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beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation

Rating:
4.75/5,
  1. Army-Firedawg
    A handmade gem that's build is equal to its sound
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published Feb 26, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Very neutral yet musical sound, wonderful construction, very comfortable, detachable cable, scales well, forgives lesser quality sources.
    Cons - The stock cable is very stiff


    The Beyerdynamic brand has been a company that I definitely put some blame on for getting me so into this hobby. Back when I was working in an audio store in the airport Beyerdynamic was one of the heavy hitters we carried and it was easy to see why and ever since then I’ve continuously heard about their legendary T1 model. Fast forward to my learning about Head-Fi and all the comparisons between the T1, and other heavy hitters like the HD800 etc… always made me yearn to hear them for myself. And finally, thanks to Beyerdynamic and their awesome rep. I have this opportunity. And I am MORE than pleased to share my opinion on these with you. Also, for simplicity sake I may refer to the T1 second generation and the T1.2.



    A little about me

    I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even YouTube's “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

    I'm a 26 year old firefighter, for the City of Concord, North Carolina as well as the U.S. Army, North Carolina National Guard. The cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

    My interests/hobbies are fishing and relaxing to audio products and reviewing them to help other decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/reviewer feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

    Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

    My ideal signature is that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

    Equipment used at least some point during the review

    -Amp.

    -Beyerdynamic A2

    -iFi iCAN Pro

    -Sennheiser HDVD800

    -Schiit Ragnarok

    -D.A.C.

    -iFi iDAC2

    -PS Audio Digital Link 3 w/ Cullan Stage IV Upgrade

    -Schiit Yggdrasil

    -Combi

    -iFi Nano iDSD Black Label


    -Sources

    -LG V20

    -Playing Pandora, YouTube, and various lossless, FLAC, etc... music

    -Shanling Audio

    -M3s

    -M2s

    -M1

    -HP Pavilion Laptop

    -Misc. Equipment

    -Source cleaner

    -iFi Nano iUSB3.0

    Disclaimer

    I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. They were kind enough to send me a product for an arranged amount of time in exchange for my honest opinion. I am making no monetary compensation for this review.

    The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.



    The Opening Experience

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    Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

    Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

    As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

    This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?



    Something I’ve grown to like and enjoy about Beyerdynamic is the consistency of their unboxing experience. Almost all their products, regardless of price point, keeps to the simple style of basic box with a couple pictures of the product itself and it being worn by someone and usually their general specifications. I really enjoy that. It lets me know that no matter what product I get from them, I get a nice respectful presentation of the product I’ve purchased. And the T1 is no different. As you open the box you’re greeted with a really nice felt feeling case that I feel most would really appreciate but for me, and this is only a personal thing, I really liked the old aluminum case the original T1 and T5p came with. But the felt case is still very nice and I will most certainly say it is MUCH easy to carry around when you’re wanting to travel with it.

    Upon opening the case you’re greeted with the T1 second generation very nicely placed centered in its own cut out foam with its DETACHED and sheathed cable inside a plastic bag in between the headband and ear cups. OH, how silly of me. I forgot to mention that when you open the box to first get to the case you have to cut a seal that guarantees Beyerdynamic quality and upon opening that you’re greeted by a pamphlet that says congratulations on your purchase or the Beyerdynamic T1. That’s um, kinda cool but I feel that a company should be thanking their customers for spending so much of their hard earned money and entrusting them to provide them with a product worth such an expense over congratulating them on doing so, but that’s just me. But overall, Beyerdynamic did a wonderful job in presenting their T1 as the premier product it’s renowned to be.


    Construction

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    So the T1 costs over $1,000. For a product costing this much, it’s to be expected that it would be built out of equally premium materials. Lately it seems that this piece of detail has been an afterthought in order to maximize money for the company. Well, Beyerdynamic went an entirely different route with their flagship headphone, the T1 second gen. The T1 is handcrafted in Germany using very premium lightweight aluminum throughout its construction.

    The headband, as well as the earcups, use an amazingly comfortable cloth like material that I’ll discuss further in the next section but my goodness do I love it. The headband arms not only feel nice, but Beyerdynamic has laser etched some nice designs as well as its T1 name on it. Small touch sure, but to me it’s the attention to the small details that I really appreciate. The arm also has a lot of adjustment from smaller than average heads up to rather impressively large heads.

