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Recommend something with a sound signature similar to Fischer's FA-011

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey folks.  I've searched the forums (fora?) and can find loads of threads where various people say the FA-011s are sort of like this or that model, but I still can't find what I'm looking for.  If my answers are already on here, please point me in the right direction -- my search-fu couldn't turn it up.

 

My very first "premium" set of headphones was the Fischer FA-011s.  After breaking them (or me, whichever) in, I absolutely love their sound with my budget-fi work rig: iTunes to E7/E9 combo to FA-011s.  I'm still not sure I qualify as a bass-head, but I have my FA-011s EQed to deliver even more... well, if it were being delivered to my whole body instead of my ears, I suppose it would be rumble.  I'm significantly boosting the low end, ~7dB on the 32Hz band, 4dB on 64Hz, and trimming back the 16kHz band about 2dB, if that helps.

 

So now I'm building a gaming rig at home, and looking for a set that can pull double-duty: gaming accuracy/positioning, and movie fun.  I want something with a good soundstage an oodles of comfort, but with a good, "fun" sound.  I like my lows. Clean, tight, beautiful bass.  Not looking to vibrate my fillings loose, but when my games (and occasional movies) call for bass, I want it rich, tight, and copious.  I'm perfectly willing to amp (and EQ if necessary, I suppose).

 

I already picked up the "standard," ATH-AD700s. I figured for $80 I might as well see what all the buzz is about.  Great soundstage, horrible fit, but very comfy after bending the crap out of them... they just have no oomph.  I've (digitally) EQed them to hell and back which filled 'em out pretty well, but it's tweaked so harshly that I've lost about half the dynamic range, just to keep the lows from clipping.  So I always have those as my fall-back if getting that kind of soundstage is going to be tricky. If my next 'phones need to compromise there to make me happy on other fronts, I'll survive.

 

I've been reading and searching for the last week, and had narrowed it down to the HD598s or DT990s... but I just keep getting so many conflicting reviews on how much bass they have.  I love my FA-011s, and if I can get even more bass while keeping it that tight and clean, I'll be a happy man.

 

Oh, and budget...  If I can get my headphones under $200 I'll be a happy man.  Well, my headphone/amp combo needs to come under about $500 (and on that note, any related amplifier suggestions would be appreciated as well).  Thanks for the help!

post #2 of 28

Have you considered some Denons?  Their soundstage won't be quite as big as an open can,  but definitely still competent in giving you positioning, and of course will provide ample amounts of rich bass.  The D2000 are also right around your price range.

post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hmm... any idea how much amping they'd need?  Would something like an E9 take care of it?

post #4 of 28

Heya,

 

I got through about 70% of your post and started thinking, "This man wants some DT990's..." and then poof, you said "or DT990's". So you already know what you need. Consider this confirmation. I have the DT990's. They have great tons of bass. They're excellent for movies and games. Huge sound stage. Super comfortable, they're Beyers. They look boss. The bass is tight, low and is very good for an open air can. It's got bright forward highs, excellent for detail and games and movies. If anything, maybe a little EQ to tweak everything perfectly to your liking. But seriously, this is your headphone. I'd get an amp, nothing special, a FiiO E9 is more than enough. Or if you want to go DAC/AMP, check out the Maverick TubeMagic D1 or even the Matrix Cube DAC. Those two last DAC/AMP's will allow you to hook up to anything and will power 600ohm headphones without breaking a sweat.

 

Check out these for sale threads:

 

DT990 250 for $200

DT990 Pro 250's for $170

DT880 600ohm for $190

 

Very best,

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

MalVeauX,

 

Do you have the Premiums or the Pros?  I've read some people say that the Pros have worse sound quality, and others say that the only difference is how hard it grips your head.

 

Thanks for the input!

post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

MalVeauX,

 

Do you have the Premiums or the Pros?  I've read some people say that the Pros have worse sound quality, and others say that the only difference is how hard it grips your head.

 

Thanks for the input!


Heya,

 

I have both premiums and pro's of different Beyers. The pro's grip more which produces a different sound due to more isolation. It gets bassier and highs can be a little more bright due to that. I let my Pro's bend a good long time over the arm of a chair and reduced the death grip, and that solved that for me. I will say premiums are a bit more comfortable due to a lesser tight grip. Otherwise, they both sound good and are very similar. Some will say refined this and refined that, well, I have them and really I wouldn't say one is obviously better than the other. It's all about the grip in my mind. Tighter grip = more bass punch and brighter highs. Loosen the grip with some bending and do some A-B blind testing with the Pro and Premium and see if you can really hear a difference. But hey, that's just my ears.

 

Very best,

 

post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

Hey folks.  I've searched the forums (fora?) and can find loads of threads where various people say the FA-011s are sort of like this or that model, but I still can't find what I'm looking for.  If my answers are already on here, please point me in the right direction -- my search-fu couldn't turn it up.

 

My very first "premium" set of headphones was the Fischer FA-011s.  After breaking them (or me, whichever) in, I absolutely love their sound with my budget-fi work rig: iTunes to E7/E9 combo to FA-011s.  I'm still not sure I qualify as a bass-head, but I have my FA-011s EQed to deliver even more... well, if it were being delivered to my whole body instead of my ears, I suppose it would be rumble.  I'm significantly boosting the low end, ~7dB on the 32Hz band, 4dB on 64Hz, and trimming back the 16kHz band about 2dB, if that helps.

 

So now I'm building a gaming rig at home, and looking for a set that can pull double-duty: gaming accuracy/positioning, and movie fun.  I want something with a good soundstage an oodles of comfort, but with a good, "fun" sound.  I like my lows. Clean, tight, beautiful bass.  Not looking to vibrate my fillings loose, but when my games (and occasional movies) call for bass, I want it rich, tight, and copious.  I'm perfectly willing to amp (and EQ if necessary, I suppose).

 

I already picked up the "standard," ATH-AD700s. I figured for $80 I might as well see what all the buzz is about.  Great soundstage, horrible fit, but very comfy after bending the crap out of them... they just have no oomph.  I've (digitally) EQed them to hell and back which filled 'em out pretty well, but it's tweaked so harshly that I've lost about half the dynamic range, just to keep the lows from clipping.  So I always have those as my fall-back if getting that kind of soundstage is going to be tricky. If my next 'phones need to compromise there to make me happy on other fronts, I'll survive.

 

I've been reading and searching for the last week, and had narrowed it down to the HD598s or DT990s... but I just keep getting so many conflicting reviews on how much bass they have.  I love my FA-011s, and if I can get even more bass while keeping it that tight and clean, I'll be a happy man.

 

Oh, and budget...  If I can get my headphones under $200 I'll be a happy man.  Well, my headphone/amp combo needs to come under about $500 (and on that note, any related amplifier suggestions would be appreciated as well).  Thanks for the help!



Interesting. I read pretty much the entirety of that huge FA-011 thread and was under the impression that the FA-011 would make a good gaming headphone? Good bass, good soundstage, and good positioning. You're making it seem though like the FA-011s aren't any good for gaming? How do they compare to the AD700s in terms of soundstage and positioning? 

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Haven't compared them head to head.  I only got my MixAmp a couple days ago, and have only used the AD700s on the PS3 via MixAmp once.  Maybe it was the game I was playing (Just Cause 2) but I wasn't blown away by the positional accuracy.  I was impressed, left to right, but I wasn't able to tell much about front to back.  Had to turn my character to determine that.  I did test a little when I could hear footsteps.  I closed my eyes, and turned around until I thought the sound was onscreen, about halfway to to the right.  That's exactly where some glitched guy was walking into a wall when I opened my eyes.

 

Haven't played games through the FA-011s at all.  They're my office headphones -- haven't had 'em at home in weeks.  I'll have to try it. Maybe this weekend.

 

Just got my DT 990 Pros this weekend, but quality time with my girlfriend kept me from trying them until last night.  Much to my dismay, the used set I picked up has a faulty jack.  If it's not sitting just right, something shorts out.  Picked up a new jack today -- I figure I'll just fix it rather than deal with the whole returns thing.  They sound great for movies!  As I suspected, the MixAmp isn't enough to power them though.  New amp on the way for the office, at which point the E7/E9 is coming home :).

post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

Haven't compared them head to head.  I only got my MixAmp a couple days ago, and have only used the AD700s on the PS3 via MixAmp once.  Maybe it was the game I was playing (Just Cause 2) but I wasn't blown away by the positional accuracy.  I was impressed, left to right, but I wasn't able to tell much about front to back.  Had to turn my character to determine that.  I did test a little when I could hear footsteps.  I closed my eyes, and turned around until I thought the sound was onscreen, about halfway to to the right.  That's exactly where some glitched guy was walking into a wall when I opened my eyes.

 

Haven't played games through the FA-011s at all.  They're my office headphones -- haven't had 'em at home in weeks.  I'll have to try it. Maybe this weekend.

 

Just got my DT 990 Pros this weekend, but quality time with my girlfriend kept me from trying them until last night.  Much to my dismay, the used set I picked up has a faulty jack.  If it's not sitting just right, something shorts out.  Picked up a new jack today -- I figure I'll just fix it rather than deal with the whole returns thing.  They sound great for movies!  As I suspected, the MixAmp isn't enough to power them though.  New amp on the way for the office, at which point the E7/E9 is coming home :).


 


Thought I'd sign up just to say - I'd be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this!!! I'm looking for headphones mostly for gaming but also for music and movies.

 

Currentlly tossing up between DT440 (budget $180 AU) AD900 (mid $300 AU) and FA-011 + Amp (expensive $400 AU)

 

Not big on the 440 due to their comfortness, want to be able to sit with them for hours.

 

The AD900 are like the safe bet, although I do want a bit more bass: which brings me to the FA-011. By themselves they are quite cheap, but their amp need drives their cost up. Wouldn't mind that as much, if I'm convinced they'd be good for gaming!

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Little bit of a preview...

 

I've used the FA-011s for a LITTLE bit of gaming so far, and I love them.  I ended up swapping my home and office setups for the week, since I decided the curly cord of my DT990s were better suited for the office and all the moving around I do there.  They're excellent for music, comfort is great, and I'm very happy with them in the office.

 

Haven't had much opportunity to game this week, but what I did sounded pretty good.  I'm planning on wringing them out tonight.

 

As for amping, I don't think you really need a whole lot for the FA-011s.  Yeah, they're 160 Ohm, but they're relatively sensitive.  They sound great through my E7, which isn't the beefiest amp in the world.  They sound pretty good straight through my iPhone, though the volume doesn't blow me away.  However, you can apparently do pretty well for them with a budget amp.  Here's a post on the FA-011 thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/545368/review-fischer-audio-fa-011-off-the-deep-end/870#post_7569674

 

I bought my FA-011s and received them about a week before my E7 arrived, which was about 4 days before my E9 arrived.  The E9 really isn't necessary for them (though much more convenient to use than the E7 alone). The E7 drove them a lot louder than I needed.  If I were doing it again, I wouldn't hesitate to get the FA-011s now and amp them later (unless I was running a REALLY weak source).

 

Take that with a grain of salt, though. I really am a neophyte in the hi- (or rather, mid-) fi world.  I just know what impresses me :)

 

 

Anyway, more tonight!

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

Little bit of a preview...

 

I've used the FA-011s for a LITTLE bit of gaming so far, and I love them.  I ended up swapping my home and office setups for the week, since I decided the curly cord of my DT990s were better suited for the office and all the moving around I do there.  They're excellent for music, comfort is great, and I'm very happy with them in the office.

 

Haven't had much opportunity to game this week, but what I did sounded pretty good.  I'm planning on wringing them out tonight.

 

As for amping, I don't think you really need a whole lot for the FA-011s.  Yeah, they're 160 Ohm, but they're relatively sensitive.  They sound great through my E7, which isn't the beefiest amp in the world.  They sound pretty good straight through my iPhone, though the volume doesn't blow me away.  However, you can apparently do pretty well for them with a budget amp.  Here's a post on the FA-011 thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/545368/review-fischer-audio-fa-011-off-the-deep-end/870#post_7569674

 

I bought my FA-011s and received them about a week before my E7 arrived, which was about 4 days before my E9 arrived.  The E9 really isn't necessary for them (though much more convenient to use than the E7 alone). The E7 drove them a lot louder than I needed.  If I were doing it again, I wouldn't hesitate to get the FA-011s now and amp them later (unless I was running a REALLY weak source).

 

Take that with a grain of salt, though. I really am a neophyte in the hi- (or rather, mid-) fi world.  I just know what impresses me :)

 

 

Anyway, more tonight!



Cool thanks for that... I think (I'm pretty sure) I will be able to hear that they are not that great with small amps (was covered so much in that thread). The problem is not the volume, it's the SQ - you just don't get it without a proper source and amp on those headphones. Also taking into account this is a blind buy(cant listen to them) - I'm very careful.

 

I do wonder if the STX would drive them sufficiently, some people here make quite big claims in regards to the STX! anyway I posted on their thread and got no response.

 

If you could post what you think about them in games: positional accuracy (surround sound - especially relative to the AD700 which are like the benchmark of that area) and immersion, that would be really awesome.

 

Thanks mate

post #12 of 28


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AncientWsidom View Post


Cool thanks for that... I think (I'm pretty sure) I will be able to hear that they are not that great with small amps (was covered so much in that thread). The problem is not the volume, it's the SQ - you just don't get it without a proper source and amp on those headphones. Also taking into account this is a blind buy(cant listen to them) - I'm very careful.

 

I do wonder if the STX would drive them sufficiently, some people here make quite big claims in regards to the STX! anyway I posted on their thread and got no response.

 

If you could post what you think about them in games: positional accuracy (surround sound - especially relative to the AD700 which are like the benchmark of that area) and immersion, that would be really awesome.

 

Thanks mate


Asus Xonar Essence STX  for headphones rated 32 to 600-Ohms

 

post #13 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AncientWsidom View Post


Cool thanks for that... I think (I'm pretty sure) I will be able to hear that they are not that great with small amps (was covered so much in that thread). The problem is not the volume, it's the SQ - you just don't get it without a proper source and amp on those headphones. Also taking into account this is a blind buy(cant listen to them) - I'm very careful.

 

I do wonder if the STX would drive them sufficiently, some people here make quite big claims in regards to the STX! anyway I posted on their thread and got no response.

 

If you could post what you think about them in games: positional accuracy (surround sound - especially relative to the AD700 which are like the benchmark of that area) and immersion, that would be really awesome.

 

Thanks mate



Alright, I just ran them for a couple hours on my PS3, through my MixAmp.  Compared head-to-head with my AD700s, I like the FA-011s much better.  The soundstage is DEFINITELY wider on the AD700s, but to my ears, they're equally good at positional accuracy.  Add the much better bass response and overall sound signature of the FA-011s, and my choice is obvious.  The AD700s sound funny... explosions in Just Cause 2 sound more like a car crash.  They don't heat up my ears as much, though, and they're a lot lighter.  To me, however, none of that compares to the sound quality superiority the FA-011s offer.  I guess the immersion depends on what works for you.  The improved soundstage of the AD700s makes a difference in that regard, I suppose.  But for my money, I'll take the Fischers.  

 

Unfortunately, the Dolby Headphone doesn't do a whole lot for me.  That is, I can't tell front from back to save my life.  Well, I can hear a tiny difference, but I can't tell which it's supposed to be just by listening -- I need other cues from the game.  I got reamed pretty good in Borderlands because I was looking for enemies above me when they were coming up right behind me.  Other people swear by it though, so I have to assume it's just me.

 

As for sound quality and proper amping, maybe I have tin ears, but I just don't hear enough from video games to notice a difference.  When I lay back in a quiet room and listen to well-recorded music, I can hear the difference between my E9 and no amp on my Fischers, but in a hectic gunfight on Playstation?  I think the difference is too minute for me to worry much about, personally.  

post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post


 


Asus Xonar Essence STX  for headphones rated 32 to 600-Ohms

 


Ya I know, I was wondering if anyone have any first hand experience... it's like the "would a STX card drive a pair of HD650" thread, opinions run rampage, hard to differentiate truth from hype.

 

I find it hard to believe that a soundcard costing less than proper amps and powered through a PSU can actually offer proper amping... but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

 

Alright, I just ran them for a couple hours on my PS3, through my MixAmp.  Compared head-to-head with my AD700s, I like the FA-011s much better.  The soundstage is DEFINITELY wider on the AD700s, but to my ears, they're equally good at positional accuracy.  Add the much better bass response and overall sound signature of the FA-011s, and my choice is obvious.  The AD700s sound funny... explosions in Just Cause 2 sound more like a car crash.  They don't heat up my ears as much, though, and they're a lot lighter.  To me, however, none of that compares to the sound quality superiority the FA-011s offer.  I guess the immersion depends on what works for you.  The improved soundstage of the AD700s makes a difference in that regard, I suppose.  But for my money, I'll take the Fischers.  

 

Unfortunately, the Dolby Headphone doesn't do a whole lot for me.  That is, I can't tell front from back to save my life.  Well, I can hear a tiny difference, but I can't tell which it's supposed to be just by listening -- I need other cues from the game.  I got reamed pretty good in Borderlands because I was looking for enemies above me when they were coming up right behind me.  Other people swear by it though, so I have to assume it's just me.

 

As for sound quality and proper amping, maybe I have tin ears, but I just don't hear enough from video games to notice a difference.  When I lay back in a quiet room and listen to well-recorded music, I can hear the difference between my E9 and no amp on my Fischers, but in a hectic gunfight on Playstation?  I think the difference is too minute for me to worry much about, personally.  

 

Great, thanks for that!!!!

 

So if we go back to the OP, are those the ones you'd be using for gaming?

 

And aside from you not getting dolby headphones correctly, do you think that their bassiness would hinder competetive gaming as in the bass from explosions/gun shots would over whelm other sounds? (as I understand it that's why people like the AD series/ DT880 for gaming so much)

 

Lastly - how do you find them comfort wise? (compared with the AD700)

post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 

For now, the FA-011s are definitely the ones I'm using for gaming.  I may switch by DT990s and my FA-011s back and forth some in the future, but now it's the Fischers.  As for their suitability for competitive gaming, I should remind you I'm not a hard-core gamer.  When I get on Xbox Live with Black Ops, the 13-year-olds school me all day long.  

 

Now, that being said, here's what I can tell you:

A.) The Fischers really do sound quite a bit like the DT990s.  I didn't read the whole Dolby Headphones thread -- just the first 10 pages or so, then searched it for "FA-011" to look for anyone saying something sounded similar.  See if any more serious gamers have anything to say about the 990s.

B.) They don't detract FOR ME.  What really distracted me was the funky frequency response of the AD700s.  When I heard a grenade go off behind me and it sounded like a car crash instead of an explosion, every time, I went "WTF?!"  The bass in the Fischers is tight and controlled... I don't think it overwhelms anything.  But then again, maybe I'm just not good enough to know the difference.

 

As for comfort, I had huge issues with the AD700s.  I had to bend them to hell and back to get them to actually sit on my head properly.  It's still a very loose fit and I look like a conehead when I wear them.  However, they're very light, and I can wear them for hours without it bothering me.  After a couple hours with the Fischers, I do like to take them off and let my head decompress a little.  Letting them stretch out a bit on a stack of books will likely help.  I left them stretched around my tower PC at work for the first few days, and that helped.  More will likely help more.  Bottom line, with heavy modding, the AD700s sit on me like a cloud.  The Fischers sit on me like a gentle spring clamp.  They're heavier and hotter and squeezier, but they stay on when I lean my head backward or forward, and the AD700s don't.  That's something to consider -- you have to have a monster head for the 700s to fit.  My head is 24 inches in circumference, and I wear size L or XL fitted hats, XXL motorcycle helmets, and the AD700s just fell right off of my head.

 

Hope this helps!

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