Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution
Jan 24, 2018 at 4:49 PM Post #8,446 of 12,279
For what it’s worth, I typically listen to Andromeda in the mornings when I’m doing cardio because I don’t like to get myself too pumped up - I need to pace myself if I’m going to make it through an hour, so I listen to rock, blues rock, sometimes black metal, etc. It’s easy to just rock out to it and enjoy myself. I typically listen to the Vega in the evening when I do weight training. The playlist for this is a lot heavier: Meshuggah, Archspire, Vale Of Pnath, Nevermore, Dyscarnate - mostly prog metal and tech death. I can crank the Vega up right before a set and summon a big rush of adrenaline to put up the weight I need to hit my goal. So it’s a very different experience for me between the two Vega is a “rush” whereas Andromeda is more of a “flow”.

Hey man, went ahead and placed an order on the Auteur! Super excited to hear them. How does it handle the bands you mentioned? I.e. how does it handle the music that gets really busy? I find that my biggest complaint with my current go-to (LCD 2's pre fazor) is that if the music gets complex it gets congested and sounds like a wall of sound.
 
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Jan 24, 2018 at 5:12 PM Post #8,447 of 12,279
Hey man, went ahead and placed an order on the Auteur! Super excited to hear them. How does it handle the bands you mentioned? I.e. how does it handle the music that gets really busy?

For those bands, Auteur is perfect, IMHO. The first time I heard Auteur with Nevermore I was like, “This is THE Nevermore headphone!”

It has the speed, depth and separation to keep up with everything. It has the weight and slam to make it truly engaging. And then on top of that it’s just got this little extra bit of grit to it - the special sauce, if you will - that just makes stuff sound a little extra badass. It’s totally a biocellulose driver thing - they’ve got a little bit of attitude to them that other drivers don’t.

But anyway, yeah, Auteur is absolutely my go-to headphone for that stuff.
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 6:33 PM Post #8,448 of 12,279
For those bands, Auteur is perfect, IMHO. The first time I heard Auteur with Nevermore I was like, “This is THE Nevermore headphone!”

It has the speed, depth and separation to keep up with everything. It has the weight and slam to make it truly engaging. And then on top of that it’s just got this little extra bit of grit to it - the special sauce, if you will - that just makes stuff sound a little extra badass. It’s totally a biocellulose driver thing - they’ve got a little bit of attitude to them that other drivers don’t.

But anyway, yeah, Auteur is absolutely my go-to headphone for that stuff.

Just what I wanted to hear! I love the LCD 2's for certain genres but metal is 80% of my listening and they don't quite do it for me, too congested. The FA 003's are a bit boring in their presentation
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 10:22 PM Post #8,449 of 12,279
I don't use any of the damping pads actually, as I actually like the warmth level on them stock.

Campfire IEMs are my jam, but I'm not super familiar with the ones outside of Andromeda and Vega. I've only heard the other models briefly at shows. I probably listen to Andromeda and Vega more than any other headphones though.

Yes! Finally got to listen to the AFO without the damping jawns, and the mid-bass is nice! It's got really nice punch with my setup.

I have yet to be disappointed by one of your recommendations, but this may be my favorite yet. I feel good knowing I'd have to spend a lot more to get something appreciably better for my tastes (Focal Clear or ZMF Auteur), but if I mess around with something cheaper, I'll feel like I'm missing out.

I am going to the Philly meet on Sunday, so I will have a chance to try them out on nicer gear than I have, and see what they can really do. I know iFi is lending an iFi Pro, and there will be some really nice amps and DACs to check out. Someone is also bringing a Susvara, which I'm curious about. I want to hear what four months' worth of my mortgage payments sounds like. Lol
 
Jan 24, 2018 at 11:52 PM Post #8,450 of 12,279
Yes! Finally got to listen to the AFO without the damping jawns, and the mid-bass is nice! It's got really nice punch with my setup.

I have yet to be disappointed by one of your recommendations, but this may be my favorite yet. I feel good knowing I'd have to spend a lot more to get something appreciably better for my tastes (Focal Clear or ZMF Auteur), but if I mess around with something cheaper, I'll feel like I'm missing out.

I am going to the Philly meet on Sunday, so I will have a chance to try them out on nicer gear than I have, and see what they can really do. I know iFi is lending an iFi Pro, and there will be some really nice amps and DACs to check out. Someone is also bringing a Susvara, which I'm curious about. I want to hear what four months' worth of my mortgage payments sounds like. Lol

It’s hard not to like the AFO. It’s so close to the flagship stuff for like half the price or less. Dan really created those to be the only headphone any reasonable person could ever need.

I hope you get to hear Susvara on something crazy good. I thought it was mediocre on Hifiman’s amps and then I heard it on the WA-33 and it was just about the sickest thing ever.
 
