German Maestro 8.35D and 2 headphone amps - my video analysis

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Anonymous

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Nice review as always Dale. I've been recommended these to suit my taste. To quote myself if I may "I'm using AKG 450s with my PC set up with an Arcam rPac and would like a full size headphone instead. I've tried Sennheiser HD558 but too leaky and not enough bass for me. I've also tried Beyerdynamic DT770s and loved the presentation, but they were woefully quiet with an SPL of only 96 dBw. Audio Technica M50s were not detailed enough for me."

Do you agree with the recommendation? Thank you.
 

dalethorn

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That is a reasonable recommendation. Efficiency, bass, detail, a slightly dark sound but much less coloration than a ATH M50. They may look rather industrial in hand, but when I put them on my head and looked in the mirror, I thought they looked pretty good. They didn't project outward like some of the space-suit looking headphones. And the 8.35D should outlast even the cockroaches.

Edit: The earpad shape and fit is very similar to the ATH M50, but I think the 8.35's pads are better quality.
 
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Thanks Dale. Might have to get the card out......
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quadpatch

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Hey OneBoxSystem, did you consider the SoundMAGIC HP100 btw? I'm just listening to it on the rPAC now and it's amazing. SO far I have found it performs better on something a little wamer. I tried it on my most expensive (and usually best, most transparent) setup and it was a bit over the top, it actually sounded nicer on the Nexus 7 tablet because it added some warmth. So I thought in the morning I would try in on the rPAC (I haven't tried it on the Epiphany EHP-O2D yet, that's even warmer / more smooth). Anyway this combo on the rPAC is amazing to me, really amazing!! I can really see what Dale was saying about this bass now! Oh the volume on this combo goes to insanity levels which would would utterly killl your hearing. You never quite know where the rPAC volume is but I would guess loud at about 40%.
 

dalethorn

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The HP100 does have an awesome bass and very neutral sound, like a big brother to the vmoda M80 except full size, comfy, better treble etc. But it doesn't have that warmth in the lower mids like a 8.35D, or Senn Amperior or HD25-1-ii etc. I mention this here because although I've long been an advocate of purely neutral headphones most closely characterized by the likes of the Senn 800, I've gravitated to a warmer sound since reviewing a lot more headphones. It's difficult to make any judgement without a direct compare, and unfortunately my 8.35D is 10 thousand miles away, while my HP100 is close at hand.
 
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Hi Quad, thanks for this, in a previous thread, Dale thought the treble might be a touch bright for me. Mind, as long as the bass is v powerful I don't mind, especially if the rPac adds some warmth. Bass head, clearly. Hmmmm, torn. Someone decide for me please! The more suitable of the two and I will buy.....
 

dalethorn

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I think we're getting much closer now. From my point of view, if you really can't stretch to the Senn Amperior, get the Logitech 6000 and run it in Active mode. The treble will be OK, and you can experiment with bass settings to find the perfect sound.

Edit: Or, just stick with the 8.35D - it's pretty good.
 

quadpatch

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OneBoxSystem said:
Hi Quad, thanks for this, in a previous thread, Dale thought the treble might be a touch bright for me.
Sorry for confusing things guys, I will let Dale take care of you :), he's tested quite a few more of these than I have. Plus he and I tend to agree on most things anyway.
 

dalethorn

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quadpatch said:
Sorry for confusing things guys, I will let Dale take care of you :), he's tested quite a few more of these than I have. Plus he and I tend to agree on most things anyway.

My experience is very limited, so every extra person helps.
 
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Quad, no need to apologise at all. I'm very grateful for anyone's input. It's all down to my personal hearing in the end, isn't it. It's just I've tried a couple of sets and feel awful sending back goods. That is the beauty of distance selling though isn't it....... :clap:
 

dalethorn

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One thing I've found that's sometimes useful in headphone testing is when someone suggests a track or two that's available on Amazon or elsewhere as an economical download. Depending on whether I can relate to the music or not, familiar style etc., I can grab those tracks and tell people how the headphone sounds with that specific music. It's not an exact science but it's another valuable tool that's available now that so much music is online. And I pick up new tracks for my own collection that way, about 50 percent of the time on average.
 
