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T1 v. DT880/600, Round 1 - Page 8

post #106 of 213

I have mine less than a week. I cannot find a single fault. Because they are so natural and no colorations it just sounds like music. Nothing sticks out. No bumps I  can hear. Not exciting like my Denon D7000 but they  make me relax and I really enjoy the quality. The T1 are a keeper for me. Crystal clear presentation with just the right amount of bass. Very extended and natural tremble. I hear no harshness and the soundstage is pretty good much like you would hear in a performance. I had the Denon on before and listening to the classical reference recording and AB both the D7000 the 701 and the T1. The T1 showcased everything better including the high frequency without a glitch. On the RR Copland it nailed the opening track of Fanfare for the Common Man better than any of my headphones.  Like Rob said spend some time and you will appreciate what they do.

Edited by Frank I - 6/22/10 at 6:16pm
post #107 of 213

hey frank, are you driving your T1's with the Little Dot MK 2 ? 


and are you pleased with the results?

post #108 of 213



I am new to this forum and I am therefore precluded from sending a PM until I initiate my first message.  So here it is!  I have a pair of HD800s and I am thinking about buying a pair of T1s to use as a companion phone.  I think you got a great deal on your T1s and would like to know your source.  Can you send me a PM?  Also, as your knowledge of phones exceeds mine 100 fold, I would very much like your opinion on aftermarket cable for the HD800, which already appears to have a very good cable. 

post #109 of 213
I preordered mine from Beyer when they were first announced. That "deal" is long gone.

I have no experience with HD800 aftermarket cables.
post #110 of 213
Thread Starter 

O.K.  That does it.  I'm going back downstairs and listening to the T1 driven by the WeeeeeeSquirrel "Overhaulin'" Darkvoice 336SE (w/Sylvania 6SN7GTB and Mullard 6080).  


This amp matches extremely well with, and beautifully compliments the DT880/600, a combination more satisfying to me than the T1 and the Bada on several occasions.

Edited by pataburd - 6/22/10 at 8:22pm
post #111 of 213
Originally Posted by David.M View Post

hey frank, are you driving your T1's with the Little Dot MK 2 ? 


and are you pleased with the results?

I have done almost all listening with the Matrix. The MK11 drives them with no issues

post #112 of 213
Thread Starter 

Well Gang,


I've listened to the T1 in a pure tube-, a hybrid- and two solid state-amped systems, with three different sources, and with some of the best recorded material I have on hand.  


These systems are tweaked for electromagnetic interference, for isolation from surface vibration and are power conditioned.  I edge and surface treat my discs, use a Marigo Signature disc mat and the Talisman de-magnetizer/de-staticizer before playing each disc.


So the T1, I feel, are given every advantage to perform their best.


Despite all that, they still sound--to my ears--glary, with a brassy, scratchy edge to their treble.  In terms of tonal development, accuracy and synergy, I think they are inferior to the DT880/600 (and the K501).


I did exhaustive listening to David Chesky's "Club del Sol" this evening (giving particular attention to tracks 4, 6 and 7: Marina, Morning Mist and Desert Island, respectively) and overwhelmingly preferred the DT880/600 to the T1 for a musically engaging and satisfying listen.  



NOTES from the last listening session:


The T1, without question, resolve more detail than the DT880/600.  However, those details tend to cordon off the instruments/performers from each other and musical reproduction suffers tonally.  I've tagged this before as a "cookie-cutter" layout of the listening scape, producing an over-quantified and under-qualified expression.  


For example, in the almost spellbinding "Morning Mist", the T1 differentiate the piano and acoustic guitar--the two playing in tandem, note-for-note, but more so in "mechanical" terms.  That is, by emphasizing the differences between surface contact with hammered/malleted string versus finger-plucked string.  Yes, there is excellent resolution in this regard, and ready discrimination between piano and guitar, but the rendering of the instruments assumes this predominantly surfacene quality, which registers ultimately--to my ears, at least--as decidedly more analytical than musical.  Tonally, the two instruments sound a bit shriveled and lack interaction/synergy.  The piano and guitar occupy tonally remote spaces and sound just out of reach from each other, which, coupled with an inordinate proportion of surface contact-specific (call it tactile/textural) discrimination, makes my listening experience bland.


It is this tactile glut/tonal deficit which, I think, also seems to make the T1's midrange more reptilian than mammalian.  


