Worst "high-end" equipment you've heard
Dec 16, 2010 at 12:09 PM Post #391 of 435

open_air

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Sorry I didn't reply sooner, but no, it wasn't the smoked plexiglas.  Good old American steel.  The innards was nicely done with carefully routed (even elevated on vertical plastic standoffs!) wiring.  When it worked right it sounded great, otherwise . . .
 
Dec 16, 2010 at 7:56 PM Post #396 of 435

maverickronin

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Well, don't keep us waiting...
 
Dec 19, 2010 at 5:26 AM Post #397 of 435

DavidMahler

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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Does the LCD-2 count?
 
If not, my experience is too limited for me to have hated anything "high end"



You didn't like the LCD-2?


Hated it overall.
 
I'm sitting on a joke about it's high end at the moment.


The cliche Question: May I ask how you amped it?
 
The LCD 2 was the only headphone aside from the R10s which I loved as much the first time I heard it as the last time.  It's the only one I've purchased in the past 2 years that agreed with me immediately.  The only changes I think that would actually improve the headphone are aesthetic and comfort related.  I also think angling the drivers would be an interesting change.  Other than that I don't see a change necessary.  If the aesthetics and comfort were supreme and the soundstage manipulated a bit by some angling, I think the LCD2 would be as great as the R10s more or less. 
 
The concept of someone hating it feels unusual to me though you are certainly entitled to your opinion.  I don't enjoy the W5000 and that is beloved by some.
 
 
Dec 25, 2010 at 2:52 AM Post #400 of 435

Hellacious D

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Grado SR225, SR325i.  They are just so bright they made my ears bleed.  They are also uncomfortable.  I felt them to be a one trick pony, but there are other phones that can perform that trick and more.  They sounded good with electric guitar, but everything else that should have sounded smooth was made harsh.  They turn soft female vocals into the hisses and shrieks of angry bitches. They also put all of the music right in your face so you can't get a sense of soundstage.  It's as if every instrument is lined up single file.  If they sounded godlike with electric guitar, it would be fine.  Unfortunately, I didn't find them to be any better than the SA5000 for electric guitar.  I certainly like the SA5000 for electric guitar, but they can also sound good for many other types of music.  The SR225 and 325i couldn't think of doing anything else.  Honestly, if you think the SA5000 are bright, give either of these phones a listen. 
 
AKG K701.  No oomph.  No punch.  It's like listening to a W5000 out of an old, unamped cd player that needs contact cleaner.  You could hear the various instruments, but they were all filled with cotton.  The K701 couldn't pull the energy out of any recordings.  Very boring.  Nice looking and comfortable, but boring.  
 
Dec 25, 2010 at 4:19 AM Post #402 of 435

DavidMahler

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Quote:
I wish threads like these can be organized... I'm definitely not interested in EVERY brand's bad experiences to read the whole dang thing...



Threading through a thread (no pun intended) like this would be hard to do, but I think it's fair to say certain headphones in the upper mid to high end department undoubtedly have polarized their audience....
 
The W5000 has often made it to worst of its price range list but some people adore it to the point of calling it their favorite.
 
The K701 has is certainly a polarizing headphone, but I'm sure, merely based on its price point that it belongs in a high end discussion.
 
The Qualias are a polarizing headphone but this is very much due to its fit limitations. (Please note I have never heard the Qualias and this is one of the 2 headphones which I post here that I have absolutely no experience, I am simply speculating based on what I have read, the reason for the diversified opinions)
 
The PS1000 / GS1000 appear to be a polarizing headphone specifically the latter....This appears due to what some would consider "hot treble" and in my own personal opinion a slight abandonment of the classic Grado sound.
 
The R10 are not as much polarizing but one one reaches outside the 3 grand mark, its very difficult for some to justify price and this makes many detest its pricepoint/performance ratio.
 
The HE90 are believe it or not polarizing for the same reason as the R10s....this is the other headphone besides the Qualias which I have never heard.
 
The Omega 2s are polarizing because they are on the dark side and not everyone loves this....however devotees of this headphone will be adamant about the amplification limitations of those who claim it to be a dark headphone....until I hear every set up I have to reserve a little faith in those who know better.
 
The HD650 have been polarizing for their laid back highs though again based merely on pricepoint are not considered high-end.
 
Ultrasone headphones have their detractors because of the amount of luxury appeal that you pay for.  Very often a $2000 headphone for Ultrasone is equivalent sonically to a headphone in the $500 range of another company but is far more luxurious and sleek and this is bothersome to many.
 
