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Headphones and low end enjoyment (Read 4369 times)
Jeff1
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Headphones and low end enjoyment
12/07/17 at 23:43:51
 
I am sure I am opening a can of worms regarding speakers vs headphones. I am finding my interest leaning to headphones. My philosophy about investment is quality vs quantity. I would most likely forego my current amp and speakers  and just take the headphone dive if I was able to justify the enjoyment factor as much. How are you finding the low end with phones as opposed to speakers moving large amounts of air and adding a physical push of bass lines? I am all in on the acceptance that the mids are potentially better using of course the amp and headphone /amp combo from here. However I have used phones in the past and just do not get that "you are there" feeling. My listening levels are say comfortable not excessively loud so wondering what opinions or experiences may be found here. If your equipment isn't listed let me know what you are or like using.
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PI Audio Uberbuss, Esoteric K05X, DW Silver Ref. interconnect, TabooMK4, ZMF Silver Michanikos, Audeze LCD-XC.
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4krow
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #1 - 12/08/17 at 01:54:38
 
Jeff1,

 I would have had the same issue not that long ago about bass and other issues as well. I couldn't believe how much headphones have improved over the years. I own a few sets of phones, so that may well tell you how my opinion has changed. So far, I have: Hi-Fi Man HD400S planar phones; Great and accurate bass, to my surprise, and much more...... ZMF ORI planar phones as sold by Decware; Probably my favorites in most ways, including that deep bass that you ask for...... Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 dynamic phones; Wonderful if you don't like cords, but no match for the first two. Having said that, they also have decent bass, if not on par with the first two phones...... Grado SR225i dynamic phones. A bit bright for my taste, yet, marry well with certain amps.
So, I bring up amps.... Yes I do for a very good reason. The re is NO small difference between each amp that I own and it's marriage with the phones described. Oh boy, here we go. My favorite amp is a headphone amp design by John Broskie. It is built up with a tremendous power supply, some fairly rare automotive radio tubes, used as radio frequency oscillators, and uses an output device that is normally used as a voltage regulator. The result is nothing that I have ever heard before in a headphone amp. Slam is the biggest, but not the most important word. Bass control, midrange accuracy, and a not too in your face treble, make it unbeatable. Next is the Decware rachel amp that is normally used for speakers, but also sounds incredibly musical with phones. Of course, there is my Xenos SS headphone amp that holds it's own in it's category. Good for the Grados.  Lastly, I have DAC/Head amp by Xian Sheng that is heavily modified. Great DAC, not bad for a SS amp either. So the story could well continue on, but you can now see that all of this equipment was bought and kept ON PURPOSE, in some preference to speakers and the room acoustics involved. More later, less sooner.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #2 - 12/22/17 at 20:28:15
 
4krow, I've been very curious about the ZMF phones. How do you like your ORIs? How does its sound differ from your Grados?
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4krow
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #3 - 12/25/17 at 20:51:31
 
The ORI phones are a different animal than the Grado phones. The only reason that I would say that each has it's purpose is because of the possible arrangement with a certain headphone system. So, that means that the Grados are often relegated to SS amps, or in the shop for troubleshooting a problem. The ORI phones are in a completely different category for serious listening through my Aikido tube amp.
The difference in sound and presentation is that the Grados are much brighter and more sensitive. They have good bass and good midrange as well. Their presentation is much more forward sounding than the ORI phones. The ORI phones, when played through either the Decware Rachel, or the Aikido  amp have richness and more layed back presentation of the music. Bass is quite impactful, but also very deep. treble is less forward and yet quite detailed. Don't forget that I also own a set of Hi-Fi Man HD400S phones that are also planar type. They give yet another presentation of the music, and so, it can become a choice of whether I want to listen to a certain recording this way or the other.
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Decware 34I.3 integrated amp/Forte' 3 bass amp/Velodyne SMS-1 bass mngmnt system/Decware ZOB speakers/Audio Nirvana 8" bass drivers/Xiang Seng DAC/ LR Audio Computer/Rega Apollo R CDP/Emotiva ERC3 CDP/BPT 3.0 power cond.
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Matthew
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #4 - 03/09/18 at 06:00:25
 
I can tell you from my own experience, your source is very important with headphones.  I use a soundcard for listening on my PC.  The most recent switch I did was to move from a Creative Labs X-Fi Extreme Music card to an older, M-Audio Delta 410, and the difference is night and day, the quality being on the M-Audio card.  I use a Yamaha C-65 Pre-amplifier as a headphone amplifier.  My guestimation (After reseraching the IC resonsible for powering headphones, in this amp) is that I am receiving around 300mW using my 24-Ohm Sony MDR-V700's.  The soundstage is amazing, with great separation.  As Steve has mentioned, many a times, using a great combo of equipment is very revealing--and shows you how good or bad a recording is.  I've been suddenly, very disappointed with some of my favorite albums because the recording is so imbalanced and harsh, whereas I find new appreciation for albums I didn't care for as much because I can suddenly hear more instruments, more voices, more everything which gives me renewed respect for the recording and the work that went into it.