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Anonymous

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I've seen that in your reviews. My favourite test track is Counting Crows' 'Good Time' and I know just how I like it. It has everything, keyboards, electric guitar, banjo, great bass and makes for a great demo track. Try it Dale?
 

dalethorn

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Amperior played flat (no EQ): Voice has much presence. Forward? Sounds close anyway. Bass is detailed but not powerful or with a particularly strong impact. Highs sound near perfect to me - maybe a tiny bit soft but not enough to be concerned about. The banjo doesn't jump out at me but sounds real enough.

UE6000, Active mode: Played flat, the bass is heavy and slightly overpowers the mids, especially the voice, but I think a lot of people will like the effect with this track, although other tracks I have become too muddy to listen to. Played with bass reducer EQ, the voice is very similar to the Amperior, but bass is more detailed and slightly stronger. Highs are more prominent than Amperior, but while I'm extremely sensitive to sibilants and other irritations, and I played this pretty loud, I didn't hear anything that bothered me at all. I suspect if you use a brighter amp and bass reduction, you might run into a few cases of minor irritations. The banjo sounded better than the Amperior.

M80 played flat: Voice same as other two except softer. Bass detail similar to 6000, but strength and impact slightly less than Amperior, which is less than the 6000. The M80 is critical for bass seal of earpads - not an issue with the other two. Banjo sounds about as good as the 6000 except softer. The M80's highs are softer than the Amperior's, which are softer than the 6000. I almost always use a treble boost with the M80, which doesn't adversely affect the bass or mids for me, but it may make things sound lighter and leaner for some users.
 

dalethorn

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BTW, this was an excellent test track with great details that aren't exaggerated, so you can really pick out the subtleties in the various sounds. The best I could get today was a 320k MP3, but it got the job done with room (and headroom) to spare.
 
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Pleased you enjoyed the analytics Dale, but did you like it?
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Fantastic voice...
 

dalethorn

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OneBoxSystem said:
Pleased you enjoyed the analytics Dale, but did you like it?
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Fantastic voice...

I like a wide variety of things, but especially when those things are good quality. In the case of this track, highly recommended. And I suppose I gave off a clue by commenting so much on the voice, since so many recordings have great potential, then they don't get the voice just right. No such issue here - the voice is probably going to be one of my main tests for quality reproduction from here on. Enjoyable? I could play this hundreds of times without it bothering me, which is especially good when using a song as a test track. So now you see why I occasionally ask for these recommendations. It gets me closer to where I want to be for evaluating hifi gear.
 

dalethorn

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OneBoxSystem said:
Was that a yes?
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Bands like Live, Linkin Park, Coldplay, Pearl Jam, Oasis, Counting Crows (did I miss any?) just escaped my radar since I basically didn't listen to rock after the old MTV video age bit the dust. But, occasionally someone slips one of these tracks in on me, like Good Time, and (yes) I like it and find it useful too. So that's pretty rare.

For me, music is an emotional connection, and I play those cards very close to the vest. The connection here, listening to every nuance in the song, and evaluating my best headphones on that basis, is the entry point that makes this one possible. Hard to predict what I might find next.

Think about this: How many people do you know who would enjoy all of these: Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee, Culture Club - Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me, Yves DeLacroix - Close To The Stars, Willie Mae Thornton - Hound Dog, Village People - Macho Man, Tony Bennett - I Wanna Be Around, Third Sex - Monster Snack, Social Distortion - Playpen, Skirts - Lolita, Ingrid Michaelson - The Way I Am, Isley Brothers - Fight The Power, Gap Band - Party Train, Notorious BIG - Hypnotize.......

I could go on forever, just saying I stretch to a lot of different tastes
 

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