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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 10/15/2014: Beyerdynamic T51i Added) - Page 1316

post #19726 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

 

 

Wait, do you have TWO X1s??

 

Yes I do lol, I thought it was broken at first so Amazon sent a replacement, might keep it because my lady loves it very much.

 

Do you have any experience with the Schiit Vali? I wonder how it will pair with the X1.

post #19727 of 27166

After spending some time with the AKG I'm really surprised with it. First I was skeptical of them doing something years after the K701 and it's derivates, even suspected them being a former shadow of themselves (my father had the K340, K501) and just releasing their last best work forever and only being there for the name (for Harman's benefits). I appreciated the K701's technicalities and improvements with later models (I hated the headband) but after I left mid-fi towards HD 800 and Co. they weren't interesting anymore. While I still could hear that they stayed in the game very well it was no comparison. Sometimes I wanted to go back and build myself a sexy headset but the oval soundstage with a weak phantom center always stayed in every model. It just wasn't acceptable anymore to me.

 

So now after years they bring out their K812 and ******* it's a superb headphone. I kinda understand the exotic "next-gen" remarks that were made in  the K812 thread as in easier-to-drive, much more efficient and to be honest I like it that way even when I am curious about the 2014 Violectrics that are coming up. As I mentioned there, future headphones are likely to follow that direction as in getting lighter and easier to drive. It's no threat for the amping world however, they can still continue as before, just with lesser gain in a few cases so all's fine.

 

It looks like we have the big three again. Before it was K701, DT880 and HD 600/650. Today it's T1, HD 800 and K812 (although 5 years too late) only that the T1 loses out. Totally.

 

It's a superb headphone and clearly Beyer's best but it got overshadowed by the HD 800 already for good reason, though not in worlds of course. Naturally we'd expect a headphone like the K812 to batter them all after 5 years of work but in reality it doesn't. This can be a dissapointment in an upgradist's eyes but the realist in me says it's all about nuances and incrementals in the high end but still you gotta reach there first (Hey Ultrasone and Grado!). What I can definitely say as a conclusion from my own experience that the K812 deserves to be on the same podest as the HD 800. Yep,  that's right. And there it is where they are battling it out to me.

 

Bass: K812 bass is very detailed and doesn't lack the power or "physical presence" like the HD 800's (which is detailed as well but thinner, less exciting). In no way is the K812 a bassy headphone. In comparison with the Fostex it's pretty clear. No matter how much I love the Fostex though the bass detail really goes to the K812. Yep. It's pretty exciting for a open headphone with large soundstage to have such a delicate bass reproduction. 

 

Beautiful Midrange: I always loved the HE-500 most for vocals and while the HD 800 did everything right in technical matters (as in authentic reproducing) it didn't have the same emotion but as it's a very neutral headphone it is uncolored and you may not like it. The K812 is similar as in uncolored but I prefered it for voices somehow. Actually I was amazed and expect something going on there. They are authentic as a neutral reference headphone should be (though admittely music is made for speakers) but still a hint more euphonic. Harmonics? I don't know. 

 

High and Details: both are marvellous and at the same time unforgiving, both can annoy you with ancient black metal. Both are not sharp as a T90 or a Pro Ultrasone. In no case. That tizzyness is overstated to me (unless you really listen to a lot off mediocre recored stuff, that's where both will dissapoint you) and if you look at the data of my amp you can't have something more neutral than that. And some of you know that I can be sensitive to fatigueing highs as the HE-400, T90, Pro (2)900 and others gave me.

 

Soundstage: Here is where the Sennheiser still has the biggest size of all while not losing any cohorence. The AKG's is smaller but in no way inferior, in fact it would be the king if the HD 800 just died out. It's that good. No phantom center weakness, superb depth and layering, also having that weird 3d space effect (which I only had with the HD 800) where you turn around and wonder where that came from. AKG practically erased everything that was weak in the soundstage of their old ones.

 

I could write much more but my English is not good enough. I had some other impressions German forums, I could maybe write up something more fluid sometime.

 

Anyway, I did some gaming on them and unsurprisingly they were outstanding. Yes, the Fostex rumbles more and hits harder but the K812 is more authentic. I played 20 hours of Borderlands 2 + OpenAL on them and thank god for that game to actually not have bad samples, especially in its music. 

Yes, there's the general thought that such headphones are overkill for gaming and I agree on that for sole gaming purposes (that would be crazy) but their technical superiority still can be noticed if the game samples allow.

 

When the track "ICE" (nice exciting battle music) for instance appeared ingame the MMX 300 couldn't reproduce the bass textures as well, it was more of a 1-2 layer bass getting lost into one note while the K812 showed all layers in perfect balance (naturally the Fostex exaggerated here). Neither could the HE-500 loaner.

