German Maestro GMP 8.300 D vs GMP 8.35 D

Discussion in 'Full Size Headphones' started by bleachershane, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. bleachershane

    bleachershane New Member

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    I'm looking for a better pair of home headphones for audiophile listening, I've previously used my Koss Porta Pros with my E-MU 1616M soundcard for at home listening.

    A few months ago I bought a pair of Audio-Technica full-size which were QUICKLY exchanged as they were awful.
    I exchanged them a pair of Grado SR80i, and whilst good they still couldn't beat the Porta Pros! I gave up then, sticking with the Porta Pros with a little EQ to sparkle up the top end.

    I got looking again and have been intrigued by the Soundmagic full-size headphones, and the German Maestro models above and the GMP 400.

    Here's what my E-MU 1616M's headphone amplifier is capable of:
    Headphone Amplifier

    Type: linear power amplifier
    D/A converter: CS4398
    Gain Range: 85dB
    Maximum Output Power: 50mW
    Output Impedance: 22ohms
    Frequency Response (20Hz-20kHz): +0.0/-0.07dB
    Dynamic Range (A-weighted): 118.5dB
    Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-weighted): 118dB
    THD+N (1kHz, max gain): 600ohm load: -96dB
    Stereo Crosstalk (1kHz at -1dBFS, 600 ohm load): < -100dB

    So...

    The GMP 8.35 D gets a fair bit of attention on the internet and yet the GMP 8.300 D doesn't. Is the GMP 8.300 D a totally different model OR just the higher impedance version of the well regarded GMP 8.35 D?

    With the specs above, would my E-MU's headphone amplifier work and work well with GMP 8.300 D?

    I'm on a limited budget and so have been seriously considering the cheaper of the two but now I'm wondering if the glowing reviews for the 8.35 D have nothing to do with the sound I will get from the 8.300 D.

    P.S. I'm looking for plenty of high-end detail with a good balance across frequency response, leaning towards analytical but enjoyable. I'll be using them for regular listening as well as occasional recording and mixing.

    Thanks if you can help!
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I got the 8.35D from here about a year ago, and it's a big-league headphone. My understanding of the 8.30D is it's not a variation of the 8.35D, but a lower-fidelity and lower-priced headphone. Whichever headphone you choose your 50 mw at 22 ohm output will drive it to good levels with average music tracks played in a quiet room. But introduce any constraints such as lower-volume tracks (classical especially) or increased background noise and the power could well be insufficient. I use several closed-back headphones, and despite the fact that they do provide 'x' number of decibels isolation, the ambient noise level in my flat in the daytime (windows closed) is still high enough to mask a lot of detail. Daytime is where the 50 mw limit will pinch the hardest.
     
  3. bleachershane

    bleachershane New Member

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    Thanks for quick reply Dale, it's a shame to hear the 8.300 D isn't a higher impedance model of 8.35 D, but I'm also glad that I didn't click order before I knew this!

    I've read and watched some of your reviews and you seem pretty clued up on a variety of headphones. The advice on the E-MUs headphone amplifier is also appreciated. 50mW seemed like a very low output power, thankfully my flat is reasonably quiet, even during the day but to drive the Porta Pros to the top end of my listening level I can go one third to halfway up the volume pot. It's also quite bass light, so I'm considering building an op-amp based headphone amp.

    Anyhow, I'm still on the hunt. I'm almost willing to stretch to £200. Shortlisted at the moment are:
    GMP 8.35 D (closed)
    GMP 400 (open)
    Soundmagic HP100 (closed)
    Soundmagic HP200 (open) (if it ever comes back in stock!)

    I think you've had experience with some of these so I wanted to ask your opinion, especially about the top end frequencies. I'm looking for the best I can afford in airy, open treble and good separation. Where you get bass nuts I'd describe myself as a detail nut, as I'm usually trying to dissect music into its constituent parts whilst I'm enjoying it, I'm quite an analytical listener regardless of the type of music.

    Any experience you've had would be a great help! Thanks for your time Dale.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I think the HP100 and HP200 are good items to focus on, and the HP200 is in the warehouse apparently so it can be ordered either now or by Monday. Both 100 and 200 are very hi-fi, very detailed, and my best summation would be a leaner, lighter sound with the closed 100, and a slightly darker warmer sound with the open 200. Which is the opposite of what I expected based on other headphones I've owned. Edd of Noble HiFi who has done some commentary here generally prefers the 100 as I remember, where I prefer the 200. But those impressions may change depending on the amp you use. My desktop computer seems to put out a leaner sound to its own headphone jack as well as to the mini-DACs I have, where my iPods and iPhone are weightier and not as tight in the bass when used with analog amps from the i-device LOD. And BTW, both HP100 and 200 are the kings of comfort - I don't think you'll find anything else that compares - it's like gentle small pillows around your ears that don't rub anything.

    Edit: I just wanted to clarify that 'darker' in the 200's case does not mean a treble reduction - both HP100 and 200 have full detailed treble.
     
  5. Shaun-HiFi

    Shaun-HiFi Administrator Staff Member

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    Just a quick response to Dale's comments about the 8.300 D being a lesser revision than the GMP 8.35 D.

    My understanding is that the 8.300 D is just as capable as the 8.35 D. The main difference is the impedance. The pads are slightly different, but other than that externally they are identical. Just as strong and well made.

    The pricing has me a little confused to be honest. Maybe GermanMaestro are aiming at the more price sensitive pro audio market with the 8.300 D. Beyerdynamic do the same with Pro and Consumer revisions of their full size headphones.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2013
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Thanks, Shaun. I tested the 8.35D, but not the 8.30D. I'd like to recommend the 8.30D for the price-conscious users, if I could be 100 percent confident of equivalent sound.
     
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