    The cups themselves are either aluminum as well or really high grade plastic (I’m siding more with the latter) that has plenty of up and down movement but just enough side to side to get a good seal. What is a great feature that Beyerdynamic implemented in their T1 model (as well as many of their others), is to angle their drivers. This greatly improved the positional awareness and accuracy of the soundstage to the listener and thankfully is something that I’m seeing more and more products implement.

    The cable is DETACHABLE!!! This is a huge upside for me because a headphone that doesn’t offer detachable cables is a major aggravation for me especially after having to pay the ridiculous repair costs after Phoenix (my German Shepard) got a hold of one. So seeing a company offer this, to me, should be standard at this point in technology. But the headphone end is terminated with 2 2.5mm jacks that are each color coded (red for right, white for left) while the amp end is terminated into a standard ⅛” jack and has a ¼” adaptor jack that screws right onto it. The cable itself is the original cable (I believe) that has been covered by a really firm feeling sheath. This, imo, does a great job of protecting the cable from both outside interference, and potential damage. One thing to note however is that this new sheath is very rigid. Like, rigid as a garden hose. You have to twist the entire cable with every turn as you put it away and/or take it out.

    So my overall thoughts on the T1’s construction is that it’s exactly what I’m wanting a headphone of this caliber to be. The hand crafted part really speaks to me personally because that’s what makes something personal. Everything being machine mass produced there not as much pride anymore. But when someone puts their own hands on a product and whatever small touch it was makes me extremely happy.


    Comfort

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    Quite satisfied in the T1 second generation’s construction I am. But now I really gotta gloat about how comfortable these headphones are to put on. As I mentioned in the previous section, Beyerdynamic decided to go with a cloth like material (soft velour to be specific and according to the website) that, to me, is reminiscent of my favorite winter coat; soft, comfortable, and covers all the right spots. I’ve worn these headphones from long durations to short commute to work in the mornings and the only relative irritant I have is that the lobes of my ears are pushed up by the walls of the cups. And as you’ve guessed, that’s entirely a personal thing. For those who keep up with me rather on here or YouTube know I’ve larger ears and no one else that listened to the T1’s had any issue with the cup sizes (at least no one mentioned it to me). Throughout the time I listened I can’t recount any of it that was ended early by ear fatigue or warmth. This is a pretty short section I’m aware but I personally found no issues with the comfort levels of the T1. There’s plenty of adjustments, super soft, comfortable, and breathable padding. What’s not to love?


    Sound

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    Thus far I have been overly impressed by Beyerdynamics newest rendition of their flagship T1. But all that’s for naught if the sound doesn’t follow suite. For the longest time while browsing through the forums I would see the T1 vs HD800 comparisons and which to get discussions. So after FINALLY being able to listen to a pair myself I can completely understand why the T1 is has always been a titan in the audio world. The T1 has a very relaxed but yet musical sound that is so, non fatiguing that I find myself listening for several hours with no intention of stopping. Beyerdynamic, in the entirety of the T1’s design, just hits all the right spots. As I’m writing this review I have listened to the T1’s without stop for 3 hours and still counting (I write a little and then play some Destiny and then write a little more) and that’s EXACTLY what a well designed headphone should do.

    The imaging on the Beyerdynamic T1 second generation is incredible. It has that type of presence that forces me to close my eyes and visualize whatever it is that I’m listening to. The detail retrieval is also on par. The T1.2, when properly powered and sourced, will not let a single spec of detail be lost but at the same time it’s very forgiving. I sure that the previous sentence contradicts itself but it’s so very true. It doesn’t matter if I’m listening to YouTube playlist (as I’m actually doing right now) or lossless .wav files (I’d really hope those wouldn’t sound bad but you get the idea), the T1.2 is such a treat to listen to and it’s always leaving me yearning for more. The soundstage is not a very large one but it’s most certainly not in your face either, I can’t really give an example of placing you in a seat somewhere but I will say that it’s a very comfortable distance from the main performance.

    When listening to the T1.2 they really don’t perform any different regardless of what genre of music you’re listening to, they really are a musically neutral headphone. But let me discuss the individual aspects of the sound so that I may better describe what I’m wanting to portray.


