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Windfall loan of gear for home auditioning: Phonitor, LCD3, HE-6, T1, more... - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Nice visuals. Your friend spoiled you by the way. Low end stuff will be harder to like, though there are a few 300 to 500 phones that will hold up. I haven't heard the T1's, have heard the rest. Loved the HE6 out of the speaker outs on a little tripath type amp. Oh, give the AT's another chance. I remember liking them. Don't think I've seen it yet - Welcome to Head-fi, sorry about your wallet...
post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aamefford View Post

Nice visuals. Your friend spoiled you by the way. Low end stuff will be harder to like, though there are a few 300 to 500 phones that will hold up. I haven't heard the T1's, have heard the rest. Loved the HE6 out of the speaker outs on a little tripath type amp. Oh, give the AT's another chance. I remember liking them. Don't think I've seen it yet - Welcome to Head-fi, sorry about your wallet...

 

A brief perusal here after I figured out what was in the box he handed me proved that he sure did.  Will give the AT's another chance, yes; I probably unfairly dismissed them.

 

 

Furthermore, I know enough about this sort of thing (though not headphones specifically) to not completely trust initial impressions.  Some aspects of quality and subtlety and detail can only emerge over time -- and even then, only with experience.  I don't know if I fully buy Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule, but there are indeed things that take quite a lot of exposure, and practice.

post #18 of 26
Holy cow this thread is sweet. Subscribed for sure.
post #19 of 26
Reading so far, I think you have a good audiophile (in the good way) head. You have some fun ahead of you! It would be great if you keep up with updates, you've had just a cool way to start handed to you!
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 

Another solid 6-7 hours of comparative listening today.

 

On the good side today -- I'm discovering large volumes of my music again.  It's awesome!  Also, it seems like I'm able to appreciate more of a variety that I was with only, ah, "conventional hardware".  Probably because I'm hearing more in the music, like performance details, atmosphere, and recording quality.

 

On the other hand, I'm getting more used to the hardware... and I'm becoming utterly baffled.  The LCD-3 today seemed to be able to stand  above the HE-6 and T1.  Those latter two seemed to pull together and seem more similar today.  Strange.

 

I'm also learning that the gain knob on amplifiers, or on the Phonitor with this hardware at least, is not a simple volume control.  It's interesting, but sound with all these headsets seems to "fill and expand" (and yes, increase in volume) -- but not in the same ways.  The HE-6, which I previously thought I had maxxed out on the Phonitor at the 2 o'clock position, I fully maxxed out today.  I'm not sure how this is possible, since it's a 50 ohm headset compared to the 600 ohms of a T1.

 

I tried the ATH-AD2000 again today.  Part of problem today is that the pads seem to be crushed, so my ears are in contact with the internal flat surfaces.  That aside, it's a brighter headset than the others.  The sound was very nice, better than anything I'd heard before a week or so ago -- but when you A/B to these other headphones, my preference was not for the AD2000s.

 

Also:

- Yo: bad audio from YouTube videos or crappy mp3s can sound *even worse* on expensive hardware than on the regular stuff.  Wow.

- The HE-6, after a few hours, gets heavy.  I think the LCD-3, counter to my first day's impression, may be easier to bear, though there's more mass pushing against your face and jaws.  By comparison, the T1s feel like can-wear-all-day headphones.  Lightness matters.

- The LCD-3 and HE-6 seem to... there's a word for this, but I've forgotten it.  They don't give off a low level of background noise nearly as much as the T1 (and AD2000) did.  (EDIT: Blackness is what I was trying to remember.) Can't tell if the low noise floor effect is "right" or not, but... I think I like it.

- I did some initial experimentation to see if I could tell the difference between lossless files (flac) and 256kbps VBR-encoded mp3 files.  On very "busy" music like most of my trance and electronic stuff, I'm not sure it matters that much, given the provenance of how this material was recorded in the first place.  But on albums with a more pristine sound, like Cat Stevens _Tea for the Tillerman_ for example, I have an impression that there's a difference, but an impression is all.  I do know that playing flac files does offer peace of mind.  Shrug.  Need to test more and see if I can really tell.

 

As of the end of this weekend, I'm liking the LCD-3s the most.  Yesterday I wasn't sure.  A day or two before that, and I thought for sure the HE-6's were tops.  Interesting.  

 

But I've got all this classical stuff... how will something like Dvorak's Cello Concerto sound on the LCD-3's, compared to the HE-6?  Or Solti's Ring?  Or the Mozart 41st symphony?  Stay tuned...


Edited by planet - 4/7/13 at 8:39pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by planet View Post

Another solid 6-7 hours of comparative listening today.

 

 

I'm also learning that the gain knob on amplifiers, or on the Phonitor with this hardware at least, is not a simple volume control.  It's interesting, but sound with all these headsets seems to "fill and expand" (and yes, increase in volume) -- but not in the same ways.  The HE-6, which I previously thought I had maxxed out on the Phonitor at the 2 o'clock position, I fully maxxed out today.  I'm not sure how this is possible, since it's a 50 ohm headset compared to the 600 ohms of a T1.

 

 

The HE-6 needs a bunch of current, its a ton harder to drive than the T1. Its a planar-magnetic headphone thus its low ohms, lots of voltage and current.

post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

The HE-6 needs a bunch of current, its a ton harder to drive than the T1. Its a planar-magnetic headphone thus its low ohms, lots of voltage and current.

 

Hmm, thanks.  But apparently the HE-6's are also much harder to drive than the LCD-3's, also planar-magnetic headsets.  Interesting.

 

BTW, these owners threads stretching back 3+ years and thousands of posts... at once awesome and terrifying.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by planet View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

The HE-6 needs a bunch of current, its a ton harder to drive than the T1. Its a planar-magnetic headphone thus its low ohms, lots of voltage and current.

 

Hmm, thanks.  But apparently the HE-6's are also much harder to drive than the LCD-3's, also planar-magnetic headsets.  Interesting.

 

BTW, these owners threads stretching back 3+ years and thousands of posts... at once awesome and terrifying.

The HE-6 is a special one. Most people recommend speaker amps for the HE-6.

post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfetan44 View Post

The HE-6 is a special one. Most people recommend speaker amps for the HE-6.

 

Apparently.  I'm doing some reading about the HE-6 now, and... um...

 

 

(But it sounds so good!)

post #25 of 26

This is upsetting. You just made me want a Phonitor really badly after I researched it a bit now. Oh well, what else was I going to do with my money?

post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 

In the last few days, I've been reaching for the T1s, which I enjoy a whole lot, when played at moderate (or higher) levels of gain.  The headphones really come alive in a way that I did not expect after the initial experiences at lower volumes.

 

They're damn comfortable.  I can wear them for hours and hours, and not fatigue nearly as much as when I'm wearing any of the planar-magnetic headsets.  And the physical design is really, really nice.  Solid feeling, good proportions, a sort of understated Teutonic style that I like.

 

Nitpick, though: the speaker cable is much thicker than some of the other cables -- which actually is more of an issue than I thought it would be.  It's harder to toss off to the side, and it disappears (in a tactile sense) less easily than the other speaker cables.

 

I could be really happy with these headphones.  I believe I have a glimmer of understanding why some of the owners call these good all-around'ers.  All-around sonic performance, plus good design, and good aesthetics.  Not power sponges like the HE-6.  Not sonically tilted toward warmer/bass-ier styles of music like the LCD-3s at the (possible) cost of classical and other styles that reward pin-point clarity in the upper registers.

 

The HE-6 and the LCD-3's, they do each have something special about them that I can't quite put my finger on, though.

 

The evaluation and education continues...

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