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dalethorn

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Everything posted by dalethorn

  1. Another great bargain by Marshall, if purchased at the latest $99 USD price (B&H etc.) - This is the Bluetooth, but non-ANC version. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/marshall-mid-on-ear-bluetooth-non-anc-headphone-review.4546/
  2. A beautifully-made and good-looking headphone, less costly now at many locations. The major downside is a somewhat hollow sound from a lower-mids emphasis - looking inside the earcups I think I see why. Excellent with EQ due to the high-quality drivers and build. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/b-w-px-anc-bluetooth-headphone-review.4545/
  3. THE MARSHALL MAJOR III Wired-only version: As a kind of final check on the Marshall Major III ('Major3') series, I purchased two new sets of the wired-only version from Marshall direct in the USA, for $50 USD each. Remarkably, where we often see very significant sample-to-sample differences in frequency response etc. for even premium flagship headphones at the various testing sites, I don't find a significant difference between these two wired versions of the Major3 and the Bluetooth** version I purchased previously. **Using the Bluetooth version in wired mode, although the Bluetooth sound has the same basic signature despite the lossy codec. I used the EQ curve noted at the top of this review for audiophile listening with the DragonFly Red or Oppo HA-2 DACs. While the consistency of the Major3 samples I've purchased from two different sources speaks well of Marshall's quality control, there's not enough money in this product to get the refinements you hear in Beyer Tesla's, Sennheiser HD800's, or the top-end planar headphones. Still, once the best possible EQ is applied, the soundstage and tonalities are so good that to get a better sound from the average $600 headphone, you would need to equalize those to their best neutral sound. I played the album "Carmen Gomes Sings The Blues" for my main listening in comparing these three sets of the Major3. The original recording was made in DXD 352.8 plus direct-to-tape analog. I got the 96 khz FLAC version, which was excellent.
  4. Continuing with the third set of music samples for my Marshall Major III ('Major3') review, the following are a few of the "odds and ends" I've picked up in the process of reviewing approximately 200 different headphones. The only other headphone that included these sample tracks was the Pioneer HDJ-X10c, so refer to that review for comparison, to see how well the Major3 compares to the Pioneer. Note that my EQ curve for the Major3 (linked above or on my website) features a modest bass reduction centered around 60 hz, yet these tracks demonstrate an excellent bass response for this headphone, with very satisfying detail. Le Voyage Dans La Lune: Soundtrack to a hand-painted color movie. A terrific variety of sounds that show off the excellent audio qualities of the Major3. Muse - Madness: Strong bass impacts with massed vocals around a lead singer. Clearly delineated by the Major3. Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee: French vocal over a driving bass beat. Very enjoyable with the Major3. Robyn Hitchcock - Autumn Is Your Last Chance: Nicely-recorded acoustic/electric guitar with compelling vocal. Pure class as reproduced by the Major3. Samantha James - Amber Sky: Reverberant instrumentation and ethereal vocal. Dreamy stuff that sounds amazing on the Major3. Satchmode - Best Intentions: Atmospheric vocals over an excellent bass line. Exquisite reproduction by the Major3. Sneaker Pimps - Underground (Nellee Hooper Mix): Slow-paced club music with female vocal and soft but impactful bass. Very pleasant listening with the Major3. Soliquid - Shibuya (Paul Keeley Remix): Eight minutes and 50 seconds of heavenly beats and awesome musical synth effects as heard with the Major3. Stones and Bones - Love Lockdown: Ibiza 2014 track with a very spacious atmosphere and a bit of contrapuntal vocal. Outstanding on the Major3. Susanne Sundfor - Accelerate: High-ambiance noise with decent bass impacts and reverberant vocals. The Major3 makes this track come alive. Third Sex - Monster Snack: One of the best of the Goth/RiotGrrrl genre, available on the Free To Fight CD. Somewhat primitive sound with aggressive vocal, but there ya go - as good as it gets with this headphone. Three-11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love: Pleasant male-female vocal mix against a big-ambiance backdrop. Lush presentation by the Major3. Visage - Fade To Grey: Atmospheric and reverberant recording supported by a luscious synth line. The Major3 plays this perfectly. When Saints Go Machine - Love And Respect: Super-energetic music with reverberant vocal counterpoint. Strong bass impacts delivered cleanly by the Major3. Yaz - Situation: Bright pop-EDM music from the past. Played exquisitely by the Major3.
