Originally Posted by sdhobbs
Sweet setup! Do your IEM's & headphones benefit from the Arrow amp? (Specifically your SM3 and T50P)
Also how does the T50P compare in sound to your SM3? I love the sound of my SM3 and was wondering if i'd like the T50P. Thanks!
Pretty much what dfkt noted...the SM3's are absolutely perfect off the J3 itself (most portables actually) and don't gain much by amping them with the Arrow, but they don't LOSE anything either. For me, the benefits of hardware implemented crossfeed (software or algorithms never quite sound right to my ears) and good bass boost outweigh any negatives, but if I want low profile, compact, and minimalist, the J3 + SM3 is the optimal setup. I DO think the T50p's gain something with amping them, for sure though. They are designed for portable use, but they certainly sound fantastic with the Arrow. Also, I'd hardly call them bass-shy, but they sound awesome with a little boost. They are more than capable of lots of bass, but like their big brothers, the T1, or the HD800, they are bright and clean, with extended top ends, so the bass tends to be...I don't know...lost in the mix, I guess. It's there, you just don't notice it as much because you're awed by the other end of the spectrum.
Comparing the SM3 and T50p is...well, not fair, in a way. At least not with DIRECT comparisons, as they present things in entirely different manners, yet both are amazing. If (like me) you'd consider the SM3 to be warmer than neutral, a little forward, with a rich midrange, and highly dependant on source material to shine, then you'd probably find the T50p's to be bright, clean, fast, airy, smooth, detailed, fantasticly accurate with vocals and spot on imaging, yet not harsh, TOO bright, or sibilant. They have a very unique sound to them. The closest analogy to full sized cans I can think of is that the SM3 reminds me a lot of HD650's in terms of tone and overall presentation, minus the openness and soundstage, whereas the T50p's are more like...well...I WANT to say AKG K701's, but I hate those...TOO bright, bass-shy, cold, and un-natural...so, really...they are more like T1's, lol. If this doesn't sound appealing to you, all I can suggest is to try them first, as they are GREAT phones, but if you're flying blind and want something more SM3-like, maybe the ESW9A's are a lot closer.