*Pioneer SE Master 1 - a really amazing find for me - speaker-like sound, incredibly capable in handling the bass..............sold my HE-6 - the Pioneer is that good!
*Denon LA-7000 - Q French Silk cable installed by BTG Audio, Thai Teak cups, HD650 headband pad, Lawton damping mods done by Mark L himself & Lawton angle pads. Incredible bass, overall sound and comfort.
*Denon MD-2000 - Bubinga wood cups, damping mods and pads - all from Lawton Audio. Incredible bass and overall sound running out of my Hitachi SR-804 at work fed by my Yoga2 via a Schiit Modi DAC.
*HiFiMan HE-400 - open grill mod using Inspired Designs "Biohazard" design snap in grill, Lohb's suspension headband pad, Audeze Vegan pads, Blutack mod, felt mod for the Vegans and Sorbothane damping. Out of speaker taps (from the Pioneer SA-608), the sound is outstanding. One of my favorite headphones ever...........
*Denon AH-D1100 - portable with the same chassis as the 100th anniversary model. Use it for running out of my iPod Touch/Cayin C5 portable setup. Good little comfy headphone with great bass.
*Ultrasone Performance 840 w/Mr Speakers Alpha pads - my portable solution for yardwork and weight training hooked up to my iPod Touch/Cayin C5 in an armband with a custom 22" Headphone Lounge cable. A basshead dream portable setup............
*Pioneer Monitor II - came with the SX-1050. Vintage.
*Pioneer SE-205 - another vintage pair with excellent sound.
Beats Powerbeats..........my other running phones. Love the bass.........
Adidas/Sennheiser PMX 680
Sold/traded/given away -
*HiFiMan HE-6 - second go round with this amazing beast - feed it via speaker taps from my Pioneer Spec system. Traded my HD800 for it. Mods - Vegan pads, Lohb suspension headband pad, open grill mod with Inspired Designs snap in grill (Biohazard design), Sorbothane inside grill area for damping. Visceral bass that blows the mind.............
*Sony MDR-Z1R - just had to try it...........can anything unseat the HE-6 as the best I've heard? Not this one..........but it's really really good. Comfort, heavy bass, light, good looks...........etc.
*Sennheiser HD700 - traded my MD5000 for it as I wanted another quality, comfy open back can. Having owned this before, it is outstanding on vintage amps.
*M-Audio Q-40 w/Alpha pads - best pad combo on this headphone yet. Sounds way better than it's cost would indicate.
*V-Moda M100 - third time around with this little portable. Using it for yardwork and tho I still prefer the Ultrasone overall sound-wise (and isolation) the M100 has such a lightweight and easy feel on the head.
*Denon MD-5000 - Stax pads and Brazilian Teak cups from Lohb. Gorgeous headphone and sounds very close to a D7000 - ended up trading it for a HD-700.
*ENIGMAcoustics Dharma D1000 - with Audeze lambskin pads and Norne Audio Vanquish cable - second favorite headphone to the HE-6.
*Sennheiser HD800 - traded for an HE-6. Anyone thinking they are bass light haven't heard them from a vintage amp.
*Phillips X1 - third go round and still sold them.
*HiFiMan HE-6 - open grill mod utilizing Inspired Designs "Biohazard" grill, Lohb's suspension headband pad, Audeze lambskin pads, HiFiMan 26' silver coated copper cable terminated via XLR into speaker taps into my vintage Pioneer Spec 1 & 2 amp combo. Unreal.
*Beats Studio 2.0 - Matte Black - hoped it would work for portable use but no...........
*Bose AE-2 - nice but.....................
*Denon D600 - very close to the earlier Denon models - certainly very close in overall sound with great bass and comfort.
*Fostex TH-600 - with Southeast Asia Cedar cups from Lohb. A clone of the D7000.
*Denon AH-A100 - 100th anniversary model - amazing how small and light these are!
*Sennheiser HD-650 - love the tight clamp, comfort and very capable with bass.
*Sony Z7 - sounds like a Denon D5000 - traded for an almost new pair of Fostex TH-600.
*Denon AHM-M400 - disappointing - way too small pads and way too shallow.
