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New HiFiMAN headphones


Leonardo Drummond
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I'm not referring to repair but upgrade to a current version.

Given the way they manage production if you buy one of their products you have no way of knowing exactly what it is, as its actual configuration is not stated on the product, so is it the original, rev1, rev2, rev2.5 rev 3, rev 2.7 veiled, rev 2.7 unveiled ad-nauseum. I have never ever seen any manufacturer operate in such a way.  

I understood exactly what you were saying, I was correcting your use of the term, 'obsolescence'.  I understand you not appreciating it, whatever it is, but that's not what it is, it's something else.

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DEF: "Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted or out of date, even though it may still be in good working order."

 

What i'm saying is that earlier versions are no longer wanted, as buyers go for the recent Audeze FOTM, which is supposedly superior to the 10 versions that have gone before it.

For example on many of the European audio forums very early version of some Audeze products have become almost unsaleable due to the way the manufacturer has operated. (e.g. The first versions of the LCD2 and LCD3).

Audeze are basically undermining the resale value of their own products. The only way you can determine exactly what you might be purchasing is to email the company and try and persuade them to tell you which version it is.   

 

I understood exactly what you were saying, I was correcting your use of the term, 'obsolescence'.  I understand you not appreciating it, whatever it is, but that's not what it is, it's something else.

Edited by complin
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I get where eggil is coming from, before I was booted from the other site I remember a few then recent posts in the LCD2 Appreciation thread that the new batch LCD3's and LCD2's have the fazor tech inside. The way I view the whole revision LCD2/3 debacle is that Audeze have been been playing the experimenting game with new unstated and quietly slipped in changes here and there besides there official announcements on rev.2 and metal angled connectors for LCD2's and not a single word from them for the changes in veiled and non veiled LCD3's besides user feedback in forums. Now I've heard quite a handful of LCD2's up to one from early this year and the new ones do sound different in smallish amounts but noticeable and a couple of LCD3's. The differences are there from the same models regardless of what new shit they're pushing out.

Then you get either plain clueless/misinformed or just delusional users who start non official crap like rev2.3, rev.3 or 3.5 it just makes the whole process more of a massive headache to follow or separate differences.

Edited by DefQon
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DEF: "Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service, or practice is no longer wanted or out of date, even though it may still be in good working order."

 

What i'm saying is that earlier versions are no longer wanted, as buyers go for the recent Audeze FOTM, which is supposedly superior to the 10 versions that have gone before it.

For example on many of the European audio forums very early version of some Audeze products have become almost unsaleable due to the way the manufacturer has operated. (e.g. The first versions of the LCD2 and LCD3).

Audeze are basically undermining the resale value of their own products. The only way you can determine exactly what you might be purchasing is to email the company and try and persuade them to tell you which version it is.   

 

Then by this definition you should never buy Stax, I counted five versions of O2 with no clear offical definition between them (at least not between different version of MkI and MkII). I think the early and late SR-404 have different/modified drivers. Their amps are worse, with the same model having multiple different internal circuits.

 

Don't buy Sennheiser either, with their white driver update issues with the HD650. HD800 apparently also have different sound signature between early, later and latest production run.

 

In fact you probably shouldn't buy any electronics such as mobile phones, computers and game consoles. Manufacturers will almost certainly fix and improve their products as production run continue, with different revisions being sold as the same product.

 

I am not defending Audeze or Hifiman, but there are certain reality in rolling out a product. You do the best you can and test the hell out of it to minimize mistake. Then you cross your finger and hope the remaining problem are sufficiently small such that the product don't have to be recalled. At the same time as new research/data/information come to light, or when parts and materials become unavailable, you would modify your design and improve your product.

 

There are alway risks of being early adapter, both in price and quality of the product available. It is unreasonable for anyone to expect manufacturers to freeze the product so that the consumer can resell it at a higher price.

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One of the reasons why I bought HiFiMan instead of Audeze was this very business. HiFiMan was much more professional and reliable. (Not that the bar is set terribly high in this case) there was too much uncertainty all the way around with Audeze.

On the the other hand, Audeze is selling a ton of product, so who's to call them wrong?

Resale value is a gamble. That's on me. I want to listen to the things, not flip them, anyway.

Now that I can go to a dealer and listen to the sample that I would take home, I'm more interested in Audeze. But being able to shop that way is pretty rare in the headphone world.

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Well i'm afraid you seem to be proving the point DefQon made. 

