I hate shopping for one thing low cost. There’s nothing worse than that sinking sensation once you open one thing up and comprehend it’s not lengthy for this world. I’m additionally onerous on my gear, which led me to purchase these bulletproof headphones from an obscure firm referred to as German Maestro. However with the intention to discuss these headphones, I would like to speak a couple of totally different pair of headphones first: the Sony MDR-7506 (and its discontinued brother, the Sony MDR-V6).I edit a number of movies and do voiceover work. And if in case you have accomplished any video work, you will have nearly definitely used a pair of Sony MDRs. They’re iconic. You possibly can spot the blue or crimson stripe and coiled cable from throughout a set. While you go to movie college, you might be mainly issued a pair of MDRs like a service rifle, and never with out good cause.The Sony MDR-7506s are an business normal, a improbable worth, and I hate ‘em. Photograph by AmazonFirst and foremost, they’re low cost. They normally go for about 80 bucks in the event you look out for gross sales. Their close to ubiquity on movie units means that you could snag these telephones at an enormous low cost, making them one of many higher offers for those who want a headphone to do work on. Subsequent, they’re closed-back headphones, completely remoted, which let you pick imperfections within the combine. There’s a cause you see guys monitoring audio on movie units and video shoots sporting these. Third, they’re pretty “flat,” and with out getting too technical and pedantic, they don’t attempt to costume up what you’re listening to to sound pleasing. They’re not bass-heavy Beats. These are for getting work accomplished. Lastly, they’re fairly properly constructed for the associated fee. They fold up and are sturdy, which is why you’ll be able to throw them in a Porta Brace bag with out worrying about them getting tousled. For what they do, the MDRs are okay. However they aren’t excellent. For one factor, they’ve a method too lengthy, non-removable phone cable that may be good in a studio setting however is comical in case you are making an attempt to take heed to music in your telephone. I hate this cable with each fiber of my being. In precept, I strongly really feel that every one headphone cables must be detachable, as cables can undergo tons of abuse. However what actually drives me up the wall is I hate the coiled type of cable. I discover that it snags on too many issues too simply, and each time it obtained a kink in it, it drove me up the wall. The second factor is that the froth pads on the MDRs simply straight up suck. It’s not merely a query of consolation; they’re simply actually unhealthy pads. I nearly at all times improve the pads on my headphones to both Dekoni or Brainwavz pads, however you’ll nearly definitely have to exchange these pads ahead of you assume, notably in case you are utilizing them in an unforgiving manufacturing context.The froth on these items sucks so unhealthy, man. I’ve seen this and worse occur so many occasions through the years. Photograph: Alex Parkin, The VergeLastly, I simply don’t love the way in which they sound. How headphones sound will get into very subjective territory, however the MDRs are, at finest, advantageous and, at worst, too harsh for me. These have been work headphones, however there was one thing in regards to the treble that made my pores and skin crawl whereas I used to be listening to folks discuss. It’s unfair to ask extra of the MDRs for the worth, however on the finish of the day, I simply wished one thing barely nicer: a professional model of the MDRs with nicer foam, higher and detachable cording choices, and a much less fatiguing sound. On the time (November 2020), this was not supplied in America. This led me down a protracted and winding path, looking for a pair of headphones that ticked off all the identical markers: flat, indestructible, closed-back, higher cable. While you get into the upper echelons of audiophile perversion, most of your headphone choices outdoors of IEMs are open or semi-open. I researched among the most revered studio headphones. Many individuals I do know swear by the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Execs, and whereas they’re certainly a studio staple, sturdy, and have among the most snug inventory pads of any headphone in its vary, they aren’t what I’d name flat, and I couldn’t get used to how they sounded. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50x additionally checked off a lot of my wants, however I didn’t just like the sound, and they didn’t really feel particular or notably sturdy. A pal of mine swears by the Sennheiser HD 300 Execs, and I’d imagine him, however sadly, I by no means obtained to check them. Sony additionally has one other obscure however well-respected non-folding huge brother to the MDR-7506s referred to as the MDR-CD900ST that has a flat cable, in addition to a fair higher-end mannequin referred to as the Sony MDR-M1ST that has a removable cable, however the former was not out there outdoors of Japan till pretty just lately and the latter you continue to must import.Ultimately, my reply got here within the type of a 76-page thread on the Head-fi boards from 2009 to 2019 by a person named Acix titled “The German Maestro GMP 8.35 D Monitor within the studio… critical about audio, INDEED!!” I had by no means heard of the German Maestro (previously MB Quart), however from the