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Review: Beyerdynamic T1 vs Sennheiser HD800 - Page 6

post #76 of 112

loled hard...good job nikongod :p

post #77 of 112

i need to do this. lolol

post #78 of 112
Thread Starter 

Amp Comparison: Rockhopper M3 vs SPL Auditor vs Schiit Asgard (with Beyerdynamic T1)

Music used for this comparison:
- Anne Bisson - Blue Mind - "Camilio"
- Julia Fischer - Bach Concertos - Concerto for two violins in D minor - "III. Allegro"
- Medeski Martin & Wood - Uninvisible - "Ten Dollar High"
- Nightwish - Once - "Wish I Had An Angel"
- Pierre Boulez w/ Vienna - Mahler Symphony No. 6 - "I. Allegro energico"
- The Crystal Method - Tweekend - "Murder", "Ten Miles Back"
- Trifonic - Emergence - "Transgenic"

First, the Asgard. Compared to the two other amps, this amp seemed to lack proper driving ability for the T1 and lost a portion of dynamics along with overall power into the lower frequencies. It seemed to struggle most at delivering loud mid-bass notes. Not much further listening was done on this amp once this conclusion was reached.

In a previous review I wrote on Head-Fi comparing the SPL Auditor to the Luxman P-1u (can be found in the TTVJ Premier Sponsor forum), I concluded that the SPL was a more treble-tilted amp overall. I found it to be more treble-tilted than the M3 as well, which IMO improved the T1's frequency balance, as treble is something that I think it needs. However, the SPL didn't shift the balance enough for it to rectify the T1's lack of treble (at least for me), it only got a bit closer to what I thought was better. This treble tilt only mostly affected pitch tuning, if you will - effectively "tuning up" various pitches throughout the frequency range - mid-bass notes, female vocals, piano keys, etc.

The SPL also seemed to impart a wider & deeper soundstage than the M3, allowing for a greater illusion of air, space, and overall "openness". It "pushed" back musical elements that the M3 brought a little more forward in the soundstage - or in other words, everything felt just a bit further away on the SPL. The SPL was also a bit more "diffuse"-sounding, spreading instruments out and away from each other marginally more than the M3 - which can kinda work for classical music, depending on preference of course. For example, it was a nice added effect on the opening double-basses of Boulez's Mahler #6 which had an added trace of air/reverb around them.

The SPL was a clearer-sounding amp than the M3 too, masking fewer details - for example, diction on Anne Bisson's voice, the "reflex" type movement from the bass on Medeski Martin & Wood's "Ten Dollar High", percussive strikes & impacts, speed & inflection of violin bow strokes, and the audibility of the bass guitar's distortion on Nightwish's "Wish I Had An Angel."

However, the SPL lost ground to the M3 primarily in the aspects of bass/mid-bass and "directness" to the sound. It didn't have quite the direct/assertive sound of the M3 which did not really work for the Nightwish track (or the MM&W track for that matter). It also had a relative sinkhole in the bass/mid-bass area and wasn't as visceral and heavy - most noticeable on the opening drum on the MM&W track and the opening drum/bass riff of the Nightwish track. The M3 was simply a better bass thumper/whumper (or whatever you want to call it) and pounded into drum impacts more, for a higher sense of physical impact. The M3 also seemed to deliver marginally more strength into very low bass and had better "grip" where low bass serves as an earthmoving foundation. One final aspect that the M3 was better than the SPL in was clearly capturing the solo violinist's tremolo in the Boulez Mahler #6 - this tremolo is in a latter part of the first movement (several minutes in) when it gets extremely quiet and can actually be very hard to hear (and probably wouldn't be recognized as tremolo by anyone who's not a string-instrument musician). The SPL blurred over this detail just a bit in comparison, as it was harder to hear the tremolo.

Both amps seemed to work well with the T1 but the trade-offs from each amp made it hard to determine if one was actually sonically better than the other. The only conclusion I could make was that this "shoot-out" was effectively a draw - I even had a hard time picking one over the other for my own personal preference. (But if I were forced to pick one it'd be the M3, but not for anything related to sound - more for its features and functionality.)


