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The Audio Board's Recommended Gear

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Kloaked said:

You tried either of them?

 

Not me. Added based on IF measurements and @CharminUltraStrong's description. Though I am entertaining getting the HD8DJ to take "on the go" as they say.

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1 minute ago, SSL said:

 

Not me. Added based on IF measurements and @CharminUltraStrong's description. Though I am entertaining getting the HD8DJ to take "on the go" as they say.

Was looking for something to take with me to work or on trips since I don't like using my Jaybirds all that much anymore. Gonna add these next to the VModas to take a look at over the weekend I guess. Forgot the "HDxDJ" even existed.

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On 3/24/2017 at 4:51 PM, SSL said:

 

Not me. Added based on IF measurements and @CharminUltraStrong's description. Though I am entertaining getting the HD8DJ to take "on the go" as they say.

If you're going to take them on the go, I'd suggest purchasing a shorter cable(Also, assuming your using a device that will power them).  The cables that came with mine were shite, first the rubber ends that shield the jack on the proprietary 2.5mm end slid off. This doesn't effect the device at all really but it bothered me slightly.  I have a lose connection in the coiled one so I purchased a new one, no problems YET.  The straight one was springy as hell, even when holding it taught between vices for a month.  The straight cable died, doesn't even work and it could be a result of me attempting to work the kinks out, though I doubt it.  As previously mentioned, I'm assuming you have a reasonably decent DAP since it's somewhat difficult to drive on conventional hardware(Laptop can't run them properly, forget a phone, and my old FiiO X1 that I tried for giggles didn't even drive them properly).  Other than that, the carrying case is actually quite nice.  EDIT forgot to mention the velour pads fell apart on me as well but again, not sure if this is simply widespread(I paid full retail, not used and not refurbished so I am slightly disappointed with the QC).


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So what's a reasonable price for those Koss ESP-950 electrostats?

P. S. I own HE-400 (not the "i" version) and I can sincerely recommend them for their price of ~$300. Have yet to hear anything better in that price range.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, VioletGiraffe said:

So what's a reasonable price for those Koss ESP-950 electrostats?

P. S. I own HE-400 (not the "i" version) and I can sincerely recommend them for their price of ~$300. Have yet to hear anything better in that price range.

 

They're about $600 on US Amazon right now, that is a good price.

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5 hours ago, schwarzerrogen said:

Any thought on doing a recording equipment guide for beginners? Such as recommendations and thoughts on gear that targets the entry level?

so like mixers, microphones and such?

You are welcome to do it..


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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11 hours ago, schwarzerrogen said:

Any thought on doing a recording equipment guide for beginners? Such as recommendations and thoughts on gear that targets the entry level?

A topic like that would definetly be doable, but the scope of the topic could easily become really big. It would atleast be bigger than the topics on headphones, DACs and amps. 

But I guess it depends on what kind of an audience you're targeting. 

If you're targeting the amateur streamer/podcaster, then a topic on microphones, mixers, interfaces and potential software would be fairly short.

But if you're trying to target the more serious recorder, then the topic would easily be 20.000+ words long.


Nova doctrina terribilis sit perdere

Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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4 hours ago, Volbet said:

Bu if you're trying to target the more serious recorder, then the topic would easily be 20.000+ words long.

 

well kinda the same with the DAC amp thread, but I choose to make it more simple and basic because it fits this community.

If a recording equipment thread is going to be a thing, then I think it should be a fairly basic one where the basics are explained in a easy to understand kinda way.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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26 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

well kinda the same with the DAC amp thread, but I choose to make it more simple and basic because it fits this community.

If a recording equipment thread is going to be a thing, then I think it should be a fairly basic one where the basics are explained in a easy to understand kinda way.

The problem, as I see it, would not so much be in the basic vs. advanced category.

It would more be in determing who the target demographic should be and how large the umbrella should be. 

 

Taking the forum into account, I guess a potential topic only needed to deal with the amateur stream, which would pretty much make the topic a one-day project. 

If a topic was to target the wannabe studio owner, the topic would have to include the implementation and use of equipment a streamer neither should nor would use. 


Nova doctrina terribilis sit perdere

Audio format guides: Vinyl records | Cassette tapes

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1 minute ago, Volbet said:

Taking the forum into account, I guess a potential topic only needed to deal with the amateur stream, which would pretty much make the topic a one-day project. 

 

and that is why I think it should be a fairly basic guide where the gear also don't go up in let's say 2k USD range, but rather maybe 600-700 USD as max


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I know very little about the subject, so someone knowledgeable would need to compile the information. I'm happy to add it to this thread once it has been written up.

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9 hours ago, Volbet said:

A topic like that would definetly be doable, but the scope of the topic could easily become really big. It would atleast be bigger than the topics on headphones, DACs and amps. 

