I was VERY surprised to hear how good the iPhone 5S sounded on the Mad Dogs this morning. It seems to have way more oomph than prior iPhones, and played as loud as I wanted.
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Mr. Speakers Mad Dog 3.0 - 3.2 Amp Pairing Recommendation/Discussion Thread - Page 16post #226 of 39212/18/13 at 10:04am
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #227 of 39212/19/13 at 1:20amQuote:Originally Posted by GoldfishX
For my own contribution, I see the Leckerton 6UHA MkII recommended and I disagree with that pairing. It doesn't have enough power to handle the Mad Dogs. I was severely underwhelmed by that pairing. I like the Leck for driving darker/neutral IEM's, but I tend to avoid using it for full size cans, even though in theory, they would have good synergy.
Keep in mind that not everyone is using the same opamp with the Leckerton. Also, most modern, compressed music gets plenty loud, but if you're listening to legitimately good music from a recording/mastering perspective and lower gain, the Leckerton can leave one wanting depending on how loud they like to listen.post #228 of 39212/19/13 at 6:36amQuote:Originally Posted by hans030390
Keep in mind that not everyone is using the same opamp with the Leckerton. Also, most modern, compressed music gets plenty loud, but if you're listening to legitimately good music from a recording/mastering perspective and lower gain, the Leckerton can leave one wanting depending on how loud they like to listen.
Yep, that is taking that into account. I always test my gear with a wide range of music from different eras. I rarely listen to modern or remastered pop or rock CD's for that very reason. Being an 80's fan has its advantages. ;)
Loudness from a set-up perspective is mostly a non-issue to me, it's more the effort from the headphones to deliver the music. The Schiit Lyr and the Mad Dogs is an effortless affair that I can listen to for hours nonstop. The Leckerton, not so much. Based on that and the fact that the Leckerton IS a high quality piece of gear, I wouldn't recommend a portable amp to drive the Mad Dogs.
I'm using the standard op amp.post #229 of 39212/21/13 at 3:39pm
Well, I found one to scratch off the potential list. I rented a CEntrance Dac Mini CX from the Cable Company, as it was the only headphone amp they had on hand in my price range (I was trying to rent a Burson). I really wanted to like the thing, as it stacks elegantly on top of my Peachtree DacIt and looks sexy. Unfortunately, I don't think it has quite the power to do anything special with the Mad Dogs. It's capable, but boring and unrevealing.
Source - DacIt (DAC) - Dacmini (amp) - Dogs
Source - Dacmini (Dac and amp) - Dogs
Both yielded pretty much the same result. Inoffensive and warm, but lack of detail in the mid-bass area and lack of vocal definition. The Mad Dogs were definitely underpowered in that regard. My Lyr takes the warmth of the Dogs and turns it into a strength instead of a weakeness, by making it so damn musical. Compared to the Magni, the Dacmini swapped the occasionally harsh highs for detail retrieval. Not a good swap. I prefer the Magni by a long shot (especially at the $99 price point!)
I then used both DAC's to feed into my Lyr and suddenly, everything opened up and everything started sounding so effortless. There were some slight differences due to the different DAC's (Dacmini is brighter than the DacIt and arguably a tad more revealing, but I prefer the overall sound of the DacIt/Lyr pairing).
I think I'm just going to get a second Lyr for my cubicle and work it so nothing is near it when it heats up. It pairs so beautifully with the Mad Dogs.
Edited by GoldfishX - 12/21/13 at 3:43pmpost #230 of 39212/21/13 at 6:19pm
I'm thinking about trying out the Mad Dogs for portable use (I know it's not the best idea but meh...). Currently I have an Ibasso D-Zero as my only source of a portable amp. Does it provide enough oomph to drive the Mad Dogs well? If not, what are some alternatives that are around the same size (I don't really like lugging around anything bigger strapped to my Ipod Touch) and within a decent price range of <$125 or so?post #231 of 39212/22/13 at 7:32amQuote:Originally Posted by GettingBuckets
I'm thinking about trying out the Mad Dogs for portable use (I know it's not the best idea but meh...). Currently I have an Ibasso D-Zero as my only source of a portable amp. Does it provide enough oomph to drive the Mad Dogs well? If not, what are some alternatives that are around the same size (I don't really like lugging around anything bigger strapped to my Ipod Touch) and within a decent price range of <$125 or so?
