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#1464626 - 06/28/10 08:58 PM Headphones revelation
Art A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 145
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I owe several of you guys an apology, those who told me multipls times to TRY HEADPHONES! Well I was stubborn saying I didn't spend this kind of money on a digital piano to wear headphones when playing.

I figured I have tried so much manipulation of the various piano designer settings to no real success in making it sound the way I want it to there would be no harm in trying headphones. I went to my local hifi shop where I know the guys and bought lots of audio equipment from. Listened to the sennheiser 595 and 555 on a CD I brought with me. Rather underwhelmed and unconvinced to spend that kind of money I went to the local best buy and bought 35 dollar sony headphones.

I couldn't be happier with the initial results. It is just incapable enough to not bring forward all those various subtle nuances that I don't care for. Yet it doesn't sound like video game bad either. So ironically I think I should have bought a weighted key dp for 1/4 the price of the 307 and may have been just as happy long run. Live and learn. Still gonna search out an acoustic over time.


Edited by Art A. (06/28/10 09:22 PM)

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#1464663 - 06/28/10 10:21 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Art A.]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
Also, if you're not happy with the built-in sound system of the 307, maybe try to put together an external sound system that can perform better.

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#1464692 - 06/28/10 11:10 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Volusiano]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Good suggestion, Volusiano.

When I had the HP-207 in my studio, I improved the audio quality quite a bit by adding Behringer Truth B2031 monitors. The reality is that the sound system in many console DPs is not the best. Sad but true, I'm afraid.
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Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
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#1464695 - 06/28/10 11:13 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Art A.]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Quote:
I didn't spend this kind of money on a digital piano to wear headphones when playing.


Many people buy a digital piano so they can use headphones. They'd say "That is the whole point."

Quote:
I think I should have bought a weighted key dp for 1/4 the price of the 307


Yes, if all you care about is the sound and the key action you can save a ton of money. But people buy the CLP because they like the way it looks.

If you want better headphones and don't want to spend a lot, you can still get the AKG K240 for $99. THis is one case where the $99 product really is three times better than the $33 product. You''ll notice a dramatic jump in quality over then cheaper headphones. The problem was you were shopping in a stereo shop, your money does not go very far there. Look in the shops that sell to musicians and recording engineers.Not that pre-audio gear is cheap but most a better value.

I'd think that if you know the salesman in the audio shop you'd have enough grear already that you would have tried to connect the DP to a set good set of speakers. You want to set up the speakers so you hear much of the sound after a refection. Completely backwards from what all stereo experts will tell you.

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#1464698 - 06/28/10 11:17 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: ChrisA]
Melodialworks Music Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/05
Posts: 1309
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

Yes, if all you care about is the sound and the key action you can save a ton of money. But people buy the CLP because they like the way it looks.


CLP? Now I'm confused. I thought we were talking about the HP-307.
_________________________
Melodialworks Music
Yamaha C3X
Yamaha CP300 + Omnisphere
Yamaha NU1 + Production Grand

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#1464741 - 06/29/10 12:35 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: ChrisA]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: ChrisA
Quote:
I didn't spend this kind of money on a digital piano to wear headphones when playing.


Many people buy a digital piano so they can use headphones. They'd say "That is the whole point."

thumb

Originally Posted By: ChrisA

Quote:
I think I should have bought a weighted key dp for 1/4 the price of the 307


Yes, if all you care about is the sound and the key action you can save a ton of money. But people buy the CLP because they like the way it looks.

...

I'd think that if you know the salesman in the audio shop you'd have enough grear already that you would have tried to connect the DP to a set good set of speakers. You want to set up the speakers so you hear much of the sound after a refection. Completely backwards from what all stereo experts will tell you.


Tell us more.

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#1464745 - 06/29/10 12:38 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Melodialworks Music]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: Melodialworks Music
Originally Posted By: ChrisA

Yes, if all you care about is the sound and the key action you can save a ton of money. But people buy the CLP because they like the way it looks.


CLP? Now I'm confused. I thought we were talking about the HP-307.


Neither of which are particularly attractive although they do preclude the need for lots of exposed cables, an X stand, multiple, loose pedals, separate speakers, etc.

I find that the Roland LX-10, while also not as attractice as the Kawai CA-111, does give a much better sound presentation than the Roland HP-307, with a better feeling of space.

Perhaps you can trade your HP-307 in for an LX-10 to avoid having to add more cables and speakers to the situation.