  5. And now for phase 2 of my Marshall Major III ('Major3') Bluetooth headphone review. As noted above, I use a minimum amount of EQ with headphones that need it, in an attempt to bring them closer to the sound of live acoustic music**. This doesn't always succeed, either because the equalizer is too limited, or the curve I apply doesn't work for some reason. In the case of the Major3, it worked very well indeed. **I'd prefer that my headphones sound truly neutral, with as little EQ modification as possible, but in the end I get there only about half of the time. In the other cases, I either give up or settle for a "warm-neutral" result that's satisfactory for most genres. The ultimate test for me is when the headphone has good frequency extension on both ends with no apparent distortion, a tonally accurate midrange that blends well with the bass and treble, and plays equally well with all of my favorite tracks in multiple genres. The Major3 differed significantly from my Pioneer HDJ-X10c on just three of these EDM tracks (Anamanaguchi, Avicii, Fairmont) - slightly better on two of them and not as good on a third track. Above & Beyond - We're All We Need (feat. Zoe Johnston): A very nice tight but impactful bass with crystal clear vocals - the Major3 plays this with great ambiance. Anamanaguchi - Planet: A complex mix of percussion sounds and hummed vocals. The bells and other high-frequency percussion are highly detailed, the bass line has moderate weight, and the bass detail is surprisingly good. Armin van Buuren - J'ai Envie de Toi (Orig Mix feat Gaia): Decent bass impacts, breathy vocals, lots of fun noise - the Major3 plays this perfectly. Avicii - Feeling Good: Classic female vocal in movie-theme style - the Major3 brings this to life like few other headphones I've heard. Carl Kennedy-Tommy Trash ft Rosie Henshaw - Blackwater (Original Master): Nice strong tight bass impacts, female vocal, rendered delectably by the Major3. Crystal Castles - Wrath of God: Atmospheric tune with vocal sound effects and strong bass line, plus some unique treble percussion sounds. The Major3 brings these unique sounds to life. Digitalism - Pogo: A driving beat with a detailed bass synth and great vocals ("There's something in the air...") - the Major3 makes this very enjoyable. Dino Lenny-Lino Di Meglio - We Will Make It: Atmospheric tune with mixed vocals - the female vocal is a special treat with the Major3. DJ Shadow - Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt: High-pitched tones and strong deep piano chords with a hummed female vocal - ultra-cool with the Major3. Fairmont - Poble Sec: Awesome detailed bass impacts with some nifty pingy guitar/synth effects. I discovered this tune at the time I purchased my 3rd v-moda M100 - the Major3 makes this just as enjoyable. Giuseppe Ottaviani - Lost for Words (On Air Mix feat Amba Shepherd): Strong bass impacts behind a female voice - a large-scale sweeping sonic image reminiscent of epic adventures in an exotic land. The Major3 is playing on a whole new level here. Hecq - Enceladus (With Skyence): Prodigious deep bass and clean at that. This tune's melody is more abstract than most of the others here, but the Major3 makes it a real adventure. Katy B - Crying For No Reason (Tom Shorterz Remix): Oh myyyyy, I love Katy B. The vocal mix here is awesome and the bass is solid. This is the Major3 at its best. Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch: I first heard this in The September Issue film and soundtrack, as the backdrop for the opening catwalk (watch Andre grinning at 1:51 - all you need to know) - the Major3 plays this amazing tune perfectly. Lee and Malinda - Truth Will Set You Free (V-Moda Mix): Lee Kalt is the master, this is the masterpiece. The drum (or tom-tom) hits here have a very realistic skin-tone, the female vocal is seamlessly integrated into the driving beat, and the synth effects also blend well - the Major3 just owns this. Markus Schulz - Mainstage: The granddaddy of bass is in this track, and the Major3 plays it smooth and clean.
