New Audioquest Nightowl / Nighthawk Carbon

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Yeskey, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    With the wife increasingly commandeering my Oppo PM3's, I picked up a pair of NightOwl closed backs (paid $400US) for use when open back won't do (in bed, traveling, etc.). As with so many others, I am frustrated by their positives (resolution/clarity, comfort on head, etc.) undermined by the warmth bleeding into the mids. A bit of EQ tinkering has helped but certainly not "fixed" it. As Marv purr1n said in his initial NightHawk review, some music pairs well while some brings out the flaws very obviously.

    Would be interested in anyone's EQ curves for the NightOwl if your willing to share.
     
  2. udin

    udin Acquaintance

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    Have you tried the microsuede pads yet? They give the Nightowls a slightly more neutral sound, which might help with some of the warmth bleeding into the mids.
     
  3. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Yes, and yes they are a tweak in the right direction. That said, I like the way the leathers wear/feel better - I seem to be in the minority on this however.

    At this price level I don't expect Clear level tonal balance. I like reading/seeing others EQ curves just for ideas.
     
  4. Hekeli

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    Suedes remove some punch from the owls and make them too bright imo. I just scoop out ~100-300hz a bit to remove the bass bleed, sounds great to me.
     
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  5. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    The Shure HPAEC1540 fixed a lot of the issues I had with this headphone. Easy to install.
     
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  6. HHS

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    @neogeosnk what effects on the sound did you get with 1540 pads installed?
     
  7. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    Let me try them again. I still have the headphones but it's been too long. Think the bass bleed was tamed but sacrificed the mids somewhat.
     
  8. HHS

    HHS Facebook Friend

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    Thanks, I appreciate it. I understand that the Audioquest ultrasuede pads are supposed to help tame the bass a little, but since I just picked up the NightOwls second-hand I didn't actually get the ultrasuede pads. Looking for good alternatives, so I'm thinking 1540 pads might be an option
     
  9. Brad358

    Brad358 Rando

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    The Nighthawk was quite a polarising headphone, a marmite headphone (marmite is a term here for something which people either love or hate with little in between).

    I have the Nighthawk carbon and love it. However, it is a very different sound signature and my first impression was very negative, finding it muddy and with a strangled high end. However there is something oddly comforting about the sound signature if you adjust to it, the detail is there but not as you'd normally expect it and it is wonderfully fatigue free listening. I wouldn't call it the best headphone and I'd hesitate before recommending them to a friend because their tuning is clearly not for everyone but I like them. Apologies if that sounds like I am making excuses for a poor headphone.

    One aspect I would recommend is the mechanical design. I know comfort is an entirely personal and subjective thing but I find these wonderfully comfortable with perfect clamping and ear enclosing dimensions and shape. They do not feel tight at all but neither do they feel unstable or loose.
     
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  10. neogeosnk

    neogeosnk Friend

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    @HHS Tested a few different pads with the Nighthawk Carbon this weekend.. skip the Shure pads, I must have been high that day. Best pads I tried on these by far are the Eikon Lambskins. They neutralized the bass and got rid of the subass bloat. To me they sound really good, more midcentric with the correct amount of bass. I still feel the treble is rolled off somewhat but not as bad as with stock or velour pads. Been listening to them for 2 day straight and really enjoyed them. Probably never getting rid of the Nighhawks because they remind me of old school speakers from the 80's.
     
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  11. HHS

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    Got it, thanks for the testing. I agree with you about the old school speakers feel
     
  12. dac2800

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    Did you try the regular or perforated lambskin pads?
     
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  13. neogeosnk

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    Let me try em.
     
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  14. dac2800

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    Any cable suggestions for the NH Carbon? I really need 2.5-3m, and the included lightweight "travel" cord is causing a lot of microphonics. Current candidates are Asona or the AQ Nightbird (the latter is a little pricey at US$129). TIA.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2020
  15. Ryanr1987

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    The PM-1 cable is fantastic.
     
  16. donpablo

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    @dac2800 Audioquest cables for their headphones are very good ones and it is hard to find good replacement to them and not loosing SQ. One of my cables that are good enough for Hawks/Owls comes from that seller: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/233200603868
    Its silver platted one.
     
  17. Ryanr1987

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    Nighthawk cables are awful
    Yeah more companies need to rub their cables in snake oil ;)
     
  18. donpablo

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    @Ryanr1987 I suppose nighthawk cable sounds good only for Nighthawks. For other headphones it will most probably not generate good sound quality. I tried to plug Hawks stock cable to Owls and vice versa, drastic changes.
    I don't know what excatly they did whith their cables, but I noticed that their stock cables make some specific audible change in sound. That is why its hard to find replacement to them.
    Its my subjective observation of course, I don't have any measurment technicall stuff to confirm that. Maybe I will in the future ;)
     
  19. Ryanr1987

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    They play around with the resistance I believe, don't hold me to that. I've always found it messes with the sound to a small degree smooth things over, like it's not getting a clean signal, maybe it's in my head, I don't believe in cables; I believe in good drivers and it's source. I find the PM-1 cable to be much better ergonomically. That cable audioquest shipped with the carbon variants seems like an april fools joke.
     
  20. donpablo

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    @Ryanr1987 I also was skeptical about cables and changes in sound however I had to change my mind after I accidentaly have plugged 'wrong' (not stock) cable to one of my HPs. Now the thing about Audioquest Hawks/Owls cables etc. I just hear that whether I want it or not. In audio cables we have analog sinusoidal signal anyway so the material and construction of conductor does matter wheter we want it or not. Similar way like the water is curving the light, its not 1 to 1 analogy but both 'signals' are analog. Easiest way to hear differences in cables is to compare silver core vs copper. You can try that easy and almost at 0 cost way - just buy one silver cable (interconnect or HP cable) try it at home and send it back to the seller if you not like it. Return policy gives you rights to send back the product if tested it few days and changed your mind or just not happy about it.

    However that hard to swollow truth is that there are many cables that are simply COSMIC EXPENSIVE and sometimes they really write some snake-oil descriptions to enchance the product.
     

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