    Treble



    The highs on the Beyerdynamic T1 second gen has wonderful extension and a smooth roll of right before it starts getting painful. The tesla drivers produce the treble to cleanly that, for example, symbols sound so realistic that you can almost swear that you were there. And my goodness trumpets, oh how they sound so breathtakingly vivid. Please listen to the piece “For All Seasons” by Yanni. The entire piece is stunning to listen to on the T1.2 but the trumpet solo, just shines on the T1 second gen. So in short. Beyerdynamic hit home with their treble presentation.


    Mids



    The mids, to my ears, didn’t show any forwardness of recession. The mids come through so clean and accurate that it sounds like the artist, rather it be male or female, is singing a personal concert for me. One of my favorite songs “The Sound Of Silence” by Disturbed (live recording) is a very mid, or rather vocal, focused song and being played through the T1.2 everything just becomes so personal. When the singer inhales, the emotion behind his words, every note is just so full of body and so real sounding. Another piece is “The Last Of The Mohicans” by Luca Stricagnoli. When played through the Beyerdynamic T1.2 the reverb of the guitar string doesn’t just resonate in the music, it resonates in you. At least when I listen to this piece, I can’t help but unconsciously start to lay back, close my eyes, and relax. It takes a very stellar piece of equipment to do that, and the Beyerdynamic T1 second generation, certainly meets that criteria.


    Bass



    The heartbeat of the music. A term that describes the bass on the Beyerdynamic T1 second gen. The bass is very controlled, perhaps more so than any dynamic driver I’ve ever heard. When properly powered the tesla drivers present bass so cleanly and without distortion that it just sounds accurate. To my ears I think there is a very slight forwardness to the bass but absolutely not to the degree that it takes away from the presentation of the rest of the music. The bass isn’t heavy either. It hits with a purpose and then releases its grip. To conclude, I see the bass as a heartbeat of the music. It must keep the rest of the music in pace and in order. If it’s too fast or hard then music gets fatigued and imbalanced, too light and it’s left unfulfilling and empty. The Beyerdynamic T1 second generation finds this beautiful balance and commands it.



    Conclusion

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    I truly loved my time with the Beyerdynamic T1 second generation. It is absolutely worth having the title of flagship from one of the industries oldest company’s. What more, Beyerdynamic offers these headphones at a very reasonable and respectable price in respect to their sonic performance and build quality in comparison to other totl headphones. For those considering the T1.2, fret not what gear you have, the breathtaking sound will envelope you regardless of your equipment used but it will scale and really shine when given power. There’s really not much negative I can say. Beyerdynamic, to my ears and taste, did everything I look for when it comes to headphones and I honestly can’t speak highly enough of the T1 second generation.





    Also, make sure to check out my unboxing and review videos. They’re pretty awesome AND you getta put a face to the Army-Firedawg name. If this review helped you out at all please hit that thumbs up button for it really helps me out a lot. Till next time my friends, stay safe.

    images

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    1. Oscar-HiFi
      Excellent review, one small typo. The jacks on the detachable cable are 3.5mm going into the headphones, not 2.5mm :D
      Oscar-HiFi, Feb 27, 2018
    2. Qute Beats
      great review, enjoyed reading :)
      Qute Beats, Feb 19, 2019
      Army-Firedawg likes this.
  2. crabdog
    beyerdynamic T1 2nd gen - "I want to be the bridge to the next generation." Michael Jordan
    Written by crabdog
    Published Jan 11, 2017
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Stunning build quality and craftsmanship, musical and resolving, detachable cables, very comfortable
    Cons - Expensive
    20170107_141842.jpg
     
    There are a few brands that could be considered a powerhouse in the world of audio and headphones and beyerdynamic is without a doubt one of them. beyerdynamic has been family owned since its founding in 1924 and are regarded as one of the best when it comes to headphones. The original T1 was released way back in 2010 and received much high praise as well as firmly planting itself in the position of one of the best to ever grace the ears of avid listeners. Today I’ll be looking at the latest iteration of beyerdynamic's top of the line T1 2nd generation.​

     
    Disclaimer:
     
    This product was loaned to me as part of a southeast Asian tour for the purpose of an honest review. All opinions and observations are my own, based on my experience with the product. I'd like to thank Peak Fusion for the opportunity to test the Amiron Home. Special thanks go out to Mateen, Kamal and Jannavie for making this review possible.
     