By the way, OP what combination of parts were you using in your example of headphone listening?

Matthew
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AdamsSam
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #5 - 04/05/19 at 16:02:51
 
Hi Jeff, I also had a very similar issue. However, I took a break from headphones for a couple of years and when I came back, I was floored by how the low-end was with my digital piano.

Here is a resource I found that really helped me with learning more about headphones.

https://keyboardkraze.com/best-digital-piano-headphones/
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mymusictrip
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #6 - 06/20/19 at 10:26:05
 
Hello, It’s really important to choose the high-quality digital piano headphone when you are playing it. I also come across the similar problems when searching for it. Here is a resource https://www.arkartech.net/blogs/blog/best-headphones-for-digital-piano , I found and hope to help you and let you learn more about headphones. Smiley
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Crazy Bill the Eel Killer
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #7 - 06/28/19 at 03:09:29
 
OK, let me throw my two cents in.
First off, for me, forget the digital ( and I've had very close to SOTA stuff ). Only analog for me. Life is short and only so much time to listen. ( plus I've got a record collection Mikey Fremer would cut off his right arm for ).

Turntable:  Amazon Grand Referenze ( so no slouch )
Arm : ( Pete Riggle Woody ) preferred over a Moerch DP8 and a Fidelity Research FR66S.
MM cartridge ( AT 150MLX or Shure VIII w/ Jico SAS stylus) only feeding the Decware ZP3 ( modified by Steve )
then into an Intact Audio 47 step silver audioformer , feeding  into an 2005 era CS84 I bought from Parts Connexion ( to be modded soon )
A DIY speaker to headphone connector feeding the cans I have used with this set up. ( Senn  HD650 w/ Cardas Cable, AKG 701 (,Austrian version, AKG 702 w/ Cardas Cable- Austrian version ).

The point of all this rambling.

Listening set-up is no slouch.

It took me a while to figure out grounding issues and I had noise ( hum).
But once figured out, the ZP3 into the Decware SE84CS is so quiet as to be unbelievable into my cans.
Listening now to this set-up into Grado GS3000e cans. WOW!

And I'm favoring this over Stax  cans ( SR007MKll and SR Omega ) fed via WOO AUDIO WES with upgraded tubes ).

What can I say. My headphone set-up is , while not dead quiet, very close to it.

In my case, didn't need any resitor network.

Of course, YMMV.

Happy listening,            Crazy Bill

P.S.   Glad to hear this set-up worked for you. Enjoy the music.
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Coolzo
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #8 - 07/16/19 at 05:12:04
 
As someone who (perhaps rather uniquely on this forum) listens to electronic music (mostly Drum 'n' Bass), I can safely say that no headphone will ever recreate low-frequency content like speakers or vice versa. You just can't get quite the same pressurization going on inside an earcup. It's quite frankly all preference, of course.

Now for my personal opinion: I feel that my preferred headphones, the Sennheiser HD800SDR, do a very convincing job of making my ears (and just my ears) feel the sub-bass just enough, despite their relatively lean character. I attribute this partially to the large surface area created by their diaphragms. These are paired with the Decware CSP3 w/ Jupiter copper caps, by the way. My 10" Tannoy speakers are equally lovely in the mids, albeit not as resolving- paired with a 15" HSU subwoofer, it definitely can shake things up a bit. Yet most of the time, I find it much easier to listen to my headphone rig! I'd say that if the mids and treble aren't up to snuff, they only serve to detract from the bass... and the bass should be tight, extended, and tuneful, but not overwhelming. I find that most speaker systems either don't extend deep enough, or have fatiguing bass in one region or another, unless carefully tuned.

Not sure if that goes along with what you're getting at, but yeah. New poster!
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Jeff1
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Re: Headphones and low end enjoyment
Reply #9 - 07/23/19 at 13:51:16
 
So far after about 8 months of headphone listening I can say there is a miss of that impactful body feeling of having speakers and a sub. Although my previous speakers were Legacy Signature SE and Metro sub my set now is much more revealing specifically in the mid and mid bass area. Lower end bass is pleasingly good. Better on some discs lacking on others but I attribute that to better revelation of the mastering.

My bass reference has been the Beatles Come Together. A nice prominent melodic bass line. To me just as enjoyable with my set now with added resolution in the rest of the audio spectrum.

I suppose the speaker vs headphone and analog vs digital etc debate just comes down to personal preference of the listeners ears. Each way of listening has positives. I can say that the headphones have released me from the acoustic room treatment rabbit hole and the chase for minute changes which can detract from just the pleasure of listening. Getting older could be it as well. As a life long hobby/pursuit transitions your personal philosophy and definition of enjoyment.  

To answer my own question. A good headphone set up can definitely provide a low end level of reproduction and clarity. No body feeling of sound pressure obviously so in the end preference is a personal choice.
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PI Audio Uberbuss, Esoteric K05X, DW Silver Ref. interconnect, TabooMK4, ZMF Silver Michanikos, Audeze LCD-XC.
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