But I guess it depends on what kind of an audience you're targeting. 

If you're targeting the amateur streamer/podcaster, then a topic on microphones, mixers, interfaces and potential software would be fairly short.

But if you're trying to target the more serious recorder, then the topic would easily be 20.000+ words long.

I think I could easily make a post that's a hundreds of thousands of words on recording and guidelines to choosing the correct gear. My target audience would be:

-streamers

-podcasters

-those users who want to record say their guitar and singing ideas, or a musician doing covers with a decent production quality

 

as well as dispel some myths and misconceptions about this style of equipment. There would definitely be some explanation as to what technical and practical thoughts went into each consideration. This would also cover software choices.

 

4 hours ago, Volbet said:

The problem, as I see it, would not so much be in the basic vs. advanced category.

It would more be in determing who the target demographic should be and how large the umbrella should be. 

 

Taking the forum into account, I guess a potential topic only needed to deal with the amateur stream, which would pretty much make the topic a one-day project. 

If a topic was to target the wannabe studio owner, the topic would have to include the implementation and use of equipment a streamer neither should nor would use. 

 

Agreed, and that's a problem encountered on many a forum. 

 

2 hours ago, SSL said:

I know very little about the subject, so someone knowledgeable would need to compile the information. I'm happy to add it to this thread once it has been written up.

I think I can do that quite readily.

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34 minutes ago, schwarzerrogen said:

-snip-

I would also include some technical definitions (types of mic/connection/signal...) so that someone with some intelligence can then expand suggestions to other equipment.

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1 minute ago, anothertom said:

I would also include some technical definitions (types of mic/connection/signal...) so that someone with some intelligence can then expand suggestions to other equipment.

You have done me a hurt and now I must cried.

 

But I get what you mean.

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3 minutes ago, schwarzerrogen said:

You have done me a hurt and now I must cried.

 

But I get what you mean.

I didn't mean you had no intelligence. Having seen your posts so far, i would suggest the contrary.

 

I meant that someone who was reading the suggestions, would also learn about the standards, so that they could then be more confident if they bought extra equipment that wasn't mentioned.

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I listen to various Rock, Pop, Dance music, minor amount of Dubstep and Country and do a lot of gaming. Was thinking the Bowers & Wilkins P7. I'd get Open-Back headphones though I have a 2 y/o sister so not happening. Want to keep noise out of my ears. I am willing to spend upwards of $250 and I seen these go for about $200 used so checking out any other options. 


 

 

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On 4/28/2017 at 0:57 PM, DarkBlade2117 said:

I listen to various Rock, Pop, Dance music, minor amount of Dubstep and Country and do a lot of gaming. Was thinking the Bowers & Wilkins P7. I'd get Open-Back headphones though I have a 2 y/o sister so not happening. Want to keep noise out of my ears. I am willing to spend upwards of $250 and I seen these go for about $200 used so checking out any other options. 

I have the P5s and love them. They have a very warm sound signiture, so if that's your thing I'd say go for it. Bass & Mids are great, but the treble gets a bit lost IMO. They sound great in terrible environments (lots of outside noise), but if you're listening in your lounge with no other noise then there are better options. 

 

Supposedly the P7s are similar, but with a better sound stage and more depth in the bass. 


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I'll spare the story but I have the opportunity currently to use the Philips SHP9500(S)es and compare directly with my Audio-Technica ATH-MSR7s (both on my onboard audio which I think is quite good) so I feel I may as well leave some notes:

 

Build Quality

There's no contest, the Philips is better.  Considering they're well under half the price (nearly 1/4 at times) that may come as a surprise, but they feel very solid, despite also feeling very light.  The MSR7s however constantly creak and squeak due to the plastic binding and straining in different places.  The only exception to this statement is the mechanism that lets you slide the cans out of the headband to adjust for head size.  The Audio-Technica's feel more solid and reliable in this part, but for the rest of it, yeah, I give it to the Philips no question.

 

Comfort

This isn't quite as clear of a winner, but again I'm going to give it to the Philips.  Between the headband and the clamping pressure (which is virtually non existent) you forget you're even wearing them.  They're very light and soft, with no pressure points that I can detect.  The earcups, though not particularly deep (I think my ears even rub on the flat bit but it's hard to tell because it's so soft) are extremely large, so any size ears will surely fit.  The loose fit feels like it will fall off if I move my head to an unnatural position, and they do slide around a bit if you do move a lot.

