out with the old, in with the new

On the way out: Sony MDRV-700 DJ headphones. Number of gigs played with these: 200+. Made many tracks with these headphones, taken them around the world with me. Were they good? Not really. Sony made them out of plastic and they broke pretty easily after I had them for a year. I had them repaired (not cheap, neither were the headphones), but they broke again in exactly the same place. I know a few other people who have had these and they have all broken in that same spot. C’est la vie. I have had these for around 7 years so they have definitely payed for themselves. I have no particular headphones in mind to replace these – I think I might need two different pairs – nay, three: a pair for listening to music, a pair for producing music, and a pair for DJing and performing.
On the way in: Pictured here beside the headphones is a CD of Benz & MD – Signals with remixes by yours truly. This will be coming out on Proton Music and it will be added to the productions section of this website at that time.

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  1. hey speaking of out with the old…
    You still playing much vinyl? What percentage, would you say?
    And… a question that has been burning, tho clearly not hot, otherwise I would have asked by now…
    Have you built yourself, or purchased for yourself a reliable, satisfying, top shelf method of recording vinyl to WAV? Have you done so with any of your tracks? Let me know.. I have some gems I have always wanted to listen to on my ipod, what with no means to listen to them on analog anymore.

  2. oh, one more thing… Whatup with the plastic fasteners on your headphones? Are they holding them together somehow, or are they some kind of kitschy jewelry?

  3. To answer your questions…
    I am playing maybe 1% of my vinyl right now. The last record I played at home was the Columbia House “Home For Christmas” 3xLP, so that gives you an idea of the usage.. I use them for listening to, but I have always found that technics 1200s or any other turntable that is susceptible to pitch sliding are not very good tools for beatmatching or making a mix in general. I haven’t listened to any of my records in a very long time for the most part, maybe since they’re in the living room and I like to listen to them while doing something else.
    re: recording vinyl – All you need is a turntable, mixer (or some other method of amplifying the phono signal into a more useful line out signal) and an audio card with inputs. Some audio cards even have phono inputs in which case you can ditch the mixer which might be a “purer” way to go – the less things messing with the signal, the better. So far as software goes, I’d recommend Audacity:
    It’s free and it does some heavy weight stuff, and it does it right. Great WAV/AIF editor for OS X or Windoze. Before this I used Peak (from Bias Software) but I found it clunky and unreliable – it crashed frequently.
    re: Plastic fasteners – they’re zap straps and they’re holding the hinges together. Those things actually saved me the $100 repair that otherwise would have been required and added at least a year or two to the life span of the headphones. Not elegant, I know!

  4. My DJ headphones are getting pretty old too. They never were great quality, but they did the job well enough. I’ll probably need to replace them in the near future.
    I got a nice pair of new headphones for listening to music at Christmas: Grado SR80s. They’re great quality for listening to tunes. Very crisp sounding.

  5. Hey Dav,
    Have you recorded a lot of your vinyl over to digital using this program/these methods? what is your opinion of quality? On par? Something you play out?

  6. Hey, nice photo. Can’t wait to hear your remix, congrats on the pending release.
    And good to out Sony on the quality of their construction… I remember the 700s very popular when they were new. My MDR-V400s are still around though the faux-leather film on the pads has long since peeled away. Still sound great though.
    Graham, thanks for the recommendation on the Grados.. that’s the third time I’ve heard that particular model recommended, will have to check them out 🙂

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