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Mr. Speakers Mad Dog 3.0 - 3.2 Amp Pairing Recommendation/Discussion Thread - Page 25

post #361 of 372

The earth one is the most neutral one I believe. It's been a good few years though; so I'm probably wrong. I just put in the sun op-amp (I believe; to me they all look the same). Also I've put the jumper to 'bright'. So far not much difference, though the bass impact seems to have lowered a bit.

post #362 of 372
Ah now I remember, moon is dark, earth is neutral, and sun is bright. Odd it doesnt change as much, maybe the Wolfson and Mad Dogs just aren't meant to be.
post #363 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Pixel View Post
 

I'm driving my MDs from my Compass (V1), and I'm actually not that impressed by them, to be honest. I've got it set to neutral and with an earth OP-amp inside.

Not sure if it's the phones or the amp, since I've got nothing else to compare it to.

Also; I'm not sure how the 11/15.32 compare to the old gal.

 

What exactly do you not find impressive about the current sound of the MD? Knowing those details will make it easier to identify if it's your other gear or just the MD's sound signature itself that isn't doing it for you. It's OK if you aren't sure how to best describe it. I'm also assuming this is a new MD? Used units may be an older variation.

 

As a tip, make sure you are getting a good fit and seal, along with positioning, of the ear pads. This is important for getting proper sound, and it can take some adjustments and work to get this perfect. The pads also tend to get squished during shipment and will sound better after they get a day or two to regain their shape (likely you're past that point already). If you aren't using the balanced/Pro/similar MD, i.e. if you have the stock jack in the left cup with the base model, the connection can sometimes be poor between the jack and cable, thus affecting the sound quality. You can test for it by rotating the cable and such to see if the sound changes. It's a known T50RP issue that can be mitigated (not sure if the newer MDs are designed to do more about this, though, as I started with an earlier model). But, if you don't have that jack/cable, ignore that. Lastly, it's common for the well-modded T50RP variants to sound less impressive than expected at first. Give it some time and see if it grows on you, as that can make a large difference.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

maybe the Wolfson and Mad Dogs just aren't meant to be.
 
 

Personally, I think the MDs work great with a good Wolfson-based DAC. I picked up a used NFB-3.2 for cheap locally, and it rocks with the MD. I also love the selectable digital filters, which is one of the best features of these particular Wolfson chips, IMO. I prefer the 2x or 4x mild (soft-knee) minimum phase filters, but that's just personal preference (I like a darker/smoother sound and believe pre/post-ringing amounts do have an audible affect on the sound to an extent, though subtle). I think the Wolfson generally has good tonality, though if someone prefers, say, Sabre-based products, they'd probably disagree with me.


Edited by hans030390 - 5/20/14 at 8:30am
post #364 of 372
I prefer the Wolfson DAC for my HE4 and sounded great with the he500. Both phones are brighter than the MD. Maybe I needed more brain burn in with the MD and the 10SE when I had them (no longer have both) but the MD definitely sounds better to me from the bright D100.
post #365 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by hans030390 View Post
 

 

What exactly do you not find impressive about the current sound of the MD? Knowing those details will make it easier to identify if it's your other gear or just the MD's sound signature itself that isn't doing it for you. It's OK if you aren't sure how to best describe it. I'm also assuming this is a new MD? Used units may be an older variation.

Thank you so much Hans. If I would hazard a guess I would say my primary reason for disappointment is the expectation created by the community. When something is called 'the greatest headphone in the < $500 pricerange' I expect it to blow all my current $120 stuff away. This is my first experience with a planar-type headphone, and I was probably expecting way too much.

 

Several reviews noted the clarity of these phones. Instead I found them a bit too dark, which resulted in a muffled feeling. The tonality was great, but I wasn't used to such a warm sound. After about two weeks this went away and I noticed the instruments sounded like I expected them to. I chalk this up to brain reconfiguration, just part of getting used to a different signature.

 

Furthermore, a notable aspect of these phones would be their seperation, according to a lot of people. Indeed; I can follow almost all instruments if I concentrate; but it's like they're all standing behind each other. I really have to focus to find the seperate lines in the music. I think this is something that causes me to doubt my ears as far as clarity goes.

