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"Mad Dog" by MrSpeakers, modified Fostex T50RP review - Page 174  

post #2596 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

^^ That's interesting but completely understandable. They maddogs are not easy to drive. 

At the risk of being controversial: sure, the Mad Dogs are not easy to drive. I've tried them on a variety of amplifiers including the Lyr, Asgard, Magni, Pico Power demo, a variety of amps I can't even remember the names of at a local meet recently, my Denon amp's headphone outs and a few old speaker amps (from the headphone out, not speaker taps). Regardless of whether my impression of them changed to the point where they had a completely different sound signature or significantly outperformed themselves with a different power source (they didn't), the fact is this: if you have to spend more on the amp to get the sound out of the headphones, why not just get the better headphones in the first place? 

 

Figure this: I feel my HE-500s on the Magni is a much better listening experience than any I heard with the Mad Dogs. That rig is $800USD. I hear many saying the Lyr and Mad Dogs is a great combo (for example), I combo that would run approximately $750USD, and, to my ears, still not come very close to the first combo. So, even if the Mad Dogs DO come close, wouldn't it make sense to get easier to drive, more scalable headphones from the get go from a financial standpoint?

 

BTW- I'm not saying people should run out and buy HE-500s, I don't really care about the particulars, I'm simply pointing out that it seems like chasing the top quality from the Mad Dogs ultimately costs more than starting out with "better" headphones in the first place. Of course the 500s are open and if you're looking specifically for a closed can, this argument is moot, but I'm kinda surprise the quality/cost equation isn't considered more when the refrain "the mad dogs are not easy to drive" comes up over and over again.

post #2597 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by kskwerl View Post

I want to pick up a pair of the 1Rs for work or just something to mess around with because they look so gorgeous

Mate, that's the EXACT reason I got the 1R's. These would pair with the o2/odac combo. Getting a bit of burn in at home before I bring them and leave them at the office.

post #2598 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by moses667 View Post

At the risk of being controversial: sure, the Mad Dogs are not easy to drive. I've tried them on a variety of amplifiers including the Lyr, Asgard, Magni, Pico Power demo, a variety of amps I can't even remember the names of at a local meet recently, my Denon amp's headphone outs and a few old speaker amps (from the headphone out, not speaker taps). Regardless of whether my impression of them changed to the point where they had a completely different sound signature or significantly outperformed themselves with a different power source (they didn't), the fact is this: if you have to spend more on the amp to get the sound out of the headphones, why not just get the better headphones in the first place? 

 

Figure this: I feel my HE-500s on the Magni is a much better listening experience than any I heard with the Mad Dogs. That rig is $800USD. I hear many saying the Lyr and Mad Dogs is a great combo (for example), I combo that would run approximately $750USD, and, to my ears, still not come very close to the first combo. So, even if the Mad Dogs DO come close, wouldn't it make sense to get easier to drive, more scalable headphones from the get go from a financial standpoint?

 

BTW- I'm not saying people should run out and buy HE-500s, I don't really care about the particulars, I'm simply pointing out that it seems like chasing the top quality from the Mad Dogs ultimately costs more than starting out with "better" headphones in the first place. Of course the 500s are open and if you're looking specifically for a closed can, this argument is moot, but I'm kinda surprise the quality/cost equation isn't considered more when the refrain "the mad dogs are not easy to drive" comes up over and over again.

 

 

Sure the amps you've tried the MDs on are pretty good amps.  So the saying "The MDs are hard to drive" doesn't apply here.  The statement in bold is where I have a question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here. 

 

It sounds like your saying get better headphones in the first place and not pay much attention to your amp.  Is that correct?

 

I can tell you this.  Better headphones in most cases require not just better amps but a better system.  Take the HE800, HE-6, T1 heck even the LCD-3s all require better amps that you mentioned above.  So just to get better headphones won't do the trick most of the time. 

post #2599 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Sure the amps you've tried the MDs on are pretty good amps.  So the saying "The MDs are hard to drive" doesn't apply here.  The statement in bold is where I have a question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here. 

 

It sounds like your saying get better headphones in the first place and not pay much attention to your amp.  Is that correct?

 

I can tell you this.  Better headphones in most cases require not just better amps but a better system.  Take the HE800, HE-6, T1 heck even the LCD-3s all require better amps that you mentioned above.  So just to get better headphones won't do the trick most of the time. 