  6. The bargain-priced Marshall Major III was a shot in the dark for me, and it paid off - not so great without an equalizer, but excellent with. Great comfort, good quality build if you get the genuine article, decent aesthetics. I highly recommended it based on the stipulations in this review. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/marshall-major-iii-on-ear-bluetooth-headphone-review.4544/
  7. Continuing with the music samples aspect of my Pioneer HDJ-X10c review, the following are a few of the "odds and ends" I've picked up in the process of reviewing headphones. The sound of most of these tracks is sufficiently good to complement any decent headphone, but they show off the HDJ-X10c's sonic qualities as well as anything I've heard. Some of these may be hard to find, particularly in the exact mix/remix. Le Voyage Dans La Lune: Soundtrack to a hand-painted color movie. A terrific variety of sounds that show off the excellent audio qualities of the HDJ-X10c. Muse - Madness: Strong bass line with mass vocals. Clearly delineated by the HDJ-X10c. Mylene Farmer - Desenchantee: French vocal over a driving bass beat. Very enjoyable with the HDJ-X10c. Robyn Hitchcock - Autumn Is Your Last Chance: Acoustic/electric guitar with compelling vocal. Pure class as reproduced by the HDJ-X10c. Samantha James - Amber Sky: Reverberant instrumentation and ethereal vocal. Dreamy stuff that sounds amazing on the HDJ-X10c. Satchmode - Best Intentions: Atmospheric vocals over a very decent bass line. Exquisite reproduction by the HDJ-X10c. Sneaker Pimps - Underground (Nellee Hooper Mix): Slow-paced club music with female vocal and subtle but very effective bass impacts. The bass in this track will be appreciated only in a quiet listening spot. Soliquid - Shibuya (Paul Keeley Remix): Eight minutes and 50 seconds of heavenly beats and awesome musical synth effects as heard with the HDJ-X10c. Stones and Bones - Love Lockdown: Ibiza 2014 track with a very spacious atmosphere and a bit of contrapuntal vocal. Outstanding on the HDJ-X10c. Susanne Sundfor - Accelerate: High-ambiance noise with decent bass impacts and reverberant vocals. The HDJ-X10c makes this track come alive. Third Sex - Monster Snack: One of the best of the Goth/RiotGrrrl genre, available on the Free To Fight CD. Somewhat primitive sound with aggressive vocal, but there ya go - as good as it gets with this headphone. Three-11 Porter - Surround Me With Your Love: Pleasant male-female vocal mix against a big-ambiance backdrop. Lush presentation by the HDJ-X10c. Visage - Fade To Grey: Atmospheric and reverberant recording supported by a luscious synth line. The HDJ-X10c plays this perfectly. When Saints Go Machine - Love And Respect: Super-energetic music with reverberant vocal counterpoint. Strong bass impacts delivered cleanly by the HDJ-X10c. Yaz - Situation: Bright pop-EDM music from the past. Played exquisitely by the HDJ-X10c.
  8. Here is my followup review of the excellent Pioneer HDJ-X10c. This second review contains different music track examples and some new impressions. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/pioneer-hdj-x10c-carbon-fiber-dj-headphone-followup-to-prior-review.4543/
  9. Here is my latest purchase - a very excellent DJ-style headphone, which just might be an excellent audiophile choice as well. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/pioneer-hdj-x10c-carbon-fiber-edition-dj-headphone-review.4542/
  10. That's what I expect for most of these apps. I got a 512 gb iphone so I store all my music as WAV on the phone (and my ipad), and that works for most listening and testing with my budget DACs.
  11. $150 USD at this link: https://us.sxfi.com/products/sxfi-amp I wonder if the sound shaping DSP is always on, full strength, or can it be turned down to a mnimum?
