When I ordered my Alpha Dogs at the end of August I hadn't seen Jude's video or read anything about them. It was some positive comments about the Mad Dogs that had taken me to the Mr Speakers website. I was after a good closed back headphone to pair with my forthcoming CEntrance HiFi-M8. Delivery on the Alpha Dogs indicated that I should have them about the time my HiFi-M8 was due to arrive. Dan shipped my Alpha Dogs just before he flew off to Japan for the Headphone Festival. The Alpha Dogs arrived last Monday.
I plugged the Alpha Dogs into HiFi-M8 using the same settings I'd been using with my HD600's and selected the last track I'd played on my iPod Classic, Dire Straits - Rome and Juliet. Initial impressions were of a quieter, leaner but quite detailed and spacious sound. Not quite what I was expecting and not much in way of bass. Okay, need to play something different, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin - Live, that'll tell me what these phones about.
Yep, that's more like it, we definitely have bass and it goes deep. A nice clear and spacious sound too. I played a few more things that left me with the feeling that the overall sound balance was a little light somewhere in the midrange but decided that might be due to the HiFi-M8 which was still quite new. I decided to continue listening on my main rig.
Moving to my main rig confirmed that what I was hearing was due mainly to the HiFi-M8 and not the Alpha Dogs. I found the Alpha Dogs very smooth and easy to listen to, fuller and more even sounding though perhaps not quite so spacious sounding as on the HiFi-M8. How did they compare to my other headphones? I only made a brief comparison to my LCD-2's but that was enough to convince me that two are quite different.
I think the Alpha Dogs are closer in character to my HD800's than they are the LCD-2's and they are perhaps closer still to my HD600's. Up until yesterday I'd have put the HD800's comfortably ahead of the Alpha Dogs along with the HD600's. The LCD-2's remaining something of a wild card.
Yesterday I swapped the Chord DAC that I usually use with my main headphone rig for my Metrum Octave Mk2. To put it simply the Alpha Dogs have amazing synergy with this DAC. Everything just sounds right with this combination.
What you hear with the Alpha Dogs is very dependant on what comes before them.