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Recommendations for replacing Beyer T1

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by logicaldisconnect, Aug 11, 2012.
  1. K3cT
    The HE-500 is a good choice. I regard the LCD-2 to be more technically accomplished but its darker sound signature is not for everyone and makes it pickier with your upstream gears. 
  2. obobskivich
    I'm not sure if they're available in Australia, but the Koss ESP/950 would be a good option based on your description of what you want (but I haven't heard the T1 to compare, so I don't know how different they are relative to that). They're "not bright" compared to the RS-1 or MDR-SA5000, so I assume they're "not bright" compared to the T1 as well. Very effortless and transparent sound, mid-driven, but bass and treble extend on demand. No piercing clash. :)

    I like the RS-1i too, but I'm not sure how they stack against the MS-Pro, most people seem to say the MS-Pro are less forward and mellower, but I don't know. They cost more for me, so I didn't consider them. :xf_eek: Alessandro said they're "very similar" - so I'd say consider them seriously, but keep in mind that like all Grados, they are quite radiant sounding, so if you don't like a boosted top-end, I'd probably take a step back.
  3. LogicalDisconnect
    I've had a look at these, thanks. I suppose my concern with the HE500 is that harshness in the top end is not my only issue with the T1. I also find it sounds a bit distant and unengaging with some of my music. I don't think I'd be entirely satisfied if the HE500 sounded like the T1 with less peaky treble (not saying it actually does, just that I can't really tell from the FR graph).
    On the other hand, my worry about the LCD2 (as you and K3ct suggest) is that I do like some treble energy, and I'm concerned the LCD2 might be too dark. Again, it's very difficult to know what I personally will find too dark without trying, since I've never used anything darker than an AD700.
    The Koss is available in Australia for actually not that much more than the LCD2, but I hadn't considered it before so I will have to do a bit more research.
    Decisions, decisions! Oh well, I have to wait for the T1 to sell before buying anything else anyway.
  4. Chodi
    Sorry for the late reply time zone difference. My taste in music is very different than yours. I listen mostly to classical,jazz and vocals. I also found a resonance in the T1's that bothered me but I quickly found the answer through a very modest eq with Electri-Q (it's free). I use my computer for my source and it made that subtle eq change a breeze. Makes the T'1 sing for me. Compared to the HE-500 the T1's are faster and more transparent. I can see through the music with the T1's. The HE-500 is more lush and individual aspects of the soundstage are presented more as a combined image rather than the detailed (you can pick out everything) sound of the T1's. In that sense, the HE-500's are more foregiving and can be more engaging for certain types of music. Another major difference is the bass presentation. The T1's go low and detailed in the bass. The HE-500 gives the impression of having more weight to the bass but it is not as precise. On the whole, the HE-500 is a more relaxed sound and if it were not for the excessive weight of them, you would be less likely to tire of the sound. There no question that the soundstaging of the T1's excels but the HE-500 is also able to give that "out of head" feeling. I was a fan of Manepan speakers for many years and I find that the HE-500's give that same sound. It really draws you into the music. Maybe that is why I have kept them so far even though I cannot wear them for long without feeling bothered by the weight.
  5. K3cT
    The stock amplifier that comes with the Koss ESP950 is pure crap so unless you're willing to futz around ie. getting a STAX to Koss adapter and the appropriate STAX amplifier, the HE-500 or LCD-2 will be a safer bet. 
    The HE-500 sounds more forward than the T1 so it's definitely not going to sound "distant and unengaging" and as for the treble, while I would still classify it as bright, it's a lot more controlled and smoother than the T1. 
  6. obobskivich