 

The Audio-Technica isn't uncomfortable by any means - I've worn them for 12+ hours in a day, with breaks only every few hours because I need to live, not because I had to get away from them.  The leather earcups have a comparatively cooling feel when you first put them on, which is nice, but this quickly fades as they warm to skin temperature.  Being leather, and being closed headphones, they will get hot if you work out with them on, but it can be done.  The clamping pressure is what I would call "medium" (with nothing really to compare it to) - not excessive, but not lacking.  I can move my head into any position without fear they will fall off, and even aggressive sudden movements don't unsettle them significantly.  The headband is thin and not very padded, so you do feel it, particularly when they are new, but I don't find it to be an issue.

 

Sound

Ah, the good part am I right?  Full disclosure, I don't have a lot of experience or context for comparison, but I know what I like and don't like and I think I can describe it at least decently well.  Spoiler alert, the winner here by a landslide is the MSR7s, but you would hope so for the price difference.

 

The MSR7s suit my preferred sound very nicely.  They can go very low and low bass is what I would call strong but not exaggerated by any means.  I find a boost to the bass/high-bass to be an unpleasant character and these do not have that.  I also find a boost to the mid/high-mids to have a similarly unpleasant character, and again, this is happily absent.  The highs I would describe as detailed.  I can hear things clearly without there being a lot of treble boost.  Overall they sound relatively neutral to me, perhaps slightly V-shaped.

 

The Philips is a very different story.  Low bass is comparatively lacking, as one might expect when comparing an open headphone to a closed headphone.  The higher bass tones are impressively present however.  I find them to have more treble than the MSR7s, but not an excessive amount.  Then again, it can take quite a bit of treble to annoy me.  Then comes the hard part.  Something about them is off-putting.  I simply don't like the sound.  It sounds cheap frankly, which is odd since they simultaneously and paradoxically sound like good "quality" headphones... at least with some songs*.  I don't know if it's something about the EQ, or something more complex, but for much of what I listen to, I don't like what I'm hearing.  That said, for some stuff they're fine and I could live with them very happily, but for much of it, they bother me.  I've heard these compared to the well liked HD600s, so this was surprising for me.  To finish off, sound stage and imaging are, imo, much better on the Philips, but it's not something that ever bothered me about the MSR7s and I game with them too.

 

*I listened to some folk, a cappella, and soft jazz that focused primarily on vocals, piano, and bass, all of which were quite decent.  Virtually everything else I tried was highly unpleasant though.

 

Misc

  • The Philips are very very open.  They offer zero isolation inward or outward.
  • The MSR7s conversely are very closed.  The isolation inward (particularly with higher frequencies) and outward (just, everything) is very good.
  • The 3.5mm plug on the Philips is holy-mother-of-god tight.  It takes a significant amount of strength to pull the cable out in my experience.  I guess that's good though, so it won't fall out by accident?
  • At times I feel like the Philips are much less sensitive than the MSR7s, but at times I feel they are similar.  At the same system volume level (20 - 30%), they don't sound that different, but I can turn the Philips up to 100% on my system in some songs without it being excessive, where as with the MSR7s, 50% would get me to that same point.

 

I'd of course love any feedback or other opinions anyone else can offer.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

@Ryan_Vickers Nice review and comparo. Your description of the sound in particular is very precise. Posts like this really add to the thread.

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40 minutes ago, SSL said:

@Ryan_Vickers Nice review and comparo. Your description of the sound in particular is very precise. Posts like this really add to the thread.

 much better than: The sounds are very good, clear trebles, good bass. I recommend.


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 minutes ago, spwath said:

 much better than: The sounds are very good, clear trebles, good bass. I recommend.

 

"It has clear treble and punchy bass." Great, you just described every headphone that isn't terrible.

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1 hour ago, SSL said:

@Ryan_Vickers Nice review and comparo. Your description of the sound in particular is very precise. Posts like this really add to the thread.

Thanks, I like to think I do have a sense of what makes something sound like what from playing with EQs a lot over the years, but these Philips are kinds of stumping me, as do my YU5s if I'm being honest.  I think it's other things coming into the picture, like, reflections (in the case of the speakers) and/or (in the case of both) the way the driver responds to inputs, and its ability to match them exactly (or not). Just a theory since I figure if it was an unpleasant frequency response alone, I would be able to take it out with EQ adjustments which I have not been able to yet.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Ryan_Vickers said:

Thanks, I like to think I do have a sense of what makes something sound like what from playing with EQs a lot over the years, but these Philips are kinds of stumping me, as do my YU5s if I'm being honest.  I think it's other things coming into the picture, like, reflections (in the case of the speakers) and/or (in the case of both) the way the driver responds to inputs, and its ability to match them exactly (or not). Just a theory since I figure if it was an unpleasant frequency response alone, I would be able to take it out with EQ adjustments which I have not been able to yet.

 

If a headphone, or speaker for that matter, doesn't respond to EQ, that points to distortion or an issue in the time-domain, such as ringing due to reflections or breakup.

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