Its all the totally incorrect speculation and hype from that other place where we know everything is based on solid facts :rofl:

I have a early, late and middle production Sennheiser HD800 and they all sound exactly the same, not a jot of difference between them, As we say here "its an old wives tale"

 

I'm aware that during production runs Stax will use different components for the same purpose, particularly as they change supplier or their suppliers stop making them, but thats quite usual.

 

But the same model of Stax amps have multiple different circuits - Really !!??  

 

Then by this definition you should never buy Stax, ..................................Their amps are worse, with the same model having multiple different internal circuits.

 

Don't buy Sennheiser either, with their white driver update issues with the HD650. HD800 apparently also have different sound signature between early, later and latest production run.

 

 

Edited by complin
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The only Stax amp to have a major change to the circuitry over the production run is the SRM-1 Mk2.  There were naturally revisions as at that point in time electronic components really came of age as we moved from 10% resistors to solid 1% units.  Major development in transistors too but then again the amp was in production for 12 years so things will change. 

 

As for the headphones, the SR-Omega saw some refinement of the design as they tried to address issues.  The outer grill rattled so a pad was installed to dampen it.  The stator support was too fragile in worst case scenarios so they tried to improve that.  Same for the Mk1 007, they were trying to address issues and to make production cheaper.  The faux leather on the headband turned nasty so it was replaced, the drivers were hard to install (you do it blind) so they changed that and that meant they had to alter the support frame a bit.  While there are some sonic issues involved it was all done from the point of improvement.  Also the 007 Mk1 was made for 9 years and most of that time they are the same.  Some QC issues but shit happens. 

 

The HD650 stuff is just ludicrous as nobody bothered to check what Sennheiser was doing.  Improvement by using a sturdier material than the cloth they used earlier.  

 

What I do have a problem with is Stax releasing the SZ3 version of the 007A/Mk2 without telling anybody as that's a major change.  Sure it is an improvement in many ways but it totally changes the sound of the unit.  Same goes for the whole HEV90 debacle, shipping out basically broken amps and then trying to deny it. 

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Agreeing with the above, that thread on the new HD800's sounding different to the old serial based units is just plain bs, yes you are going get very slight variances in some parts of the measured graphs but regardless of how Sennheiser meticulously matches there drivers, 2 pairs of the same thing is never going to be 100% identical.

Despite some of the QC issues Hifiman's had with there headphones they have been transparent with most of the updates and changes they've been pushing out but like Audeze they need to focus on getting there shit together with 1 solid revision with ironed out problems for each model, the whole multiple revision per model is not very healthy for resale value and model image.

Final thing is Sony is another company for notoriously pushing out unstated changes to there headphones, the R10 is an golden example.

Edited by DefQon
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I beg to differ on the HD800 issues. I have an early HD800 which I have compare to another mid production HD800 side by side, and I could hear the difference. I used a Violectric V200 which have two outputs, so to minimise the difference in volume. I also used a SPL Phonitor as well. While they generally sound very similar, I could pick out the differences between them. The mid production model to me was clearly has slightly more detail presentation, with the early production model being slightly more bass. Both of the headphones were completely stock and using stock cable (not that I believe in cable).

 

The age, storage and earpad condition might have caused the difference, but I have heard sufficent differences that I am not willing to dismiss that there were no modification or revision during the life of the product.

 

Spritzer I might be wrong, but don't you often open up same model of Stax amps to find they look quite difference in the inside? Or are they mostly the same circuit with different layout?

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I beg to differ on the HD800 issues. I have an early HD800 which I have compare to another mid production HD800 side by side, and I could hear the difference. I used a Violectric V200 which have two outputs, so to minimise the difference in volume. I also used a SPL Phonitor as well. While they generally sound very similar, I could pick out the differences between them. The mid production model to me was clearly has slightly more detail presentation, with the early production model being slightly more bass. Both of the headphones were completely stock and using stock cable (not that I believe in cable).

Could it not just be due to manufacturing variances? The graphs that people post show there are some differences between each HP within the same batch (or concurrent batches). This would account for why there are some people who have owned multiple HD800's over time have not noticed any great difference between them.
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Could it not just be due to manufacturing variances? The graphs that people post show there are some differences between each HP within the same batch (or concurrent batches). This would account for why there are some people who have owned multiple HD800's over time have not noticed any great difference between them.

That might well be the case. I am just reporting what I heard, I could hear a difference between an early model (0003xx) and a mid production model (14xxx). So much so that I am not dismissing reports of of modification as "old wives tales".

