*HiFiMan HE-6SE - the new generation of the legendary HE-6 is legit and improved. Added June 2019 and feeding it straight from the speaker taps of the Spec system.
*Pioneer SE Master 1 w/5' Q French Silk cable June 2017 - a really amazing find for me - speaker-like sound, incredibly capable in handling the bass..............sold my HE-6 - the Pioneer is that good!
*Audeze LCD-2 Classic - finally another planar headphone. Impressed with the midrange as well as pleasantly surprised with the comfort - much better than I'd read about with Audeze headphone weight.
*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 Fisher CA-880 at work fed by my Dell laptop 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. Still one of my favorite headphones ever...........at a great price!
*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 vintage- came with the SX-1050 I used to have.
*Pioneer SE-205 - another vintage pair with excellent sound.
Beats Studio 3 - way better than you'd think reading the info. Excellent for yardwork and workouts on the exercise bike.
Sold/traded/given away -
*Klipsch HP-3 in Ebony - first impressions are IMPRESSIVE. Very much like my Pioneer's, these have the bass I crave with great treble and comfort. Traded for a pair of Audeze LCD-2 Classic.
*Mr Speakers Ether2 - bought this hoping for a comparable to my Pioneer SE Master 1 but returned it after burning in for 80+ hours and going head to head with the Pio. Not quite up to the level I wanted - good headphone without a doubt but has some shortcomings.
*Taction Kannons - amazing technology in the form of the Taction unit that hits harder than any other basshead phone...........just sold them as I have no head time to give.
*Audeze EL-8 Open - got it for a great price to compare to the HE-400 I've been using downstairs in my family room system. Ended up returning it to Amazon.
*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 - fourth favorite headphone to the SE Master 1, HE-6 and Klipsch HP-3.
*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 Vegan pads, HiFiMan 26' silver coated copper cable terminated via XLR into speaker taps into my vintage Pioneer Spec 1 & 2 amp combo.
Beats Studio 2.0 - Matte Black - hoped it would work for portable use but no...........
*Bose AE-2 - decent for portable use 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! The wood cups are pristine and gorgeous.
*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 and had a "thunk" when bass was driven hard. 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.
*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 feeding a Schiit Modi Multibit DAC via coax, iPad Mini 128GB via an Audioengine B1 Bluetooth receiver 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 speakers and headphones - split time with the new (June 2019) HE-6SE, the Pioneer SE Master 1 or the timeless and amazing Denon LA7000. Added a Pioneer DT550 timer for the clock and the vintage look!
*System 2 - family room - 1993 Yamaha RX-670 driving my Polk Audio RT55I's and Energy 8" sub, fed by the Samsung 60" TV, iPhone 5 feeding a NuForce iDo DAC. Great sounding TV audio and music with incredible bass with the sub! 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 I've heard with house shaking bass from the sub. Polk Audio speakers - running three pairs throughout the house - are top notch.
*System 3 - garage gym system - Pioneer Spec 1 (1978) preamp feeding a Pioneer SA-8800 (80 wpc - 1980) amp via an iPad 2 via a NuForce iDo DAC or a vintage Yamaha CD player into Cerwin Vega DX-3 speakers AND a pair of pristine JBL 4311B speakers with a Velodyne 12" sub. A beastly home gym setup now with serious THUMP with the sub added June 2018.
*System 4 - family room - Pioneer SA-608 integrated amp from 1979 (45 wpc) fed by an iPhone4 into a NuForce iDo DAC, then into a Chase RLC-1 preamp to the SA-608 and into my fully modded HE-400 via speaker taps (truly incredible sound and BASS). Next to my recliner, within reach of all the controls. An Archie Bunker audiophile setup with the TV muted during sporting events since I don't want to hear their blathering............
*System 5 - home office - Kenwood KA-5700 integrated amp (40 wpc -1978) - fed by a Dell laptop---> HRT MusicStreamer II ---> KA-5700 ---> a killer CA 2.1 speaker system (with 6" sub) or fully Lawton modded Denon MD2000's with his Bubinga wood cups. It was my first vintage amp...........pristine condition with blue LED lighting.
*System 6 - work office system - Fisher CA-880 amp (100 wpc) - fed by a Dell laptop into a FiiO E-10 DAC into the Fisher CA-880 - either a killer Altec Lansing (VS2421) 2.1 speaker system with 5" sub or my Lawton-modded Denon LA7000's with Thai Teak custom cups (deeper than stock), a 5' Q French Silk cable, Lawton damping by Mark L and Lawton pads.
*System 7 - garage TV system - an Onkyo TX-SR304 amp into a pair of Polk Audio RT35 speakers and an 8" Energy Sub fed by a 32" LED flat screen via optical into the Onkyo. Great little system and the sub makes the sound well rounded.
*System 8/spare - living room - a Pioneer SA-7500II amp feeding a pair of KLH vintage bookshelf speakers using a Sony CD player as the source.
*System 9 - in the audio room upstairs - a second Yamaha RX-670 amp from 1990 (used as a preamp) fed into a Sansui AU-717 (85 wpc 1977) feeding a pair of Polk Audio 5JR speakers and a Polk Audio PSW10 sub from my 55" Toshiba TV via an optical-->analog converter with a vintage Pioneer DT-540 clock/timer to keep track of the time. Sounds amazing. Subs are not overrated........and this fully Polk speaker system is well matched, with the Sansui amp making it an outstanding system for TV or concert Blu Ray's via the Sony. Bass in droves....
*System 10 - Realistic STA-64B from 1979 (20 wpc) feeding a pair of Cerwin Vega L7 bookshelf speakers in our upstairs yoga 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 via a 22" custom cable from Ted @ Headphone Lounge feeding my Ultrasone Performance 840's with Alpha pads. Excellent sound/isolation and bass in droves. Other times it's my iPhone 8 plus feeding my Beats Studio 3's via Bluetooth.
*Speakers - JBL 4311B, Cerwin Vega DX-3, Klipsch KG 3.2, Polk Audio - RT55I, M5JR and RT35 bookshelf speakers, Yamaha NS-4, Cerwin Vega L7 x4, KLH bookshelf speakers.
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
Dell laptop feeding a FiiO E-10 DAC into my Fisher CA-880 amp at work or feeding a Kenwood KA-5700 amp via a Microstreamer II at home into a sweet CA 2.1 system in the home office.
iPad Mini 128GB - feeding my Pioneer Spec system via an Audioengine B1 Bluetooth receiver then into the Klipsch 3.2's.
iPhone 4 x2 - family room system - Yamaha integrated into an iDo DAC - as well as my family room Head-Fi station SA-608
iPod Touch - one feeding my hot tub stereo, one feeding my BBQ station
iPod Classic 5th Gen 120gb in the truck
iPod Classic 3rd Gen 20gb as a spare.
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 garage Pioneer system (Pioneer Spec 1 preamp/SA-8800 amp w/Cerwin Vega and JBL speakers and a Velodyne 12" sub.
*Pioneer PDR609 CD player/recorder through a Modi Multibit feeding the Spec 1/2 rack system with the ability to record off it!
*4 Chase RLC-1 remote controls for remote volume control - one in family room Head-Fi system, one on Spec system, one in garage gym system and one on my Head-Fi family room system.
*Sony CD player in the living room fed into the SA-7500II integrated amp into KLH 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 Yamaha RX-670. Makes listening to music easily controlled from my chair via my Dell laptop.
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, Larry Carlton,Paul Taylor
Sunglasses - huge Oakley fan
Two grown daughters, one who just gave birth to my first grandson, wife of 31 yrs who now appreciates this headphone/vintage thing.