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GamerDude

Higher end audio....starting with cans

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi guys, I'm seriously thinking of getting a pair of higher end cans, choices boils down to:

1. Alpha Dog (~500USD in excellent condition)

2. Senn HD800 (~900US, used with minor cosmetic defects)

 

Let me emphasize that I'm seriously thinking about getting one of these, but it's not set in stone. I may simply decide to NOT get either in the end. So, in the opinion of the audio gurus here, which would better audio-wise for me. I like crystal clear mids and high, but highs must not be bright, with a degree of solid bass. Now, I may talk myself into spending some dough on external amps and whatnot (should I commit to buying one of these), but will try on my Phoebus and SB ZX first since these are rated up to 600Ohms. Also toying with the idea of getting an Asus audio grade STX II.....but, that'll come later. So, please enlighten me if you can, and thanks for reading, and responding.


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WARNING OPINIONS INBOUND. if you havent had any crazy good headphones before then there's no point. From what ive heard once you get crazy good ones then you can never go back but im happy with my "Gaming headset" because ive never experienced better :P. Kinda like 144hz


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It would be an epic fail to invest in those cans and not an external amp


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@GamerDude

 

I am going to guess that there aren't enough people here on LTT who really know their stuff about that sort of high end. Me personally, I have a bit of knowledge on the $300 high end range (which IMO is the best $/performance range). Maybe go ask some of the people on http://www.head-fi.org/ if you are really set on spending that sort of money on super high end.

 

What are the best headphones you have bought/listened to date?


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@GamerDude

I am going to guess that there aren't enough people here on LTT who really know their stuff about that sort of high end. Me personally, I have a bit of knowledge on the $300 high end range (which IMO is the best $/performance range). Maybe go ask some of the people on http://www.head-fi.org/ if you are really set on spending that sort of money on super high end.

What are the best headphones you have bought/listened to date?

Why do people keep saying that? We have more than enough people on this forum with experience.

OP - Id suggest some HE-400i's. They are cheaper than both and have what you are looking for.

The HD800s will be too bright for you, I wouldn't get them.

DT 990s may also work for you.

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Why do people keep saying that? We have more than enough people on this forum with experience.

 

 

How many people on this forum have bought and used a range of $1000+ headphones to be able to bring good experience to the table? If it was more than 10 in the community I would be surprised. If more than two of those actually saw and replied to this post I would again be surprised.

 

You are the first although have you got a range of $1000 cans?


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Hi guys, I'm seriously thinking of getting a pair of higher end cans, choices boils down to:

1. Alpha Dog (~500USD in excellent condition)

2. Senn HD800 (~900US, used with minor cosmetic defects)

 

Let me emphasize that I'm seriously thinking about getting one of these, but it's not set in stone. I may simply decide to NOT get either in the end. So, in the opinion of the audio gurus here, which would better audio-wise for me. I like crystal clear mids and high, but highs must not be bright, with a degree of solid bass. Now, I may talk myself into spending some dough on external amps and whatnot (should I commit to buying one of these), but will try on my Phoebus and SB ZX first since these are rated up to 600Ohms. Also toying with the idea of getting an Asus audio grade STX II.....but, that'll come later. So, please enlighten me if you can, and thanks for reading, and responding.

The HD800s are bright. Sound is great, soundstage is great. I've had enough time with HD800 to do all sorts of crazy stuff with them, and I know the bass is very well controlled. But there's isn't that much of it. I've spent very little time with Alpha Dogs but from my time with it I was impressed. I felt they were pretty balanced. Nothing felt out of place to me. They are closed, so it's got good noise isolation, but it won't sound as open. You better be willing to try out the headphone in person or take a significant risk if you're going to get to that price range. And you're going off of the assumption that HD800 > HD650 or somethin'. I know multiple people that prefer HD650. Ignore the price, find one that sounds the best to you, and then look back at the price to see if the price is OK. Try not to let price influence your hearing (it will regardless, fact of human bias). You can't read your way into knowing exactly how a headphone sounds. And people often like to justify spending a mortgage payment for their house on their headphones, so they will over-exaggerate differences (if any) they actually hear.