Curiously, though, when David Chesky plays a run along the keys in the upper registers, this predominantly tactile/textural quality gives way to a predominantly glaring overtone.  


Oh, that disconcerting wrinkle in the T1's treble!  It seems to ruin everything that either precedes or proceeds it.  It puts me in a state of extreme vigilance, and that is no state in which one may enjoy music.  Even though the T1 are virtually cascading with never-before-known detail and deliciously contoured with nuances in dynamic texture, even though more adept in acquiring three-dimensional space,  even though . . . the list goes on, the advent of glare on David Chesky's high piano notes, or the worn-rasp-against-stubborn-metal-bur disruption of Gordon Lightfoot's close-miked vocal on "Sit Down Young Stranger", or the slightly shrieky and sticky overload in massed soprano back-up voices with Eddie Arnold's "Just a Little Lovin'" spoils what would otherwise have been a lovely listen.  The T1 make me into a harried listener, always looking over his shoulder, the shadow of impending treble-troubled spoilage always imposing a very real threat.


On the other hand--or is it the other ear?--the DT880/600 render, especially while under the influence of the DV336SE, a more tonally enunciated, yet sufficiently possessed of a tactile/textural mode of distinction, listening session.  No sharp, overly-trebled edges and annoying high frequency grit (like the feeling of just a little sea sand against your skin, between your bedsheets).  To me, a consistently alluring and ultimately musical encounter, beyond my prior expectation, and well, well within my current budget.  


It could be the T1's angled drivers coupled with the steep angle of my ear canals that bring about that displeasing and non-dispelling sense of brightness commensurate with a shrunken perception of tonality; I really don't know.  What I do know, with growing certainty, is that I don't really care to hear the T1 whenever the DT880/600 or the UP-OCC K501 are also within reach.



The T1 are plugged into the AVR-1905 for further break-in and, who knows? maybe after 100 or 200 more hours mine will sound just like what everyone else is now describing.  But I already have the proceeds from the eventual sale of the T1 earmarked for a UP-OCC copper re-cable of the DT880/600.  : )



Edited by pataburd - 6/23/10 at 4:33am
post #113 of 213
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Bilavideo View Post

I can't fault your sincerity, your thoroughness or your honesty - though my own mileage definitely varies.  I just got my pair today, which have not burned in yet, and am running them off the M^3 with STEPs and a variable bass boost.  Despite the bass boost, which comes in handy with the HD800, I find myself dialing it down to zero with the T1.  Rather than sibilance, I'm finding mine a shade dark.  Mind you, I don't have the same basis from which to compare.  I've never tasted the beyer dynamic (pun intended) or that of the K501.  My basis of comparison consists of the PS1000 and the HD800.  My T1s seem to be punchy, colored on the dark side, with a splash of treble that gives the cymbals a crispness that's refreshing.  I've noticed, however, that the output is track specific.  For some of my music, I could use a bit more treble.  Some tracks even sound dull.  On others, like Ozzy Osbourne's Mama, I'm Coming Home - a slick, FM-friendly rocker ballad - the presentation seems to shine.  


As with the GS1000, where the heavy 100 Hz bass hump was matched by a spike at the other end, there may be room to complain of sibilance generated by a kind of overcompensation.  At present, that's the only way I can explain any complaint of sibilance in these cans.  I can't compare them to the rest of the beyer lineup nor am I interested in how they make out among their siblings.  I only care about how these cans sound and what I hear is fairly mellow.  They don't strike me as bright.  In fact, when I pump stuff like System of a Down and Avenged Sevenfold through them, they seem remarkably unsibilant in what should be nothing but siss-siss-siss till my ears bleed.  Given their punch, as well as their ability to handle metal with a lot of sheen, I'm less inclined to see their Achilles heel as sibilance; it's the dark hue that makes them less spectacular with tracks that are dark to dull.  Did I mention I have to dial the bass boost down to zero?


