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PSA: Please stop using Sony MDR7506

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They lie, they tell you your dialog is nice and bright!!

 

I had to prove to a production mixer his lavs are buried too deep. He thought they sounded prefect.

Until I brought him in the studio, and played back his tracks. First through his 7506s, he said yup thats good,

but then through my JBL 7508 Monitors, it showed the low mid he dint hear.

 

If you like Sony, move to a 7509, or better yet the Sennheiser HD280Pro. 

 

We now return you to your scheduled foruming!!

 

 

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Never been a fan.  To my ears due to the hyped mids and highs I found them very fatiguing to listen to for long periods.

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How "deep" the lavs get buried is mostly not up to the PSM.  It's down to the specific wardrobe and how it hides or doesn't hide the mic.  No one buries their lavs deep on purpose.  If you don't like how the buried lavs sound then use the boom track.  Oops--no boom track, then fire up your EQ or your Izo "Dialog Match" and make it work.   The 7506s are an industry standard of sorts.  You can draw what conclusion you will from that.

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53 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

How "deep" the lavs get buried is mostly not up to the PSM.  It's down to the specific wardrobe and how it hides or doesn't hide the mic.  No one buries their lavs deep on purpose.  If you don't like how the buried lavs sound then use the boom track.  Oops--no boom track, then fire up your EQ or your Izo "Dialog Match" and make it work.   The 7506s are an industry standard of sorts.  You can draw what conclusion you will from that.

Agreed. I've only ever used 7506's and always thought them to be pretty transparent. If EQing buried lavs to make them sound nice and bright works well enough, so much so that you wouldn't hear any problems on headphones that did the same thing, where's the problem? Why can't we EQ it in post to make it sound nice and bright?

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1 hour ago, Philip Perkins said:

The 7506s are an industry standard of sorts.

 

17 minutes ago, BAB414 said:

Agreed. I've only ever used 7506's and always thought them to be pretty transparent

 

I've used 7506's for many years, mainly because people said they were the "standard" and because people told me they were "transparent."

 

When I finally decided to test other headphones out, I realized there was a whole world of options available. Comfort, isolation, frequency response vary across models, not to mention pressure and ear fatigue.

 

I'm not here to say that 7506's are or are not the best option for anyone in particular. But I am here to say that if you base your purchase decisions on what other people think about the gear and what your preconceptions are about the gear, there's a chance you're selling yourself short.

 

Headphones are such a personal item that there is no "right" or "wrong" answer with them. Since we often spend hours upon hours and days up days wearing them, do yourself a favor and take the time to directly compare different models. I really recommend making the decision that's best for you.

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1 hour ago, Philip Perkins said:

How "deep" the lavs get buried is mostly not up to the PSM.  It's down to the specific wardrobe and how it hides or doesn't hide the mic.  No one buries their lavs deep on purpose.  If you don't like how the buried lavs sound then use the boom track.  Oops--no boom track, then fire up your EQ or your Izo "Dialog Match" and make it work.   The 7506s are an industry standard of sorts.  You can draw what conclusion you will from that.


I really really like this response

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I deal with this conversation regularly on the job. 

 

Here is a version of my response. 

 

One day after school a young girl noticed that her mom was cutting off the ends of a pot roast before putting it in the oven to cook for dinner. She had seen her mom do this many times before but had never asked her why. So this time she asked and her mom replied, I don't know why I cut the ends off, but it’s what my mom always did. Why don't you ask your Grandma? The mom may have said this because she didn't think she had the time to think about it. Which is always a mistake. We always have time to think. We just think we don’t.

 

So the young girl called her grandmother on the phone and said, Grandma why do you cut the ends off the pot roast before cooking it? Her grandmother replied, I don't know. That's just the way my mom always cooked it. Why don't you ask her? ). So, undeterred, the girl called her great grandmother, who was living in a nursing home and asked her the same question - why did you cut the ends off the pot roast before cooking it? (I’m sure she said hello great grandma, how are you, before asking her the question. Being smart is not the same as being rude, in fact the smartest people are often the kindest and most compassionate.) And her great grand mother did not reply “I cut off the ends of the pot roast because that's what my mother did.”

 

And she did not say because it makes the meat juicier. She said, when I was first married we had a very small oven, and the pot roast didn't fit in the oven unless I cut the ends off.

