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T1 v. DT880/600, Round 1 - Page 10

post #136 of 213


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

I do not disagree with your observation that the T1 logs "big improvements" compared to the DT880/600.  My contention is that the T1 do not preserve the tonal expression and synergy of the DT880/600--IMHO a critical omission.  

 

One would think, and one should reasonably expect, that the T1 would convey everything admirable from the DT880/600 as a basis of improvement, but--again, IMHO--the T1 fall flat, tonally, and lapse into a technically proficient yet predominantly analytical (and expensive) piece of gear.  

 

God willing, I will compile a scorecard, listing the T1's perceived strengths and weaknesses alongside the DT880/600's.  Item for item, the T1 will undoubtedly win with more pluses than the DT880/600; but--IMHE--the WEIGHTED average of the hierarchically ordered contributing factors (i.e. tonality, ease, musicality/musical involvement) will tip the scales in favor of the lesser Beyers.  : ) 
 

 

For me, the T1s do improve on tonal presentation by quite a bit (especially in the treble issues that I had with the DT880s and very slightly with the HD800s). But we've discussed the issues you've had that myself (and many other head-fiers) can not reconcile.

 

I found the DT880/600s really good headphones, but the treble seemed a bit metallic with a slight thin impression. I've described the T1s as on the warm side of neutral (I believe Skylab and Bilavideo would agree with me here); which is something you have obviously not heard. So I still have to think is there something off your your pair?


 

post #137 of 213
Thread Starter 

To my ears, the T1's tones seem confined inside their respective membranes.  There's good definition, but no splash or reach; they're too heavily damped.  It makes instruments/performers sound cordoned/cookie-cuttered off from each other.

 

Perhaps it's the price you pay for such well-chiseled definition.  It's a price, however, that I as a listener am not willing to pay.


Edited by pataburd - 6/30/10 at 12:12pm
post #138 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

 

For me, the T1s do improve on tonal presentation by quite a bit (especially in the treble issues that I had with the DT880s and very slightly with the HD800s). But we've discussed the issues you've had that myself (and many other head-fiers) can not reconcile.

 

I found the DT880/600s really good headphones, but the treble seemed a bit metallic with a slight thin impression. I've described the T1s as on the warm side of neutral (I believe Skylab and Bilavideo would agree with me here); which is something you have obviously not heard. So I still have to think is there something off your your pair?


 


Yep, that's how I find it too.  Selling the DT880/600's for me was a no-brainer once the T1's took up residence here.  I think they're much higher resolution, more natural, and much more musical than the 880/600.

 

But that is just how I hear it.  Pat hears it differently - and such is the way of audio!  I just think it's due to different tastes and ears. 

post #139 of 213
Thread Starter 

The T1 are like a luxury car fitted with a heavy duty truck suspension.  It's shiny, has a roomy and comfortable interior, is beautifully appointed and full of the latest technology, but the ride is stiff!  : ) 

post #140 of 213

The DT880/600's have a slight distortion in the lower mid-bass region that, depending on your source gear & music, will show up in varying degress. Also depending on your tastes, this distortion could be perceived as either "musicality" or "fuzziness".

 

The T1's beat the DT880's with a far less constrained (ie."more natural") soundstaging, and a frequency response with minimal distortion within its range.

post #141 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

The T1 are like a luxury car fitted with a heavy duty truck suspension.  It's shiny, has a roomy and comfortable interior, is beautifully appointed and full of the latest technology, but the ride is stiff!  : ) 

 

 

They won't accept that, as it has more bling and accelerates faster than an ordinary BMW, and bigger is always better. 


Edited by nickchen - 6/30/10 at 12:41pm
post #142 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post

The DT880/600's have a slight distortion in the lower mid-bass region that, depending on your source gear & music, will show up in varying degress. Also depending on your tastes, this distortion could be perceived as either "musicality" or "fuzziness".

 

The T1's beat the DT880's with a far less constrained (ie."more natural") soundstaging, and a frequency response with minimal distortion within its range.


Agreed; however, my main issues with the DT880/600s were the slightly recessed mids (especially apparent next to the T1s) and the sometimes metallic treble that with certain recordings got on my nerves. As much of a beyer fan that I am, I did prefer the HD650s to the DT880s for those reasons.

post #143 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickchen View Post

They won't accept that, as it has more bling and accelerates faster than an ordinary BMW, and bigger is always better. 


You must be from Texas, Bubba!

post #144 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jpelg View Post

The DT880/600's have a slight distortion in the lower mid-bass region that, depending on your source gear & music, will show up in varying degress. Also depending on your tastes, this distortion could be perceived as either "musicality" or "fuzziness".

