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An oldie: HP1 vs. HP2


Hopstretch
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I know this was probably endlessly hashed out on HF back in the day, but I'm late to the HP1000 party and most of what I have been able to unearth over there is just the usual clueless blithering. So I ask you fine gents: Is there generally held to be a significant difference in sound quality between the HP1s and HP2s? I really, really dig the HP1s I got from Jim and I'm thinking thoughts. You know the ones. :palm:

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I think it's personal preference more than anything. I use only flats on my HF1s, could go either way with the HP1s and absolutely hate them on the HF2s.

I find the HP1s still have enough bass with bowls and appreciate the slightly more expansive stage and better detail retrieval that I perceive with the driver slightly further from the ear.

Dusty, one reason I asked was digging up an old Hirsch post where he stated very categorically that the polarity switches caused the HP1s to roll off far more quickly than the HP2s at both ends of the frequency spectrum. Now, I don't hear anything particularly out of the ordinary with my pair, but then I don't rate either my accumulated headphone experience or my ears particularly highly.

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once you get really used to the flats on the HP-2s i don't think you'll find them to be muddy.

x2. In fact I find the timbre more correct using flats. With bowls it's true, as Stretch said, that sound is airier and more expansive, sort of more detailed, but I personally find it a bit less "believable" with some instruments and voices. Anyway, with both they sound damn good.

Unfortunately I've never managed to listen to the HP1, so can't add anything worth to the original question. It's said that both use the same drivers, and these were selected into the same matching tolerances, so my take is that they'll sound very very similar. Pure speculation :palm:

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I haven't listened enough to the HP1 to provide an opinion unfortunately, but the random 10 minutes at various meets would lead me to say that they are about the same, or that the typical hp1000 to hp1000 variation is maintained. I have heard pretty noticeable differences though from one hp1000 to another based on age, usage, and at times have even caught some hp1000's being sold as perfectly functional, but actually had a bad driver (like my current set before I sent to Joe).

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I think the difference is largely psychological -- you know there's those switches in the signal path on the ones that aren't on the twos, so you want to hear a difference, but I don't know if it's actually there.

The HP-1 was a less efficient headphone than the HP-2 when I had both. The switches are theoretically the only difference, which would have meant that they were acting as resistors in the HP-1. While a good switch may only produce psychological differences, a switch that affects gain in either position is producing physical differences. It's also possible that not all HP-1000 drivers were created equal, although I subsequently heard the same difference in efficiency on other HP-1/HP-2 comparisons. The high-bandwidth reference cable made a difference also, and had more extended highs than the older Laboratory Standard cable. My memory is that the HP-2 with high-bandwidth reference cable was the best of the HP-1000 series.

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The high-bandwidth reference cable made a difference also, and had more extended highs than the older Laboratory Standard cable. My memory is that the HP-2 with high-bandwidth reference cable was the best of the HP-1000 series.

x2. I have had enough high-bandwidth cabled hp1000's to compare to standard cabled ones where the extended highs is clearly noticeable.

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And if it's underpowered, it's going to show a different frequency response -- extreme example would be the RSA Raptor trying to drive a low impedance headphone vs. a high impedance headphone -- it's not just the amplitude that falters, the whole frequency response goes down the crapper, no matter how much you turn it up. That's not just distortion. That's impedance mismatch between amp and headphones.

If they're acting like resistors, then they're going to increase the effective impedance. LRC circuit theory sez that that will change the frequency response based on the amp. Do you remember what amp you did this comparison on? Was it the MicroZOTL?

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And if it's underpowered, it's going to show a different frequency response -- extreme example would be the RSA Raptor trying to drive a low impedance headphone vs. a high impedance headphone -- it's not just the amplitude that falters, the whole frequency response goes down the crapper, no matter how much you turn it up. That's not just distortion. That's impedance mismatch between amp and headphones.

If they're acting like resistors, then they're going to increase the effective impedance. LRC circuit theory sez that that will change the frequency response based on the amp. Do you remember what amp you did this comparison on? Was it the MicroZOTL?

MicroZOTL, SHA-1, HP-4, Supra and whatever other amps came through. Every amp I ever used to compare HP-1 to HP-2 required significantly more gain on HP-1 to volume-match to HP-2.

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