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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1002

post #15016 of 37384
I remember two... Three people talking about their problems with their AKG bass, suddenly somebody comes in and assumes that is representative of all of the AKG "flagships." I haven't heard any statistically significant figures to back up "AKG has QC issues" (I'm biased because mine work great), unlike the launch Xbox 360 RROD failure rate being like 1 out of three consoles went bad from heat issues within the first three years (which is very statistically significant), which caused Microsoft to modify their terms of warranty.

I think I already gave Dillweed my suggestions, right? I'm go sleep NAOW.
post #15017 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

They talk about QC issues in AKG, but redirect you to Hifiman? Lol. Every single HE400 I owned failed, including the one I sold, which was a replacement for one that was having problems.

No no no, sorry, I was just listing off ones I'd been looking into myself. Nobody here pointed me in the direction of anything specific to Beyer or HiFiMAN or whatever, I'd just been reading over people's reviews and descriptions of the sound signatures and those happened to be in there.

 

Quote:
Then there's Beyerdynamic which has to have the most inconsistency in terms of headphone to headphone variation. You don't know if you'll get a dud or a good one.

I've experienced this first hand and read about it after I originally got the DT880s, as my first pair had pretty bad channel imbalance.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I remember two... Three people talking about their problems with their AKG bass, suddenly somebody comes in and assumes that is representative of all of the AKG "flagships." I haven't heard any statistically significant figures to back up "AKG has QC issues"

All I know is the various anecdotal reports I've read both on Head-Fi and various other boards. AKG, Beyerdynamic, HiFiMAN, Sony, various amp and cable manufacturers, and various limited run models, special equipment or models that are way, way, way beyond my means.

 

Quote:
I think I already gave Dillweed my suggestions, right? I'm go sleep NAOW.

I... don't see any suggestions. Have any? biggrin.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happy Bullets View Post

If you have a chance, give the Th-600 a listen. For gaming/movies I would take these over the HD800 all day. You can easily forget the Th-600 are closed because the sound stage is amazing. The HD800 are great for gaming, but the highs just really were too piercing for me. I watched my first movie last night with the Fostex and they blew me away. 

I'll definitely look into these, though I haven't owned any closed cans before so I have no idea what to expect, and I don't think Fostex headphones are regularly stocked in most Canadian places and definitely not near where I live (Winnipeg-ish area), so I'd probably be buying into them sight-unseen like the HD800s and other higher priced models. I've just generally heard that a closed headphone soundstage is usually compressed compared to open ones. Everything I've owned has been at least semi-open, or at most ear buds (my head tends to pressurize pretty quickly, but I don't know if that would make much difference). The pair I had before the DT880s were HD555s.

 

edit: Hmmm. Yeah, unless I changed amps too, then the HD800 might not be great for me either. My hearing's pretty sensitive to the higher frequencies, and I'm seeing people talk of sibilance with solid state amps. More research to do, I guess.


Edited by Dillweed - 7/6/13 at 10:06pm
post #15018 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post

I'm actually using the Titanium HD in my PC. I've tried it on a couple of different setups to see how they change the sound, but besides doing things like just smoothing out the harshness, warming the sound and increasing the bass, or making it extremely sibilant, my other general problems with the depth and positioning seem to be present on everything. I have a feeling that it's simply the DT880 sound, and my ears don't conform to the driver placement or I simply don't enjoy them as much as other people do. Granted, being able to change its overall sound pretty radically from system to system is nice and obviously an advantage for people who enjoy that sound in the first place and want to switch out different components to shape the sound signature to work with different genres of music, and I'm fine with how they sound with most music. But for me, the majority of their use is all games and movies, and they just seem to lack any real depth or ability to emulate three-dimensional space and end up kind of disappointing for it. They can get fairly wide, but that seems to be most of it, for me at least.

 

How do you like the Lovely Cube with the TiHD? Is it a big step up from just the TiHD on its own? I'm looking for a headphone amp now and wondering which amps would be a step up in clarity and soundstage. I also dislike harsh treble which is one of the complaints I've heard about the Magni and O2 amps so I'm curious what your experience has been.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post

 

I'll definitely look into these, though I haven't owned any closed cans before so I have no idea what to expect, and I don't think Fostex headphones are regularly stocked in most Canadian places and definitely not near where I live (Winnipeg-ish area), so I'd probably be buying into them sight-unseen like the HD800s and other higher priced models. I've just generally heard that a closed headphone soundstage is usually compressed compared to open ones. Everything I've owned has been at least semi-open, or at most ear buds (my head tends to pressurize pretty quickly, but I don't know if that would make much difference). The pair I had before the DT880s were HD555s.

 

edit: Hmmm. Yeah, unless I changed amps too, then the HD800 might not be great for me either. My hearing's pretty sensitive to the higher frequencies, and I'm seeing people talk of sibilance with solid state amps. More research to do, I guess.

 

The Fostex based headphones also seemed really appealing to me, but I haven't had the chance to try them yet.  Even if it is not the most accurate for competitive gaming the descriptions make it seem as though it might work with its neutrality. The problem is that most of the headphones that are considered detailed and accurate rely on accentuated highs.

post #15019 of 37384

I'm probably not the greatest person to ask about amps given my relative inexperience.