 

The T1's beat the DT880's with a far less constrained (ie."more natural") soundstaging, and a frequency response with minimal distortion within its range.

jpelg,

I am primarily addressing musicality in terms of tonal realism, or quasi-realism, and that particular foible of the T1.  Whether this has a significant correlation with the DT880/600's lower mid-bass plume as a tone-enhancing medium remains debatable.

    
The "far less constrained soundstaging"--that you make synonymous with "more natural" is a product of the angled drivers more than the drivers, per se, I would argue.  (Plus, Ultrasone beat everyone to punch with the angled drivers, and their benefit--which, too, is subject to debate amongst us fickle Head-Fiers.)  My contention is that each element within the T1's sound field is constrained and overly individuated.  I had the same problem with the DT880/250/2005.  USG aptly denotes this feature as "pointy-ness".

 

As for the treble, the T1's HF sounds sheared off to me, lacking reserves.  Instead of "soaring", their treble seems content merely to level off at high altitudes.  [The mid-fi DT880/2003 rise higher and do it more effortlessly than the T1.]

 

In a way I can appreciate the T1's "just enough and no more" approach to achieving frequency levels, but to me it lends to their sense of sterility, not to what I would necessarily qualify as musicality.  

 

As for the T1's bass: it, too, is truncated, and to a degree eviscerated, with a qualifying lower-middle-roundedness.  It descends beneath the crust, into the magma, but stops short of the core.  [The mid-fi DT880/2003 delve deeper; and the mid-fi D5000 deliver a fuller more stomach-hitting bass, IMHE.]

 

The T1 are also tilted toward the upper midrange and, I would posit, ultimately midrange-thin (like their DT880 predecessors).  [All one needs to do is listen to a female vocalist with the T1, then with the garishly "mid-fi" K501, to settle that debate in short order.] 

 

No, I was not demanding perfection from the T1, either, but in several ways they do not exceed the rank and file of those aforementioned mid-fi offerings.  Nor am I pointlessly attacking the T1, nor purposely ignoring their superlatives; I am simply attempting to put things into a more congruous perspective.  And if it means my keeping the K501, the DT880/2003, the DT880/600 and the D5000 at the ready, then so be it.  At least they will be alloted head time versus hook time.  : )

 

Of course, IF my pair is defective, then I will recant without first needing to be racked.  The gauntlet is flung imperiously to the ground, landing with a dull splat.  Should anyone want to pony up a second pair of "non-defective" T1, I have my shipping address on stand-by!  : )

 

Standard Waiver: YMMV

 

PAB


Edited by pataburd - 6/30/10 at 10:00pm
post #145 of 213


Quote:

Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

The "far less constrained soundstaging"--that you make synonymous with "more natural" is a product of the angled drivers more than the drivers, per se, I would argue.  

Yes, it is no doubt due to the angled-driver design of the T1's vs. the traditional parallel driver orientation of the DT880's. It is all part of the overall design of the headphone that you listen to, no?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pataburd View Post

(Plus, Ultrasone beat everyone to punch with the angled drivers, and their benefit

Ultrasone's do not have angled drivers. They are offset from center, and slightly obscured by a metal plate. It is probably Audio-Technica & Sony that should be credited as being the first to utilize an angled driver design. However, sometimes it works well, other times not. An angled driver alone does not guarantee success. I think it works very well on the T1.

 

The thing is, however it is achieved, when a headphone begins to sound more speaker-like, it begins to lose some of the traditional aspects we actually like about headphones, such as the intimacy they afford. This is not always a welcome change.

 

In the end, you have to choose for yourself, based on taste & budget. Perhaps you would not be trying so hard not to like the T1's if they cost less or closer to the price of the DT880's? If they cost the same, would your conclusion be the same? For me, the T1's are a definite step up from their Beyer brethren. The question is "how much better?". Again, for me, the answer is "not 4x better", and "hard to justify the cost given my other life priorities." Maybe this is where you are as well.

post #146 of 213
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jpelg View Post

Quote:

Yes, it is no doubt due to the angled-driver design of the T1's vs. the traditional parallel driver orientation of the DT880's. It is all part of the overall design of the headphone that you listen to, no?

 

Ultrasone's do not have angled drivers. They are offset from center, and slightly obscured by a metal plate. It is probably Audio-Technica & Sony that should be credited as being the first to utilize an angled driver design. However, sometimes it works well, other times not. An angled driver alone does not guarantee success. I think it works very well on the T1.

 

The thing is, however it is achieved, when a headphone begins to sound more speaker-like, it begins to lose some of the traditional aspects we actually like about headphones, such as the intimacy they afford. This is not always a welcome change.

 

In the end, you have to choose for yourself, based on taste & budget. Perhaps you would not be trying so hard not to like the T1's if they cost less or closer to the price of the DT880's? If they cost the same, would your conclusion be the same? For me, the T1's are a definite step up from their Beyer brethren. The question is "how much better?". Again, for me, the answer is "not 4x better", and "hard to justify the cost given my other life priorities." Maybe this is where you are as well.