Of course, I'm 44 and pumping an iPod into my M^3, not a $1,500 cd player off a gold-plated DAC.  It could be I've killed enough of those little hairs in my ear canal that sibilance is wasted on me, but last night's cable movie viewing (through the HD800) suggests otherwise.  Mind you, broadcast seems to be horrendously sibilant, especially during the commercials, but the fact that I go through life grimacing as much as I do at sub-mosquito-tones-of-terror makes me think I'm still in the game, even if I have a shorter stack of chips than I did at age 14.  I haven't run direct comparisons between the T1 and the PS1000, but it definitely sounds less grandiose in soundstage, maybe not as tight and intimate as a Grado but certainly somewhere in-between the Grados and the HD800.  When I can listen to The Proclaimers singing I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) and not notice the horrific sibilance of that track, I'm thinking maybe sibilance is not the big issue.


For the time being, I'm going to cling to my initial impression (which seems confirmed on track after track) that much of these cans' output is a shade dark, or at least rolled off somewhere north of the mids.  That doesn't mean that they don't also slide a peak somewhere in there to capture enough siss to give them a crispy top.  I just notice, on track after metallic track, that - if anything - they restrain the HF.  On Clash's Career Opportunities, the HF is fairly mellow.  Supernova's Harry Gato ought to kill my ears, but it doesn't.  Blink 182's The Rock Show is plenty busy, on both guitars and that tapping cymbal-work, but my ears are wearing some kind of Hazmat suit as the assault continues.  Weezer, whose wall-to-wall distortion usually leaves my ears aching a tad, is missing some venom.  Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child almost ought to start a fire, but on the T1, it sounds just right.  Alice in Chains' Sickman is about as playable on the T1 as on any cans I've ever had.  In the hands of the T1, the Goo Goo Dolls' Iris is pop heroin.  These are the perfect cans to open up some AC/DC whoopass with delirious frenzy.  The Fixx's back-to-basics album, 1011 Woodland, just shines on the T1.  The same goes for Tom Petty's Makin' Some Noise.  Even the Bee Gees sound great on the T1 (with punch and crunch that'll make you rediscover the evil joys of disco).  You'll want the bass boost for KC and the Sunshine Band's Get Down Tonight.  Don't even get me started with Led Zeppelin.


In the meantime, some tracks come off slightly dull - or maybe more.  The Soggy Bottom Boys' I Am A Man of Constant Sorry is one of those zero-bass tracks; it's pressing right on the edge between okay and dull.  Lou Gramm's plasticky radio hit, Midnight Blue, comes off unusually restrained.  The same goes for Supertramp's The Logical Song while Linda Ronstadt's You're No Good actually sounds a little dull.  But that may be track specific since Elton John's Daniel sounds more open (though it also reminds me of how much further this pair of cans needs to burn in before that graininess smooths out).  Wings' With a Little Luck sounded a little dark till I dialed the bass boost back to zero, which is where Fleetwood Mac's Rhiannon sounded perfect.  Ditto for The Rolling Stones' You Can't Always Get What You Want.  Suzanne Vega's Caramel occupies a tonal spot so close to dull I can't imagine going any darker without ruining the track.  John Lennon's Whatever Gets You Through the Night is another in little need of a bass boost.  Even with the bass boost at zero, Alicia Keys' You Don't Know My Name sounded slightly muted.


Are there exceptions?  Of course.  Pat Benatar's Invincible is sibilant.  I have to dial up the bass (one of the few times) to fill out the sound and pull back the volume to edge off the HF.   Then again, it's an 80s FM-ready synthesizer-heavy pop-rocker.  David Bowie & Queen's Under Pressure has these moments of sibilant crunch, at least with the bass dialed to zip.  American Hi-Fi's Highs and Lows sounds the best I've heard it, pressing right up to the edge between high presence and fingernails on the chalkboard.  I think that's on purpose.  Matchbox Twenty's 3AM asks for some extra bass, but one-third power is more than enough.  U2's Miracle Drug needs a little more than that.  Surprisingly, The Beatles' cover of Roll Over Beethoven was one of the few tracks that seemed to slap me with treble spikes.  I can't say the same for Rose Royce's theme from Car Wash, but that may be a judgment call.  Kiss's Spit was sibilant till I turne up the bass.


There were few tracks that didn't sound best with the bass boost turned to zero, and fewer still where sibilance remained no matter what I did.  If that was the case with pop, rock and punk, it was equally true of country.  The Charlie Daniels Band never sounded better.  Same for Hank Williams - Sr. and Jr.  Johnny Cash's One Piece at a Time was infectious.  I had to use the bass boost to reign in Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes, another eighties plastica.  


