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post #151 of 1211 Old 10-15-2010, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
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NICE Rig! Break it down for us (watcha got there)!

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post #152 of 1211 Old 10-15-2010, 05:13 PM
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Its a hp touchscreen computer (going to be upgraded to a imac very soon) that has all flac and HR music. I use the halide bridge usb/spdif converter to get the music to the dac. I want to up grade the halide bridge to a emperical audio usb converter since those have the option of I2S output which my dac accepts.

The dac is a Ayon Skylla. It is a tube dac with a tube power supply incorporated in it. Its a beast at 40lbs. I have rolled the output tubes in it to new dr6h30 but I am looking to get some nos dr6h30 for it and some nos 6x4's. I will post a picture of the insides.

The amp is a Eddie Current Balancing Act (BA for short). It is using 2 KR px4 output tubes, a tung-sol roundplate driver, and two 1960 mullard 6x4's in the power supply.

Al ot of tweaks like herbies tube dampners and tenderfeet. Also some custom isolation sandboxes made by timbernation.

My main can right now is the LA7000. Silky wood cups, jena wire, markl modded, and balanced.

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post #153 of 1211 Old 10-18-2010, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Jazz View Post

Thanks for your input. I should probably just calm down...

I think my problem is that I really WANT to like the Denons, and I do like them quite a bit, they're just not EXACTLY what I wanted. So I'm trying to figure out if I can live with them, maybe with tweaking, or if I really need to try something else out. Based on your list the HD600s look like the best compromise between quantity and quality but I really, really hate the way they look. I've seen so many positive comments on the AKGs but I'm not sure they're for me and a little past my price range.

I think what pleased me the most about the D2000 is that the treble really feels like a step up from what I've heard through my Sony 7506s and Senn PX100s. My Monitor Audio speakers have spoiled me a bit in terms of my ability to enjoy other speakers, and I wanted to capture that feeling in my new headphones, as well. The level of detail I'm hearing through the USP-1/Denon combo is fairly amazing. I definitely had a "hi-fi" moment listening to "Amator Silenti" by the Dave Holland Quintet, during Steve Nelson's marimba intro I could hear people shifting their weight and shuffling about. It wasn't a loud, distracting sound, just an interesting quiet background detail.

I'll preface this by mentioning I just recently became interested in getting a quality headphone for SA-CD/"quiet" listening a few months back. I ended up going with the Denon AH-D2000 based off reviews and price point.

I've been quite happy with the AH-D2000 both connected directly to my laptop and going through my HT system (Yamaha DVD-S1800BL SA-CD player output through NAD T-747 receiver). Bass is to my liking (actually wouldn't mind just a tad less 'bass') and actually puts my actual subwoofers to shame in the down and low department... they definitely do go subsonic and you can feel the pressurization of ultra-low frequencies. Trentemoller and Pendulum CDs are great listens with these headphones (Trentemoller for accuracy and clarity of sound and Pendulum for impact/rhythm of sound.) Specifically "Vamp" or "Always Something Better" from Trentemoller's The Last Resort album and "Set me on Fire" or "The Island: Part II (Dusk)" from Pendulum's Immersion album. Sound quality matches well to that of my stereo speaker output: the Yamaha DVD-S1800BL SA-CD player output through the NAD T-747 receiver as a pre-amp with a NAD PE2200 Amp driving Polk RTi-A5 fronts. The Denon AH-D2000 headphones trump the Polks in detail and better bass extension. The detail is pretty good when you can hear the string harmonic changes and effects from the fingering/muting/picking on Joe Satriani songs... not just the fingering/muting/picking and notes.

SID3W8Z, whenever you acquire the AH-D2000 I'd like to hear your impression of it.
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post #154 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 12:15 PM
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To tame or tighten the bass in the d2000, you may want to try a partial markl mod or stuff the pads. The pads are a easy and reversible tweak that may give you better bass and a better sound stage.

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post #155 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

To tame or tighten the bass in the d2000, you may want to try a partial markl mod or stuff the pads. The pads are a easy and reversible tweak that may give you better bass and a better sound stage.

For me, they don't need taming or tightening, I was hoping for a little "more" bass without getting boomy or exaggerated. That said, I've had them for several weeks now and compared them to Shure, Sony, and Beyerdynamic and I still like them the best of the bunch. The second pair of Denons I got does sound a little richer than the first, but that could be a matter of break-in. In any event, I'm keeping that pair and sending the rest back. Missed some deals on AKG 70x so I may not get to that for awhile, but I do plan to try out some more headphones eventually.

Early impressions of the LDI+ are that it does not differ greatly from the sound out of my Emotiva USP-1 preamp, but I think that it adds a magic audiophile sparkle of "reality" to the sound. Or I could be crazy.
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post #156 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Jazz View Post


Early impressions of the LDI+ are that it does not differ greatly from the sound out of my Emotiva USP-1 preamp, but I think that it adds a magic audiophile sparkle of "reality" to the sound. Or I could be crazy.

It's probably the tubes. What did you get (stock tubes)? I like my Western Electric 408e... but I know there are better ones, but I really haven't gotten into tube rolling yet.

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post #157 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

It's probably the tubes. What did you get (stock tubes)? I like my Western Electric 408e... but I know there are better ones, but I really haven't gotten into tube rolling yet.