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The differences are very little to none but I'm not sure on the batch issues now that you've brought it up but Sennheiser are one of the few with very linear consistency in the industry. I did own 3 HD800's all at once a long while ago (review is on the other site for the HD800 product page) and all 3 were pretty much identical sounding to each other, one early 4 digit S/N, another early 10xxx S/N that was purrins and a 13xxx one. Amp for testing at the time was a passive, active and balanced b22, modded M-Stage, a custom modded quad 6P14 tube amp in P-P mode I built with an active dummy load via speaker taps, cables were my own diy Crystal Piccolino balanced/se cables, source was various modded output stage and NOS modded spinners and sacd players and the 1st and 2nd gen Lampizator L2 and L3 DAC's. 

 

First test conducted was DBT twice with myself and 2 others. Then we removed the blinds and clothes and did the test actively trying to pick out differences with any psychoacoustic, placebo and cognitive bias in the equation.

Edited by DefQon
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Absolutely agree my experience entirely. 

 

I heard these claims being made on the other place so decided to check them out, which is why I bought the three samples. Several of my friends who work in the recording industry, all use HD800's in their work everyday, none agreed that older vs newer samples sounded different or better. Even my *unofficial" contacts in Sennheiser UK/DE say as far as they know there have been no changes to the sound throughout the entire production run. However it's always good to have first hand experience. 

 

Any manufactured product will have slight variances. I currently have three HD800's of similar vintage to those you referred, except that the current model is literally a few weeks old. They all have good ear pads on them and sound like peas in a pod. Unless the ones that were being compared were out of spec I think people who claim there are really noticeable differences are deluding themselves and hearing what they want to hear. The easiest person to fool is yourself!

 

One thing I did notice on the latest production sample is that the stainless steel mesh which covers the ear cups is a much lighter gauge and slightly more open. It gives more easily to the fingers when you hold it compared to earlier versions, but it sure doesn't sound any different.  

 

Anyway this discussion ought to be in the HD800 Redux thread really     

 

The differences are very little to none but I'm not sure on the batch issues now that you've brought it up but Sennheiser are one of the few with very linear consistency in the industry. I did own 3 HD800's all at once a long while ago (review is on the other site for the HD800 product page) and all 3 were pretty much identical sounding to each other, one early 4 digit S/N, another early 10xxx S/N that was purrins and a 13xxx one. Amp for testing at the time was a passive, active and balanced b22, modded M-Stage, a custom modded quad 6P14 tube amp in P-P mode I built with an active dummy load via speaker taps, cables were my own diy Crystal Piccolino balanced/se cables, source was various modded output stage and NOS modded spinners and sacd players and the 1st and 2nd gen Lampizator L2 and L3 DAC's. 

 

First test conducted was DBT twice with myself and 2 others. Then we removed the blinds and clothes and did the test actively trying to pick out differences with any psychoacoustic, placebo and cognitive bias in the equation.

Edited by complin
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Spritzer I might be wrong, but don't you often open up same model of Stax amps to find they look quite difference in the inside? Or are they mostly the same circuit with different layout?

 

Yup, they often do that.  The first 313's had the PCB mounted sideways which was then changed to a normal bottom mounted layout.  Ususally goes hand in hand with part changes. 

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Absolutely agree my experience entirely. 

 

Anyway this discussion ought to be in the HD800 Redux thread really     

 

true this, anyway any accountable differences = old/new earpad's. The seal and comfort makes a huge difference with any headphone.

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  • 4 months later...

I got to listen to the HE 560s in a good environment last week. I was impressed. If female jazz vocals are your thing and you happen to have the source and amp I heard them on, they are out of the park. (Cary HH-1 with my Fiio X-5 ; Diana Krall and Badi Assad. I rather like the Cary, by the way. )

Yes, I belittled the new headband. But it turns out to be outstanding. These are EXTREMELY comfy headphones.

I heard the LCD-Xs at the same sitting. My impression was that the LCD-Xs were more constantly excellent across different types of music. The HE 560s were a little polite for rock. But when they were on, they were on. I tried a good silver cable on the 560s and that did move them a bit in the direction of the LCD-Xs for music that needed a tad more bite.

In the fullness of time, I'll listen to both again on my own system, with a wider selection of music, and we'll see what happens.

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See? This is why I feel I shouldn't do a review sometimes. I wouldn't be able to get past what I hear as a disturbingly uncontrolled mid-treble, while Carl likes what he hears.

And lots of others too. Fuck the haters, I'm not going to harm Fang just 'cuz I might be able to make a cogent case against them with measurements and shit.

I've seen too many people like these headphones...I should just shut the fuck up about them. But people bitch about it.

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