 

HD800s should be more comfortable. They're going to be more lightweight. Alpha Dogs are closed and you have that leather which from other headphones, seem to make ears a bit heated after a long time. HD800s you can wear forever while gaming. Why don't you try out the HD600, 650, HE400, HE500, LCD2, Mad Dogs before you make a decision. You're auto-assuming you just want Alpha Dogs for HD800s. Audio is not for everybody. You can't just throw money at it at assume you'll be so impressed your balls will turn blue from the tease. You better try things out to make sure it's for you. And TRY to be honest with yourself. Do I like this? Or do I REALLY like this? Is price and bling factor affecting my judgement?

 

Mayflower suggested DT990s. Ehh, I guess so, but I think they should be kindda bright too. It's a U shaped FR, kindda. Boosted bass, boosted treble. I'm not a fan personally although I sure some people are. Sure, throw DT880 or 990s to the list.

 

Fuck sound cards. They need to go away. If you're going to upgrade your sound card, get an external dac and amp. Schiit stack is all you'll ever need and is a little cheaper than my favorite O2/Odac combo. Asus is betting that people like you have no idea what you're doing and you're going to listen to their marketing weasel-words.

 

Oh, and unless a headphone has just the PERFECT FR you are looking for, EQ is not a sin, it's a tool. Granted it's a tool most people have no idea how to use properly, but it's there and it makes a difference.

 

 

@GamerDude

 

I am going to guess that there aren't enough people here on LTT who really know their stuff about that sort of high end. Me personally, I have a bit of knowledge on the $300 high end range (which IMO is the best $/performance range). Maybe go ask some of the people on http://www.head-fi.org/ if you are really set on spending that sort of money on super high end.

 

What are the best headphones you have bought/listened to date?

Before I explode, I can tell you're new here (to the audio sub) and to audio in general. Headfi requires that you already have a lot of knowledge in headphones otherwise you're going to believe the truckloads of shit they are going to try to sell you from magic dacs to magic cables. It's forum full of people suffering from placebo and expectation bias. You are making the problem worse by recommending a newbie that website. I see you mean well, the forum IS big after all, and big usually suggests authority. If I were in your position I would probably say the same thing. But the answer is NO. Just no.
 

How many people on this forum have bought and used a range of $1000+ headphones to be able to bring good experience to the table? If it was more than 10 in the community I would be surprised. If more than two of those actually saw and replied to this post I would again be surprised.

 

You are the first although have you got a range of $1000 cans?

I'm having a streak of bad temper this week and you're getting close to setting off one of my triggers. You don't know anything about us. We have our own private little Audiofeelz Thread where we have private sexy parties. $1000 headphone is just the norm. Stop acting like you know anything, enough to even know what to suggest to seek help because clearly you don't.


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How many people on this forum have bought and used a range of $1000+ headphones to be able to bring good experience to the table? If it was more than 10 in the community I would be surprised. If more than two of those actually saw and replied to this post I would again be surprised.

 

You are the first although have you got a range of $1000 cans?

 

There are plenty of people. No, I don't have a wide range of $1000 headphones because there are less than a handful of good ones. Not only that, the OP isn't looking to spend $1000 so the argument is irrelevant. Good headphones can be acquired for much much less.

 

Headfi is a joke of a website and is a giant sponsored mess that is ran by a greedy owner Jude. There is a reason I'm on here and not headfi and why I don't like it when people just tell our community members to go over there.

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There are plenty of people. No, I don't have a wide range of $1000 headphones because there are less than a handful of good ones. Not only that, the OP isn't looking to spend $1000 so the argument is irrelevant. Good headphones can be acquired for much much less.

 

Headfi is a joke of a website and is a giant sponsored mess that is ran by a greedy owner Jude. There is a reason I'm on here and not headfi and why I don't like it when people just tell our community members to go over there.

Didn't you get the memo?

Higher price = better.

$1000 means auto-orgasm.

PS:

https://s-media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/a9/d6/24/a9d62412d70318b7647c0e2a56c56cce.jpg

:lol:


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hmmmm, thanks for the replies, awfully fast ones at that! :lol:  Anyway, noted the quip about higher price = better ^_^ , blame it on my linear thinking since I'm a vid card guy where higher price = better indeed. I'll try them out of course, and perhaps check out the DT990 since it's supposed to be a tad better on the bass side. Thus far, I've gotten an Audio Technica ATH-AD700X, a Sennheiser HD555 (thinking of doing the foam mod to make it sound like a HD595) and a HX Cloud. Thinking of getting a pair of cans that a notch or two above what I have at the moment.


