MrSpeakers Ether Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Marvey, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    MrSpeakers Ether Measurements

    I was a little baffled at the bass rolloff at the extremes (similar to HE400S). Since I usually run the measurement rig with a hair and neck nap simulator (since seal is never perfect for most humans) for larger circumference over the ear headphones, I decided to remeasure without it to get a "super seal". It turns that that differences were minimal, perhaps an extension of 5Hz or so lower before a the same rolloff occurs. Personally, I feel these measurements reflect the typical seal that a person would likely experience. The probably explains why some people have felt that the Ether lacked a solid bass foundation and also why Julie and I didn't quite hear the vibrating of drum skins on certain recordings (where the frequency tends to go lower through the decay).

    Overall distortion is really good with a peak around 5.5kHz, but still this peak is quite a bit down at -45db. Still, this likely could be the cause of the slightly difficult treble timbre that some have heard. The frequency response is a bit jaggy throughout, reminiscent of the old HE400 (not S). This probably accounts for the rougher mids and treble (at least relative to the HD650.)

    Subjective Impressions (before measurements were taken) can be found here: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/mrspeakers-ether-vs-hd650-and-he-560.555/

    Figure 1: Ether L Channel Frequency Response and Distortions
    EtherLFR.png


    Figure 2: Ether R Channel Frequency Response and Distortions
    EtherRFR.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
    meloman likes this.

  2. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Figure 3: Ether L Channel CSD
    Ether left.jpg

    Figure 4: Ether R Channel CSD
    Ether right.jpg

    I am not sure what to make of the ringing, but ridges of low amplitude ringing which correspond to the jagged edges of the frequency response is consistent with many orthos. See HE400S CSDs for comparison: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...iman-he400s-measurements-and-impressions.545/

    I don't know if the amount of jaggies and ridges are reflective of the rougher mids and treble that is heard.

    Figure 5: Ether L Channel Distortion
    Ether L HD.jpg

    Figure 6: Ether R Channel Distortion
    Ether R HD.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  3. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Still trying to secure an Ether to loan myself (more than one would be great to check for any product variation), but these are helpful. My guess is that based on how your response "curve" usually correlates to what I hear, there's probably a slight bit of rise or emphasis leading up to about 6-7KHz, but nothing major.

    Bass results match up with what I hear subjectively. Slight hint of mid-to-upper bass warmth with low-bass roll-off.
     
  4. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Impulse Responses
    I never gave this much thought. The "ortho walls" are representative of the fact that orthos tend to keep vibrating for a certain period of time, much a like a drum membrane. Note how the orthos don't really settle, but rather continue to vibrate or ring for the duration of the graphs below.

    Ether Impulse Response
    EtherIR.png

    HE-560 Impulse Response
    HE-560IR.png

    HD650 Impulse Response
    HD650IR.png
     
  5. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Good to see measurements in your rig. One note, both figures say L channel on FR and CSD.
     
  6. frenchbat

    frenchbat BritishBat's arch enemy - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    434
    Trophy Points:
    63
    two different seals Kap. So it's both L channel
     
  7. kapanak

    kapanak Canucklehead - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    296
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ah okay that wasn't super clear. Thank you :)
     
  8. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Corrected. I didn't bother posting the better seal measurement since difference not significant.
     
  9. keanex

    keanex Martian Bounty Hunter - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Likes Received:
    310
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Can anyone explain the ortho wall and why it doesn't translate to audible slowness? I've heard the HE560 and they don't sound slow in the bass, not that slow anyway.
     
  10. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    I'll do this when I get home from work. There's no relation between CSD and transient response or speed. The ortho wall / ridge amplitude is low, despite going on for an extended length of time. You can at least say that the major portion of the transient is already "settled", although the membrane continues to vibrate, albeit at a lower level.
     
    keanex likes this.
  11. briskly

    briskly Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Likes Received:
    32
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    New York
    Second harmonic down -45dB in level? That doesn't seem like much of a problem. Frequency response is definitely rougher than quite a few dynamics.
    Right channel bass looks pretty similar to Tyll's measurement. A little variation in the bass it seems.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  12. audiofrk

    audiofrk Guest

    Fuck that hd650 impulse is legit.

    Marv you still have the old he400?
     
  13. Tyll Hertsens

    Tyll Hertsens Grandpappy of the hobby - Special Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,926
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Bozeman Montana
    Home Page:
    It may not be the membrane vibrating but rather ongoing acoustic resonances somewhere. I've always thought it might be the periodic magnet structure inducing these...maybe.
     
    kapanak likes this.
  14. Marvey

    Marvey Loves sex and records

    Staff Member Friend Banned
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    22,999
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Calabasas, CA
    Why do I imagine a lattice of magnets with cute smiley faces on them singing at several tones ranging from 2k to 6k?

    More seriously, can someone find that paper that 'tode dug up describing this with orthos?

    This topic probably warrants a separate discussion.