 

As far as the ability to tailor the sound a bit more to my liking through different op amps and giving some extra volume headroom, the Lovely Cube does pretty well. But, depending on the op amps you use on the Titanium HD, you might get a similar sound from it alone, although the Cube does help the sound fill out more compared to straight out of the Titanium HD. It has a few different gain settings that you can toggle depending on what your headphones need. I got the pre-assembled Premium and the construction is good, and the amp is also dead silent even if I crank the volume knob to the maximum (don't do this).

 

The stock op amp sounds too muddy to me. Switching it out for something like the OPA627BP helps tame the occasional sibilance on the DT880 while still giving enough detail. I have a few op amps for the Lovely Cube that I'll swap out to help different things. One helps smooth the high tones a bit, one helps boost the mids a bit and adds a little bit of forward depth, one widens the soundstage a bit more, one makes the bass a bit louder in relation to the midrange and treble, one adds a little bass boom (and removes some detail)... They're all slight variations on the same base theme, though. If you're interested in it, you should check out the thread (http://www.head-fi.org/t/501046/the-lovely-cube-headphone-amp-lehmann-black-cube-linear-clone) for more and better impressions, and see if it sounds like something you're interested in. There's also a review at http://www.stekkie.com/?p=156. The Matrix M-Stage is also another Black Cube Linear derivative. If you can find reviews for the Black Cube Linear (like http://www.headfonia.com/lehmann-black-cube-linear/), most of what applies to it will probably apply to the clones.

 

I think the general idea is that solid state amps are going to give you enough power to drive, will usually give a fast and precise sound but won't change the overall sound signature much, where tubes can add some warmth. But, that's just my uneducated generalization.

post #15020 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

They talk about QC issues in AKG, but redirect you to Hifiman? Lol. Every single HE400 I owned failed, including the one I sold, which was a replacement for one that was having problems. The buyer contacted me a few months after, telling me the right driver failed. Good thing Hifiman heped him out.

Then there's Beyerdynamic which has to have the most inconsistency in terms of headphone to headphone variation. You don't know if you'll get a dud or a good one.

To be fair, I think HiFiMAN QC improves with each new batch. Not that I have confidence the HP will last for more than a year but at least it works from the get go.
post #15021 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post

I'm probably not the greatest person to ask about amps given my relative inexperience.

 

As far as the ability to tailor the sound a bit more to my liking through different op amps and giving some extra volume headroom, the Lovely Cube does pretty well. But, depending on the op amps you use on the Titanium HD, you might get a similar sound from it alone, although the Cube does help the sound fill out more compared to straight out of the Titanium HD. It has a few different gain settings that you can toggle depending on what your headphones need. I got the pre-assembled Premium and the construction is good, and the amp is also dead silent even if I crank the volume knob to the maximum (don't do this).

 

The stock op amp sounds too muddy to me. Switching it out for something like the OPA627BP helps tame the occasional sibilance on the DT880 while still giving enough detail. I have a few op amps for the Lovely Cube that I'll swap out to help different things. One helps smooth the high tones a bit, one helps boost the mids a bit and adds a little bit of forward depth, one widens the soundstage a bit more, one makes the bass a bit louder in relation to the midrange and treble, one adds a little bass boom (and removes some detail)... They're all slight variations on the same base theme, though. If you're interested in it, you should check out the thread (http://www.head-fi.org/t/501046/the-lovely-cube-headphone-amp-lehmann-black-cube-linear-clone) for more and better impressions, and see if it sounds like something you're interested in. There's also a review at http://www.stekkie.com/?p=156. The Matrix M-Stage is also another Black Cube Linear derivative. If you can find reviews for the Black Cube Linear (like http://www.headfonia.com/lehmann-black-cube-linear/), most of what applies to it will probably apply to the clones.

 

I think the general idea is that solid state amps are going to give you enough power to drive, will usually give a fast and precise sound but won't change the overall sound signature much, where tubes can add some warmth. But, that's just my uneducated generalization.

 

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm torn between getting something customizable like the Lovely Cube or just going with something known to be clear and detailed like the Asgard 2.

 

As for your headphone search, have you tried the HD 598? MLE gave it great reviews for positioning and soundstage, and it is supposed to be fairly neutral. I'm thinking about picking up one to try. There is also supposed to be an open-back headphone from Shure coming out soon that might do the job.

post #15022 of 37384

Yeah, I added the HD598 to the research list since I saw a couple of people mention that they preferred it to the HD600. Those two, along with the Q701/K702 Anniversary/K712 Pro, the TH600 and possibly the T1/HD800 higher up the chain and pretty much at my "broke for the next four months" budgetary limit. I don't remember what the differences are between the 595 and 598, but when I was using the HD555s, I did that simple mod to basically make them into HD595s.


Edited by Dillweed - 7/7/13 at 8:16pm
post #15023 of 37384
They're slightly more different this time, you can still mod the 558's but FWIR this time it doesn't sound like the 598. They're both great though, had fun demoing the almost-hidden HD558 in the quiet corner of my Best Buy.