I got the cheapy stock tubes. I suspect the tube rolling bug will bite me eventually but I need to stop spending for awhile.

By the way, how do you open the chassis to get to the jumpers? The directions don't explain how and I'd like to get some useful info before I start unscrewing stuff.
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post #158 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Jazz View Post

I got the cheapy stock tubes. I suspect the tube rolling bug will bite me eventually but I need to stop spending for awhile.

By the way, how do you open the chassis to get to the jumpers? The directions don't explain how and I'd like to get some useful info before I start unscrewing stuff.

There's screws (is it two or four? ) on the front and back. Just remove those and it'll pretty much split in two so that you can get to the jumpers in the bottom half. You'll see 'em once you remove the screws. Also, you DON'T need to remove the screws on the top. I tried that...not good results.

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post #159 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

I still havent had the opportunity to hear a set of dt48. One of these days...

Be careful with the gaming can addiction. I started off being just a hard core gamer trying to get an advantage by getting a good headphone setup, then I found headfi. I am just starting to find some cash for my gaming rig again. I still have a lot of upgrades left like upgrading to a imac and a better usb/spdif converter as the next things to tackle, but here is my main rig as of right now.



That was my goal.. Bought the 595 for gaming, & thought paying 150.00 for headphones was 'crazy.' 2 days later I blew 380 on the 650.. I was hooked.. But it's Ironic I had to look 73 yrs into the past to find my headphone of choice.. The DT48.. On a side note, I was talking about the DT480, not DT48. The DT480 is the grand daddy of the 150's I believe.. My pair is from 1972. & sound like a DT48/Sextett hybrid. Has the musicality some DT48 models lack, while maintaining some technical expertise..

My goal now is the original DT48 that studio's used for 20 yr yrs before they were changed for the GP when released in the mid 50's.. The Q10/LCD2/HD800/ Nuforce 83SE mod.. & will buy a 2-3 grand amp when I get the income. Then it's stop time for me.. Right now getting my Goldpoint pro to V10 is tops on my list.. I already had two mods in like two yrs.. This will make 3.. He claims better bass response among other improvements. If you heard the V9, you'd have a hard time believing the bass response could get better.. They are great at controlling undisciplined bassy headphones like the pro 900..

Great looking headphones...

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post #160 of 1211 Old 10-19-2010, 08:42 PM
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For you guys that have the Denon 2/5/7000 headphones, you may want to check out. "JMoney pads".

I have heard some good things about them. Unfortunately you can't get them now because they are working on a new version (3) .

ss
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post #161 of 1211 Old 10-20-2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

For you guys that have the Denon 2/5/7000 headphones, you may want to check out. "JMoney pads".

I have heard some good things about them. Unfortunately you can't get them now because they are working on a new version (3) .

ss

How can I resist something called "JMoney"?

p.s. thanks bbexperience for the LDI+ info.
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post #162 of 1211 Old 10-23-2010, 02:34 PM
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Quote:


I have heard some good things about them. Unfortunately you can't get them now because they are working on a new version (3) .

I have both the j$ v1 and his v2 pads. I am looking forward to hearing his v3 pads when they come out.

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post #163 of 1211 Old 12-03-2010, 03:49 PM
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My setup is a low-budget one:

Source:
iPod 3G with LOD
Laptop with FLAC + E7

Amp:
Fiio E7+E9

Cans:
AKG K702
Beyerdynamic DT990/600
Creative Aurvana Live!

... and... i will stop for a while.
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post #164 of 1211 Old 12-03-2010, 04:25 PM
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I have a pretty low budget headphone set up connected to my computer, if you can consider a grand low budget :P

USB input from computer, gamma-2 DAC (diy design by AMB, a contributer over at head-fi), Elekit TU-882 tube amp, Sennheiser HD650 and Audio Technica ATH-A900 headphones

Since I spend almost all of my media entertainment time on my computer, the set up has been worth it, for music, computer gaming, and video watching.
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post #165 of 1211 Old 12-08-2010, 06:12 AM
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For you guys starting out in the headphone/amp/dac world take a hard look at what Audio GD has to offer. I think some of these are around $200 for a Amp/pre and DAC. Pick up a pair of senn HD-650 and you have a nice entry level set-up.
They use good Dac chip and have there own power supply. If at all possible you don't want something with a wall wart type of power supply.

For you high end guys the new Hifiman HE6 is about as good as it gets for dynamic headphones. They are in a different league than any current production dynamic headphone. And I am talking about the senn HD-800 with cardas cord and the denon D7000's just to name a few.
The only catch with the HE6 is you need a very powerful head amp like a Woo WA5/LE but some folks are using these headphones with speaker amp/external DAC and have reported good results. Plus for good results a very good source player with a very good power supple and DAC, or a external well designed DAC.
Or if you have a less prowerfull head amp like a EC pictured above then you may want to take a look at the LCD-2 I have read some very nice comments about those also.
In both cases these are orthos.

ss
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post #166 of 1211 Old 12-24-2010, 06:52 AM
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My D7000 just came in yesterday. <3333333

My DT990 is gonna be jeaaaaalous. I wish the D7000 was a little bit brighter (like bright/edgy, not a fan of warm/smooth), and I might look into the J$ pads to tame the bass just slightly enough. Funny, half a year ago, I would have wanted more bass.

