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Thread: Hi-fi and audiophile forums in SG

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    mmm... but I haven't found a headphones that gives me a proper soundstage. Is that possible to actually have the singer in front of you instead of inside you...

    Still I really like my grado headphones in the office.
    Try the AKG K-1000's. They're actually earspeakers but for all intents and purposes, they're in the same league as headphones.
    Note that they'll require amplification and a good match with headphones/ speakers amplifiers to sound their best.

    It's possible to have the singer behind or in front of you. However, you'll need a headphones amplifier to change the soundstage.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    mmm... but I haven't found a headphones that gives me a proper soundstage. Is that possible to actually have the singer in front of you instead of inside you...

    Still I really like my grado headphones in the office.
    Headphones alone cannot give you a soundstage. This is because the brain requires cues from reflections off your earlobes to help with sound placement. To have a soundstage with headphones, you would need to have a headphone amp/processor that uses HRTF(Head Related Transfer Function) algorithms to generate cues for your brain to perceive a soundstage.

  3. #23
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    Have to agree.

    Headphones are speakers are 2 different sources of output. A headphone can never give you that kind of soundstage and "imaging" as per the recording studio requires it to be.

  4. #24

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    wah that sound very interesting, I never knew about all these.

    Any place to demo, and a rough price guide for the headphones and amp??

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    wah that sound very interesting, I never knew about all these.

    Any place to demo, and a rough price guide for the headphones and amp??
    Yes they have... DIY ones less than $200 .... original headphone amps from Grado etc. $4xx .... i'm sticking with my monitors ...i'm still sticking with the fact that a headphone cannot give you the same reproduction and staging as a pair of studio monitors.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by wind30
    wah that sound very interesting, I never knew about all these.

    Any place to demo, and a rough price guide for the headphones and amp??

    The best I've heard (in order, from the best):

    1) Grado HP-1000 series HP-1's.
    These are long out of production, if you can find one in near-mint condition with the box and certificates of authenticity, be prepared to pay up to US$1.5K.
    The HP-2's are the same but without polarity-switches (mainly used for studio work) and are more common on the 2nd-hand market. At it's peak, it was commanding up to US$1.4K. Around US$1K without the box or papers.

    2) Grado RS-1's & AKG K-1000's. Both are in the same league and are current production models.
    The Grado's run for S$1.2K at MBD. The K-1000's run for close to S$1k at Kingsley.

    3) Beyer Dynamics DT-931's. These are out of production but stock can still be found locally. Try Hung Brothers at SLS. They run for about S$330+. Very good value for money.
    Also in the same league are Grado SR-225's. Can't remember the exact pricing for these are should be close to S$300+ as well. Current production model.

    4) Beyer Dynamics DT-880. Not quite as balanced as the DT-931's but may appeal to some people. These cost more than the DT-931's but come with a nice aluminium case with sponge insert etc..

    The following are very much liked by many people but I've never liked the sound from them and hence, I'm not able to put them in the list above.

    Sony CD-3000's. Not available locally. Ask any Sony shop and the people will go 'HUH?". Available online for about S$600++.

    Sennheiser HD-600's. Available at Hung Brothers for about S$450++. Sound improves if an upgrade cable is used. Zu Mobius cable available at MBD, Adelphi. Ask for Eugene. Be warned that the cable costs more than S$150.
    Others like the Stefan AudioArt, Clou Red/ Blue & Cardas are also as pricey if not even more so.

    For commercial amplifiers, the local selection is rather limited.

    The best of the commercial lot I've heard are the Naim Headline & Bennings Micro-ZOTL. The Naim runs for about S$900++ at Hung Brothers.

    I'm not sure if you're able to get the Benings Micro-ZOTL a.k.a. toaster. It's a tube amplifier that's shaped like a toaster (especially the bright red model) with a clear front window. This is about S$1k, IIRC. Nice sounding unit that's equally as good as the Naim Headline.

    The Grado RA-1 is also as good sounding as the Naim Headline but it loses out because the volume control is a very cheap component that can suffer channel imbalance at low-normal listening volumes. Runs for >S$400 at MBD.

    The Cayin/ Spark HA-1 amplifier is also very decent sounding and runs for about $470++. It's actually a low-power speaker amp that has headphones output. Also has a selector to match the tranformer output impedance for the headphones.

