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Gold Planar GL2000 Headphone Review

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 32 25.8%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 64 51.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 26 21.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 2 1.6%

  • Total voters
    124

Robbo99999

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Id imagine this is also with Amir’s test tracks as well, so it is indeed being pushed to see what it’s limits are. Even then if the headphone doesn’t distort there can be issues. I have a set of Hifimans that suffered a loss in membrane tension from being on the Harman target. Now with sub bass they go intermittently silent from exiting the magnetic gap and have resonances. Probably won’t be buying any more headphones until I get one that doesn’t really need EQ in the bass region. There’s always that possibility that it could damage something if a lot of extra energy is needed in one area, and can’t fault Amir since he only has a short period of time to do the review. In my case it’s cumulative damage over time from stressing the drivers.

Makes you wonder about those reviewers that do things like “300 hour break-ins“ with pink noise and hear a difference. That is basically an entire lifetime‘s worth of use if it’s at high SPLs, and probably does “break” them in, but in a very permanent and detrimental way.
Hmm, I've never really heard of damage to headphone drivers whilst being used for normal listening, even with EQ.....as long as you're operating the headphone within it's max allowed power. I'm not saying yours didn't happen, but I'm surprised. There's plenty of headphones that won't be damaged by EQ'ing to Harman Bass - pretty much all of them. I mean exceptions might be headphones that need a 20dB boost in the bass to reach Harman for instance, but I can't really imagine damage ever happening due to a +10dB boost to the bass for instance. I don't think you need to worry about EQ'ing in headphone bass. It's optimal to have low distortion headphones in the bass though that can cope without distortion issues with EQ to Harman Target though......and such headphones for sure would not be damaged by your EQ over time. There might be somekind of manufacturing defect with your Hifimans, which one have you got?
 

Cars-N-Cans

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Hmm, I've never really heard of damage to headphone drivers whilst being used for normal listening, even with EQ.....as long as you're operating the headphone within it's max allowed power. I'm not saying yours didn't happen, but I'm surprised. There's plenty of headphones that won't be damaged by EQ'ing to Harman Bass - pretty much all of them. I mean exceptions might be headphones that need a 20dB boost in the bass to reach Harman for instance, but I can't really imagine damage ever happening due to a +10dB boost to the bass for instance. I don't think you need to worry about EQ'ing in headphone bass. It's optimal to have low distortion headphones in the bass though that can cope without distortion issues with EQ to Harman Target though......and such headphones for sure would not be damaged by your EQ over time. There might be somekind of manufacturing defect with your Hifimans, which one have you got?
With some planars I think there can be a risk depending on how its constructed and how much EQ is needed due to the fact that the membrane has to be displaced for them to make sound. With a dynamic is more like a speaker in that there is a surround that can simply flex back and fourth so there it would be more along the lines of what you get with a speaker. With planars potentially it could be more of an issue since the membrane also has to show some degree of elasticity as well given its drawn taught by the frame that supports it. Over small displacements this likely isn't as much of an issue, but since the angles are fairly shallow there is the potential for fairly high stresses in the membrane as the excursion get larger, and some may not fully recover if they are pushed too far. In this case it was my 2020 Sundaras, and given that I have only boogered one pair of planars up thus far, I don't know of all the possible mechanisms, so the resident headphone experts may have more insight into what potentially happened. I EQed the bass region earlier by ear, and it was directly in line with what Amir had applied in his review using his measurements. I think it topped out at 8 dB at 20 Hz, and did not show any obvious signs of distress. I've just been using the ubiquitous Sennheiser 560s instead for now, which isn't quite as nice even with EQ, but its also less likely to suffer anything more than just elevated distortion with EQ due to it being a dynamic. Volume is spirited, but not excessive. Maybe the equivalent of 75-80 dBA on speakers.

With respect to planars, I do wonder if there are any long-term stability issues, even with ones that are already compliant. I would assume with the higher end ones like those from DCA that they have done some form of life testing during development to ensure their characteristics don't drift over time, not to mention having better QC.
 