The D7000 is easily the best headphone I have ever heard overall. A few nitpicks here and there, but as a whole, I can see why they cost so much. Got them for $585 brand new though, so no real complaints here.
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post #167 of 1211 Old 12-24-2010, 11:20 AM
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I currently have a LittleDot DAC and MKVII+ balanced amp. Headphones are HD280, HD650, DT990, K701, K240 sextets.

I ordered a Meier Concerto amp and StageDAC last week. I plan on getting either a Beyerdynamic T1 or a Audeze LCD-2.
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post #168 of 1211 Old 12-24-2010, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

My D7000 just came in yesterday. <3333333

My DT990 is gonna be jeaaaaalous. I wish the D7000 was a little bit brighter (like bright/edgy, not a fan of warm/smooth), and I might look into the J$ pads to tame the bass just slightly enough. Funny, half a year ago, I would have wanted more bass.

The D7000 is easily the best headphone I have ever heard overall. A few nitpicks here and there, but as a whole, I can see why they cost so much. Got them for $585 brand new though, so no real complaints here.

Very nice Shin! I see your moving up from Mid to high... funny how not more than 3-4mos ago... you said you weren't going to. Lol.. hit me up with a friend request on PS3... I'm back on that and dropped the 360.

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post #169 of 1211 Old 01-02-2011, 05:35 PM
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I have a decent headfi rig right now:

Sources over to a MHDT Havana DAC
Salk Signature Sound CAOB1 about 2 feet from my face

I got rid of my home headphone rig.

At work I have source to a MHDT Paradisea to AudioGD C2C to Denon 5000

I also have some um3x iems with custom um56 tips which I enjoy but would like to upgrade.

I have gone through 10-15 headphones and a dozen DACs and amps...went back to speakers for my study.

Next up - rip out out my custom theater speakers for new ones...too...many...options.

Sorry for your wallet.

REW...most expensive freeware ever...

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post #170 of 1211 Old 01-15-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin CZ View Post

My D7000 just came in yesterday. <3333333

My DT990 is gonna be jeaaaaalous. I wish the D7000 was a little bit brighter (like bright/edgy, not a fan of warm/smooth), and I might look into the J$ pads to tame the bass just slightly enough. Funny, half a year ago, I would have wanted more bass.

The D7000 is easily the best headphone I have ever heard overall. A few nitpicks here and there, but as a whole, I can see why they cost so much. Got them for $585 brand new though, so no real complaints here.

Welcome to high end audio.. Now imagine a high end amp & DAC.

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post #171 of 1211 Old 01-16-2011, 02:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

For you guys starting out in the headphone/amp/dac world take a hard look at what Audio GD has to offer. I think some of these are around $200 for a Amp/pre and DAC. Pick up a pair of senn HD-650 and you have a nice entry level set-up.
They use good Dac chip and have there own power supply. If at all possible you don't want something with a wall wart type of power supply.

For you high end guys the new Hifiman HE6 is about as good as it gets for dynamic headphones. They are in a different league than any current production dynamic headphone. And I am talking about the senn HD-800 with cardas cord and the denon D7000's just to name a few.
The only catch with the HE6 is you need a very powerful head amp like a Woo WA5/LE but some folks are using these headphones with speaker amp/external DAC and have reported good results. Plus for good results a very good source player with a very good power supple and DAC, or a external well designed DAC.
Or if you have a less prowerfull head amp like a EC pictured above then you may want to take a look at the LCD-2 I have read some very nice comments about those also.
In both cases these are orthos.

ss

Unless the finished product is that much better then the prototype I would disagree. I was in the loaner program..Admittedly my amp wasn't the best to get the most out of the He6, But things like neutrality ie won't change due to a more powerful amp IMO. Here is my final impressions against my 50's NAGRA DT48S.

NAGRA DT48S VS the HE6 (Ortho)
By: Kool Bubba Ice
03:30 PM PDT
Views: 1066

Final Impressions & NAGRA DT48S comparisons



Cosmetics, Connections & Design:



This is the prototype. I have no idea if any, what changes will be made to the finished product. Overall, the quality & designs fits right in with other high end, under 1,000 headphones. I found them very light on my head. The padding is full, yet soft like a pillow, without being to fluffy. They covered every ounce of my ears. They fit on my head nearly perfect. Only needed a few minor adjustments. They are on par with my former MDR F1/SA5000/DT880 in terms of comfort. I like the wooden design. Minimal gloss, unlike some of the prettier looking AT woodies. Construction is good, but I question the overall durability of these headphones. Don't get the wrong impression. The craftsmanship is wonderful, but seem more on the fragile side of the spectrum.



The HE6 came packaged with a assortment of connections & adapters for both speaker amp/headphone amp usage. The cables themselves are de tachable & of the screw on/off variety. Red/white coloring for proper cable placement. Very easy & self explanatory. Unfortunately the stock cable seems to fit with most high end headphones, which are just 'OK.'. I'm sure getting a better & more capable 3rd party cable will be mandatory for most serious buyers.



