What's with vintage headphones?

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by mattstech, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. J English

    J English Super Member

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    1,039
    I still use my two pairs of Senn HD 414s, and they sound great. But they are a lot more accurate than most headphones from the 60s and 70s.
     
  2. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have no desire to go to my Koss Pro's that had back in the early 70s.
     
  3. cgutz

    cgutz AK Member

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    SE South Dakota
    I bought my HD424 Sennheisers in the late 70's. Still have them :)

    At the time, Koss was the "rave" - I was not impressed....:eek2:
     
  4. keitht

    keitht Active Member

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    145
    Headphone tech improved a lot in the last 15 years. The only Koss model I ever liked was the HV1.
    Stax, well that's another story. Older electrets hold their own with just about anything..
     
  5. rkgren1

    rkgren1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have a set of Yamaha Orthodymanics and they have a nice, neutral sound.
    I also have a set of AudioTechnical ATH-5s and they are very nice as well, a bit warmer than the Yamahas.

    Edit: After spending a few weeks with the ATs I have to say that these really are nice headphones. Unlike the Yamahas that I have, they can thump out a very solid bass line, and really good performers overall. They are quite comfortable to wear as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018 at 7:43 PM
    elcoholic likes this.
  6. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

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    Vintage headphones are way cool looking. I have a pretty decent collection of some awesome looking models, but I'm yet to hear any that didn't sound like a transistor radio speaker in a plastic cup (which, incidentally many of them were...). Two ways with controls, over ear, you name it- they all sound putrid.

    My AKG702s are my reference and it's hard to go back to vintage ones.
     
  7. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

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    I remember the Koss Pro 4a when new, didn’t like them and brought them back. So they sold me a pair of the Koss Studio headphones for half price that cost four times the price of th 4a. But the wife left a window open and they disappeared along with the rest of my equipment. Now I just use Sennheizer...
     
  8. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I would disagree with your last statement. I got my Stax SR44 new waaaay back when. They still sound great. I picked up a pair of used SR-30s about 2 years ago, thinking they would be an improvement. Unfortunately the left driver takes about 30 minutes to reach the same volume as the right, so I hardly ever use them. I got a pair of NAD Viso HP50 dynamics designed by Paul Barton. They are very good, have a real "presence" and strong bass; but really not in the same class as the Stax electrets, in my opinion. I bought a used pair of SRX Mk3 and a SRD7 last year, a true electrostatic set up that got monster reviews when the came out in 1979. They are my everyday cans because I feel they most realistically present everything in the recording; but I often go back to the SR40s. The "air", as you put it, is so refreshing.

    The HP50s are for loud listening when I don't want to disturb others close by. A pair of Sony MDRv-600 dynamics, also very well reviewed, are relegated to my desktop. So I don't think modern dynamics in the $150 price range will be able to hold a candle to your SR44Ds, except in convenience and portability. Maybe some Oppo PM-3 ($400) or HiFiMan HE400 ($275) planar magnetics would come close. I have been wanting to hear those Oppos for a while.
     
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  9. twiiii

    twiiii Super Member

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    five or 6 years ago I ordered new pads for my Koss Pro4 AAA's. It really helped, but when one ear speaker became intermittent and failed I went shopping. I couldn't believe how much the Sennheisers have improved in the last 10 years. I first bought a Pair of over the ear sealed Momentums that were just a little or lot bass heavy around 160hz. The oldest boy like them so a year later I bought some closed 598 and they are almost my cup of tea. They aren't quite as bright as I would like but for long term listening a great choice. About 10 days after they were introduced I got to audition pair of 650's, and if I didn't have my Lambdas or Signet electrostatics I would have bought a pair. Sure they cost a ton more than all but my Koss headphones from a long ago time, but they are fantastic. Koss has been sitting on its laurels to long. Just look at all the new Headphone products by newer companies introduced the last 10 years.
     
  10. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    666
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    "five or 6 years ago I ordered new pads for my Koss Pro4 AAA's. It really helped"

    Yeah, I forgot to mention one downside of all the older Stax with round earpads. Try getting new pads. It's almost impossible. There is one dealer in Canada who was kind enough to accommodate.

    http://www.americansound.com/contact/
     
  11. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I feel that my SRX Mk llls are the most accurate and detailed head phones I have, but I can only go one album before they get uncomfortable. Still they are great for jazz, chamber music and acoustic rock, bluegrass, etc. My trusty Yamaha HP-1's beat the Stax for rock and are almost as detailed, but also get uncomfortable quickly which wasn't a problem when I bought them in '76. My much older ears just don't like lengthy sessions with on-ears. My home built Yamasteins use the same drivers but are over-ear and despite their added weight are much more comfortable and have better bass. For better coexistence in the living room I just got a pair of the new Monoprice Monolith 1060C's and I'm leaning towards keeping them. The more I listen to them the more I like them and they are super-comfy. I started a thread on them here.
     
  12. 2channel*

    2channel* Well-Known Member

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    666
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    That's good to know. I had been curious about Monoprice planars. Just wondering if you ruled out the Oppos and why?
     
  13. elcoholic

    elcoholic AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No Oppo is next up if I don’t keep these. Esthetically I’m drawn to wood phones. Large round ear cushions and the 2 part headband tend to be more comfortable for me.
     
  14. olddude55

    olddude55 New Member

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    4
    I had the Stax SR44 also and loved them. My son dismantled them when he was a toddler.
    I've got Sennheiser HD600's, they're comfortable and sound pretty good. You can find them on sale for as low as $200 sometimes, but I still prefer Stax. Vintage Stax cans like the SR-3 or SR-5 beat the HD600 in my opinion and can be had for less if you shop around.
     

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