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Sony MDR-Z1R

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of course not, I'd never try to convince you of anything.  It's for the people who actually use their brains reading it later...

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1 hour ago, Dusty Chalk said:

I disagree.  The reference is real life.  If you have a recording, and you know what it is supposed to sound like approximately one inch from the ears (where the drivers of most headphones are, and if that's where your mics are), reference headphones are ones that recreate that soundwave as accurately as possible.  Ones that deliberately colour (ones that accentuate the presence or attenuate the sibilance regions, for example, or play up the midbass to trick bassheads into thinking there is moar base), are not reference headphones.

Of course, this leads me to be very confused about the Sony MDR-V6/-7506, because I do consider them to be reference headphones in terms of bandwidth, once you mentally compensate for the colouration they introduce.

Dusty, the point I'm trying to make is this: When you read an article about a speaker/amp/ DAC/what-have-you review, the reviewer usually mentions the system in which he is using said component. Most will state that they are using their "reference" speakers/amp/ DAC/what-have-you. They say "my" reference, not "the" reference. They say this because "reference" means the item you usually "refer" to over all others. Most reviewers have totally different reference items than others, thus no one component is considered reference by all.

My reference headphones would be the AKG K1000. Not because they're the best headphone ever made, but because I completely know their signature. When using them I can therefore better understand the qualities of the component I'm auditioning.

1 hour ago, purk said:

It really is.  :ph34r:

Yes, I've heard that a million times. There's post after post after post about it over there. I've listened to numerous Qualia, of each size. Did it make a difference...yeah, probably so. Did it make me like the Qualia any better when listening to the one that fit me best (Lg.) ... No.

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15 hours ago, grawk said:

of course not, I'd never try to convince you of anything.  It's for the people who actually use their brains reading it later...

Well maybe if you weren't wrong all the time, I'd give it a go. :P

14 hours ago, swt61 said:

Dusty, the point I'm trying to make is this: When you read an article about a speaker/amp/ DAC/what-have-you review, the reviewer usually mentions the system in which he is using said component. Most will state that they are using their "reference" speakers/amp/ DAC/what-have-you. They say "my" reference, not "the" reference. They say this because "reference" means the item you usually "refer" to over all others. Most reviewers have totally different reference items than others, thus no one component is considered reference by all.

My reference headphones would be the AKG K1000. Not because they're the best headphone ever made, but because I completely know their signature. When using them I can therefore better understand the qualities of the component I'm auditioning.

I understood what you were saying the first time.  I was saying I disagree with it.

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Yay K1000.

Sent from my SM-N910T using Tapatalk

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Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, grawk said:

headphones interact more directly with your ears than speakers, so headphones that interact in a way that is accurate for one person might interact with another person in a way that is less accurate.  And different people value different aspects of sound when they're determining what is a reference headphone for them.

This.

The way I understand it - and I understand nothing - is that your brain is used to compensating for the shape of your head (your HRTFs) but is designed to compensate for a single-point source of sound somewhere well outside of your head. Speakers aren't a single-point source but for HRTF purposes they aren't that different, so when listening to speakers, people hear similar things. Headphones are very far from a single point source, the sound originates from drivers just outside your ears and enclosed by earcups besides, so a lot of your head isn't a factor, and the same compensation curve now leads you astray into hearing a different sound, from person to person. And with IEMs, where the sound basically originates inside the ear canal, the differences are more pronounced.

Now what I wonder is if the brain adjusts to the fact that the sound originates not from a single point source and comes up with some new means of compensation.

I generally agree with others on how speakers sound like. When it comes to headphones, stuff like the HD650 and SR-007 actually sounds closer to a speaker system that's tuned to be flat 20-20, for me, than a lot of other things people call neutral. When it comes to IEMs, I have no clue what others are smoking, but if my crackpot theory has merit it's to be expected. People with whom I've listened to and compared IEMs have heard rather different things with regards to FR, but similar things with regards to detail, speed, dynamics, etc.

From time spent on forums I've learned more or less how to compare myself to others, i.e. compared to Tyll, I gravitate towards a sound that is slightly, but not significantly warmer. Given those differences, I can kind-of extrapolate how things sound based on what I read but it's never easy or reliable, and even less so with IEMs.

Of course, acclimatization is a powerful force, too. Listening to the L700 after the 007, it sounds bright. Listening to the 007 after the L700, it sounds dark. And over time, both start to sound more or less normal, though the actual relative shapes of their FR - like the L700's midbass hump and small treble spikes - are always audible.

Edited by catscratch
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On 06/06/2017 at 4:08 PM, purk said:

Very much agree with you Tyll on the Z1R review.  I much prefer the recabled SA5000 and CD3000 actually.

Wow....... that recabling of your SA5000 must be magic.

My SA5000 are so sharp, like a scalpel I keep checking my eardrums for cuts and scar tissue.....   They leave the AKG K701's looking like blunt butter spatula

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Posted (edited)

Not everybody wants the red pill.

Edited by jpelg
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Steve to your point of "my" vs "the" reference I totally understand. Back in the early 90s buying speakers the Vandersteen 3c was all the rage but I could never understand why as they always sounded disconnected from the music. The Alon 2 alternately always connected me to the music immediately, it didn't make the either speaker the reference as both were highly regarded entry to mid proced "audophile" speakers. 

Funny enough today my speakers are studio monitors (Genelec 8050) and for years I fed them with the Metric Halo UNL-8 both of which would have been commonplace in studios but many sound engineers love this combo and some hate this combo. Neither is correct for some it allows them a reference to perform their jobs and for others it gets in the way of doing their job. 

