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**MrSpeakers Mad Dog: Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 56

post #826 of 2871

Mad Dog 3.2 Final Impressions

 

For the past few weeks I've been spending most of my listening time with the Mad Dog on my reference setup - amped by the HeadAmp GS-X MK2, sourced by the Plinius CD-101. I also very recently bought the KEF M500, another closed headphone that's incidentally the same price as the Mad Dog.

 

I still think the Mad Dog is a very good headphone, and way better than its price would indicate, but my impression of it has been tempered by the KEF M500. I'll explain: the Mad Dog, along with every other orthodynamic headphone that I've heard (LCD-2, LCD-3, HE-400, HE-500, and the HE-6 very briefly) has a certain fatal flaw to me. Regardless of the amps that I've used (which has been the GS-X MK1 or MK2 in most cases, but also the Burson Soloist, plus a wide array with particularly the Audeze models), none of the orthos have had a convincingly physically direct sound (though the LCD-3 did get pretty close) and didn't sound "musical" to me either. "Musical" is a nebulous word but there are only a few headphones that I reserve it for - like the Stax OII MKI and Grado HP1000. I've also since determined that the planar magnetic sound just isn't for me - the headphones I've liked the most have been either dynamic or electrostatic.

 

The Mad Dog is what I'd call a technically amazing headphone. It delivers clarity (way more than typical of $300 headphones, and it beats more expensive ones too, up until the HD800), a clean separated/diffuse sound, strong bass & treble, and dynamics. It easily handled the range of genres I threw at it - metal (power, prog, symphonic, death, thrash), electronica (trip-hop, techno, IDM, ambient), bluegrass/folk, classical, rock (prog & alt), pop, et al. There was nothing it didn't "sound good" with. However, the moment I had the KEF M500, it was clear that the Mad Dog missed the most important goal: it didn't sound "musical" to me. It had all these technically amazing qualities, but it never made me feel anything, or moved me, or told me the story of the music. The KEF M500, on the other hand, did all of that for me. Case in point: I didn't realize until recently that I hadn't yet bothered to listen to "sad female vocal"-type music on the Mad Dog, like certain Eva Cassidy and Alison Krauss songs (like Eva's "Autumn Leaves" or Alison's "A Living Prayer"). When I finally tried it on the Mad Dog, I found that the "sad" aspect was sorely lacking (but not on the KEF M500).

 

The Mad Dog is certainly a great headphone too, but in the end the KEF M500 reminded me of why I listen to music. For those who can afford both, I highly recommend buying both. They were like two sides of a coin. The Mad Dog, like the other orthos I've heard, had its technical abilities, but the M500 simply made music come alive more.

 

I also ended up having two non-sound-related issues with the Mad Dog: (1) The clamping of pleather became uncomfortable on recent hot summer nights, and (2) I ended up deciding that I wanted a headphone with much higher sensitivity to better pair with my Audio-Technica AD2K/X.


Edited by Asr - 7/22/13 at 1:31am
post #827 of 2871
Cheers for the review ASR. In recent demos I've felt the MDs where one of the most refined sounding closed isolating headphones for its price category & as agreed with you quite under priced.

I never really gave the KEF M500 a look even though recently it's turned up in events however your impressions have piqued my interest & how blinded I am. I'm going to have the M500s a closer look next time I'm at the shops.
post #828 of 2871
Thread Starter 

@ ASR  Hmm...this "review" sounds more like a commercial for KEF hp's than anything else to be perfectly honest and also an explanation of why you don't find orthodynamic hp's "musical." But honestly, it feels somewhat out of place here. I do get your point... I think. You don't enjoy orthos or find them musically  engaging. You mention several world class orthodynamic hp's that didn't "sound good" to you or "move you." 

 

I'm sorry but those hp's that you mention are some of the most "musical" that I've ever heard, anywhere at any price. He500, He6, LCD2 and 3...non musical eek.gif?. I do agree that the Stax are other worldly and quite "musical" but it would be rather fruitless for me to compare the Stax with the MD considering the price discrepancy. The MD for me like many of the other orthos mentioned above are beautifully musical, but then again I love the sound of orthodynamic hp's. I think that point you make is that you don't enjoy the sound of orthos including the MD or any ortho. So it doesn't matter what the MD brings to the table or at what price...you wouldn't have enjoyed it, correct? I appreciate and respect all opinions on the forum and you're certainly entitled to yours. Everyone hears things differently and the sound made by orthos obviously doesn't suit you. 

 

But I think that it would be a mistake to paint a bleak picture of the MD or orthos in general because you don't find them pleasing with regard to others who are interesting in trying them. 

 

Possibly your post might be more appropriate in a KEF appreciation thread. Thanks for your input and opinion and good luck finding a more suitable match for your AT AD2k.

 

very best,

post #829 of 2871

There are a million other less ambiguous terms you could have used to  compare these headphones' sounds, but the only one you could come up with was musical-- the grand-daddy of them all.

post #830 of 2871

Guys, I think you should accept the fact not everybody likes the ortho sound.

I know it sounds silly, but, heh, some of you don't like rock and like EDM/trance instead, so... rolleyes.gif (popcorn.gif)

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

biggrin.gif

 

Anyway, thanks for (what seems to me) an honest feedback. Such nice words for the M500 did pick my interest, I must admit.

The X300A and LS50 were high on my radar as well, so, who knows? my next speaker could well be KEFs instead of Focals (I'm french by the way very_evil_smiley.gif).

post #831 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnakChan View Post

Cheers for the review ASR. In recent demos I've felt the MDs where one of the most refined sounding closed isolating headphones for its price category & as agreed with you quite under priced.

