Originally Posted by Loquah
I just re-read this, Skeptic, having initially only read it before my Mainline was finished and I'm stoked to read that we are both hearing the same things.
Now that I've spent time with the Mainline, I have to commend you for a perfect write-up and description of its many merits!
Thank you Loquah - that's high praise indeed coming from a listener and reviewer of your caliber! Your creation and dutiful cultivation of this thread, and your finely crafted reviews at its heart, have made it one of the best on head-fi in a long time, imo, and I am very pleased to be able to participate in the discussion, at least with to the crack and mainline!
Originally Posted by LoveKnight
Please, try one or two planar headphones with Mainline, if the result is still great as it is, I really want to purchase a Mainline next year (oh, this year I meant if possible) to drive my Alpha Dog and future high-end dynamic headphone as T1 or H800.
I would love to hear Loquah's (and any others!) impressions of the Mainline with orthos as well. After several more hours of not particularly attentive listening, I continue to feel that the Mainline pairs very nicely with AD's, but my growing sense is that the AD's lack the sort of micro-detail necessary to really show off everything the mainline can do - which is immediately apparent with hd800's by contrast. Then again, as the AD's oversized pads and foam risers compress a bit, and the drivers ultimately settle a little closer to my ears, and subject to any mechanical break-in that may or may not occur, this initial impression may very well change.
As a fun experiment, based on a number of posts reporting that the AD's pair well with the emo mini-x (a 50watt/channel speaker amp), I built an xlr to speaker tap adapter this weekend and tried my balanced AD's out with a 15 watt differential t-amp (the topping tp30). Setting aside a little audible hiss (which I understand can be addressed with a t-pad in each channel, made up of high watt, noninductive wire-wound resisters), the AD's sounded surprisingly good with the tp30 - although still not on par with the mainline. I plan to order and rig up some appropriate resisters in the next couple of weeks and test this out as a possible bedside rig, which was the purpose of my AD purchase from the outset. The mainline hd800 combo is on a whole 'nother level and will remain my primary rig.