    There's the Musical Fidelity X-Cans series as well. I cannot recommend the X-Cans V2 due to certain reliability issues. Most people I've known to use them had headphones destroyed.
    The X-cans V2 use a very cheap volume control and the left-right channel balance is totally off at low to normal listening levels. The amp is also particularly bright.
    I have not tried the X-cans V3 and can't comment on them. However, the volume control has apparently been upgraded to a decent unit (ALPS Blue Velvet) and it should have at least decent tracking.

  7. #27
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    Forgot to add the Creek amps into the above.

    Creek OBH-11(SE) & Creek OBH-21(SE).
    The OBH-11/ 11SE are non-production models but old stock is still available at Hung Brothers. They sound okayish but I'd not recommend them because they're very warm sounding. A little too much so. Runs for about $300+ to $400+, IIRC.

    The OBH-21/ 21SE are the newer models. They sound slightly better but still retain that warm sound. These run for about $500+ to $600++, IIRC.

    I'd rank the above higher than the Musical Fidelity X-Cans V2.

  8. #28

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    I thought i was splurging when i paid 380 for my Shure E3c... Now i feel that it was a steal..

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by porshee
    I thought i was splurging when i paid 380 for my Shure E3c... Now i feel that it was a steal..

    Compared to the Sensaphonics Sensaphones Pro 2X & Ultimate Ear 10 Pro's in-canal earphones which cost US$1000/ pair, the E3C's definitely seem a lot more affordable. As do the Etymotics Research ER-4P's/ ER-4S' that go for S$420.

  10. #30

    Default Earphones

    what's the difference between these earphones that makes it so much more expensive. Its hard to imagine there's ANY earphone that is 2-3 times better then my E3c.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by porshee
    what's the difference between these earphones that makes it so much more expensive. Its hard to imagine there's ANY earphone that is 2-3 times better then my E3c.
    They're custom molded in-canal phones. You have to go to a specialist to made a mold of your ear canal and send it to them.. They will then create the earphones to fit exactly into your ear-canal. This also means that you can sell them off because they're built to fit only your ears.

    They also offer superior isolation due to the exact fitting. You'll mainly see musicians/ singers using them during concerts due to the deafening ambience noise levels.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by di0nysus
    Sorry to hijack ya thread.

    Stuff in echoloft etc are too cheem. There's no tutorial/sticky for newbies into the field.

    I'm into a little of recording music that I play. Setup inclues guitar/vox/midi kb/mics into a mixer into the SBlive, then cubase/cakewalk, and out to old kenwood minicompo. I listen to jazz/bossa/lush/trance/house/rock/radio. collection mostly mp3s. i don't play games.

    looking to have better midi sounds, better reproduction of mp3s. Thinking of a amp+speakers. recording pple in soft.com will tell me monitor speakers, pro audio cards etc. audiophiles will frown to play mp3s on expensive amps/speakers.

    Haven't known a mixture of the 2 camps.

    Short term budget is $1K.

    Any comments/tips are welcomed!
    $1k more than enough to get KRK Rokkit RP5 and a E-mu sound Card...

    No point in playing mp3s through a high-end system.. mp3s sound better through lower end systems. I listen to WMA on my computer hifi all the time.

  13. #33

    Thumbs up Stax It Up!

    Quote Originally Posted by Firefox
    The best I've heard (in order, from the best):

    1) Grado HP-1000 series HP-1's.
    These are long out of production, if you can find one in near-mint condition with the box and certificates of authenticity, be prepared to pay up to US$1.5K.
    The HP-2's are the same but without polarity-switches (mainly used for studio work) and are more common on the 2nd-hand market. At it's peak, it was commanding up to US$1.4K. Around US$1K without the box or papers.

    2) Grado RS-1's & AKG K-1000's. Both are in the same league and are current production models.
    The Grado's run for S$1.2K at MBD. The K-1000's run for close to S$1k at Kingsley.

    3) Beyer Dynamics DT-931's. These are out of production but stock can still be found locally. Try Hung Brothers at SLS. They run for about S$330+. Very good value for money.
    Also in the same league are Grado SR-225's. Can't remember the exact pricing for these are should be close to S$300+ as well. Current production model.

