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MrSpeakers Alpha Dog (T50RP Mod) Reviews


Fantastic Design with Good Sound that has Room for Improvement


Pros: Design and looks are excellent; Very comfortable; Variable bass tuning implementation; Front damping options; Somewhat neutral and spacious sounding

Cons: Sound quality can be a bit hard and artificial sounding, isn't the cleanest sounding headphone, and may have a bit too much bass

Note: Much of this comes from a review I wrote and posted elsewhere a month or so ago, but with some editing and organizational tweaks.   I have wanted to do a full Alpha Dog review for a while, and now that my pair has had some work done on it to better balance the channels and I have had plenty of time to listen and experiment with them, I'm good to go. My pair came with two of the damping “dots” applied to the front side of each driver and the felt damping discs for additional tuning. My main review and analysis will be done without using any of the felt discs, though I’ll provide rough and basic results of what these tweaks bring to the table as well. Presentation, Looks,...
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MrSpeakers Alpha Dog: A reference class Dog


Pros: Genre-neutral response; powerful sub-bass; even-handed midrange; sublime comfort; tuning options

Cons: Treble glare; stock cable; weight; discontinued

MrSpeakers Alpha Dog: A reference class Dog Introduction First, a disclaimer: I purchased the Alpha Dogs ($499USD, discontinued) with my own money after doing my own research and thus this is my independent (and highly subjective) opinion. A special thank you to @JerseyD of Inner Sanctum Audio for his advice and sale of these for an excellent price despite their discontinued nature.    Though I have some experience under my belt now with IEMs, this is my first review of full-sized cans on Head-Fi, and as such any and all advice on how to improve this review or future others will be highly appreciated. I'll try to keep things simple, practical, and relate what I'm...
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Comfortable, well-isolating, sublimely-sweet-sounding planar magnetic headphones


Pros: Comfort, isolation, bass and mids and low-treble, spacious sound with good imaging, dynamics, separation, detailed but fun

Cons: Weight (sometimes, when I'm tired), looks, upper-treble is lacking, it won't do my taxes for me

Since October, I have had the good fortune of having access to a pair of Alpha Dogs on-loan to me from a buddy of mine in these forums.  He and I had talked a lot about the kind of sound we each enjoy in headphones, and he told me that he was almost positive I would love the sound of the Alpha Dogs, and so he asked if I wanted to borrow them.  How could I decline?  As it turns out (and as will become clear in the following review) he was completely correct about how well the sound of the Alpha Dogs fits my preferences, and I almost certainly plan to purchase a pair of them (or the Primes) for myself once I can in the future.  So, on to the review, in which I will begin...
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The almost perfect closed-back headphone you were looking for...


Pros: Professional looking, excellent sound (clear), good comfort and isolation, very good presentation and accessories, excellent customer support.

Cons: Heavier than Mad Dogs, cable is great but don't particularly like Y-cables, bass impact, still needs ample amplification to sound its best.

Introduction First I want to start with an "I'm sorry" because I took so long to write this and to top it off, I feel as if the review was a "waste of time" because, well, I don't see it as very in-depth, my first impressions still stand (mostly), and everything has been mentioned to death but I thought I at least should record it for posterity :p   Anyway I've been a fan of the Mad Dogs since I got them on June/July 2012 and I've definitely been very vocal about them. They just hit all the right buttons I was looking for on a closed-back headphone:   good comfort isolation no leakage excellent mids and good bass response   I remember the...
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Review: MrSpeakers Alpha Dog


Pros: Very good all-around headphone

Cons: Layering and depth

MrSpeakers Alpha Dog   INTRODUCTION Like many I was bit by the planar magnetic bug years ago and I have not looked back since.  I have never heard any of Dan’s other headphones, but I have my own modded Fostex T50RP that I enjoy a lot.  Having owned the Fostex T50RP for 2 years I am familiar with its strengths (neutrality, focus, midrange, and tight bass) and weaknesses (air, polite treble).  I believe Dan has extracted every last drop of sonic goodness out of this Fostex driver.  When I first heard the Alpha Dog I will admit that I was not blown away.  I had just owned the Fostex TH-600 which I liked a lot, a more euphoric headphone in regards to treble...
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Pros: Strong extension from end to end, great clarity, Flat and even frequency response

Cons: Relative lack of air and black space, Realism suffers slightly due to mid-bass deficit, Soundstage could be a lot better, Treble lacks some weight.

