Klipsch Heritage HP-3 Headphones Preview

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by purr1n, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Going to be a long tease for you guys...

    First, I'd like to make clear that these are not final. The headphone stand will change. Magnet power on earcup not final. Cables are not final. The Klipsch team has spent the last two years of his life working on them. There's so much attention to detail. I mean, I am so impressed at all the little things to the extent that the folks on his team would be the kind of people I would like to work for and the kind of people that I'd like to work for me. It goes both ways. You want to follow people who is going to make you better, and you want people who are following you to make you better.

    I'd also like to thank Steve @ Klipsch for giving me this opportunity to get a sneak preview of the Heritage HP-3. And I'd also like the folks here who contacted him to make this happen. SBAF readers know that I probably come off kind of scary to people, especially vendors. But Steve had the guts to send these to me, without an NDA or any of that sort of nonsense. Just a gentleman's agreement I wouldn't be a jerk or unreasonable. And really, I am never a jerk with vendors who want my input, despite my nemesis implying otherwise. (Oh, I know what you say to vendors about me). Anyway, I just wanted to the members to know this. People with guts like Steve, who put themselves and their products on the line, should be super deserving of our respect.

    I just don't know where to start. InnerFidelity indicated that the planned price for the HP-3 (TOTL model) will be $999. I mean, I know $999 is a lot of money; but it's also refreshing considering the crazy escalation of headphone prices, most of which are not very good, and none a good value. Personally, I actually feel the package is worth more, like $1499. I'll let you guys decide if it's worth it. But seriously, I am super thankful toward Klipsch for not playing the stupid www.ORFAS.org game.

    In a phone conversation with Steve, he was telling me about the packaging. I was kind of dismissive: Ya ya ya. I don't care about no stinking packaging. I just wanna know how it sounds.

    Well, fugg, I'm gonna have to eat my words. Holy moly. I am impressed! The packaging makes everybody else in the headphones industry look like a bunch of noobs. Like seriously big time loser noobs. STAX with their $5000 headphones and cheesy wooden box should rest their heads in shame looking at this. BTW, I LOVE this Old World approach. It's so refreshing and embarasses Apple's antiseptic chic modern approach, which is kind of passe now (RIP Steve Jobs, I bet Jobs would never let Apple slide like this).


    DSC_2087.JPG
    DSC_2088.JPG

    Hahahaha. Check this out. A seal. I didn't really want to break it. Attention to all the little stuff.
    DSC_2091.JPG

    More to come.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
  2. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    DSC_2092.JPG

    DSC_2093.JPG

    DSC_2094.JPG

    You gotta love this right? It makes you feel like you got something special. Something truly worth a thousand bucks. I'm glad someone at Klipsch understands what a thousand bucks means to most people.

    Hahaha. How many times in the past have I posted unboxing photos?
     
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    DSC_2095.JPG

    That's it for now. I need to grab some ice cream and take some more photos. Rest assured, the sound quality is to match.
     
  4. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I thought this was a family friendly site, and here you go posting hardcore porn. Over-ear, open, wood, detailing, decent price, klipsch-name.... damn. :p
     
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  5. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    One more. Get this. The earpads are secured to the cup by magnets. I love it.

    DSC_2104.JPG
     
  6. JK47

    JK47 The Beer Houdini

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    I don't often comment in threads like this, but... HOLY FUCK !!!

    As I pray to little baby Jesus in the manger that these are awesome sauce with the EC AF...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  7. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    I'm surprised no one has asked me about the sound yet. Are you guys that mesmerized by the box and packaging?
     
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  8. brencho

    brencho Friend

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    I think Marv's teenage daughter hacked his account with all these unboxing pics. Haha just kidding boss. Look pretty fancy for a $999 headphone. But seriously, tell us, how do they sound???

    EDIT: OK technically you beat me to the punch but I swear I asked before you poked!
     
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  9. tg123

    tg123 Rando

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    How does the headphone sound?
     
  10. Daveheart

    Daveheart Friend

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    To be fair, you were mesmerized by it enough to take a set of unboxing photos (which seems rare both for you and this community as a whole). That being said we'd already had a taste of the appearance and packaging from Steve, and I'm much more interested in the sound. So can you share your early impressions?

    Also, I'm curious what the impedance is. Is it relatively low like the Denon/Fostex variants?
     
  11. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    Jesus fuck that box.

    ... Intonation, Kevin. Intonation.

    SOUND IMPRESSIONS PLEASE.
     
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  12. imackler

    imackler Key Lime Pie Infected Aberdeen Wings Spy

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    Uhh... You're doing unboxing pics. I'm still trying to figure out if we're in the twilight zone...
     
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  13. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    My thoughts

    Baffle looks well thought but actually might be too restrictive.

    look at the pads, similar to thx00 pads but that plate looks thicker and more solid.

    Calling a lower mid dip and a dip around 3khz

    Bass is obviously going to phat unless the damped the driver hard, how do the inside of the cups look.

    Might have a thx00 tone actually, but maybe less treble

    I thought the baffle was some porous material, looks like solid plastic. No beuno



    anyways text book fostex driver front side down to the grill
     
  14. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    @Marvey - hard to tell from photos, but do they have the room for ears? I ask because the pads look a tad like the Fostex TH-X00 pads, and... Yeah, F those pads. Atticus sized ear holes? Less? Danka.
     