 

All in all I think the ultimate dream of a universal headphone both for music and gaming/movies is the K812 before the HD 800.

post #19728 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1llest View Post
 

 

Do you have any experience with the Schiit Vali? I wonder how it will pair with the X1.

 

I don't.

 

Keep in mind the Vali comes with a few caveats like tube microphonics and a less than stellar SNR (you might hear a faint background hiss with the X1s).  Also, a 6.5 ohm ouput impedance.

 

IMO the X1s are already on the warm side with inoffensive treble, so I don't think they need any kind of tube smoothening.  That's something more popular with the highly detailed, neutral, and analytical sounding headphones.

 

I think the X1s would pair better with a tight sounding solid state amp.


Edited by chicolom - 1/6/14 at 6:00pm
post #19729 of 27166
Thread Starter 
I agree. I feel the X1 could do with as much tightness and sharpening as it can get, usually off a good SS amp. I'd say the Vali probably wouldn't be ideal in any shape or form.
post #19730 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I agree. I feel the X1 could do with as much tightness and sharpening as it can get, usually off a good SS amp. I'd say the Vali probably wouldn't be ideal in any shape or form.

such as the cheaper magni? I kind of need a 2nd amp and don't want to spend as much as I did for the A2. I'm looking at possible portable amps as well such as the E18 (android compatible) or just an E11/12


Edited by Chubtoad - 1/6/14 at 7:42pm
post #19731 of 27166
So I guess I need some help/advice. Moved my 360 and decided I wanted to get headphones since it's in my living room with no surround sound. Tried the Turtle Beach xp510's. Wasn't impressed. The surround and position was good but the sound wasn't. Bought the Astro A40's mostly to try out the mixamp to use with my own headphones, Vmoda M100's. Tried it out last night with COD. Sound quality overall was great, the positional sound wasn't good in my opinion. Is it an issue with those headphones? I will take a look at my set up tonight, but I'm not sure that's the issue. I will try the A40 phones as well to see a comparison. Should I go with different headphones? I went with the mixamp because I figure I won't get good sound quality from most console headphones. I see people using amps too with the mixamp. I have a Fiio E11 too would that make a difference and if so, how do you guys have it hooked up?
post #19732 of 27166

MLE or anyone, im going for your recommendation to connect a DAC/AMP combo with the Xonar u3.. i was just wondering if its ok if the result will be favorable if I use the fiio e18 instead of the fiio e17 because i want the extra functionality of it as an android amp.. please help me anyone.. thanks!

post #19733 of 27166
You might want to ask that question in the E18 thread... no one here has any experience with it that I know of...
post #19734 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Well, since neither are have optical dacs, you don't need to buy a dac/amp. The cheapest dac/amp with an optical input is the E17, FWIS. For now, you can just get an E11, which is actually a little more powerful than the E17, but has no dac.

Bear in mind, you will be double amping from the U3. All you're doing is amping the amped signal with a better output impedance, which will stabilize the X1's frequency response.

Honestly, I'd just get the U3 and x1 for now (though it may sound a little thin at first), then buying a used E17 later. We're talking like a $20 difference from something like the E11 anyways.

The E10 only works as a usb dac FIRST, so you can't connect the U3 to it.

The E7K IMHO just isn't worth it, when the E17 is just a little more and has all the features plus more power.

Looks like im gonna be going with the e17 then. . i just checked and the e18 is also USB dac... maybe id just get an ipod in the future... More questions.. do i need to buy anything else aside from the u3 and the e17 like cables to have it working with the laptop? This is actually my first time doing this and my first time buying a dac and amp so i really have no idea.. thank you!

post #19735 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubtoad View Post
 

such as the cheaper magni? I kind of need a 2nd amp and don't want to spend as much as I did for the A2. I'm looking at possible portable amps as well such as the E18 (android compatible) or just an E11/12


Yeah, sort of.

 

 

 

The only issue with the Magni is that it may be too powerful and have too high of a gain to use comfortably with the X1.  In other words, you will have to be careful with the volume as you may only be able to turn it up to 9-10 o'clock before it gets too loud, which isn't ideal because most amps have some channel imbalance issues in the early stage of their volume pots.  The sweet spot is more in the middle of the volume range, around 12 o'clock, which will likely be way to loud with the X1s. 

