Ok, so the postman finally delivered last night and got them cracked open today after work.
Presentation - amazing. Classy look, well protected foam cutout greets you after you slide the sleeve off the box. Nicely understated appearance. Reminds me of Denon's D7000, not a bad product to emulate. The headphone stand is nice, simple sheet metal, powder coated with the Mr Speakers wording screened. First demerit is the height of the stand. Can't use it with the cables installed. I know what I read as to why (shipping box fit/cost related) but something this amazing in presentation and appearance NEEDS the proper height stand.
Remove the headphones and take in the paint job.........wow. First class. I'm a wood guy (have all three Denon D-XXXX series phones, all with exceptional wood cups) but these are GORGEOUS and classy looking. The black anodized sliders are done perfectly. Very nice and again, understated. Connect the cables.........ok, another incredible job. These are snap on/quick connect and the cables are just the right thickness and flexibility. First class. Perfect execution.
Put them on my head, get the sliders adjusted and take in the feel. Heavy........no doubt they are a bit on the heavy side but I don't think it's too much, and the balance is good. I have a neck issue (spinal stenosis) so I'm careful about weight of my headphones and I think these would be ok. My Denon D7000's are definitely lighter for comparison.
Comfort.......yep, this they have for sure. I'm an Alpha pad fan, have them on four other headphones and think they rock. Headband is good, tho I might add a HD650 pad if/when I get these for myself (I'm listening as part of the audition group). Comfort strap is just right on softness.
Ok, what did I not cover? Oh, yeah, sound. I am a confirmed audiophile basshead and I'm proud to say it. I like a fun V shaped phone, and own a few of the best basshead headphone examples there are, with the Denons at the top of the list. Guys, I drive my music with vintage amps, of which I own FIVE different systems centered around these 1970's solid state amplifiers. They range from a low power Realistic receiver to two midrange Kenwood integrated amps pushing 45 watts per channel up to a Pioneer Spec system, separates that include a 250 WPC amp. Serious power and quality. The headphone outs on these are spectacular, no opamps, just pure power direct off the amp with a resistor in the path.
The Alpha Dogs have been on my head for 25 minutes on my Kenwood amp fed by an iPhone 4. No fancy DAC, just straight into the amp. These sound FANTASTIC and do NOT LACK BASS. They have enough slam to keep me smiling, and frankly I'm surprised. Shocked really. Never thought they would meet my approval. I had a Mad Dog for a few days back in March that completely underwhelmed me to the point of returning them after four days. I was only feeding them with a FiiO E-11 and Digizoid ZO double amped and folks, that didn't cut it. **At the time, this was all I had, before the world of vintage was presented to me. The key is whatever Dan has done to tune these, but more importantly I think is what is feeding them. Powerful amp feeding them and you have a basshead sitting here considering selling his Edition 8 to buy one of these.
They don't sound open at all to me, sound a lot like a nice mostly closed headphone with some good imaging a la the Denons. Good mids, balanced sound to me. Not a golden ears by any measure but know what I like.
Dan, you took a gamble putting me on the audition list. A calculated risk, one you were smart to do, knowing what you know. You have done it. Made a headphone that satisfies a bass craving when fed right. My hat is off to you.
Music pumped through thus far is a range of smooth jazz, with a lot of fast, Bassy artists like Wayman Tisdale, Dave Koz, Paul Hardcastle and Quintin Gerard. More variety of genres and artists tomorrow off the Spec system including Pink Floyd Animals and some vinyl Eagles One of These Nights.
Hope you enjoyed the read, as gelocks said, any feedback is good since there's been a dearth of it up to now.
Edited by Oregonian - 10/24/13 at 7:55pm