V-Moda M-100 - Full Review

Discussion in 'Headphone Reviews' started by quadpatch, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    I just posted my less than glowing review of the V-Moda M-100. I've struggled with this one for a while now, but this is how I feel about them.

    Noble Hi-Fi: V-Moda: M-100 - review

    A version of this review will be going up on Headfonia, with another writer soon (Julius, who writes much better than I do), we just have to figure out how it's going to be presented. When I first found out about this joint venture I was very nervous because I was under the impression that Julius' review of the M-100 was a very positive one, but it turns out that our opinions are quite close on the subject.

    Julius did have a fascinating review on youtube which I wish I could post here, but unfortunately it's now gone as he was bullied off by rabid fan-boys. I'm curious about the heat I'm going to get for this one and so I'm not going to stir up the hornet's nest by posting it on head-fi. To anyone who was eagerly awaiting this headphone I'm sorry, I really tried to love it, but it just hasn't worked out - at all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Happy and relieved that I'm not the only one who gets jeered and made sport of at you-know-where. Sad that this didn't just fatten up the M80 slightly like I expected, like some of the new Sennheisers. Question: Is this a production M100 or the pre-order model? If pre-order, is it possible the final release will be different? On a possibly unrelated note, while v-moda is in L.A. California, Val changed his city of residence on Facebook to Milan Italy. On another possibly unrelated note, the V-Moda Centurions select group on Facebook has not seen participation by Val since May or June, and that same select group has not gotten a M100 yet, although the white M80's were distributed. And we are all Facebook friends with Val. It may be that family issues are taking up his time, so I will wait until confirmation comes in for the regular released product before jumping on it myself.

    And someone should get that video back on youtube, and just block the nitwits and remove their comments. I mostly get age bigots on youtube who would like to terminate people over 50, like in Logan's Run. (Jenny Agutter. Need I say more?)
     
  3. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Addendum: The V-Moda page shows "Available for pre-order only", and also says "Ships within 60 days", and a Google search shows no retail sales available. So who knows? If the sound does change in the final release, I'd sure have to wonder why they wouldn't communicate that to the non-house reviewers. On second thought, the house reviews are always positive, and the little guys don't matter. I guess I have this urge to believe in something and this project has me mystified. Speaking of projects, this M100 is touted everywhere now as "Crowd sourced" sound. Does that raise your confidence level?
     
  4. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Hey Dale, good point - this is a pre-order model (VTF-100), but we were told (assured) that there would be no differences between this and the final production models (sound wise or any other). The headphone reads 'M-100' on the side. The new pre-order should be exactly the same, minus a couple of extras.

    I will ask Julius' if there is some other way to access to his video review.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
  5. RobinHiFi

    RobinHiFi Super Moderator

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    Still want to hear them myself but sounds disappointing. The M80 is brilliant, I was hoping for something special from the M100.

    Bass which is too big or overshadows the mids is becoming too comon. My theory on this is that this presentation is instantly appealing to people who like clubbing, that is the vibe they want. It just doesn't suit most types of music - dance/electronic music has a lot less going on in the mids than nearly every other genre. Headphones like this are making a big space for huge bass lines, which are not present in most recordings, at the expense of the mids where the most is normally going on.
     
  6. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    I very much agree, I still own and love the M-80. All I wanted was that sound in this pretty shell, and I'm very annoyed that we didn't get it because that seems to be exactly what was promised. When I come down to the showroom I will bring the M-100 with me.

    I don't hate bass, quite the opposite. I just don't want it to destroy the enjoyment of other aspects
     
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I've been exploring this bass issue for a few months now, and in some experiments today with the Senn momentum, the B&W P5, and the ATH ESW9a, I found the bass and its effect on the mids and overall presentation quite interesting. I'll put those notes here so maybe you can contrast what I found with the M100 experience.

