Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by purr1n, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm late to the game on this one, so I'll provide the following references below, and only limited commentary. Tyll reviewed the Walnut version. I am not sure if there are significant differences between the Walnut and Purpleheart version here. I would not say these are a baby TH-X00 Purplehearts because there are some differences, despite both headphones having a bassier nature.

    See @Hands Formal Review: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...heart-headphone-review-and-measurements.3511/
    And Tyll's Formal Review (Walnut Version):
    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/e-mu-walnut-creative-aurvana-live-woodied-measurements#KQ17yzi7x5zSsQu9.97

    The E-MU Purpleheart is a supra-aural headphone with the pads lying on the ears. It's lightweight and perfect for travelling or more casual use. And Massdrop does it again with nut-so pricing at $75, see here: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-x-e-mu-purpleheart

    The sound is bassy, warm, and lush. Midrange is a bit recessed and treble seems smooth with the exception of one tiny peak reminiscent of the TH-900s sharp sound, but to a much smaller extent. The bassy nature of the headphone also tends to mask any irregularities with the treble. The tuning can probably be said to be more consumer friendly and in more accordance to headphones found at the big-box stores. I've been told that these use bio-cellulose drivers, and it certainly does sound that way with timbral similarities to the Creative Aurvana Live and the AudioQuest Nighthawk, or even the legendary Sony R10 headphone of yesteryear. I love the sound of bio-cellulose drivers BTW. What I found most compelling with this implementation was how well the treble was tamed.

    Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart Frequency Response
    Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart Frequency Response.png
    Despite being a supra-aural with comfy pads that rest on the ear, the L and R channel matching is very good, maybe even exceptional considering the circumstances. We see a small peak around 7kHz which explains the slight bit of sharpness, but really in the overall scheme of things we are bit-picking. There are $1400 headphones with much worse behavior.

    Massdrop x E-MU Purpleheart CSD
    EMU PH L.jpg
    EMU PH R.jpg
    Nothing (bad) stands out in the CSDs. There are no long lived ridges that extend from the top of the bottom. No ear-piercing behaviors. The decay is actually pretty fast and clean for what is typically seen for a closed headphone.

    Frequency Response of E-MU Purpleheart Compared to Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart
    E-MU Purpleheart vs. Fostex TH-X00 FR.png
    Green = Fostex TH-X00 Purpleheart
    Purple = E-MU Purpleheart

    Frequency Response of E-MU Purpleheart Compared to AudioQuest Nighthawk
    E-MU Purpleheart vs. AudioQuest Nighthawk FR.png
    Green = AudioQuest Nighthawk
    Purple = E-MU Purpleheart

    Despite the Nighthawk having some great characteristics such as low distortion, speed, and resolution, I would never quite get over its screwy tonal balance. I know a lot of members here who could never quite get over how the Nighthawk was tuned and couldn't hear past its frequency response to hear how good its technicalities were. As we can see here, the E-MU Purpleheart, although a bassy headphone by audiophile standards, does it's thing just right. It's not as technically proficient as the Nighthawk, but unlike the Nighthawk, the midrange isn't overly recessed, nor is the bass overly bloated. Not seen here, but I also found the 9kHz treble peak of the Nighthawk much more difficult.

     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
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  2. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    Interesting how your measurements look so nice, but Hands' measurements look very bassy - almost 10db from 1kHz to 100Hz. Maybe a better seal would've been more realistic?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    No. This is exactly how I hear it with the pads resting on my ears. If it were Nighthawk bass, I would have immediately texted Christian and asked him WTF did he send me these things? I just provided AudioQuest Nighthawk frequency response for comparison. They do have more mid and upper bass than TH-X00s though. There is still a good 7db rise from the mids to 100Hz. The Y-axis on @Hands plot is more compressed, making differences look larger than the plot here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2016
  4. cskippy

    cskippy Creamy warmpoo

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    Oh these look tasty for a portable cheap headphone. @Marvey do you have distortion measurements? Also, what are your thoughts on modding potential, a little acoustic fiber and dynamat in the rear?

    Edit: I suppose @Hands already provided what I'm asking for.
     
  5. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Yep, some strategic dynamat, a wee bit of damping in cups, and front damping to slightly round out any top end edges, if you so choose, and you might be surprised.
     
  6. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Well, the Nighthawk didn't sound particularly bassy to me, so much as it sounded like it had a giant, steaming crater of annihilation where the whole midrange was suppose to be. Funny how things work out like that. All relative, even down to where you line up the plots on the x-axis.

    I think the PHs are a little less bassy than they appear in measurements, probably because you never get a totally perfect seal with them, and the distortion makes them sound a bit less powerful than they would otherwise. Just a guess. And measurements can be tricky.
     
  7. Roarke

    Roarke Rando

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    ... wow! Probably a bit of distortion but that FR graph is insanely flat for under $100!
     
  8. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    I bought a pair of these. I'm curious to compare them to my Thinksound ON2's, my current favrorite cheapie (not that I've heard 'em all...)