Jan 25, 2018 at 2:03 PM Post #8,451 of 12,279
Hey metalheads,

Who here uses a desktop DAC? I have the original Schiit Modi and have been thinking about upgrades? Is it even worth it?

Currently the Modi is being fed into an Onkyo TX-NR 5007 AVR with Klipsch R-15M bookshelf speakers for the majority of my sound needs. For headphones I have ATH-M50's, K7XX, and Alpha Dogs.

Since you are already in the Schiit camp, a multibit/R2R version of Bifrost or Gungrir (depending on your budget) would be the logical next step towards further refinement and bliss. Multibit adds to the cost but is worth every penny. @RCBinTN convinced me to upgrade my delta-sigma Gungnir to a multibit version. Boy am I happy I did so as the investment was worth every penny. Everything became more organic, natural, analog-like and engaging, with improved PRAT. All aspects of metal, including every instrument, just sounds more visceral (albeit not in a coarse way that is detriment to SQ) and real. Both Bifrost and Gungnir currently come with Gen 5 USB, are upgradeable and hence future-proof and naturally come with additional connectivity options and whatnot, so all the more incentive to upgrade from Modi.
 
Jan 25, 2018 at 2:29 PM Post #8,452 of 12,279
Since you are already in the Schiit camp, a multibit/R2R version of Bifrost or Gungrir (depending on your budget) would be the logical next step towards further refinement and bliss. Multibit adds to the cost but is worth every penny. @RCBinTN convinced me to upgrade my delta-sigma Gungnir to a multibit version. Boy am I happy I did so as the investment was worth every penny. Everything became more organic, natural, analog-like and engaging, with improved PRAT. All aspects of metal, including every instrument, just sounds more visceral (albeit not in a coarse way that is detriment to SQ) and real. Both Bifrost and Gungnir currently come with Gen 5 USB, are upgradeable and hence future-proof and naturally come with additional connectivity options and whatnot, so all the more incentive to upgrade from Modi.
+1 That's the best $500 investment I ever made in this hobby! Gungnir to Gumby.
Hey @Zyklonius how's it going? Been awhile...you still at the UN?
Happy Listening!
RCBinTN
 
Jan 27, 2018 at 3:49 PM Post #8,453 of 12,279
It’s hard not to like the AFO. It’s so close to the flagship stuff for like half the price or less. Dan really created those to be the only headphone any reasonable person could ever need.

I hope you get to hear Susvara on something crazy good. I thought it was mediocre on Hifiman’s amps and then I heard it on the WA-33 and it was just about the sickest thing ever.

Assuming that all three main components (headphones, DAC and amp) are of acceptable quality, would you upgrade a DAC or an amp first if you could only upgrade one? Price range $700-1000 used.

I'm assuming you're going to say that the amp will yield better gains, but I see you're going with the pricier Hugo 2, so I wonder if your thinking has changed.

I know I'm going to want to upgrade something when I hear new stuff tomorrow, but I'm only going to upgrade one piece at a time.
 
Jan 27, 2018 at 4:30 PM Post #8,454 of 12,279
Assuming that all three main components (headphones, DAC and amp) are of acceptable quality, would you upgrade a DAC or an amp first if you could only upgrade one? Price range $700-1000 used.

I'm assuming you're going to say that the amp will yield better gains, but I see you're going with the pricier Hugo 2, so I wonder if your thinking has changed.

I know I'm going to want to upgrade something when I hear new stuff tomorrow, but I'm only going to upgrade one piece at a time.

Yep, the amp will yield bigger gains than the DAC, unless the DAC is complete garbage to begin with.

The difference between DACs is subtle, no matter how you shake it. In my experience those subtleties can have a significant effect on your enjoyment of the music, but the effects are still subtle. The difference between amplifiers is much more obvious. It’s a lot easier to enjoy a $2k amp with a $500 DAC than it is to enjoy a $2k DAC with a $500 amp.
 
Jan 30, 2018 at 8:06 PM Post #8,455 of 12,279
I've got a great set of speakers with amp etc (PSB Synchrony One, NAD 375, Rega DAC, VPI SSM). However, household arrangements will be forcing me to play music much quieter for the next couple years. My music time is at night and the current house is not well setup for rock-outs while others sleep.... And I want something more potent than my dog-walking DAP with IEMs. Good news is I have a healthy budget ($1000-$1500 USD) and starting from scratch so no legacy components to synergize with (Note: Will not be using my REGA DAC for this system). Bad news is I live no where near any store that I can test drive components. Just internet research and you guys to guide me! I'm in Australia and prefer to purchase domestically, so obscure overseas components are out. My source will be laptop via USB or DAP line-out and turntable.

Music is 50% metal: lots of thrash with death, power, and prog. Other 50% is rock, classic rock, blues, folk, vocal jazz, and smattering of classical. NO hip-hop, rap, EDM, or dance crap. I guess I need an all-around system that emphasizes metal.

The MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open is sounding like a good option. Available and in budget. Assuming the AFO, what are some good matches for Amp + DAC? Separates or integrated are ok. I admit some of the Schiit gear looks appealing and the same AUS source sells the AFO. The higher spec Amps offer both solid-state + tube, which sounds flexible and will keep me from catching Upgraditus.

In my shoes/ears, what would you grab?
 
Jan 30, 2018 at 9:36 PM Post #8,456 of 12,279
I've got a great set of speakers with amp etc (PSB Synchrony One, NAD 375, Rega DAC, VPI SSM). However, household arrangements will be forcing me to play music much quieter for the next couple years. My music time is at night and the current house is not well setup for rock-outs while others sleep.... And I want something more potent than my dog-walking DAP with IEMs. Good news is I have a healthy budget ($1000-$1500 USD) and starting from scratch so no legacy components to synergize with (Note: Will not be using my REGA DAC for this system). Bad news is I live no where near any store that I can test drive components. Just internet research and you guys to guide me! I'm in Australia and prefer to purchase domestically, so obscure overseas components are out. My source will be laptop via USB or DAP line-out and turntable.

Music is 50% metal: lots of thrash with death, power, and prog. Other 50% is rock, classic rock, blues, folk, vocal jazz, and smattering of classical. NO hip-hop, rap, EDM, or dance crap. I guess I need an all-around system that emphasizes metal.

The MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Open is sounding like a good option. Available and in budget. Assuming the AFO, what are some good matches for Amp + DAC? Separates or integrated are ok. I admit some of the Schiit gear looks appealing and the same AUS source sells the AFO. The higher spec Amps offer both solid-state + tube, which sounds flexible and will keep me from catching Upgraditus.

In my shoes/ears, what would you grab?

I’d go with the AFO and the iFi Micro iDSD Black Label. IMO, the Black Label is better than all of the Schitt stuff until you get up to Mjolnir 2. Jotunheim gets up to snuff with it on the amp level, but the onboard DAC is trash, so if you need a DAC, you’re probably on the hook for something in the $600 neighborhood to get to that level, so Jot + DAC probably gets in the neighborhood of $1K to truly beat the iDSD BL. Alternatively, Mimby + Jotunheim + AFO (which is slightly over budget w/o a big sonic gain for AFO) or the Chord Mojo are healthy alternatives.

IMHO, YMMV, etc.
 
Jan 31, 2018 at 2:28 AM Post #8,457 of 12,279
You are in australia... A second hand burson soloist or conductor? It's an australian brand :)
 
Feb 1, 2018 at 5:40 PM Post #8,458 of 12,279
Assuming that all three main components (headphones, DAC and amp) are of acceptable quality, would you upgrade a DAC or an amp first if you could only upgrade one? Price range $700-1000 used.

I'm assuming you're going to say that the amp will yield better gains, but I see you're going with the pricier Hugo 2, so I wonder if your thinking has changed.

I know I'm going to want to upgrade something when I hear new stuff tomorrow, but I'm only going to upgrade one piece at a time.
That's not an easy question...it depends on what's holding your system back.
I found the biggest improvement with the DAC, not the amp.

If you have decent source music, a better DAC will explode the digital sound even more...
All the amp has to do is drive the headphones properly.
If your headphones sound thin or tinny they you don't have enough amp.

Just IMO. I think the Schiit Bifrost MB at $600 is the best value out there for a DAC. If you're happy with SE connections.
It comes with the Gen 5 USB, as already discussed. And, the other boards can be upgraded, when Schiit gets around to it.

They already upgraded their flagship, Yggy, with a new analog section. You know the Gungnir and Bifrost MB are next in line.
You still won't hear the guitarist dance across the stage...other than his shoes tapping. His speakers are fixed in space. LOL.
 
Feb 4, 2018 at 6:22 PM Post #8,459 of 12,279
Big shout out to main man, Hansotek. I finally picked up those Periodic Audio Be you reviewed and we talked about-jeez-like last July or something. Really enjoy them. They deliver the speed, detail, and clarity as advertised. Just ordered some Comply ear tips I'm going to play around with. Thanks for bringing these mid tier $300 IEMs to my attention. About as high up the IEM chain as I need.
 
Feb 4, 2018 at 6:54 PM Post #8,460 of 12,279
Big shout out to main man, Hansotek. I finally picked up those Periodic Audio Be you reviewed and we talked about-jeez-like last July or something. Really enjoy them. They deliver the speed, detail, and clarity as advertised. Just ordered some Comply ear tips I'm going to play around with. Thanks for bringing these mid tier $300 IEMs to my attention. About as high up the IEM chain as I need.

Glad you like them!! That’s an awesome IEM!
 

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