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post #9031 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

Well, I've been using the Samson sr850 since my Audio-Technica CKS77 crapped out and I've got to say....they're pretty amazing. For my first set of open cans I find that the air circulation combined with the great detail and soundstage great for gaming. Bass response is pretty epic too. It's not bloated but goes pretty deep. As a gaming only option, I don't know if there's anything better under $50.

I mean, I've tried the Audio-Technica M50, WS55, M-Audio Q40, Phillips Citiscape Uptown and Downtown and this beats them all in gaming/movie performance. Nice and Light with no clamp and a self-adjusting headband. Very comfortable. Music souunds pretty good too.

Makes me want to look into the Q701/HE-400/HE-500/HD650 but I don't want to have to mess with expensive amps. I'll just settle for the Fiio E09k.

I wish Astro would stock their Mixamp already. They said by the mid of November.

Interesting perspective on the Samson. Wish I had money to slake my curiosity about the SamsonSR850 and Takstar that people are starting to enjoy, but I already "got serious" with the Q701. And just to point out from your "have to" mess with expensive amps comment: even without an expensive amp, the Q701 performs superior to any other headphone I've heard. It's just that, experiencing this, it changed my mind about eventually exploring amping. Feeding music into my home receiver definitely scales up the experience further. I figure my Yamaha's solid-state amping is a decent representation of what a powerful SS amp can do for the Q701, so that's why I'm trying a tube amp next.
post #9032 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


Interesting perspective on the Samson. Wish I had money to slake my curiosity about the SamsonSR850 and Takstar that people are starting to enjoy, but I already "got serious" with the Q701. And just to point out from your "have to" mess with expensive amps comment: even without an expensive amp, the Q701 performs superior to any other headphone I've heard. It's just that, experiencing this, it changed my mind about eventually exploring amping. Feeding music into my home receiver definitely scales up the experience further. I figure my Yamaha's solid-state amping is a decent representation of what a powerful SS amp can do for the Q701, so that's why I'm trying a tube amp next.

Good choice on the Q701. I want the E09K for I want a somewhat portable setup. In addition, I don't think there are that many differences between amps of the same type (solid-state versus solid-state/tube versus tube) . I'm of the mind that tube amps introduce distortion. I also feel that amping requirements are exaggerated here on Head-fi. Really a $1000 amp to power a $400 pair of headphones? Really?

 

I mean the HD600, K701 and K702 are used in studios around the world and I doubt they all use some exotic amps that are produced in small quantities with rare components. Not to mention the MDR-V6 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50 tend to do just fine for most.

 

Shoot, Deadmau5 and Skrillex just use speakers and the not the boutique kind either.

post #9033 of 26080
Thread Starter 
You are correct, the difference between my SA-31 ($500) and E09K ($109) is pretty minute. THAT BEING SAID, the Q701 loves itself power, and the difference is noticeable on it. They sounded quite a bit better on the NFB5 vs the E09K. The Q701 deserves some good amping. Not overkill amping, but good. Something like the MStage would be all I'd say it'd need.
post #9034 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

You are correct, the difference between my SA-31 ($500) and E09K ($109) is pretty minute. THAT BEING SAID, the Q701 loves itself power, and the difference is noticeable on it. They sounded quite a bit better on the NFB5 vs the E09K. The Q701 deserves some good amping. Not overkill amping, but good. Something like the MStage would be all I'd say it'd need.

Yeah, your choices are reasonable. I'm talking about multi-thousand dollar amps/dacs that use some obscure components to drive common headphones. NFB seems to have common components assembled.

 

I'm talking about the Red Wine Audio Isabella Amp that starts at $4000.

 

I still don't know wheather the DAC/AMP should cost more than the headphones, however.


Edited by lubczyk - 11/15/12 at 7:00am
post #9035 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

...

 

I wish Astro would stock their Mixamp already. They said by the mid of November.

 

well, today is just now mid-nov.  but I feel your pain.  I've been waiting for them to come back in stock too.  I'm realistically expecting them closer to the last week in Nov or first week in Dec.  In an email response, Astro originally told me Dec 1.  That was before they started saying Mid-Nov in twitter though.

post #9036 of 26080

So does anyone know how the soundstage and balance of the Samson sr850 compare to the HD558 or HD598s?  would those sennheisers still kill the SR850, or is the difference more miniscule?

 

EDIT:  just from reading different reviews of the SR850, it sounds like they are fairly well balanced.  I'm going to assume that it has more bass than the HD558, but still not too overpowering for gaming?


Edited by ronswanson - 11/15/12 at 8:47am
post #9037 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronswanson View Post

So does anyone know how the soundstage and balance of the Samson sr850 compare to the HD558 or HD598s?  would those sennheisers still kill the SR850, or is the difference more miniscule?

 

EDIT:  just from reading different reviews of the SR850, it sounds like they are fairly well balanced.  I'm going to assume that it has more bass than the HD558, but still not too overpowering for gaming?

