ZMF Blackwood with various bass plug configurations

Discussion in 'Audio Science' started by philipmorgan, Aug 12, 2016.

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  1. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    @JoshMorr loaned me his ZMF Blackwoods for a while. I made measurements. I was curious how various bass plug configurations would affect bass response.

    Here's what I got:

    HD650 - AD - ZMFb - FR.png

    I included the FR of my modded HD650s since the ZMF tonality is so often compared to the 650s, and my Alpha Dogs since they use the same T50RP driver as the ZMFs.

    Subjectively, I know the greater bass extension of the T50RP-based headphones "should" sound better, but to me the 650's have better bass. :) It's just more fun with that nice midbass hump.

    As per el-Marvarino's practice, I use some felt strips (http://dsh.re/f5cf6) between the headphone pad and the measurement rig coupler to simulate an imperfect seal like eyeglasses, rad 60's hippie hair, and the like would create.

    Also on the subjective tip, the T50RP mods have a sort of nasty, rough, bright character in the upper midrange and lower treble that makes a lot of music less enjoyable to me. I believe that comes from the pretty intense distortion that seems to be baked into the T50RP driver:

    ZMF Distortion.png
    ZMFb distortion

    AD Distortion.png
    Alpha Dog distortion

    HD650 Distortion.png
    HD650 Distortion for comparison

    The Blackwoods are nicely tuned, but to me they don't sound as good as you'd think if you only looked at the measurements. Which is a shame; they're a lovely headphone in many other ways.
     
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  2. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

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    Awesome. Exactly which holes are the 1 plug and 2 plug?

    I've been a Blackwood owner for 7 months and still haven't played around with the plugs. Maybe 1 plug is worth a go...
     
  3. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    I measured like so:

    0 plugs: O O O
    1 plug: O X O
    2 plugs: X O X
    3 plugs: X X X

    X is with the port plugged, O is with it open
     
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  4. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Just saw this as I was going through forums I haven't looked at before. With my Blackwood PHs, I started out with 0 plugs, then 1 plug, and have settled on 2 plugs. The increase in plugs and resulting decrease in bass follows my getting accustomed to the HD650M's sound signature. I tried different positions of the plugs but couldn't hear any difference by ear.
    I don't get any of that personally. To me the mids and treble are actually rather smooth, but not anywhere as engaging as the HD650. Perhaps a bit of frontal damping could tune out what you're hearing. Zach encourages playing around with it to tune to taste. Likey too late as I'm sure the Blackwoods have long returned to @JoshMorr.
     
  5. philipmorgan

    philipmorgan Member of the month

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    You're lucky! Once I started hearing that upper midrange/lower treble nastyness it in the Alpha Dogs I used to have I couldn't un-hear it, and it showed up in the Blackwoods too. I used the black felt-ish front dampening shipped with the Alpha Dogs. Both my old Alpha Dogs and the Blackwoods I measured have a lot of distortion in the same range I was hearing nasties, which makes me think the T50RPs just inherently have a lot of distortion there. Glad it doesn't bother you tho!
     

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