Headphone History

NAGRA DT48S Cir 1955-1957

DT48a x4

DT48S

DT48e X7

Sen 650

Sen 600

Sen 595

Sen 212 Pro

AKG K501

AKG K240 Sextett

AKG K280

AKG K701

AKG K1000

AKG K340

Audio Technia AD700

Audio Technics 810 (Ortho)

Yamaha Y1 (Ortho)

Beyers DT480

Beyers DT770 03

Beyers DT880 05

Beyers DT990 05

Sony SA5000

Sony MDR F1



Equipment & cables used:

NAGRA DT48S

GoldPoint Pro Headphone amp V9

OPPO 83SE Universal player

Yamaha V1800 receiever

Zu Birth PC

Zu Bok PC

ZU Mother PC

Cardas Silver stereo interconnects

Belkin stereo interconnects

Monster 1000 toslink cable

Monster digital coax cable

Blue Jean Toslink cable

Panamax 5300 Power center & surge protector



Overview. 2 headphones from 2 different eras, purposes, & technology come together with interesting results.



Brief history. The NAGRA DT48S is the first headphone released to the public in the mid 50's. The NAGRA DT48S is based off the original that was restricted to professional use for 20 yrs. Since 1937. So we have a headphone based on the first moving coil design. Due to their technical prowess, They met NAGRA's strict standards for recording purposes & other professional applications, even though they were released to the public. From what I know they were modified sonically before their release. & some say were 600 ohms. My NAGRA DT48S is from 1955-1957, only 5 ohms, & has been repaired & re cabled by Alex from apuresound.com. To put it bluntly, I decided to compare the NAGRA DT48S to the HE6 cause I feel they are the best headphones I ever owned, & quite possibly , the best I heard. My apologies to the K1000.



My Ortho knowledge is not up to snuff. I believe planar technology was created in the 60's, (electrostats also fall in the planar family) & have some noticeable improvements over dynamic headphones. In general, the sound is more natural, effortless audio reproduction with a smoothness that voice coil technology cannot compete with. Yamaha lead the charge for ortho's in the 70's.. Even making ortho friendly receivers. Yamaha also has one of the most revered & respected Ortho ever created. The Yamaha 1000. Fostex was also a major player in Ortho technology, but mostly for the professional market. Ortho's run lasted until early to mid 90's I believe. Ortho's have a cult following, partly in due to the ease of modding, & there has been a resurgence in Ortho's recently with the Fostex T50, LCD1, LCD2, HE5, HE5 LE, & the formidable HE6, which I'm about to review.



Neutrality/Transparency



I must admit, I expected a highly colored & 'fun' headphone. To my surprise they are more neutral & transparent, then I thought. That is a good thing IMO. They lean on the tonally/timbre rich & warm side, but do so delicately, think subliminally tinkering.. The HE6 'slides' this in without notice at first, it just sounds like it should be there. & nothing in excess like the 650, which seemed overly rich & lush to the point of sounding a bit manufactured. The HE6.



rich/warm un amped instruments sound realistic & natural to me. On the flip side, you realize the HE6 does add a bit of it's own 'magic', cause drums, finger snaps, tambourine among others are too rich sounding IMO.. So it really is a mixed bag.. I was on cloud 9 then was hit with a nose dive..Cello to drums. So the HE6 isn't hard-line neutral. Drums can sound a bit artificial, but the HE6 is transparent enough to allow the listener to differentiate the type of drums/drum machine being used. Acoustics get a 'pass' with the HE6. There's a nice sense of warmth & sheen, but isn't able to re create a authentic type experience with 100% consistency & lacks the ability to dissect every layer & every fiber of the individual string. The HE6 blend string instruments to a certain extent, but with a inviting & enticing sense of warmth that pulls you into the music emotionally, while the NAGRA's just expose what is there without being discrete or trying to connect you to the music. Better used as a analyzing tool, then a headphone that touches all the right neurons for the intended response.



Tonally rich instruments sound more realistic on the HE6 then on my NAGRA DT48S. They have more 'bite', & more 'flesh.' the NAGRA's feel naked in comparison.. But the NAGRA DT48S is more consistent overall & authentic in general when comparing a host of un amped/acoustics instruments.. The HE6 is more hit or miss. & the NAGRA's removes layer upon layer of acoustics along with a life like authenticity that is unreal at times.. But with certain instruments, the HE6 really get's it right, where the NAGRA's tend to struggle a bit. Too sum it up. I was impressed with the Neutrality & transparency.. People looking for a strictly fun headphone should look elsewhere..




Midrange



IMO the midrange is what really makes or breaks a headphone. I will use an analogy by Kevin to describe the DT48's mid range. It's like a mike feed that's connected to your brain. This is very true. The DT48 mid range is the best sonic trait it has. The DT48 NAGRA is very mid centric without sounding forward. The mids are full, intimate, extremely detailed, resolving, with a true to like authentic presentation, with great clarity to match.. So how does the HE6 stack up? The mid range does sound more natural & effortless in it's presentation. Free flowing comes to mind. Very smooth, but feels a bit distance & recessed compared to the NAGRA. The vocals on the HE6 carries more weight & warmth to the vocalist voice making them sound more alive & seductive, but there is a slight gloss over the mid range that lacks the resolving power & detail extraction the NAGRA gives you in spades.. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.. The HE6 mid range is certainly detailed enough to pick up minor gaffs, & can allow for a more pleasing listening experience, masking minor ambient quirks.. The HE6 mid range wants to keep the listener engaged. The NAGRA wants to discet everything in the vocalist voice.