    4) Beyer Dynamics DT-880. Not quite as balanced as the DT-931's but may appeal to some people. These cost more than the DT-931's but come with a nice aluminium case with sponge insert etc..

    The following are very much liked by many people but I've never liked the sound from them and hence, I'm not able to put them in the list above.

    Sony CD-3000's. Not available locally. Ask any Sony shop and the people will go 'HUH?". Available online for about S$600++.

    Sennheiser HD-600's. Available at Hung Brothers for about S$450++. Sound improves if an upgrade cable is used. Zu Mobius cable available at MBD, Adelphi. Ask for Eugene. Be warned that the cable costs more than S$150.
    Others like the Stefan AudioArt, Clou Red/ Blue & Cardas are also as pricey if not even more so.

    For commercial amplifiers, the local selection is rather limited.

    The best of the commercial lot I've heard are the Naim Headline & Bennings Micro-ZOTL. The Naim runs for about S$900++ at Hung Brothers.

    I'm not sure if you're able to get the Benings Micro-ZOTL a.k.a. toaster. It's a tube amplifier that's shaped like a toaster (especially the bright red model) with a clear front window. This is about S$1k, IIRC. Nice sounding unit that's equally as good as the Naim Headline.

    The Grado RA-1 is also as good sounding as the Naim Headline but it loses out because the volume control is a very cheap component that can suffer channel imbalance at low-normal listening volumes. Runs for >S$400 at MBD.

    The Cayin/ Spark HA-1 amplifier is also very decent sounding and runs for about $470++. It's actually a low-power speaker amp that has headphones output. Also has a selector to match the tranformer output impedance for the headphones.

    There's the Musical Fidelity X-Cans series as well. I cannot recommend the X-Cans V2 due to certain reliability issues. Most people I've known to use them had headphones destroyed.
    The X-cans V2 use a very cheap volume control and the left-right channel balance is totally off at low to normal listening levels. The amp is also particularly bright.
    I have not tried the X-cans V3 and can't comment on them. However, the volume control has apparently been upgraded to a decent unit (ALPS Blue Velvet) and it should have at least decent tracking.
    Let's not forgetting Stax headspeakers with their driver unit. One of the best out there.
    Last edited by photobum; 21st April 2005 at 11:26 PM.

  14. #34

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    Good headphone alone is not good enough. You need a really good headphone amp.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by slato
    so have you seen the Anthony Gallo reference 3 speakers? any comments?
    I saw the B&W 704, but for whatever reason they didn't sound so great to me.
    I'm on the market for ampli + speakers...
    Yes, the Gallo Reference 3 are great speakers but you'll need lots of room to make them sing. A beauty and a beast!

    By the way, I am not a fan of B&W speakers except their 801s.
    Last edited by photobum; 21st April 2005 at 11:27 PM.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by erwinx
    $1k more than enough to get KRK Rokkit RP5 and a E-mu sound Card...

    No point in playing mp3s through a high-end system.. mp3s sound better through lower end systems. I listen to WMA on my computer hifi all the time.
    Yea have to agree strongly on this!

    I'm using a pair of KRK ST6 on my pre / power setup .. the results are jaw dropping

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric
    Good headphone alone is not good enough. You need a really good headphone amp.
    Then comes the cables ....

  18. #38

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    Then, comes the source. Either digital or analog. For digital, you'll need a good CD/DVD/SACD/ transport, DAC and fiber optic cable. For analog, you'll need a good turntable, tonearm, phono cartridge and cables. It is endless!

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by photobum
    Yes, the Gallo Reference 3 are great speakers but you'll need lots of room to make them sing. A beauty and a beast!

    By the way, I am not a fan of B&W speakers except their 801s.
    Was loitering around Artcoustic Gallery ...needed to ask for a quotation on projector installation .... chanced upon these "beasts" ...actually had an audition .... jaw dropping ...

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by photobum
    Then, comes the source. Either digital or analog. For digital, you'll need a good CD/DVD/SACD/ transport, DAC and fiber optic cable. For analog, you'll need a good tonearms, phono cartridge and cables. It is endless!
    once you start.. you can't stop ... my present setup already cost me $3K+ .. now thinking of upgrading my preamp ... next on the list is the CDP....

    but what i have to agree are your sources and cables very important to make a system sing ... incorrect pairing ...

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