Robbo99999

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With some planars I think there can be a risk depending on how its constructed and how much EQ is needed due to the fact that the membrane has to be displaced for them to make sound. With a dynamic is more like a speaker in that there is a surround that can simply flex back and fourth so there it would be more along the lines of what you get with a speaker. With planars potentially it could be more of an issue since the membrane also has to show some degree of elasticity as well given its drawn taught by the frame that supports it. Over small displacements this likely isn't as much of an issue, but since the angles are fairly shallow there is the potential for fairly high stresses in the membrane as the excursion get larger, and some may not fully recover if they are pushed too far. In this case it was my 2020 Sundaras, and given that I have only boogered one pair of planars up thus far, I don't know of all the possible mechanisms, so the resident headphone experts may have more insight into what potentially happened. I EQed the bass region earlier by ear, and it was directly in line with what Amir had applied in his review using his measurements. I think it topped out at 8 dB at 20 Hz, and did not show any obvious signs of distress. I've just been using the ubiquitous Sennheiser 560s instead for now, which isn't quite as nice even with EQ, but its also less likely to suffer anything more than just elevated distortion with EQ due to it being a dynamic. Volume is spirited, but not excessive. Maybe the equivalent of 75-80 dBA on speakers.

With respect to planars, I do wonder if there are any long-term stability issues, even with ones that are already compliant. I would assume with the higher end ones like those from DCA that they have done some form of life testing during development to ensure their characteristics don't drift over time, not to mention having better QC.
Someone like @solderdude knows all about the mechanical engineering side of drivers I think, so he might be able to shed light for you on if planars can be damaged gradually over time during listening after EQ'ing up the bass. It's not something I've heard of. Yes, the Sennheiser HD560s can play loud with low distortion, I don't think you'll be damaging them:
HD560s Distortion.png
 

solderdude

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@Dan Clark might be willing to shed some light on planar drivers. AFAIK he is the only one using 'wrinkles' to ensure a larger linear excursion over a larger surface area closer to the edge of the driver than other manufacturers do.

Depending on the used foil (Mylar or something similar), tensioning, surface area and thickness there may well be differences between planars regarding longevity of tension.
I don't know if sticking occurs in planar magnetics too when permanently stretched.

Drivers cutting out (at large excursions) seems to point to a break in the 'voice coil' at some spot. Sticking would result in lack of bass and overall loudness.
 
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Cars-N-Cans

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@Dan Clark might be willing to shed some light on planar drivers. AFAIK he is the only one using 'wrinkles' to ensure a larger linear excursion over a larger surface area closer to the edge of the driver than other manufacturers do.

Depending on the used foil (Mylar or something similar), tensioning, surface area and thickness there may well be differences between planars regarding longevity of tension.
I don't know if sticking occurs in planar magnetics too when permanently stretched.

Drivers cutting out (at large excursions) seems to point to a break in the 'voice coil' at some spot. Sticking would result in lack of bass and overall loudness.
That is interesting about Dan Clark employing something similar to a suspension in the membrane.

Also good point about the break in the tracks. I may see if I can inspect them from the outside without having to remove the cups (a destructive process) to see if they are still continuous. I don’t think it’s been overdriven power-wise, but they could have been exposed to a DC offset or something at some point.

My original thought, though, was this being due to enough current from low sub-bass frequencies to push it beyond the uniform portion of the field from the magnet array on one side at which point the smaller signal components would no longer be able to properly actuate the membrane since their contribution to the field is much smaller due to the spectral content being ~1/f.
 

ehabheikal

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A general question, why is distortion at 114 dBSPL done when to my limited understanding at this loudness you would loose your hearing FAST.
 
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staticV3

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A general question, why is distortion at 114 dBSPL done when to my limited understanding at this loudness you would loose you hearing FAST.
114dB SPL peak would mean about 90-100dB SPL AVG when playing music. That's loud, but still fine.
 

dfuller

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A general question, why is distortion at 114 dBSPL done when to my limited understanding at this loudness you would loose your hearing FAST.
Think of the distortion measures more as "can these headphones be equalized to any desired target without falling apart" more than anything else here.
 

_Piotr

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I almost bought into the hype after zeos panteras review, but thankfully managed to cancel the drop order in time.
 

FreaK

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I almost bought into the hype after zeos panteras review, but thankfully managed to cancel the drop order in time.
I must admit, i bought it because of that hype (i won't do something like that again). I didn't regret it that much, it sounded good with EQ, and was super comfortable.
 
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