I'm not sure about the Dzero. I know the PB2 has been recommended by several members. At that price range I personally would recommend the FiiO E12. It's got more than enough power to push the mad dogs or any other full-size hard to drive can.post #232 of 39212/22/13 at 11:22amQuote:
The FiiO is a little bit larger than I would like. The D-zero is around the size I want to work with, but the problem is that all the better smaller amps are pretty expensive. Would the Digizoid work with them or does it not provide enough juice either?post #233 of 39212/22/13 at 9:38pm
Has anyone tried out pairing Mad Dogs with a Fiio X3? From the specs, the X3 has a *bit* more power than the E17, but nowhere near the E12, which seems to be the people's choice for Fiio amps!post #234 of 39212/23/13 at 6:39amI've never heard the digizoid and can't recall anyone mentioning it with the MD's.
Generally speaking I would say some of the smaller amps do a little something for the mad dogs but the more powerful ones tend to perform better.
That said there are some folks who can hear the very subtle differences and don't particularly need the power difference. It comes down to preferences. I, personally like strong sound, bass impact and smooth detailed mids and highs. I want the experience of FEELING my music. Not everyone wants that experience.post #235 of 39212/23/13 at 12:45pm
I was just throwing the digizoid out there because the Mad Dogs' bass doesn't have much punch to it, so the digizoid might be good for getting a little more bass out of the cans.
Since I would be lugging these things around, it's less about feeling the music and more about pairing up something convenient that will get the most out of the cans. That's why I'm still looking for something that is ultra portable but pairs up well with thempost #236 of 39212/23/13 at 1:12pm
Digizoid is great for driving IEM's, but I would consider using a portable amp to drive Mad Dogs a lost cause. Mad Dogs love power and the more they get, the better quality the bass is and the more they open up. The bass is punchy and tuneful without bleeding into the mids at all when driven properly (this comes from someone that hates bass-monster headphones).
My recommendation is go Digizoid and a good pair of IEM's for portable use. Go the desktop route for the Mad Dogs. Even a Schiit Magni will drive them nicely (they handle bass well, the amp struggles with vocals I have found, very grainy) A Lyr is even better and I want to try both a Burson and the V200 with them. They are a high quality headphone that scale up with equipment and demand a proper set-up. I'm actually buying an Alpha Dog instead of sending the Mad Dogs in for an upgrade because I love the sound signature and don't want to give it up.
Half the posts here are asking about portable amps for them, I hope that clears anything up about them. You can probably drive them, but I doubt you'll see anything resembling their full potential.
Speaking of which, any opinions on the V200/Mad Dog pairing? I'm heavily leaning that way. I'm not the biggest Burson enthusiast and I've heard most of the Schiit amps.
Edited by GoldfishX - 12/23/13 at 1:14pmpost #237 of 39212/23/13 at 1:39pmpost #238 of 39212/23/13 at 4:10pmQuote:
Then the Schiit Vali is a better match for the Mad Dogs, as the vocals are very clear and detailed on the Mad Dogs with the Vali.
Be sure to note the microphonics issue of the Vali (see Schiit produce page or the Vali thread), but if that small inconvenience is not a problem, then I think the Vali is a better choice.post #239 of 39212/23/13 at 5:44pm
Probably. They actually released the Vali like a week after I picked up the Magni for my cubicle. I just know the Magni pairing extremely well and my next cubicle upgrade will be something higher end than a Magni/Vali (again, eyeing the Burson Soloist SL or the V200...The V200 intrigues me because I wonder how the warmness will match with the Mad Dogs). But the Mad Dogs sure love those tubes!post #240 of 39212/24/13 at 5:25amI'm going to get the Mad Dogs for portable use. There are plenty of options for amping them on the go. If you absolutely need crazy power there's Ray Samuels and Alo Audio, and of course the Centrance. For me there's no reason to use the Mad Dogs at home as I don't need to restrict myself to closed cans at home.
My feeling is that the need for moar powah is overstated on these forums. I have some beefy amps, but I can listen to my HE-500s through my little Leckerton amp quite happily, they sound gorgeous. And I'm fairly certain that something simple and humble like the X3 / E12 will drive the Mad Dogs just fine. I believe MrSpeakers posted recently that the Mad Dogs sounded great straight out of an iPhone 5S. Sure if you pump in a few more watts/volts at home you might eke out a sliver of more performance, but when you're out and about I doubt you'd ever notice those subtleties.
My only concern for portable use is bulk and getting a decent case.
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