Edited by Asr - 9/15/10 at 12:01am
post #79 of 112

Steve nice job. The Asgard appears more suited for low impedance cans as it puts out more power into lower ohms from what I have been able too read. The Auditor seems to do a nice job per your conclusion with the T1. I personally prefer the  T1 with my CSP-2 and IMO that amp really brought the T1 to reference level. Have you tried any low impedance cans on the Asgard? That may interesting to see how they perform with the planars in your opinion.

post #80 of 112

great job this is good to know

post #81 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post

Steve nice job. The Asgard appears more suited for low impedance cans as it puts out more power into lower ohms from what I have been able too read. The Auditor seems to do a nice job per your conclusion with the T1. I personally prefer the  T1 with my CSP-2 and IMO that amp really brought the T1 to reference level. Have you tried any low impedance cans on the Asgard? That may interesting to see how they perform with the planars in your opinion.


I agree with Frank. As much as I enjoy my T1s from my Concerto, they really take off with my tube amp.

post #82 of 112

Lower quality hps amps will have more bass/lower mids compare to other pro amps, because they have hard time to control the bass, as well treble, depth, and sound stage.

post #83 of 112

I have the T1's and HD800 by me and have been listening to both non stop for a couple of hours on my own setups.  I think I agree with ASR about the the T1 and K701 having "some" similiraties.

 

What I like about the T1 is the quick tight bass with a nice presence.  The HD800's bass is tighter deeper but with less presence.

 

The biggest weakness with the HD800 is that on music with a lot happening in the upper registers, distortion guitars for example - it gets overpowering, and without the bass to balance it out it is almost unbearable.  In songs like "Put your lights on" by Santana and Everlast, where did the body to the male voice disappear to?  Also, this can is hard to listen to at loud levels - the treble is too dominating.  Sometimes this can will exaggerate sibilance.  What the HD800 does well, and boy does it do it like no other can, is low level listening to some female vocals like Rebecca Pidgeon, it is pure heaven.  Its like the HD800 was designed to tackle this sort of material - at low levels - it exploits to the fullest these female type higher register vocals, but on Norah Jones intimate style voice, it doesn't fair as well as the T1.

 

The biggest weakness I find with the T1 - am I the only one?  The treble integration is "off".  The presence and definition is fine , however it sounds wrong - I feel it doesn't integrate smoothly with the midrange, other than that the treble is never sibilant and never dark.  Its as if there is no "air" to the treble itself, even the LCD2s do not suffer this problem - even though some feel that the treble energy is less than ideal.  The treble problem is the same problem I find in Sennheisers HD595.  What I hate the most about this issue  is that it is in every recording, so I can't blame the recording.  On the other hand the same song "Put your lights on" where the vocal body goes AWOL in the HD800, it is restored somewhat, with the T1s, and Norah Jones fares a little better here as well.  The bass is also nice and tight which is a plus.

 

The T1's to me sound more "balanced" than the HD800, albeit the treble issue - I found disconcerting as it exists all the time.  Other than that it does very little wrong on all recordings.

 

The HD800 doesn't sound as "balanced" to me.  The minimal bass impact is a concern as well as its potential for sibilance.  On a "most" recordings, to me, the HD800 do not cut it.  However it leverages it's bass flaw to maximum advantage by exposing its valve, analogue like and smooth mid/upper mid, combined with a smooth treble integration that will render certain female voice recordings - more pleasant than can be heard in real life, quite magical, ethereal, dreamy and floaty or "heavenly".  Combined with my Bryston Dac and BCL - I can see why Sen chose the BCL to partner the HD800 as both share the same strength in upper mids - creamy smooth and analogue like, combined with the HD800s same strength giving double the goodness - I will purchase these HD800s ASAP!

post #84 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by SP Wild View Post


The biggest weakness I find with the T1 - am I the only one?  The treble integration is "off".  The presence and definition is fine , however it sounds wrong - I feel it doesn't integrate smoothly with the midrange, other than that the treble is never sibilant and never dark.  Its as if there is no "air" to the treble itself, even the LCD2s do not suffer this problem - even though some feel that the treble energy is less than ideal.


