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post #4111 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshark View Post

 

 

JeremyR: if you are spending the money on the ADs, you need a better source than the Essence ST(X) to remotely do them justice

 

Two questions :)

 

Will they sound better then the M50's with the sound card?

 

What's the least expensive way to "do them justice"?

 

Edit: I am justifying the expense by expecting these to be my headphones for the next 10-20 years, so even if my current setup does not do them justice, it's good to know I have the headroom in my headphones to do whatever the next equipment I buy justice :)

First, replying to the replyier :) - I would say that the Essence ST(X) DAC section is good enough, but the amplifier section is not good enough for most planar headphones.  So, you would need an amplifier.   (The new Schiit Vali was released today ($119), but no one (such as I) has received a production model, so you ought to wait a few days for a Vali-with-Alpha-Dog review to appear.)

 

Second, I am not buying your concept " If I am going to buy my first car, then I should just get a $200,000 Ferrari right from the beginning. "  I'm sure your camera store guys were not interested in arguing against your purchase, however.

 

So third, in reality the Alpha Dog is a headphone for two types of people - audiophiles and musicians.  In other words, people who have spent thousands of hours listening critically to the very small details of the sound of music.   People who pay more than $300 for headphones are generally disappointed, because the differences are tiny subtleties that require training to hear.  And please note that is not a superiority/inferiority thing (I hate the term "golden ears"), it is just what one is trained to do.

 

Lindsay Vonn can tell the difference between two slightly differently waxed pair of skis that I could never tell apart if I spent the whole day trying them - because she spends thousands of hours skiing.

 

So no, I don't recommend high-end audio gear for people buying entry level equipment.

post #4112 of 8575
Quote:

Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

Second, I am not buying your concept " If I am going to buy my first car, then I should just get a $200,000 Ferrari right from the beginning. "  I'm sure your camera store guys were not interested in arguing against your purchase, however.

 

So third, in reality the Alpha Dog is a headphone for two types of people - audiophiles and musicians.  In other words, people who have spent thousands of hours listening critically to the very small details of the sound of music.   People who pay more than $300 for headphones are generally disappointed, because the differences are tiny subtleties that require training to hear.  And please note that is not a superiority/inferiority thing (I hate the term "golden ears"), it is just what one is trained to do.

 

Lindsay Vonn can tell the difference between two slightly differently waxed pair of skis that I could never tell apart if I spent the whole day trying them - because she spends thousands of hours skiing.

 

So no, I don't recommend high-end audio gear for people buying entry level equipment.

 

Hmm yeah I don't agree with this. High end gear isn't for just people who have "earned the right" to buy it by working their way up from inferior gear or have "specially trained ears".

 

Case in point. I set up my partner with the AD last night and put on the beatles for her. The expression on her face was priceless - and it was a struggle to get them back! She doesn't own any high end gear at all.

 

I don't know what youre listening to from the $300 market but I dont know of anything that's going to be subtly different from ADs.

 

With that said, I do think it is very risky buying high end gear out of the gate. Because without knowing what options are out there, and how your own personal tastes map to those options, you stand a pretty good chance of spending a lot of money but later wishing you spent that money on something different. If you evaluate your options carefully though, buying right first time can save a lot of money vs working your way up the ladder.

post #4113 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarshark View Post
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kstuart View Post

Second, I am not buying your concept " If I am going to buy my first car, then I should just get a $200,000 Ferrari right from the beginning. "  I'm sure your camera store guys were not interested in arguing against your purchase, however.

 

So third, in reality the Alpha Dog is a headphone for two types of people - audiophiles and musicians.  In other words, people who have spent thousands of hours listening critically to the very small details of the sound of music.   People who pay more than $300 for headphones are generally disappointed, because the differences are tiny subtleties that require training to hear.  And please note that is not a superiority/inferiority thing (I hate the term "golden ears"), it is just what one is trained to do.

 

Lindsay Vonn can tell the difference between two slightly differently waxed pair of skis that I could never tell apart if I spent the whole day trying them - because she spends thousands of hours skiing.

 

So no, I don't recommend high-end audio gear for people buying entry level equipment.

 

Hmm yeah I don't agree with this. High end gear isn't for just people who have "earned the right" to buy it by working their way up from inferior gear or have "specially trained ears".

 

Case in point. I set up my partner with the AD last night and put on the beatles for her. The expression on her face was priceless - and it was a struggle to get them back! She doesn't own any high end gear at all.

 

I don't know what youre listening to from the $300 market but I dont know of anything that's going to be subtly different from ADs.