Preface         A huge thanks to Dan (mrspeakers) for including me on the tour. I owned the Mad Dogs with alpha pads, so it's a great pleasure to get to hear this evolution of it.   The Alpha Dog is the world's first headphone with 3D printed cups. Even better, the inner workings and lattices of the cups were completely designed with sound quality in mind. Everything from the double-walled design to the lattice work is meant to optimize SQ while retaining isolation. Another benefit to going all in with the cup design is that Dan and his team were able to go into beast mode when finishing the outer aesthetics of the cups. My God, is this thing...
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Alpha Dog vs Denon D5000 (markl)


Pros: great isolation, good mids, good comfort, more neutral than Denon/Fostex, great looks and design!

Cons: somewhat congested soundstage, instrument separation can be a bit fuzzy, not enough detail and transparency

Comparison rig: Audio-GD NFB-28 via USB input, 0dB gain, balanced mode. Playing lossless music (with some high resolution tracks) on Windows 7 x64 and Foobar WASAPI. Sound Quality: - Soundstage of D5000 is noticably greater than Alpha Dog. Instrument separation is more clear on D5000s. ADs sound more closed than Denons (ADs have a greater effect on sound coming from inside your head). The AD soundstage is a bit congested and "fuzzy" with some tracks like piano solos. The soundstage of ADs improves very nicely with TB Isone. Great enhancement for those who play music on PC/Mac. - ADs are definely more neutral than Denons, somewhat darker too, but not HD650 dark. - ADs are less...
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MrSpeakers Alpha Dog Review: My Alpha?


Pros: Overall sound quality, build quality, durability, price

Cons: refinement, soundstage

Nothing About The Sound Quality Part    It has been awhile since I get to try many different flavours of headphones & speakers leave alone amplifiers and DAC. I have been so happy with my MrSpeaker’s Alpha Dog that I find myself stopped craving for an upgrade except for a very own custom cable for itself. That said, I did not regret paying the premium price to ship it via FedEx from the other side of the Earth to me although I am still not a fan of my local’s custom who made my premium delivery un-premium.    Either way, the packaging itself are kind of standard, nothing impressive nothing overdone nor underdone. Comes with everything I needed and the jack is...
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Slightly dark closed planars with insane speed and detail.


Pros: Detail, Bass extension, Speed, Liquidity, Tweakability

Cons: Lack of presence and air, Uncohesive soundstage, Price

Pre-review info: I've produced music for 6 years now these are my most expensive headphones I've bought. (prev Sennheiser HD600) These cost me 700$ due to Customs and Tax to Finland. I'm driving these out of a Cambridge Audio Dac Magic Plus, also these are the first planars AND high end closed headphones I've heard, so maybe you will find this review interesting. I had a lot of fun writing it. :) First Impressions: These feel really weird on my head. *Starts first song* WTF (Takes cans off and sees I connected the wires the wrong way lol) There we go... Oh wow that detail! That bass sounds super boosted though. (Immediately adjust the bass port 1 full...
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One of the best in its price range.


Pros: Very open sounding, very solid looks, big upgrade from Mad Dog, great sound all around, decent sound stage, detachable cable, bundled goodies.

Cons: Heavy, cable's a little microphonic, stock cable is shorter than ideal

These headphones started life as a very early (first commercially available revision) Mad Dog, and after a little over three hundred dollars and a week or so, they're really pretty great. Price is approximate, considering the cost of the Mad Dog way back when and the upgrade cost recently.   They sound like open headphones. The soundstage is a lot better than I'd expect from a closed headphone, but not going to beat the best open-backs. It is not a disappointment. The whole FR is good, it sounds really good for this price range, and even in general.   Cosmetically, it's very nice. It comes with some goodies, like a stand, a carrying bag, and some "doggie treats" for...
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