Denon AH-MM400
May 27, 2015 at 4:29 AM Post #571 of 1,435
It's not about how it helps, it's a must for balanced amp, all 4 signals must be separated, each channel is driven separately, you could even destroy some balanced amps by shorting both grounds (depends on the amp). And regarding balanced vs SE amp there is always a difference in clarity and details especially in completely balanced rigs from dac to amp and finally to balanced headphones.
In original denon cable there are 4 on headphones side (so it takes both grounds separately but on the amp side anyway it shorts the grounds on standard mini jack 3 pin (L,R,GND) so it is useless here but you can just cut off mini jack and use 4 wires reterminating it with 4 pin XLR balanced connector using some balanced amp then and drive m400 in completely different way with much better control of the drivers)
May 30, 2015 at 3:34 PM Post #572 of 1,435
I'm comparing phones atm, need a set for home iPad listening.
Spent 4 hours comparing nad, Denon, p7 and psb mu2 in a shop the other day.

P7 was overly bright and really never made it into the competition at all.
Should mention I pretty much exclusively listen to classical music .

Nad sounded nice despite the fact the bass muddied things in busy passages in the sound, but they fit too tightly so had to dismiss those on that account.
A shame, as they are some very musical phones to my ears anyway.

Psb were flexible given the 3 options for sound modes - normal, amp and noise cancellation.
Soundstage is very wide and this sounds wonderful.
Brahms requiem is a real treat for the ears with the psbs.
Sound is coherent, everything is well integrated And balanced.
But as with the nads they fit too tightly.

Then the Denon...underwhelmed with them at first but boy that changed as I got used to their way of sounding.
Incredibly detailed, so synth sounds in depe he mode music suddenly revealed their exact sound to me.
Beautifully neutral sound in those phones without them being cold, sterile or analytical.
Very very well balanced overall tone.
Non fatiguing, I can listen to them for hours, no problem.
Very comfortable on my rather big head.
Phones look beautiful as well.
I would be very happy and satisfied with these Denons no doubt.
But here's the deal, I think I may end up with the p7s after all!
I decided to give them a second chance and took them home for demoing.
I am so glad I did.
I have simply not been able to take them off all evening!
In short:
Classical music sounds insanely good on the p7.
Woodwinds sound gorgeous and I almost smile every time an oboe or flute starts playing.
They sound so soft and tender.
And brass ... Holy cow these phones have oomph!!
Detailed too although I suspect less so than the Denon.
Haven't listened to the Denon to compare yet, as I am way too busy enjoying the p7.
Do not notice brightness at all now, on the contrary I love the way upper violins oboes flute etc sounds.
Extremely comfortable to wear.
Isolate much better against outside noise compared to the Denon it seems.
I have constant traffic outside my living room windows but with the p7 I am completely in my own little music world.S
P7 may not sound particularly neutral, I think, but they are extraordinarily musical and lively to listen to.

Will do more testing the following days.
It shall be interesting to see if I keep on preferring the b&w.
May 30, 2015 at 6:08 PM Post #573 of 1,435
I'm comparing phones atm, need a set for home iPad listening.
Spent 4 hours comparing nad, Denon, p7 and psb mu2 in a shop the other day.

Will do more testing the following days.
It shall be interesting to see if I keep on preferring the b&w.

I wonder if you can find the Oppo PM-3 and the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 into that mix. That would be a pretty good group of headphones.
May 30, 2015 at 8:36 PM Post #575 of 1,435
Thanks for the feedback and the suggestion about oppo pm-3 and momentum 2.0.
I will reply here but I have a separate thread called closed headphones for classical music on iPad under recommendations. Can't link to it atm as I am with my iPad which I just got and I haven't looked into how to copy paste yet :)
Oppo pm 3 is outside my budget, but I am seriously considering ordering the momentum 2.0 from Amazon UK for testing vs. these b&w p7.
Then I can return the senheisers to Amazon if necessary.
The ivory version looks gorgeous and I read a lot of praise for the momentum and 2.0 in particular.

