Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy
Got Matt's Mad Dogs (with Alpha Pads) as a loaner.Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
First impressions: Holy crap, they are stupid comfy. Seriously, that comfort is like 9/10. The pads feel amazing. The comfort strap is VERY welcome.
Getting a good seal for me isn't easy with my ears and these pads. I would prefer stronger clamp, as just barely pressing the cups to my ears gives me a good seal and sound improves quite a bit. As it stands, it feels a little loose, and voices sound slightly sibilant, and bass isn't strong. So without holding the cups, I feel I lost a little SQ. It's like two different headphones depending on clamp.
I could definitely tell these are quite stellar, assuming you can get a really tight seal and good enough clamp.
The sound signature definitely sounds like a less refined, closed LCD2. Assuming you get a GREAT seal, this is a pretty solid, cheaper alternative. Still, you can hear the refinement/improvement when jumping from the MD to the LCD2. No question. A cleaner, smoother sound, with quite a bit more air and dimensionality. Voices are more natural than the MD too. Mid forwardness is similar, so I must say, LOVE the tonal balance on the Mad Dogs.
Not a fan of the alpha pads due to the lack of 'give' they have. I would have loved for them to mold on the face, so the seal would improve more, ah well. I wonder how the dog pads are in comparison? I really do want a fair bit more clamp. I have to ask Matt if he bent them for less clamp.
Don't get me wrong. Assuming I get a tighter clamp, these are easily the best closed headphones I have ever heard outside of the D7000. They are a STEAL at $300. No doubt about it. I wouldn't QUESTION owning these if I needed a closed headphone, if it gave me the sound that they give me when I just barely hold them to my ears.
And yes, I would actually choose these over the HE-400, again, if the clamp was stronger, and I could manage to get it to sound like when I press the cups to my ears just a little. Why? Because it does sound like a baby/closed LCD2. Not quite there, but for $300, you can't expect it to be.
Also, gotta mention, these should fit ANY head. There is a lot of extension here. Very appreciated.
Consider me a believer in the MDs, despite a few caveats, and it not quite reaching LCD2 status.
Just a quick bit of feedback - I bent the headband in on mine after Dan showed me how he does it - much better clamp, and essentially adjustable to your individual noggin. Don't bend Matt's though... Dan now bends all of them before he sends them out. Big difference. I got to compare mine (unbent) with a couple of Dan's pairs (bent adjusted) at the SF Bay meet - much better, more comfy, better seal, better bass, sound stage, isolation, detail. Also, the Alpha Pads seem to soften up a little with time, but not that much, which is good, at least for me. They are an order of magnitude softer than the J$'s I had for my D7000's. The J$'s were STIFF!
Agree with the rest of your assessments, pretty much completely (note that my LCD2 experience is in a meet setting, but I spent some time with a few pairs there). I liked the LCD2's better, but not 3x or 4x the price better. For the money, I'll take the MD's over the LCD2's. In the long run, I like the MD's a bit better than my departed D7000's. The only things I feel the D7000's had over the MD's were bass impact (boosted), a bit of refinement and if you like sparkle, sparkle in the treble. I actually prefer the MD's treble a bit, as I like the treble just ever so rolled off - much like the HD650, Shure SE530, 1964 Ears quads.
EDIT to note that I changed source and amp from a high end Headroom UDA with the DPS to much more modest iBasso PB2/DB2 rig as well when the D7000's left, which could definitely account for the refinement. I recall being pretty amazed by a couple of high end amps (and amazingly, AMB's little mini3) at the meet. I don't think the MD's give up refinement to the D7000's when run through a high end source and amp. Don't get me wrong though - I loved the D7000, and to me, the MD's are more like them than different. At 1/2 to 1/3 the price.
Edited by aamefford - 3/27/13 at 2:37pm