    Too bad we won't get them until I completely forget that I even bought them. I suspect they'll show up one day and I'll have to come back here to remember. :p
     
  9. Decomo

    Decomo Almost "Made"

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    Keen to hear your impression against Thinksound ON2. I was keen to join the drop of ON2 but could not find much impression and how it compares like Emu Walnut or Purpleheart...
     
  10. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    I like the Thinksound ON2 a lot, @Decomo . I started tapping a more detailed response, but it deserves a bit more fleshing out, and probably should be posted as a separate thread. If you're interested in more details, I can take the time to polish it up and post.

    If you just want the TL/DR: They're worth buying, and are quite fun to listen to.
     
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  11. loplop

    loplop Acquaintance

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    Did you ever get a pair of the ON2's, @Decomo ?

    I still enjoy mine and use them quite a lot. I'm curious to try the ON2's vs the E-MU Purpleheart's. I'm hoping those drop before a long vacation to Europe I have planned. Will certainly be taking one of the two with me.
     
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  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    Okay, these sound damn good for $75. Well done @CEE TEE
     
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  13. MattRG

    MattRG Almost "Made"

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    My thoughts exactly. They have most of the goodness of the $399 TH-X00 but in a portable, lightweight form. I am going to get a lot of use out of these.
     
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  14. Decomo

    Decomo Almost "Made"

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    Great to know. Keen to try one but it is not dropping again unlike TH-X00 which is dropping regularly..
     
  15. Decomo

    Decomo Almost "Made"

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    My apology for late response. I somehow did not get notification. I did not get ON2 because I opted for over ear for more comfort. I got B&O H6 2nd Gen instead and quite happy with it for portable usage...
     
  16. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Sorry for reviving the dead thread. I've had this drop e-mu purpleheart (PH) for years, but never measured it. Also there seems zero EARS measurements for this headphone. So, I whimsically put PH on my EARS today. Actually this is my current go-to headphone for bedroom, iphone, and other casual listening purposes.

    Everything measured at [email protected] and frequency compensated via sbaf curve (v1.0).

    [​IMG]
    Fig 1. Left vs right channels (averaged responses)

    [​IMG]
    Fig 2. Harmonic distortions

    [​IMG]
    Fig 3. Step response

    [​IMG]
    Fig 4. Waterfall plot



    The result largely reiterates Marv's findings in the first post. Very well behaved and quality controlled for such a low price.

    Due to its on-ear (supra-aural) nature, significant bass leak happens with both artificial and real ears, as shown in Fig 1. I believe it better reflects real perception than flat coupler results. And possibly because of this aspect, bass distortion (mainly D3) seems pretty high below 200hz. Just physics.

    Aside: wearing it forcefully like circumaural ones can reduce bass roll off.. at a cost of HUGE discomfort.

    Like already discussed here and there, timbre and tonality of this headphone resemble Denon AHD-D1001 and Creative Aurvana Live OG (the same drivers used with all these three). But I hear more coloration and cup reverb with this PH than the other two (from the memory), which isn't bad to me at all. But don't expect hard wood magic like zmf. It's way more mild and subtle at best. I still maintain that this stacks well against long beloved porta pros.
     
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  17. CEE TEE

    CEE TEE Free Agent

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    FYI: I tested these aftermarket pads while at Massdrop and during the production delay on the Massdrop x E-MU Purplehearts.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Replac...hash=item3cebcfffcf:m:mFVrG7mDh4N0BBMFoAijAAA

    They were shallower with a bigger opening. This did two things:
    1. More comfortable, more of the ear can fit in the opening. I have fairly small ears and they almost fit around ear, IIRC.
    2. Bit of a reduction in bass for me, slightly cleaner response.

    If either sounds good to you, hope that helps!
     
  18. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    @Vtory I would recommend you keep fiddling with the PH fit on the EARs rig until you get a better bass response. PH should have gobs of bass.

    If you can't find a good fit, get a couple large, rubber bands, and use those to force some clamp. That can help with on-ear stuff, or really any headphones that don't want to seal properly on measurement rigs (but would otherwise seal on a human head). Just be careful, because you don't want too much clamp from this.

    Tyll showed me this trick when I visited him. :)
     
  19. Vtory

    Vtory Illogical Spock

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    Good point. Mostly agreed.

    Rubber band is a really nice and worthy trick. More clamping > better seal > better bass extension measured -- totally makes sense. I'm still not sure if my actual wearing can have the same seal as forced/clamped seal on the fixture. Maybe need to test if I can hear as much bass test tones (such as 1/3 oct warble tones) with PH as with good bass over ear headphones.

    Will check them all out and update back when get a chance.
     
  20. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MShenay trying to pretend to be an old man

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    I believe @Bill-P also recommend those pads for E MU Purpleheart and I actually use those very pads my self and I agree, I do like the slight reduction in bass quantity in exchange for a cleaner response
     
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