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Published on October 6th, 2013 | by Mr No Hands

GermanMAESTRO – JFB Signature Headphones Review

Do you go through a pair Sennheiser HD-25’s a week? Or are you tired of hipsters laughing at your overpriced Hip-Hop star endorsed, fashion accessories in trendy down market East London bars?

Introducing GermanMAESTRO who, if their slogan is anything to go by, are VERY SERIOUS ABOUT AUDIO.

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As well as beefy headphones, these guys are renowned for car audio from 18” subs under each seat to 6 by 9’s on the wing mirrors. Make no mistake, these guys don’t mess about when it comes to producing block rockin’ sound systems and now they are here to solve your headphones-related life dramas too.

GermanMAESTRO have teamed up with the incredible 2x UK DMC Turntablist Champion, Fatboy Slim remixing, Olympic BMX stadium opening, live video scratching, Beardyman collaborating, Brighton dwelling JFB; together creating a pair of signature producer / DJ headphones.

Having obtained a pair, we put them through their paces, tested on the underground, tested in the studio, tested on a council estate, tested within an inch of their apparently indestructible lives. But how did they fare? Read on…

GermanMAESTRO – JFB Headphones Review

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Aesthetically, they’re not exactly as elegant as a pair of ‘Beats’ by the famous and highly regarded hip-hop audiologist and aural practitioner, Dr. Andre Romelle Young. But herein lies their beauty. JFB’s are polar opposites to Dre’s! Hipsters must be crossed legged at the chance to don a pair of these in rebellion against bank rolling city boy and music low quality MP3 loving rich kids, not to mention the great unwashed who parade around in dodgy ‘Drays’ like drunken flamingos in season.

Stylistically, they were likely conceived during the mid 1970s during the flourishing architectural period known as ‘Brutalism’, typically characterised as being linear, fortress-like and predominantly made of concrete. Basically, they’re hard as fuck and seriously retro.

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If there is any doubt of the durability of these headphones, they are the headphones used by HMV in their Oxford Circus branch for listen to records back 20 odd years ago when people did that. They can take a tiger upper-cut better than Geoff Capes dressed as Iron Man drinking Irn-Bru. You even get a 3-year warranty which is pretty staggering for pair of headphones!

In terms of comfort, they’re surprisingly lightweight and almost as warm and cosy as a pair of baby rabbits strapped to your head. As for everyday use and practicality, admittedly, their chunky build comes at the cost of their ability to fold up neatly into your wee bag, but you simply won’t care about that as you busy yourself wearing them and offending chavs, bankers and students.

Jokes aside, GermanMAESTRO are serious about audio as we’ve already established and this certainly reflected in the sound quality. Tech-heads and spec-geek’ll be happy to hear these JFB signature lids have ‘Easy to Drive Low-Impedance of 35ohms’ and if you do know what that means, can let us know (our thanks in advance). In the meantime, take our word for it, they sound ‘good’.

Tested in the studio and used to mixdown a couple of tracks due out soon, what became immediately apparent is that, sonically they are as brutally honest as they look. It’s no surprise that these are favoured by live audio engineers as these are a right pair of harsh critics. The tops are bright and detailed and the lows go earth shaking low. The mid-lows are totally clear and distinct with little bleed between frequencies enabling you to easily separate your kicks from your subs. Overall, you can trust what your ears are telling you when wearing these and if you’re wondering how loud they go, wise up.

In terms of blocking out peoples inane banter on the underground, the closed-cup over ear design does the trick just fine. Whether or not they prevent those around you from being subjected to George Michael’s greatest hits or whatever it is you listen to remains unknown and frankly who gives a fuck? Your music is the best and your new single-serving friends are bound to want to listen to it too, so just keep turning it up there, sunny-Jim.

Last but not least, the suggestion is that these headphones are suitable for DJs and as you read this you’re probably recoiling inside at the thought of giving up your trusted pair of HD-25s. But hang in there a sec, maybe it’s time for change. Change can be good. Afterall, JFB gets along with them just fine and he is the champion of DJs, so…. do the maths.

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Personally, I love my HD-25’s but I can’t deny that they’re held together with gaffer tape and I’ve gone through several pairs. If you were to ask JFB why he uses these, he would tell you he wanted headphones that were tough enough for live work and accurate enough to produce with on the fly.

GermanMAESTRO 8.35D headphones boost Pro quality sound; they’re indestructible, comfy and lightweight. Superior over ear noise isolation makes them handy in shit clubs with crap monitors (we’ve all been there!) plus they double up as ear-muffs which is great for all year round beach parties in Scotland.

The only reservation is that they’re design is a bit rigid for comfortable ‘over one ear’ wearing but if GermanMAESTRO can do something about this in a later models, they’d be no issue in recommending these as a more reliable and better value for money alternative to HD-25’s.

For now, if you’re a jet setting, versatile live performer, who need equipment that can keep up with you, and you’re open to change, give them a go; they could just save you a fortune…..and offend high street fashion lovers….and bankers.

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Pros:
– Balanced Sound Quality
– You’ll never need another pair
– Lightweight & Comfortable
– They’re not Beats by Dre’s
– You’ll be as good DJ as JFB in no time

Cons:
– A bit rigid for ‘over one ear’ wearing

Tech Spec:

  • Easy to Drive Low-Impedance of 35ohms
  • Made for Professional Studio and Mobile Applications
  • Closed Design Shields from External Noise
  • Indestructible Housing Material
  • Handcrafted in Germany
  • 3-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Price RRP: £159.95


About the Author

Chief of 'Operations' on the LSM ward, Mr No Hands created LSM following three years as a singles reviews editor for Mixmag. He's released tracks on Air Recordings, RocStar and BombStrikes, while picking up plays from The Bassbin Twins, Stanton Warriors, DJ Icey, Mat the Alien, Laurent Garnier and the Plump DJs.



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