Re: headphones, if you really are a gear head, then it seems strange not to buy the Sennheiser HD600's. You will never go back to something else when you do.

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#1464770 - 06/29/10 01:23 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
Volusiano Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/01/10
Posts: 770
If I'm not mistaken in trying to understand the OP's point about the headphones, he actually said that he didn't care for the high quality headphones like the Sennheisers that he tried out because they reproduce everything too accurately, including all kinds of stuff from the sound samples that he doesn't care or want to hear. The cheap headphones, on the other hand, are not able to reproduce everything accurately, and therefore mask out the stuff from the sound samples that he doesn't want to hear.

So this is the unusual case of somebody who prefers the cheaper headphones to mask out sounds that bothers him. Another option to solve his problem may be to get a detailed graphic equalizer and cut down on the frequencies where the noises exist that bother him.

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#1464840 - 06/29/10 05:16 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
curt88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/08
Posts: 346
Originally Posted By: theJourney
[quote=ChrisA]
Quote:
You want to set up the speakers so you hear much of the sound after a refection. Completely backwards from what all stereo experts will tell you.


Tell us more.


By positioning your playback system (speakers) so that they send their sound into the room rather than into your face you can better simulate what your piano sounds like in the room. A lot like how an acoustic piano can sound a little dry and harsh when you are sitting at it with the lid up but listening to someone else playing that same piano while you are elsewhere in the room (in the audience for example) it can sound quite warm and pleasant.

Curt

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#1464846 - 06/29/10 05:45 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: curt88]
Dave Horne Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/07/04
Posts: 5276
Loc: Vught, The Netherlands
Whenever I try out digital pianos in a store I always use my own headphones. When I forget them, I use the ones from the store, but I always use headphones.

At home whether I'm practicing on my AvantGrand or playing around with my CP5, I use headphones.

Of course, as you've noticed, headphones are capable of letting you hear everything, flaws included. I'd venture a guess that 90 percent of my practicing is done with headphones.
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#1464928 - 06/29/10 09:33 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Art A.]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: Art A.
I figured I have tried so much manipulation of the various piano designer settings to no real success in making it sound the way I want it to...

Sorry to hear, but that also reflects part of my showstopping disappointment while testdriving the HP307 (although Roland's marketing-material was deceptively promising) tired

After that, I discovered that the Kawai CA93 (and therefore also the CA63) quite unexpectedly appear to have a much better implementation of piano sound sculpting possibilities.
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K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1464933 - 06/29/10 09:49 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Volusiano]
Art A. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 145
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Volusiano, I have learned to never say never. I might just try hooking up to my audio system though I end up going more in the electronic direction when my interest is classical piano. Its not that the Sennh's were overly detailed sounding, bottom line is I was hesitant to gamble that kind of money towards something that may not have helped my situation. But it just so worked out that the cheap sony's are not doing a good job of reproducing those things I want to hear less of.

Thejourney, I won't be trading up to an LX-10. That would be money spent in the direction I do not want to go in. If I trade I will trade for an acoustic and a very inexpensive weighted key digital just so I can practice quietly.


Edited by Art A. (06/29/10 09:54 AM)

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#1465041 - 06/29/10 01:14 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California

Quote:
Neither of which are particularly attractive although they do preclude the need for lots of exposed cables, an X stand, multiple, loose pedals, separate speakers, etc.



"Attractive" is in the eye of the beholder. It can be augured that most of the home/console DPs are made of laminated Formica over particle broad and look "fake" But then they are pretty good fakes, about on par with the high-end of Ikea furniture (If "high end Ikea" is not an oxymoron.) The stage pianos have a clean modern look and don't try to look like what they aren't. So it goes both ways. I think it also depend if you have a separate space for a music studio or if the piano has to be out in the living room. In a studio you likely have a computer and maybe some other instruments. In terms of style, I like Roland's RD700 and FP7. Kind of an industrial black metal look.

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#1465060 - 06/29/10 01:40 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
ChrisA Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/28/08
Posts: 3841
Loc: Redondo Beach, California
Originally Posted By: theJourney

I'd think that if you know the salesman in the audio shop you'd have enough grear already that you would have tried to connect the DP to a set good set of speakers. [b][u]You want to set up the speakers so you hear much of the sound after a refection. Completely backwards from what all stereo experts will tell..


