Pioneer SE-Monitor5 - A new $1000 headphone

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by AllanMarcus, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. wnmnkh

    wnmnkh Friend

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    Good point. I do wear glasses all time and this might had been the result of lackluster of bass department.
     
  2. Darren G

    Darren G Friend

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    "Super Duralumin Hangers" - am I allowed to chuckle?
     
  3. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

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    Ugh... It's been 40 years Pioneer, at the very least you could just re-release the Monitor 10 at $600 or something and call it good instead of trying to get your new useless engineers to live up to your legacy.
     
  4. Not Grumpy

    Not Grumpy Rando

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    I've just started listening to these now on loan from a friend who also forgot the leather pads so listening with velour. Too early to say anything, but I do think that to be objective people who haven't heard them really shouldn't knock them on principle. Regardless of past experience, each new effort deserves it's fair trial I think. It would be interesting to eventually see measurements. I do think I may be hearing some upper mid range glare, but I haven't listened to enough material yet to be sure. Will update after at least 10 hours of listening.
     
  5. nraymond

    nraymond Rando

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  6. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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  7. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    I heard them a couple of years ago at RMAF, and they were OK. I preferred the Ether C 1.1 with one tuning pad at the time, but tastes change. $500 is a Good price. Hopefully that price sticks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2019
  8. Thenewerguy009

    Thenewerguy009 Friend

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    If they debuted at this price, I doubt they would have gotten all the negative reception that they did in the first place.

    Anyone know whats the return policy for BHphotos? The price is pretty tempting for a closed back headphone.
     
  9. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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  10. Pharmaboy

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    I own (and adore) a Pioneer Kuro plasma TV.

    Does that mean I have to buy these (and not wear my glasses)?

    (don't want to/don't have to)
     
  11. Deep Funk

    Deep Funk Deep thoughts - Friend

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    Pioneer used to make headphones ahead of the times. Their driver technology as applied in vintage gems like the old Monitor 10 is still awesome and sounds amazing. Just give that driver some power.

    Too bad Pioneer forgot about the HD600 and HD650 when releasing their new headphones. Then the HD800 came around and a new standard was set. In a properly set-up audio system each one of these headphones sounds so good you stop looking for something new.

    For about 500 to 1500 Dollars/Euros invested in your audio system you can be happy and stop right there. That is not something any headphone or audio manufacturer can overlook these days.

    Their loss, our (end) gain (as consumers).

    Pioneer still has my appreciation but misread the market. Oh well...
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  12. Josh83

    Josh83 Friend

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    I ordered these on a whim when they were $500. They reminded me of a less refined version of the closed EL-8. Not a fan.

    There was a huge channel imbalance issue on mine, too. It sounded off and my EARs confirmed it. Couldn’t do anything (rubber band trick, reversing the pads, etc.) to get it to measure evently. So the pair must’ve been defective. Ending up returning them.

    Maybe they would’ve sounded better had I received a non-defective pair. But even based on the “good” channel, I wouldn’t recommend these. The EL-8 or the (now very cheap) HP50 are better closed choices, even at the Pioneer’s discounted price.
     
  13. JWahl

    JWahl Acquaintance

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    I'm hoping the deeply discounted ones aren't just known defective ones from the factory. I recently sent mine back for RMA exchange because it came with a dent in the dome of the driver. I've been doing some gear shuffling and decided to pick it up at $500 also. I was previously using just a Chord Qutest > Gilmore Lite Mk 2 > Modded HD-650. I sold the Qutest and bought a Grace M9xx, the Pioneers, HE-4xx, and Schiit Loki. Unfortunately, the other items hadn't arrived yet so my only evaluations of the Pioneer were done using laptop onboard sound.

    I thought it sounded pretty bad with the stock tuning, but responds well to EQ. Very light bass impact and shouty around 2-3 Khz (I suspect significant ringing in that region). Flatter midbass than HD-650. Too splashy treble with cloth pads but decent with pleathers. It's also very dry sounding, but for me that's a plus (think portraying the woody timbre of a wood snare drum).

    Speed and sense of space is very impressive for a closed back. Overall tonal signature vaguely reminds me of either the OG K701 or an HE-6 with inadequate bass impact. What I think is that they went crazy overkill on dampening in the cups and the bank vault build quality, while ignoring reflections from the solid metal baffle. The upside is that once the bass is EQ'd up, it does seem to preserve the sense of speed due to the quick decay. To be fair though, using onboard sound is probably affecting the bass a bit due to its lowish output level into the amp.

    There is a review on a French website which has some good pictures of the cups removed to illustrate the aforementioned dampening.

    https://on-mag.fr/index.php/topaudi...-haute-precision-et-d-une-rigueur-sans-faille

    I now have the M9xx and Loki on hand, but already shipped the Pioneer back to be exchanged. I'll give some updated impressions once it's settled in my finalized setup. It'll probably be at least another week before I get it back.
     
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  14. AllanMarcus

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  15. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    And they're gone. Discontinued. Wow.
     
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  16. JWahl

    JWahl Acquaintance

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    I guess I should finally follow-up like I said I would. Long story short, I ended up selling them recently (the replacement pair). They're decent at the discounted price, but I feel like their signature was somewhat niche. It was enjoyable using the Loki with a good dose of EQ, but I ultimately felt like I was pushing them to be something they're not. It's a dry, neutral-ish headphone and best for people who find other closed-backs too warm or bassy. I do think the upper-mid peak is a bit higher up than I guessed before, maybe around 4k or 5k. With the Loki, I found myself boosting the 2k knob which seemed to flatten the perceived upper mid response. I'm guessing there is a dip around that area that exaggerated the mids above it. I have yet to find any measurements, though, so I can't confirm.

    Sorry for the delayed follow-up; I'm a full-time electrical-engineering student now, and I barely have time to listen anymore. I went through a community college first with a 3.9 GPA, and this program is handing my ass to me.
     
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  17. Beam

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    They seem neutral to me, it has bass, very well controlled, could have more sub-bass though. But I agree with the upper mids, it seems there is small dip at 2 kHz. At 4 kHz seems like another dip not a peak. That's especially noticeable in Jane Monheit's voice, bringing 2k and 4k a bit up and sounds more natural. Very interested in seeing measurements.
     

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