Btw woke up at 1 am here and decided to give the Denons a go again.
They do sound great, however I still like the p7 much better.
Brahms, Nielsen, Tchaikovsky, Schumann ... This type of music sounds stellar on the p7 to me.
And the soundtrack to the dark knight .... Wow wow wow!
Sound reminds me of the way my home stereo sounds in fact (nad m51 dac/preamp, Vincent sp 997 power amps and dynaudio excite x32 loudspeakers)

Anyway didn't mean to hijack this thread.
May 31, 2015 at 3:36 AM Post #576 of 1,435
One nice touch with the p7 is you get a wide range of well recorded London symphony orchestra stuff for free with them too. I have to agree that they sound very nice for classical, very musical headphones. I might compare the pm-3s against the denons against my beloved Sennheiser hd250 II's tonight and see which comes out on top for classical. I have a feeling it will be the HD 250's though, they sounded better than the p7 in that department and just blow me away every time.
May 31, 2015 at 4:14 AM Post #577 of 1,435
I wasn't aware you got free recordings with the P7, that's nice.
It's quite a coincidence you mention Sennheiser HD250, because right this moment I am in fact listening to Carl Nielsen through my trusty old Sennheiser HD 600.
I run digital out from my motherboard to a Cambridge 840C cd player/DAC and then balanced out to a Behringer HA4700 head amp (Behringer...yes yes, I know :) )
They are some very, very nice headphones - comfortable, and with an overall sound that is coherent, neutral and balanced.
The P7s to my ears have a nicer tone for classical music, though - a warmer tone.
The more I listen to the P7s, the more I find that pretty much every single instrument in the orchestra sounds 'right' through them.
Violins have such aggressive bite in the upper register and this together with the majestic-sounding brass makes climaxes in classical music sound superb - exactly the way it's supposed to sound.
But also quiet passages sound fabulous.
Woodwinds sound so fragile and are good at resolving emotional passages in the music.
P7 are agile and light-footed headphones too with a great sense of pace and rhythm - more so than the HD 600.
Keep in mind though that I have had - and have used - the Sennheiser HD 600 every day since 2007, thus I know them inside out - the P7s on the other hand are new and excitingly sounding to me.
Anyawy, I have just ordered some Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Ivory over-ear, and tomorrow I have an agreement with the local HIFI shop that I can return one of the headphones I have borrowed from them and then borrow their PSB MU2 for a few days (can never remember their model name).

Thus I am comparing each couple of headphones here at home, which is a good thing.
The Momentum 2.0 is from a different vendor - here I have 14 days return option.
I want to make sure I make the right decision with respect to which headphones I end up choosing.
The Oppo's are a few $100 more expensive than my budget allows, unfortunately btw.
Don't you just love HIFI as a hobby? :)
It's so much fun (and highly interesting) to hear how different the various types of gear sounds, and how it sounds when you combine it with other gear etc.
Jun 4, 2015 at 8:10 PM Post #578 of 1,435
Received my MM400's today...absolutely high end finish and construction....doesn't look like there is any plastic anywhere on it:
wood and metal and build with a high tolerance in mind...detachable cord too....
I will run them 50 hours before commenting....
great price in Canada (for a nice change)
Jun 5, 2015 at 9:24 PM Post #579 of 1,435 give the Denons a go again.
They do sound great, however I still like the p7 much better.

That's about how I feel as well. The Denons are really great headphones, and they're surprising. However.... Whenever I listen to the Dens, I marvel at and admire their technicalities. Whenever I listen to the P7, I marvel at and admire... the music. I think the P7's specific way of blending sound is far more involving and goose-bump inducing than the Denons. Not that the 400 are cold or anything, but the P7 take the cake in musicality IMO.
Jun 6, 2015 at 4:39 AM Post #580 of 1,435
it's always all about the pairing with the source and having perfect synergy, results may vary :) - both headphones are really amazing and have great potential, surprised me many times in this price range, compared plenty of them, nothing in this price cant match them (brand new units)
for critical auditioning of classical recordings I would still go for something like he-6 or hd800 / gs1000 (much better than staxes imho) but these are in completely different price range though
Jun 12, 2015 at 3:43 AM Post #582 of 1,435
Have a Z1 Compact and the iBasso and I was very happy. I have to say though that I haven't tried the combo since the upgrade to Android 5.02 - I have read that people have had problems. I will give that a test tonight and post the results.

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