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Headfi requires that you already have a lot of knowledge in headphones otherwise you're going to believe the truckloads of shit they are going to try to sell you from magic dacs to magic cables. It's forum full of people suffering from placebo and expectation bias. You are making the problem worse by recommending a newbie that website. I see you mean well, the forum IS big after all, and big usually suggests authority. If I were in your position I would probably say the same thing. But the answer is NO. Just no.

 

That is a really good point I didn't consider.

 

 

I'm having a streak of bad temper this week and you're getting close to setting off on of my triggers. You don't know anything about us. We have our own private little Audiofeelz Thread where we have private sexy parties. $1000 headphone is just the norm. Stop acting like you know anything, enough to even know what to suggest to seek help because clearly you don't.

 

 

I did say I didn't know anything about this range of equipment.

 

Didn't you get the memo?

Higher price = better.

$1000 means auto-orgasm.

 

I am getting the feeling this is directed at me. I would just like to point out I never said Higher price = better. I said "if you are really set on spending that sort of money on super high end." Some people love to have the most expensive stuff regardless of quality. I said $300ish range is best $/performance. I am just not going to tell people that they shouldn't buy what they want.

 

 If more than two of those actually saw and replied to this post I would again be surprised.

 

And by the way, that's two...  :P  (joke; please don't kill me)

 

I can completely concede your point though. I suggested head-fi because I have gotten some great information out of there before. 


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-

Well, you're taking it pretty graciously so I appreciate that.

The higher end you go on Headfi the more nuts it gets. The Sound Science section is good info start to finish but it's relatively small and obscure of a subsection. Its large population has benefits from time to time, like catching up on the latest news. But you've gotta already know BS when you see it. Many things sound reasonable unless you have the proper background knowledge. There are people of all types there of course, there is good stuff on there, it's just as a whole the signal to noise ratio is much higher there. (Get it? I made an audio joke. :ph34r: ) And if they do convince somebody to go with some super expensive amp or cables or dac, they're out quite a bit of money.


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There are people of all types there of course, there is good stuff on there, it's just as a whole the signal to noise ratio is much higher there. (Get it? I made an audio joke. :ph34r: )

 

Brilliant! I always love a good engineering joke. It brings out the nerd in all of us. :)


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post-2468-0-25524000-1411771299.gif

 

Although I do desire a pair of Alpha Dogs for myself, I wouldn't suggest spending so much for a first pair. If you want orthos, Mr. Mayflower's modded T50RP V3's are every bit as good as Mr. Speakers's Mad Dog, just without the fancy aesthetic changes. Plenty of other good $200-400 options as well. My personal favorite is the HD650, but I could see the K712 being quite good as another open alternative. NAD Viso HP50, Focal Spirit One, and PSB M4U 1 are awesome closed options. </all this bassed on your supposedly liked sound signature>

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Headfi is a joke of a website and is a giant sponsored mess that is ran by a greedy owner Jude. There is a reason I'm on here and not headfi and why I don't like it when people just tell our community members to go over there.

 

Well, to be fair, head-fi does got a few 'gems', meaning topics/threads where the people posting there are pretty reasonable. Mostly on non-mainstream topics/devices though. Like, I found a topic/community there discussing about the Aune T1, which consists of good, logical, and mannered people. But true, found some topics there where the inhabitants are a little bonker....:D

 

Back to OP: I would almost (almost) go as far as to say the 2 options you listed are being 'black and white', meaning they got very different characteristics.

 

As I could remember, the modified T50RP (forgot which one I tried, was it Alpha Dog or Mad Dog) sounds warmer, accentuated lows and mid-lows, while HD800 sounds brighter, accentuated highs and mid-highs. HD800 sounds a lot wider, that's for sure. So should be back to your own preference. Me, I prefer warmer sounds, so out of the two, I'd go with the planar one (although I'd still prefer my HE400 than the 'dog' I tried, because HE400 got more distinct high spike).

 

Actually, just consult with wizzie and lays. Wizzie have HD800 and had LCD-X, while lays owns LCD-2. I'm guessing you could get some insights on HD800 vs planar (in general)

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Depends on the music genre.

Between those two, considering their respective pros n' cons, I'd go for HD700s. Price is between them both too (new).

The AD's will be better all 'rounders; HD800s will beat the pants off the ADs with concert ("classical" "jazz") music...ie., music recorded with ultra high end mid-side/x-y miking setups. (Multi)Tracked music will sound "better" with the ADs.