Bass is pretty good on the SR850 regardless weather it's amped or straight out of an audio jack. It's definitely not bass anemic. It doesn't feel like it's boosted bass. No experience with the Sennheiser. The SR850 responds well to EQ (up or down) regarding the treble and bass.

post #9038 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by lubczyk View Post

Good choice on the Q701. I want the E09K for I want a somewhat portable setup. In addition, I don't think there are that many differences between amps of the same type (solid-state versus solid-state/tube versus tube) . I'm of the mind that tube amps introduce distortion. I also feel that amping requirements are exaggerated here on Head-fi. Really a $1000 amp to power a $400 pair of headphones? Really?

I mean the HD600, K701 and K702 are used in studios around the world and I doubt they all use some exotic amps that are produced in small quantities with rare components. Not to mention the MDR-V6 and Audio-Technica ATH-M50 tend to do just fine for most.

Shoot, Deadmau5 and Skrillex just use speakers and the not the boutique kind either.

I've been encountering music producers more lately than I ever anticipated, and it seems that the general perspective is that they use some sort of monitors while recording, but before the final mix is sent out they play the mix at home, in their car, headphones, WHATEVER is their typical listening environment to hear if it sounds "right" compared to the way they are used to hearing other music. So, after the science, they typically submit their work to a bit of an objective process. Music is art, after all.

Regarding tubes, I'm of the mind that I've already "got" the SS sound, and I want to try tubes so I have an option to try something a bit colored from neutral. While I first want neutral to hear how recordings are "intended," I'm as curious as MLE or any other Head-Fi'er to hear other sound signatures. After all, music (and games) are Art like I said above. In photography, Fujifilm's Velvia film is stronger in saturation (especially in green tones) than neutral, but it has outlasted the standard-bearer Kodak Kodachrome because the lush, verdant landscapes captured by that emulsion seem more natural to perfect light conditions and healthy vegetation, and people more widely are attracted to that. With a tube amp, each tube can have a different signature than the next, they really are unique compared to SS, and a new signature is just a cheap tube-swap away.
post #9039 of 26080
Put in another way:
Quote:
Virtual surround works best when presented in a headphone/amp system with lots of detail and soundstage, and of course as gamers we want an exciting, "immersive," liquid sound signature. Besides the challenge of overcoming background hiss/noise, everything I've read about tube amps is their ability to expand soundstage, "immerse" listeners with a musical presentation, and their liquid quality would make a great pairing for traditionally "dry" headphones such as the AKG Q701, which head-fi'er "Mad Lust Envy" currently presents as the all-around best headphone for competitive playing AND great to use for "fun" as well. The ability to cheaply tailor the sound signature by changing the tube in an amp is a big perk as well... gamers LOVE customization.

The above was written before Mad bought the HE-400 (which I think is his current all-rounder fav). I personally don't think the Q701 is dry, but then I have tended towards making analytical and I guess "dry" choices so far.
Edited by Evshrug - 11/15/12 at 12:42pm
post #9040 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


I've been encountering music producers more lately than I ever anticipated, and it seems that the general perspective is that they use some sort of monitors while recording, but before the final mix is sent out they play the mix at home, in their car, headphones, WHATEVER is their typical listening environment to hear if it sounds "right" compared to the way they are used to hearing other music. So, after the science, they typically submit their work to a bit of an objective process. Music is art, after all.
Regarding tubes, I'm of the mind that I've already "got" the SS sound, and I want to try tubes so I have an option to try something a bit colored from neutral. While I first want neutral to hear how recordings are "intended," I'm as curious as MLE or any other Head-Fi'er to hear other sound signatures. After all, music (and games) are Art like I said above. In photography, Fujifilm's Velvia film is stronger in saturation (especially in green tones) than neutral, but it has outlasted the standard-bearer Kodak Kodachrome because the lush, verdant landscapes captured by that emulsion seem more natural to perfect light conditions and healthy vegetation, and people more widely are attracted to that. With a tube amp, each tube can have a different signature than the next, they really are unique compared to SS, and a new signature is just a cheap tube-swap away.

If you want a different sound signature, wouldn't the best choice be then to try different headphones? Headphones make the most difference in sound, not amps, dacs or cables. Who could afford to make amps or dacs that only have "'synergy" with specific headphones. I don't see how a boutique headphone amp manufacturer like Audio-dg or or Red Wine Audio could afford to have access to special components that sound so much better than most others out there. There just isn't that much money out there in the audiophile headphone market for amp and dac manufacturers to make specialized components just to fit some subset of headphones. The point of an amp to to simply amplify the signal and the dac is self-explanatory.

 

Look at NwAvguy, he made a DAC and AMP that beat those thousands of dollars using off-the-shelf components. It's all about implementation.

post #9041 of 26080
Thread Starter 
Well, the K701 is even more dry than the Q701, lol. Next to the HE400 and HD650, the Q701 is a bit dry.