LOL...sometimes I think you should really get your hearing checked.

 

The T1's sense of "air" is a whole cut above the LCD-2s. That is my one single issue with the LCD-2s. The great thing about the T1s is that they just do everything very well. Bass/mids/treble/sound stage/air...I'd give them all a 8 or 9 out 10. The LCD-2's bass is a 10/10, mids 9/10, but treble gets a 7/10 and air gets like a 6/10.

 

What good quality tube amp did you run the T1's to make your assessment?

post #85 of 112

LOL Must had a rough day working with fumes which clogged your ears Sam. I hear none of what you describe. The T1 is the most balanced and neutral can with a well extended treble. I like what the LCD2 does and I like MH wish it had more treble extension like the T1 then nothing can touch it. Maybe it was a bad session listen with one your tube amps preferably an OTL

post #86 of 112
Thread Starter 

Amp Comparison: Rockhopper M3 vs SPL Auditor, w/ AKG K701

Music used for this comparison:
- Andrea Parker - Kiss My Arp - "Melodious Thunk"
- Anne Bisson - Blue Mind - "Camilio"
- Porcupine Tree - In Absentia - "Blackest Eyes"
- The Crystal Method - Community Service - "Dude In The Moon (Luna Mix)"

It's a known fact by now that the K701 benefits from good amplification, but few amps actually deliver enough power for it, and one of the things I wanted to finally determine was whether or not either the M3 or the Auditor were good enough for the K701.

In terms of driving ability only (excluding sound specifics), I found the M3 to be the better amp for the K701. The K701 delivered stronger lower-frequency output with the M3 than the Auditor, and at very high volumes (past ear-safe level), no part of the sound broke up or distorted. However, I wouldn't necessarily say the M3 is ideal either though - I've heard the K701 better amped before, as recently as my own previous experience with the Woo WA22 earlier this year. I've historically maintained that the K701 tends to do best with tube (or hybrid) amps and I still hold to that. In contrast, the Auditor had a harder time driving the K701, as there was a slight loss in dynamic range on it and an overall weaker sound, and it caused some minor distortion on the K701 at very high volume (crackles were audible especially on loud bass notes). Also, as the K701 really doesn't need low gain on an amp (if anything, it needs high gain), I would think the Auditor to be effectively pointless for the K701 anyway (due to its low gain).

As for sound quality, well the K701 sounded fine with either of the amps, with the sound skewing in different directions according to the previous descriptions in the full review from post #1. Here again though, I thought the M3 to be the better amp, as it was more dynamic and powerful-sounding, which the K701 always benefits from. It also reduced the size of the K701's soundstage (depth & width), making it sound less open, which IMO is a good thing. The Auditor's relative treble tilt did help out the K701 a bit, but I personally don't think that extra treble is something the K701 particularly needs. It's not a clear-sounding headphone so I don't see the point of more treble when it doesn't do anything to help provide more "detail" on a headphone that can't provide it anyway. The T1's clearer sound masked everything to a lesser degree and if anything it sonically benefitted more from the Auditor than the K701.

I concluded that while the M3 was the better amp for the K701 than the Auditor, it still left some things to be desired, and I recommend seeking out a tube or hybrid amp to optimize the K701 experience.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank I View Post
Steve nice job. The Asgard appears more suited for low impedance cans as it puts out more power into lower ohms from what I have been able too read. The Auditor seems to do a nice job per your conclusion with the T1. I personally prefer the  T1 with my CSP-2 and IMO that amp really brought the T1 to reference level. Have you tried any low impedance cans on the Asgard? That may interesting to see how they perform with the planars in your opinion.


Yes, I have tried some low-impedance headphones on the Asgard, but I will not write anything about that experience yet. That will follow when I write a full review of the Asgard in the Amps forum eventually.