The K1000 are not so much polarizing but they are hard to power and they have certain issues regarding grill rattle which is hardly ever addressed in this forum and I think it should be mentioned.  Revision to this post: Uncle Erik points out below that while in production the K1000 were very polarizing due to what some have called bass deficient.   There are at least 2 variations in the driver design and the variation is quite extreme depending on what your perception of sound is.  From my experience the K1000s are capable of being bass heavy but Uncle Erik's post reminded me that the K1000 have been criticized numerous times for a bass cut off at about 50 hz.
 
The T1 are polarizing for the simple fact that the HD800 are overall more hyped and in my opinion slightly better and they were released within months of each other.  Some note that the T1 have nasal qualities or grain but others disagree and the same can be said about the.....
 
.....The HD800 has the luxury of being the most hyped headphone in terms of eagerly awaited debut since Head-fi started.  Notice I did not say overhyped because 1, I love the headphone, but also because I reserve the "over" as an opinion.  The HD800 are one of the hardest to amp to one's exact specifications unless they have the option of hearing several amps.
 
Denons tend to be warmish and the D7000 which is currently their highest offering will be considered bloated by some.
 
The LCD2 and HE6 are totally independent of each other but for different reasons each headphone will end up on someone's "worst of" list inevitably.....The LCD2 can, depending on amp, lack some air and have some comfort issues.  The HE-6 is along with the K1000 the most difficult headphone ever made to power well and unless one's amp is up to the task, the concept of owning an HE-6 is moot.  The HE-6 also have some comfort issues but in my opinion are more minor than the LCD2.
 
I have not covered nearly every headphone mentioned in this thread, but I covered the headphones which I know well (aside for the two which I speculate about due to extensive reading) and feel comfortable putting my interpretive spin on.  
 
I hope this helps you a little with regards to combing through the thread.
 
PS, one bit of logic I always use is the more people love a headphone, the more chance someone will eventually be taken by the praise and disappointed by the sound.  Meaning, if 10 people claim a headphone is the best ever, chances are Person 11 will be underwhelmed and you'll see the headphone listed in this thread.
 
I think one headphone which is pretty standardly loved for what it is, is the HD600.  It's not better than most of the headphones mentioned above, but it's on the cheaper side (compared to the high high pricepoint headphones) and it is quite impressive.  I think with all variables considered......sound, comfort, looks, price especially, the HD600 remain the standard in terms of value and it is the benchmark which I judge every other headphone by in terms of value, not sound.
 
Also this is pretty obvious but my post only deals with headphones, not other high end audio components.  It is nearly impossible for any one person to hear all the different high end components mixed and matched unless they are a multimillionaire with a hoarding syndrome 
very_evil_smiley.gif

 
Dec 25, 2010 at 4:51 AM Post #403 of 435

wind016

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WOW DavidMahler,
 
Thanks SOOO much for summing that up. Usually I don't have much time to read most of the posts and I tend to keep my posts short. I really appreciate you putting the time to write that up. It's a great summary and you're quite the lucky guy to hear all that equipment!
 
Thanks again for that! I will use your post to help start my search for the next open headphone purchase.
 
Happy holidays!
 
Joe
 
Dec 25, 2010 at 4:52 AM Post #404 of 435

Uncle Erik

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I slightly disagree, David.

The K-1000 was polarizing and controversial while in production. Lots of people complained about its bass and there was a lot of controversy about amping.

Oddly, the K-1000 became very popular after AKG discontinued it. The price nearly doubled and people seemed to reach consensus on amplification issues.

Whether the K-1000 was in the top tier of headphones was up for debate. A few years on, and the K-1000 is more popular than it ever was when new. Weird, but there you have it.
 
Dec 25, 2010 at 5:10 AM Post #405 of 435

DavidMahler

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Quote:
I slightly disagree, David.

The K-1000 was polarizing and controversial while in production. Lots of people complained about its bass and there was a lot of controversy about amping.

Oddly, the K-1000 became very popular after AKG discontinued it. The price nearly doubled and people seemed to reach consensus on amplification issues.

Whether the K-1000 was in the top tier of headphones was up for debate. A few years on, and the K-1000 is more popular than it ever was when new. Weird, but there you have it.

True about the bass, but there are at least 2 different versions of the K1000 and some which I have heard on certain amps are close to what I would call bass monsters!!! :)
 
 

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