    Peak Fusion website
     
    beyerdynamic product page
     
    T1 2nd gen on Amazon
     
    Specifications:
     
    Transducer type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . dynamic
    Operating principle . . . . . . . . . . . . . semi-open
    Frequency response . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 - 50,000 Hz
    Impedance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 Ω
    Nominal SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 dB (1 mW / 500 Hz)
    T.H.D. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . < 0.05% (1 mW / 500 Hz)
    Power handling capacity . . . . . . . . . 300 mW
    Max. SPL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 dB (300 mW / 500 Hz)
    Sound coupling to the ear . . . . . . . . circumaural
    Headband pressure . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 2.8 N
    Cable. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 m / double-sided
    Connector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . gold-plated 3-pole mini stereo jack (3.5 mm) & 1/4" adapter (6.35 mm)
    Weight without cable. . . . . . . . . . . . 360 g
     
    Packaging and accessories:
     
    We start off with the typically styled beyerdynamic box with a large profile shot of the headphones on the front with another photo along with some features and specifications on the rear. The anticipation is palpable at this point, especially if you have seen the aluminum protective case that came with the previous iteration of the T1. But then...oh :frowning2: Well, it seems the 2nd gen comes with a rather uninspiring but admittedly more practical and portable hard case with a suede-like covering.
     
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     ​

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    Inside we find the headphones, a 3 meter textile braided, removable cable and a screw-on 6.35 mm adapter. A detachable cable was one of the most requested features of the original T1 and here beyerdynamic have delivered. The cable feels very robust and high quality but it also means that now of course it can be easily swapped out for a shorter or balanced cable which should please many enthusiasts.
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    Build, comfort and isolation:
     
    Physically these headphones are built almost identically to the original version with the large, beyerdynamic style brackets and that gorgeous metal grill on the ear-cups giving them their semi-open designation and making them look exquisitly premium in the process. The leather on the headband of the original has been replaced by pleather and of course the cable is now detachable but everything else is much the same - handcrafted in Germany, and reassuringly sturdy.
     
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     ​

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    The drivers are decentralized, angled and are in a position which leaves plenty of room for even large ears (like mine).
     
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     ​
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    Isolation is pretty poor with these, yeah semi-open so you'd expect that but it means ideally you'll need a quiet environment to get the most out of your listening. Another thing to consider is the noise leakage which might disturb others around you.
     
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     ​
    Sound:
     
    Sources:
     
    PC/MusicBee > JDS Labs Element (high gain) > T1 2nd gen
    Shinrico D3S > Arcam irDAC-ii > T1 2nd gen
    FiiO X1ii > Bravo Audio Ocean > T1 2nd gen
     
    Music used for testing (all .flac files):
     
    Philippe Jordan, Wiener Symphoniker – Schubert symphonies 7 & 8
    Run The Jewels – Run the Jewels 3
    Jeremy Soule and Julian Soule - Guild Wars 2 soundtrack
    Earthside – A Dream in Static
     
    Unfortunately I never got a chance to hear the original T1 but from what I've learned the 2nd generation hasn't strayed too far from its roots but has had some tweaks. beyerdynamic say:
    Obviously I can't do a comparison with the gen 1 to see if they're right but I certainly can try to convey what my ears are telling me. An impressive soundstage is immediately apparent, not ultra wide but there's a great sense of depth which gives a more palpable feeling of the recording space. Right off the bat these didn't sound as analytical as I was expecting but richer and more musical, with plenty of warmth and overall balance, albeit with some added weight in the bass. There's transparency and detail but its driven in a way to make music enjoyable, not so much for mixing and mastering.
     