As far as recommendations, I'm not so sure you'll like the T1 FWIR because you found the DT880 treble-bright, the HD800 is supposed to be a bit bright but very sweet about it (so are the Stax), and maybe a used Stax should be researched. Outside the head is difficult to achieve, and actually the surround DSP's do a fair job of helping with that, and so do crossfeed features.

Of course, the above are simply based on reading inferences, my experience is with a couple entry-level high value headphones (Grado SR60, JVC HA-RX900 with TopPop mod, Sennheiser PX100, Etymotic ER•6i (IEMs), and recently Koss KSC75 "pulse" clip-ons) and some of the most famous soundstage headphones, the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 and the AKG Q701. I actually just saw a pair of AD700 on a radio show guest during Food Court Wars or whatever that show is called. I've basically settled on the Q701, it has some more mid energy and sweet but not as bright treble than the DT880, better bass extension and presence than the AD700 with almost as impressive soundstage. The AD700 has such an impressive soundstage for such an attractive price, with a nice evenly round expansion shape when using a surround DSP, nice control but bass extension only a little better than earbuds (most enthusiasts want more). The Q701 has maybe slightly wider soundstage, but under amped (and thus less precise) or if paired with a darker amp the soundstage seems kinda oval shaped, extending out in front of you but not as deeply as the soundstage width. Using my tube amp however, the Q701 simply provides the best soundstage with exciting (non-painful) character that I have heard in a headphone. It is distinctly awesome, something I'm reminded of every time I come back to listen to it if I haven't had the chance to listen to music/game for a while. The Annies may have a bit more bass and intimate soundstage, I haven't heard those, but I'm satisfied to enjoy my Q701's. I really want a internal gaming soundcard for my PC though, I think the combo of Q701 + tube amp + Sound Blaster ZxR would be killer!

That count for recommendations? You were looking for soundstage, right? AD700 (soundstage step up but maybe a step back overall for you), AKG flagships, HD800, and Stax setups should be your shortlist, IMO from my research.
Edited by Evshrug - 7/7/13 at 10:06pm
post #15024 of 37384

guys I am looking for sound card. I want to connect speakers to it but I will mainly game on Creative aurvana live with it.

 

is dolby ehadphone the same on all xonar cards ? (because it is xonar exclusive feature right ?)

 

Would DH be the same on xonar dg/dgx as on u3 ?

And is there any difference between dg/dgx ? i know the second is for pcie but are drivers the same? does card crashes or something like that ?

post #15025 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiCZoK View Post

guys I am looking for sound card. I want to connect speakers to it but I will mainly game on Creative aurvana live with it.

is dolby ehadphone the same on all xonar cards ? (because it is xonar exclusive feature right ?)

Would DH be the same on xonar dg/dgx as on u3 ?
And is there any difference between dg/dgx ? i know the second is for pcie but are drivers the same? does card crashes or something like that ?

It is definitely not a xonar exclusive feature...
Implementation should be the same but the overall performance and results will depend on the.soundcard quality as well
post #15026 of 37384

oh ok. So what sound card to get for cal ? Rather on the budget side. I dont mind external cards but not something like u3. I need my speakers connected too

post #15027 of 37384
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiCZoK View Post

oh ok. So what sound card to get for cal ? Rather on the budget side. I dont mind external cards but not something like u3. I need my speakers connected too

On a tight budget, go with the Asus Xonar DG: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132020  You can always upgrade down the line, but this is a good beginning point if you're not able to get a separate amp, as this card has a basic built in amp.  If you can spring for a separate amp, look at the higher up Xonar or X-Fi cards.

post #15028 of 37384

Wow, Mad Lust Envy, pretty huge pile of reviews you brought us here! Respect! atsmile.gif

Just a shortie: I happened to get my hands on an Asus Xonar Essence One amp (unexpected present beerchug.gif) and I want to push it. I have an old Sennheiser headphone - HD590 - back from 2001 and honestly, even if I love it for serving me well during all these years it's time to get a new one (not to mention the Xonar eats it for breakfast). I don't have a discrete sound card but an integrated Realtek chip on my mobo (ASUS P8Z77-V Premium) (I quote): 

 

Realtek® ALC898 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC 

- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
Audio Feature :
- Absolute Pitch 192kHz/ 24-bit True BD Lossless Sound
- Blu-ray audio layer Content Protection 
- DTS Ultra PC II
- DTS Connect
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel

 

So in short: I need an advice on a decent headphone that could match the Essence One (gaming and music in that order). I know you are a console gamer but still, am interested in your opinion.

 

Thx and cheers,

engivuk

post #15029 of 37384

Connect the Asus Essence Xonar One to the S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) connection on the motherboard.

Make sue your computer has the default audio output set to S/PDIF

Update your motherboard's built in audio to the latest drivers

Plug any headphone you like into the Essence One.

 

Audio Technica ATH-AD900X (open) headphones

Digbuy is selling them for $200.

post #15030 of 37384

Noble Hifi TH-600 Review with AH-D7000 comparison. That dude never misses to emphasize his D7000 love. :D

 

http://noblehifi.blogspot.com/2013/06/fostex-th-600-review.html

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