    Playing my best tracks, the Momentum sounds quite heavy and dark. Putting the P5 on immediately afterward, the P5 sounds "light" and the bass also pretty light, if not missing completely. For comparison, the ESW9a has noticeable deeper bass that's missing with the P5, but does not have the heavy, thick upper bass/lower midrange emphasis of the Momentum. Vocals and midrange seem completely neutral with the ESW9a, but are more forward and emphasized higher up with the P5 and Momentum. The P5 sounds almost hollow compared to the ESW9a, indicating an emphasis around 450 kz or so, whereas the Momentum, if it has any emphasis there, it's obscured by the heavy lower mids and upper bass. Now to get the Amperior's signature, just double up the excesses of the Momentum.
     
  8. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Just reading that I would say that your thoughts on the Amperior sound just like the effects that I am getting with the M-100, but I did hear the amperior a bit over the weekend and although I didn't get much time with it or with my own music I didn't find the mid-range as obviously negative as I do with the M-100. Ideally I would like to go out and get the Amperior, Momentum, Fidelio L1 and UE6000 and come back with a comparisons chart. Maybe I will in a few months as I will be selling a bunch of stuff soon. I will soon be getting the GMP 8.35D and Beyer DT770 LE 88 so I am curious to see how those stack up bass/mid wise too.
     
  9. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I found the Amperior very nice and rich sounding, and only mentioned the lower mids to upper bass as being very emphasized, as something very prominent when comparing directly to another headphone. Listened to on its on, I found the mids to be fine. After having the Momentum for a week, I gave the Amperior away. And yet, the Momentum is heavy and dark as well, yet not nearly so much as the Amperior in a direct compare. This is all very confusing, but I'm guessing that Sennheiser understands psychoacoustics with much greater depth of experience than v-moda, and maybe v-moda just missed something. I really don't want to spend $300 USD on a dog, so I'm going to have anxiety about this.
     
  10. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Hey Dale, Tyll has posted his review of the M-100 on innerfidelity. Let's just say that it's very different from mine in overall tone! Maybe that will convince you to give it a go. I am very curious to hear what you think if/when you get them.
     
  11. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    He can sing any tune or tone he likes, but the instrument is still off pitch. Did you ever have a feeling when you worked on a project, that after putting everything you had into it, it just turned into something else that you didn't want? For example, Val Kolton was really on a roll with the M80, producing a true hi-fi item out of the morass of DJ items he was sitting on for so long. Then he had the inspiration to ignore certain critical purists like you-know-who and instead crowd-source the M100 sound from another morass - you know that one too. And look what he got. I truly have to wonder whether there was any lesson learned from this. If they send me one like they did the white M80, I'll give them the best review possible, which might be good - who knows?

    Edit: Yes, I read it. Frightening.
     
  12. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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  13. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I read it. You guys make a killer tag team, especially on this item. Val must feel like he just got a piledriver and body slam. Ouch! Now those M100's are made in China, yes? There are plenty of great-sounding headphones made in China. It seems to me someone at the factory should have taken Val aside and said "Looky here, hoss - this headphone needs some work or you're gonna be stuck with a lot of unsold stock". So nobody told him apparently. I thought all those senior head-fi guys, you know, the measurement pros and those Six Sigma Blackbelts like Tyll talks about - I thought they would tell him. This is a real hmmmm'r.

    Edit: Checked head-fi just now and figured this M100 would be close to the top. I walked all the way to page 5 before I found the thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  14. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Ha @ tag team :). It's a shame Julius didn't do his video on there, it was very entertaining! Interesting point about the Chinese manufacturers too. With all the testing Val boasted about doing with these headphones I can only assume that this is just how he wants them, and I have no problem with what he wants, I just don't want people to be misled.

    I think headphones get to the top of head-fi by having many reviews, not just good ones. Last time I looked there were 3 positive reviews. I wonder if more have gone up yet.
     
  15. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I read the reviews at head-fi, and the positives were just PR fluff - if you read carefully they say "It's great for portable" but as a home headphone with a good stereo it leaves a lot to be desired. For $310 that's not positive enough.

