Nice topic.. I agree with the impressions.
My quest for the perfect classical music headphone: a brief visit of the DT-880, T1, HD-800,... - Page 2
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- 21 Posts. Joined 4/2013
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About HD800 (over 20.xxx) I agree it is better for classical than T1, especially in air and separation when you face big orchestras.They are quite at the same level with Brandeburg or something like. I think that T1 could be preferred with solo instruments and solo performances. With piano, violin and cello I do like them very much and for Bach's variations, suites for cello, and violin sonatas and partitas for example, I do not need more than T1. May be it'due to their faster transient.
Anyway I use T1 coupled with an OTL wich is quite neutral (Megaherts Audio with one 6AS7 and a E88CC) and it is a perfect match, better coupling than HA160 and some other mid price SS.
Before T1 I owned Dt880 32 and 600 ohm, and I think that the gap with the T1 is huge in terms of space and speed.
Since I got the Beyer DT 880 a few days ago, I’m hooked up to my rig every night for hours. It will take long time to get to know them better, but after finding myself several times after midnight still dragging new songs into the playlist, I can say I like them very much.
I would not try to compare it to the HD800, but I have to say that they complimenting each other and this is what I was looking for. The HD800 sounds just perfect with some of the recordings and I simply don’t like it with others. The Beyer is a very cost efficient solution to fill the gap and have a good second headphone beside the HD800, which my other headphones couldn’t entirely cover for my ears (AKG K501, K550, Sennheiser HD650).
Based on my initial impression I’ll pull the trigger on a T1, but I’m still very curious about the HE-6. I’m a bit concerned though, if my Violectric v100 is strong enough to drive the Hifiman.
For the V100, the SPL you can reach with the HE-6 can be approximated via:
dBSPL = Sensitivity in dB/mW + 10 * LOG ( Pmax in mW)
Sensitivity is 83.5, Pmax for the V100 into 50 Ohm is 2200 mW, plugging this in yields a value of 83.5 + 33.4= 116.9 dB. But that's absolute peak and leaves you with no margin. It's generally assumed that 110-115 dB SPL is desirable. A lot depends also on the type of music, the amp has to able to swing it: if you listen to pop the dynamic range is quite limited, if you listen to classic it's quite high (about 24 dB) but o.t.o.h. the recording volume for classical is lower at around 85 dB.
Of course, it also depends on how loud you like to listen. The above is the quantitative approach, the subjectivist in me says the V100 will drive them fine if you don't like your music very loud but it leaves you with little margin. I wouldn't risk it without having tried it myself first. You can also contact Fried Reim at Violectric, he's an honest man and will give you his qualified opinion, irrespective of wether it's good or bad for his product.
I drive my HE-6 with the V200 which has a peak output of 2750 mW into 50 Ohm and I listen to classical but at moderate levels. Works just fine and as I wrote before, I absolutely love the way the HE-6 sounds. Am wearing them as I type this :-)
Wait until those 880's are burned in, they really mature and improve. Terrific value! Enjoy.
Thanks for the detailed answer. The HE-6 is on my radar for a while, but it’s hard to come by to try where I live, before I make up my mind. I’ll be traveling to the States in a few months, so I guess I just have to wait.
I share your opinion about Fried Reim at Lake People, he is very helpful. When I managed to lose the volume knob of my amp I asked them where I can buy a replacement. He sent me one right away, without any further question. There is lots of positive feedback on the forum about them.
Edited by hennessys - 9/18/13 at 5:43am
I wrote to Lake People and Fried said the same thing.
“for my opinion V100 is also suitable for HE-6 as long as you don’t always listen with Rock´n´Roll levels ;-) Best would be to try it out.”
He also mentioned that in 2014 their new stronger amp is coming.