The ADs will perform to their full potential without having to take out a 2nd mortgage for a Lavry grade DAC. An I-Device would work better than great /w the 'dogs.

The HD700s should merit serious consideration, check them out. They're sorta the best of both worlds re: a multi-genre "AIO" HP solution.

If you want the best dynamic HPs i.e., no gazillion dollar DAC needed go for these:

post-50756-14142469007365_thumb.jpg

Audeze LCD-3s

Pricey at 1500-1800usd but these are cans that are future proof, good for the rest of your life.

If, when looking for something in the back of an old closet in some old house you just bought and happen to come across a dusty box which contains a few kilos of Au bouillon-bars, I suggest these:

post-50756-14142474220832_thumb.jpgpost-50756-14142474313147_thumb.jpgpost-50756-1414247440532_thumb.jpg

Stax SR-007 MK2

They go for 2500usd, are not dynamic HPs (condensers) and are IMHO the top of the tops.

Being condensers you'll need to drop a few grand on the DAC...

Both Stax and Audeze are "true" audiophile, no 1/8"/3.5mm male connections, the Audeze have BOTH 1/4" TRS and 3 pin XLR, the Stax as you can see in the pic are 5 pin "specials".

Heheh, ouch...the price!

But...

Think about this...spending 2k+ on a gaming computer is common. A high end laptop? 2k is on the lower end of the spectrum. A 295x2 graphics card, 980 SLI+4k monitor+x99 setup...ppl switching out their high end phones (800$) every 2 years, a curvy 65" UHD TV...all these things will (literally) be crap/junk in 10 years. In 20 years, a 20 year old will tell you "oh! my grand-dad had one of those...what are they? 7K screen things, I think they're called moneetorz? Well, he had those things. Ancient!"

I remember, and this isn't long ago, my friend buying a 2mp camera for 2k. It was an Olympus circa 2003 or 4. It's in a landfill somewhere along with a million other pieces of ephemera.

But good HPs that cost as much as a 780ti did earlier this year- they'll be around for a lifetime. As will the the 300$ SLR, 400$ Yamaha turntable, Marantz tuner etc. will/still are with me. Use them several times a week- some serious no-regret purchasing!

Btw- I'm well aware of the subjective nature apropos all things audio. My point is:

You can't go wrong with quality headphones. It's impossible for me (anyone, really) to say get THOSE cans...

->because the prerequisites you listed in ur post above re: the quality-of-sound you want in ze cans- they're the same sonic characteristics myself and most others 'round here want in HPs too!

Can't recall an ask-advice such as:

Well...I'd like sandpaper-y, yet myopic-like highs, a tiny sound stage with a mega boost around 180hz and cardboard flat, rear faced mids...and, oh yes! crazy, insane sub-bass sloooow response, a must!

When ur spending 500+ on cans, read reviews and opinions (of course) but most important

Go to a shop and listen! Even if it means driving 80 miles away to some boutique store. Or...

Especially if it means driving 80 miles to a store.

The 160 mile/one days' venture=small potatoes for something you'll be enjoying for decades.

Anywho, check out the 700s.

I'm sure you know this but someone reading this may benefit from additional reinforcement:

Headphones with built-in Skype-Mikes/hulu-netflix, noise cancellation 12.9 dtdhddolbyultrasurround are costly junk. $60 for HPs used for multiplayer FPS=worth it. 300$ HPs made in 5 different countries outta $40 worth of parts+extreme neon green font and named after one of Zeus's parent-monsters?

⊙▃⊙

Heheh

Last- You can't go wrong with either of the two HPs you mentioned

$

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I have noted your opinions, may I add one more into the mix? What about Beyerdynamic T90? This would probably cost the least at about 330USD. Would this be a nice kick start into the world of high end cans appreciation?


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I have noted your opinions, may I add one more into the mix? What about Beyerdynamic T90? This would probably cost the least at about 330USD. Would this be a nice kick start into the world of high end cans appreciation?

 

 

From what I've heard about the T90, it sounds just like any other beyerdynamic (such as the 990/ 880) but with a tiny bit more refinements.

 

IMO start out by using loads of headphones in the 250-500$ range, this is a very good price to performance category, where you're about 90% of the way to what other MUCH more expensive headphones give you.

 

See if there's a store near you where you can try all these, ask them if they have a good return policy, where you can take things home for a week, try them, then come back if possible for a 90-100% refund.

 

Try out the AKG k712, Beyer dt990, HD 650, LCD-2, HE-400i + HE-560, HD700, HD800 if you can.

