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I have a problem...with headphones!

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posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 05:42 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom
My pleasure.... I hope i can finally be of some use to someone here!

Firstly, acoustics is its own black art, with as much BS, opinions, experts and as many rabbit holes as a conspiracy
And secondly I am no expert, I just have a few insights that may help out, 50% of people will say BS, the other 50% will say savior, but the main thing is that im not selling anything so have no motivation other than the help aspect.

1) In relation to the graph... The B&Ws appear a little 'flatter' in response overall, as the Grado has those two peaks at 7500hz and 10k, which strangely enough I would have thought would have sounded brighter, although the b&ws are a bit higher around 3k and significantly higher above 15k, but one persons 'brighter' may be anothers 'shimmer'. A bit of a concern is the grados peakiness around 75 hz, this could be a concern as power-line frequency is at 50/60 hz and the last thing u would want to introduce or enhance is powerline hum.
Things to note here are... the diffuse field eq can introduce a bias, and the graph is limited to 20-20k. peaky response down low can affect the overall sound as it 'drains' the driver and may introduce harmonics, and peaks above 20k can give you ultrasonic fatigue ( you cant actually hear it as such, but there is still power being delivered)
Also dont forget that as we age, we lose sensitivity to both bass response and treble response (inverted U shape in relation to response graphs) and we tend to become more sensitive to hi end fatigue.
Also dont forget about the impedence of the headphones, that will influence the dynamics and dampening, and also the sensitivity, that will affect the overall 'loudness' when compared to another headphone. (i wont go into phase issues etc here)

Here is a link to a fairly good assessment of the grado.... ( more graphs that all interplay with each other... but then trying to find some info like this on the b&Ws has been fruitless. Hard to compare oranges and lemons so to speak.

2) Definiately, in my opinion, cans are superior when it comes to 'mastering' as the dynamics of a room (and speakers) are negated. You can actually 'feel inside' the music like you say, and not be influenced too much by external noise. Also most headphones will give a much higher transient response (i.e. how hard and fast that kick drum kicks) as there is less momentum in small drivers, think of those small little 40mm drivers in the B&W's compared to a 8/10/12 inch loudspeaker driver (sorry for metric/imperial crossover but thats generally the terminology given the applications) and the respective masses/coil size etc. And because those little drivers are less than 5cm from your ears, the need for huge drivers moving huge amounts of air for bass is negated. ( still the bigger the driver the better the bass holds true) Another thing is that loudspeakers will generally be a 2/3 way, that is woofer, mid and tweeter, and all the associated crossover and phase issues, whereas headphones are generally a full range driver. (which can have its own issues of course) I have some in-ear headphones that are three way yet can fit in your ear.

3) Reviewing on different speakers is great, and i guess the better the mastering, the more universally good sounding across the types of speakers. I have three (at least) sets of speakers set up in the studio control room , and can switch them independantly or together to get an idea of how a mix would sound in the 'real world - whatever that may
(yamaha msp3 and yam ns10s for the lower end, some fairly average Alesis M1 Mk2s for boom box kinda stuff, and my beautiful TDL studio 1 transmission line speakers for the top end) i can also hook into the studio live area PA speakers if i need to go rave levels etc. (also some B&W 602's plus all the live stuff...)
I believe NEVER worry about how your mix sounds in a car, too many influences... background noise, body size, engine noise, alternator noise both physically and electronically, badly positioned speakers, crap speakers, really bad amplifiers, boom box mentality etc etc...etc too many compromises.

4) Dont get rid of your dads old rig, someday, sometime you will hook them up and maybe even find your musical nirvana, or at least have another piece of kit to try your mixes thru. Dont get me wrong, some of the old cheap stuff sounded horrid, but i would always like the sound of a good solid well made (and maintained) 60'sor 70's hi fi setup.

I guess what i was originally trying to say is that without lab/studio grade analog equipment and signal path, that at the end of the day... if it sounds good to you, and you are enjoying what you are doing, well... thats all that really matters.

I hope I did not take over this thread so feel free to PM me if I may be of any further assistance.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 07:44 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

So anyone have any suggestions for music to break these new cans in with?

Rush - 2112. Lots of dynamics. It will give you a good feel for what they're capable of reproducing.
edit on 10/15/2015 by Klassified because: s

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 11:20 AM
a reply to: Klassified

YES! Rush's "Vital Signs" -- How could I have forgotten that one! I had that song stuck in my head the other day actually. Well that, and Run DMC's "Run's House".

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:03 PM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

Aesop Rock.

My personal problem with headphones are my ears, can't wear them for a few hours when I need to. Any tips or advice for something light and easy to wear?

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 12:21 PM
a reply to: PublicOpinion

I really like the Nakamichi bluetooth ones I have because they are over-ear and very, very light. They don't have a lot of head squeeze either, and the price/sound quality ratio is perfect. You feel like you got a good deal on them for $80-90.

posted on Oct, 15 2015 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

You have any advice on good XLR condenser mics for spoken word? I'm looking at the Rhode NT1-A, Audio-Technica AT2020, Shure PG27, or Samson C01.