 

With that said, I do think it is very risky buying high end gear out of the gate. Because without knowing what options are out there, and how your own personal tastes map to those options, you stand a pretty good chance of spending a lot of money but later wishing you spent that money on something different. If you evaluate your options carefully though, buying right first time can save a lot of money vs working your way up the ladder.

The way you put it as "earned the right" shows that you are missing my point.

 

The audiophile terminology for what I am talking about is "high end" and "mid-fi".   Someone who just listens to music casually - 99% of people - will actually find that mid-fi gear sounds better to them.

 

However, most people don't even use mid-fi gear.  They use the Apple ear buds with their iPod, or their iPod in those little iPod cradles with two little cheap speakers.   So, if you let them listen to high-end gear, they will find it sounds better.   But they won't think that Alpha Dogs sound better than Sennheiser HD598 or AT M50.

post #4114 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

First, replying to the replyier :) - I would say that the Essence ST(X) DAC section is good enough, but the amplifier section is not good enough for most planar headphones.  So, you would need an amplifier.   (The new Schiit Vali was released today ($119), but no one (such as I) has received a production model, so you ought to wait a few days for a Vali-with-Alpha-Dog review to appear.)

 

Second, I am not buying your concept " If I am going to buy my first car, then I should just get a $200,000 Ferrari right from the beginning. "  I'm sure your camera store guys were not interested in arguing against your purchase, however.

 

So third, in reality the Alpha Dog is a headphone for two types of people - audiophiles and musicians.  In other words, people who have spent thousands of hours listening critically to the very small details of the sound of music.   People who pay more than $300 for headphones are generally disappointed, because the differences are tiny subtleties that require training to hear.  And please note that is not a superiority/inferiority thing (I hate the term "golden ears"), it is just what one is trained to do.

 

Lindsay Vonn can tell the difference between two slightly differently waxed pair of skis that I could never tell apart if I spent the whole day trying them - because she spends thousands of hours skiing.

 

So no, I don't recommend high-end audio gear for people buying entry level equipment.

 

Thanks for the recommendation. I don't get my headphones for 6 weeks or so, so I can definitely wait.

 

As for my analogy, if I wanted the "best" camera, I could have gone with a PhaseOne for 50 grand. I don't mean I need the top of the line. I just mean I need something that an enthusiast would still own. When I bought my Guitar, I told the sales guy "Let's say a local pro player was at a gig with his Guitar, and someone put their foot through it. He then walks out to his car and grabs his backup from the trunk. I want whatever was in the trunk".

 

I used to be a semi-pro paintball player. When I first started, I got the entry level pro marker. When I was winning tournaments and getting all of my expenses paid for, I was using the same marker I bought day one. I had a $1,000 marker while everyone else have a $2,500 top of the line ones, but who won or lost didn't do so based on equipment.

 

If I had bought a $700 camera, $500 paintball marker, or $200 guitar, I would of had to replace them when I got into the hobby.

 

 

That's what I mean. Not that I need the best. I just need something that an enthusiast would find acceptable.

 

And I take no offence to your remarks about a trained ear. I expect these to be better then my $150 headphones, but if they are not any better then a $300 pair to my ears, I am fine with that. The additional $300 to support someone who makes things, and is well respected by his piers is worth it. I like the story behind the AD's.


Edited by JeremyR - 11/25/13 at 4:51pm
post #4115 of 8575

You don't need thousands of hours of listening to know what to listen for.  Some people can pick up the details and differences and some people can't.  Yes some need the experience.  OTOH there are those who just don't give a damn.  They can tell exact what the difference the T50RP sounds like with the stock pads, Shure pads or Alpha pads.  but they are fine listening to a pair of Skullcandy's.  It's all down to personal preference.

post #4116 of 8575
disregard. I answered my own question :)

Edited by JeremyR - 11/25/13 at 5:32pm
post #4117 of 8575

It's a unwritten fact that orthos require at least 15 watts.  100 watts is acceptable. :wink:

post #4118 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

The way you put it as "earned the right" shows that you are missing my point.

 

The audiophile terminology for what I am talking about is "high end" and "mid-fi".   Someone who just listens to music casually - 99% of people - will actually find that mid-fi gear sounds better to them.

 

However, most people don't even use mid-fi gear.  They use the Apple ear buds with their iPod, or their iPod in those little iPod cradles with two little cheap speakers.   So, if you let them listen to high-end gear, they will find it sounds better.   But they won't think that Alpha Dogs sound better than Sennheiser HD598 or AT M50.