 

The thing with high end audio is it's not "spectacularly different" than mid-range gear.  There's a difference for sure, but it's not as big as people claim it is on sites like head-fi.

 

 

I have actually been debating on switching from my Audeze LCD-2's to HD800, but haven't decided whether to do it or not. (Plus I need about $200 to do it)

I need to spend some time with the HD800 and think whether I want it or not. It will be more of a side-grade than an upgrade.

 

 

 

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to PM me and I'll do my best to help.


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look at all those comments~
 

 

Well, to be fair, head-fi does got a few 'gems', meaning topics/threads where the people posting there are pretty reasonable. Mostly on non-mainstream topics/devices though. Like, I found a topic/community there discussing about the Aune T1, which consists of good, logical, and mannered people. But true, found some topics there where the inhabitants are a little bonker.... :D

 

Back to OP: I would almost (almost) go as far as to say the 2 options you listed are being 'black and white', meaning they got very different characteristics.

 

As I could remember, the modified T50RP (forgot which one I tried, was it Alpha Dog or Mad Dog) sounds warmer, accentuated lows and mid-lows, while HD800 sounds brighter, accentuated highs and mid-highs. HD800 sounds a lot wider, that's for sure. So should be back to your own preference. Me, I prefer warmer sounds, so out of the two, I'd go with the planar one (although I'd still prefer my HE400 than the 'dog' I tried, because HE400 got more distinct high spike).

 

Actually, just consult with wizzie and lays. Wizzie have HD800 and had LCD-X, while lays owns LCD-2. I'm guessing you could get some insights on HD800 vs planar (in general)

HD800 have more Low Mids than Hi mids, but it depend on amping.

meh to OP, just get Alpha dog, superb high and vocal transparency, it also has adjustable bass. Also pls don't get a sound card for Hi end audio stuff...


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I have noted your opinions, may I add one more into the mix? What about Beyerdynamic T90? This would probably cost the least at about 330USD. Would this be a nice kick start into the world of high end cans appreciation?

 

I wouldn't go any higher than the DT 880 or 990. I had the T1's and they were awful.

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How many people on this forum have bought and used a range of $1000+ headphones to be able to bring good experience to the table? If it was more than 10 in the community I would be surprised. If more than two of those actually saw and replied to this post I would again be surprised.

 

You are the first although have you got a range of $1000 cans?

 

I do. Ask me anything.  Tesla T1 and LCD-2 here.  Long story short, headphones that expensive are only worth it to reply to silly posts like this.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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If you're sticking to the 300-ish price range I guess you don't have to try stuff out. I'm still a fan of Mad Dogs and HD600/650s (although those 6xxs have to go for used to fit into that price range).

 

@Cupitor Is it totally necessary to talk in depth about headphones which are like, over double the budget of the OP?


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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm trying to get in touch with someone who wants to sell his HD650, so tentatively, it's a toss up between the AD and the HD650, and possibly the Beyer T90. This is sort of an elimination round for me, will personally go and test at least two of these cans before committing to one. I've struck off the HD800 since it's too much of an extravagance.


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I'm trying to get in touch with someone who wants to sell his HD650, so tentatively, it's a toss up between the AD and the HD650, and possibly the Beyer T90. This is sort of an elimination round for me, will personally go and test at least two of these cans before committing to one. I've struck off the HD800 since it's too much of an extravagance.

One on sale for $250. Might still be available, but you might wanna act quickly:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/738851/fs-sennheiser-hd650


In Placebo We Trust - Resident Obnoxious Objective Fanboy (R.O.O.F) - Your Eyes Cannot Hear
Haswell Overclocking Guide | Skylake Overclocking GuideCan my amp power my headphones?
Stop worrying about your audio gear and start jammin' to your favorite tunes already!

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I'm trying to get in touch with someone who wants to sell his HD650, so tentatively, it's a toss up between the AD and the HD650, and possibly the Beyer T90. This is sort of an elimination round for me, will personally go and test at least two of these cans before committing to one. I've struck off the HD800 since it's too much of an extravagance.

 

I think you will be very happy with the HD650, they sound beautiful! I was even able to do a side by side test in an audio store with the HD650 and HD800, and I personally prefer the 650's sound, its a richer warmer sound.

 

If you don't mind refurbished this is a good place to get a cheap pair. (When they're in stock) http://en-us.sennheiser.com/outletstore

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