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Well, I got the PK1, and it sounds about the same or slightly thinner than the PK2. It's less efficient that the PK2. With my equalizer boosting the bass about 7 db at 40 hz to 10 db at 60 and 70 hz, a 30 hz tone is inaudible by either tone or weight. 40 hz is very faint (with the bass boost), and either the PK2 is better there or the increased sensitivity makes it seem so. Running a series of test tones or sweeps (both), the response of the PK1 and PK2 seem extremely similar up to beyond 10 khz. I wonder if anyone is able to test these 'buds' on technical gear?
Edit: Quite a bit brighter than the PK2, along with being less efficient. These are my EQ curves for the PK1 and PK2, to get a sound comparable to the Philips X2, but with little to no output in the lowest octave (~27.5 - 55 hz):
I've owned the PK2s for a number of years now and I do enjoy their sound signature overall, even if I find the lower midrange a bit bloomy. I've been tempted to purchase the PK1s for awhile but the fact that both the 1s and the 2s measure almost the same in the frequency sweeps has made me hesitate a bit. I assume that amping the 1s result in a brighter sound as you have noted? I tend to lean toward a detailed midrange sound with some sparkle in the treble so I'm not sure if this would fit the bill.
Thanks for your analysis.
With the little earpads on the sound is slightly uneven, woofy, and lacks low bass entirely. There are several earbuds under $20 that sound better. Amped or not.
OK, so that makes sense. When I am in an earbuds mood, I use my old Sennheiser MX-880s which are clear and detailed with good midrange, although the bass does roll off around 80 Hz.
Thanks for your reply.
I found a couple of Edifiers that are also very good.
I have visited the website and checked out their products and reviews and ordered the P190 earbuds.
Thanks for the tip.
I also ordered some Edifier buds.
It's hard finding some good earbuds with everyone producing in ear phones.
With the greatest respect - what is your source and amplification? Also, you will likely need a good 300 hours burn in.
If you 'need' to EQ an item then there is something wrong in your audio chain.
I havent tried the PK 1's but have enjoyed a number of PK 2's over the years. Superb earphone. It sounds, from your description that your amplification is just not driving them to their potential. I dont mean any disrespect but people may take your review as how they sound...which is not in line with what others have experienced :/
1. Transducers are far less than perfect in frequency response, which is why mankind created equalizers, however we shouldn't expect EQ to help with anything other than minor peaks and recesses.
2. To get the best sound from Yuin buds, you need to use the little foam pads. I don't because they're a huge nuisance for me, hence the radical EQ. Not recommended for most users of course.
3. The Yuins could be better than the Monks, but the price difference is so astounding that most people would take the Monks and find themselves an EQ setting to get closer to the Yuin sound. Of course, should the Yuins have better parts, the Monk might not improve enough no matter what you do.
Thanks, good points.
Transducers are used as part of a whole + some are definitely better than others!
From one POV you could say equalizers were made to correct issues or deficiencies in an audio signal..technically. Please dont get me wrong, if EQ'ing helps you arrive at an audio place that makes you happy then thats fantastic :)
For the foam.. the reason foams vary do much in depth and weave patterns is that they help as a filter for [whatever] frequencies the manufacturer feels are helpful. Pretty much all headphones [with some exceptions] use foam...maybe more so in older designs these days?
I agree on your 3rd point though...I think the price justifys [a well burnt in properly amplified] pair BUT the build quality is their main weakness
I should add though that synergy can be a night and day thing. I currently have 5 amps, from portable to tube and desktop - Some headphones with a particular amp can be a marriage in heaven that brings qualities nothing else does and vice a versa. You think you know a headphone until you add a different amp and BHAM! - A whole new headphone appears you never knew existed!
Anyhoo, I dont want to in anyway disparage your experiences. Just wanted to add a few thoughts. Audio is a huge world. Ive been collecting and working with it for a long time. Im constantly surprised :D
I'm of the opinion that when EQ is applied by the music player software to the digital data, before the digital data is sent to the DAC, then that is a much better thing than having EQ applied anywhere in the analog domain. But, I have never read a discussion on this that has offered any definitive conclusions. The only caveats to that type of EQ (which I use) is to not allow the dynamics to get compressed, or have your digital preamp overload where the code performs any "soft clipping" that's hard to detect as such.