 

Finally imaging: from what I understand is the ability to create an image in (or outside) your head. A lot of the times I become aware that there's something in my left or right ear (with no crossfeed or some overlap). This probably has something to do with the closed nature of these headphones but it wasn't something that bothered me with the DT770.

 

So to sum it up: my theory is that the soundstage is too small for me, which gives me the feeling it's not clear enough. Even though if I try hard it's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem is with the presentation. It's kind of like looking at detailed stamp of a painting. If I turn up the volume a lot of these problems go away of course, but I'd like to keep my hearing.

 

As far as power goes; the compass should be able to drive them properly. With my source at max I won't come above nine 'o clock (the knob starts at seven-ish).

 

I've got a AD900, a HD600, a DT770 and a D600. Also I've had a HP100, SR225 and GR04. I listen to all kinds of music, but the genre that [i]has[/i] to be well presented is definitely progressive death metal. If it does that well it should do all of my other favorite genres pretty well.

 

[edit]If I'm unclear on anything: don't hesitate to point it out. I'm sorry. English is not my first language and I'm very very tired at the moment.[/edit]


Edited by Hot Pixel - 5/20/14 at 1:23pm
post #366 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hot Pixel View Post
 

Thank you so much Hans. If I would hazard a guess I would say my primary reason for disappointment is the expectation created by the community. When something is called 'the greatest headphone in the < $500 pricerange' I expect it to blow all my current $120 stuff away. This is my first experience with a planar-type headphone, and I was probably expecting way too much.

 

Several reviews noted the clarity of these phones. Instead I found them a bit too dark, which resulted in a muffled feeling. The tonality was great, but I wasn't used to such a warm sound. After about two weeks this went away and I noticed the instruments sounded like I expected them to. I chalk this up to brain reconfiguration, just part of getting used to a different signature.

 

Furthermore, a notable aspect of these phones would be their seperation, according to a lot of people. Indeed; I can follow almost all instruments if I concentrate; but it's like they're all standing behind each other. I really have to focus to find the seperate lines in the music. I think this is something that causes me to doubt my ears as far as clarity goes.


When someone says something is the 'greatest' of anything, you should take that with a grain of salt. That's a very subjective statement. The fact that someone says it's the 'greatest' under 500 is also something you have to consider, there are A LOT of phones under $500 that kick butt. I don't think the Mad Dogs are a good sense of what a planar could sound like, it's only one flavor and that flavor is dark. It sounds fantastic out of a bright source (Sabre ESS9018 for example). An HE4, should you have 2w of power to play with at 40ohms, will blow all kinds of headphones out of the water for under $400.

post #367 of 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundsgoodtome View Post

I prefer the Wolfson DAC for my HE4 and sounded great with the he500. Both phones are brighter than the MD. Maybe I needed more brain burn in with the MD and the 10SE when I had them (no longer have both) but the MD definitely sounds better to me from the bright D100.

 

To each his own. I am fairly sensitive to emphasized or rough, uneven, or peaky treble, and I found the MD3.2 to be a bit too emphasized and rough at the top end. It was a bit grating to my ears and had sort of a hot, sizzling quality to it (this was also true of the Paradox). This was not good for me, especially with a Sabre DAC. I have since modified my MD3.2 to somewhat smooth out the treble using similar tweaks Dan now applies to the Alpha Dog (front damping "dots" and various acoustic damping disks). It makes a world of difference, but I still don't care for how it sounds with a Sabre DAC. I don't find the MD3.2 as dark or laid-back as many others do, so there's that as well. Really just comes down to personal sensitivities and tastes in the end, and it seems most prefer to pair the MD3.2 with brighter sources anyway. :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hot Pixel View Post
 

[edit]If I'm unclear on anything: don't hesitate to point it out. I'm sorry. English is not my first language and I'm very very tired at the moment.[/edit]

 

Nope, all good! Though am I correct in assuming this is a new pair/latest revision of the MD? I think I might see where you're coming from. In terms of separation, imaging, soundstage, etc. the MD does well for a closed headphone but won't match a good open headphone there, usually. The AD does a better job here and presents a more cohesive, 3D sound (especially when stuff should sound like it's in front of you), but it still doesn't quite match a good open headphone. The MD can be a bit more limited to a 2D/stereo sound. Even then, I've heard other closed headphones that have more open and airier qualities than the T50RP-based headphones. There are also open headphones that do not sound as such. It is what it is.