Now the measurements Tyll don't look great, weirdly the LCD-X measure better but I find myself listening to the Sony more often. One would have thought that Sony would have measured their headphones during the development stage. Talking to the Sony team they seemed more science that headphone cottage industry magic people. 

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9 hours ago, Dusty Chalk said:

Well maybe if you weren't wrong all the time, I'd give it a go.

I understood what you were saying the first time.  I was saying I disagree with it.

Fair enough.

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9 hours ago, catscratch said:

This.

The way I understand it - and I understand nothing - is that your brain is used to compensating for the shape of your head (your HRTFs) but is designed to compensate for a single-point source of sound somewhere well outside of your head. Speakers aren't a single-point source but for HRTF purposes they aren't that different, so when listening to speakers, people hear similar things. Headphones are very far from a single point source, the sound originates from drivers just outside your ears and enclosed by earcups besides, so a lot of your head isn't a factor, and the same compensation curve now leads you astray into hearing a different sound, from person to person. And with IEMs, where the sound basically originates inside the ear canal, the differences are more pronounced.

Now what I wonder is if the brain adjusts to the fact that the sound originates not from a single point source and comes up with some new means of compensation.

I generally agree with others on how speakers sound like. When it comes to headphones, stuff like the HD650 and SR-007 actually sounds closer to a speaker system that's tuned to be flat 20-20, for me, than a lot of other things people call neutral. When it comes to IEMs, I have no clue what others are smoking, but if my crackpot theory has merit it's to be expected. People with whom I've listened to and compared IEMs have heard rather different things with regards to FR, but similar things with regards to detail, speed, dynamics, etc.

From time spent on forums I've learned more or less how to compare myself to others, i.e. compared to Tyll, I gravitate towards a sound that is slightly, but not significantly warmer. Given those differences, I can kind-of extrapolate how things sound based on what I read but it's never easy or reliable, and even less so with IEMs.

Of course, acclimatization is a powerful force, too. Listening to the L700 after the 007, it sounds bright. Listening to the 007 after the L700, it sounds dark. And over time, both start to sound more or less normal, though the actual relative shapes of their FR - like the L700's midbass hump and small treble spikes - are always audible.

I agree with this. Your normal brain based hearing calibration curve is based upon the sound from essentially a point source reaching each ear and then combined nonlinearly to allow sound localization, i.e. distance and direction. This obviously utilizes the asymmetrical location and shape of both the inner and outer ear, head size and shape, bone density, etc. This curve does not work with headphones for obvious reasons. Personally, I had to learn how to listen properly with headphones. Essentially I had to build another calibration curve or more properly, curves since not all headphones interact the same way with my rather imperfect sensors.

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To quote Floyd Toole from his book "Sound Reproduction: Loudspeakers and Rooms":

"Technical excellence turns out to be a high correlate of both perceived accuracy and emotional gratification, and most of us can recognize it when we hear it."

Basically, all things being equal, gear that measures better sounds better.

I'm a believer in this, and I very much enjoy the work done by Mr. Toole, Sean Olive, and the AES.

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Better is all relative anyway. All the frequency measurements at IF and sbaf, etc are equalized to various curves which no one even agrees on are correct, and which vary from person to person (hrtf). Also, the people at Audio Precision (Who are obviously also part of AES) agree that distortion at the most sensitive part of the audio range at around 1-4kHz is the most important which is audible even with more than even a tenth or two of a percent, while bass distortion is like an order of magnitude harder to detect. Yet I haven't seen any headphone review ever mention this. In other words, along with not being standardized, measurements should be weighted with frequency when it comes to human hearing, despite some people not knowing how logarithms work.

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Posted (edited)

15 hours ago, wink said:

Wow....... that recabling of your SA5000 must be magic.

My SA5000 are so sharp, like a scalpel I keep checking my eardrums for cuts and scar tissue.....   They leave the AKG K701's looking like blunt butter spatula

Open up the earcup and u will see how crappy the wires are.  I can't stand a stock SA5000 either, but my recabled pair has considerably less bright with a better bass to boot.  Extracting details has never been the sa5000 problems.

The SA5000 was around $690 new a few years back while the the Z1R doesnt sound quite as good as my recabled pair for three times the price hence the reason why I think less of the Z1R.  

Edited by purk
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The Sony MDR-R10/CD3000, Qualia 010/SAx0000, & Z1R models are from completely distinct eras of Sony. They each represent such different (& pretty much opposite) approaches to a certain ideal that they might as well have come from different companies.

Purk, if you'd like to hear an interesting headphone that is very reminiscent of the venerable R10, check out the Final Audio Design Sonorous VIII & X models. I heard them at CanJam NYC this year, & was left with more of an impression than from the Z1R.

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Don't forget the ECR400-800 era of the '70s. Not sure if Sony had anything going on in the global recession of the early '80s 

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25 minutes ago, mypasswordis said:

Not sure if Sony had anything going on in the global recession of the early '80s 

Just a virtually unknown little thing they called "The Walkman". :D

Oh, and something called a CD player.

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Never saw this coming. ;) 

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Although I'm not a big fan of the Z1R, I still think the soundstage and image placement are what great about them especially for closed headphone.  I was a tad surprised that Tyll didn't mention that in his review.

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damn he even addressed the measurements lol, come on man

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13 hours ago, mypasswordis said:

Never saw this coming. ;) 

.... and, then it hit him....!!!    :D

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I can't wait to drink the tears of all the keyboard warriors pushing their lame group-think agenda and spamming the HF Z1R thread when they finally realize Jude's measuring setup is slightly better than pieces of leather, some foam, and a mannequin head they stole from a Macy's. Coincidentally, Sony's measuring setup is a bit better as well. 

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