  12. Here's my review of the newly price-reduced Beats Disney special edition headphone .... I like it for several reasons, and I recommend it if you don't mind the value equation. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/beats-solo3-special-disney-edition-bluetooth-headphone-review.4541/
  13. I got another of these Lightning DAC cables, this time in grey instead of black, and I decided to make a second video to fill in a few blanks from the first one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohMrlJosTJ8
  14. I had the Carbon Marsala edition in 2015, and I've had the urge to get this one ever since (same headphone but different colors), and now that they're discounted to less than half price, it was a no-brainer. One caveat - this was made for fashion, less for sound, although the sound does equalize very well. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/pryma-by-sonus-faber-2019-stereo-headphone-review.4540/
  15. Re-posting -- original link was broken: http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/v-moda-speakeasy-lightning-dac-cable-for-ios-devices.4539/
  16. This is a quickie review of the v-moda M80, a headphone I owned a few of circa 2011-2014 in its several incarnations (V80, M80, XS). The V80 was the True Blood(c) branded edition, the M80 was the same thing in shadow, matte black, and white, and the XS added the CliqFold mechanism as well as the form-fitting "Mind The Gap" headband design. All of these that I had sounded about the same, which isn't surprising since the earcups and drivers were the same. The drivers were (as best I remember) a dual-diaphragm design, which not only provided a strong deep bass, but really good bass detail as well. Using my "new" M80 (original 2014 packaging unopened), I note that the clamping force is very light - lighter than most on-ear headphones. The headband was easy to bend permanently so that the earcups sit flush on my ears. In cold environments, the pleather earpads don't immediately seal well due to the light clamp, but after a minute when they warm up on the head, they're good to go. This is not a wireless headphone obviously, but given how I use headphones and the options I have available, I consider this M80 just as viable for walkabout use. The single-side cable is detachable, easy to drop into a pocket, the headphone can be worn around the neck all day with no bother, and for better sound I use the v-moda Lightning DAC cable with my Apple i-devices in lieu of the standard cable. Here's the EQ curve I made in 2014, using just the Q=1 bandwidth defaults of the parametric equalizer. Although I boosted the low bass by 6 db then, I find that a 3 db boost at 33 hz is more than enough with this current M80. I wouldn't suggest this headphone for 32-ft (16.35 hz) organ pipe reproduction, but for any EDM and other bass-centric genres it plays extremely well. The original Innerfidelity review(s) noted the excellent sound, but with the caveat that it had a slightly "constricted" aspect to it. My EQ fixed that, and in my opinion the result is a smooth, detailed hi-fi sound. http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Vmoda_M80.jpg When all is said and done, snagging this M80 at half or less of the original price, I got the same v-moda build quality and sound, and the at-home use with various DACs is pure sonic pleasure. HERE is the new video review: http://youtu.be/ZTXTl8CQ4mE
  17. New video of the NightHawk Carbon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vH_ChO_U5ZU
  18. I just purchased the AudioQuest NightHawk Carbon at a closeout price of $299 USD in the U.S. The original price here was $699 USD, so the new closeout price is 3/7 of the original. The packaging was new with the NH Carbon, and so well packaged that it would survive severe moisture and humidity for 100 years or so. The sound is the same as the original NH, i.e. dull and cavernous due to the combination of lower-mids emphasis and mid-treble recess. Fortunately, when EQ'd properly the NH sounds marvelous. http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Audioquest_Nighthawk.jpg (Note: EQ curve is the inverse of a freq. response curve) About a year ago I also purchased the NightOwl Carbon, hoping for a better sound, but it was even worse than the NH. I really have to wonder, given the massive promotion by AudioQuest for these headphones and their designer (Skylar-somebody), whether anyone with an appreciation for high fidelity reproduction actually listened to these designs and signed off on them. I have my doubts.
  19. Your wish is my command!
  20. Here's an interesting example: This forum: https://www.stereo.net.au/forums/forum/12-portable-audio-headphones-and-desktop-audio/ is a very active forum, but the Lightning cable I mentioned got only 60 views there, but it got 177 views here. So I think people find SGHeadphones to be a good reference site for some things.
  21. I check the view counts of things I posted, and they seem to do very well in spite of the lack of comments. I have 2 Bluetooth headphones and I use the v-moda Lightning cable / DAC with those at home, and those are enjoyable.
  22. Here is a nifty accessory for users of Apple Lightning devices. I found this DAC-cable good for situations away from home or with Bluetooth headphones, whenever I would have time to sit and relax in a relatively quiet place and get some high-res listening in. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/v-moda-speakeasy-lightning-dac-cable-review.4537/
  23. Here's a fun album to test your Grado headphones with. Warning though -- very heavy bass. I got this tip from someone who experienced a real problem with their Grado GW100 - mine played the album nice and clean, but it's definitely a driver stresser. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bass-Mekanik-Presents-Bassotronics-Activated/dp/B00772K1I0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543862464&sr=8-1&keywords=bassotronics
  24. Last night the 4th charge for my GW100 ran out - 4 full charges (3 plus the original factory charge) powered me for 58 days, or about 2 weeks per charge. I'd guess I'm getting about 22-23 hours per charge at a little less than maximum volume. I let it run all the way down each time, since I carry the backup cord.
  25. This is my followup review of the Grado GH3, with new video and text and new music tracks. The music track listings are from the same template I used for the Grado GW100, and as it turned out I made only one change - to the Fairmont-Poble Sec track, where the GH3 bass was obviously not as strong as the GW100 bass. http://www.hifiheadphones.co.uk/community/threads/grado-gh3-heritage-edition-headphone-followup-review-new-info.4536/
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