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peterws Offline OP
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Is this general across the price spectrum? I wouldn't expect less for cheapos but others will have better cones I'd imagine; I have 2 pairs the same, and they've both . . mellowed with age.
We all mellow with age
Or bellow with rage.

The 'phones used to sound quite like the piano speakers.
I changed the bloody piano.
So! Looks like I gotta stump up yet another £20 for a new pair or maybe push the boat out into deeper waters . . . .
Gotta spend my COVID non-holiday money on something I suppose . . smile
Probably these
https://www.andertons.co.uk/stagg-s...uBPtA1J47ghLu8y5UtzKMyBsn9gaAv68EALw_wcB
Instead of these which i have
https://mickleburgh.co.uk/product/s...BJwv9DOMVJN3y14pVgAAbxbAbFkaAmp8EALw_wcB

I believe Kawai also do a set of headphones designed for pianos at a decent price.
And the Yamaha ones seem ok.

Last edited by peterws; 09/06/21 01:17 PM.

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peterws Offline OP
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Guys! It could be time to face up to the fact that your Sennheisers may too, have shown signs of age . .


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Oh come on Pete! Put your hands into your pocket and liberate some of those moths in that wallet of yours. Buy something decent! Your headphones have 'mellowed' over time because they fell into your lap out of that Christmas cracker all those years ago.

Sennheiser, AKG, Beyer, Grado, whatever. But not el-cheapo Stagg!

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When your headphones cost about the same as a dinner at a diner ... it's time to hang them up (or throw them out) and get real headphones.

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peterws Offline OP
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
When your headphones cost about the same as a dinner at a diner ... it's time to hang them up (or throw them out) and get real headphones.

I've tried 'em! A set o' Senn 595 something or other (they cost plenty and looked stunning) but they had to go back. The package could not be neatly repackaged either, but the company fron Europe was happy to oblige.Can't be doin' that so often . . .surely any h'phones deteriorate anyway?


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Sure it isn’t your hearing that is aging?


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I have never experienced, or recognized, my headphones "aging" in terms of sound performance. I think I'd have to hear a substantial change to believe it. I'm more inclined to suspect changing expectations or changes in hearing ability as a cause of a decline in headphone enjoyment. I have no particular expertise in these matters, though.


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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I have never experienced, or recognized, my headphones "aging" in terms of sound performance. I think I'd have to hear a substantial change to believe it. I'm more inclined to suspect changing expectations or changes in hearing ability as a cause of a decline in headphone enjoyment. I have no particular expertise in these matters, though.

You might if you bought a new pair of the same. It's probably both easier and cheaper to remain in denial . . . . smile


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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I have never experienced, or recognized, my headphones "aging" in terms of sound performance. I think I'd have to hear a substantial change to believe it. I'm more inclined to suspect changing expectations or changes in hearing ability as a cause of a decline in headphone enjoyment. I have no particular expertise in these matters, though.

You might if you bought a new pair of the same. It's probably both easier and cheaper to remain in denial . . . . smile

Yeah, I reeeeaaaaaally like cheap! And, easier ain't bad, either! laugh


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Ageing headphones.... hmmm......

I have had headphones fail over time... usually the cords/plugs but only one good headphone outright failed. It was an expensive pair of Grados where one driver suddenly when low volume. Grado would fix it at what I remember was a very low cost... but I dunno, it was an opportunity to buy something new.

Does the sound deteriorate with age or do we just grow suspicious? Honestly, I don't know. One interesting aspect of our hearing system is that our brain actually can compensate somewhat for frequency aberrations... this is a little discussed fact as we audiophiles don't like to hear (pun) about this stuff. But, it is true. While I always want the best... or at least what is best for a given price point... I don't sweat the age of something unless it becomes obvious.

If you stick to established name-brands that have a reputation for high-quality and high fidelity, I see no reason a great set of 'phones can't last 10-20 years. This is my experience. Another pitch (pun) for high quality 'phones, is that new advances in technology only have very incremental increases in sound quality. Great stuff of 20 years ago is (are?) still pretty darn good.

Cheapies from years ago have benefited the most from technology advances. I assume these advances are really in manufacturing and not technology. For example... cheapie ear buds always sucked big time for me.... but the latest ones suck alot less than they used to.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/08/21 10:07 AM.

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I've had AkG K271s from 2001, Beyer DT931 from 1999 and a small pair if grados from 2003. Those are my oldest in my collection. They all sound and run fine. If I'm not using them, I don't keep them out. I also don't let them hang as for me, I feel that might stretch the headband over long periods of time. If the pads need changing, that is about it.

My wife made me s bunch of crocheted pouches that I keep some headphones in. I'm a bit of a headphone freak. My other pairs will remain in the original box if not used.

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Speaker cones are semi-rigid materials that are vibrated an insane amount of times - up to 20,000 vibrations per second. Any rigid or semi-rigid material that is constantly flexed will lose its rigidity over time. Cheaper materials will degrade faster and more noticeably. Whether or not you hear or notice the difference over time is debatable, and they might still sound great over time, just a little different.

Some people prefer to 'burn in' their new headphones, others say they're crazy. What compounds the issue is that our 'ears' (brains) adapt to sound, so something that might sound really bright at first starts to sound 'normal,' but then you listen to another set of headphones and they sound 'dark.'

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There are many vintage mics that work perfect, including condenser ones. Why would quality headphones not serve for long - I do not know. I still use my first pair of Sennheiser 650, and they sound great.


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My old Senn 555s still sound fine, but the plastic on one side kept cracking and I had to superglue it a couple times.

When it broke the third time I replaced them with some 598s.

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Originally Posted by VladK
There are many vintage mics that work perfect, including condenser ones. Why would quality headphones not serve for long - I do not know. I still use my first pair of Sennheiser 650, and they sound great.

Off topic, but do you all know who Lester Smith is? Well..... he is the microphone curator at EMI/Abbey Road studios... he manages a huge collection (over 800) of microphones and keeps a test log on all of them spotting performance trends, when tubes (valves) require replacement and any non-performance issues. If you want a classic sound like Frank Sinatra's Telefunken U47? Lester has them in inventory. His inventory are all functioning and are used by engineers/producers/artists who want the finest in sound.

Vintage mics are in huge demand and command stupid prices only affordable but the richest studios in the world. They don't seem to wear out at all.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 09/08/21 08:32 PM.

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Concerning Sennheiser 600/650 and similar, I noticed that their sound deteriorates as their soft pads wear off, and it happens pretty quickly. I think with every day use the pads require replacement every year ideally. Otherwise, with the new pads, I don't notice any deterioration.

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Originally Posted by Iaroslav Vasiliev
Concerning Sennheiser 600/650 and similar, I noticed that their sound deteriorates as their soft pads wear off, and it happens pretty quickly. I think with every day use the pads require replacement every year ideally. Otherwise, with the new pads, I don't notice any deterioration.

I believe I replace pads about once in 5 years. The fabric ones, not leather which I avoid.


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Yeah, it's amazing what a difference the pads make. I have AKG K712 and I swap the pads between the original (memory foam) and the K602 which has a harder foam, and the sound is totally different. The memory foam has deeper bass, but is unfortunately muddy with some kind of bass wave reflection.

I have two pairs of Sennheiser HD650s about 2 years apart from each other and they sound a little different, swapping the pads doesn't quite equal them out so it's probably something to do with headband tension, speakers breaking in, etc. But they both sound phenomenal, one just sounds a little more punchy, the other a little more smooth.

Last edited by Joe Garfield; 09/08/21 10:32 PM.

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