leap, I used to be intrigued. The headphones appeared industrial. Strong. Environment friendly. In a phrase, they appeared German. “Man, I’m all about funtion (sic) over type, however these must be the ugliest telephones I’ve seen,” mentioned person Bones2010. To me, they appeared stunning. “Severe about audio, INDEED!!” Photograph by Christopher Particular person / The VergeMany of the opinions have been glowing, with the phrases “indestructible” regularly being talked about. Somebody dropped the picture of a pair of black leather-based boots stepping on them. One other thread talked about that they have been regularly utilized in listening stations at music retailers. Individuals appeared to like their balanced, detailed sound and the truth that they have been very delicate and thus didn’t want a robust headphone amp to take heed to them. In threads and elsewhere, opinions in contrast them favorably to the Sennheiser HD25-1s, however higher and with a barely darker tone. Tight. Managed. One person talked about they have been higher in each respect to their MDRs, which is strictly what I wished on the worth level. Because the thread progressed over a number of years, folks began getting artistic. Some didn’t just like the inventory pads and changed them with lush ones from the aforementioned DT770s in addition to Brainwavez HM5s. Others drilled holes in them and did modifications to the inventory cable. Ultimately, German Maestro launched a model with a detachable cable and a further inventory pair of pads referred to as The GMP 8.35 Cell particularly due to requests from clients with autism. It’s refreshing to listen to an organization take suggestions like that.Oh thank god, a removable cable. That’s all I ask. Photograph by Christopher Particular person / The VergeThe telephones appeared to tick off each single checkmark, however shopping for them turned out to be barely difficult. Apart from a drop.com launch, no person within the States stocked them, so I needed to get them organized immediately from the producer and pay in euros. I patiently waited, and once they arrived, they have been precisely what I wanted them to be. I used to be instantly struck at how sturdy they have been. The plastic was thick, but it surely didn’t weigh the telephones down. All the things made at present feels low cost and flimsy. They felt like they have been from a unique period, unstuck in time when merchandise have been measured in a long time, not years. These have been the headphone equivalents of English-made Doc Martens. I may throw these items in opposition to a brick wall, run a motorcycle over them, yank them from the enamel of a canine, and they might in all probability be advantageous.They sounded the way in which they appeared: “managed,” as one discussion board person put it. I don’t need to get too deep within the weeds of audiophile testing as a result of that basically isn’t the purpose of this weblog (though I’d gladly mortgage my pair to crinacle or the oldsters at Audio Science Evaluation for extra in depth testing). They have been clear and flat, with tons of element however not terribly showy. The bass was there, however not overbearing like I had discovered Beyerdynamics to be. If one thing was mistaken with my combine, I may hear it instantly, like listening to a pair of Yamaha NS10s. I ended up preferring the velour pads, which modified the sound simply barely, however just lately I’ve wished to attempt different choices out. They don’t seem to be the most effective headphones I’ve ever heard, however inside the parameters of what I would like them to do, they’re peerless.After all, they weren’t everybody’s cup of tea. Some folks I’ve proven them to have discovered them a little bit uncomfortable. Others didn’t just like the sound. Once I confirmed them to Alex Parkin over on the video workforce (a licensed MDR person with a well-worn pair who additionally despises the coiled cable), I may sense his apprehension. “I’d positively must get used to those,” he mentioned. Constructed like a tank. Photograph by Christopher Particular person / The VergeBut even individuals who couldn’t get down with the sound agreed that they have been sturdy, environment friendly, and had improbable isolation. The Maestros are excellent studio headphones made by a small and obscure firm that appears to really care in regards to the product they produce. Are they definitely worth the bother to import? I personally haven’t any regrets.On the nook of my desk, I’ve two headphones hanging from a hook: a pair of Hifimans and my Maestros. The Hifimans are huge and ethereal, with cozy Dekoni pads I substituted out. These are my easy-listening headphones. They’re huge and fragile, they’ve by no means left my desk, and I’ve nonetheless needed to order a substitute headband from the producer. My Maestros sit subsequent to them. They’re my “work headphones,” wise and durable, meant for sturdiness and focus like a Herman Miller chair. Each time I choose them up, I really feel a way of pleasure. I take into consideration that thread discussion board that went on for a decade, with new folks rotating in, discovering, loving, and generally actually hating these cans. I maintain them and know that there’s a superb probability that they may nonetheless work for many years, presumably even after I’m useless and buried, and the way actually uncommon it’s to purchase a bit of drugs made to survive you.



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