Bass



This is where the HE6 start to move ahead of the NAGRA. The DT48 in general is a labor of love in getting proper bass. It's very tricky but can be done, especially the vintage 5-25ohm versions. The NAGRA's are overly dependent on the source for their bass. The bass is truly neutral without any emphasis in the bass. This makes them sound 'bass lite.' I believe Beyer's did this to monitor the bass accurately for recording & other pro applications. They just wanted to hear the bass how it is. Some call this flat. There are people who feel the NAGRA & DT48 in general get the bass right, others feel you needed added emphasis to get realistic bass with acoustic instruments.



The NAGRA's bass varies greatly depending on the recording. The bass is full, tight, & snappy. Some might interpret them as bass lean due to the lack of extra weight & quantity. The NAGRA's re produce un amped bass much better then amped bass or poorly done bass. The NAGRA's lack bass definition, meat on the low end, & extends much less then the HE6. The HE6 bass is rich, better mid bass, meatier bottom end with much better extension. The DT48 roll off starts between 50-60hz from most reports. But some members have listed they go deeper, with less roll off. The HE6 just offers a fuller, richer bass with more impact & quantity without sticking out. I agree with Frank & others who say the HE6 have a balanced sound. They really do.. & the bass is no different. Bass heads look elsewhere. The HE6 bass leans more towards the accurate & realistic side of the spectrum.



Highs



This is another area that I feel the HE6 betters the NAGRAs. The NAGRA's highs are of good quality. Clean & detailed. But doesn't extend farly as much as the HE6. The highs extend very well, & smoother, better well rounded with some 'sparkle'. While the NAGRA's illustrate some roll off in the upper frequencies in comparison.



Distortion/Blackness/Noise floor



The HE6 demonstrate a type of blacker then black ground that I have yet to discover in any headphone. & sounds natural to boot. The NAGRA's are 'grayish' in comparison. The HE6 seems to have a lower distortion level, which allows for so,me great lower level resolving power that picks up more data with little effort, while the NAGRA strains a bit. The Blackness is like a void, where instruments & voices simply appear & disappear with a very authentic & life like decay.. Think playing Marco polo. You literally don't know where the instrument is coming from. Any direction & height. It's like being sucker punched but in a good way.. Truly stunning.. This was with my Panamax 5300 PC/SP/Goldpoint V9/Oppo84se combo..



Sound stage & imaging



The HE6 Sound stage is quite ordinary. In some respects that's good. It's not overly big or feels artificial. The Sound stage is bigger & rounder in the 3d sense then the NAGRA which are heavy left to right sounding. They sound exactly like a headphone. Very seldom do you get a out of head experience. The HE6 Sound stage does have better vertical depth then horizontal width & depth. The overall size is above average. They do offer a complete 3d experience. Both the space the instruments occupy & the instruments themselves are 3d & good, but not stellar imaging. The NAGRA's space is flat & 2d.. Think side scrolling gaming. But the instruments & vocals are 3D & gives you a better sense of the instruments & studios surroundings.. From reverb reflections off walls. Studio conditions. The weight & dimensions of the instruments. The NAGRA's sound stage & imaging is better equip to accommodate to the recording. The sound stage will expand, widen, get smaller, change heights of the venue. In this sense the NAGRA's are a chameleon, while the HE6 sound stage pretty much stays the same & is less transparent. You don't get the full picture so to speak with the HE6. The air around the instruments isn't very good on the HE6, & is just a tad better then my NAGRA's. Both headphones do a good job with sound stage coherency , albeit, the NAGR does a better & more believable job of it. The HE6 sound stage does give the listener a full 3d experience, with the NAGRA you kind of have to 'fill in the blanks & can seem a bit awkward at times. Think of a fighting game with 3d stages & 2d characters. The NAGRA's also offer better instrument separation, but this could easily change if the HE6 had more adequate amping.



Clarity. Detail. Speed.



I did expect more clarity & speed. I expected stat like speed & clarity. The Speed is Dynamic good. Not overly impressive, but the notes & instruments are clean & clear. Detail is very good, but it didn't expose anymore information then the NAGRA's.. Clarity & fidelity is clearly on the NAGRA's side.



Final thoughts



I won't project a winner. It wouldn't be fair to the HE6. I didn't have the juice to drive them to their potential. It would not surprise me if the HE6 are more detailed, faster, with great separation, & possibly clarity with the right power amp or mono block. So, no winner. I do, however, feel the HE6 is a very good headphone even under powered, their greatest strengths were able to shine. IMO, for 800.00 they would be a great bargain. I would even sell them for 800 for a month before starting to sell them for around 1,000. If Mr Fang does sell the HE6 between 1,200-1,600, I see this as a mistake, especially if the retail version is hard as nails to drive as this prototype. Better the sound, make them easier to drive, sell them for 995, & I think they will sell very well, despite being in direct competition with the LCD2. I would like to thank MR Fang for giving me the chance to listen to his wonderful sounding headphone. I hope he does extremely well with them.