 

Two workarounds are: 1) Lower the volume digitally in Windows, and 2) Stick attenuators at the back of the amp to lower the input signal.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/650213/schiit-magni-to-much-power-for-32-ohm-headphones

 

 

An amp like the O2 would have a more comfortable range on the volume pot.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Milhouse74 View Post

Bought the Astro A40's mostly to try out the mixamp to use with my own headphones, Vmoda M100's. Tried it out last night with COD. Sound quality overall was great, the positional sound wasn't good in my opinion. Is it an issue with those headphones? I will take a look at my set up tonight, but I'm not sure that's the issue. I will try the A40 phones as well to see a comparison. Should I go with different headphones? I went with the mixamp because I figure I won't get good sound quality from most console headphones. I see people using amps too with the mixamp. I have a Fiio E11 too would that make a difference and if so, how do you guys have it hooked up?

 

The M100s are basically closed and don't have the biggest soundstage, so they might not pair the best with the mixamp.  Try testing with the A40s for comparison.  The A40s have a medium sized soundstage and decent positioning.  I would eventually sell/return the A40s and just use the mixamp with a different pair of headphones though.

 

Adding a FiiO E11 won't change much.  It won't affect the surround sound, and it's not that powerful of an amp anyways so you won't get much extra volume compared to just the mixamp.  I would skip double amping with the E11 and save that duty for a desktop amp.  You don't need to double amp anyways with your current headphones - that's only if you get harder to drive headphones later and need more volume.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredat21 View Post
 

MLE or anyone, im going for your recommendation to connect a DAC/AMP combo with the Xonar u3.. i was just wondering if its ok if the result will be favorable if I use the fiio e18 instead of the fiio e17 because i want the extra functionality of it as an android amp.. please help me anyone.. thanks!

 

AFAIK the E18 doesn't have optical inputs like the E17, so it won't work with the U3.


Edited by chicolom - 1/7/14 at 12:38am
post #19736 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post
 

After spending some time with the AKG I'm really surprised with it. First I was skeptical of them doing something years after the K701 and it's derivates, even suspected them being a former shadow of themselves (my father had the K340, K501) and just releasing their last best work forever and only being there for the name (for Harman's benefits). I appreciated the K701's technicalities and improvements with later models (I hated the headband) but after I left mid-fi towards HD 800 and Co. they weren't interesting anymore. While I still could hear that they stayed in the game very well it was no comparison. Sometimes I wanted to go back and build myself a sexy headset but the oval soundstage with a weak phantom center always stayed in every model. It just wasn't acceptable anymore to me.

 

So now after years they bring out their K812 and ******* it's a superb headphone. I kinda understand the exotic "next-gen" remarks that were made in  the K812 thread as in easier-to-drive, much more efficient and to be honest I like it that way even when I am curious about the 2014 Violectrics that are coming up. As I mentioned there, future headphones are likely to follow that direction as in getting lighter and easier to drive. It's no threat for the amping world however, they can still continue as before, just with lesser gain in a few cases so all's fine.

 

It looks like we have the big three again. Before it was K701, DT880 and HD 600/650. Today it's T1, HD 800 and K812 (although 5 years too late) only that the T1 loses out. Totally.

 

It's a superb headphone and clearly Beyer's best but it got overshadowed by the HD 800 already for good reason, though not in worlds of course. Naturally we'd expect a headphone like the K812 to batter them all after 5 years of work but in reality it doesn't. This can be a dissapointment in an upgradist's eyes but the realist in me says it's all about nuances and incrementals in the high end but still you gotta reach there first (Hey Ultrasone and Grado!). What I can definitely say as a conclusion from my own experience that the K812 deserves to be on the same podest as the HD 800. Yep,  that's right. And there it is where they are battling it out to me.

 

Bass: K812 bass is very detailed and doesn't lack the power or "physical presence" like the HD 800's (which is detailed as well but thinner, less exciting). In no way is the K812 a bassy headphone. In comparison with the Fostex it's pretty clear. No matter how much I love the Fostex though the bass detail really goes to the K812. Yep. It's pretty exciting for a open headphone with large soundstage to have such a delicate bass reproduction. 

 

Beautiful Midrange: I always loved the HE-500 most for vocals and while the HD 800 did everything right in technical matters (as in authentic reproducing) it didn't have the same emotion but as it's a very neutral headphone it is uncolored and you may not like it. The K812 is similar as in uncolored but I prefered it for voices somehow. Actually I was amazed and expect something going on there. They are authentic as a neutral reference headphone should be (though admittely music is made for speakers) but still a hint more euphonic. Harmonics? I don't know. 

 

High and Details: both are marvellous and at the same time unforgiving, both can annoy you with ancient black metal. Both are not sharp as a T90 or a Pro Ultrasone. In no case. That tizzyness is overstated to me (unless you really listen to a lot off mediocre recored stuff, that's where both will dissapoint you) and if you look at the data of my amp you can't have something more neutral than that. And some of you know that I can be sensitive to fatigueing highs as the HE-400, T90, Pro (2)900 and others gave me.

