Who here tried the Sennheiser Orpheus?
Dec 24, 2009 at 1:45 AM Post #76 of 238

markmaxx

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spritzer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
In a nutshell, electrostatics are capacitors which present a reactive load with very high impedance (170K or more) plus they all have to be balanced by nature. This calls for high voltage to drive them with very little current but to properly feed them the amp has to have ample power reserves and be fast enough to keep up with the transducers.

Dynamics are just a coil of wire, wound around a magnet. Feed the wire some current and the magnetic effect will cause it to move. For this you need very little voltage (comparatively) and more current.

To use electrostatic headphones with a dynamic amp (b22 or something like that) you need a transformer which steps up the voltage 20-30 times (and steps the current down too), splits the phase (so the output is balanced) and lowers the impedance the amp "sees". You also need a bias supply which gives the diaphragm potential or it will not be moved by the swinging voltage on the stators.



Jude should put you on retainer!!! You and a few others here are an amazing asset. Thanks for your selfless, work here on head-fi.
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Happy holidays. and Thanks!
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 2:04 AM Post #77 of 238

markmaxx

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Quote:

Originally Posted by purk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My Paradigm Ref 100 V3 stands no chance next to the HE90 and R10, but then again it is not a fair comparsion given the my room setting.


I was thinking some thing like this!
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Shot at 2009-12-23
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 2:13 AM Post #78 of 238

edstrelow

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Quote:

Originally Posted by markmaxx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
There headphones, I have had only limited experience with the HE 90 and aftermarket amps. not the HEV90.

The first morning at CanJam (LA.) Ray Samuels had the HE 90, R 10,(balanced as I remember) HD 800.(Balanced) all hooked up to a different amp, right next to one another,

Ray had his own room, and He was the only other one their, it was very quiet. All the amps were running (wormed up). I think some how they were all hooked to the Meridian G 08 as a source.

Sennheiser HE 90 hooked up to Rays A 10 electrostatic amp.
Sennheiser HD 800 was hooked to Rays B 52 balanced tube amp.
Sony R 10 was hooked to Rays Balanced Apache.

The sound from all 3 was so similar,(remember the job of the headphone, amp. and source. Is to capture the sounds recored from the original source and then recreate it. So if they all do their job well you should come up with a very similar sound) I just was,, to this day;; still shocked at how much they sounded a like. Slight differences only, but very close. ( it reminds me of NASCAR the Chevy, Ford, Dodge, all different with so many different variables all come to the track and handle almost exactly the same and after 500 miles are only inches away from each other!) So. No the HE 90 is not some huge step up,, head and shoulders over the other 2 statement headphones I was listening too. That leads me to say. In my opinion. No the HE 90 does not sound better than a great stereo rig!

The weight of the bass and the texture alone would be enough to challenge any great headphone, but a great set of speakers can go lower, than any headphone and make everything from a simple triangle, to the human voice seem so real it is scary. And the Dynamic impact from speakers could never be recreated in a headphone. A huge orchestral recording can go from someone crumbling a candy wrapper to instantly blowing your hair back, and then to solid black. The kind that can startle you even when you know its coming. Just amazing.

I know this is a headphone forum, and I live for my headphones (because I like the intimacy of headphones) but that is the only way a set of headphone can out perform a great speaker rig. In my opinion.
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Happy holidays.



Good point. I tend to agree that when you get really good equipment it all goes towards the same "accurate" sound with a neutral, wide frequnecy response and accurate spatial imaging.

Some may want to argue that there are euphonic set-ups that are good but not accurate, in fact some in this thread seem to be saying that about the Orpheus. I am not sure that such a system can be truly good if it isn't accurate.

There also may be some types of headphone that present a very different sonic perspective, which while not tonally accurate has other benefits.

Thus for example a good IEM may have very good frequency response and imaging but because of its lack of involvment of the outer ear misses the pinna transfer function Head-related transfer function - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaand thus lacks some of the realism that a super- or circumaural phone has.

At a further extreme, phones such as the Stax Sigma and AKG K1000 are less than perfect in their frequency characteristics but involve the external ear even more in the listening experience to give a betters ense of realism.

So at least between similar headphone types, good phones are going to end up sounding alike. Between different phones you do however have somewhat of what the old math teachers call the apples and oranges problem, i.e. you can't compare apples and oranges with each other.
 