    Also see LCD3 variability measurements from CS.
     
    Bagged Milk and kapanak like this.
  15. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,852
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    Thought the sub-bass rolls off, the balance looks pretty good.
     
  16. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,945
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Thanks to an anonymous donor, I got my hands on an Ether (open) a few weeks back and had it for a bit. I am a bit delayed getting measurements and full impressions up, but here you go. This is NOT the same pair that Marv measured above (at least, I don't think it is...?).

    Subjective Thoughts

    - Maybe one of the better Ethers I've heard. Still sounds like it could use a bit more muscle, but not as lean or plain boring as some pairs. Actually sounds like it has good bass extension. Not as much slam as an HD650.

    - Bass quality is not quite up there with the best I've heard. Maybe a bit cleaner than HD650 but not as good as some other nice planars. Nothing to complain about, though, just making note of it.

    - Overall response is nearly neutral. I say nearly because there are some spots in the treble that stand out as fairly bright and rough. Treble respond as a whole is not very smooth or cohesive.

    - Bass through midrange balance is very good.

    - Not as "hi-fi" sounding as a well-fed HD650 or HD800. My guess is that distortion levels just aren't quite as low on the Ether compared to those headphones (which my measurement rig isn't as revealing of, so I'm thinking of Tyll's results). Not as resolving either. Just sounds a bit less clear and a bit less clean than the best. On the other hand, it does have that nice sense of planar speed. The planar speed just doesn't outweight the other less favorable Ether qualities.

    - My biggest complaint is the 3-blob soundstage. You have a very hard left/right stage with a blob in the center. Disconnected feeling. Too intimate and close. Not wide at all. Very little depth. The Alpha Dog (not Prime) might have beat the Ether here, based on memory.

    - Tone gets noticeably better with some front damping additions. Notice how Dan recently released the "1.1" tuning with front damping? Yeah, I read about that after I tried it myself. I think the driver has a good amount of potential for a planar driver and is a big step up from the T50RP drivers. I think part of the problem is the pads, front damping, and possibly even back damping being too constricting or reflective (can't verify the latter). As I've said before, I found the stock front foam on the Alpha Dog contributed to some less than desirable treble traits, so I would not be surprised if redoing the entire front damping config on the Ether would really help.

    - Not worth the asking price, but not a horrible headphone. I'd peg it more at $700 based on competition and the overall market. I'm being generous due to the good design, good looks, good comfort, and MrSpeakers being a smaller gig than some of the biggest companies (though that's become less true as the years go by, maybe doesn't even hold these days as a good excuse). If I'm being totally honest, I think the HE400S is a better planar in most regards. I'd certainly rather listen to it than the Ether, that's for sure. The Ether has this way of making me feel not quite at ease while listening, but for reasons that are sometimes subtle. On the other hand, I'd rather listen to the Ether than most HFM headphones, especially the deadly HE560. The Ether does has some redeeming qualities over the Audezes too, but I'm not really sure that it's overall better than the LCD-2 (which is under $1K).

    Measurements

    The frequency response is just almost there! So close! I wish the bass didn't start to droop around 40Hz, but that's a minor complaint. If it just kept going in a straight line to 20Hz, that would make a subtle but nice difference. Then everything up to about 2-3KHz is really excellent. It's the 5KHz spot, and 10KHz to a lesser extent, that really start to bring the Ether down. It's not horribly bright or horribly rough, but just enough to stand out and become bothersome. Too bad, really. Distortion is good. I'd defer to Tyll's measurements, where you can see the midrange distortion isn't quite up there with the HD650/800.

    Ether L FR THD.png

    CSDs are OK, but they're a bit too "dirty" for my tastes. Nothing horrible, just a lot of little trails everywhere that I'd rather not see. I am not sure to what extent the 1-2KHz dual edges really affect the sound, but I can't rule out they might contribute to some of the less pleasing aspects of the Ether. Still not bad overall.

    Ether L CSD.png
     
  17. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,023
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indiana USA
    Marv measured my pair, which in a later and unrelated event was stolen in the mail. So if it was the same pair I would be REALLY interested |\/|
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2016
  18. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Minnesota
    oh man, that really sucks. Sorry that happened.
     
    PoochZag likes this.
  19. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,023
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Indiana USA
    I shipped them in a Newegg box right before Xmas, so lesson learned. To this day I still wonder if they know what they have (no retail box)

    I liked them and stand by my write up in the other Ether thread, but the incident caused me to grab an HD800 which has been worthwhile.

    USPS has been terrible in the claim process, but I'm hoping my final submission appeases them
     
    Bagged Milk likes this.
  20. PacoTaco

    PacoTaco Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    221
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I bought insurance for my LCD 2's and USPS never reimbursed me when they stole them. $800 for a fresh-out-of-college student when I was in the christmas shopping for my son was a devastating thing. Fucking dicks.
     

Share This Page