Kennerton Magister - Impressions and Quick Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphone Measurements' started by Hands, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,212
    Dislikes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    The Kennerton Magister is the latest, fanciest, priciest iteration/clone in FA-003/HM5 family. I believe some of the clones are identical, and some have some slight differences, such as pads. They all seem to share a similar sound, though, which is to be expected.

    The Magister, however, uses wood from the dawn of Middle Earth, cut, carved, and finished by Gandalf himself. Otherwise, there isn't a whole lot different externally compared to its peasant brethren. There is a headband, ear pads, it makes sound, and the cables are a standard, removable, per-channel design. I think it uses a 3.5mm size plug, but I can't remember. Let's look at some pictures (randomly pulled from the internet).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Subjective Impressions

    I've never really cared for these types of headphones, and I still don't. The overall tonal balance isn't bad. Well, OK, it's good and bad. Mostly weird. Confusing. It both is and is not neutral-ish. If your ears could apply crazy smoothing to the response, it would be mostly neutral. But since my ears, at least, don't work like that, I have a hard time saying they have a great tonal balance.

    This family of headphones always sound weird to me, and this is no exception. Speaking just of the Magister, they have a weird, thick spot in the upper bass and lower mids, a lack of low-end extension and slam, and a treble response that is rough and bright sounding, though sometimes dark. It's like a someone ran the response through a roller coaster EQ, and one where it's nothing but crazy 90 degree hills that come to a sharp point.

    That said, it's not all bad. They have a surprisingly wide and airy sound. Sometimes too much. Coupled with the response, they often sound cavernous. In a bad way. But sometimes it's good.

    They are, however, surprisingly resolving and pull out details pretty well. Imaging and placement is good. Good enough to the point I was willing to overlook the weird frequency response for a while.

    Oh, these clamp like crazy. Weird as the response might be, my head hurt from the clamp before the response got to me.

    Measurements

    I didn't have time to get my standard, full set of measurements. I only checked the left channel, and only from my left ear at that (in-ear mic). I recently mentioned I'm going to be tweaking my methods in the next couple weeks, but these measurements were taken prior. They are directly comparable to the measurements I've been posting over the past several months, so no need to think on it much.

    Left channel frequency response...I'll let it speak for itself. This is the sort of response refinement I'd expect from a $30 headphone.

    [​IMG]

    Frequency Response and THD. Ignoring the fact my setup inherently starts to climb up in distortion with bass, these actually have good looking distortion results.

    [​IMG]

    CSDs show some ringing in the treble. So, combine the rough treble response with some ringing, and you can start to understand why I don't care for these. The lower mid-range might also linger a bit longer than it shoud.

    [​IMG]

    Raw results from 8 different placements on my head, all from the left ear. Relatively consistent, save for the midrange. Unfortunately, I didn't find any particular position on my head that sounded "right" subjectively.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion

    I don't care how old the wood is or how many wizards peed on it. I still find the headphones in this family to sound weird. Couple that with a strong clamp, and I can't say I'd recommend these to anyone that has similar tastes as me. I know some people like them, though.

    Product Page: http://www.kennerton.com/magister.htm
    Tyll's Measurements: http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/KennertonMagister.pdf
    Marv's Measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...ssions-and-quick-measurements.273/#post-35175
    Ultrabike's Measurements: http://www.changstar.com/index.php/topic,2288.0.html
    Ultrabike's brother XPT100 Measurements: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/nvx-audio-xpt100.20/
    Tak's Impressions: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.or...nnerton-magister-loaner.243/page-2#post-26622

    Other SuperBAF measurement and impression thread: http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/kennerton-magister.719/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 19, 2016
    Grahad2, money4me247, bixby and 2 others like this.
  2. bixby

    bixby Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,611
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Nicely done Hands. Roller coaster of luv.

    That bass boost does not seem too bothersome, kinda like the old loudness switch on a vintage receiver, but that suckout between 300 and 500 can add some leanness to the mids. And the double peaks at 5k and 7.5k being up about 4.5db over the 1k ref would probably be like small rusty oldpins for my ears.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  3. ultrabike

    ultrabike Measurbator - Admin

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,009
    Dislikes Received:
    16
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Irvine CA
    Agree in most things with Manotas (Hands). In a nutshell how I felt about these:

    "Overall these are not bad sounding, but not necessarily spectacular. They are about $900, and IMO one is paying for the craftsmanship which seems impeccable. These also did not seem to require tons of power to drive."

    These do clamp strongly.
     
  4. drfindley

    drfindley Secretly lives in the Analog Room - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,531
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Palo Alto
    Giving these a listen, I have to agree with Hands and Ultrabike. They have a weird FR curve, with the treble being a roundhouse kick to the head and the mids like a broken fan.

    While somewhat resolving, it's like trying to look at a good painting with an odd sun cast on it. If you could just block the sun, you know it'd look great, but you can't get past the weird cast. If this headphone could get out of it's own way, it could be great.