Dec 24, 2009 at 10:06 PM Post #79 of 238

Xakepa

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Spent 1.5 hours with Orpheus at one of the Boston area meetings (thanks Single Power). Best ever. You have to hear it for yourself to believe, with a quality recording.
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 1:48 PM Post #80 of 238

Dinan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by robm321 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Not to me, I'd choose moderately priced speakers in the $2500 - $5000 range over the HE-90s.


I have some pretty serious source gear on my headphone rig and Focal Grande Utopia EM's in my 2-channel system running on comparably serious electronics. I think that few would argue that the GU EM is one of the best speakers available with pretty much no area to fault.

I have found myself getting up from both rigs and switching to the other simply based mood. The speaker rig wins hands down in bass extension and soundstage but the headphone rig can equal it's resolution and provides a very intimate experience that is unique. So I love my stats AND I love my speakers.

I have mentioned in many threads that I feel the the big STAX and Sennheiser stats only have one limitation, that is the amount of money you are willing to invest in the source gear, racks, cables, conditioner, power cords, etc. The more you throw at them, the more you get. An Orpheus driven with the internal DAC is not representative of what the system can really do. An Orpheus driven by a $20-30K digital front end through a pair of $3,500 cables, etc (or better) is an eye opening experience. All CRAZY expensive by any standards but so is the Orpheus so I think my comments are in context.

BTW, I know very few Orpheus owners that don't also own a big speaker rig.
 
Dec 25, 2009 at 4:13 PM Post #81 of 238

spritzer

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With the HEV90 you will always have the problem that the high end input will still be fed through numerous dirt cheap Wima MKS4 polyester caps powered by a horrible switching PSU. Putting in some nice polypropylene caps would cost less then 200$ (assuming they'd fit in the first place) and give you far more then a 2k$+ IC. Not much you can do about the PSU though...
 
Jan 11, 2010 at 1:47 AM Post #82 of 238

totungs

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wavoman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I listen to my Orpheus almost every night, usually choosing one SACD, often classical.

Within five minutes you are in another world. There is nothing like this IMHO, not speakers (I have maggies), not Stax (I have 007a with Spritzer mod) ... it is like hypnosis. Euphonics is the correct term, as others have posted.

Violin concertos so searing they bring tears to my eyes. Opera so intense I shiver.

I listen with the lights off, the little l.e.d.'s on various pieces of equipment sparkle like stars in the sky.

This has been a very tense year. Without Orpheus I would be a drunk or druggie; it is my escape from reality.

When I bought the thing, my wife told me I could no longer buy a new car. Ever. She means it, and she controls the checkbook. My 2002 Toyota drops plastic pieces all over the road, is beat to hell, and very few of its systems work as intended. But I drive it with a smile.



Wavoman, my story is the contrary of yours :
my wife decides me into buying a new car this year.. and she says I could no longer buy new toys for a while.
So every time I hear a Violin Concerto on the car autoradio.. they bring tears into my eyes too.. :
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I think i'll go for drinks or drugs..
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Jan 11, 2010 at 5:40 AM Post #83 of 238

purk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by markmaxx /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was thinking some thing like this!
bigsmile_face.gif


alexandriathumbnail.png

Shot at 2009-12-23



As good as the Orpheus could be, that Wilson Max will always sound better.
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Jan 11, 2010 at 6:20 AM Post #84 of 238

wavoman

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Amp / HP synergy.

Let's grant that the HEV90 uses parts that are cheaper than we wouild like.

Let's grant that the HE90 with RSA and other amps is just on par with other "statement" headphones.

But this has nothing to do with the Orpheus System ... which are the two together.

My running count is now 37 people ... who quick switch between Orpheus System and Stax O2 Mk II 007a modded by Spritzer driven from a KGSS. (I probably should have used the 717, but I didn't know that).

We play SACDs thru a Wadia 781i. The s.e. output goes to the HEV90, the balanced output goes to the KGSS.

Quick Switch.

The score is 37 to 0 in favor of Orpheus. Of course this is not blind testing, and I obviously like the Orpheus, so there is plenty of hidden influence and response bias here. Still, it's quite a score, and someone would have "told it like it is" by now, you would think, even if it risked offending me (some of my guests enjoy offending me!).

Among the 37 have been audiophiles, musicians, and plain folk.

So, when we talk about Orpheus, it's both units together that make the euphonic magic.

There was no rock music involved.

To have the O2's "wipe the floor" with the Orpheus, to quote Spritzer's post below, I think you need one or more of the following conditions:

1. Mk 1, not Mk 2.
2. Rock, or similar "hard driving" music.
3. Stax driven from a Blue Hawaii, or similar ultra-high-end tube stat amp. The KGSS or 717 doesn't cut it.
4. HE90 driven from something other than the HEV90

I doubt you would need all 4 ... my guess is #1 plus any one of the other 3.
 
