Bob Katz Uses Evidence M5P as Reference for Headphones Shootout
As you may have read in this article, Bob Katz recently installed our new Evidence M5P mastering speakers in his Studio A. He then spent some quality time to methodically measure and optimize the room acoustically for a result that he describes as:
"The most natural-sounding and accurate loudspeaker system/room I have constructed in 46 years of audiophile and professional life. It has been time aligned, impulse-response-corrected, and phase-corrected using FIR filters. In layman’s language this means that the depth, impact, and transient response of the loudspeaker system are incomparable.”
The Dynaudios have been perfectly voiced.
But apart from being a legendary mastering engineer, Bob is also a true audiophile who pays attention to even the tiniest sonic details in every situation that involves music. In fact, he has his own blog on Inner Fidelity named 'Katz's Corner', and in episode 13, published Feb 20th 2017, he describes in great detail one of the most thorough shootouts we have ever seen.
The contestants are two very high-end headphones, but where it becomes interesting for us is that Bob decided to use his new Evidence M5P as the reference they had to be measured against.
As mentioned, the actual shootout is very comprehensive, and for the most part each of the headphones in question get a bunch of remarks, but occasionally, Bob also elaborates on how they compare against the speakers. For instance on the first song of the test 'Angelitos Negros' from Alejandra Robles album 'La Morena':
"This song is particularly challenging as Alejandra sings high notes with a semi-operatic feel, which can get harsh on a lesser playback system or an inaccurately-adjusted system. On the reference Dynaudio speakers, her voice sounds clear, pure and natural, and not fatiguing, exactly as I mastered it. There is also a full complement of electric guitar, fiddle, electric bass, and other melody and harmony instruments, along with latin percussion, congas, including a deep, throbbing bass drum, a great challenge for any reproduction system."
Or in the case of 'Deepest Crystal Black' by IceCocoon (from the album of the same title):
"This recording of a hard rock group has a drop-tuned bass (tuned to D) that goes very deep. On the Dynaudios, it sounds big and clear and has a huge soundstage, is very satisfying. I estimate Bass fundamental goes down to a remarkable 30-40 Hz. The loudspeakers eat the headphones for lunch, with their visceral power that hits you in the chest and spatiality which fills the room.”
Ultimately, Bob wraps up the article with this statement that points out the actual goal for any mastering engineer's equipment regardless of whether it regards speakers or headphones:
"Overall - The Dynaudios have been perfectly voiced so that bright reference recordings are not too bright and dark references are not too dark, to enable creating masters that translate to the widest variety of playback systems out there. This tonal balance broadens the portion of my music collection sound that I can play back without adding EQ. That should be the same goal with reference headphones.”
We couldn't agree more. Speakers - or any sound-reproducing device - should always aim at delivering as transparent a sound as absolutely possible. Staying true to the source material and simply pass it on.
The most natural-sounding and accurate loudspeaker system/room I have constructed in 46 years of audiophile and professional life.