I'll be curious to see the specs of his new amp. But more power won't matter much:
X-axis is power (mW) into a 50 Ohm impedance headphone (here the HE-6), y-axis is SPL output in dB. As you can see it's a log function, meaning that your 'rate of return' steadily diminishes as more power is applied. This only holds within limits of course and I think only for a planar as a normal dynamic headphone has -I think- frequency-dependent impedance which would require a vastly more complex model to capture. Anyway, the important thing to remember is that a 10 dB increase increases the intensity by a factor of 10, a 20 dB increase by a factor of 100. I can't imagine many people wanting to go above 115 peak level for short bursts and even that's not exactly good for your ears. But I'd be interested to learn what happens in terms of sound reproduction when you're approaching the limit of what the amp can deliver. Good luck!
After being a happy owner of a T1 for a few weeks i have to agree the initial ranking. I couldn't resist to add the AKG K501 to the list.
My order at the moment for classical is HD800 => T1 => AKG K501 => DT880 - but a HE-6 is arriving next week…
I hope to hear your thoughts between the HD800, T1, and the HE-6.
I'm still evaluating but I'll be curious to hear what you think of the HD800/HE-6. For me it's a dead tie. With some pieces I prefer the HE-6, others the HD-800 but all considered I guess the HE-6 have the upper hand. Making it even more confusing is the HE-500 that I have on loan, it lacks the soundstage and ultimate clarity of the HD-800/HE-6 but does extremely well with small ensembles and vocals. Anyway, all are very, very good cans.
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For classical and acoustic music you can definitely try the original K702, here is more info: http://www.head-fi.org/t/595522/akg-k702-vs-beyerdynamic-t1-in-the-studiov
A little time passed with lots of listening.
After the first impressions of the HE-6 i got the Upgrading Bug under my skin. While i was perfectly happy with the Violectric v100 and HD800 – T1 sound, i felt something was missing from the HE-6. I just knew that the Hifiman has more potential. I Changed my source to a Hiface Two, got myself a v200, i dropped some new cables to the mix and i have an Easter Electric dac with some tubes on the way (and a very empty wallet just before Xmas).
These upgrades made the hd800 sound less analytic, but still keeping that huge sound stage with lots of details which you don’t hear in the other headphones. As I was writing earlier the HD800 is just simply perfect with some recordings, but sometimes slicing the music up and can give you sound that you cannot hear in the life, unless you are sitting inside in all instruments at the same time. Despite the goose bumps I get from some of the listening, I don’t think the Sennheiser is a perfect stand-alone headphone for classical music. It’s very sensitive to the quality of the recordings, and I definitely feel the need for one more headphone beside it.
The Beyer’s T1 is an easy to love headphone. It works well with almost every classical recording. Some of the cases I find a bit of too much treble and it also can present too much bass. It can stand its ground alone, but for me paired with the HD800 gives the best combination.
The Hifiman HE-6 brought a different world to me. It presents the music more lifelike than the other two. I’m still in the discovering phase and I try to avoid hype (which comes to me easily, if I love a new gadget at the first sight:)), but it brings the music more alive. I found myself often focusing on one instrument with the HD800 and the T1, but there is a noticeable gap, even odd peaks when something else takes the lead of the music. With the HE-6 it’s just sounds more together. Even though there is plenty, but it doesn't have the precise presentation and extreme detailedness of the HD800. The amazing is; I don’t have the urge to look these things, just lay back and enjoy the music. It handles way more recordings very well than the Sennheiser, but not that versatile all-rounder as the T1. Hissing in some of the older recording sometimes can be annoying.
These are my impressions for now, but it will take months to be more comfortable around the new gears.
At this stage I can’t pick the HE-6 or the HD800 as the best. They are approaching the music from an absolutely different angle, but the definitely have the first place and the T1 comes in third.
So the quest for the perfect classical music headphone still continuous, but I find myself in a very happy place along the road.
Edited by hennessys - 11/28/13 at 8:02am
I've been using the HD800 for a while now, but have recently re-ordered another T1-- I miss its all-round quality, and better with less than stellar classical recordings. Somewhat less analytic and somewhat more warm, yet still very detailed, with good PRaT and soundstage. Looking forward to them again...