Whether or not this actually happened the story has a point, a truth. Not just about wasted amounts of cheap cuts of beef. The truth of the tale is about what happens when we don't ask questions, especially simple questions. When we just make assumptions.”

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Given that we do the best we can to get a nice open sound under whatever wardrobe the director and wardrobe department decide upon, this is one of the first post mixers to tell us we should be EQing more. 

 

How interesting... as, in current times, most posties want to reserve that choice. 

 

More pertinent to the discussion is what lavs was the mixer in question using? Choice of tools, especially mics, does make a difference. 

 

As far as headphones, what works best is whatever personal standard you have tuned your brain to. 

 

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+1 John. Mixers work in production. They have the headaches of getting a usable sound under less than ideal circumstances, and the tools to help them do that job. They don't have the calibrated monitors, precision eq tools, and UNDO buttons we have in post. 

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Well, up until about 10 years ago, we were EXPECTED to EQ, etc on location because all that was going to post was one or at most 2 tracks of audio.  By mic placement and what little EQ our mixers had (if it had any) we made a track, and the RRMs did what they could with the totality of that mix, or threw it all out and ADRed.   The doctrine of "no EQ on location" only really started when multitrack file recorders with 8+ channels became available, which coincided with big advances (and lowered prices) in DAWs.  Many still resist--Glen Trew has spoken eloquently here about the work of the PSM in this regard.    The absolute quality and specs of a set of headphones are a lot less important that what the wearer knows about how what they are hearing will translate downstream.

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One the first primary things I had to learn (48 years ago) when I started mixing was how what I was hearing in my headphones carried over to the screen. In the beginning I was using Beyer DT-48s since they were unquestionably (there goes that issue about asking questions) THE standard. But the thing I had going for me personally in this whole process was great friendships, primarily through my father, with picture editors, re-recording mixers, composers and just about everyone involved in the movie. It was also bucket the time that we went to dailies (I'm sure someone may ask "what are dailies ?") it was much easier and quite a bit more immediate to know how I was doing (watching and listening to yesterday's scenes). I soon realized that I was learning, quite effectively, how what I was hearing translated to the screen. Many years later, having gotten fed up with the "head clamp" of the DT-48s, switched to Sony headphones (not 7506s yet) snd just had to learn how these new headphones translated. Regarding EQ, in the earliest jobs in my career I was guilty of pretty excessive EQ and processing of the track (andI do mean THE track because everything was mono, single track at that time),buts graduated into proper union job with really talented and experienced people in post-production, I dialed it backbite a bit. Lastly, I do remember one re-recording mixer who thanked me for sending in wonderful flat tracks with no EQ (but of course this was job with a lot of scenes where I actually used a LOT of EQ ---  so, go figure, maybe Just got lucky or maybe just did a really good job).

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7 hours ago, drpro said:

Never been a fan.  To my ears due to the hyped mids and highs I found them very fatiguing to listen to for long periods.

 

Yeah, me too..  I switched to the ATH-M50x (with velour ear pads).  Love 'em!

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If your 7506s sound too bright it might be time to replace them. That's my main problem with these, they do not age well and age they do fast ( a couple of years).

It creeps up on you very gradually but I force my co-workers to check their old 7506's against a fresh pair on a regular basis and it's always shocking to them how the low end and low mids are just gone after a few years of use. I don't know what it is that makes them age so poorly but when new they're great and for the run and gun style shooting we do they are perfect because you can still move safely without being too isolated from the outside world. 

 

 

 

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I have worked for many years with the Sony’s. Since Sennheiser launched the HD26 Pro, I use these and find that what I hear on location translates well in post. But as many of you said, it’s more the way that you interpreted what you hear that counts. 
Had no chance to try the new Neumann headphones yet. If it’s like their studio monitors, this must be great. Anyone of you gave them a try ?

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15 hours ago, John Blankenship said:

Given that we do the best we can to get a nice open sound under whatever wardrobe the director and wardrobe department decide upon, this is one of the first post mixers to tell us we should be EQing more. 

 

How interesting... as, in current times, most posties want to reserve that choice. 

 

More pertinent to the discussion is what lavs was the mixer in question using? Choice of tools, especially mics, does make a difference. 

 

As far as headphones, what works best is whatever personal standard you have tuned your brain to. 

 

Never said to use EQ, but the choice of headphones.

7506s tell you that it sounds fine, in reality, it doesn't.

An accurate set of HFs will tell you to readjust your lav.

 

My point was that the PSM did not know the 7506s were translating incorrectly.