    Now if he had sent me a M100, he would have a sizzling great review. Why? Simple - I would do just like my other very bassy headphone reviews and turn the bass down, and deal with the other "imperfections" as a very minor nuisance. People would read my review and say "Wow - I want one" (based on bass reduction), or "Hey, there's that guy Dale with his bass reduction stuff again, so yeah, I want one just to enjoy that thumping bass that Dale doesn't like". See how that works? Reverse psychology. Works on certain folks as well as it does on my parrots.

    BTW, I seriously appreciate your review, since (so far) it's saved me a $310 disappointment, and I need other things.
     
  16. sykaruga

    sykaruga New Member

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    It feels a bit like Tyll's friendship and admiration for Val Kolton skews his review a little.
    Where a non V-Moda headphone with same sound signature would come in for more criticism, the M-100 dodges the axe. That said I think his and head-fi reviews do say the M-100 are very genre specific for quality. I liked your review of the Fidelio L1 dale, would be interesting to see how they stack up against the Momentum's and M-100's seeing as they are all very stylish headphones.
     
  17. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Since Val basically abandoned his hand-selected Facebook Centurions and put his total time and energy into head-fi, and since his commitment to head-fi involved the head-fi experts deciding the sound signature of the M100 themselves, those same head-fi people should have been shouting about the wonderful new M100 sound from every rooftop once they had them. Instead, the near-silence there is deafening, as though something went terribly wrong. I can't guess what that was/is actually, but I'm confident that the sound of a headphone should never be decided by committee, i.e. "crowd sourced". So since I'm one of the least-loved people at that big headphone establishment, I don't expect anyone to be talking to me about the M100. Still, I hope to get one eventually, and do what *no* reviewer has ever done to my knowledge - simply reduce the bass and see if the sound improves enough to use at home as a more or less hi-fi headphone for music. If it can pass that test for me, it will naturally work well as a portable. If it cannot pass that test, then I assure you with all sincerity that my Earpods with the Dirac DSP will be a superior choice, for $32 USD.

    EDIT: BTW, the Philips L1 is not only good, but with a judicious reduction of the upper bass in Foobar2000, is a very excellent high fidelity headphone, not to mention just beautiful in quality. Then again, Philips had their own fiasco with the $250 M1. I tried working with their Facebook rep months in advance, but he apparently knew something and quit talking to me. As a result, there is one(1) only review at the Apple store, a one-star review, and I'd guess nobody is buying it, mailorder anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2012
  18. fstop

    fstop New Member

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    m100

    Dale,
    i've been watching Amazon since the M100s have been listed there in the last week or so, but still no review from you! ;)
    Plan on getting them, or have you heard them yet?

    I was interested in the (talk of) m100 before i got the v80s, and would still be interested if the M100s actually sound good and are much more comfortable as a full-size over ear set, and basically look like a big brother m80 (which i still love the look/build/sound of, just not comfortable as on-ear for me).

    The hope/promises and long boring threads on the M100s elsewhere are wearing on me, but cant say if i have gleamed too much insight yet on how these cans actually sound!

    Would be interested in what you think, or if you've realized the hype is more than reality.

    -tim
     
  19. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Good news (I hope) - I ordered it 4 days ago and it said "Shipping within 14 days", so maybe including the free ground shipping it will arrive with the next 2 weeks. I'm well prepared for any disappointments. I'm sure it won't sound similar to the M80. The only thing I have a major concern about is when I (most likely) use bass reduction to get a more hi-fi signature for home listening, what any midrange colorations would do to the sound. My ATH M50 has a fairly colored midrange, but it's listenable. I had the H/K CL for a short while and the B&W P3 for a little longer - both of those had significant colorations, but while I never could quite make the H/K CL work, the P3 just made the cut for listenability. The Sennheiser Amperior I had has a very heavy upper bass/lower midrange, but somehow manages to be enjoyable in spite of that. So all of these lessons have taught me that I can't always predict how a new headphone is going to work for me based on prior analysis. This M100 can't be just a special-use item for me - it has to play as a hi-fi headphone in a home system. So if all I have to do is reduce the bass some, no problem. If it requires more EQ than that to be listenable at home, then back it goes.
     
  20. quadpatch

    quadpatch New Member

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    Oh great, congratulations! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts based on eq!
     
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