perhaps Im misunderstanding but it makes no sense to apply EQ before you get to your DAC as the DAC is basically what you are paying for to attain a high as possible quality of audio. If you NEED to apply EQ because your DAC then your DAC is not doing a good enough job & then you really need to invest in a player with a descent DAC..Sabre, Burr Brown, ESS, etc etc,
TBHT We are probably at different places in our audio journey.. I dont search any more. Im content with my DAP, AMPS, CANs & IEM's (after searching & trying different things for many years) Im mainly using iBasso DX80 either raw or though line out various amps using flagship headphones. If I ever have/buy any equipment or headphones that I feel NEEDS EQ to 'correct' then they would be on ebay the next day. Personally Im looking for audio purity, realism, natural-nous..essentially an audiophile presentation or basically - anything thing that can replicate audio as it actually sounds in real life . . . a surprisingly uneasy thing to find!!
Actually you've got it all mixed up. Once the data hits the DAC, it's no longer the "perfect or pure" digital data you paid for - it's degraded. The reason it's degraded is very simple - no DAC is perfect. Applying EQ in the player, the correction can be applied mathematically using (internally) IEEE floating point values, accurate to the 308th power etc. The only better solution than applying in the player would be during mastering, but you don't have that option.
If you want just a little insight on my audio journey, you can read my nearly 200 headphone reviews and look at my 170 or so EQ charts, all on my website.
You sound a bit alike one of my friend. He use EQ whenever he can. But his aim of using the EQ is to make the response curve of his headphone completely flat. His central idea is very close to the harman or etymonic curve, but much rougher. This is how he uses his he400i&schiit set up.
But honestly, I was never in favor of his idea. To me, headphones/earpods/speakers can reflect the understanding and thoughts of its designer. Using EQ will more or less distort the intention of its designer. According to my experience, the truly good audio products most often comes with meticulous considerations, which is extremely hard, even nearly impossible for us un-professionals to improve on, or even just simply mimic.
Or, going from another way, if one feels that he must apply EQ, it most probably means that this product does not fit his need, or is simply to horrible. If this is the case, why bother purchase it?
Going back to the PK1. According to another friend of mine, PK1 will sound spectacular on desktop amps. He said it was "astonishing on a Chord TT". Well, I have not an idea about which sort of amp you are using to drive the PK1, but it might be a good idea to just have a try of it on desktop systems.
Your thoughts on EQ are correct. I used to believe in the "flat response" idea, but I eventually discovered that there's a better way, and yes - the headphone has its own "flavor" that we should not try to defeat.
I do use tones and tone sweeps from 20-20 khz to find the point of the worst peaks and recesses. I don't just trust my ears, but I rely on listening to many headphones as well as comparing to the sound of live music that I listen to.
So the EQ at least partly corrects the worst peaks and dips, and then we are left with a more natural sound for that headphone. From that point, I may do some additional EQ to balance the bass and treble better with the midrange, but if I go too far with that, it usually gets worse. There are some headphones that I've given up on entirely.
I have the Yuin PK1 and PK2, and I'm not disappointed in them, but I did have a big problem with the little foam earpads. So I'd say that for best satisfaction with these earbuds, people need to learn how to manipulate those little pads to get them fitted correctly without tearing them.
By all means PM me as link. thanks
You would have to define 'pure' but the whole point of quality DACS is how they present audio in the most 'qualified' way possible given all the various parametres.
Again with the greatest respect...I use my ears to listen. They whole point [for me] of quality is to enjoy relaxing 'into' the music and for that I find the less interference between the recording and the drivers on my ears the better or me the more prefered
TBH though I dont care how or why the signal is not as 'pure' as the source...Otherwise Tube amps would be an issue for me!! I just enjoy the various flavours that different DAC's give to the music. Ive reached a stage of realism and [relative] purity with my headphones / system that blows my mind on a daily basis. That's enough for me. Maybe whats more difficult in general is finding superbly recorded/mastered music these days. Once you've enjoyed some Verve Jazz recordings from 50's-60's its hard to get excited for 'modern' stuff
Interesting stuff though :)
I managed to get an album of Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker from '53 in mono - good mono I think. I also got a live reunion album from '74 I think it was - that's a good listen. Got a few tracks by Gigi Gryce, George Kahn, Clark Terry, Bill Evans Trio.... too much to name. The companies who are doing quality remasters of the classic albums need to be commended and supported. We're living in a good time for this music.