Originally Posted by Nik
not so easy (as you now know) to give a opinon for a totally new object as the Qualia 010 is.
You had not a lot of time to have a "correct" idea about the system, I think. You even must consider that you was listening in a totally different setup (source, cables ...). In this setup the fidelity is very, very hi! So if you do not test the sound with a lot of differents recordings you can have a wrong impression. Tell me please what did you have epxerimented with the only one classical CD you have listened, this is very interesting...
As you have noticed I just listened for 2 or 3 seconds with the HD 650, tha you have in a "nude" version and with a good cable, but MY impressions, or better the impressions of my ears (at this time "Qualized"), was simply ORRIBLE. I do not have a hedaphone in my head, I had the impressions like a big wall between me and the music, and I cannot come back. Not the same impressions I had listening to the Omega/Egmont, that I found colored and not so neutral, but no any wall...
Nik, this is a post of mine (Chumley response) from another thread...
"Originally Posted by SliPkNoT
I would say the Sennheiser HD600s because a lot of people still think that they are the best dynamic headphones. Of course, we know that the Sony R10s are the best. I am still waiting to find a used pair myself."
Sorry couldn't post them for sale here ... promised first crack at them, to, of all people, my first wife... she paid too much ...
Using the R10s in place of the Senns in this lineup: Shanling SCD-7200 SACD player>Emmeline HR-2>w/Cardas cable>Senn HD 650, I found virtually NO enhancements over the Senns. I've tried 3 R10s in this lineup in the past. Invited friends, many of whom are working pros in audio (thier clients include Springsteen, Diana Krall, etc.), to try 'em back-to-back with the Senns. We all agreed that the R10s are overpriced and overrated, and that the Senns were the best dynamic headphone investment one can make.
The R10s got plugged into Meridian SACD sources, amps from a Grace 901 to a Blockhead w/ SA's... still, virtually no improvement over the above system's results.
I have listened extensively to some of the higher-end ES systems, like the late great orpheus, etc. that will kill the HD 650s, but I have kids to put through school and travelling to do with my (second, and last) wife ... priorities, priorities...
I know there are many folks to whom the R10s are the last word in dynamic headphones... let's just say that I ain't one of them.
EDIT: the Qualia 010 got the same treatment as the R10s above; it does better overall than an unbalanced HD650 setup, but... HD650s/Silver Dragon or Cardas, in a fully balanced setup, with a Blockhead/SA's is fully the sonic equal to the Qualias... while some shuffling of sources was done for the Qualia, no 'heroic' actions were performed... fully balanced setup/HD650s sounded as good, overall, as the 010s."
Obviously, this is IMO; also the * unanimous * opinion of six other folks, all audio engineers, producers, etc., who've worked extensively with the clients above, also a few musicians... I should also note that fully 'dialing in' the source for any of the above hasn't been done by me, with the exception of the HD 650s... but to say they are all roughly at the same level isn't the out of hand absurd claim that you might think it is...