Jan 11, 2010 at 8:19 AM Post #85 of 238

spritzer

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This was my experience as well, people almost always preferred the HE90 on a short audition. It took me two weeks to get to grips with them and realize that this sound wasn't for me. They have this wow factor but as is often the case with audio, it wears thin after a while if you value neutrality.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wavoman /img/forum/go_quote.gif
1. Mk 1, not Mk 2.
2. Rock, or similar "hard driving" music.
3. Stax driven from a Blue Hawaii, or similar ultra-high-end tube stat amp. The KGSS or 717 doesn't cut it.
4. HE90 driven from something other than the HEV90

I doubt you would need all 4 ... my guess is #1 plus any one of the other 3.



Well your A is practically a Mk1, slightly more forward but it's a small difference. The KGSS and 717 are great amps but the 717 is a bit colored and the KGSS lacks power compared to the T2/BH beasts but both are DC coupled so they will never match the euphony of something like the HEV90.

The music matters and so does the volume it is played at. Classical has often huge dynamic swings but all the ESP's can handle that with ease. Throw on a complex mix with different elements and the HE90 simply can't keep up. It misses out bass notes and the spacious headstage becomes a problem rather then an asset.

Source is really a big factor here. I've never been a fan of Wadia (haven't heard the new players though) and something like the Meridian players will make the HE90 sound great but the SR-007. That's not the SR-007's fault, it is just conveying truthfully how utterly horrible the Meridian is. The He90 doesn't have the same resolution so it is far more "forgiving" of bad sources/amps.
 
Jan 11, 2010 at 12:02 PM Post #86 of 238

Deadneddz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spritzer /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This was my experience as well, people almost always preferred the HE90 on a short audition.


Indeed. At Canjam I was at Andy's rig watching a fellow from overseas switch between an O2 and HE90. A little while after he listened to both I asked him which one he preferred. He looked at me with a huge grin and said "I like this one."(Pointing to the HE90.) I told him, "if you liked the HE90, you should try this one." Then handed him an SR-Omega.
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Jan 11, 2010 at 6:49 PM Post #88 of 238

Nomad

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The SR-Omegas are truly amazing. Even out of a humble T1 or 717, they are able to satisfy my electrostatic needs to a point that I don't need to use the Orpheus often.

That being said, the Orpheus can be the better setup, if not by much. I really (really, really) would like to hear the SR-Omegas (or even the O2s) from a T2. I still dream of a T2 for sale somewhere, collecting dust in a corner of some obscure retail store, in the same way I found once one of my SR-Omegas, lying around on an Austrian shop, completely NOS.
 
Jan 11, 2010 at 11:01 PM Post #89 of 238

purk

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The SR-Omegas are truly amazing. Even out of a humble T1 or 717, they are able to satisfy my electrostatic needs to a point that I don't need to use the Orpheus often.

That being said, the Orpheus can be the better setup, if not by much. I really (really, really) would like to hear the SR-Omegas (or even the O2s) from a T2. I still dream of a T2 for sale somewhere, collecting dust in a corner of some obscure retail store, in the same way I found once one of my SR-Omegas, lying around on an Austrian shop, completely NOS.



Hey Nomad, how have u been? I almost pulled a trigger on the SR-Omegas many times but always retracted due to the driver element issues.
 
Jan 11, 2010 at 11:18 PM Post #90 of 238

spritzer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nomad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The SR-Omegas are truly amazing. Even out of a humble T1 or 717, they are able to satisfy my electrostatic needs to a point that I don't need to use the Orpheus often.

That being said, the Orpheus can be the better setup, if not by much. I really (really, really) would like to hear the SR-Omegas (or even the O2s) from a T2. I still dream of a T2 for sale somewhere, collecting dust in a corner of some obscure retail store, in the same way I found once one of my SR-Omegas, lying around on an Austrian shop, completely NOS.



Something like this then:
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It's hopefully having a safe passage over to the US now to its new owner... Take a look in the PM I sent you.
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Quote:

Originally Posted by purk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hey Nomad, how have u been? I almost pulled a trigger on the SR-Omegas many times but always retracted due to the driver element issues.


Having worked on a few SR-Omegas and studied the drivers in detail I do have a theory why they fail but I need a broken set to confirm it.
 

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