Tell us more.
[/quote]

I was writing to a person who said he spent timwe in a high end audio shop. "Reflection" is a topic well known to stereophiles. In general it is a bad thing but also unaviodable. So, talking stereo here... If a speaker is close to a wall someof the sound goes straight-line direct to your ear and some hits the wall, bounces and then hits your ears. The distance travelled is different. Depending on the frency of each note played some of the sound from each path is in phase and some out of phase and the wave combine constructively or destructively. And it's pretty much random and changes if you move your head, or the speaker. It is more complex as the sound might bounce two or 15 times before you hear it. But the first reflection has the largest effect. Some people will find the spot on the wall and rearrange the room so that spot is not so reflective.

There is a 60 years long debate amoung audio people about "your are there" vs. "They are here". Should it sound like that jazz trio is in your living room or should it sound like you are in the club were the combo was recorded? Mostly this is determined by how you let the sound reverberate (reflect) around in your room and speaker placement. For the "you are there" effect you need a very dead room.

OK now the answer to the above question: For a DP sound system I think you want to be very firmly, 200% into a "they are here" type of sound. You want your piano to sound like it is a piano in your room and NOT like you are inside Yamaha's sampling studio. But in 2010 most people want a "you are there" in the concert location kind of experience and almost all stereo advice goes in that direction. So they tell you how to create an accurate system. I think you don't care about that with a DP. Try facing the speaker 180 or 90 degrees away from you just to see what happens. Look at the Yamaha Avent Grand. The speakers don't face the player but aim either straight up or down into either the floor or a reflective lid. Even the P155 has speakers aimed at the wall not at the piano bench.

But for 99% of the public none of this matters but musicians seem to have good ears and care about things like if the lid of their Steinway of open to which of two angles or if the fingerboard of a electric guitar is rosewood or maple. I can't hear the difference but many player can.

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#1465128 - 06/29/10 03:35 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: TADutchman]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
Originally Posted By: Art A.
I figured I have tried so much manipulation of the various piano designer settings to no real success in making it sound the way I want it to...

Sorry to hear, but that also reflects part of my showstopping disappointment while testdriving the HP307 (although Roland's marketing-material was deceptively promising) tired

After that, I discovered that the Kawai CA93 (and therefore also the CA63) quite unexpectedly appear to have a much better implementation of piano sound sculpting possibilities.


How about posting some of your latest creations for us to admire?

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#1465147 - 06/29/10 04:16 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
People with a CA93/CA63 can contribute their custom settings here (just like I did):
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1464970
_________________________
K A W A I ..... R O L A N D ......... E - M U
C A - 9 3 ......... A X - 7 ...... X B O A R D - 4 9

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#1465180 - 06/29/10 05:31 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: Volusiano]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
It would seem that Art A. has unusually good hearing, and the low-fi $35 headphones are acting as filters for him. Some people do have extremely acute hearing, but since they are rare in the population, the electronics designers do not take them into account. Adding high frequency filters in the DP would increase the cost of the thing, and these days, it's all about shaving every penny in manufacturing cost.
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Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#1465389 - 06/29/10 11:50 PM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: TADutchman]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: TADutchman
People with a CA93/CA63 can contribute their custom settings here (just like I did):
http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1464970


Yes, but those considering buying a CAxx would be served by being able to hear MP3's of examples of you getting the sound right, as the sound in the standard or default settings one finds in stores is not always very flattering compared to other alternatives.

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#1465486 - 06/30/10 05:34 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: theJourney]
TADutchman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/26/10
Posts: 760
Loc: Apeldoorn, The Netherlands
Originally Posted By: theJourney
...those considering buying a CAxx would be served by being able to hear MP3's of examples of you getting the sound right...

I partly agree with your statement: I'll see what I can do (and when), keeping in mind that everybody has a unique combination of ears and taste, being demonstrated once more by the headphones discussion in this thread grin

What I at least accomplished for myself, after some research and benchmarking, is the CA93 sounding even warmer and richer, actually what supernatural should have been sounding like but cannot do (yet). That's just my practical opinion, or should I say ears wink
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#1466275 - 07/01/10 10:28 AM Re: Headphones revelation [Re: TADutchman]
arley Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 47
I use the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones and love them. I like the closed 'phones because I like to keep ambient noises out.

For a discussion of what's available in virtually every price range and for whatever application you want, check out the link. I've done business with them before and was satisfied, but even if you decide to buy elsewhere, they have a lot of useful info on their website.

http://www.headphone.com/

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