A few tracks surprised me by how good they were on the T1: Elvis's Suspicious Minds (attack), Billy Joel's James (transparency),  Alanis Morisette's Not the Doctor (clarity), Sum 41's In Too Deep (excitement without frying my ears), Stone Temple Pilots' Trippin' On a Hole in a Paper Heart (all that siss without overkill), U2's One Tree Hill (spectacular dyamics), Danity Kane's Damaged, Van Halen's Right Now, V.I.C.'s Get Silly (with the bass boost at half-power), Heart's Even It Up, The Clash's Inoculated City, The Who's Pinball Wizard, Linda Ronstadt's It So Easy, Alice In Chain's God Smack, even Lady GaGa's LoveGame.  Early Pat Benatar stings, as it should.  The Romantics' annoying Talking In Your Sleep actually sounds decent.  The Rolling Stones' Brown Sugar came back to life.  Nirvana's All Apologies rocked.  To quote the kid from Almost Famous, ELO's Ma-Ma-Ma Belle was "incendiary."  Even the Offspring sounds snappy without killing the listener.


Steely Dan's Do It Again plays again.  Michael Jackson's Scream breaks more than glass.  Norah Jones' Don't Know Why will make you fall in love.  Green Day's Basket Case just slays, though it could have been a cleaner track.  Fleetwood Mac's Gold Dust Woman reminds me of why I spend so much money on this "hobby."  You can hear the echo of the solilquy on Meat Loaf's You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth better with amazing clarity.  The drum solo on My Chemical Romance's Cemetery Drive thumps like the cops with a no-knock warrant.  Even the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Come, Follow Me is lush (though pre-burn-in, it's still a little grainy).  Flight of the Conchords singing Au Revoir sounds like they're right in the room.


Of all the genres I ran through the T1, the one that surprised me the most was jazz.  Thelonious Monk's sometimes jackhammer key-pounding (e.g. Body and Soul - Remake Take 3) was easier to sit through on the T1 than on other cans.  His Off Minor (Take 5) - with full woodwind and rhthm-section accompaniment just swept me away.  I suppose one could take some of those brassy squeals as "strident," but to me, they were provocative.  Dizzy Gillespie's Jungla is just scrumptious.  You can really hear the scrunchy timbre of those horns.  It practically indicts everything on the charts today.  Gillespie's Groovin' High will make a jazz lover out of any kid who hears it on the T1.  If it doesn't, Bang! Bang! will.  Art Pepper's Straight Life just pops.  It could have been a little clearer, but I think that's the track.


Classical and Broadway tunes generally go down well on the T1, better than on the PS1000, though success against HD800 is mixed.  Of course, nobody ever accused Phantom of the Opera of being sibilant.  While the T1 doesn't have as large a soundstage as the HD800, it has more of it than the PS1000 and its dynamics are nothing if not fun.  The Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra's rendition of Suite from Sylvia: Pizzicato sounded balanced and airy.  The New Zealand Symphony's Adagio for Strings could have used a little more treble, but perhaps that's the track.  I'd say the same of the London Philharmonic Orchestra's Le Nozze Di Figaro, which sounded a little warm.  Its rendition of The Sorcerer's Apprentice had the same tonality, though the attack was engaging.  Puccini's Madama Butterfly (as conducted by Herbert von Karajan) has a similar tonality that begs for a little more HF.  Strangely enough, movie tunes, like Ennio Morricone's scores on For a Few Dollars More, For a Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - or John Williams' scores like The Main Theme from Star Wars and The Imperial March (from The Empire Strikes Back) sound great.  The theme from Raiders of the Lost Ark seems right on the edge between neutral and dull.  Summon the Heroes seems no worse for the wear.  Neither does the theme from Jaws.  But the theme from Jurassic Park could have been brighter.  The theme from Schindler's List is perfectly rendered, not just in tone but in the timbre of the instruments.  Those violins just sing on the T1.


Well, I've written a book.  Sorry about that.  Old habits.  I meant to simply reply.  Whatever happened after that must simply be the booze talking.  What month is this?


After having reread your thoughtful and informative post, I wanted to say a hearty belated "Thank You".


My T1 have localized moments of extreme "negatively charged" sibilance that is recording-specific, too, but I am experiencing at least a trace of that annoying quality with every recording I throw at them.