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post #172 of 1211 Old 01-16-2011, 02:28 PM
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DT48 VS HD800: One mans view point
By: Kool Bubba Ice
01:57 PM PDT
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Author's name & DT48 model won't be listed unless he allows me to do so. He is a regular member on headfi.. His posts' are always articulate, informative, & intelligent. His opinions here will not be popular on headfi for various reasons. One being, a 73 yr old headphone bettering a state of the art, 1,400 headphone.

If you truly felt the DT48 bettered the HD800, period, would you be man enough to admit it on headfi? It's tough being the only one. I'm basically hated by some for putting the DT48 on such a pedestal & feeling they compete with the best of the best. Even a mod verbally attacked me using the DT48 as the antagonist. It's a sad state that I must protect this members identity for his personal opinion. But that is what headfi has become, where it's just as much about profit as it is about enjoying the music.. Propping up a 73 yr old headphone isn't in headfi's best interest.. Boosting the HD800 is.

A short update to share some thoughts on the HD800, as I feel I start to get a good overall feeling of how those HD800 sound... I still have to try them out of my "edit" though.



"In a nutshell, with the stock cable, I would say that they are tonally slightly on the bright side of things, thin sounding and dry. Their soundstage is great, actually much nicer than what I had expected, quite focused, large and coherent and not so widespread or diffuse, but heavily colored in the sense that every recording is presented with the same soundstage... very unnatural and boring. The DT48A at least portray a very different ambience and soundstage depending on each recording.



Thin because notes lack weight and density, but not in an electrostatic way... Voices for example are presented in a 2D way, missing depth and meat as you would say (not enough air moving due to the ring diaphragm ?).



Dry because decay of notes are simply not reproduced. You get fundamentals without harmonic richness. Very weird. A bit like if music was played in the deepest space and lowest harmonic were not travelling through the air... You only get the first bits and then it suddenly stops. That makes for a totally uninvolving experience, unrealistic. You perceive each instrument as completely separated and not even performing the same recording, because there is no air or reverb interacting between them. Like having a multitrack mix, in which each instrument would have been recorded on a different track and different location, and everything mixed together in the final production stage.



Overall transparency is better on the DT48A, and I would dare to say even on the DT48E, especially when it comes to mids or reverb in studio or live recordings. Through the HD800, a live recording will sound the same as a studio recording. You get almost no clue on those smallest reverb or ambience that make differences between recordings. Yet transparency on the HD800 is very good to get a sense of instruments tonalities but its like a portrait photo that makes a very good and accurate first plane and then get's the background blurred... This is the kind of "artificial" transparency you get with the HD800.



The Cardas cable do provide a more balanced tonal response (brightness disappears), but soundstage flaws and decay are still a big issue (especially considering the price), along with this lack of true transparency, making those headphones completely unmusical for my tastes. No need to say I am heavily disappointed."


Please always keep in mind those are my impressions, in my system and with my ears. Of course, and as always, YMMV. Tracks used for critical listening were:



Leonard Cohen, Essentials, Tower Of Song
Madeleine Peyroux, Dreamland, La vie en rose
Diana Krall, Live in Paris, A case of you
Cannonball Adderley, Somethin' Else, Autumn,
Cranberries, No need to argue, No need to argue
Pink Floyd, DSOTM, Time
Dragonetti, Works for double bass, Duo for cello and double bass
Paco de Lucia, Concierto de Aranjuez, first movement
2L, demo tracks, North Country II (24/96)



My system is currently composed of the Lavry DA11 only, fed by a Hiface async USB device with Oyaide DR-510 coaxial cable. The Lavry is plugged into a PS Audio Duet Center with a Shunyata Sidewinder CX power cord. I have also been able to use for the occasion my trusted LD mkIII, with Mullard M8100 and Sovtek 6H30PI. It was connected to AC through a Siltech SPX20 power cable.



The HD800 are fully burnt in, on a loan from a friend. I also had a SE Cardas cable to try with the HD800. They do not appear to be that difficult to drive, with an excellent sensitivity. Out of the Lavry, 30 out of 56 on the volume knob was more than enough to provide a loud listening level.



I will not comment on the build quality of the HD800, everything has already been said about those. They are also very comfortable, and easy to adjust to get the best listening position.



So let's start with its most remarkable attribute, the soundstage... It is wide, deep, extends well around the ears, images slighlty in front of us, with a rather good focus and no weird echo effect as I was fearing a la K701. The soundstage is indeed very enjoyeable. But... Every recording tend to be presented through the HD800 wide soundstage in the very same way, which resulted extremely boring to me. One fits them all. A studio or live recording will have the same positioning in front of you, no matter how the recording was mic'ed. They do not share the DT48's ability with a good source to portray totally different ambiance and soundstage distances depending on the recording.



Regarding the tonal balance, I would describe them as rather cold with the stock cable and out of the Lavry, while providing a somehow smooth midrange and tight and controlled bass. However, I suspect synergy do indeed play a large role there to get the best out of them. I had surprisingly good results with my LD mkIII, achieving a fuller and very balanced sound signature with excellent extension. The SE Cardas cable did also tamed the higher frequencies and provided a more full bodied midrange. I find the K701 for example much hotter in the trebles, and can not understand why so much fuss was made of the HD800 very slight treble enfasis, easy to remove with proper component matching.