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  15. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    I almost don't want to know. @musiqlovr said they would be at RMAF, and I want my virgin untainted ears to form their own opinion.

    But yeah, screw it, how do they sound?! OMG.
     
  16. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Well of course I have to tell you a story. I'll keep it short. Long ago, this nice lady, (tehmom) graciously lent me her Fostex TH-900 for a month or two. I eventually sold her my modified BA. (I regret that sale to this day, but I am super happy it went to her). There were certain qualities I loved about the TH-900. Fast, clear, and clean. A lot of bass, but tight high quality bass. Maybe a bit too much bass. What I didn't like about the TH-900 was the lower mid suckout and the nasty 6-7kHz peak. Even with the BA, which tended to take the edge-off, I resorted to EQ to make the TH-900 listenable.

    Fast forward a few years, and Massdrop comes out with the Fostex TH-X00. I really liked this intepretation using the biocellulose drivers. A colored W shaped response with great timbre (for those who love the biocellose sound). However, I was less enamored with the bass quality of the X00 which was only about on par with the TH-600. Also the resolution of the X00 didn't quite scale all the way up to the capabilities of the high-end DNA or EC tube amps. I mean, for a $399 can, it's hard to ask for more. But I did ask @CEE TEE at Massdrop many times: dude, can you get the TH-900 magnet and make a premium verison of the X00? I would gladly pay more. Ultimately, it's all about the magnets (and probably other fancy stuff related to the driver) to get low distortion and high resolution. So another year or so, ZMF comes out with the Atticus, with the TPE material for the driver. Now we are getting somewhere. The TPE actually edges out the prior biocelluse stuff I've heard in microdetail.

    So where does the HP-3 fit in? It uses biocellulose, and I don't know what Klipsch did, but the HP-3 matches the resolution and microdetail capabilities of the Atticus. Yes, this darn headphone scales all the way up to my custom 45 amp (no caps in signal path, interstage coupled transformer via transformer). Not just that. It keeps giving back as the returns from the turntable (VPI Classic 4...) are notable. Let's just say that it was really hard for me to put the headphones down to take photos and write up these posts. As an aside, I did compare with my modded HD800. The HP-3 is just a notch behind in terms of plankton. Then again, nothing gets close to HD800 microdetail in the highs and (Utopia microdetail in the mids).

    DSC_2101.jpg


    Now I'm not going to tell planar lovers to sell their HE-5s and HE-6s and get the Heritage HP-3. However, I will tell people who love traditional dynamics, biocellulose timbre, and secret bassheads to buy this immediately when it comes out. I haven't put this on the bench yet, but here is my assessment based on two records.

    The tonal balance isn't particularly complex. Not a neutral tuning, but slightly V-shaped. Nicely scupted (meaning it seems intentional rather than accidental, maybe Steve can give us more insight), more low-mid bass emphasis than highs. The highs are energetic, but the HP-3 seems to know when to dial it back when it starts to get too much. The HP-3 has great air. 95% of headphones seem to rolloff at top of the last octave, not so here, or at least my near 50 year old ears tell me so. The bass integrates smoothly into the mids. The bass emphasis doesn't cut off abruptly nor it is localized. Sometimes when the bass slowly transitions into the mids, we get a bit a cloud or some muddiness, but not so here. Just very clean, clear, and articulate. The HP-3 is sounds like an open headphone. I know it's semi-closed, but really, it's more open than semi-open with just the slightest hint of cup reverb. The shocking thing is the bass quality given the open / dipole radiation where the driver needs to work harder. Finally, no treble nonsense. Energetic for sure, maybe not perfectly smooth like the HD650, but I'd be darn surprised if I saw any long-lived ringing on the CSDs. So, yeah, this is pretty much a dream come true for me.

    Again, to reiterate the headphone is not final. I am actually super curious how it's going to measure.

    I suspect low impedance like the Denon / Fostex variants. The reason is this: From the Vali 2 on high gain, the HP-3 as much bassier than from my custom 45 amp. The Vali 2 has 6 ohms source impedance. My amp has maybe 2.5 ohms source impedance. This, along with what you said, indicates that the nominal impedance is likely low with a decent bump in the bass. The HP-3 was definitely bassy from the Vali 2, whereas it was slightly bassy (with most emphasis below 100Hz) from my custom 45 - which is kind of how I've tuned the Fostex BLH speakers and subwoofers that I normally use with this amp. Consider how easily the HP-3 responds to source impedance as a feature.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017
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  17. Eudis Fernandes

    Eudis Fernandes Acquaintance

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    Can you just post the charts already. I need to add this to my biodyna porn folder I keep.
     
  18. Luckbad

    Luckbad Traded in a unicorn for a Corolla

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    I love the Fostex TH-9/6/X00 apart from some treble issues. If this actually got treble clean and smooth, it's gonna be great.

    I would assume the impedance is 25 ohms since that's what most Fostex headphones are.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Yup. the pads definitely look shallow, similar the X00 pads. I think we might have a few mm more clearance. I remember my ears just touching a bit with X00, these seem to have more clearance, or maybe the padding is firmer. Hard to say without a direct comparison.
     
  20. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    LOL. Give me a minute. My measurement microphone is in the family room on a tripod. Been doing more speaker work lately.

    Or maybe I should tease you and make you wait until tomorrow while I listen to them while falling asleep. I'm tired.
     
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