*Denon LA-2000 - my first Denon - Lawton mods throughout, Cocobolo Rosewood cups by Martin Custom Audio, D5K shortened cable and Lawton angle pads, great looking and sounding, also very close in sound to the D7000. The cups are gorgeous........as was sound.
*HE-4 - Focus pads, removed the grill and put an Inspired Laser Designs 80mm snap in grill in place.
*Logitech UE6000 - great little portable with wonderful bass. Gave to my daughter!
*JVC HP-DX1000 - another flagship in the stable - these are so under-appreciated here and very few owners. Let's see - incredible bass, comfort and looks. Got it all and isolates very well as another benefit. Had Q French Silk cable installed by Brian @ BTG.
*Ultrasone Performance 840 - best Ultrasone combo I've had - looks, comfort and a great sound signature. May be my portable/yardwork solution.
*HiFiMan HE-400 - I love this headphone. What nice planar bass..............I think I now know what guys mean by that term. Removed the grills and another big improvement.
*Denon D7100 - I cannot understand the hate for this can. It sounds like a Denon can.............with great bass and better sound than I expected.
*Audio Technica WS55i - on ear which I do not like but bought them for my daughter who proceeded to buy some of those in-ear Beats. Kids.
*M-Audio HDH50 - very nice improvement in stock pads, comfort and dual entries. But sound..........not quite as good as the earlier Q40.
*JVC HAM-55X - decent comfort and sound but no way it will get any headtime.
*Ultrasone Pro900 w/Alpha pads - a truly amazing basshead phone - sounds great and Alpha pads top it off. Ultrasone's best headphone from those I have auditioned or owned (Edition 8, Sig Pro, Sig DJ).
*Fostex TH900 - amazing can that was Lawton modded and sounded incredible.
*Sennheiser HD700 - loved them but sold to finance the HE-6.
*Phillips Fidelio X1 again.............second time.
*Beats Studio - first generation - thought they were better than my old V-Moda M100.
*Logitech UE6000 - got it for $80 brand new for use as my outdoor portable since I sold the M100.
*Sennheiser HD7 DJ - heavy bass, isolation, comfort, looks and what appears to be amazing build quality. Just was too bassy and not good enough overall sound so sent them back.
*V-Moda M-100 Shadow w/ XL pads - sold my first one due to comfort issues.
*Denon D5000 - with Lawton cups.
*Ultrasone Edition 8 - great portable solution, comfort and isolation to rival anything.
*Panasonic RP-HTF600 - great sound for the price but got no head time.
*JVC SA-500 - great little bass monster but just no head time.
*Phillips Fidelio X1 - loved the sound, sold to help finance different gear.
*Darth Beyer V3XD - just too many headphones, had an opportunity to buy a D5000 with custom wood cups so off it went. Too boomy in the bass as well.
*V-Moda M-100 - fit issues, tired of waiting for XL pads.
*Skullcandy Aviators - decent, just would never get any headtime
*CAL - actually a very good portable solution that I liked a lot. No headtime either.
*XB700 - good sound, great bass but alas the other quality phones soon made me forget all about them.
*Skullcandy Crusher subwoofer - gave to my 15 year old nephew - made his day.
*JVC HARX-700 - low cost, low performance. Decent and that's about it.
*Audio Technica WS-99 - don't get the hype - cheap feeling, bad stock pads, decent sound but not stellar.
*Ultrasone Signature Pro - fantastic sound - pad comfort lacking - traded for D7000 straight across.
*Sony XB500 - the original bass cannon - thought they were good at one time (before D2K, D600, Sig Pro, etc).
*V-Moda Crossfade - decent portable with good bass.
Portable amps sold -
*Digizoid ZO FS
*Headstage Arrow 3G - twice bought and sold
*Focal Elear - Nov 2016 - great sound but between the fire hose of a cable, a bit heavy (even compared to my HE-6) and lacking a bit in comfort, a bit disappointed with this entry. Compared to HE-6 - no comparison.
*HiFiMan Edition X - liked it but no better than HD800/Dharma or LA7000. Overpriced as well..............
*Enigma Acoustics Dharma - may have found my endgame headphone. Great comfort, best treble ever, bass in droves that far exceed the HD800 out of the Spec system. BOUGHT one..........
*Beyer DT1770 - like it a lot - very similar to my D5000.
