I hope I'm posting the right question in the right forum section... (I'm a noobie headphoner, only having come from Zalman ZM-RF6S to ATH-A900, and only having used a cheap ebay cmoy amp and my sound card's amp)
So, I read a lot about how much people like & recommend the Mad Dog headphones, and bought them. Coming from ATH-A900, I am not impressed, sadly. Here's my thoughts on the Mad Dog (VS A900)...
-Neutral sound + slight bass boost? (subjective) MD reacts much better to various EQ settings.
-Mid-range is very full, apparent; there's definitely an "intimate" sound here.
-Great soundstage/instrument separation(for closed cans); I can't hear any of it on A900.
-Heavy; 470g VS 350g.
-Strong clamp; the Fostex headband clamping bar is rather heavy-duty and clamps rather forcefully.
-Poor fit; the earpads are literally over 1" thick at the thickest point, which is TOO plush for optimal comfort, are rectangular shaped with rounded corners, which don't fit/seal as well as circular(or oval?), and the cups cannot swivel(they tilt up/down, but not swivel freely) at all for better fit. Since there is so much weight, and the fit is poor, the cups will slide off your ears if you tilt you head up/down much.
-TOO "isolated"; A900 sounds very open, airy, roomy, but MD is tunnel speakers. People say the MD isolation is incredible, but I can hear the same amount of outside noise with either headphone, pretty much.
-"Indie" cable; basic, thick rubber-plastic cord with lots of bends in it(with silver connectors), unlike the A900's braided, kink/bend-free, smooth cord(with gold connectors).
-Treble; it sounds like the treble/highs are muted, VS A900. If I "Treble" EQ it, it sounds a lot more harsh than A900's non-EQ treble.
-Dark; I guess I'm not a fan of neutral/flat sound, because it just sounds "empty", like the details are not popping out, and I have to actively/purposefully listen to pick them out. Maybe my amp is not good for it, but they are only 50 Ohm VS 64 A900. A900, even lacking bass & mids, is still "easy" to listen to; details pop right out, and I don't to "listen" to hear things.
-ASUS Xonar STX sound card (tested with all impedance settings) - I don't think upgrading to something like the E12 amp would do much, and I'm not planning to upgrade the amp, honestly.
-FLAC/various kbps songs (mainly instrumental/classical, electronic & metal)
-FPS games (have never tested open headphones yet, but am happy with A900's "openness" - Are open cans better for FPS/positioning?)
I will return the Mad Dogs, but what do I want instead? I'm not sure about HD600(weak stock cable, no swivel, open) or HE-400(heavy, open). I am generally OK with A900's comfort(~75%), and love how they sound compared to the Mad Dog, so I am thinking my safest bet is another Audio-Technica in the $300-500 range, with the real leather pads(should bring the comfort to nearly 100%). I think the great clarity/detail of the A900 at least partially comes from having a metal enclosure, and I'm not sure how wood compares, but I'm pretty certain I don't like how plastic (Fostex TR50) sounds. So, what are the next, natural steps up in the AT line(full-size, over-ear)? And does it sound like I would enjoy the HD600 or HE-400 compared to those?
Edited by CT007 - 2/22/14 at 5:34pm