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Posts posted by catscratch

  1. I always use EQ. With a well implemented EQ there's very little reason not to. The degradation in sound quality is minimal, and the improvement from having a more linear FR is very noticeable. For instance, I always hear a resonance around 7.5khz in full-size over-ear headphones (probably some outer ear resonance, it isn't there in measurements) and EQ lets me minimize it, making things much smoother. There are obviously limits to what EQ can correct, and it's not going to turn a turd into something listenable, but it can definitely take an already good headphone to the next level for very little cost. I'm still learning how to use it properly, but using a sine sweep or a test tone generator with a frequency slider to hear where the peaks and dips are, and then correcting based off of that has worked pretty well so far.

    • Like 1
  2. 23 hours ago, purk said:

    I would get a used GS-1 and upgrade the old dynalo boards to Dynalo plus over the Gilmore Lite M2 with the brick power supply.  Justin charged me $200 for them and the overall tone is warmer which should match a little better with the Utopia.   You can also buy the GL2 and find a used Headroom DPS power supply instead of using the supplied brick psu for better sound.  Best is to go with the GSX-mini or Doug ECP DSHA-3F to improve upon the smallish soundstage.

    That's more or less the plan. A DHSA-3F is probably next once I find the funds. But I do need to decide if I want to keep going with the Utopia. It does some things brilliantly but other things annoy me, but I don't know if what I'm looking for in a headphone exists in the first place, so this may be as close as it gets.

  3. Is the GS-1 anything like the Gilmore Lite Mk2 voicing-wise? I find the GL2 to be dead neutral, with excellent technicalities, but the Utopia leans a bit to the bright side, and could really use a warm and lush signal path. In my system right now (with M51 as source) it sounds very clear, punchy, spacious, and detailed, but also a bit dry and a bit analytical.

    • Thanks 1
  4. Funny you should say that, since I'm also also playing through BL2 with a friend and I'm also playing a 30-something Gunzerker. Though with no mods. On top of that I'm also playing solo, with a 60-something Zero trying to get to the endgame. UVHM is actually pretty damn hard at times.

    BL2 has aged well. It still looks fresh thanks to the stylized graphics, the gunplay's solid, and the slick writing and voice acting just polishes it all off.

    The timed exclusive deal is BS, but I wonder how the game will be monetized, especially if Take 2 is publishing. There's just so much potential for abuse... loot boxes, nerfed xp gain and xp boosters sold for cash, content cut out and sold as overpriced dlc, etc etc. Maybe the failure of Anthem and the rocky launch of D2 will make them think twice about some of this, but never underestimate the predictability of stupidity, as the wise man said. Or, as said another, greed is eternal.

  5. They did improve them. The original had straight yokes, the result of which was that the earcups couldn't swivel outwards enough and the clamping force was applied to the top of the earpad more than the bottom, causing comfort issues and bad seal.

    It looks like the shape of the yokes is different on the new one, which should remedy this. Though it looks like it might also increase clamping force a bit, unless they enlarge the headband.

    Either way, comfort issues, shitty bass, and a top end that was just a little bit too peaky are my main complaints with the L700. Seems like they're trying to address 2 out of 3 at least, and it should end up a better headphone.

    ... unless they find some new and innovative way to fuck it up. I wouldn't put it past them but I'm getting one either way.

    • Like 2
  6. Out of Stax brand amps, I've used the 313, 007t, and 717, and preferred the 717 by a good margin. Considering the similarities between that and the KGSS, the suggestion is a very good one, if you can swing it. The L700 does tend to be a touch bright though and you may need a bit of EQ to get the highs to behave. It's not bad however, I don't use more than 4db anywhere.

    JimL's suggestion is the most cost effective solution for a good amp by far.

    I would say that they're not too amp picky and even very basic amps sound decent... as long as they're good amps.

    • Thanks 2
  7. Sounds like they're trying to steer customers to stuff that doesn't sell to clear out inventory...

    Anyway, never heard the Jade 2 so I can't judge, but having lived with the L700 for a couple of years, I think you'll be happy. Maybe not the last word in technicality or accuracy but a very engaging, vivid, and musical sounding headphone that I've enjoyed about as much as anything I've had over the years. Very punchy and dynamic sounding too.

    • Like 2
  8. If this works out and is good, I'll most likely get a pair too.

    Definitely appreciate the transparency from the manufacturer. My only concern at this point is the detachable cable. I'm not sure if high voltage bias lines, detachable cables, and aftermarket cable manufacturers that have no clue what they're doing are a good mix.

    Otherwise looks very promising.

  9. DIY Audio Heaven tested a M&J headphone with this design including frequency response for each driver.


    There appears to be no crossover. The dynamic driver contributes most of the sound while the electret pretty much plays in the background. The FR is a mess. At least the cheapo version I can understand, but for hundreds of dollars?

