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Which headphones sound good with which amps?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I would really like to see a list of which headphones work well with certain amps. For myself, I would be interested in who likes the META42 with which headphones, but I think it would be cool to have a thread where a lot of headphone/amp combos that work well together are mentioned/discussed.

There are a lot of amps and a lot of headphones, but knowing generally good combinations certainly wouldn't hurt, especially when it comes to the more popular/affordable amps.

I'm sure there is a "best" headphone for each amp, but I'd like to know combinations that sound good, not necessarily just the absolute best combinations.
post #2 of 10
I posted some relevant comments at: http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showt...threadid=21004
post #3 of 10
I've been VERY impressed by the combo of META42 and Koss KSC-35/PortaPro. For some reason, these REALLY mesh well together. I was pretty amazed by the combo, to tell you the truth -- and I've been a big fan of these Koss phones for years.
post #4 of 10
I've been VERY impressed by the combo of META42 and Koss KSC-35/PortaPro. For some reason, these REALLY mesh well together.
<- andrzejpw RUNS to try this out. . .
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Anyone ever heard the Sony CD3000 with a META42?

I'm considering either the Sony CD3000, AT A1000, or Beyer DT770 for my next (and possibly last ) headphone, and I can't figure out which is for me. I'd like to audition them, but that seems pretty much impossible.
post #6 of 10

RKV + Beyer DT250 = fun!

Some good info can be found in various posts of impressions from head-fi meets such as this one I attended:


"I was surprised by the RKV. I compared HD600 with the Beyer DT250-80 and a few of us agreed that the Beyer sounded better matched with this amp than the HD600. More dynamic energy and just plain fun!"
post #7 of 10
seems there's a couple of us using the dt770's with obh11's. I do and iirc i think guyferd does as well.

I know i certainly enjoy the sound of these things
post #8 of 10
I'm not a big fan of the whole synergy thing much to Hirsch's frustration.

For me, the best stuff out there is whatever sounds most neutral in the driver and amp stage and whatever sounds best at the source and recording stage.

So when I think of synergy, I just think of matching compromises. A headphone with weak bass may pair more nicely with an amp with strong bass. I think this is why people like the RKV/K1000 combo, for example.

In the lower priced gear, it's harder to get such a good match because the shortcomings are often of a similar type. So yeah, I think the META42 is a good amp for <insert_budget_phone_here> but only because the META itself is a good bang for the buck.
post #9 of 10
Originally posted by kelly
I'm not a big fan of the whole synergy thing much to Hirsch's frustration.
I'm not sure we're even talking about the same thing when we talk about synergy. Some headphones sound better with some amps. Sometimes power cords and interconnects affect the sound. Each of these components has differing mechanical and electrical properties from other components that do the same thing. Some sets of mechanical and electrical properties will sound better when used together than other sets. If you find a set of components that works well together, you achieve "synergy", that is, a sound that is better than if you had taken a set of components that were at least nominally compatible and of reasonable quality and randomly thrown them together to create a system.

Example: Headphones sound better if an amp is properly impedance matched to them. If you agree with this statement, you're a hidden synergy believer. Impendance is a known electrical quality that affects headphone performance. Now we have to make an assumption: we don't know everything that makes components sound good together. There are likely electrical/mechanical (I'll add acoustical) properties that affect sound that we just plain don't know about, or understand how or why they work. Nevertheless, they are present, and if we can find components that are compatible along poorly understood dimensions, we achieve better system synergy.

The only frustration I feel is when someone posts that something is "bad", when it's been clearly demonstrated to be reasonably good in a number of systems. It seems more productive to figure out what in that particular setup caused it to sound bad, rather than write it off.
post #10 of 10
I'm also interested in hearing how the CD3Ks sound with
a good, entry-level, portable meta42 (AD8620). Based on what I've read, these 'phones won't necessarily sound good unless
they're paired with an appropriate amp (whatever that might be).

Actually, I'd like to know what full-sized cans do and do not sound good with basic meta42 configs, in general.

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