I'll be recording in a bedroom studio setup doing narration. My noise floor is about -60db (I need to reduce it I know...)

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 05:46 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom
If headphones and speakers are a black art... then microphones are definiately area 51 level

Firstly, you do have phantom power available to run these? Linked to this is what preamp/soundcard/AD converter you plan to run it through into your computer?

My personal preferences would be:
1) RodeNT1a's (I have a matched stereo pair and a spare for light overhead/ambient/medium vocal use) they seem to cover all the bases quite nicely and are well matured and rounded) I also use a Rode NT1000 specifically for vox, which is a great mic, much heavier in construction (around 3x the weight of nt1a), which I believe gives it a really smooth bottom end (and is australian made) Both have a nice quiet preamp and low noise floor and yet nicely sensitive across the range (BTW get the sm6 spider mount and pop filter)
2)Audio technica 2020 would be my next preference, A friend uses some at his studio and they sound quite OK. But I have not personally used them to any great depth, I think AT make some really great and unique mics, I have a set of AT midnight blues for close drum mic up and they definiately have a unique sound and attack.
3)The Sure PGA27 would come a close third, you cant really go wrong with Sure. Good honest mic but I think may be internally EQ'd a bit to achieve that. I obviously use the Sure SM57s for drums/58s for live vox/beta52a for kick
4) Samson C01 seems like an ok mic, I know of a few associates that have used Samson gear but some of their earlier stuff was cost orientated, and Im not sure(!) if thats changed.

Have a listen to some of the SE tube Condenser mics, (if you can afford) (or any of the above brands version of a valve condenser) once you hear a tube based condenser mic, you may never want anything else. Will make your voice sound like honey and cut like a sabre. But it may all come down to a $$$ compromise.

And dont forget that all of these mics are quite sensitive, and any extreme SPL may damage the capsule.

Now to be fair, my applications are generally more music orientated rather than spoken word (I wonder what Henry Rollins uses?) so keep that in mind, depending on your application, maybe just a good old SM58 and a bit of preamp tweaking could suffice. (Or even put the extra cash into a nice valve preamp channel strip a/d converter)
EG... or or

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 12:11 PM
When I want to test the limits of something, lately I've been using...

When I'm working on music at night, I sometimes use hdphx.dll for a speaker simulation.

I get Sony's for cheap at Ross. My current cans are JVC from Ross.

My mic is a Electro Voice N/D267A. Sounds good to me.

I should clarify that I'm just a musician/songwriter. I leave the sound appreciation to the audiophiles.
edit on 16-10-2015 by gentledissident because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 12:40 PM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

Thanks for the practical, real-world experience! I can read "reviews" but most of those people are pretty new to microphones and don't have your experience level in the field.

I guess what I've always said about guitars can probably translate to micrphones...a more expensive guitar isn't going to make you a better guitar player.

I probably could get away with a cheaper microphone as long as I knew the ins and outs of it, worked with the EQ and had the acoustics in the room properly adjusted. On top of that, if no one wants to pay to hear me read an audio book -- I'm kind of out of luck eh?

For 48V phantom, I'm looking at the Focusrite Scarlett Solo or 2i2. It provides the power and is a USB interface for my Macbook Pro:

They make ones with more inputs, but I really don't see me needing them at this point. Sometime down the line I could get larger one and probably run my M-Audio Axiom 49 MIDI controller/keyboard through it. But for simple audio narration, the one above is only $99 and will work with any software I have. That unit also has a zero-latency headphone monitor out. Not sure if I need that if I'm sitting there reading into a microphone? Either way I know that that is a good feature for other applications.

I can see what you mean about mics being the area-51. Lots of "voodoo" around them lol. Someone once told me that the best headphone makers are microphone makers, not speaker manufactures. Headphones and microphones have more in common than larger speakers. This might explain why Sennheiser's are good -- I know they make some solid microphones.

Back to headphones, these HiFi-Man HE-400's look to be the least expensive Orthodynamic (aka planar magnetic) headphones I've seen.

Someone else here mentioned planar headphones, and I came across these guys looking at sets. From what I can tell, people seem to really really like the HiFi-Man HE-400's. I think I saw them for $299.

posted on Oct, 16 2015 @ 12:42 PM
a reply to: gentledissident

Ditto on the Skrillex, I used Bangarang probably 10 songs in

Aphex Twin's "Syro" is also really good to test headphones on. I have no idea what they are trying to make musically, but it does make a good pair "pop" check em out:

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 12:15 AM
My preamp is an early Peavey Bandit 112. I practically threw the money at the shop keep when I saw it. With the volume at 2, the windows rattle.
The footswitch came with it.
edit on 17-10-2015 by gentledissident because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 05:39 AM
a reply to: gentledissident

I know a guy who put a crack in a cement wall using peavy black widows.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:05 AM
a reply to: gentledissident

Sorry thats a practice amp not a preamp.

