Qualia 010 & Beyer DT 880 on the balance!
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Nik

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First part

Well, dear friends, not so easy to describe correctly two different beasts as the Qualia 010 and the DT 880. Just to explain my impression, I try to do, because it isn’t simple. But first I must to tell that the Beyer helped me to understand better the Qualia and the Qualia helped me to understand better the DT 880, why? The first thing I need to tell about the Qualia is that is the most complicated cans for positioning in the head, the sound change A LOT depending by the different position. I have found the position were the Qualia is very similar to the Beyer sound and I can compare the two cans in this situation. Good, I can say that if the Beyer is more in a dynamic way, the Qualia goes in the electrostatic direction, so a bit more of details and transparent, but a bit less of body in all the spectrum: bass, med and hi. The sound of the Qualia is something of ethereal and celestial instead of the concrete and stable sound of the DT 880. Very hard to tell if one of the two way to reproduce the music is the most real or near to the reality. I think that is just a question of tastes and relation with the other components of the rig. So both these cans can to be THE BEST, depending by what you are looking for. The bass is equal, but as I described, in a different kind, you need a lot of attention to hear and find this different aspect (dynamic and electrostatic ways). So I can consider the two cans in the same highest class even considering that they have a complete different prices! In this regard the DT 880 is ten to zero! But if you are looking for the highest details and resolution, and transparent you have just one only headphones: Qualia 010! The two cans are both comfortable, but may be the lighter Qualia is a point more. Speaking around replacements parts the DT 880 is still ten to zero, you can easily buy, pads and headband and you can do the work by yourself. Not the same for the more complicated Qualia, you need to ship them back to Japan… (!?). And at the last, yes, one only defect I found in the Qualia, and even for this the DT 880 has helped me a lot. The Qualia has a slight “natural resonance” that comes from the horn type construction, not so evident if the can is well positioned, and if you listen to low volume, but still there. May be the Qualia's engineers can provide another kind of pads with internal absorbent materials (...). The soundstage is ten to nine for the Qualia, just a bit better than the DT 880. The DT 880 is easier to drive because his low 98 db instead of the 100 of the Qualia, so the Beyer is always totally silent and dead, sometimes the Qualia (and even here depending by the position and the amp used) can to show a little hiss in background. The Qualia has a point up about nautrality were the DT 880 is a bit colored (just a bit) in the hi-medrange. Another example: the Qualia I'd call a "digital" cans and the DT 880 a "analogical" cans, both to the highest class. At the end I think that the better setup is possible to assemble depending by the amp, I’ll tell you soon what happened with the EarMax Anniversary Edition, may be some news can give another surprise for my tired hears…

(The Qualia was tested with the two cables, the stock and the Black Dragon).

I hope you understand my english...

Best!
Nicola
 
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Andrea

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I think you've come a step nearer to "the real thing", Nik.












[size=xx-small]more of the aforementioned "real thing" being: HD650 > DT880 > Qualia[/size]
 
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Nik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrea
I think you've come a step nearer to "the real thing", Nik.
[size=xx-small]more of the aforementioned "real thing" being: HD650 > DT880 > Qualia[/size]



Oh man, how can you know the real thing? Have you at the moment the 3 cans in your house ???

As I said, the HD 650 that I know very well and that I love a lot, was unlistenable drived by my RP010, not the same for the DT 880, RS-1, SA 5000 and others... If I find a veiled sound respect to the DT 880, I find a wall respect to the Qualia 010. The HD 650 has a tipical "Sennheiser sound signature" a bit more than the HD 600. For those who like, good for them, I prefer a more accurate and precise sound as the DT 880 or Qualia can do...

All of us know that after some hours the ears go in the direction of the new sound, for this reason, it is very important the "first impression", because that impression is relative to how we hear in life (real).

Best!
Nicola
 
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BrokenEnglish

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very interesting, nik. thanks for taking your time and writing your impressions down for us!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrea
[...]more of the aforementioned "real thing" being: HD650 > DT880 > Qualia[...]


... yet another guesstimate of mr. read-the-headroom-freq-specs-and-know-what's-best. of course there's no "real thing" at all.
 
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braillediver

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Great impressions NIK.

It takes an honest person to complement a set of headphones that cost about 1/10th the price of your favorites. It’s this honesty and your passion that make your comments so meaningful.