 

I'm aware of that terminology, although they're subjective terms - there isn't a distinct line between the two.

 

I guess in general you're probably right ..

 

But In this specific instance I stand by my earlier claims. The essence stx was outclassed by M51+C162 and very much appreciated by a casual listener, hence my recommendation.

 

I don't think it's just the amp stage in the STX. At the end of the day it's built to a price, and it wouldn't even make it to mid fi territory imho.

 

It does have it's place though- when playing BF4 I'm not really worried about reaching the pinnacle of sonic excellence :normal_smile :

post #4119 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

First, replying to the replyier :) - I would say that the Essence ST(X) DAC section is good enough, but the amplifier section is not good enough for most planar headphones.  So, you would need an amplifier.   (The new Schiit Vali was released today ($119), but no one (such as I) has received a production model, so you ought to wait a few days for a Vali-with-Alpha-Dog review to appear.)

 

This is the amp in the sound card:

http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/slos431/slos431.pdf

 

If I am reading that doc right, it says it delivers 1.2W @ 32 ohms (page 8, lower left graph). The Schiit Vali delivers 1.2W @ 32 ohms.

 

What makes one amp better then the other for the AD's?

There is always this difference between visual perceptions and audible perceptions.

 

You can take a picture with a $20,000 camera and take the same picture with a $200 camera, and you can then blow up the two images and point to the differences. (It's even possible to do that in a Forum thread).   You can try to do the same thing with audible differences, but the directness is missing.  The other person would have to get the exact same song, and then go to 3:24 in it and listen to the kettle drum.   They rarely do that (note that 90% of people never go to links in forum posts) - in fact, it would require having the same song, and if some of their equipment is not up to the same level, it might obscure the difference.

 

So, I know techie guys who spend hundreds of hours tweaking their video player to remove largely invisible tiny blurring, and then loudly insist that two amps with the same specs must sound exactly the same.   Because you can point to a visual difference...

post #4120 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

So, I know techie guys who spend hundreds of hours tweaking their video player to remove largely invisible tiny blurring, and then loudly insist that two amps with the same specs must sound exactly the same.   Because you can point to a visual difference...

 

I wasn't questioning if they sound the same. I suspect dozens of factors go into an Amp that effect the quality of the sound. You just said my sound card could not drive my headphones properly. It looks like the watt output are the same (actually less on the Vali if I am reading things right), so I was wondering what else goes into an Amp to "drive" headphones. More of a question to educate me, not to question you.

post #4121 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

So, I know techie guys who spend hundreds of hours tweaking their video player to remove largely invisible tiny blurring, and then loudly insist that two amps with the same specs must sound exactly the same.   Because you can point to a visual difference...

 

I wasn't questioning if they sound the same. I suspect dozens of factors go into an Amp that effect the quality of the sound. You just said my sound card could not drive my headphones properly. It looks like the watt output are the same (actually less on the Vali if I am reading things right), so I was wondering what else goes into an Amp to "drive" headphones. More of a question to educate me, not to question you.

You are projecting - you are the first to use "drive".

 

I stated: "I would say that the Essence ST(X) DAC section is good enough, but the amplifier section is not good enough for most planar headphones.  So, you would need an amplifier."

post #4122 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kstuart View Post
 

You are projecting - you are the first to use "drive".

 

I stated: "I would say that the Essence ST(X) DAC section is good enough, but the amplifier section is not good enough for most planar headphones.  So, you would need an amplifier."

@kstuart,  just drop it.  You are not going to get anywhere with this one. :blink:

post #4123 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by koiloco View Post
 

@kstuart,  just drop it.  You are not going to get anywhere with this one. :blink:

 

 

I asked a question so I could learn from you guys, and these are the answers I get? I am projecting, and just drop it because you can't get anywhere with this one?

 

Wow, thanks guys for the warm welcome. So far you're not helping the stereotype that audiophiles are pretentious. Good thing there are others here to help you out in that regard.

post #4124 of 8575

Ignore them. There are other people here in this thread who will probably be more helpful than that. I dunno what their deal is right now.

post #4125 of 8575
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeremyR View Post
 

 

I asked a question so I could learn from you guys, and these are the answers I get? I am projecting, and just drop it because you can't get anywhere with this one?

 

Wow, thanks guys for the warm welcome. So far you're not helping the stereotype that audiophiles are pretentious. Good thing there are others here to help you out in that regard.

There's a difference between "projecting" and out right twisting other people's words and misunderstood.  Let's chalk this off to miscommunication, shall we?

My apology if your intention was pure.  Posts can be misread quite badly.

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