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Best match for Maverick Audio A1?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

 

The A1 is a tube head/speaker amp (tube + solid state for the power amp) that I'll be purchasing soon: http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_a1

 

I basically went on Headroom and found the best headphones under $500. I have the Audio-Technica ATH-M50 and am looking for a step up to be used (almost) exclusively with the A1 (whereas the M50 can be easily driven by iPhone or portable amp). I'm trying to decide between:

 

  • AKG K702
  • AKG K701 Quincy Jones (leaning towards this of the AKGs - thoughts?)
  • Denon AH-D5000
  • Senn HD-650 or 600
  • Beyerdynamic DT770/880/990

 

I think the Senn HD650 gets generally the most positive reviews, but I'd like to hear anyone with tube experience speak on the merits of these different 'phones with a TUBE amp. Thanks in advance! beyersmile.png

post #2 of 10

Isn't this the wrong way to go about things? IMO first choose a set of headphones which is well suited to the music you enjoy, then an amp which matches the headphones. Headphones are by far the more important part of the chain when it comes to sound signature. Buying an amp first and then headphones purely to match the amp might well result in a sound signature you will not enjoy.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

In an ideal world, yes. However, since I need to cram a power amp, DAC, speakers, and a headphone amp onto a dorm room desk, it behooves me to find one product that does as many of those functions as possible with the best quality. The A1 is that product - size, functionality, and price. I guess the main essence of my question is a more general "Who's used the A1 and with what headphones? And how do you compare tube sound with solid state sound?" I understand and appreciate your concerns (and I wish I could follow your advice) but I don't think that's the best option for me.

post #4 of 10

Ah thanks for the clarification, your request makes more sense now. Anyway, to help people give you advice:

  • What will you be using the headphones for? (Music, gaming, movies etc)
  • What sort of music will you be listening to on the headphones?
  • Do you have any preference for sound signature? (forward and aggressive vs laid back, bass heavy vs more balanced, analytical vs musical etc)
post #5 of 10

well, for me definitely not HD650, unless you really like the "heavy" dark sound.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clownzor View Post

Ah thanks for the clarification, your request makes more sense now. Anyway, to help people give you advice:

  • What will you be using the headphones for? (Music, gaming, movies etc)
  • What sort of music will you be listening to on the headphones?
  • Do you have any preference for sound signature? (forward and aggressive vs laid back, bass heavy vs more balanced, analytical vs musical etc)

 

I'll be using the headphones almost exclusively for music. Maybe a movie every once in awhile, but for our purposes let's say just music. As for what type, I listen mainly to jazz fusion and rock - meaning I want a hearty (but not overpowering) bass sound and well-rendered drums, especially. I listen to a bit of classical and world, as well. 

Referring to sound signature, I really do like my ATH-M50, so that may give you a good idea as to what I like. However, I get the feeling that they simply aren't very "high-resolution" in the sense that you can really benefit from a good amp and DAC, as opposed to any of the finalists listed above, which we all know require a good amp to function properly. I like a headphone that will really get me in the groove (musical), but as I said not overpower me with bass (or treble). That being said, I am a bass player and do like to hear the bass, so that makes me a bit wary of the Beyers which I've read are very top-heavy, at least at first. No preference between forward vs. laid back although judging by my M50 preference, I'd probably like something a little bit more laid back. Sorry for the long answer!

 

@TheMiddleSky: What do you mean by "'heavy' dark sound"? I've read that the HD650 is one of the most musical headphones out there.
 

 

post #7 of 10

I don't think any related between "dark" and "musical"

 

dark means the sound will get roll off treble, and have thick mid (upper mid is laid back, so the lower mid is more dominant)

post #8 of 10

Having owned two A1s and owing the DT990/600 + 600 and 650 Sennheisers, I can say this amp works best for the 600/650

The 990/600 need something more powerful to make them sound the way it should but he A1 was developed with the HD650

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Ultrainferno,

 

By developed with the HD650 do you mean Mav-Audio used the HD650 to audition the A1? If so, nice. Which of the 600/650 would you prefer and why? Any thoughts on those other phones besides the Beyers? Thanks!

post #10 of 10

Yes, it was supposedly finetuned with the HD650. I prefer the 650 and have just sold the 600s, the 650 suits me more. you can find lots of topics on their sonical differences. But remember that the better the amp, the better the 650 will sound, the 600 is a little more forgiving imho.

 

I haven't heard the other headphones, so I can't comment on them :)

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