    Thanks for the teardown.

  10. 3 hours ago, brazilnut79 said:

    That has been my experience with the 003, is that the same you've experienced?

    No. They needed a good fit or they would sound off, too dull with a big dip in the upper mids. With the headband, I couldn't get them positioned right, and without the headband, they wouldn't stay in my ears unless the tips were physically big enough to be wedged inside the ear firmly enough to stay put. Then they would cause pain after 15 minutes and my ears would literally swell shut for days. So I couldn't use them.

    Yeah, they sounded great. What Kevin said is spot on. I preferred them over most things, especially for vocals.

    I don't know if the new one has a different driver, and I haven't tried the new tips.

    Sadly, as I get older, ergonomics only become more important.

  11. Where do you see L300 measurements in that thread? I only see L300LE. The only comparative measurements for the L300 I've seen are Tyll's and the ones here. As to whether or not they're more or less linear than previous Lambdas, see for yourself.

    My L700 audibly rolls off in the bass but as spritzer said, not that much. There is still audible extension down to 20hz, but sub-bass is quieter than it should be. Not a big deal IMO. Also I wear glasses that break the seal.

    The SR-003 I had and really liked how it sounded but the fit was awful to the point of actually causing pain after about 10 minutes, so I gave up on using them. That was with the old tips and the old drivers. Looking at the new tips, I'm still skeptical.

    Lastly, using aftermarket pads, especially non-Lambda ones, on Lambdas is something I'd be careful with. The driver/ear distance in an electrostat is important and changing it will change the sound.

    • Like 1
  12. Well from what I remember Koss hasn't changed the original ESP950 since it was introduced, which was in the early 90s. A few years ago they were hit with a massive embezzlement crisis where a high ranking employee stole millions from the company. They're not exactly the world's biggest headphone manufacturer either, and I'm guessing that must have hurt. Considering that the 950 is a low volume marginal product, and everything else that has happened to them, spending R&D time fixing the original's issues or developing a thoroughly optimized new version is probably not high on the priorities list.

    Still, if you want one, I second Purk's suggestion to get the original, and I've seen them retail as low as $400, though that was some years ago too. The price will fluctuate and if you're not in a rush to get one now, there will certainly be a good deal to be had. That is, if you don't want to buy an L300 instead.

  13. Cloth earpads that produce lint and drivers with no dust covers. What could possibly go wrong?

    I wonder how the warranty would work on these. Do you send them in to Koss in the usual way or do you have to go through Massdrop? If there is the usual lifetime warranty it might not be that bad... I still wouldn't though, until they get some dust covers.

  14. I've said it before, but I guess it bears repeating... I have no idea why Sonoma Acoustics went with a Warwick Audio driver for their statement headphone, since that driver was designed to be a modular, low-cost alternative to a traditional electrostatic driver. They would have been better off with just about any other high-end driver, including off-the-shelf dynamic ones... but I guess you can't charge $5k for a system if you use plain vanilla dynamic drivers. Or maybe you can these days, considering the crazy prices everyone else is charging.

    The FR looks quite nice in Tyll's measurements, and I'm guessing there's a lot of nifty DSP work going on in there to massage some semblance of neutrality out of these drivers, but it's wasted effort that would be better spent on something that performs well in the first place. Hopefully if they do a follow up headphone, they'll use an actual high end driver.

  15. People have been spreading the idea that driver/ear distance with Lambdas doesn't matter and you can use whatever pads you want, and it's become common knowledge. I guess 10db of midbass hump and nothing below 50hz qualifies as great bass to people.

  16. I've emailed Stax in the past and gotten a response in English. So either someone speaks it over there, or Google translate does. But the sad truth of being a small company is that you never have enough time, people, or money to do everything that you need to do. So them simply not having gotten around to translating everything, or not wanting to spend the money to hire someone to do it, is pretty understandable.

  17. I'm guessing that number is exaggerated because people who haven't had problems are probably less likely to either find this poll or vote in it. Generally, polls like that are hardly accurate or scientific. Still, the warning about buying from authorized dealers stands. I've read elsewhere of focal drivers potentially running out of excursion at high spl, and I wonder if that relates to more frequent driver failure.

    • Like 1
  18. +1 to Jim's warning about preserving hearing. Hearing damage is permanent, and it may also not manifest immediately. If your ears are ringing, or feel like they're stuffed with cotton, then that's your ears telling you to stop. It's also a good idea to test your hearing (you can do that at home with a test tone generator) and see what your high frequency extension is, and if it's below the average for your age, you should also probably consider backing off the knob a bit.

    I used the O2 Mk1 for years almost exclusively and didn't notice any serious distortion, but I also rarely listened at super high volumes.

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