 

 

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The problem isn't the headphones, but the ears and brain between the headphones, and their understanding of how what they hear relates to what  you hear.  No headphones will accurately portray how audio will exactly sound on a dub stage, it's all an informed guess.  The better informed, the better the audio.  Besides, since we live in the "no location EQ allowed" era, received wisdom is to do the best one can with mic placement, get the shot and leave the rest to post.  Sometimes "the best one can" is a lav under a lot of sound-unfriendly clothes. 

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To be honest, I find the insinuation that PSMs would use headphones just because they are the perceived industry standard (over here it would be HD25‘s anyway), or just „because“, a bit offensive. 
For most of us, we research every piece of kit, including every seemingly benign cable, down to the last component, try alternatives and discuss with colleagues (as evidenced by these pages), before settling on something for good reason

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5 minutes ago, Paul Garafola said:

For example, I found that my wired mic set-up sounds better with a certain model # of XLR cable than another. 

 

I used to think that there is no difference in sound between quality cables, but then I heard an interview with Dirk Brauner (the guy building the famous Brauner microphones) where he tells the story that he didn't believe in the cable hype, but some kind swiss guy talked him into trying one of his special cables and after he tried it he now ships all Brauner mics with that cable.

I still doubt I can hear a difference with my mediocre ears but I definitely trust Dirk Brauner more on then me on that! 

 

here's the interview for those who speak german:

 

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Used Sony 7506 for almost 20 years. The other thing to remember is that if you know how the headphones make things you are familiar with sound then translating that to other sounds should have no ill effect. In the music world lots of mixing engineers use very different brands of speakers, just like you in POST, from one another to mix a song, or album, and it is what they are used to listening on the whole project thru.  Each mixer still gets a nice finished product despite using different speakers. If you know how things are supposed to sound thru which ever listening medium you choose, then there should be no PSAs about never using Sony 7506s. Maybe was a bit of experience and knowledge was needed by the PSM you are talking about? I don't know, but as many have also said here there is the point of we do not operate under perfect conditions. Sometimes it is a matter of this is all I am able to get you, or nothing at all, because of many different factors happening here on set. Those factors are why I hate it when the situation tells me I have to depend on a wire only. Anyways....

 

CRAIG

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Some time back I needed to purchase a new set of headphones and I set up a test to audition the various candidates. I tested three or four models and don’t recall exactly which ones. I set up a boom pole on a stand with a boom cradle on the Audio Services showroom floor. (That tells you how long ago this was.) I had a Schoeps hypercardioid at the end of the pole advantageously aimed at the speaker. 
 

Then I positioned myself about four feet from the speaker so I might test the performance of the phones by periodically removing them and listening directly. 
 

Only one set of phones closely approximated the sound of direct listening: the Beyer DT-48’s. All the others clearly colored the sound. 
 

Now, the Beyers have some known liabilities:

They are somewhat lacking in extreme low end reproduction making it challenging to listen for hums. 
They clamp one’s head in a vise. 
And, of course, they are Ferrari or Rolls Royce expensive. 
 

But for truthful reproduction of speaking voices, they are the best (or were then).

 

Eventually, I migrated to the Sony’s. Comfort over long hours began to trump absolute fidelity. And, with experience I reasoned that I could interpret the Sonys appropriately. 
 

David

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1 hour ago, Paul Garafola said:

Uh-oh!  You just opened Pandora's box, my friend.

Now I must find out about that cable!!!

 

it's in part three of the interview towards the end (you can see the one made for Brauner there).

 

The person behind it is Jürg Vogt, there's an interview with him here:

https://www.lightsoundjournal.com/2016/05/29/interview-with-jurg-vogt-ceo-of-vovox/ 

 

ps: just found the webpage:

https://vovox.com/collections/mikrofonkabel#

shielded microphone cables seem to be a bit bulky and come in around 130EUR for a 3.5m cable

sorry for getting off topic.

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the sony MDR7506 are not perfect, but they are the best for me. They fold into a little ball so its easy to transport them, they have the perfect headband for resting a boom pole on the top of your head, if you change the cushions to thicker ones they are the suuuper comfortable, and they are not to expensive. Because with the craziness of location sound work headphones get mistreated more than they should. Also fixing them or getting parts for them is easy and cheap. Also they sound good enough or bad enough so that I can identify problems. I also am a fan of the curly cable, but I know that is a personal preference. 

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