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Old 02-28-2013, 05:22 AM
leafer leafer is offline
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Default can you tell me if this guy's a guru or a subjectivist?

A month or so ago I was searching for a pair of inexpensive headphones, and found Head-fi. After scouring the forums I've found a thread (link at the bottom) there that convinced me the Koss Pro DJ100 fit my needs in term of price and sound. Originally I was going to buy a PA2V2, but after a bit of research, I found this place then NwAvGuy's articles. So, I guess I don't need an amp. Now, I'm very happy with the dj100, but I'm just wondering if it is humanly possible for someone to have such machine-like precision as this guy at head-fi. I'm not knocking him (he's tdockweiler), but just really curious if it's possible to have the kind of precision he's been displaying. He seems to be able to hone in on the sounds, mod his headsets and whatnot then tell people which earpads work better and so on.

Obviously you don't have to read the whole thing just a few of his posts, and you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/571216/koss...dget-king/1590
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2013, 05:32 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Unless measurements documenting changes are made pre and post modding any changes in sound after modding headphones would have to be considered subjective. The best way for you determine if what is being done is at guru level would be to try some of the non-destructive mods for yourself and see if you agree with their evaluation.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:50 AM
leafer leafer is offline
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I don't think he documented the changes or he would have posted them but then again, I did not read all 100+ pages. I'm very new to this and, to be honest, I can't even tell the difference between my cats' meow. I do appreciate your FLAC or MP3 link and did the ABX test when I first saw it a week ago. Is why I prefer this place. And thanks for the response.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:47 PM
Chef Chef is offline
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Do you trust the R&D department of the company you bought the headphones from more than some stranger on the internet?

Playing with sound is fun. It seems to be this guy's hobby. Any change is an accomplishment, for the sheer novelty of something new. Maybe eventually you can consistently change sounds in a predictable way. That's fine. But if your headphones are expensive, they were probably developed under far stricter and rigorous conditions than you can simulate with tape and scissors.

If you think this guy is giving out good advice, it is something like saying the company that produced the headphones is incompetent. If the headphone's are cheap, maybe that's true. But there's only so long silly changes like this can entertain me. I can play with equalizers for a bit, but I always end up turning them off, because the novelty can only last so long, the mind balances the sounds automatically till it doesn't sound like anything. Take off the pads and maybe you've increased the treble, but what defects and vibrations have you introduced by doing so? Same with cutting holes or adding tape over holes already there. They had a purpose maybe you didn't understand, which maybe isn't worth the novelty of a slightly altered pitch.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:17 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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In many cases I've made alterations to headphones that have made the sound more pleasing to my ears. I've usually physical made alterations with an eye towards comfort not changing the sound. Most of the time when I've modded for comfort the sound has changed. Sometimes and I've like the change, other times I haven't. That's why I recommended non-destructive changes.

There's no way for the R&D department of a headphone company to know that my ears stick out more than most. I've added padding under the existing pads as spacers so my ears don't touch the fabric screen. That's changed the distance between my ears and the drivers and changed the overall sound. I've also changed from leatherette to velour pads to reduce the amount of heat and sweat around my ears. That's usually changed the sound. Some times a little, some times a lot. If I liked the change or not is usually how I decide on if the mod stays or goes.

If I can't find a way to mod for comfort and keep a sound I like the headphones have to go. The best sounding headphones in the world won't do me any good if hurts to have them on. Comfort is that important in my opinion.

The same for equalizing my headphones. I don't feel that the R&D department is the be all, end all as to what sounds good to me. I disregard EQ presets and work towards balancing the frequency response to equal loudness to my ears. Doing that I've found there's some headphones that sound significantly better to me than if I don't equalize them. In fact most of them. Some take a lot more work than others but unless they're poorly made or extremely unbalanced I've found the time I've spent getting them equalized to my taste to be worth the effort.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:52 PM
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Satellite_6 Satellite_6 is offline
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Frankly that guy is a retard, I know exactly who that is.

USB cables make night/day differences according to him.

Obvious placebo effect plain and simple.
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Last edited by Satellite_6; 02-28-2013 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:55 PM
leafer leafer is offline
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Again, I wasn't knocking him nor was I doubting koss r&d dept. I was genuinely curious if it's humanly possible to hear that big of differences. I can understand replacing the earpads and, bam, there's definitely more bass. I was talking about all the forwars mids, sound stage and the little things he was able to distinguish when using different pads and amps.

I thought he had written an excellent review hence why I bought the koss dj, but aside from comfort, I honestly can't tell the difference in sound when swapping from stock pads to the M-50 pads I bought per his advice. This could very well be because of my untrained ears but from the way he had described it, the M50 pads offer huge benefits which I obviously couldn't and still can't hear. When I read huge I immediately think the differences will jump at you but perhaps they're more subtle.

***just saw satellite_6's comment***

Ouch.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:10 AM
Chef Chef is offline
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It's a fair point and one that I considered when writing my post. Of course R&D is attempting to please a lot of different ears, and is not just geared to pleasing yours. I'm more convinced by your discussion about comfort, though. I am a Sennheiser user and I think they make some of the most comfortable headphones in the world. Sometimes that is most important to keeping focus on the music than on your skin becoming raw. With equalizers I'm unconvinced. Of course it always sounds like a downgrade going from a good equalizer setting to normal, but I think it has way more to do with volume (louder always tricks us into thinking it sounds better, hence dedicated amps for headphones). I'm usually able to change my perception of the quality of the sound just by increasing the volume again after turning it back to normal, and then of course I turn it back down because I don't want to damage my hearing. I am attracted to treble and it's always tempting to alter that setting with EQ, but what I notice is that after a half hour or something of listening to it with the setting, it doesn't seem loud enough again. There's some interesting studies about how the mind desensitizes itself to volume, how people increase volume a little every few minutes till it is at a dangerous level. Things like that make me wary and prefer to stick to low volume.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:49 AM
leafer leafer is offline
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I prefer comfort over sound as well, and I completely agree with your point concerning volume. After I read your post I think the bulb above me started flashing in agreement. I'm one of those people who think a song sounds better when in reality it's just higher volume. One of these days I hope to buy Senn HD650 just to see what's all the fuss is about.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:02 AM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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If I were equalizing to a sound effect I might share your concern. I'm leveling the volume differences between the frequencies so that each frequency being presented at an equal volume becomes normal for me. There's no boredom effect that causes me to want to raise the volume to recapture my interest or make it sound better.

Increasing the overall volume can't raise or lower particular frequencies to fit my personal loudness curve so the louder sounds better illusion only works for me for a short period of time. Properly equalized headphones never get boring so I don't feel any raise the volume. Once I set them to an appropriate volume I have no need to boost them again. The parts of the music some feel is missing is properly presented for me so that I'm not tempted to boost the overall volume looking for more bass, treble or mids.
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:06 PM
Chef Chef is offline
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Ah, I guess I misunderstood you then. That makes sense. If your hearing isn't strong at certain frequencies, it's reasonable to boost those frequencies. That definitely takes some effort and maybe a trip to a hearing clinic to determine, especially if your hearing has deteriorated in an unusual way (instead of just the highest frequencies first).

In ten years or so I might be in the same boat.
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