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Ready to buy the HD 558s unless you have other recommendations in the ~$150 price range. - Page 2

post #16 of 28

Yup. For the HD558 and HD600 the measurements were done at 90 dBSPL.

 

For the HD558 THD at this level was > 2% below 100Hz and > 4% below 40 Hz. Less than 1% was seen above 150 Hz.

 

For the HD600 THD was < %1 above 50 Hz and < %2 above 30 Hz.

 

90 dBSPL is on the high side of things though, and how things would sound also depends on the dynamic range and mastering of the recording. One would have to be also a little picky there.

 

Even with it's shortcomings, I like my HD558s. Got 'em used for $100! :D 


Edited by ultrabike - 11/24/13 at 6:36pm
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, thanks for all of the great replies.

 

I'd be lying if I said that some of you aren't scaring me away from the HD558s, but I also realize that most of you are judging their sound quality against much more expensive headphones.

 

Assuming these were roughly the same price as the 558s, would you chose any of these headphones over them: beyerdynamic dt990, hifiman he-300, phillips fidelo l1?
 

post #18 of 28

Me?  The Dt990, that's it.

 

Have you considered the MDR MA900?

post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion519 View Post
 

Hey guys, thanks for all of the great replies.

 

I'd be lying if I said that some of you aren't scaring me away from the HD558s, but I also realize that most of you are judging their sound quality against much more expensive headphones.

 

Assuming these were roughly the same price as the 558s, would you chose any of these headphones over them: beyerdynamic dt990, hifiman he-300, phillips fidelo l1?
 

Nope. Get the HD558.


Edited by ultrabike - 11/28/13 at 11:43pm
post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orion519 View Post
 

Hey guys, thanks for all of the great replies.

 

I'd be lying if I said that some of you aren't scaring me away from the HD558s, but I also realize that most of you are judging their sound quality against much more expensive headphones.

 

Assuming these were roughly the same price as the 558s, would you chose any of these headphones over them: beyerdynamic dt990, hifiman he-300, phillips fidelo l1?
 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post
 

Nope. Get the HD558.

Like he said, "Get the HD558."  :happy_face1: They are a great deal.

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post


Like he said, "Get the HD558."  happy_face1.gif  They are a great deal.

I must admit that I haven't tested other phones against the 558 but I listen to these for hours every day and sound great with the music I listen to, classic rock, jazz, classical, they work well without an amp, but reach their best with a little amplification. They are very comfortable. For the price they are fantastic.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by teb1013 View Post


I must admit that I haven't tested other phones against the 558 but I listen to these for hours every day and sound great with the music I listen to, classic rock, jazz, classical, they work well without an amp, but reach their best with a little amplification. They are very comfortable. For the price they are fantastic.

Comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. Yes, "For the price they are fantastic," as I said, "They are a great deal." IMO amplification doesn't do much if anything if your source is good. I like the additional sub bass boost I get from the boost switches on my Amps, but that's me adding wanting to color the sound. What do you use for sources? Des that include a smartphone and if so, which one?

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

Comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. Yes, "For the price they are fantastic," as I said, "They are a great deal." IMO amplification doesn't do much if anything if your source is good. I like the additional sub bass boost I get from the boost switches on my Amps, but that's me adding wanting to color the sound. What do you use for sources? Des that include a smartphone and if so, which one?

I use either an iPad 3 or an iPhone 4S with a CCK through an Aune T1 hybrid dac/amp to the 558s. While my Fiio e7 didn't make that much difference, through the Aune I find that with a good source (FLAC or at least 320 Kbps mp3, like the Linn radio stream, I am listening to now) it feels like the instruments are in the room! The headphone out comes no where near.
Edited by teb1013 - 11/29/13 at 1:26pm
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by teb1013 View Post


I use either an iPad 3 or an iPhone 4S with a CCK through an Aune T1 hybrid dac/amp to the 558s. While my Fiio e7 didn't make that much difference, through the Aune I find that with a good source (FLAC or at least 320 Kbps mp3, like the Linn radio stream, I am listening to now) it feels like the instruments are in the room! The headphone out comes no where near.

Does the T1 add even order harmonics that gives a sense of warmth? The e7 probably adds none of this.

post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post

Does the T1 add even order harmonics that gives a sense of warmth? The e7 probably adds none of this.

