Sony MDR-1R

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by ultrabike, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Got to hear this mid-fi-tastic Sony cans which came in the big box of the cheap comparo extravaganza.

    The phones seem to follow a classic design. They are relatively elegant and light. The 40mm driver is said to be made of liquid crystal polymer, and the design has "enhanced Beat Response Control" in the critical region between 30-40 Hz. The driver is supposed to cover a BW of 4 Hz to 80 kHz, which is barely sufficient to satisfy an audiophile porpoise.

    The cans are very comfortable. While I don't think a baby camel was sacrificed for your comfort, the pads certainly feel sweet and soft. Pressure is just right. I really can't winey-bitch about anything that has to do with the wear-ability of these cans.

    [​IMG]

    As far as sound, I've heard some folks have objections about it's mids and lack of bass extension. While I feel these are not bassy cans, I had more problem with the lower treble which IMO is a little too edgy. Not exactly bright. Just edgy.

    The bass is indeed not stellar. No articulation. No impact. IMO, the 30-40 Hz was not enhanced enough.

    I don't feel these cans presented severe wonky behavior, indicative of sever notches in the mid. But the lower treble is a deal breaker for me.

    Gutty from CNET seemed to feel these were bassy, while Tyll found them bass shy (into the lowest octave). I would agree with Tyll on this one. Gutty found the treble de-emphasized, while Tyll found it right. I did not like it at all. I think the lower treble is edgy sucks. I think Tyll didn't like the mids. I did not find them exemplary, but did not offend me. Maybe the lower treble was too distracting for me to focus on the mids.

    Tyll did mention that his problem with the cans was specifically the upper mids, and is actually very likely that what I'm calling lower treble, he is calling upper mids. That said, I can't make heads or tails of what Gutty is saying about these cans.

    References:
    http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/solid-sony-mdr-1r-mdr-1rbt-and-mdr-1nc#MZAv7SixDVyWRBsK.97
    http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-mdr1r/

    Measurements

    Frequency Response

    MDR_R1_FR.png

    Distortion Right

    MDR_R1_dist_right.png

    Distortion Left

    MDR_R1_dist_left.png

    CSD Right

    MDR_R1_csd_right.png

    CSD Left

    MDR_R1_csd_left.png

    They are currently about $220 from Amazon down to $300. I honestly would not buy them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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  2. AustinValentine

    AustinValentine Friend

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    They show up used for around $100-ish once in a while on ebay/head-fi forums/Amazon Marketplace brand new. With some mods, they're pretty good for that price.

    Definitely, definitely, definitely don't pay retail for them.
     
  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    For $100 something they are not that bad. The comfort the headphones provide is very good.

    Sonics IMO are somewhat lacking. Maybe $75...
     
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  4. AustinValentine

    AustinValentine Friend

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    Yep - comfortable, and stock they're kinda terrible.

    Figure I'll link these here for future search purposes: Marv's before and after modification measurements (and instructions) are here. My instructions over at head-fi on how to do the mod (with step-by-step pictures) are here.
     
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  5. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

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    Thanks for bringing those up! I was looking for them in the bargain comparo section and for some reason didn't find them. I'll post them here for convenience.

    Merv's Pre-mod impressions and measurements:

    sony r1r.png

    sony r1l.png

    1r csd.png

    Merv's Pos-mod impressions and measurements:

    sony r1l (1).png

    1r mod l.png

    AustinValentine Mods:

    Merv's mods notes:

     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
  6. GelockS

    GelockS Friend

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    Yeah, owned these and I actually didn't like them that much. The MDR-1A though, although way bassier, I love because it doesn't have that upper-mid bump I hate. They were just fatiguing to me...
     
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    They were OK at low volumes. Good mids and nice stage. Turn it up a bit, and everything falls apart. The treble stuff gets bad.
     
  8. Flatfi$h

    Flatfi$h Rando

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    I must say I've been considering the Dynamat mod since I came across it on Chang for a literal year now, but had reservations about throwing another 30 bucks at the bass flub. The change after the dynamat treatment is actually pretty eye opening, bass finally has impact and bloom is reduced. Midrange actually became more focused and coherent. Bass still dosent have adequate ground because of rolloff so I was wondering what materials lining the cup could improve that...or maybe some material that can absorb some of that spike at 9k?
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Use TP to absorb the spike at 9kHz.
     
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  10. Flatfi$h

    Flatfi$h Rando

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    Oh wow thanks!! TP at the front or back of the driver? Also (potentially stupid question) could a lining of felt do something about the rolloff in bass? I swear when I get around to learning how to solder better im punching out the drivers and sticking my KSC's in there...with some foam lining from my HD600 box ;)
     
  11. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    Thanks AV for the modding post, this inspired me to pick up a (relatively) cheap used pair for gym duty, as a liked the 1A well enough, but especially for comfort. Marv's original post is down, but I have a question, I can't find anything called "Polyfill acoustic fiber" just regular Polyfill. Is this the same thing, or will it work well enough? I'm really just going for well enough, cheaply, as these are just gym/beater cans and I have no future plans to ever need the stuffing again. Or if just the dynamat leads to most o the gains I can just stop there.
     
  12. AustinValentine

    AustinValentine Friend

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    This is what I used.
     
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  13. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    Thanks, appreciate it. I'll have to mull if I want to put that much more money into these cans, but will respond back with Dynamat mod impressions at least when completed.
     
  14. AustinValentine

    AustinValentine Friend

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    I can stuff some in a padded envelope either this weekend or early next week if you want. (The bag they give you is gigantic, and you don't need that much for the mod). Just send me your address and I'll get it out to you.
     
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  15. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    PM'd you're awesome
     
  16. Flatfi$h

    Flatfi$h Rando

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    An update on the mods to my pair of Sony MDR-1R:
    The stock pads are quite thin and horrible, I've since replaced them with aftermarket MDR-1A clones that are deeper and more comfortable. The pleather quality is pretty impressive and is identical to the MDR-1A.
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/A-Replacemen...828896?hash=item567fb61d20:g:m7AAAOSw5IJWcSUa
    While browsing around MDR-Z7 mods, I came across mods using paper gauze tape to line the cups and baffles of headphones. The lining of tape helps remove internal reflections, which I believe is a major reason why the MDR-1R starts distorting at higher volumes. The steps taken are simple, line as much of the cups and baffle with the tape to cover the plastic and dynamatted portions. This material can be found in most pharmacy sections.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I can definitively say that this mod solves a lot of the initial weaknesses of the headphone. Immediate impressions are that midbass is much less pronounced, the bleed into the lower mids is all but gone. The soft distorted sound of the bass is replaced with a slam and cleanliness to the bass that is extremely uncharacteristic of the model. This gauze tape is really effective at eliminating cup reflections, and whenever I put these on, I feel like I am only hearing the driver, without the cup that it is in (which is a far more important characteristic for a closed headphone than I thought). The previous dynamat and fiber mod had its own set of tradeoffs that included a less spacious area for the bass vents to work with, and what I believe is the inherent reflection of the aluminum backing of the dynamat and plastic cups. This mod can probably be carried over to other types of headphones that lack in a similar manner, and I am so impressed by this material that I'm probably going to line the dynamatted portions of my HD600s with it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
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