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Choosing between the T50 mods MD, ZMF, Paradoxes, or stock, or other reference cans

Poll Results: Best reference closed back headphone in 200-500 range

 
  • 3% (1)
    Akg k545
  • 48% (16)
    Zmf t50rp
  • 6% (2)
    Self-modded t50rp
  • 0% (0)
    akg k267
  • 18% (6)
    Mad Dogs
  • 18% (6)
    Paradoxes
  • 0% (0)
    Beyerdynamic T70
  • 3% (1)
    Soundmagic HP100
  • 3% (1)
    Other (reply to say what it is)
33 Total Votes  
post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys I'm looking for my next set of cans and I'm having trouble making a choice between these set of cans as my next set of closed reference cans. I listen to alot of what's on my profile and wide variety of other genres and really enjoy a mid-centric experience that is good on the bass and treble, in terms of impact and decay. I also am open to other suggestions such as open cans, but seeing how hectic my life is, I'm better off closed. 

 

    also what do you guys recommend as my next portable amp as my current amps are pretty meh.

post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 

Bump, I guess nobody has any input

post #3 of 15

Choose Paradox or Alpha Dog, both are very good!

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok so this has been inconclusive, anyways. I want to add a couple more cans to compare:

Akg K267

Soundmagic Hp100

Beyerdynamic t70

akg k545

and Philips Fidelio L2 

post #5 of 15

You'll really have to narrow your choices down... However I can vouch that the mad dogs are awesome for what you're looking for. Great accuracy, fast, sweet mids and just the right amount of bass and treble.

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

thanks for the second vote on the mad dog, I know it is a large range of cans but I'm trying to scout around and so far I haven't seen any comparison betwwen the t50 mods AND these other Reference cans

post #7 of 15

For what it's worth...

I presently own Mad Dog Alphas, ZMFs, and Sony MA-900s. I power all of these using a Parasound speaker amp which is capable of 7.5 Watts into 50 Ohms. That's watts, not milliwats. Needless to say, I never run it at full power!

 

In any case, my clear preference among these three is the ZMF. For my ears, the ZMFs have the most natural sound with the greatest detail and instrument separation. ZMF has slightly greater treble extension than my pair of MD-Alphas. ZMF also has a more neutral mid-bass... does not add artificial huskiness to male voice. I don't know why, but the MD-Alphas always seem more congested in the mid-range than the ZMFs to me. Both have excellent bass. The ZMFs use the Brainwavz ear cushions HM-5, which I find more comfortable for long term listening than the MD-Alpha Alpha Pads.

 

For me the ZMFs have excellent soundstage as well. About the same as the MA-900, and better than the MD-Alphs.

 

The MA-900s are great, but to me are in a totally different category. They just sound slightly more like speakers than actual musical instruments, compared to the other two. I like their lightness very much, although I don't find their standard ear cushions very comfortable. I haven't found a suitable substitute, though. I usually use the MA-900s for movie sound.

 

I am on Dan's waiting list for the MD for Alpha Dog trade back, but haven't received my go ahead yet. Actually, I'm surprised that the reviews on the Alpha Dog thread aren't the raves that I expected after Jude's initial review.

 

Hope this helps someone.


Edited by jdg711 - 11/10/13 at 1:46pm
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the write up, your opinion really has put things into more perspective!
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg711 View Post

For what it's worth...
I presently own Mad Dog Alphas, ZMFs, and Sony MA-900s. I power all of these using a Parasound speaker amp which is capable of 7.5 Watts into 50 Ohms. That's watts, not milliwats. Needless to say, I never run it at full power!

In any case, my clear preference among these three is the ZMF. For my ears, the ZMFs have the most natural sound with the greatest detail and instrument separation. ZMF has slightly greater treble extension than my pair of MD-Alphas. ZMF also has a more neutral mid-bass... does not add artificial huskiness to male voice. I don't know why, but the MD-Alphas always seem more congested in the mid-range than the ZMFs to me. Both have excellent bass. The ZMFs use the Brainwaves ear cushions HM-5, which I find more comfortable for long term listening than the MD-Alpha Alpha Pads.