 

+1 on that

I learned this the hard way ,with my HE-6's

Good post ,Prepro.

post #2600 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by moses667 View Post

 if you have to spend more on the amp to get the sound out of the headphones, why not just get the better headphones in the first place? 

 

 

 

 

Sure the amps you've tried the MDs on are pretty good amps.  So the saying "The MDs are hard to drive" doesn't apply here.  The statement in bold is where I have a question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here. 

 

It sounds like your saying get better headphones in the first place and not pay much attention to your amp.  Is that correct?

 

I can tell you this.  Better headphones in most cases require not just better amps but a better system.  Take the HE800, HE-6, T1 heck even the LCD-3s all require better amps that you mentioned above.  So just to get better headphones won't do the trick most of the time. 

To be frustrating... it depends. If my objective is to get the most out of the Mad Dogs, then I must consider the amplifier, source, DAC, etc. However any purchasing decision takes one's economic factors into account. If we were all independently wealthy it wouldn't matter (and we probably wouldn't be purchasing the Mad Dogs except to satisfy curiosity or complete a collection). 

 

So, if "Mad Dogs are hard to drive" means you need to spend several hundred dollars over the initial cost of the Mad Dogs on an amplifier, then it logically makes sense to see what alternatives there are at the same combined price point to obtain the same or better quality for that piece of your audio chain. I personally felt that the HE-500s were so good, even from a $100 Magni, that I'd rather have that chain at $800 than the Mad Dogs and Lyr at $750. Plus then, rather than having maxed out the capabilities of the Mad Dogs, I've got only reached the basic capabilities of the HE-500s. If/when I have money in the future to purchase a better amplifier, DAC, cables, etc. the HE-500s have more room to scale.

 

It's all about diminishing returns and how we can get to the highest point on the quality peak at the least cost AND then if there's additional benefits (like scalability) all the better. I don't want to get lost in the search for the unobtainable perfect and lose sight of how to maximize what I can get for my dollar.

 

post #2601 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Sure the amps you've tried the MDs on are pretty good amps.  So the saying "The MDs are hard to drive" doesn't apply here.  The statement in bold is where I have a question. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong here. 

 

It sounds like your saying get better headphones in the first place and not pay much attention to your amp.  Is that correct?

 

I can tell you this.  Better headphones in most cases require not just better amps but a better system.  Take the HE800, HE-6, T1 heck even the LCD-3s all require better amps that you mentioned above.  So just to get better headphones won't do the trick most of the time. 

 

HE-800 o2smile.gif Where do I sign? :D

post #2602 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

HE-800 o2smile.gif Where do I sign? :D

 

 

Dag man - I always do that.  Got them He-6s on my mind...  good catch..Clem..

post #2603 of 6388


This is a great comparison, thanks.  Are there any portable amps where the Mad Dogs shine?  My Vamp is great for the M-100, but I don't think it would have enough power.  My little E11, on the other hand, I max out at about half power with the M-100 so I am thinking this might be sufficient for Mad Dogs.  Is it safe to assume that one of the key strengths of Mad Dogs is a forward, detailed, transparent vocal presentation?

post #2604 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by moses667 View Post

To be frustrating... it depends. If my objective is to get the most out of the Mad Dogs, then I must consider the amplifier, source, DAC, etc. However any purchasing decision takes one's economic factors into account. If we were all independently wealthy it wouldn't matter (and we probably wouldn't be purchasing the Mad Dogs except to satisfy curiosity or complete a collection). 

 

So, if "Mad Dogs are hard to drive" means you need to spend several hundred dollars over the initial cost of the Mad Dogs on an amplifier, then it logically makes sense to see what alternatives there are at the same combined price point to obtain the same or better quality for that piece of your audio chain. I personally felt that the HE-500s were so good, even from a $100 Magni, that I'd rather have that chain at $800 than the Mad Dogs and Lyr at $750. Plus then, rather than having maxed out the capabilities of the Mad Dogs, I've got only reached the basic capabilities of the HE-500s. If/when I have money in the future to purchase a better amplifier, DAC, cables, etc. the HE-500s have more room to scale.

 

It's all about diminishing returns and how we can get to the highest point on the quality peak at the least cost AND then if there's additional benefits (like scalability) all the better. I don't want to get lost in the search for the unobtainable perfect and lose sight of how to maximize what I can get for my dollar.

 

 

Yep, I understand that.  I guess the law of diminishing returns is relative and can be different for all of us. 

 

Yes if you got in mind that you will upgrade every part of your system, I can see you getting a better headphone now knowing you will get a better amp, dac latter. 

