Focal Elear Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Marvey, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    There is a protective mesh covering this?
    I will take a look at an Elear tomorrow.
    Maybe the "port hole" in the middle can insert an absorbing tube or "ring" instead of covering the hole..
     

  2. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

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    Ok so, finally had some time to listen to the Elear on a modded Torpedo 3, Jotunheim, and Black Widow (v2)... More time needed, but here are some brief impressions.

    Of the three amps, I think the T3 works best with the Elear. That is to say it opens them up a bit, gives them a bit more air, takes some of the edge off, and makes them less dark sounding. Btw, on low z, be sure to run with 12A(T, Z, or Y)7 and not 12AU7 because you won't have enough gain. With 12AT7 tubes I have the knob on the T3 at ~2 o'clock. Same goes for Utopia.

    The Joti, as @Hands suggested elsewhere, highlights Elear's proneness to shout and get in your face. That said, it slams real nice with Joti and it helps to alleviate some of Elear's darkness, so overall I still like it with Elear. BW stages a bit better and isn't as in your face as Judie, but does nothing to remove the darkness of the Elear. Whereas this is really great with the hd600 and hd800, it's less great with Elear.

    Unfair comparison, but I put on the Utopias right after running the Elear through those amps, and it felt like opening a window and letting in the breeze. Much clearer, more natural, everything in its right place, no more darkness. As @zonto suggested elsewhere, electric guitars, violins and other instruments sounded a bit off with Elear *in stock form*, and switching to Utopia brought them back to life. Getting some pads in to see if that fixes that issue (HM5, alpha, maybe ether or zmf?), which is it's biggest fault (that and treble roughness). Still, lots of potential with Elear.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  3. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    I agree, grill an pads mods
    IMHO, the Elear needs different pads.
    The pads inner diameter is to small for the type of sonic projection the drivers are giving...
    We need a massive inner diameter which will alleviate the elevated Lower end,
    And we need thicker pads to take your ear away from the proximity of the driver.
    Are times I feel like a fly on the mike because the image is so large.
    Sonic presentation is truly more like speakers and feeling your in a theater.
    Shocking pounding relentless resolution and dynamics.
    My eyes stayed wide open every time I put them on.
    These cams have potential for more soundstage with bigger pads.
    They are crying for bigger pads.
    The rear seems to add to the perception of depth in these cans,
    Which is the reason they get away from not sounding forward,
    So I wouldn't try anything that inhibits the rear hole, and probably would re do the grills..

    To me, these cans needed pads like the HD800, instead of what looks like pads for closed cans..

    Otherwise, I am not bothered by the trebles as others in my area were. (The NY guys)
    Edit* yes it was a bit different but still realistic.
    Yet I suspect there was something else involved, either music preference that made the NY members take note, or even solid state gear that aggravated the issue.
    I do feel the whole presentation overall can be to intense for extendid listening.

    Regardless, this can is a clearly superior can that is crying to be modded.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
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  4. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    If I owned the Elear I would be trying the zmf cowhides on this can, although I would have to measure first..
     
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  5. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    Another point to make is that the bass elevation is a good thing for modding ,
    because that is the area which usually dissipates the further your ears are away and the larger the inner diameter...
    therefore we can get away with larger pad inner diameter than what is present in the pads now..

    In other words,
    we can possibly make the Sound Stage larger than the Utopia and get away with it...

    The treble end will also change depending of the pad material, like what was done to the HE6 with vegan pads...

    I would also totally remove the rear grill and put the metal ring back with just a transparent felt like material, like the "Organza" material I used on my HEK...
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  6. Serious

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    I wouldn't be so sure that more distance to the driver always means less bass. With both the HD600 and HD800 thicker pads depress the 1kHz region and make them seem more bassy.
     
  7. Arnaud

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    I had this interesting conversation about the Focal phones design with the focal rep at the Tokyo audio show this week end.

    One thing I learned is that, with typical / most open back dynamic headphones, bass resonance tuning is typically performed by adjusting air flow resistance of porous screens on the back side of the driver (coupling to the outer chamber). I always thought the front chamber (ear pad / baffle system) played the largest roles like for estats so this was quite interesting.

    Now, the Elear and Utopia do not have anything behind the driver besides the port, some grill and logo that is fairly transparent from what you guys have measured so far. Next, I also got confirmation there was no spider / the surround and manufacturing tolerance do the hard work to avoid rocking modes. But this suspension is super thin / super compliant it seems so it's hard to imagine the 40Hz or so resonance frequency is controlled by that surround. Well, the moving mass is very low though, .135g for the utopia, so it could explain some but I am still wondering if the elear / utopia bass resonance is affected by the front chamber.

    Are you guys measuring electrical impedance as part of measurements? The Q factor and resonance frequency is quite visible there (especially in light of expected large BL factor of the drivers), I am quite curious to see what that would look like loaded vs. open baffle.