 

Soundstage: Here is where the Sennheiser still has the biggest size of all while not losing any cohorence. The AKG's is smaller but in no way inferior, in fact it would be the king if the HD 800 just died out. It's that good. No phantom center weakness, superb depth and layering, also having that weird 3d space effect (which I only had with the HD 800) where you turn around and wonder where that came from. AKG practically erased everything that was weak in the soundstage of their old ones.

 

I could write much more but my English is not good enough. I had some other impressions German forums, I could maybe write up something more fluid sometime.

 

Anyway, I did some gaming on them and unsurprisingly they were outstanding. Yes, the Fostex rumbles more and hits harder but the K812 is more authentic. I played 20 hours of Borderlands 2 + OpenAL on them and thank god for that game to actually not have bad samples, especially in its music. 

Yes, there's the general thought that such headphones are overkill for gaming and I agree on that for sole gaming purposes (that would be crazy) but their technical superiority still can be noticed if the game samples allow.

 

When the track "ICE" (nice exciting battle music) for instance appeared ingame the MMX 300 couldn't reproduce the bass textures as well, it was more of a 1-2 layer bass getting lost into one note while the K812 showed all layers in perfect balance (naturally the Fostex exaggerated here). Neither could the HE-500 loaner.

 

All in all I think the ultimate dream of a universal headphone both for music and gaming/movies is the K812 before the HD 800.

 

 

Thanks Fegefeuer!  This is good stuff. :beerchug:

 

 

I'm going to re-read the post a few times to let all the info sink in.

 

One question:  Were you able to compare the HD800 and K812 directly, or are you comparing from memory?

 

 

I like this line "All in all I think the ultimate dream of a universal headphone both for music and gaming/movies is the K812 before the HD 800."  I think that's what a lot of people want from the K812.  Sharing some similarities with the HD800 (great soundstage and detail) but trading some of the more "reference"/analytical traits for a more euphonic sound that's easier to live with and can apply to a wider range of genres (including games/movies). 

 

 

Also, your English is nearly perfect/flawless, and if I didn't know any better I would (and did) assume you're from the US.  Your impressions are very good, perfectly readable and well-written, and more useful than a lot of impressions I've seen from "native" speakers.


Edited by chicolom - 1/7/14 at 12:52am
post #19737 of 27166

Will the astro gaming mixamp pro alone drive the Fidelio X1 properly? 

post #19738 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1llest View Post
 

Fidelio X1 with the V Moda Boom Pro Mic

 

 

How do these sound with the Titanium X-Fi HD? I want to replace my K240 MKII's for gaming.

 

Cheers

post #19739 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post


Yeah, sort of.



The only issue with the Magni is that it may be too powerful and have too high of a gain to use comfortably with the X1.  In other words, you will have to be careful with the volume as you may only be able to turn it up to 9-10 o'clock before it gets too loud, which isn't ideal because most amps have some channel imbalance issues in the early stage of their volume pots.  The sweet spot is more in the middle of the volume range, around 12 o'clock, which will likely be way to loud with the X1s. 



An amp like the O2 would have a more comfortable range on the volume pot.

So if the magni is to powerful then what does that mean for the asgard 2? Would it be way way to powerful and be no good? I generally have the volume pot at 9 o clock with the low gain switch on and that's usually good enough with the Annies. If I go past 10 it starts becoming to loud. On high gain mode I have the dial even lower because even at 9 it starts becoming to loud.

Do all amps have channel imbalance? I don't think I've noticed any or just don't know what to be listening for.
post #19740 of 27166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubtoad View Post


So if the magni is to powerful then what does that mean for the asgard 2? Would it be way way to powerful and be no good? I generally have the volume pot at 9 o clock with the low gain switch on and that's usually good enough with the Annies. If I go past 10 it starts becoming to loud. On high gain mode I have the dial even lower because even at 9 it starts becoming to loud.

Do all amps have channel imbalance? I don't think I've noticed any or just don't know what to be listening for.

 

 

The Asgard 2 would fare better, because it has the low gain switch.  The Magni doesn't have any gain switches and it is permanently set to close-to-high gain.

 

Here are the specs on the gain for them:

 

Asgard 2

Gain: High = 6 (15.6db) or Low = 1.5 (3.5db), via rear switch

 

Magni

Gain: 5 (14db)

 

For reference, the X1s need about 1 or 1.5 o'clocks less than the Anniversaries.

 

All analog pots have some channel imbalance but it's usually only audible in the very early stages (like only during the first o'clock or less).  So once your at listening level it's usually fine.  Amps with digital volume pots or stepped attenuators (the ones that click through the positions) don't have any issues.


Edited by chicolom - 1/7/14 at 4:57am
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