*Shure 1540 - nice sound but not bassy enough and cable way too long. Sent back.
*Audioquest NightHawk - not making the cut. Not even close.
*MrSpeakers Ether - very very nice sound and seems adequate bass.
*Oppo PM-3 - nice little portable but a bit heavy for me and not enough thump.
*Oppo PM-2 - good headphone but nothing special to me (probably because I was comparing it to my HE-6.
*HiFiMan HE-560 - very good headphone, almost on par with my HE-6 but not quite. Comfort is good but not incredible to be honest.
*HiFiMan 400i - burned them in as per HFM's recommendation. Like the sound. A lot. Not as bassy as the HE-400 which I think is a negative. Very comfy and light.
*Audeze LCD-XC - heaviest damn headphone I've ever used. For $1700 they sounded nowhere near as good as my D7000 or TH900.
*Dido 901B - great basshead phone with thump to spare. Pads not great, fit not great, just a good phone that doesn't quite meet all needs.
*Sennheiser HD700 - running it out of my vintage Spec system, they sound amazing with more than adequate bass. Very comfy, nice tight clamp.
*Fostex TH600 - outstanding headphone, the clone of my D7000 side by side. Out of vintage the bass is epic.
*Ultrasone Signature DJ - great portable basshead phone but I still like Denon's better for bass. Pad and headband comfort lacking.
*Mr Speakers Alpha Dog - outstanding headphone, has all the bass I wanted. Loved it but likely won't be buying. Really the best fully isolating headphone I've tried.
Headphone Amp Inventory:
Vintage systems -
*System 1 - the pinnacle - from 1978 - Pioneer Spec 1 pre-amp, Spec 2 power amp (bench tested at 309WPC), TX9500 II tuner, SG-9800 Equalizer (new to me Dec 2016, replacing the SG-9500), fed by either a Pioneer PL-S50 turntable, Pioneer PDR609 CD player/recorder, iPhone6 via a NuForce iDo now feeding a Schiit Modi Multibit DAC via a coax RCA (running the EQ10 app or Pandora) or my Audioengine W3 wireless system with the volume controlled by a Chase RLC-1 remote/preamp. Waited my whole life to own a system like this.............it was worth the wait. Amazing is all I can say. Split time between the Klipsch 3.2 Walnut speakers and headphones - 95% of the time it's the Pioneer SE Master 1, my all time favorite headphone that unseated the HE-6.......other times it's the amazing Denon LA7000. Added a Pioneer DT550 timer for the clock and the vintage look!
*System 2 - family room - early 90's Yamaha RX-670 driving my Polk Audio M5JR's and Energy 8" sub, fed by the Samsung 60" TV, iPhone 4 or Audioengine W3 wireless system into a NuForce iDo DAC with an AppleTV remote controlling it. Great sounding TV audio with incredible bass from the sub for movies! It's fed via a FiiO D3 optical converter into the Yamaha. Sublime TV sound system with the B speakers driving the Energy E-XLS8 sub. Better sound than any surround sound system with house shaking bass from the sub.
*System 3 - garage gym music system - Pioneer SA-9900 (110 wpc - 1977) amp fed by an iPad2 via a NuForce iDo DAC or a vintage Yamaha CD player into Cerwin Vega DX-3 speakers with an Energy 8.2 sub. A beastly garage party setup now with serious THUMP with the sub added October of 2016.
*System 4 - family room - Pioneer SA-608 integrated amp from 1979 (45 wpc) fed by either an iPhone4 or my Sony CD player ---> NuForce iDo DAC ---> Chase RLC-1 preamp---> SA-608 usually into my fully modded HE-400. Next to my recliner, within reach of all the controls. An Archie Bunker audiophile setup with the TV muted during games since I don't want to hear their blathering............
*System 5 - home office - Kenwood KA-5700 integrated amp (40 wpc -1978) - fed by a Lenovo Ideapad 100 laptop or my work Yoga 2 ---> FiiO E-10 DAC ---> KA-5700 ---> a killer CA 2.1 speaker system (with 6" sub) or LA7000's. It was my first vintage amp...........pristine condition with blue LED lighting.