 

However, if you have no plans on upgrading your amp, dac in the future why go out and get a HD800, HE-6, T1 sort of headphone to begin with.  I guess that was my point.

post #2605 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

 

 

Dag man - I always do that.  Got them He-6s on my mind...  good catch..Clem..

 

I reckon the orthos put a spell on you... and I cannot blame them for that!

 

In your opinion, with $1.5k on hand for a headphone + amp, which of the following would you choose (and why):

- HE-6 + Emotiva mini X a-100

- HE-500/5LE + $800,00 amp

post #2606 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by preproman View Post

Yep, I understand that.  I guess the law of diminishing returns is relative and can be different for all of us. 

 

Yes if you got in mind that you will upgrade every part of your system, I can see you getting a better headphone now knowing you will get a better amp, dac latter. 

 

However, if you have no plans on upgrading your amp, dac in the future why go out and get a HD800, HE-6, T1 sort of headphone to begin with.  I guess that was my point.

Right, although there seems to be some implication from what you're saying that you don't feel it is possible to reach equivalent quality out of great headphones with a cheap amp as medium headphones and a great amp (regardless of the value of scalability)? Assuming the amplifier meets the minimum *technical* needs of the headphones (like you couldn't physically run a Stax electro out of an iPhone)...

post #2607 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clemmaster View Post

 

I reckon the orthos put a spell on you... and I cannot blame them for that!

 

In your opinion, with $1.5k on hand for a headphone + amp, which of the following would you choose (and why):

- HE-6 + Emotiva mini X a-100

- HE-500/5LE + $800,00 amp

 

 

If you go HE6 or HE-5LE I'd say go with the miniX

 

If you go HE-500 I'd say go headphone amp.  

 

What headphone amps are you thinking of?

post #2608 of 6388

Well, none in particular. The question was just whether you would feel OK pairing  $1k+ headphones with $200 speaker amp.

 

I would have though since it is only $200,00 AND being a speaker amp, it would lack the refinement of a $700,00 dedicated headphone amp.

In addition, the pairing with a high-end can such as the HE-6 would have revealed the lesser nature of the amp.

 

Is the miniX that good?

post #2609 of 6388
Quote:
Originally Posted by moses667 View Post

Right, although there seems to be some implication from what you're saying that you don't feel it is possible to reach equivalent quality out of great headphones with a cheap amp as medium headphones and a great amp (regardless of the value of scalability)? Assuming the amplifier meets the minimum *technical* needs of the headphones (like you couldn't physically run a Stax electro out of an iPhone)...

 

 

Theory is one thing.  It does not always equate to practical experience and preference.

 

"don't feel it is possible to reach equivalent quality out of great headphones with a cheap amp"

 

I would have to say no to this:  Adequate quality yes.  Optimal quality no.  Here the headphones would be held back and the amp would be the bottle neck. 

 

"as medium headphones and a great amp"

 

Here you would be able to reach the full potential of the headphones.  This is the most desired way IMO

 

Note:  this is not specific to the MDs or the HE-500s.  this is just in general.

post #2610 of 6388

Wow - a LOT of noise comments about having to have a Lyr or other moderately high bucks amp to make the MD's work.  I call BS on this.  Seriously.

 

ANY headphone will sound just that bit nicer on an expensive amp.  Buy one if you want.  Don't buy one because you read here you have to have one to enjoy the mad dogs.  Head-fi gets caught up in this all the time.

 

The MD's drive nicely and play wonderfully from a HeadAmp Pico amp/dac combo.  I imagine they sound even better from a Lyr.  Again, if you want a Lyr, buy one because you want it, not because you need it to drive the MD's.  Sheesh, how about a reality check!

 

Driving to get the mail in a Ferrari F40 would just be a bitchin trip, but it aint so bad in my PT cruiser...

 

Note - I am not slamming the Lyr, other high end amps or the people who love them, I've had a couple in my head-fi career (Mister X Dynalo and a Headroom UDA, a couple of Apogee Duets, my Peachtree Nova, maybe others I have forgotten...).  I just strenuously disagree that an amp of this level is required to enjoy the MD.  I certainly don't have one.  Currently using an iBasso PB2, which has bit of power, but is a modestly priced portable amp.  I started out with a Pico Slim, as it is what I had at the time, and while it ran out of power just before ear damaging levels, it was definitely "OK" with the MD's.

 

OK, soapbox over.


Edited by aamefford - 1/7/13 at 9:21am
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