    Bass notes have a solid edge giving kick drums some nice punch and driving power. Mid-bass has been given a bit of elevation while sub-bass digs deep but control is tight. "Down" by Run The Jewels from the Run The Jewels 3 album showcases the strength of the T1's bass with it's driving beats edged with lashings of sub-bass. Though elevated the bass takes nothing away from the mids, in fact the vocals come clearly to the forefront in this track. From the gentle beginning to the rousing crescendo, Maurice Ravel's "Bolero" by Valery Gergiev and the London Symphony Orchestra is a joy as the T1 2nd gen flexes its muscles with a wonderful balance throughout its dynamic range which along with the soundstage and imaging puts you right in the concert hall with aplomb.
     
    Vocals get some special attention with the T1. They're raised out of the din to be presented front and center but they're surrounded by tasty detail. From warm male voices like Jonas Renkse from Katatonia to the busy pop driven tracks by Utada Hikaru they're handled with a confidence and striking tonality.
     
    The treble is slightly boosted but stays behind the upper mids. There's a little bit of sparkle and airiness there but I didn't come across any hint of sibilance. If anything I found the upper midrange to be more likely to cause fatigue as treble finds the perfect level of shimmer without causing irritation.
     
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     ​

    Comparisons:
     
    T1 2nd gen vs beyerdynamic Amiron Home vs  ($599.00 USD):
     
    Comfort and fit are very similar. Both headphones have the same relaxed clamping force and similar overall shape. The T1 is a little more aggressive in the bass, particularly mid-bass while the treble has some extra emphasis as well. Transparency and resolution are superior on the T1 making it more revealing and detailed. In contrast the Amiron Home has a more relaxed presentation and for me would be better suited for longer listening sessions as the T1 assaults your senses with more of everything, which is fantastic but demands more from the listener. The T1 also demands more from your source gear and amplifier- you’ll need something with a bit of grunt to get the most from these 600 ohm headphones.
     
    T1 2nd gen vs beyerdynamic T5P 2nd gen ($1,199 USD):
     
    Physically the T5P is very similar to the T1 all the way down to the cups. Both headbands share the same materials and characteristics but the T5P has the slightest extra bit of clamping force which makes sense since they're designed to be portable so you're more likely to be moving around with them. You can tell that beyerdynamic's engineers put a lot of thought into the entire design process that goes further than just optimizing the sound. Unlike the T1 the T5P is a closed back system so they lose some of the airiness and soundstage in comparison. They both share angled, decentralized drivers to improve the soundstage but because of its semi-open traits the T1 comes out ahead in this department though the T5P is still impressive for a closed set. The ear-pads are different too with the T5P having pleather covers in place of the T1's velour which means they get warmer on your ears but also improve isolation and reduce sound leakage. These two headphones share a similar bass signature that is slightly north of neutral with the T5P having a slightly crisper edge. The treble on the T1 is superior in sound in my opinion as the T5P can get more edgy and titter on being siblilant. Overall I prefer the sound and comfort of the T1 but for listening on the move the T5P is a great alternative.
     
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     ​
    Conclusion:
     
    After hearing the T1 2nd gen I have an understanding of what made the gen 1 so popular. Knowing my personal sound preferences I'm pretty sure that if I were able to directly compare the two I'd prefer the 2nd gen due to having extra weight in the bass and warmth in the lower mids. Comfort is top notch with angled drivers and plenty of depth in the cups to prevent your ears from touching the baffle combined with a low clamping force. Then there's the spacious soundstage, fast and accurate bass with a hint of elevation, a sub-bass that extends really well and treble that's detailed and airy without any nasty peaks. If you want top of the line cans, these fit the bill and if you have the money to spare then I'd heartily recommend them. The Amiron Home shares similar characteristics and is roughly half the price so would be a good alternative if you want to save some cash but if you can afford it (currently available at $1,099 on Amazon) the T1 takes things to another level again.
     
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      Arghavan, Odin412, gr8soundz and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. crabdog
      crabdog, Jan 13, 2017
    3. adydula
      Moved from T90s to T1 2nd gen....using with several amps, the bottlehead Crack with Speedball makes listening indeed magical at times! These were selling for $800 during the holidays now back up to $950. T90s are still great but the T1's are just a bit more all around musical and wonderful experience, needs more power that the T90's.
      adydula, Jan 14, 2017
    4. masterfuu
      The bottlehead crack with a Sylvania 12au7 tube has wonderful synergy with T1s. Including beautiful thumping bass.
      masterfuu, Jan 14, 2017