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About WHO23

  • Birthday August 29

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  • Headphones
    Kaldas Research RR1 Conquest | ES Lab ES-1α | STAX SR-007A | STAX SR-507 | STAX SR-003mk2
  • Headphone Amps
    STAX SRM-353X | STAX SRM-T1W | STAX SRM-D10 | Kingsound M03
  • Sources
    OPPO Sonica | Soncoz SGD1 | miniDSP SHD Studio | Orchard Audio ApplePi | Allo Katana | Khadas Tone2 | Khadas Tone Board | Drop + Audio-Technica Carbon VTA Turntable
  • Other Audio Gear
    B&O BeoLab 5 | Devialet Phantom Silver | Ascend Acoustics Sierra-2EX | Focal Aria 906 | Asipilin DIY LS3/5a | Elac Uni-fi UB5 | KEF Q150 | Audioengine A5N

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  1. Ah it's interesting to hear your rationale on choosing the final pads. I totally understand you. The nasal sound makes the vocalist sound closer to the microphone and can be quite pleasing. Since I swap headphones quite often, the peak is more pronounced for me and hence why I've been trying to EQ all my headphones. Some good headphones I've heard have a hump in the 1-2kHz region (ie ZMF Auteur, Focal Elex/Clear, Focal Utopia, Audio-Technica ADX5000 & SendyAudio Aiva) and I'm totally fine with them. The 800-1200Hz region also isn't as steep considering that the venerated Sennheiser HD600 (and the Stax SR-507 & Audio-Technica MSR7 and Phonon SMB-02) has a slope with almost the same gradient.
  2. After measuring the ES-1α yesterday, I became concerned with the 1200Hz peak and went to EqualizerAPO to try to EQ out that huge peak. Here are my findings after fiddling with EQ. v1) Firstly I tried to get the 300Hz-2000Hz to my beloved HD800S as closely as possible This meant getting as much as [email protected] and [email protected] In the first few iterations, I instantly felt female vocals getting cleaner and no longer heard the nasal sound. However as I approached the set target, I instantly felt the sound quality drastically reduced. Vocals no longer sounded nasal but now sounded rather plasticky and the sharpness within tracks were more pronounced. v2) After looking at some graphs at diyaudioheaven, I decided to focus on the 1000Hz region. I decided to reduce the emphasis on the 1200Hz-2000Hz region and sound fidelity improved, gaining clarity. At this point it was [email protected] but I felt I was trying to EQ it too much. v3) After referring to my measurements of the revered Sennheiser HD6## series, I decided to get it to [email protected] I adjusted and removed many of peaking filters and ended up with this final iteration. This EQ removed the nasal just enough that I could no longer notice the nasal & tinny sound from my songs. I kept the adjustments on the 300Hz-700Hz region but you could remove it without affecting fidelity. v4) I tried adding sub-bass by using a low-shelf filter of [email protected] My measurements showed [email protected] but the SRM-T1W was specified to be ±[email protected] so I set it at 4.5dB. I felt that the difference was minimal and this reduced fidelity overall because I had to do adjust the whole frequency band by using a preamplification of -4.5dB and also limited the volume you can push your headphone/amp to. To conclude, I feel the only noticeable sonic weakness of this headphone during my early impressions seems to stem in the 1kHz region. It's surprising how a -2dB EQ can affect the fidelity of this headphone and it's a testament to how sensitive our hearing is in this region. As with any headphone and IEM, there is some sibilance with the ES-1α but the EQ for that is dependent on the length of your own ear canal.
  3. ESLab ES-1α Measurements: (MiniDSP EARS. 500Hz 84dB normalized. All graphs use 1/12 smoothing.) (Electrostatic Rig #1: Laptop->Soncoz SGD-1->STAX SRM-T1W->MiniDSP EARS Rig #1) *Since I'm using a STAX Tube Amp (SRM-T1W) there may be some low and high frequency falloff in my measurements. Also the Right channel on my MiniDSP ears tends to measure higher bass than the Left channel. Also during measurements, I had difficulty getting the Right channel to seal properly while I had relative ease with measuring the Left channel. ESLab ES-1α (blues) vs STAX SR-507 (reds) <Raw Measurements> \\Solid (Left) vs Light (Right) \\L&R Averaged ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ESLab ES-1α (black) vs STAX SR-507 (purple) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Left channel only> ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (Notice: Electrostatic measurements and headphone measurements are using different rigs) (Electrostatic Rig #1: Laptop->Soncoz SGD-1->STAX SRM-T1W->MiniDSP EARS Rig #1) (Headphone Rig #2: Laptop->Oppo Sonica->Massdrop THX 789->MiniDSP EARS Rig #2) *Rig #1 (Electrostatic Rig) registered less bass due to the different MiniDSP EARS units & also I'm using a STAX Tube amp which may have a sub-bass roll-off. I had difficulty getting the Right channel to seal properly. Left channel seems to be more indicative of the sound I'm hearing and henceforth I will be JUST using Left channel measurements. ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Verum 1 <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> \\ ES-1α (black) vs Verum 1 w/ Default Pads (olive) vs Verum 1 w/ Perforated Pads (brown) ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Hifiman HE-500 w/ Focus A pad & Fuzzor Mod (green) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Audeze LCD-2.2 non-Fazor w/ Dekoni Velour Pads(maroon) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs SendyAudio Aiva (orange) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Focal Elex (lilac) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Beyerdynamic DT1990 w/ Analytical Pads (teal) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs ZMF Aeolus (orange) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Sennheiser HD800S (crimson) <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> ESLab ES-1α (black) vs Sennheiser HD6## <Pur1n's SBAF Compensation. Rig #1 vs Rig #2. Left Only> // ES-1α (black) vs HD600 (brown) vs HD6XX/650 (pink) vs HD58X (red) vs HD660S (green) Longtime lurker here. I converted to the dark side just recently. I hope the measurements are a useful comparison tool for you. My Early Impressions: I feel the ES-1α has very natural bass and mids and that is comparable to DT1990 w/ Analytical Pads, Verum 1, Hifiman HE-500 & Audeze LCD2. There is some brightness in the 1.5kHz region which is more elevated than the Sennheiser HD600 and are also present on the SR-507, SR-007, Focal Elex and SendyAudio Aiva. Upper treble is well extended giving it an airy feel and big soundstage. The uneven treble does make some vocals (particularly female vocals) recessed like in the HD800S, which you may or may not like.
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