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**MrSpeakers Mad Dog: Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 185

post #2761 of 2885
Not sure if this is the right place for this info, but thought it would be better here than in a new thread.

Comparing Mr Speaker Mad Dogs to NAD Viso HP50s

Whilst I've read dozens of Head-Fi articles in the past, this is the first time I've dipped my oar in the water and written anything for the site. I've had a passion for audio my whole life, but only recently have I started to get serious about portable audio and the headphones that form a part of that music scene. I recently started with a Hifiman HM-602 and some Monster Turbine Pro Gold IEMs, but now have an Iriver AK100 MK 2 that I use mainly with some Etymotic ER-4s, that are a bit bland, so I was looking for a full sized headphone to pair with my AK100. They had to be a closed design because my wife hates the Grados I have as she hears everything I am listening to (plus my Grados are just a bit uncomfortable for long listening sessions and are a bit bright with a slightly muted bass (to my ears)). I also don't have an unlimited budget and wanted to spend around A$300-400. I listen to a broad range of music but prefer rock and pop and listen to mostly FLAC files ripped from CD. I don't have a headphone amp, but may look at getting a portable one in the future, the extra bulk puts me off though and the AK100 has a reasonable 'in built'amp in my opinion.

After hours of scouring the internet I narrowed my search down to four closed headphones:

1. PSB m4u1,
2. Sennheiser Momentum (over ear),
3. NAD Viso HP50, and
4. Mr Speaker Mad Dog.

After listening to the first three headphones on my list at a local store I narrowed my list down to the NADs. I really wanted to like the Momentum's because I thought I wanted a headphone that had some slightly emphasised bass, but when I compared the Sennheisers with the PSBs I found the bass on the Momentum's to be over done (for my ears) and a bit too muddy and uncontrolled. The PSBs were at the other end of the spectrum, the bass was good and tight but I thought the highs were overdone and shrill after only a short period of listening. The NADs on the other hand seemed to be much more neutral (accurate) sounding but still had a reasonably dynamic, if slightly emphasised, bass to satisfy my needs. I thought the NADs also had a good soundstage with excellent instrument separation. I could go on, but if you want more details on these headphones there are dozens of other reviews out there on the net.

After this first session the NADs were the clear winners for me. Next, I purchased a pair of the Mad Dogs with the comfort strap and the alpha pads from the USA as there were no stockists in my home city and stockists in other cities in Australia do not offer the 15 day return policy that Mr Speakers does. I wanted to compare the NADs with the Mad Dogs with the ability to return the Mad Dogs, if necessary. In isolation, the Mad Dogs sounded very similar to the NADs and, apart from the sound, the immediate differences were that the NADs were much, much more efficient; much lighter weight; perhaps a bit less comfortable; sealed slightly less efficiently around my ears but (IMO) were better looking than the Mad Dogs. When I initially Iistened to the two headphones side by side it was hard for me to pick much difference between them. The soundstage sounded similar and the overall tonal balance sounded much the same. However, after a longer listening session with a wider variety of music it eventually became obvious (to me) that the Mad Dogs were more accurate than the NADs - a snare drum actually sounded like it should with the MDs. With careful listening I also started to notice that the bass on the Mad Dogs seemed clearer: with Daft Punk -Get Lucky the bass riff at the start of the song sounded more detailed than on the NADs which, by comparison, sounded a bit confused in comparison. The thing that eventually sold me on the Mad Dogs was, when I closed my eyes and listened, they made me feel like I was there in the recording studio (or on stage) with the artist. I don't listen to a lot of country music but with Anne Murray's -Snowbird it was like chalk and cheese between the NADs and the Mad Dogs - her voice was just more 'real' with the Mad Dogs. Lastly, the speed and attack on the clapping, synth and drums at the start of Evermore's - Hey Boys and Girls was outstanding; again like you were there in the studio.

So in the end, the sound of the Mad a Dogs won out over the looks, efficiency and lighter weight of the NADs but it was honestly a very close thing. I actually bought the NADs at one point and arranged to send the MDs back, mainly because I thought I would need a separate headphone amp with the Mad Dogs, but I eventually returned the NADs (for store credit only, unfortunately) as I worked out that 99% of the time the AK100 with 3db 'boost' on is loud enough.
Hopefully, this will help anyone else out there that is looking at closed full sized headphones and can't decided between the Visos and the Mad Dogs.
post #2762 of 2885
To get more from your Mad Dogs you should either buy an amp or find someone who can do Red WIne audio mod to lower output impedance so you will have just enough power to drive headphones without boost plus some extra clarity

Sent from my LG-V500 using Tapatalk
post #2763 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by olegausany View Post

To get more from your Mad Dogs you should either buy an amp or find someone who can do Red WIne audio mod to lower output impedance so you will have just enough power to drive headphones without boost plus some extra clarity

Sent from my LG-V500 using Tapatalk

Thanks for the advice, but my AK100 is the MK II and therefore already has a lower output impedance than the original (from 22 ohms down to 3 ohms). I agree that an amp will help but don't really know which one to buy (portable or desktop) because I don't know that I will want to carry around something else strapped to my AK100 when I'm out and about. I might go for something desktop, thinking the O2, which will give me portability if I really need it but good performance at home as well.

post #2764 of 2885

The Asgard 2 and Mad Dog 3.2's are a very nice pairing. I read somewhere though, that the Asgard 2 was a little off in driving "planar" headphones. While the Asgard 2 doesn't underpower the Mad Dog's, I think they just don't give off the power in the right way. Might just be me, but I am still fairly enjoying this combo. 

post #2765 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkalgray View Post

Thanks for the advice, but my AK100 is the MK II and therefore already has a lower output impedance than the original (from 22 ohms down to 3 ohms). I agree that an amp will help but don't really know which one to buy (portable or desktop) because I don't know that I will want to carry around something else strapped to my AK100 when I'm out and about. I might go for something desktop, thinking the O2, which will give me portability if I really need it but good performance at home as well.