    Oh, sound wise the Elear did not do it for me. It was fun sounding but I quickly found it too bassy and scooped out in the mids while at the same time getting shouty on dynamic peaks which I did not expect with that kind of voicing. The utopia was a whole different ballgame, very reminiscent of my home rig. The treble felt much cleaner too, something I have hard time imagining can all be the fault of the pads in the elear.

    In terms of finance though, 4k is a bit steep although I would likely have made the jump if I was still a HD800 owner / had no stat rig. As it stands, it would be jelly to the pig given I'd use it with ... an iPhone. Possibly from the HP out of my dac when too lazy to fire up the BHSE.

    Last thing, they had a current drive amp at the show but it made the two phones sound pretty awful. Huge mid-bass hump, no treble, the Utopia was literally transformed into a Porta-pro, I'm half kidding! The focal rep was going through the roof, I believe the amp will be turned off today lol.

    arnaud
     
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  8. Maxx134

    Maxx134 Friend

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    That may be true but I believe they both already have larger internal earpad dimensions over the Elear.
    I am fairly sure a larger inner diameter will help and will try on my friends unit next time.
     
  9. fierce_freak

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    I only have velour HM5 pads on hand, but I think I like them better than stock pads on Elear. Need more comparison time, though. More comfortable, for sure.

    Trying to decide between grabbing HM5 hybrids or alpha pads (or maybe cow hide pads). Anyone else do more testing with pads/mods?

    Hands, how are you attaching felt in front of the drivers with velcro? Trying to figure out where you're actually putting the velcro in the cups. I'll probably just pick up adhesive-backed felt and try that, but I'm curious.
     
  10. Serious

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    I wouldn't try putting the adhesive backed felt infront of the driver. Sure, you need some way of attaching it to the plastic but you could try to cut out smaller pieces of double-sided adhesive tape and strategically place them on areas where it's not as bad. The felt with adhesive backing has very different acoustical properties than the normal one. The adhesive backing is reflective so you will most likely get much less treble than with regular felt with no adhesive backing, when placing it infront of the driver.

    Also try different types of felt. They're all very different. I'm generally not a fan of putting stuff infront of the driver and I don't think it can solve the Elear's roughness/splashy treble, but I also haven't heard it with the other pads so I don't know how bright it is. I guess the splashy treble is just inherent to the driver.
     
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  11. fierce_freak

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    Just got some HM5 hybrids in. I like them better than the velours. I have some felt to try, but I haven't decided or figured out how best to attach it yet.
     
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  12. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Feel free to do pad experiments all you want, but I am going to try to get as many pad options in as I can and narrow down the options for folks. Hope you're all patient if you want to wait for my results. :) Alpha Pads are most promising so far, so something similar to those might be good to try (ZMF, HM5 angled pleather, etc.).

    For attaching front damping, get some adhesive velcro strips, and cut out tiny pieces. Use the side with the hard plastic fingers, not the fuzzy size. Adhere at the edge of the driver (either the plastic cover or the foam ring surround). Felt or foam should stick right to that. You only need 4 small pieces or so to keep front damping in place while you experiment. Multi-layered damping might require some dabs of glue. (i.e. velcro + felt + dabs of glue on edges of top side of felt + foam). Just an idea.

    Yep, don't put adhesive stuff over the driver itself unless it's minimal and strategic.

    Yep, try different front damping.

    Yep, I don't usually like front damping if I can avoid it, but sometimes it is a necessary evil. Thankfully, the Elear is dynamic enough that front damping doesn't dull it too much. However, you are not entirely correct that front damping can't solve most of the roughness and splash on the Elear. Pads make the biggest difference, though. Pads can turn a 5KHz dip into a peak. It all matters.

    Agreed, HM5 hybrid > velour. I need to try pleather, since I'm liking the Alpha Pads. See notes above about how to attach. Again, these are all just initial ideas. Get creative!
     
  13. joeq70

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    Thanks for the work on this! Given the positive Alpha Pad results, I think various ZMF pads should be tested next. I wish I could participate, but I don't have an Elear (yet). Looking forward to further developments!
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  14. cskippy

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    @Hands BillP dropped a hint of using beyer pads like the light grey ones found on the DT880 as a pad alternative. Do you have any Beyer pads to try? DT770 pads might not work the same...
     
  15. brencho

    brencho Good Friend (Moderator)

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    @cskippy or @Bill-P why would DT880 pads work but not other beyer pads? asking because i agree it would be good to try these on the elear!
     
  16. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    I haven't done direct comparison pad to pad but the thickness and material density is different between the DT880 pads and the DT770 pads when I had both headphones.
     
  17. fierce_freak

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    Aaagghhhh, so many pads out there. Maybe time to setup a basic measurement rig...or maybe just wait for you awesome, experienced guys to come up with a good set of mods.
     
  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Hmm, I might have DT880 pads.
     
  19. fierce_freak

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    Got HM5 angled pleather pads with Creatology stiffened felt in front of the drivers. This is very good, first-impressions say. I think I'll sit here for a while and see what Hands comes up with, maybe try some other felt.
     
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  20. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Better than Hybrid? Try various felts, fabrics, open cell foams, etc. You might have cheap headphones around you could cannibalize off of.
     

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