    I wouldn't say as much a giant soundstage, but almost more veiled. It's like you're in the next room and the you can hear that the music sounds great, but you're just in the wrong room. It makes me miss the immediacy of my HD650s.

    Also, boring.

    These clamp less than the Focal Spirit One/Professional, but still too much.

    I'd recommend the Enigmas over these if you're looking for well crafted wood closed headphones. Or just my favorite closed headphones anywhere.
     
    ultrabike likes this.
  5. DaveB

    DaveB Rando

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    10
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Thanks for the comments and measurements, gentlemen. Would appear that there are better options to spend $900 on.
     
  6. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    46,304
    Dislikes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Back from distractions and to regularly scheduled programming...

    Kennerton Magister Full Measurements

    Kennerton Magister Frequency Response 0dbR = 100db SPL
    Magister L.png
    Magister R.png


    Kennerton Magister CSD
    Magister L.jpg
    Magister R.jpg


    Kennerton Magister Distortions in Percentage
    Magister L HD.jpg
    Magister R HD.jpg

    • Slight treble bump at 6-7kHz, but no massive ringing
    • Ringing at 3.5kHz. Contributes to rough non smooth sound
    • Right channel has some ringing at 9-10kHz which left channel doesn't have
    • But overall, channels are decently matched, especially with the types of pads used
    • Distortion not too bad except 3rd order in bass seems high (3rd order is usually lower than 2nd order in bass) and small spike at 5kHz
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    46,304
    Dislikes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Subjective Impressions:
    • Basically what Hands said
    • Some mid-bass, apparent lack of low and sub bass (despite measurements indicating otherwise)
    • Weird dip in lower mids
    • Rough sounding - not smooth - uneven
    • Glare and sharp treble with some recordings
    • Like Hands, not all that bad
    • But then again kind of sounds worse than it measures
    The clamp is excessive. The pads of the cups are mushed together while in their rest state. When I tried to put the headphones on, I didn't get a hold of the slippery pads (it is a nice material) well, and the cups smacked back together with such force that the end of the gimbal smacked me right in the brow. Ouch! Needless to say, I AM NOT HAPPY.

    Magister.png
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    46,304
    Dislikes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    It still hurts.
     
  9. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    46,304
    Dislikes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    I am just not having a good day with these headphones.
    Magister2.jpg
    The edge of the metal is sharp BTW.
     
  10. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

    Staff Member Friend MZR
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    8,212
    Dislikes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Colorado
    Home Page:
    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
     
    Vanheim likes this.
  11. Audio Zenith

    Audio Zenith Custom Title KGB

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    345
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Now you see, Shaffer's superpowers are already in effect. Wait until he finishes up making that doll and starts pinching needles into it :Violin:
     
    Vanheim and FlySweep like this.
  12. Bagged Milk

    Bagged Milk Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    94
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Minnesota
    The CD-880 family are indeed all weird sounding.
    I have an HM5, which, whilst being quite technically proficient for 100$, just sounds so weird that I can't recommend them. What's interesting though is that covering up the bass ports on the HM5 (they look like little slits right next to where the arms enter the cups) gets rid of a lot of the lower mid weirdness. Bass goes away even more, though.
     
  13. takato14

    takato14 Doglover

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    377
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Admittedly I was a bit kinder with these in my writeup than I really thought of them. Measurements confirm my thoughts... Piece of shit with nice craftsmanship. Bah.
     
    Bagged Milk likes this.
  14. Valolilol

    Valolilol Facebook Friend

    Contributor
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2015
    Likes Received:
    50
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Hi everybody,

    I came to know these headphones recently during an European exhibition. I tried them paired to a VIVA amplifier. The guy presenting the stuff has a partnership with VIVA.
    I agree with this "weird" sounds image. It looks like sometimes it stands out for no reason where you expected it to keep calm. It's like a kid doing nothing usually and for random reasons starts being active. But weirdly enough, I liked it.
    The best point of these closed headphones for me is the "openness" of it. I mean, for a closed headphones I expected something more "in the head" than what I heard. That is something that I DID liked. By the way, @Hands, @Marvey @Others/All have you found a way to "see" the openness of headphones in measurements ? So far I don't but I may be wrong.
    Regarding the clamping force, no problem on that point (yeah I have a rather small head I came to know that fact during high school...).

    I have one little question which concerns closed-back headphones, have you any good references ? Because so far this guy really impressed me and I feel that it could be a good companion.

    PS : Thank you Marvey for the off-talk, pictures were essential for the explanation :)

    Edit : I forgot to mention that the person who presented the Magister told me something interesting regarding the cup. The shape is rather special because it has a dedicated geometry in it. You can see it on the picture here. I am not an experienced DIYer but I find it rather interesting, I do not know much cups made this way. Any thought ?
    I also think that guys from the sales are referring WAY too much to this 2000 years old wood. I mean, I started looking at this headphones and that is almost he first thing the guy told me... seriously...
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2016
  15. AppleheadMay

    AppleheadMay Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Likes Received:
    36
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Europe

    LoL! :p
     

Share This Page