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my new headphones; WOW!

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my new headphones; WOW!

Postby adri » Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:37 pm

I can highly recommend Focal Classic headphones; they can handle basses, like wow! I'm listening to e.g.:

http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/26553

and they have no trouble handling these 32' basses at the end!

Highly recommended. They are pricey but well worth it.
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Grant_Youngman » Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:26 pm

Sooooo … is it the Spirit Classic or Utopia Classic?
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Andrew Grahame » Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:11 am

Good question - there's a $5,000.00 price difference between the Spirit and the Utopia! No prizes for who can guess which one has the higher price tag!
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby tf11972 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:39 pm

I see the Spirit Classic has an improved bracket. That of my Spirit One broke after one year :evil:
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby engrssc » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:05 pm

Sorry, I don't "see" any headphone worth 5K, or even 3K. I'll listen with my K712's and use the balance for something else. Using K712's with a sAp II makes for quite a positive result. The 2 still don't come anywhere the above $$.

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Andrew Grahame » Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:38 pm

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby engrssc » Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:12 pm

Andrew Grahame wrote:Check this out.
https://www.minidisc.com.au/focal-utopi ... gKc2fD_BwE


:roll: :shock:

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby tf11972 » Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:58 am

Best regards
Thomas

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby RichardW » Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:15 am

Andrew Grahame wrote:Check this out.

https://www.minidisc.com.au/focal-utopi ... gKc2fD_BwE

Andrew

I see the reviewers gave it only 4.3 stars. I think I will keep looking. :)

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby johnstump_organist » Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:30 pm

I have both of the following headphones. The HiFIman HE 400S are the more expensive but are relatively cheap for planar magnetic earphones (the quality is all in the sound producing - no money wasted on hand polished wood inserts, fancy boxes, etc.). Planar Magnetci is supposed to much superior technology over the standard tech. They benefit in the bass end by using the optional ear pads that some people recommend. The detail is somewhat clearer and more accurate, but I'm not sure enough so to justify the 200 + price difference over the superlux.
The one from Midi Works I bought on Darryl's recommendation, they are under $100 USD are they really do a great job.
Mind you my ears are now 66 years old and suffer from some hearing loss, so younger ears might pick up more difference to justify the price difference.


http://www.hifiman.com/products/detail/238
ear pads http://store.hifiman.com/index.php/focuspad.html

http://www.midiworks.ca/index.php?optio ... uct_id=263

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Andrew Grahame » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:46 am

I've had to wait a while, but I finally took delivery this week of some Focal Classic headphones. I had them delivered to a work address, but just after ordering them I fell victim to a nasty bout of influenza which is sweeping across Sydney at the moment, and I was away from work for 2 weeks. Back on deck this week the headphones were waiting for me.

I'm glad to say that I placed the order with a retailer who has a generous returns policy. They are happy to refund or exchange within 21 days if you're not satisfied. There is a modest cost involved but it's worth it for being able to try out then send them back if you don't like them.

I have to say that I wasn't at all impressed with the Focal Classic, to the point that I have sent them back for a refund. Having said that, I understand that the drivers need to be "burned in" with approximately 200 hours of playing before they begin to perform at optimum level. However having been away sick I didn't have the chance to do this as I had to act quickly to stay within the refund period. Perhaps if I'd been able to set them up on a CD or MP3 player running on repeat 24/7 for about 8 or 9 days I'd have been able to make that judgement, but time wasn't on my side.

Out of the box I found them to have a boomy unclear bass, strangled midrange and greatly reduced treble. In short, they sounded horrible.

I have put a new order in for another type. When they arrive I'll say more about them.

If I hadn't been off sick things might have worked out differently. I wonder if anyone using the Focal Classic has had the experience of having to burn them in, and did it make much of a difference?

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Andrew Grahame » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:05 am

Here's the update. Today I received my alternative choice - the Shure SRH 1540 closed headphones. I previously used the Shure SRH 940, which have a wonderfully expansive sound stage and a clean almost flat response - but a weak bass end. I have compensated for this shortfall using carefully-managed EQ. However my 940's are several years old now and have developed some physical issues - one of which required some superglue - and I was biding my time until I could replace them with something of similar if not better calibre. The 1540's have hit the spot. They have the nice solid even bottom end which the 940's don't have, so I've been able to turn off the EQ. They also have a cleaner treble. They still have the same wide sound stage and sit comfortably on the head.

However the price isn't for the faint-hearted. This set cost me AU$699.00 - but I reckon they are worth every cent based on how they sound - and they didn't need to be "burned in" either! They have picked out fine detail from my digital headphone amp which I didn't know was there. These should keep me going nicely for some time to come! Considering that I do all my Hauptwerk playing through headphones it's important to have good ones. I actually have a simple stereo speaker pair plus subwoofer connected to the organ too, but rarely use them as my playing normally happens only late at night.

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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby adri » Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:57 am

Sorry to hear (sorry with the late response, but after moving, I'm finally back in the music "business" again) that your Focal headphone set wasn't right for you, as I recommended them. Sorry for your inconvenience.
Perhaps it also depends on the soundcard; mine are working just fine, but then again, I play the organ mostly with monitors, as continual use of headphones isn't great for your hearing.

At least you found a good pair.
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby TheOrganDoc » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:18 pm

One item I have found MOST Important, Is to NOT USE the headphone output from your Computer, I used an extra Sound Card, and routed my main output to a pair of it's outputs,,,,, WoW what an improvement, Be sure to use extra outputs from your Sound Card, The difference is AMAZING ! ! ! ! :roll:
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Re: my new headphones; WOW!

Postby Andrew Grahame » Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:33 am

Hello Adri,

No worries - your advice helped steer me in the right direction! I enjoy reading reviews by other Hauptwerk users as through this I discover new products. Following through is always enlightening, even if at times things don't work out. Your post helped me to make a decision which I'd been putting off for some time.

It's possible that circumstances weren't in my favour. Just after I placed the order for the Focal headphones I came down with the vicious influenza virus which was sweeping across Sydney at the tail end of winter. I work with young children (kindergarten to Year 6) as a specialist school music teacher, so I'm a sitting duck for any illnesses which are going around. I have a 'flu vaccination every year, but this year's vaccine failed to protect a very large number of people. My doctor assured me at the time that his surgery was constantly packed out with heaps of patients with the same illness. As a result I was off work for a full 2 weeks - with the Focal headphones waiting all that time at my school for me to collect them. I usually get parcels delivered to my work address for security because I don't want the goods sitting on my doorstep throughout the day while nobody is at home - especially when they are as expensive as a set of good headphones. By the time I was well enough to go back to work and collect them I'd run out of time to fully burn them in and test them within the retailer's return/exchange period. There's every chance that if I'd been able to set them up to run from a repeating audio source 24/7 for two weeks that they could have sounded much better - but I decided in the end to make my decision based on what I could hear in the time I had available. In the end I am very happy with the new-model Shure - they are excellent. I hope my comments don't put anyone off trying the Focal - just be aware that this unit does need to burn in before it performs to its best.

I've been a Hauptwerk user for more than 11 years now, and the information, advice and support I've received from the forum has been and continues to be fantastic.

Many thanks,

Andrew
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