Your windows rattle????.... Sheesh... When I turn on, I affect the space-time continuum....LOL

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:32 AM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

what kinda bass' are those in the background? look like ibanez?

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:36 AM
a reply to: MystikMushroom

No worries! Too true.... money and toys don't make u a better player.

Focusrite stuff is great, and that solo would suit you perfectly, I only mentioned (and will mention) the other (expensive) gear as you can have all of your effects etc in the one box (Preamp, compressor, eq, (and monitoring and digital conversion))

I have a Focusrite platinum voicemaster, and it works a treat, but no A-D converter though. The pro version can have a A-D built in, as well as some of the other legacy products (maybe not usb though)

And personally I would suggest looking on EBUY for some second hand gear like the above ( and the headphones), probably for similar cost to a new scarlet solo. I generally never buy anything brand new anymore (ok except strings etc..)... let someone else break them in for u...

I cant really comment on the planars as I haven't tried any in years, they look OK and are specc'd well. I couldn't see on their site if they were a closed back though.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:45 AM
a reply to: BASSPLYR

Yea a pair of mid 90's SR1206's neck thru's (not the later bolt ons)

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 07:59 AM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

ah neckthroughs. good solid fundamentals and sustain. pretty on ballads. not punchy as much as the bolt ons, gotta tweak the midrange more on the capillary necks to get a good growl.

used to have a Padulla neckthrough Thunderbass 6 string. she was an amazing bass.

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 08:00 AM
a reply to: CovertAgenda


posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 09:26 AM
a reply to: BASSPLYR

True, I started off with Rickenbacker 4strings years ago,and love that metallicy mid twang, and its still in the blood...rush, purple,yes etc kinda sounds... but playing live back then I would depreciate the poor old things by a few hundred $$ per gig (knocks , scratches, roadies etc...) so actually switched to a Riverhead unicorn headless.... laugh if u want, but that was (still is... wont get rid of it) one of the best playing and sounding 4strings I have ever played.... Mega bottom end (strangely enough given the diminutive size of body etc), nice punch, fast board, and BLOODY LIGHT!!! No back issues/fatigue etc)
Then moved across to 6string, picked up the blonde one REAL cheap and never looked back. Then had to find a backup, tried everything up to a Alembic Elan,and the Pedulla Hex (with bartolinis i recall) everything had its merits but the old ibanez kinda fitted the bill the best for me, and didnt hurt my $$ every time the guitarist and I clashed necks, or mic stands, or So imported in the green one. Just good all rounders.
Strangely enough both standard (pickups etc) but own design onboard preamps at 18v
The Thunderbass has a similar body doesnt it? The Hex was nice... but my pockets would have bled....

posted on Oct, 17 2015 @ 10:37 AM
a reply to: CovertAgenda

right on. I'm a bartolini guy. 18 volt on my MTD635. beast of a bass. 35" scale and I got little hands. bolt in extremely versatile. tons of overhead.

my Thunderbass had a shorter scale little smaller than 34" if I remember right. fastest playing bass I ever owned. just smooth and fast. loved the neck on it. saddly she got stolen years ago in the parkinglot of the old coconut teaser on sunset. unloading my car in their parking lot for sound check. left the door unlocked. unload my amp. come back literally two minutes later and bass stolen right out of my back seat. pissed because it was in one of those expensive double gig bags. luckily I had my old fender 4 string and was able to still play the set that night, even though I had to rearrange everything to 4 instead of 6. checked all the pawn shops and nothing. if I ever come across my bass in passing, and I'll be able to identify her no problem, I'm going to knock out the guy holding it and take it back without even saying a word. 3,500 dollar bass whoever that was stoll.

got a custom built mtd by the man himself back in the early 2000s to replace her. physically she's more demanding to play but her tone was getting the attention of the guys with their fedoras, alembics and even converted some die hard jazz bass only skeptics to her versatile tone. she can literally boss around the amp head with her 18volt system.

as for Padulla I'd still love to get my hands on a good penta buzz fretless. beautiful and curvy she is. sounds like a 800 pound bumble bee.

but those days are past. I'm paycheck to paycheck these days. I'm excited when I buy new strings.

but a Aguilar 400w tube is my dream. with some sweet 8x10 cab. or a 4x10 and a pair of 12s. I'll take euphonic audio, Aguilar or eden for the cabs. all are awesome. nice flat response, shape the sound to your desire. not a fan of hartke nice transients to Clangy sounding and thin. swr too muddy. but man they displace a lot of air.

saw an old school trace Elliott crushing some poor venue the other day.

dope studio youve got in the pic btw. how's the hard floor effect your acoustics? room resonance freqs etc.

my mtd. she's a workhorse, been around the world and dinged n dented to prove it.

sorry their sideways btw. see if anyone can fix that?

edit on 17-10-2015 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

edit on 17-10-2015 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

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