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Beyerdynamic T1 - disappointing performance in my setup

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I've recently bought the T1's and I'm currently using them with a Nuforce HDP dac/amp.  I know this is not a perfect combo, but the DAC section seems pretty decent with the AKG K701, and there's enough power for T1 to get them way too loud nowhere near 100% on the volume knob.  But, the thing is, it sounds disappointingly bad with the T1's.  I mean, in a blind test, between the DT880 600's and T1's, I'd never say T1's are the higher end headphones, because there simply is nothing they do better than DT880's that worth any considerable increase in price from my setup. To my ears, they sound just like a similarly priced headphone with less bass and highs to DT990pros for example, and considerably smaller soundstage.  Compared to K701's, T1's sound tiny in soundstage, really closed in, and quite congested. Not what I'd expect from a top of the line Beyerdynamic. Bottom line is, judging by my setup alone, apart from being better built and coming in a nice case, they're not worth much more than the DT880's or DT990's.  I want to change that.


So, my question is...is the T1 really that unimpressive, just marginally better than DT880 or DT990, or is the HDP really so horrible for  this headphone? Anyone else tried this combo maybe?


I know that the usual suspects for T1 as far as amps go are the Woo Audios. Unfortunatelly, at the moment I can't afford the WA2, the best I can pull off now is the WA3 or maybe WA6.  I was considering the Schiit Lyr too, and Little Dot MkIV.  Any other recommendations that would be a good choice, preferably under $500?


My biggest issue is not the sound signature, or clarity, detail, such things...the biggest issue is a small soundstage. T1's really do sound very small in this setup, not much bigger soundstage or much more air in sound than in the DT770 pro's. Basically on par with DT880's if not slightly smaller.  Soundstage and imaging was something that I expected would really shine on these headphones, especially with many people saying they've got the best imaging they've ever heard, a very big soundstage and a great feeling of presence in the vocals. I don't hear any of that with HDP, its a very in-my-head sound.



Edited by derbigpr - 6/23/13 at 4:45am
post #2 of 36
With your description i doubt that any other headphone amplifier will change your perceived small soundstage. The sou dstage is THE most important difference to the lower Beyers for most People. But there is allways the possibility that your personal HRTF doesn't fit the phone. This could happen with every HP no matter how stellar most describe it.
post #3 of 36

I don't know many people who would describe the T1's as having a small sound stage.

post #4 of 36

Good news for you is i own the little dot MK IV, Schiit lyr and T1.


Imo they sound better with the Lyr, more lively, with a bigger bottom end, it is similar to the DT990 in slam (not quite as much though, however it is so much more defined) but i cant verify this at the moment as my tubes are dying and i need to replace them, so i can tell you then.


however since im listening to it now, i can tell you about the LD MK IV. 

On the LD, the T1's sound gentle, liquid.. it is a combo that has a special ability to sound.. not like a headphone.. they feel nimble but maintain vocal presence. the treble detail is astounding. it manages to maintain its own area, it is never congested or swallowed up by anything else on complex passages. i do not believe them to be as technically good as the HD800 but are more emotional, they are more involving, while maintaining a deadly accuracy across the entire spectrum, especially the bass, which is very well extended, fairly powerful. it is very nice, it does not overpower, but when it is called for it will hit you hard. the word i would use is very well behaved. it does not suffer from a monotone bass that i feel not completely, to an extent that the DT990 have, its texture is fantastic.


In terms of soundstage a testament to this set up is that it doesn't sound like a headphone, sound is projected to just In front of my forehead, to just beyond my shoulders, drum rolls sound excellent. 


I'm sorry you aren't enjoying yours as much as i am.




Louder amp =/= better amp.


Generally soundstage it is NOT small, it is similar sized to the HD800, but the AKG soundstage have a unusually unnaturally mammoth soundstage, i personally didn't like it.


The bass of the T1's is surprisingly amp dependent (lyr +T1 is very easily basshead with a bit of EQ, if you want that).. and less treble than the DT990, as much as i love them is only a good thing.


Also maybe you just don't like the T1 sound. if that's the case, sell them and try something different.

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 

I don't know...I could say its possible I got used to the K701 soundstage so much the T1 feels small now. But its not just small in comparison to K701, its smaller than DT990pro, and about the same as DT880. That is the disappointing part. For $1000 more, you'd expect at least a decent improvement in each area, but I'm not hearing any significant differences. I hope its because of my source and amp. Maybe the amp part of HDP is not the problem, since it does power them, at least in terms of volume, effortlessly. But DAC  section probably sucks, and that's what T1's show, or in other words, the DAC reached a certain level of sound quality which is nowhere near the full potential of these headphones. I hope that's the case, because if its not, T1's might be the worst value for money headphone I've ever bought.

Barely audible improvement over DT880's is what I expected. And I really mean barely audible. Difference between HD558 and HD650 is massive in comparison to the jump between 880's and T1 on the HDP.

post #6 of 36

I advise you try and go around listening to different amplifiers if you know anyone that has any.

post #7 of 36
Thread Starter 


Also maybe you just don't like the T1 sound. if that's the case, sell them and try something different.



Thanks for your answer, it sounds like MkIV might be a good one to try out. Do you have the SE model or the regular? Which tubes are you using?


Also, I would not say I dislike the T1 sound, because I like its sound signature, same as

I like the DT880's a lot as well. I mean there's nothing to dislike about their sound, since they're very neutral sounding.


But the disappointing thing in my setup is they really don't sound like a 300 and a 1400 dollar headphone. They sound like a 300 and a 400 dollar headphone, because thats how marginally better T1's are in terms of neutrality and slightly higher resolution, clarity and detail all around. To my ears, they are sort of what I'd expect from a DT880 v2. An updated DT880 so to speak, with slight improvements all around, but they definitely dont sound like a flagship put up against a much cheaper headphone. Definitely less of a HD558 vs HD650, and more of a HD600 vs HD650 sort of difference.

post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Cakensaur View Post

I advise you try and go around listening to different amplifiers if you know anyone that has any.



Not many amps I can try around where I live, I can pretty much only test out the Rega Ear, Musical Fidelity M1HPA, Nuforce HAP-100 and Nuforce UDH-100...and maybe those new Teac amps, but they're over my budget. 

post #9 of 36

I have the normal MK IV but with upgraded Voshkov 6zh1p-ev Tubes. the only difference between IV and IV SE are the tubes and i think the RCA connectors are slightly better.

post #10 of 36
It might be your cans are defective or not broken in. I know from other forums that when you brake the t1s in they sound a lot better and it takes a while to brake them in
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

They're slightly used, around 100 hours of use.

post #12 of 36
If you go to a hp shop they might be able to evaluate your headphones
post #13 of 36

otherwise if there is another T1 owner locally

you could each compare :)

post #14 of 36
Thread Starter 

I'm pretty sure they're not broken or anything. What could go wrong with them anyway? And if something was wrong what are the chances that both drivers would be damaged in exactly the same way which would make them both sound identically faulty? :P

post #15 of 36

well if suddenly an equally large excess of power was to go into each of the incredibly closely matched drivers.. its possible ;)

but i see what you are getting at.

even so


perhaps replace them if possible?

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