*System 6 - work office system - Pioneer SA-8800 (80wpc) - fed by a Lenovo Yoga 2 ---> Schiit Modi ---> SA-880 ---> either a killer Altec Lansing (VS2421) 2.1 speaker system with 5" sub or my Lawton-modded Denon MD2000's with his Bubinga custom cups, damping and angle pads.
*System 7 - garage TV system - Fisher CA-880 integrated amp - (100 wpc - 1981) - remote controlled by a Chase RLC-1 remote/preamp into a pair of nice vintage KLH speakers fed by a 32" LED flat screen. Overkill but so what?
*System 8/spare - living room - Hitachi SR-804 feeding a pair of KLH vintage bookshelf speakers. This is about as pristine a vintage amp as I've seen.
*System 9 - in the audio room upstairs - the only non-vintage/silver face based system. An Onkyo TX-SR304 feeding a pair of Polk Audio RT35 bookshelf speakers and a BassCube 10" sub from my 40" LED TV via an optical-->analog converter with a vintage Pioneer DT-540 clock/timer. Sounds amazingly good. Subs are not overrated.
*System 10 - Realistic STA-64B from 1979 (20 wpc) feeding a pair of Cerwin Vega L7 bookshelf speakers in our upstairs cardio room off the flat screen Seiki TV/Samsung DVD player combo. Wife loves this!
*Portable setup for workouts/yardwork - iPod Touch 32gb feeding my Cayin C5 amp with a 22" custom cable from Ted @ Headphone Lounge feeding my Ultrasone Performance 840's with Alpha pads. Excellent sound/isolation and bass in droves. Use this iPod Touch/Cayin C5 amp combo for running as well with my Denon D1100 headphones.
*Speakers - Cerwin Vega DX-3, Klipsch KG 3.2, Polk Audio M5JR bookshelfs, Yamaha NS-4, Cerwin Vega L7 bookshelfs x4, Polk Audio RT35 bookshelfs, KLH, Pioneer.
Cayin C5 - best portable amp I've had - great basshead unit
Fiio - D5 DAC, E10 (used only as a DAC), E02i
HRT MusicStreamer III
NuForce iDo (x4)
C&C BK - backup portable amp
Lenovo Yoga2 (amazing convertible laptop/tablet) feeding a Schiit Modi DAC into my Hitachi SR-904 at work or feeding a FiiO E-10 DAC at home into a sweet CA 2.1 system in the home office.
Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 feeding my KA-5700 via a HRT Musicstreamer II into the same CA 2.1 system when the Yoga is at work.
iPad 2 - feeding my garage music system via an iDo DAC into the SA-9900, then into the Cerwin Vega DX-3's and an Energy 8" sub
iPhone 6 - feeding my Spec system via interface to my iDo DAC
iPhone 4 x2 - family room system - SX-1050 into an iDo DAC - as well as my family room head-fi station SA-7500 MKII
iPhone 3G x2 - one feeding my hot tub stereo, one feeding my BBQ station
iPod Touch 3rd Gen 32gb used in the kitchen on an Altec Lansing player
iPod Classic 5th Gen 120gb in the truck
iPod Classic 3rd Gen 20gb in the garage feeding another Altec Lansing player
5 other iPod Nanos of various vintages and storage for whatever.............
Other Audio Equipment:
*Pioneer PL-S50 turntable feeding the Spec 1 preamp / Spec 2 amp system
*Yamaha Natural Sound CD player feeding the main Pioneer head fi station
*Pioneer PDR609 CD player/recorder feeding the Spec 1/2 rack system and recording off it!
*3 Chase RLC-1 remote controls for vintage (with a preamp that is amazing) - one in family room TV system, one on Spec system, and one on my head fi family room system.
*Sony CD player in the family room fed into the SX-1050 monster receiver into my Polk Audio M5JR bookshelf speakers
*Audioengine W3 wireless music system with two receivers - one on the Spec system in music room and one in family room on the SX-1050. Makes listening to music easily controlled from my chair.
1200 watt truck stereo with 10" sub, Kenwood amps, Alpine CDE-149BT head unit. Bluetooth Pandora.........doesn't get much better than that! Oh, and it thumps.....
Favorite artists - Rush, Pink Floyd, Paul Hardcastle, Rick Braun, Paul Taylor
Sunglasses - Oakley fan
Two grown daughters, wife of 29 yrs who now understands this headphone/vintage thing