reference quality headphones

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reference quality headphones

Post by awangotango » Sat Dec 24, 2011 3:26 pm

fyi to all ya'all who want/need sweet and accurate sounding headphones for either monitoring or pleasure. I spent the last year buying thousands of dollars of headphone gear. i.e. 15 diff phones from several manufacturers, several amps, dac's. At the end of this search, I stumbled on this new aftermarket driver called a symphone magnum. The set of drivers are $120 and are direct replacement for any grado. Most grado's use plastic cups (air chambers) and I'd recommend getting a set of wood made (email I can help if needed) or use the aluminum symphones sells. You can basically buy a cheap set of grado sr60's-sr225's, the drivers and wood cups. Assemble them and you have a $2000 sounding set of phones for $400. And the best part is they do not need an amplifier to sound great, which alot of other high end phones do need due to their poor design and high impedance

I made my own limba airchambers (cups) and wired myself a cable from mogami 4 conductor mic cable.

they also need a healthy 'burn in' just like new guitar speakers. And I'd recommend the same procedure we use for that. put thin lizzy's jailbreak on repeat, put the headphones in a drawer and let the drivers flex their way to greatness. takes 2-300 hours.

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Last edited by awangotango on Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: reference quality headphones

Post by ampSnob » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:58 pm

Fun idea! I love building my own stuff. The price on the symphones magnum page is $399 instead of $120. Is that right? Am I looking at the right thing? Takes this project a bit out of my price range but fun to look at.

I'm very familiar and used to the Sony 7506. I prefer them over most of the other standards out there (flame away) My only main complaint is that they are not so faithful on sources with massive dynamic range like unprocessed close miked drums. Fine if you are using compression and such in a proper studio environment, but they can cheat you out of the nuances and realistic presence of the low-fi experience you would get hear on bootlegs, direct from mic to tape stuff and other 'unprofessional' recordings. Oddly enough, I find cheaper consumer full cup headphones reproduce this effect better, however their inferior sound quality makes them a distant second (or twentieth) choice. Sometimes it can be good to change things up and slum it though.

Anyway, It would be fun to experiment with my headphone experience. If for some reason I could get the drivers cheaper, the $20 headband and cups look to be still available. Would I have to get new padded ear doohickies as well? I don't really expect anyone to answer all this, but I'd love to hear any details, reviews from anyone who has tried anything like this.

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