Anyone else with Yamaha HP-3's?

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Kencat, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. Kencat

    Kencat Super Member

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    Location:
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Hey all,

    Still have these after many years (my god..30+ years) of use, but not abuse :nono: . I use them as my only set when quiet times are needed, but do enjoy them occasionally as a break from the big guys in my avatar. I'll put these on though if I want to verify what a piece of music should or does sound like if I think the speakers might be sounding funky.

    I don't have extensive experience with other brands and levels of headphones but I do think they are a fine sounding headphone. Reading the excellent thread on Head-fi, these Orthos can be shy on bass, and I think the HP-3's are known to be a bit better out of the box than some of its' brethern, but I don't find them disagreeable in the bass end at all....and I like a good solid bass (Infinity Q2's :) ). The rest of the sound is just clean and non-fatiguing. Other comments most welcome - good or bad.

    I've more pics in the Members Component area of the Gallery for closeups of various areas.

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  2. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    The HP-3 was a good headphone with a lot of performance locked away in it. It's also one of the more variable orthos-- lots of production variation-- some are downright bassy, others are more flat. All can be modified simply (though not always easily) to sound much better, though their smoothness makes them listenable in stock form. I have a few of them myself.
     
  3. Kencat

    Kencat Super Member

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    1,657
    Location:
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Wualta, I'm listening now to a local classical rock FM station through a Denon AVR receiver now....man it's nice. The stereo separation is marvelous, coupled with with a nice centered phantom image, all so distinct but perfectly balanced.

    Supertramp - school is playing. The high treble is there as well the low bass guitar, the piano is clear. Voice is more on the distant side though, not right in your face. Nothing in the audio spectrum is really out of sorts, it's all just balanced...so easy to listen to.

    Now it's Pearl Jam - The Fixer. The kick drums are nicely displayed, good impact.

    I not a musician, nor an experienced reviewer, but I'm guessing I'm hearing down to 60 Hz . Does that sound about right?? I should try some test tones to know for sure I guess.

    I need to spend more time with Cd's too, as radio stations probably mess up (uh...tailor?) the frequency response.

    Will be interesting to hear other folks impressions if any AKers have some of these phones.
     
  4. CloneX

    CloneX New Member

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    7
    Location:
    Oregon City, OR
    I've been enjoying my HP-2's for 30+ years as well. Nice clean smooth sound. I recently got a new pair of Yamaha RH5MA's which are nice for the price but I prefer the HP-2's.
     
  5. Kencat

    Kencat Super Member

    Messages:
    1,657
    Location:
    Peterborough, Ontario
    :thmbsp:

    You know, it's such a cliche - they don't make em like they used to - but here we are listening to 30+ year old headphones, and liking them. I've got about 10 pairs of old speakers, some about 40+ years, my preamp and amp are 20+ yrs....it goes on. This whole forum (AK) is based on OLD stuff. Wonder if todays stuff will be here 30 yrs from now???

    Have you been to the Head-Fi forum? If not check it out and especially this - http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/orthodynamic-roundup-111193/

    Not to take away from this forum, but the groundwork and info presented there just can't be duplicated anywhere - it'll take you a year to get through that thread - a little exaggerated but not by much :D

    I'm sure our poor ole phones have aged and are not quite what they used to be. The above thread also offers ways to improve even the original design of these Yammiephones, if you are a bit of a tinkerer type.

    Throw up some pictures if you can and beef up that post count :yes:
     
  6. OddTrombone

    OddTrombone New Member

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    16
    This inspired me to finally put my HP50S (looks basically like the HP3) together again. It got some extra felt on the vents and no paper in front of the driver (I think this is a HP50 thing, the HP3 doesn't have it to begin with). It sounds good.

    An odd question perhaps, but are the holes in your HP-2 driver magnets round or square? You should be able to see it through the fabric without taking them apart.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2009

     

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  7. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    Agreed. For those brave enough to venture out on the gigantic Ortho Roundup thread cited above, there's a dedicated and powerful search engine to help find what you want to know.

    Once there, don't believe anything that crazy "wualta" guy says. He's nuts.

    That said, if you own a Yamaha capital-O Orthodynamic headphone from the '70s or '80s (HP series, YH series, YHD series, YHE series), the folks in the Big Thread would welcome any questions, but spice up your posts with photos and stories if you can.

    The good news is that after being out of production since the late '80s, this type of headphone is making a small comeback. Two manufacturers are using the principle for a pair of high-end (~$600) headphones.

    Not so odd, since my square-holed HP-2 sounds quite different from my YH-2 and round-holed HP-2. Anyone with a square-holed Orthodynamic should go directly to the Ortho Roundup thread for debriefing!
     
  8. Kabeer

    Kabeer New Member

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    8
    Kencat, your description of the distant vocals leads me to believe your set is a slightly bass lighter, but similarish sounding set to mine.
    Try some internal felt damping. And it will be an excellent headphone indeed.
     
  9. mhardy6647

    mhardy6647 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a pair of HP-2s. They sound good, but a pair of Sennheisers I bought a few years back (for about the same cost in 2005 dollars as the Yamahas were in 1978 dollars!) do sound better. Granted, the passage of three decades may have something to do with that...
     
  10. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    The passage of three decades might-- just might-- have something to do with it, but with one rare exception, we've found the Yamaha and Fostex ortho drivers to be very rugged and to stand up well under heavy use, so it isn't likely wear and tear. The reason modern phones sound better goes straight back to the inexplicable reluctance on the part of nearly all manufacturers of this type of headphone back in the '70s to apply enough damping to the the diaphragms in their ortho drivers. Once the diaphragm is under control (a disc of cheap fabric-store felt, maybe some glue), some very nice and surprising things start to happen to the sound.

    We can say this: you haven't heard what your HP-2 can do until you damp it. At that point you might-- just might-- find it's better than the Sennheisers, which of course have benefitted from 30 years of materials science research, better magnets, better automated production lines, better testing techniques....

    Don't take our word(s) for it, and don't start out trying to read the whole Ortho Roundup thread. Start with this 1-page one..
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  11. charliexxx

    charliexxx New Member

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    38
    Ain't orthodynamics the bees knees - welcome to team ortho.
    I have Yamaha YH-1, HP-2 and YH-3 ..... look forward someday to the new HE-5's.
     

     

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  12. brutal

    brutal YamaHoarder Subscriber

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    :tears: Many, many years ago before I saw the vintage light, I pitched my otherwise perfectly good YH-100's I bought in the early 80's because the head strap plastic edging was broken.

    Doh! still kicking myself... :whip:

    Thankfully, I hung onto my other gear.
     
  13. wualta

    wualta permanently nonplussed cat Subscriber

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    Well, the good news is there are a few YH-100s out there for sale and still in good shape. The bad news is, they won't be cheap. You'll be lucky to find one for less than they went for circa 1980.
    Headphone testing/reviewing has come a long way since 1981, but you might find High Fidelity's informal test of the YH-100 entertaining.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 3:18 PM
  14. Area45

    Area45 New Member

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    1
    I have the hp3, black headband cracked off. No longer have. Any ideas?
     
  15. BobWV

    BobWV New Member

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    Still have my hp3s
     
  16. BobWV

    BobWV New Member

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    Still have my hp3s
     

     

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  17. BobWV

    BobWV New Member

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    I can't remember the price of yamaha hp3...It seems like they were about $100. Does anyone know?
     
  18. Pierrus

    Pierrus New Member

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  19. mgosdin

    mgosdin Well-Known Member

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    Mine cost $38 in 1978, still have them 40 years later.

    Mark Gosdin
     

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