Thanks

Mitch
 
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Nik, nice impressions... you really should try to hear a pair of K340's sometime [especially if modded]. As I think I've told you in another thread, I was not a big fan of the Qualia 010. I did take the time to get the correct position and a good seal, but I think that at the level that I listen to music at they get too boomy and cave-like. For someone that listens at low volume they would offer quite a bit of detail though and they do have a very unique resonance to them... I can see why some people like them. My K340's are the opposite in a way. They can sound very good at low volumes, but they really come into their own when driven by a good amp and played loudly. They are also very detailed and have the best imaging that I have heard in a headphone. I have only heard the DT 880 briefly, but liked it a fair amount. There are other headphones that I think beat it all-around, but they do a few things very well... female vocals were quite nice if I remember correctly.
 
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Andrea

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Ouch, sorry for not mentioning it was just a guesstimate.
 
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Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BrokenEnglish
... yet another guesstimate of mr. read-the-headroom-freq-specs-and-know-what's-best. of course there's no "real thing" at all.



hehe, another guesstimate.
 
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BrokenEnglish

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Andrea
hehe, another guesstimate.



 
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Thank you also for your thoughts. I think I understand now why you recommend the Qualia in my thread, despite the 13:1 disparity in price!

I don't know if it will be possible to try these in the U.S, but I would certainly love to buy a pair for myself. Maybe when I have a few more amps and cans in my collection.
 
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Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BrokenEnglish



 
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Andrea

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nik
As I said, the HD 650 that I know very well and that I love a lot, was unlistenable drived by my RP010, not the same for the DT 880, RS-1, SA 5000 and others...


Nik, I have to say that this statement is quite revealing, in my own understanding.


And at the same time it is relieving, for an HD650 owner...

It's funny, for me, to guess in my turn how the DT880, RS-1, SA5000 would sound on my amplifier, or rather a lesser than a $$.$$$ power plant of an amplifier anyway...
 
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JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Nik
As I said, the HD 650 that I know very well and that I love a lot, was unlistenable drived by my RP010, not the same for the DT 880, RS-1, SA 5000 and others... If I find a veiled sound respect to the DT 880, I find a wall respect to the Qualia 010. The HD 650 has a tipical "Sennheiser sound signature" a bit more than the HD 600. For those who like, good for them, I prefer a more accurate and precise sound as the DT 880 or Qualia can do...


Almost a newbie mistake to equate treble-friendliness with accuracy. As soon as instruments you know very well sound «right» to your ears, the headphone is «accurate» (or passably so), not because it exposes detail. Also, what you tend to forget or underestimate: your RudiStor RP010 is designed for the Qualia 010, which -- as can't be denied -- is a bright, ultradetailed headphone which benefits from a full-bodied amp, and I don't doubt that the RP010 is exactly that, as the synergy with the other favorized headphones such as SA5000, RS-1 and DT 880 shows. Under this circumstance it's understandable that a darker, more conservative headphone such as the HD 650 has a hard time to show its potential against the more forward contenders.

As good as the DT 880 is -- and I'm sure it sounds terrific with your RP010 --, to me it's not quite in the same league as the HD 650 in terms of neutrality, coherence, evenness and resolution.

 
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Very interesting comparison, Nicola.

I've only a doubt/curiosity about the reason why the HD650 sounded so "unlistenable" with the RP10, which have also two outputs for low and high impedance headphones.

bye
Andrea
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ
As good as the DT 880 is -- and I'm sure it sounds terrific with your RP010 --, to me it's not quite in the same league as the HD 650 in terms of neutrality, coherence, evenness and resolution.




Jazz

I think you have set on hd650 also because of your rig , which source and drive them in a very polite and let's say "excellent" way .
I've had occasion to listen for hd650 from a corda amp and it was maybe the only time i heard hd650 polite and " equalranging " and right weighting everything , with hardly noticeably bloat anywhere in the bass->mid thing .

Hd650 can result different and have very rare occasions to sound at their best and need ultratailoring ; and you are a lucky fier considering you found the right matches for your ears quite a time ago

In fact what I think is if one is concerned about politeness and control of sound he should really try one of the corda line before any other amp and probably he wouldn't look any further.
 
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