Originally Posted by kstuart
I haven't tried EQ-ing the AD, but some have done so (as they reported earlier in the thread).
To my perception, the Alpha Dog already gets its accuracy from absorbing a lot of the sound that would otherwise produce a spike at some frequency or blur the soundstage. So, it is less efficient than the Mad Dog, already a somewhat low efficiency headphone. EQ, especially in the bass, would call for even more power.
That is where the "speaker taps method" (has a separate thread by IIRC "Malveaux") might do the job.
I don't recall if anyone has reported on using the AD with speaker taps, but it should be quite good that way.
Yep, it needs more power to shine. Also AD is very sensitive to what you put in chain. I tried several setups and the sound was very different in every setting.
If I connect directly to N900 then I get weak bass, and at max volume they sound rather quiet (not to mention that N900 has quite powerful amp).
When I use Pan Am as amp and dac then treble are loud and not accurate. That setup sounds very digital.
The differences in jitter between different computers when I use USB input of Pan Am are audible.
Then I can toslink from Xonar DG to NAD and then from preamp to Pan Am RCA input. This setup sounds nice, and even nicer if I use ASIO driver or Jack under Linux.
The best results I think I get when playing CD from my LG toslink to NAD and RCA to Pan Am.
Why there are differences? When I use Pan Am as dac then it all depends on stability of USB transmission. This depends on computer, OS, drivers and player application. When using toslink there is still jitter on optical transceivers, also the optical-to-coax converter I use with Xonar DG (because I ran out of optical inputs in NAD) adds its input to the equation. The LG is specialized device, so the jitter on optical out should be rather minimal. I wonder how would it compare to famous Oppo CD player.
My conclusion is if your chain (source/dac/amp) is low-fi, then don't buy Alpha Dog. Go for something else (I would go for PSB M4U) and save a lot of money. If you plan upgrade of your chain then Alpha Dog is worth consideration. But then is Alpha Dog what you want to choose? I was wondering about other closed choices at AD price level, like TH600 or AH-D5000.
When you upgrade your chain some of your headphones may already benefit from that, like for example Momentum. They sound well with laptop or phone, but the same moment I connected them to Pan Am they got completely new life. Main difference was in soundstage, bass power and treble detail. I wonder if tubes have anything to do with that improvement