I stand corrected on the angled driver perspective.  Thank you.  I guess even the K701 and Dx000 have "angled drivers" based on back-to-front tapered earpads.

 

Your observation about headphones outputting a more speaker-like presentation is well taken.  I would have to unbox the T1 to test that hypothesis, and may do just that after I reinstate the Fitz-Max Bada, but at this stage it seems nearly pointless.  [Oh, well, maybe just one more time.  : ) ]

 

Actually, I don't think I would have had a problem--at all--with the cost of the T1 had they been more to my liking.  But, at $1300, they should be well enough equipped to withstand more than the usual onslaught of scrutiny.  

 

At street prices of $284 shipped, I will make concessions for the DT880/600, sure.  It's just that I am not so promptly prepared to make similar kinds of concessions, particularly in what for me constitute critical listening areas, with the T1.  And to be honest, had the T1 listed for $795, I may have kept them . . . well, maybe just a little bit longer.  : )


Edited by pataburd - 6/30/10 at 10:02pm
post #147 of 213

Wow what an afternoon to miss.  KW edited the thread, threatening deletion or even bans, MH called the 880s mid-fi, xnor responded by saying labeling was stupid, MH went on to prove his point by saying they haven’t been updated in 5 years, so nickchen told him that the T-1 or 800 were as displaced as Merryl Streep on the Top Gear test track,  then pataburd said it was alright to call him mid-fi,  MH went on to say that his T-2s are on the warm side of neutral, to which pat replied that perhaps it was the price you pay for such well-chiseled definition, to which Sky commented, “But that is just how I hear it”, and pat answered that the T1s were like a luxury car with a heavy duty truck suspension, so jpelg  said “The T1's beat the DT880's”, to which nickchen added, “as it has more bling and accelerates faster than an ordinary BMW",  to which  KW answered, “You must be from Texas, Bubba!”,  (that’s right your not from Texas), and somewhere in all that pat said that I said that the T-1s sounded pointy, which indeed I did say….. 

 

Now my take is the T-1s are as mid-fi as the 880s.  Everyone has already agreed that they are certainly not 4X better than the 880s. IMHO, the T-1s are just the next click up the evolutionary line from the 880/600s, so regardless of their ridiculously high price, (which is what is bothering pataburd most) they squarely rest in the mid-fi category, to be superseded by something that is 4X better than the 880s.

 

Regarding their disputed sound signature, I’ve looked through some of the Beyer T-1 threads and I think if we count heads, there are more people who think that the T-1s are bright and bass lite than think they are warm and bassy.

 

I think that if we view the T-1 as the $500 headphone it really is, there would be fewer complaints about it's sound.  After all, the T-1 is what it is, which just the next evolutionary step in the 880 line.

 

One of Pat’s posts stuck home, when he was describing the T-1 as making instruments/performers sound cordoned/cookie-cuttered off from each other with a well-chiseled definition….    It reminded me of the first time I heard a PCM recording in the days when Crazy Eddie had his store in Brooklyn.  It was at a CES show in NYC.  (back then we had dolby noise reduction, Shure V15s, Stanton 681EEEs, Nakamichi tape decks and a DBX dynamic range expanders)  They had it set up in a dimly lit room with black curtains.  You walked in and all you heard was this classical flute, triangle and guitar music played at a pretty good volume…. What struck everyone was that with this sparse but relatively loud music, there was absolutely no background noise at all.  No surface noise, no tape hiss, nothing!  The notes appeared magically out of no where, and hung in the air, separated from each other with the well chiseled definition Pat mentioned and no other sound except your breathing.  You could hear the attack, you could hear the note and you could hear the decay.  It was like there was a live trio right behind the curtain.  It was so different from anything I had ever heard that I still remember the experience.

 

And on a shelf in the basement is this dusty relic:

 

orig.jpg


Edited by upstateguy - 6/30/10 at 7:41pm
post #148 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post

 

And on a shelf in the basement is this dusty relic:

 

orig.jpg

A Nakimama!  Man those recollections brought back a lot of the good old days. Thx!
 

post #149 of 213
I disagree that MORE people find the T1 bright and bass-light than people who don't. But perhaps we should create a poll.
post #150 of 213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I disagree that MORE people find the T1 bright and bass-light than people who don't. But perhaps we should create a poll.


A poll, that's a good idea!  The better the amp I've used with the T1's the more balanced they've sounded.  The amp doesn't have to be overly powerful either.  One of the best sessions I had with the T1s was with them plugged in the Centrance DAC Jack.  Very sweet, very delicate, very balanced.

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