I never really gave the KEF M500 a look even though recently it's turned up in events however your impressions have piqued my interest & how blinded I am. I'm going to have the M500s a closer look next time I'm at the shops.

Do it!
I'd love to read your impressions (they are always excellent! ;-))
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

@ ASR  Hmm...this "review" sounds more like a commercial for KEF hp's than anything else to be perfectly honest and also an explanation of why you don't find orthodynamic hp's "musical."
But I think that it would be a mistake to paint a bleak picture of the MD or orthos in general because you don't find them pleasing with regard to others who are interesting in trying them. 

Possibly your post might be more appropriate in a KEF appreciation thread. Thanks for your input and opinion and good luck finding a more suitable match for your AT AD2k.

very best,
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

There are a million other less ambiguous terms you could have used to  compare these headphones' sounds, but the only one you could come up with was musical-- the grand-daddy of them all.

I'll offer my views this week or the next, my KEF's are supposed to arrive today and of course, I'm a proud Mad Dogs owner! ;-)
We'll see how it turns out.
post #832 of 2871

hmmm m500........and i was about to hit the BUY button. tongue_smile.gif

interest piqued/picked, but then again i had sworn against ON-ear cans.

deadhorse.gif

 

When i auditioned the MD, it's like a snooze comfort can without sibilance,

forsee myself cranking up the volume on a full swinging orchestra,

and enjoying that kind of "musicality" with a tube...

on a cold wintry nite.

beerchug.gif

post #833 of 2871
ASR - Nice review. I think it points directly, squarely to just how personal a preferred sound signature really is when listening. Especially with headphones. I do find the MD's extremely musical. It is one of the few that can give me goose bumps. The HD650 also do it, as do the HE6. BUT, so do the Stax 009 and a couple of more moderately priced Stax, and at times the D7000. I'm betting that save for the Stax, ASR doesn't agree with my "goosebump inducers." That is what I love about headphones. They are a really individual choice. Orthos do have that ortho sound, which I like, but it is always noticeable to me and is not for everyone. On the other hand, it is for a lot of us...
post #834 of 2871

^^^^ +1

post #835 of 2871

Using "musical" as a description for a headphone is so vague it's practically invisible.

 

Personally I'm really liking the Mad Dog 3.2s, they have exceptional tonal balance and are very easy on the ears, but with good extension and impact at the extremes. They aren't going to dethrone my Stax SR-009s any time soon, but for me, these are the end of the line for closed headphones. I do love dat planar push. biggrin.gif

 

They are a lot more thirsty for current than I imagined they'd be (and you would think by reading the website) though. 


Edited by Darkbeat - 7/22/13 at 10:03am
post #836 of 2871

Come on guys, I think it is very easy to understand someone that doesn't think orthos bring musicality. The sound is very unique and can be considered masking. I've talked to a few guys who also don't really appreciate the ortho sound and that really has to do with preference, and is not based on technicalities. If you are one that enjoys a very neutral and airy sound, orthos can sound congested and overly-thick. I can't speak for ASR, but from the few people I've talk to that don't really like ortho sound - that is their response. I also appreciate how different our preferences are. It is what is unique about Head-Fi and audio in general. Different strokes for different folks. I enjoyed the read by ASR, very informative. I can't deny, the impressions piqued my interest for the M500s as well. Always have been a fan of KEF, they make some great speakers. 


Edited by Greed - 7/22/13 at 10:05am
post #837 of 2871

Per Asr's review/impression of 3.2 MD, I realize that each of us surely have a different definition for "musical" when it comes to HPs and often put forth strong preferences when it comes to what we personally own.  This makes comparison/impression/review even far less objective.  I am also looking to try out MD at the meet next month before deciding.

post #838 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

Come on guys, I think it is very easy to understand someone that doesn't think orthos bring musicality. The sound is very unique and can be considered masking. I've talked to a few guys who also don't really appreciate the ortho sound and that really has to do with preference, and is not based on technicalities. If you are one that enjoys a very neutral and airy sound, orthos can sound congested and overly-thick. I can't speak for ASR, but from the few people I've talk to that don't really like ortho sound - that is their response. I also appreciate how different our preferences are. It is what is unique about Head-Fi and audio in general. Different strokes for different folks. I enjoyed the read by ASR, very informative. I can't deny, the impressions piqued my interest for the M500s as well. Always have been a fan of KEF, they make some great speakers. 

 

+100

post #839 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post

Come on guys, I think it is very easy to understand someone that doesn't think orthos bring musicality. The sound is very unique and can be considered masking. I've talked to a few guys who also don't really appreciate the ortho sound and that really has to do with preference, and is not based on technicalities. If you are one that enjoys a very neutral and airy sound, orthos can sound congested and overly-thick. I can't speak for ASR, but from the few people I've talk to that don't really like ortho sound - that is their response. I also appreciate how different our preferences are. It is what is unique about Head-Fi and audio in general. Different strokes for different folks. I enjoyed the read by ASR, very informative. I can't deny, the impressions piqued my interest for the M500s as well. Always have been a fan of KEF, they make some great speakers. 

 

Does this include the Hifiman's offering confused.gif

post #840 of 2871
Quote:
Originally Posted by MattTCG View Post

@ ASR  Hmm...this "review" sounds more like a commercial for KEF hp's than anything else

+1

 

The "review" had me searching the M500 right away and I read most of the thread on Head-Fi. He accomplished his mission if that's what he was going for. LOL.

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