The HD800 are fast, there is no doubt about that...But they are also much thinner sounding than the DT48. Notes through the HD800 lack weight and density. The DT48 are at least as fast as those, while providing a much fuller and realistic sound. The HD800 still sound like a headphone, artifical, in the sense that they force your brain to recreate the experience of the original sound. The DT48 just make the music flow, with such ease and in a natural way, that I find them extremely relaxing in comparison.


But for me, and at this stage, the major HD800 flaws are the followings:



The lack of harmonic richness and continuity makes the HD800 sound dry and artifical. You get fundamentals of notes and the first harmonics, then it suddenly stops lacking decay. A bit like if music was played in the deepest space and lowest harmonic were unable to propagate through the missing air to reach your ears... Violins do sound completeley off with the HD800. That makes for an uninvolving and unrealistic experience.



Worst, that lack of decay also isolates each instrument from others. They do not interact together and you can almost perceive them as completely separated and not even performing the same recording. Like having a multitrack mix, in which each instrument would have been recorded on a different track and different location, and everything mixed together in the final production stage.



The HD800 transparency is easily bettered by the DT48A, and I would dare to say even by the DT48E. It is especially noticeable with reverb effects in studio or live recordings, or even through midrange details on voices.



Overall, I did not find listening through the HD800 an enjoyeable experience, but rather unnatural and artifical. They certainly have some technical merits and at least, have a completely unique sound to them, but are too unmusical for my tastes. And that is without even considering their price tag.


Unexpectedly, the DT48A more than holds their own against the new Sennheiser flagship IMHO. Not bad for a 73 years old headphone, don't you think?

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post #173 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 09:56 AM
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Hello, I am relatively new to this world of hi-fi headphones. In the past I have used Shure IEMs from the 300-500 series. They have been great for listening on the subway, as the isolation achieved with a good fit is tough to beat. I then felt that there was something I was still missing and that's what led me to this thread, among others, to search for the next level. I recently purchased a pair of AKG 702s, then a TTVJ slim portable amp http://www.headfonia.com/ttvj-slim-first-impression/. While I love the "sound" of the 702s, I need to crank up the levels on the subway to the point where I know I'm disturbing others with the sound leakage. Which leads me to my question. Are there closed back headphones with the same "sound" as the 702s? If you are unfamiliar with the "sound" of these headphones, the best way to describe it for me is a large soundstage with an emphasis on the midrange and accurate, if not powerful, bass. I listen to mostly female vocals, with some hard rock, hip hop, pop and more thrown in. The 702s work well with the various genres I enjoy, so I'd like to find a similar "sound" with little or no leakage as to not disturb my fellow commuters. I'll keep the 702s for home listening. It would also be nice to not kill my wallet while I'm at it. I do realize that the open air design of the 702s help with the large soundstage, so I'm sure there'll be some compromise. Anyway, thanks in advance for any suggestions. BTW, some of you have some sick(awesome) setups!

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post #174 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBI View Post

That was my goal.. Bought the 595 for gaming, & thought paying 150.00 for headphones was 'crazy.' 2 days later I blew 380 on the 650.. I was hooked.. But it's Ironic I had to look 73 yrs into the past to find my headphone of choice.. The DT48.. On a side note, I was talking about the DT480, not DT48. The DT480 is the grand daddy of the 150's I believe.. My pair is from 1972. & sound like a DT48/Sextett hybrid. Has the musicality some DT48 models lack, while maintaining some technical expertise..
[/b]

I have the 650's and the Icon.
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post #175 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 04:52 PM
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You guys are hardcore.

Last weekend I heard the Avenson Audio solid state headphone amp with my Denon D2000s and it kinda blew me away. I just don't have $750 to spend right now, and I'm not even doing much serious headphone listening at the moment anyway, so it's just not doable, but I was really impressed with what I heard. Interestingly, it had serious trouble driving some lower end AKGs (sorry, I'm not sure which model) -- we cranked the volume all the way up and it still wasn't putting out reasonable sound. The Avenson drove some Beyer 770s (pro) pretty well, too, although since I was most familiar with the sound of my own cans I didn't form as strong an opinion. My curiousity for higher-end stuff has definitely been piqued, though.
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post #176 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oopsydaisy View Post

Hello, I am relatively new to this world of hi-fi headphones. In the past I have used Shure IEMs from the 300-500 series. They have been great for listening on the subway, as the isolation achieved with a good fit is tough to beat. I then felt that there was something I was still missing and that's what led me to this thread, among others, to search for the next level. I recently purchased a pair of AKG 702s, then a TTVJ slim portable amp http://www.headfonia.com/ttvj-slim-first-impression/. While I love the "sound" of the 702s, I need to crank up the levels on the subway to the point where I know I'm disturbing others with the sound leakage. Which leads me to my question. Are there closed back headphones with the same "sound" as the 702s? If you are unfamiliar with the "sound" of these headphones, the best way to describe it for me is a large soundstage with an emphasis on the midrange and accurate, if not powerful, bass. I listen to mostly female vocals, with some hard rock, hip hop, pop and more thrown in. The 702s work well with the various genres I enjoy, so I'd like to find a similar "sound" with little or no leakage as to not disturb my fellow commuters. I'll keep the 702s for home listening. It would also be nice to not kill my wallet while I'm at it. I do realize that the open air design of the 702s help with the large soundstage, so I'm sure there'll be some compromise. Anyway, thanks in advance for any suggestions. BTW, some of you have some sick(awesome) setups!