For me the ZMFs have excellent soundstage as well. About the same as the MA-900, and better than the MD-Alphs.

The MA-900s are great, but to me are in a totally different category. They just sound slightly more like speakers than actual musical instruments, compared to the other two. I like their lightness very much, although I don't find their standard ear cushions very comfortable. I haven't found a suitable substitute, though. I usually use the MA-900s for movie sound.

I am on Dan's waiting list for the MD for Alpha Dog trade back, but haven't received my go ahead yet. Actually, I'm surprised that the reviews on the Alpha Dog thread aren't the raves that I expected after Jude's initial review.

Hope this helps someone.
post #9 of 15

Remember, that's just how MY ears and brain hear it. :-)

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdg711 View Post

Remember, that's just how MY ears and brain hear it. :-)
If you don't mind me asking, what music do you listen to?
post #11 of 15
The problem with trying to do a poll like this is that there are probably very few (if anyone) that have heard all the 'phones in your poll. I'm not going to comment on 'phones I haven't heard. Throwing in the "self-modded T50RP" also didn't help - who the heck knows what *your* self-modded orthos will sound like? All I can say is that I have heard the Mad Dogs and I liked them A LOT. I also heard some T50RP modded by a friend of mine, and I liked them A LOT. They had some similar characteristics, but I don't think they sounded the same. I didn't listen to them side-by-side, so it's difficult to say which are "better". I suspect I would be quite happy with either. They both had characteristics I really enjoy - a wide, neutral frequency response that goes deep and high, outstanding detail & clarity and a very pleasantly warm midrange. The Mad Dogs, with their leather Alpha pads and padded headband were more comfortable, but the self-modded were obviously much cheaper. YMMV.
post #12 of 15

Thanks for asking.

 

I listen to quite a variety of music. I enjoy classical (full orchestra to solo instrument), blues, bluegrass, female jazz vocal, remastered classic rock recordiings, some current alternative rock, folk.

 

Here are a few artists that I have been listening to lately, in no particular order:

 

Patricia Barber

Doug McCleod

Punch Brothers

CSN (remastered)

Chris Thile

Askenazy/Previn - Rachmaninov Collection

Ry Cooder

Walter Olbertz - Haydn Piano Sonata Set

Junior Wells (surprising reissue of 1965 "Hoodoo Man Blues" - amazing sound except for the frequent overload of the vocals mike)

Murray Perhaia - Mozart Piano Concerti

Sara K

The Horse Flies

Beth Hart

Beatles/RollingStones/StevieWonder/Queen/etc - remastered

Diana Krall

von Dohnånyi -Beethoven Symphonies


Edited by jdg711 - 11/10/13 at 2:21pm
post #13 of 15

I have a pair of self modded T50RP's and ZMF's. I like them both, very similar. If you are willing to mod some yourself, the Fostex T50RP Incremental Mods and Measurements thread by BMF details the process. The materials cost less than $30, the stock phones about $100 and the self satisfaction is very rewarding. It was my first headphone mod, however I do have experience building electronic components. It does take some time and patience, but was totally worth it. On the other hand if you would rather buy one, the ZMF, Mad Dogs or Paradox all have their supporters. I think they all offer trial and return options and it would be hard to go wrong with any of them. Remember that what others say is their "best", may not suit you. The ZMF have a price advantage and Zach is a great guy to work with.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by satwilson View Post
 

I have a pair of self modded T50RP's and ZMF's. I like them both, very similar. If you are willing to mod some yourself, the Fostex T50RP Incremental Mods and Measurements thread by BMF details the process. The materials cost less than $30, the stock phones about $100 and the self satisfaction is very rewarding. It was my first headphone mod, however I do have experience building electronic components. It does take some time and patience, but was totally worth it. On the other hand if you would rather buy one, the ZMF, Mad Dogs or Paradox all have their supporters. I think they all offer trial and return options and it would be hard to go wrong with any of them. Remember that what others say is their "best", may not suit you. The ZMF have a price advantage and Zach is a great guy to work with.

 

alright, thanks man, happy to get more data

post #15 of 15
.

Edited by grizzlybeast - 4/3/14 at 1:02am
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