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Headphones sound harsh with Reflex-M, suggestions?

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    Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 5:26am
Hi everyone,

I have been enjoying my new Reflex-M for several weeks now, and it is sounding superb in my system, so much so that I am looking at another or even Accession for my 2nd TT.

I usually listen via speakers, but I also have headphones for listening at night so as not to disturb the household, particularly our child sleeping near to my listening area. 

By necessity my headphones are closed back to prevent sound leakage. I primarily use Oppo PM-3 but also have some AKG K550. 

I use my Rega P3 with 2M Bronze into the Reflex into a Rega Elex-R and have a Rega ear headphone amp.

Prior to getting the Reflex, The headphones sounded OK, but since using the Reflex I now find the sound through the phones somewhat harsh or bright and more fatiguing. Totally at odds with the sound I get through speakers, which is full and rich.

May be the Reflex is flatter or less coloured than the Rega phono amp? I don't have the same issue listening through headphones using my Thorens TD160 with Denon DL110. But it is this TT I was looking to get another GSE phono for.

Anyway, there are many experienced people on this forum, so looking for thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Cheers 
Derek

Rega Planar 3; Ortorfon 2M Bronze; Accession MM / Thorens TD160; Denon DL-110; Reflex M > Rega Elex-R > Monitor Audio Silver 500
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 7:04am
Derek,

Is the Reflex still relatively new?
Do you leave it switched on all of the time?

If it is just the 2M Bronze that does. It sound right, try adjusting the arm set up. It may not be correct. If I remember correctly, the 2M Bronze is a fine line diamond, so will be very sensitive to any changes in VTA.


Edited by CageyH - 29 Mar 2020 at 7:07am
Kevin

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DT999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 8:14am
Originally posted by CageyH CageyH wrote:

Derek,

Is the Reflex still relatively new?
Do you leave it switched on all of the time?

If it is just the 2M Bronze that does. It sound right, try adjusting the arm set up. It may not be correct. If I remember correctly, the 2M Bronze is a fine line diamond, so will be very sensitive to any changes in VTA.

Hi Cagey, thanks for the quick response.

The Reflex is a couple of months old now, it is left powered on the whole time and I listen to at least 1 or 2 albums every day, so should be well burnt in.

As I indicated, it sounds very good through speakers. I know the 2M Bronze can be very revealing and some consider it analytical tending on bright, I have it well set up and it really does sing through my speakers. the Reflex has made a real improvement.

That is what is kind of mystifying, as it is only through my headphones that it sounds harsh. 

Now it could be the headphone amp or the headphones I am using, I'm not really knowledgeable about Head-fi as I only tend to use it for convenience so as not to disturb the better half.

Cheers
Derek 
Rega Planar 3; Ortorfon 2M Bronze; Accession MM / Thorens TD160; Denon DL-110; Reflex M > Rega Elex-R > Monitor Audio Silver 500
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 8:26am
If it only sounds bad through the headphones, then as you suggest it has to be the headphones or the amp. What headphone amp are you using?

Ah, I see it is the Rega Ear.


Edited by CageyH - 29 Mar 2020 at 8:27am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CageyH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 8:32am
I am not familiar with the headphone amp you have.
Have you tried connecting the Reflex directly to the Rega Ear?
Have you tried a different cable between the amp and the headphone amp?

My thoughts (and I am no expert on this) is that if it sounds ok through the speakers, then the issue has to be between the amp, headphone amp and headphones.


Edited by CageyH - 29 Mar 2020 at 8:33am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DT999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 9:38am
Originally posted by CageyH CageyH wrote:

I am not familiar with the headphone amp you have.
Have you tried connecting the Reflex directly to the Rega Ear?
Have you tried a different cable between the amp and the headphone amp?

My thoughts (and I am no expert on this) is that if it sounds ok through the speakers, then the issue has to be between the amp, headphone amp and headphones.

Yes that's my thought also but It didn't sound as harsh previously when using a Rega fono, and my other TT run through the Rega fono also is not as harsh. 

I can only assume the Reflex is showing up something that the Fono hid or coloured.
Rega Planar 3; Ortorfon 2M Bronze; Accession MM / Thorens TD160; Denon DL-110; Reflex M > Rega Elex-R > Monitor Audio Silver 500
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DT999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2020 at 9:59am
I should try and be a bit clearer by what I mean when I say harsh. It is not that the sound is bad, if anything it is extremely detailed, the mids and base are good, but the highs are what is causing the problem, they are more forward and overpower the other frequencies. 
The highs almost hurt my ears with the headphones channeling sound directly into my ears, definitely would not want to do extended listening with headphones.

Rega Planar 3; Ortorfon 2M Bronze; Accession MM / Thorens TD160; Denon DL-110; Reflex M > Rega Elex-R > Monitor Audio Silver 500
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