The 702/701's are a very big headphone and has a large sound stage, but there is really nothing in a closed headphone that is leak proof that will give you the out-of-head sound stage you want. The closest closed headphone for what you want is a Denon HD-800, but they are a full size headphone and should blow your 702s out of the water.
You may want to look at some IEM's or better still custom made IEM's.
For a cheap IEM there is the Nuforce NE-6, that has a good sound stage and good dynamic range. You may want to experiment with the NE-6 and go from there if IEM interest you.
Also Hifiman is coming out with a new headphone that may just hit your nail on the head, its the HE-6A. If it is what I think it will be then your 702's will be just a back-up.

ss
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post #177 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 08:20 PM
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@KBI

If you want you may want to try the Hifiman HE-6 if you have a amp that will power them, if not then the Audeze LCD-2.

O my, I just saw your post and what Kool has to say. I know Kool and in this case he and you are wrong, and also off on the HD-800's.
As I have said you need a Amp that will power the HE-6, if not then forget the HE-6. His headphone amp is not very good and would never power the HE-6's, his Blue Jean and Monster 1000 toslink cable's are not very good, and probably the rest of his gears at best are mid level.

How can you write a review/opinion on something that you can't power?
Understanding that you guy's simply have the wrong gear for the HE-6's, should not re-post this opinion because it is miss leading given the fact that 1. you don't have the right amp and 2. those are prototype type's.
I am sure in Kools case he felt obligated to write his opinion because that was what was asked from Fang, and yes he say's his Amp can power the HE-6's.

Think of it this way, if you don't pair a Amp with some great speakers what will you end up with? Same goes for the HE-6's, these headphone are not for most folks because they simple don't know how to Amp the HE-6's.

If you are impressed by gear, here is just my front line gear for the HE-6.
Woo WA5-LE max and customized, Pair nos WE 300B (date code 56/26), Pair nos TSRP 6SN7GT (August 1942), new Pair EML 5U4G, Audioquest - King Cobra Interconnect cables, Black Sand Violet V1 power cords, PS Audio - Premier Power Conditioner, Smyth SVS Realiser, Crownson Shadow Stereo Motion System: A300b Amplifier with a pair TES100SS,
HE-6 with a X-10 HE-6 headphone cable, ADG DAC19 DSP1v5, SonicWave Glass Toslink Cable. BDP-09, BDP-83SE/NE

ss
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post #178 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cap'n Jazz View Post

You guys are hardcore.

Last weekend I heard the Avenson Audio solid state headphone amp with my Denon D2000s and it kinda blew me away. I just don't have $750 to spend right now, and I'm not even doing much serious headphone listening at the moment anyway, so it's just not doable, but I was really impressed with what I heard. Interestingly, it had serious trouble driving some lower end AKGs (sorry, I'm not sure which model) -- we cranked the volume all the way up and it still wasn't putting out reasonable sound. The Avenson drove some Beyer 770s (pro) pretty well, too, although since I was most familiar with the sound of my own cans I didn't form as strong an opinion. My curiousity for higher-end stuff has definitely been piqued, though.

You may want to look at Audio-GD's headphone AMP/DAC combo's.
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post #179 of 1211 Old 01-24-2011, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
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The current headphones that I'm currently working on sound fairly similar to the K702. Granted, they needed repair and I jimmied them to just work so I can take a quick listen, but was pretty impressed so far. I need to hurry them up and get them finished... as they belong to KBI. I can't wait to hear the final product though.

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post #180 of 1211 Old 01-25-2011, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

The 702/701's are a very big headphone and has a large sound stage, but there is really nothing in a closed headphone that is leak proof that will give you the out-of-head sound stage you want. The closest closed headphone for what you want is a Denon HD-800, but they are a full size headphone and should blow your 702s out of the water.
You may want to look at some IEM's or better still custom made IEM's.
For a cheap IEM there is the Nuforce NE-6, that has a good sound stage and good dynamic range. You may want to experiment with the NE-6 and go from there if IEM interest you.
Also Hifiman is coming out with a new headphone that may just hit your nail on the head, its the HE-6A. If it is what I think it will be then your 702's will be just a back-up.

ss

Did you mean Sennheiser HD-800? If so, as far as I can tell these are not closed back. Or did you mean a different Denon model? Any thoughts on the AH-D5000? AKG K271 MkII? As far as IEMs are concerned, I own a pair of SE530s, so going backwards to the NE-6 probably won't work. From what you've posted about the HE-6, they require serious power, and I'm not quite ready for a dedicated headphone amp just yet. If they can be adequately powered by my http://www.headfonia.com/ttvj-slim-first-impression/ that would definitely be an option. I looked at the Hifiman site, but could not find any info on HE-6, let alone HE-6A. If you have links, please share. Thanks for your help so far

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