Recently I went to my first live concert to listen to Grieg's Piano Concerto in A Minor (Op.16), one of my favorite compositions ever and beautifully played by the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. I'm 17, a bit old for a first time live classical music presentation, but having no one else in my family that liked classical it took me a while to discover and subsequently love it. The point is: I was absolutely amazed. I had been listening to that piece for months but there, live, it was a whole other thing. The music was the same but there was a certain essence to it that my iPhone driven apple earbuds couldn't reproduce at all. So with this swinging in my mind and the thought of how all the other music sounds like I decided to get myself a nice setup. Without a lot of research and just an spontaneous shopping spree I went ahead and bought HD650s, just that and nothing else. I was absolutely amazed, and thought it couldn't get any better than that. Until my friend mentioned the existence of DACs. Once again I spilled the blood of my wallet over the muffled crying of my girlfriend and bought a Fiio X3ii. Not a desktop DAC, but since I had an extremely long flight from Germany to Brazil ahead of me at the time (in addition to the fact that I'm mostly on-the-go) a DAP seemed like a nice purchase. I got home plugged the headphones in, pulled a nice SACD recording of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé aaaaand wow even better. The sound was great, clarity, volume and whatnots but, and I really can't explain here, something is missing. I'm not sure why but I feel the 650's just lack a certain warmth. I've always liked neutrality but for these phones I just feel a tad of warmth would do no harm at all. A couple annoyances added up so I decided to come here to, after this long-ish story, ask a couple of questions. So here it goes:
- How/which cable to get for the 650s? The vanilla 3 meter cables are just horribly annoying and keep getting stuck everywhere apart from not being exactly portable. I think something around 1.5 meters would be a better choice.
- How to make the phones sound more like I'd like them to, or better, how do I find out what's missing exactly. It might be warmth but, given my noobness it might as well not be. I've read on amps, valves and so on and apparently the Bottlehead OTL has some sort of primitive cult around it praising it as the new messiah; could that be the issue?
- While we're on it, a double question, what's the thing about valve amps (as in why use valves and not just bare electronics) and how will they deal with the Brazilian summer (~30-45ºC or ~86-113ºF)?