The only exceptions being, come to think of it, the "soft tubing" of the Bada with a Sylvania "Bad Boy" and two RCA 6SN7GTs or when driving the T1 with either of my lower resolving solid state rigs.  


Back onto one of your topics, Joe Williams' "Woman's Got Soul" sounded surprisingly good over the T1: detailed and without sibilance.  But this, unfortunately, is the exception, not the rule.  


And for me to use only RCA tubes and to put Woman's Got Soul on continuous track repeat can only be, at best, a temporary solution.  : )






Edited by pataburd - 6/23/10 at 4:37am
post #114 of 213

PAB, thanks for the kind words.  If the T1 still sounds sibilant to you, it's not for a lack of exploration on your part.  I tip my hat to an audiophile who isn't afraid to get his hands dirty.

post #115 of 213
Thread Starter 

At USG's urging, I will be listening exclusively to the T1 for the next day or two (with an interruption occurring on Thursday and Friday, when I will be out of town).  With his kind permission, I would like to share excerpts from our PM correspondence pertinent to this discussion.


Right now, I have the T1 running off the AMC XIA integrated, sourced by the RAM-modded Samsung/Toshiba HD-841 (with Henri Mancini on continuous play).  It sounds comparatively smooth and detailed, but no great shakes, alongside the EVS-Oppo 970-HD and Bada PH-12 or DV337SE.  Tubes definitely breathe more life into the T1.


Not instinctively reaching for the DT880/600 will be a real test of my self-control.   


But there's no prohibition on my reaching for the K501!  : )

Edited by pataburd - 6/23/10 at 8:47am
post #116 of 213

@Bilavideo -- that was one of the best posts (from 6/17) I've ever seen here (or audiogon or audio asylum for that matter). Great writing. I like your choice of music, too--and you describe the sound of this music just right with real insight. Thanks.

post #117 of 213
Originally Posted by rgs9200m View Post

@Bilavideo -- that was one of the best posts (from 6/17) I've ever seen here (or audiogon or audio asylum for that matter). Great writing. I like your choice of music, too--and you describe the sound of this music just right with real insight. Thanks.



Kudos to all in this thread. Thought provoking and insightful without the sniping and bickering (over opinions and observations ??  ) that happens in some threads.

@ pataburd: thanks for the open minded (open ear'ed?) investigation and write-ups. This has been enlightening, indeed.



post #118 of 213
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post


I've listened to the T1 in a pure tube-, a hybrid- and two solid state-amped systems, with three different sources, and with some of the best recorded material I have on hand.  


Despite all that, they still sound--to my ears--glary, with a brassy, scratchy edge to their treble.  In terms of tonal development, accuracy and synergy, I think they are inferior to the DT880/600 (and the K501).


Oh, that disconcerting wrinkle in the T1's treble!  It seems to ruin everything that either precedes or proceeds it.


I had consistently noticed the exact same thing until I stopped analyzing it and just listened to the music. The more I just listened, the more the T1 warmed up and stopped being irritating in the treble. So the key is to just imagine live music and don't think about the sound of other headphones.

post #119 of 213
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Beagle View Post

I had consistently noticed the exact same thing until I stopped analyzing it and just listened to the music. The more I just listened, the more the T1 warmed up and stopped being irritating in the treble. So the key is to just imagine live music and don't think about the sound of other headphones.

USG has counseled me to do the same.  I have picked up the T1 from time to time throughout the day, and still reckon with their annoying brightness.


To me, the T1 are predominantly analytic headphones to begin with (which isn't necessarily a bad thing), so it will be extra difficult, or take extra long, for me to suspend my disbelief and fixate entirely on their musicality.


I'll give a listen before retiring.  The WeeeeeeSquirreled DV336SE has been re-tubed with an RCA 6SN7GTB tall bottle with gray plates and a new Svetlana 6H13C black plate from the 1960's.


Then I'll bump my FS thread just for good measure!  : ) 

post #120 of 213
Thread Starter 

Listened to the Columbia Legacy re-master of the first Santana album/disc.  WeeeeeeSquirrel Darkvoice 336SE w/Svetlana 6H13C and RCA 6SN7GTB.


A pleasant surprise.  Zero grain in the vocals, very driving articulate bass and a veritable "raging conduit" of '70s Rock-n-Roll detail.  The lead guitar had bright moments, but that's the way Carlos had it tuned/amped.


+1 for the T1.  : )

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