1 more amp-comparison installment using the HD800 will follow on from here next at a later point in time. I might also write another installment for the Audeze LCD-2 at some point (which I'm expecting to get tomorrow).


Edited by Asr - 9/21/10 at 6:53pm
post #87 of 112


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post




LOL...sometimes I think you should really get your hearing checked.

 

The T1's sense of "air" is a whole cut above the LCD-2s. That is my one single issue with the LCD-2s. The great thing about the T1s is that they just do everything very well. Bass/mids/treble/sound stage/air...I'd give them all a 8 or 9 out 10. The LCD-2's bass is a 10/10, mids 9/10, but treble gets a 7/10 and air gets like a 6/10.

 

What good quality tube amp did you run the T1's to make your assessment?

 

The treble issue is not severe as I may have made it out to be.  It was in direct comparison to the HD800 which it became obvious.  At this moment I do not have the LCD2 for direct comparisons.  Regarding the overall treble presence of the T1 it does seem to have more of it than the LCD2, however the situation reminds me of the treble between the K701 and HD650 - which I explored in the recent posts in the HD650 appreciation thread, a conversation with Dibster where we both drew the same conclusion.

 

The HD650 has overall much less treble presence than the K701...however the HD650's treble extension is greater than the K701.  The K701 on the other hand is the only can (until I heard the T1) that has an very noticeable treble presence, much more than the HD650, but this greater presence in the treble is actually overall not as extended as the HD650.  This actually serves to help the K701, because its treble roll-off at the uppermost  extension makes for what sounds to me like a sibilant free presentation.  Sibilance I encounter with the D7000 (severe) and the HD800 (not nearly as severe) which also share characteristics of a heavy treble presence.  By the same token, the T1 also has a sibilant free treble - but to me, the uppermost treble extension is extremely rolled off to the mid treble.  This is obvious with ride cymbals where the initial bite and impact of the cymbal is there and accurate, but it is not followed through correctly with the trailing shimmer.  Its not a bad issue - but noticeable to me.  The benefits of this approach, I believe is the avoidance of nasty sibilance.

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asr View Post

It also reduced the size of the K701's soundstage (depth & width), making it sound less open, which IMO is a good thing. The Auditor's relative treble tilt did help out the K701 a bit, but I personally don't think that extra treble is something the K701 particularly needs. It's not a clear-sounding headphone so I don't see the point of more treble when it doesn't do anything to help provide more "detail" on a headphone that can't provide it anyway. The T1's clearer sound masked everything to a lesser degree and if anything it sonically benefitted more from the Auditor than the K701.

I concluded that while the M3 was the better amp for the K701 than the Auditor, it still left some things to be desired, and I recommend seeking out a tube or hybrid amp to optimize the K701 experience.
 

 

Once again, I must agree with ASR,  I have expressed, in the past, synergies with the K701 when using my Ming Da tube amp...how it reduces the soundstage, making it more coherent and integrated through the midrange.  I have found some crossfeeds do the same thing also, reducing the massive upper mid soundstage to make the K701 more whole and complete.


Edited by SP Wild - 9/22/10 at 6:28am
post #88 of 112

^^^
 

I think you need to really go back and check out your gear and hearing. Sorry, but as great as the HD800s are, the T1s do a better job of portraying real life bass....no doubt to my ears. I've owned both for more than 7 months and with careful listening to both with SS and tube amps.

 

Your wording is always so extreme and really tunes people out from what you have to say.


Edited by MacedonianHero - 9/22/10 at 6:22am
post #89 of 112

Great review.

post #90 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacedonianHero View Post

^^^
 

I think you need to really go back and check out your gear and hearing. Sorry, but as great as the HD800s are, the T1s do a better job of portraying real life bass....no doubt to my ears. I've owned both for more than 7 months and with careful listening to both with SS and tube amps.

 

Your wording is always so extreme and really tunes people out from what you have to say.

 

x 2. Didactic comes to mind.
 

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