The all-inclusive vintage headphone thread

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Scubadude, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. Scubadude

    Scubadude Almost "Made"

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    I know we have the vintage ortho thread (https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/the-vintage-ortho-thread.2340/) but I couldn't find a more general discussion on vintage headphones ... So I created this one.

    In the fickle headphone world characterised (here maybe less than elsewhere) by fads and fanboyism last week's drop can almost be regarded as vintage. But I am talking about out-of-production designs that stood the test of time and may be interesting or even collectable as a result. As an arbitrary qualification guideline I would suggest 10 years since production stopped.

    Instead of chasing the ever more expensive tippy top of headphonedom I like to explore the variety that older designs have to offer. So I have AKG K1000 (bought as a reference for soundstsge, transparency, dynamics, etc.), Sennheiser HD540 (one pair used weekly, the other in NOS condition as a pure collector's piece), and a pair of 70's Technics planars (novelty value only) that was DOA. Or at least dead after cleanup.

    So which old headphones do you have, and why?
     
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  2. richard51

    richard51 Mr. Sorbothane

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    I have an AKG 340, very tweaked by myself and though I dont doubt that this headphone has some limitations like almost all headphone, the voices are so beautiful and natural that I enjoy them without thinking going back to a very priceful new contender...I must say though that my speakers (Mission Cyrus 781)tweaked by myself in a little room treated with absorber and reflectors, sound so great that I almost listen all the time with them...
     
  3. kman1211

    kman1211 Rando

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    I have two Beyerdynamic DT 480’s, one an 8 Ohm and one a 25 Ohm both of which are modded. I think they are the best closed headphones I’ve owned. Very good detail and imaging. They simply sound right. A bit weak in bass presence and needs some modifications to get decent levels of bass and to control some resonance caused by the housing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2018
  4. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    I still have a pair of Sennheiser HD320, which I think were in production from the mid 80s to the mid-to-late 90s. There was much buzz about them as the value kings of the era, but I wouldn't say they've stood the test of time although you do see occasional ads that try to pass them off as collectible. Sure, they're light, comfortable and kind of retro-chic, but...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Solderdude also has measurements and comments on DIYAH. In general I'd concur with his impressions, though I notice what's missing being the mid-treble rather than the upper. Note though my pair might sound and measure a little different from his - my back foam is the original pink whereas he replaced his, and my earpad surrounds are DIY after the foam in those fell apart.

    I remember being impressed at the time - but all I had for 'serious' comparison was a pair of Sony MDR-V1 purchased 10 years earlier. Still have those, too...

    Here's the impulse response of the Senns, haha:

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. maverickronin

    maverickronin Friend

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    My primary headphones are a pair of Stax Lambda normal bias from the 70's. They don't have the bass of the later pro bias models, but after a little modding they have smoother treble than any Lambda I've heard other than the new L700.
     
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  6. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    [​IMG]
    (not my photo)

    Pioneer SE-500 (piezoelectric)

    Pads are peeled as expected - just foam.

    Comparison to a Stax SR-30 pro electret.: Pioneer’s bass rolls off earlier. Pioneer is smoother in the areas it does play and sounds faster with more detail and depth. They both are not comfortable but the Pioneer’s “foam” pads trade in cooler temps for clamp. I did not like the SR-30pro. If it werent for the missing bass I’d like these Pioneers.

    Right now I’m listening to them off my iphone. wualta found them to produce bass once amped properly like from a big speaker amp.

    @takato14 has some measures and mods. I’ll take fr measurements with EARS later.

    These were missing original case despite eBay listing description, so will probably use as an excuse to return unless someone here wants.
     
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  7. Woland

    Woland Acquaintance

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    I recently re-cabled my Wireless Special Apparatus Co's. They're hard to drive, but MJ2 at high gain is enough. They're a bit weak on bass, with an uneven frequency response yet are quite lovely with female vocals. Also, there's a channel imbalance I'd like to fix. EQ seems to be essential with these.

    https://imgur.com/a/LWUclXM[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
  8. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Love the way they look.
     
  9. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    eBay seller is sending me the original packaging/case, so I am not returning... I guess I will try with a cheap beefy speaker amp (eventually - would need to buy one first) and takato mods.

    This is with the worn and depleted stock pads. The pads are really shallow and do not provide a seal on their own. I then tried a quick cheat by putting some pressure on outside of cups to try getting some seal - that would be the second measurements. I didn't try very hard with these measurements because its going to be bass-less either way. The noise down low in graph I don't know if it's from headphone or something in environment like passing vehicle. And that dip at 12kHz on left-side might be "ringing in disguise" (what would @purr1n say hat). Would explain strange left ear pain this morning.
    Pioneer SE-500.jpg

    They are neat looking headphones. Smaller and lighter in person. Unexpectedly plastic shell instead of metal. Metal headband though - clamps real good.
     

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