards, or a box of staples?
  15. musikaladin
    ... exactly this was the weak point, and yes it were boxes of staples... so immediately after I took the pics, I arranged for a new solution; I got myself  plastic name card holders (those you use along meetings on the tables) and applied some self-adhesive silicon dampers to them to give it some more stability against slipping. This is how it looks now:
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