I don't know if "even order harmonics" are involved, I'm not that sophisticated! All I know is that different tubes make the Aune sound different My favorite tube is the Amperex 7308 JAN which has a beautiful liquid and specious sound. Take a look at the thread opener of this thread and the links for more information: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq .
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by StanD View Post
 

Does the T1 add even order harmonics that gives a sense of warmth? The e7 probably adds none of this.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by teb1013 View Post


I don't know if "even order harmonics" are involved, I'm not that sophisticated! All I know is that different tubes make the Aune sound different My favorite tube is the Amperex 7308 JAN which has a beautiful liquid and specious sound. Take a look at the thread opener of this thread and the links for more information: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq .

According to the link you provided, the below quote is revealing:

 

"The Aune T1 is a USB tube DAC with a solid state headphone amp. What this means is that if you want the benefits of the tube, you must use the USB Input of the T1.  The amp section of the T1 does not use the tube by itself."

Since the tube is not in the amp it is most likely used for adding color to the sound.

 

The original desire for tubes stems from the crossover distortion introduced by Class B solidstate amps, which was nasty. Other negatives were the large dose of odd order harmonics (flavor of THD) introduced when clipping or overloaded. A good modern SS amp has plenty of headroom and is not of a simple Class B design and so is not riddled with these problems. IMO the original seekers for tube amps as opposed to SS Amps was by electric guitarists who sought the overloaded sound of tube amp distortion for rock and blues. I haven't gone into Intermodulation Distortion  (IMD) as this is unfortunately rarely spec'd and a nasty business. Luckily most modern amps are not saddled with large amounts of this. It surprises me that most folks on Head-Fi do not discuss this.

 

IMO placing the tube in an intermediate stage between the DAC and SS Amp is for adding color to the sound. This means one is not listening to the sound as originally recorded or intended by the artist, etc. Perhaps sometimes this makes a bad recording sound better. I prefer clean with a personal weakness of pushing up the sub bass a bit, probably because we can't feel the sound when using cans or IEMs vs listening by way of Loudspeakers.

 

So essentially when listening to a T1 one is listening to an SS amp with a tube preceding it for added coloration and tweaked to taste by rolling tubes. If that is what one is looking for and pleases them, that's fine. Just be aware of what's going on.

post #27 of 28
I bought the T1 specifically for the tube sound and love it as do most of the posters on that thread. No one's being fooled into thinking that we are hearing "clean sound" or "as the artist intended" whatever that means. If you prefer uncolored solid state sound, the Schiit Modi-Magni combo sells for only a little more than the T1 and there are many who love the Fiios for portable units. My point, to begin with was that the HD558 reaches its best when amplified, but sounds pretty good unamped.
post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by teb1013 View Post

I bought the T1 specifically for the tube sound and love it as do most of the posters on that thread. No one's being fooled into thinking that we are hearing "clean sound" or "as the artist intended" whatever that means. If you prefer uncolored solid state sound, the Schiit Modi-Magni combo sells for only a little more than the T1 and there are many who love the Fiios for portable units. My point, to begin with was that the HD558 reaches its best when amplified, but sounds pretty good unamped.

Actually I think you are unusually honest about clean vs.colored sound. IMO most push a subjective view of their perception as to what is clean vs. what they want to hear.

The Schiit Magni Amp looks very interesting, great price and very low distortion, I've been eyeing it for some time. They even spec IMD, a rare occurrence..

I have two recent FiiO devices, the E12 Amp and E18 DAC/Amp. The E12 can drive my HD600's to ear splitting levels (> 15 Vp-p). The E18 DAC is quite good and the Amp section although not as powerful as the E12 can drive the HD600's surprisingly well.

IMO my Samsung Galaxy S3 can drive my HD558's as well as anything. I use either PowerAmp or NeutronMP as players, these are superb. IMO the Google Player that I use to stream their All Access service has a rotten EQ, so I use it flat and Amp it. In all I like to plug my E18 into the phone's USB and work from there, this is recent as the device has just become available.

One can spend a ton of bucks for a marginal improvement, jumping into diminishing returns. Some folks take joy in that, which is fine with me as part of this is the fun aspect. I suspect that most of the loud types parrot a lot of the technical terms and dogma that floats around without even truly hearing any differences, understanding it or even having or listened to the gear.

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