But yeah, the Q701 isn't exactly dry in the way the Pro 900 and Pro 2900 are.

Don't get me wrong, a dry tone is actually better for details, IMHO. It provides a cleaner sound.

The Q701 is still my fave $250 headphone that isn't overly colored. I'd probably get the K702 Anniversary just because of the love I have for the Q701, and what I've been reading about the K702 Anniverasry having more warmth and bass, better comfort, and sound that rivals the HE400.

BTW, tube amps aren't going to transform your headphone. It will be just subtle differences, like 2%. A headphone change is definitely what's needed if you want a different sound.

What amps/dacs do is basically offset some aspects of the sound you wish to change. Like slightly making a headphone warmer, rolling off the treble, adding just a hint of soundstage, etc. It will still be the same headphone.

Never heard a headphone that sounds drastically different unamped vs amped, or with any source. Headphones do improve quite a bit (Q701 and HE4 are two I've noticed the most change).

It's all slight variations of the same sound, TBH. The SA-31 was overkill, and I feel I could have spent those $600+ dollars total for something more logical. But it's mine, so no reason to change it now, unless someone swaps me for a Compass 2 or something, which is more versatile, DAC/AMP all in one, and a volume knob.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 11/15/12 at 2:52pm
post #9042 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


The E17 will drive it loud, though without headroom for dynamics. I wouldnt settle for that alone. The SQ is amazing, just laid back compared to the HE400. They are similar in warmth, but the HE400 has and energetic sound the hd650 lacks. The hd650 as I mentioned, has better mids/vocals.
Not yet, but its the newest one, which is identical to the Rev. 2.


Good explanation, thanks so much for this thread. At first, I was scared choosing he400 to hd650. After your review, now I do not regret my choice for the Hifiman.

It seems that you like Hifiman brand, do you consider testing the HE500?

I want to give my GF Sony XB series. She just casually listen to music, and not concerned on music SQ. How do you think the new XB 400? Or I just give her the old XB 500?


Edited by widdyjudas - 11/15/12 at 6:29pm
post #9043 of 26080

MLE! Let me say I love you reviews first off. Some jack ass on Overclock.net called Simca was talking crap* on you but I straightened his ass out right, right quick... Never fear!!! Your fan club is here!

post #9044 of 26080
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Well, the K701 is even more dry than the Q701, lol. Next to the HE400 and HD650, the Q701 is a bit dry.
But yeah, the Q701 isn't exactly dry in the way the Pro 900 and Pro 2900 are.
Don't get me wrong, a dry tone is actually better for details, IMHO. It provides a cleaner sound.
The Q701 is still my fave $250 headphone that isn't overly colored. I'd probably get the K702 Anniversary just because of the love I have for the Q701, and what I've been reading about the K702 Anniverasry having more warmth and bass, better comfort, and sound that rivals the HE400.
BTW, tube amps aren't going to transform your headphone. It will be just subtle differences, like 2%. A headphone change is definitely what's needed if you want a different sound.
What amps/dacs do is basically offset some aspects of the sound you wish to change. Like slightly making a headphone warmer, rolling off the treble, adding just a hint of soundstage, etc. It will still be the same headphone.
Never heard a headphone that sounds drastically different unamped vs amped, or with any source. Headphones do improve quite a bit (Q701 and HE4 are two I've noticed the most change).
It's all slight variations of the same sound, TBH. The SA-31 was overkill, and I feel I could have spent those $600+ dollars total for something more logical. But it's mine, so no reason to change it now, unless someone swaps me for a Compass 2 or something, which is more versatile, DAC/AMP all in one, and a volume knob.

I like the stock sound very much, a small tweak sometimes would be all I'd want. And yes, I'm fully aware that headphones are the biggest variable in sound (with sound file compression and mastering quality basically tied), but since I LIKE the Q701 all around, I'd rather spend $10-$20 on a new tube than a new headphone.

At this point MLE, just stick with your reasoning that the SA-31 is all you'll ever need in an amp, and you can separately add a DAC or soundcard if you want, no hassle like you had with the NFB-5.
post #9045 of 26080
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I like the stock sound very much, a small tweak sometimes would be all I'd want. And yes, I'm fully aware that headphones are the biggest variable in sound (with sound file compression and mastering quality basically tied), but since I LIKE the Q701 all around, I'd rather spend $10-$20 on a new tube than a new headphone.
At this point MLE, just stick with your reasoning that the SA-31 is all you'll ever need in an amp, and you can separately add a DAC or soundcard if you want, no hassle like you had with the NFB-5.

True, but I kinda want the all in one like the NFB5 with an analog in... the Compass 2. I KNEW I should've went for that, but NOOOOO. I just HAD to go for more POWAH! rolleyes.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSushi2 View Post

MLE! Let me say I love you reviews first off. Some jack ass on Overclock.net called Simca was talking crap* on you but I straightened his ass out right, right quick... Never fear!!! Your fan club is here!

Haters gonna hate. biggrin.gif
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