I think I was being far too critical of the stock T50s, they arrived smack bang when I was in the middle of analysing the merits of 1K plus cans and the remarks were made in direct contrast to those cans.
I have since stopped listening to all cans and have waited untill my hearing damage received in those rounds of comparisons to heal up somewhat. With a fresh set of ears, I went about listening to the T50s on its own merits and left comparisons to it with the HD650 and K701.
The result, a win for the T50s. They are smoother, lack grain that is evident to the other two cans and have superior instrument definition. If I was asked to declare which of those sounded more true to life, I would have to answer that the T50s sound more true to life. The vocals sound natural and treble precision is stunning and well extended to say the least, albeit many will find it too muted for their preferences. The problems the T50 have in the areas of soundstaging, detail retrieval, cup resonance and dynamics to me is far less severe than the problems evident in the two highly regarded conventional dynamics. The conventional dynamics have less bass texture, instrument texture and definition, grained upper midrange and treble and a general digital sounding glare in the sound. The conventional dynamics have superior detail retrieval, soundstaging imaging and dynamics.
The T50s have a tonal temperature similar to the HD650s and in opposite to the K701s. Many will not be able to adapt to the T50s laid back and closed cup sound and disregard them as awful and congested, yet to my experiences of having heard real acoustical instruments daily in the past would not agree with those that have come to those misguided conclusions. To me instruments sound far more realistic on the T50s than either HD650 or K701s. A piano key sounds more like a piano one would hear if playing a piano key right in front of them. Cymbals and hihats, although a shade muted, comes off much more convincing of the real life counterparts than the other two, same thing with guitar plucks and strums. Vocals are in a league of its own and bass is multilayered rhythmic and tuneful, more so than the other two.
Those positives to me are are of far greater value than the better soundstage, details and open aired nature of the other two...at these price ranges, and the T50s only cost 80 bucks. Both HD650 and K701 drivers are snails when compared to the highly agile orthdynamic drivers possesed by these T50s. I am very surprised that these cans are not being raved about on head-fi. They sound to me every bit more reference than either the K701 or HD650s. What kind of reference? With reference to the only thing that should be referenced, by real life instruments. I used to reference hi-fi components to other hi-fi components in the start of the audio journey years ago...then one day I realised I was doing it all wrong, I already had the best reference available to me and it was free.
Originally Posted by PhaedraCorruption
For around the same price, would you suggest I buy W5000 drivers and use them in my AD700s or just go with a pair of T50RPs? I'm having a hard time deciding..
There is more knowledge with the T50RP drivers than the W5000 drivers with regards to potential modifications, but don't let that stop you from becoming a pioneer in the field of W5000 driver modifications.