Trust me you need a nice portable amp to "open" up the md3.2s. If you love your mds now you will be stunned at what they are capable of with amping. I have my ak240 at max vol and the dogs weren't even half performing. So I actually ignored it until I went back to the store on a bored afternoon with an amp and I was flabbergasted at the diff. Now I'm enjoying my dogs , good music, good whiskey, good pool. Ah.....

post #2766 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayboy76 View Post

Trust me you need a nice portable amp to "open" up the md3.2s. If you love your mds now you will be stunned at what they are capable of with amping. I have my ak240 at max vol and the dogs weren't even half performing. So I actually ignored it until I went back to the store on a bored afternoon with an amp and I was flabbergasted at the diff. Now I'm enjoying my dogs , good music, good whiskey, good pool. Ah.....


Ok, I'll bite, what amp do you use jayboy76?
post #2767 of 2885

Swapping from the HE400s to the MDPs and playing some vocal heavy tracks = SURPRISE MIDS IN YO FACE

 

Heh.

post #2768 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkalgray View Post

Ok, I'll bite, what amp do you use jayboy76?

Oh I'm using ibasso pb2 amp above , with my iPod I use Sony pha-2 dac/amp , both drive the mad dogs amazingly.
post #2769 of 2885

Hey guys, quick question, where does everyones leather comfort strap sit when they have their Mad Dogs on their head?

I've been wearing mine for an extended period of time and they've started getting really uncomfortable on my head. On feeling and looking, it seems that the leather comfort strap is resting right up against the top rubber fostex band, so its effectively not doing anything, and is super uncomfortable. It looks like the strap is too long and isn't doing any suspension?

 

Is there any adjustment in the strap? I guess I would have to unscrew the strap and tap new screw holes into it?

post #2770 of 2885
I don't have mine with me right now, but I think there's at least 1cm of clearance between the leather strap and the fostex rubber head band.

Maybe yours needs adjusting, but there is another possibility... have a look at the curvature on the rubber head band itself. If it is quite square on top, I could imagine the leather strap contacting the top as it conforms to your head. You might have more luck if it's a bit more rounded. The headband is adjustable for shape and clamping force, and I think MrSpeakers has a YouTube tutorial on it.
post #2771 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikebarber View Post

I don't have mine with me right now, but I think there's at least 1cm of clearance between the leather strap and the fostex rubber head band.

Maybe yours needs adjusting, but there is another possibility... have a look at the curvature on the rubber head band itself. If it is quite square on top, I could imagine the leather strap contacting the top as it conforms to your head. You might have more luck if it's a bit more rounded. The headband is adjustable for shape and clamping force, and I think MrSpeakers has a YouTube tutorial on it.

Exactly. Go to YouTube and search MrSpeakers clamp to see how to bend it to fit. I suggest you add a small peak in the center then slightly open the main bends above the risers.
post #2772 of 2885
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Subatomic View Post
 

Hey guys, quick question, where does everyones leather comfort strap sit when they have their Mad Dogs on their head?

I've been wearing mine for an extended period of time and they've started getting really uncomfortable on my head. On feeling and looking, it seems that the leather comfort strap is resting right up against the top rubber fostex band, so its effectively not doing anything, and is super uncomfortable. It looks like the strap is too long and isn't doing any suspension?

 

Is there any adjustment in the strap? I guess I would have to unscrew the strap and tap new screw holes into it?

 

If the strap is resting on the headband, then it is too long/loose. You need to to trim it and tap a new hole. Once you've got the right length it will be super comfy. 

post #2773 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrspeakers View Post


Exactly. Go to YouTube and search MrSpeakers clamp to see how to bend it to fit. I suggest you add a small peak in the center then slightly open the main bends above the risers.

 

Ok cool. Yea the headband was pretty squared on the top, added a bit of a peak in the centre and its helped, cheers :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post
 

 

If the strap is resting on the headband, then it is too long/loose. You need to to trim it and tap a new hole. Once you've got the right length it will be super comfy. 

Will see how the headband adjustments go, if they're still uncomfortable after a long listening session will look into doing this :)

post #2774 of 2885

any new headphones coming out from mrspeakers

post #2775 of 2885
Quote:
Originally Posted by hykhleif View Post

any new headphones coming out from mrspeakers

That is one of those questions that cannot be answered. Only individuals that know in advance are beta testers and other industry individuals that can't let the cat out of the bag.

On that note, they're probably pretty busy with fulfilling Alpha Dog orders to start some serious new R&D: However, I'm sure they are constantly considering new ways to improve the products as those ideas arise.

We'll just have to wait and see.
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