 

One thing I will say is that the MD does not have a perfectly balanced response, and this too could play into what you're hearing. In particular, the mids can be a bit scooped (can affect clarity/details depending on music), the bass isn't the cleanest (T50RP driver does have some limitations), and the treble has some peaks and dips that can do some weird, but generally not too offensive, stuff to the sound. It can give a sense of aggressiveness and clarity while still sounding a bit muffled, and the soundstage just won't always put everything where it needs to be (some things too up front, some things too far back, etc.). For me, the stock MD is on the warmer, slightly bass heavier side with a condensed, slightly aggressive-yet-laid-back, somewhat confusing sound. For the price, it doesn't do a whole lot wrong, but it's as though all the pieces aren't quite in place like they need to be.

 

I found they do a much better job with imaging, soundstaging, etc. after some tweaks to smooth out the upper mids and treble response. An uneven response can directly affect these aspects of sound. Some of the other tweaks I applied ended up affecting how the bass/mid-bass is presented, and more subtly the overall response, and this gave them a cleaner, less muffled sound subjectively. Even after all this, my pair still has an audible dip in the treble response centered around 8KHz, and that does affect detail retrieval and overall clarity. But, still, the response overall is smoother and more even than stock. It has a bit less of a dark tilt, less bass bloom, and has a better soundstage and sense of details/clarity while yet still being more on the laid-back side (not crazily so...maybe not too far off from a Sennheiser?).

 

In general, the T50RP driver is never going to be the clearest, cleanest, most technically competent driver around. The relatively small size is one limitation, and its harmonic distortion characteristics generally don't match that of high-end planar headphones or good dynamic headphones. That said, it's a very good do-it-all driver with a lot of potential. In particular, it has very good time-domain characteristics, which is an excellent trait to have for genres like progressive metal (I'm a big Opeth guy).

 

I will say that it is common to listen to headphones like the MD, AD, or Paradox and first think they are a bit dull or lacking something. Compared to the vast majority of headphones, they do little wrong. Fairly even response, clean decay response, good distortion qualities, etc., but rarely are they truly "the best" at any one category (others may disagree). I have found part of it is just giving it time to warm up to them and appreciate their qualities.

post #368 of 372

Hey could anyone with a Mad Dog, E12 and RXmkII please give me a comparison between the E12 and RXmkII?

I've bought the RXmkII but a friend of mine says I should've gotten the E12..

post #369 of 372

I never heard the other one, but I recently got the E12 and it just brings the best out of my Mad Dogs. Just wonderful.

post #370 of 372

Just got my RXmkII in the mail.

If I put them real loud (ALO 100% volume, laptop 100% volume) and I play a bassheavy track, it starts distorting :(. I had the same problem with my FiiO E11, although at lower volumes.

post #371 of 372

+1 for the Lyr + MD 3.2 pairing.

 

Also agree the MD 3.2 sounds very good off of both the Magni and the Vali. The Magni adds a bit more emphasis on the treble and the Vali has cleaner, more extended bass with a bit more emphasis on the lower mids compared to the Magni.

 

- Roy

post #372 of 372
I just made great discovery!
Around week ago I have acquired Behringer FBQ3102 Ultragraph FBQ Pro and I have it connected inbetween T744's pre-out and main-in.
I used T744 mainly with speakers, and haven't used it for a long time with headphones, simply because I thought Pan Am does better job in amping.
As it turns out my FBQ3102 besides being an equalizer it is also super powerful pre-amplifier.
I just connected my Alpha Dogs to T744, and put FBQ3102 at 0dB gain and played some RnB.
Dear god! I thought Alpha Dogs can't play louder, because with Pan Am I hear distortion when volume is at max.
Well they can! They definitely can destroy your hearing! And the bass can boil your brain! Literally boil.
Yes, FBQ3102 has so much power, and that power goes directly to T744 headphone output, and there is absolute abundance of it.
The whole thing is that FBQ3102 costs only around 100EUR, and you can actually EQ your headphones - That is a steal smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by koolas - 6/27/14 at 3:15pm
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