Headphone soundstage?

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dalethorn

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    • DaleThorn
Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #60 on: 12 Nov 2013, 07:11 pm »
FWIW Decware use the Mellow Saxophone recording from Mapleshade:
http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfest2013.html
To demo speakers, scroll down to the MG944 video;

Those are so long and full of talking, I'll never have time to listen to them. But here's a very interesting (and brief) set of samples, of recordings of Decware speakers playing music. And these sound pretty good on headphones.

http://www.decware.com/newsite/soundsamples.html

ajzepp

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #61 on: 13 Nov 2013, 06:09 pm »
Decware is a fascinating company to me...I was very close to picking up a pair of Steve's monitors last year but went in another direction when the build time was so long. One of these days I'll become a customer.

dalethorn

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #62 on: 13 Nov 2013, 06:58 pm »
Decware is a fascinating company to me...I was very close to picking up a pair of Steve's monitors last year but went in another direction when the build time was so long. One of these days I'll become a customer.

I bought the small Zen Head headphone amp, and for just a plain headphone amp, I've never heard anything as good. The detail and clarity on the top end is amazing, and quite different from the cheaper amps like FiiO and others make. I read what Steve said about how everything not absolutely necessary is eliminated so the sound is as clean as possible, and I believe it. You do have to be very careful though since things like short circuit protection are not there at all. Just put the battery terminals in reverse for a second, and goodbye amp.

milford3

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #63 on: 13 Nov 2013, 08:07 pm »
Here is my Zen Head.  Just love it.  Now the question, does an amplifier effect soundstage?




Rclark

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #64 on: 13 Nov 2013, 08:32 pm »
The Emotiva Xda2 headphone amp/dac/pre has excellent sound stage, much better than I anticipated. Never get the impression of left and right, but it's a fully immersive soundstage with no gaps, and spatial cues have appropriate depth or distance.

ajzepp

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #65 on: 13 Nov 2013, 08:35 pm »
I always knew you guys were a couple of Zen Heads.... :lol:

dalethorn

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    • DaleThorn
Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #66 on: 13 Nov 2013, 09:50 pm »
Here is my Zen Head.  Just love it.  Now the question, does an amplifier effect soundstage?

I can sure answer that for iPhone use. All of my current headphones are plenty efficient enough for iPhone use, including accurate rendition of bass, mids, and treble etc. But when I connect the iPhone to any amp (FiiO E07k, Zen Head, FiiO E17 (and even the little PA2V2) via the LOD, the soundstage always improves along with the treble extension. Bass is somewhat variable. It may be that users who run their amps off of a music player headphone jack don't get much improvement.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #67 on: 14 Nov 2013, 04:21 am »
Here is my Zen Head.  Just love it.  Now the question, does an amplifier effect soundstage?
Ask ten audiophiles, get eleven answers...

parr3n1

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #68 on: 14 Nov 2013, 04:27 am »
This has been an interesting thread to read. Since switching to headphones this year
I have been amazed at the detail they provide. I don't know is this has an effect on
sound stage but with my system I notice detail even when the sound stage is limited
as with mono jazz recordings and other recordings that are recorded inside the box.

G Georgopoulos

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #69 on: 14 Nov 2013, 04:43 am »
but with my system I notice detail even when the sound stage is limited
as with mono jazz recordings and other recordings that are recorded inside the box.

Actually you only get soundstage with mono...

stereo with headphones has no sound stage... :lol:

parr3n1

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #70 on: 14 Nov 2013, 04:56 am »
What do you call the stereo presentation? It could be argued that the instruments and voice
on a stereo recording is a representation of where the instruments are in a live performance.

G Georgopoulos

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #71 on: 14 Nov 2013, 05:02 am »
What do you call the stereo presentation? It could be argued that the instruments and voice
on a stereo recording is a representation of where the instruments are in a live performance.

But you cant replicate stereo with headphones as is with loudspeakers,the best bet is mono
which appears at the center of your head,this could be called soundstage minus sound effects of stereo...

parr3n1

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #72 on: 14 Nov 2013, 05:08 am »
I don't understand your logic. You have a two channel system with cans
and I grant you that they don't mimic speakers but you still have left right and
center. With mono how would you have a center image without sound from two channels?

G Georgopoulos

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #73 on: 14 Nov 2013, 05:19 am »
With mono how would you have a center image without sound from two channels?

It's easy, there is only a center image with mono, .... :lol:

dalethorn

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #74 on: 14 Nov 2013, 08:27 am »
Stereo isn't a "sound effect" - it's the total of the info in 2 separate channels. That's frequencies, phase shifts, time delays, and so on. Those are quite real unless (as in some pop recordings) the sound is heavily modified or manufactured altogether.

dB Cooper

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #75 on: 14 Nov 2013, 01:57 pm »
+1 on dale's previous post

"Everybody's out of step but Johnny"

parr3n1

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #76 on: 14 Nov 2013, 02:38 pm »
Dalethorn, well said and what you say makes perfect sense. Now, has this thread been
about listening to mono recordings or does the stereo sound effect present and artificial
sound stage?

dalethorn

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #77 on: 14 Nov 2013, 05:27 pm »
Dalethorn, well said and what you say makes perfect sense. Now, has this thread been about listening to mono recordings or does the stereo sound effect present and artificial sound stage?

I went back to the original post and mono wasn't an issue there. But I have some feelings on mono. Most of the music that's been popular (not the marginal stuff) has been updated over the years, some in a good way and some (as in Loudness Wars) in a bad way. I know there are purists who would like their mono "strictly mono" played on whatever gear the user chooses, but I've heard a few enhanced mono recordings recently that sound much better than the originals, so my current opinion is (just like the stereo stuff) that reprocessing mono is all going to be hit or miss, with some great results and some not good. But I've also been told that some original mono recordings, like the Mercury Living Presence recordings, sound great with no enhancement at all.

So I'm up for whatever anyone does, as long as I can sample the tracks first, or return any CDs I don't like.

Now as to stereo being artificial, just set a few stereo tracks to mono if your system allows that, and observe how some instruments and voices can virtually disappear due to phase cancellation. You may need to test a variety of music. The principle is clear I think - whatever the mics capture, you don't want your system to lose. If the mastering engineers 'disappear' something, fine, but you don't want your system to lose information unless you do it on purpose.

ajzepp

Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #78 on: 14 Nov 2013, 09:18 pm »
+1 on dale's previous post

"Everybody's out of step but Johnny"

*spits iced tea onto keyboard*

G Georgopoulos

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Re: Headphone soundstage?
« Reply #79 on: 15 Nov 2013, 12:09 am »

Now as to stereo being artificial, just set a few stereo tracks to mono if your system allows that, and observe how some instruments and voices can virtually disappear due to phase cancellation. You may need to test a variety of music. The principle is clear I think - whatever the mics capture, you don't want your system to lose. If the mastering engineers 'disappear' something, fine, but you don't want your system to lose information unless you do it on purpose.

Dalethorn what are you on about...nothing is lost with mono...I use a mixer to mix stereo
to mono and all music information is mixed nothing is lost...i dont know where you got that
information or what kind of hardware you used to come to that conclusion...

nothing is lost mate... :green: