Originally Posted by jv92red
Ok, so if I understand correctly, your saying the ODAC is transparent while the HRT MSII is more revealing and a bit more colored which which is why they work well with the Q701. But you prefer the ODAC to the HRT MSII by far? You mean for other headphones you own besides the Q701? Curious because funny thing is I just picked up the Koss DJ100 Tony Bennett edition cans for $49 this week which you also own and wonder how well the synergy will be there as well.
The HRT MSII is still fairly neutral, but I guess people say it's a bit "musical". I've heard people say it's slightly dark though. I think this is possible. I think it actually made my HD-600 and HD-598 a bit TOO warm, but with the Q701 it's OK and I didn't notice much change. It also didn't magically reduce the Q701's treble and turn it into an HD-600
DJ100 was good with the MSII, but wouldn't be my first choice. But who buys a $150 DAC for just one $80 headphone! I'll admit that the HRT MSII makes the DJ100 a bit bassier and warmer than it should be, but it's often kind of nice. It took me forever to realize it was my DAC. For so long I thought it was bad amp synergy!
There's a ton of people out there who love the HRT MSII with some of the Sennheiser stuff, but that's the only reason I sold it. I just wanted something that plays well with everything I have. Mostly my DJ100.
For the Q701 I still prefer the ODAC to the HRT MSII. It's smoother and less fatiguing than the MSII. I think the HRT MSII might have slightly forward upper mids or something, but not sure. Sometimes it felt like it made my bad music worse than it really should be..but then again maybe it really is that revealing of my garbage tracks. On my ODAC, even my garbage tracks don't bother me as much. These are the ones where it feels as if the treble and mids are cranked up at the studio. On 5 CD players they do, but on the ODAC they don't. What the heck?!
Overall I'd say the Q701 is much smoother with the ODAC, but some will prefer the HRT MSII. It also depends on the amp too.
Have you heard a Sansa Clip+? The ODAC sounds a bit similar, but obviously like a Clip+ on steroids and a little less warm. I didn't think the Clip+ was slightly warm until I used my KRK KNS-8400 with the ODAC!!
I don't know why the treble on the ODAC is so "polite", but it sure is nice. Maybe it has some slight roll off...
I'm glad to report that the ODAC has yet to change any of my headphones sound signatures in any major way. Equally good with the Q701 and HD-600. DJ100 is amazing with it too.
BTW it's amusing when people say the ODAC is cold and analytical. Such nonsense! It's no detail monster, but the HRT MSII definitely was to my ears.
Edited by tdockweiler - 10/6/12 at 2:53am