    We can go back and forth on this one all night; it'd be easier to just qualify your statement as "in K3ct's opinion" and move on though (and we can go back and forth on "the HE500 are easier to deploy" too). :xf_eek:
  7. LogicalDisconnect
    I think for me it's now down to the HE500 and LCD2. Thanks for all the impressions so far. I've read a few comparison threads between the LCD2 and HE500 but most people don't seem to say what types of music they're listening to when comparing them. If anybody can give some impressions of the HE500 vs LCD2 for the types of music I mainly listen to -- ambient, electronic, synthpop, indie rock -- that would be greatly appreciated.
  8. charliex
    Two excellent choices for sure.  The previously mentioned Koss ESP-950 is definitely out of the equation as it is electrostatic.  However, I do recommend that you give electrostats a second look as they do seem to address your wants for a fuller sound that is more engaging.  Electrostats remove that 'treble spike' so ingrained with dynamic headphones.  I also have similar music tastes as you, and over time moved from dynamic to electrostatic with my HE-60's and SR-007mk1 my go-to headphones of choice.  However, I still have affection for dynamics and find that sometimes I just prefer to listen to their different signature.  Have you considered the HD-800, which are commonly compared to the T1's as a viable alternate.  I like yourself have the Cambridge DacMagic and with the LCD-2's is a terrific match, provided they have a suitable amp to drive them.  I was just at a meet a few days ago and had a chance to listen to the HE300/400/500 and was quite impressed with their sound most especially considering their very affordable pricepoint - nice phones.
    So either go with the LCD-2's and look to possibly upgrade your amp down the line, or go for the HE400 (less costly than the 500 and equally as good), and save your money to eventually discover the electrostatic kingdom.[​IMG]
  9. Asr
    How about the Shure SRH1840? http://www.head-fi.org/t/617007/mini-review-shure-srh1840
  10. TwoEars
    LCD-2 rev 1 or 2.
    The HD650 is not to be underestimated if driven balanced from a top notch rig. Very comfortable and relaxing can to listen to.
    HE-500 is probably better but build quality and comfort takes a severe beating compared to the HD650.
    LCD-2 - some like them a lot, it is a good headphone. Personally they're not my cup of tea, find the midrange a litte too recessed and congested. I like something with the midrange a bit more upfront
    The HD650 and HE500 are so cheap compared to your budget that you could just get them both and sell the one you don't like :)
  11. headinclouds
    You are considering some excellent phones which I have some experience of.  I use SS class A amplification and Arcam CD36 player mostly. 
    I started five years ago with HD650 and still love the experience of this. (I have used several improved cables with these). 
    Then I had a loan of a HiFiman HE5 LE.  This was not a fully evolved article at that time and it had quality issues. (one channel measured considerably lower resistance as well).  I have not tried HiFiman phones since, but the HE 500 does appear to be worth considering.
    I owned a Beyer T1 for a week or so and although it was amazingly transparent but it had a treble sting which I could not accept.
    I owned HD800 for several months and again although they did some things extremely well they lacked body in midrange and had a brightness which detracted from them.  I did not love them.  I sold them. 
    At the Head-Fi London meet April 2011 I heard LCD2 for the first time and bought a pair on the day.  I still have them and have improved the cable.  I love them.
    I heard the HD700 at the Bristol show  and  was interested (they sounded “nice”)  but they have not really done much in the market,  I wouldn’t pay £600 for them.
    A week ago I bought a pair of Shure SRH1840 and immediately liked their sound, weight and comfort.  They have been running in for 100 hours and I like them a lot.  They are like a thinner sounding HD650 and much less rich than LCD2.  They have good definition in drums and very clear vocals and guitar sound.  As they are half the price of LCD2 they are well worth considering.
    I have looked at the FRs on Innerfidelity’s valuable resource: http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads,
    You can see how the bass of the planars e.g. LCD2 holds up and explains their immense richness in the lower end.
    FR also explains the thin recessed mid of the HD800.
    It is interesting to me that the Shure SRH1840 reaches so well into the mids and this might explain their clear vocals and guitar sound.  They certainly communicate well in that area.
    If you look at the FRs of HD650, HD800, LCD2, T1, HE500, Stax SR009; from 30-4,500Hz I would say that the Shure SRH1840 beats them all as it is flatter over that range.  I would suggest that this is a very critical range and Shure have done well.
    Good luck with your quest!
  12. headinclouds
    I have just had a look at the Talisman amp you mention and while I'm sure it sounds good, it is not massively powerful at 150mW in class A.  Of course it might give a few hundred more mW moving into class B.  The planars such as LCD2 and Hifiman while not being very inefficient do seem to benefit from a bit of power.
    We could look at the relative efficiencies and current requirements if you want.
  13. Icenine2
    I had the T-1's and replaced them with LCD2.2's.  Bliss.  The LC's outperformed them in every way.  My amp is the Cavalli Liquid Fire.  Incredible!
  14. LogicalDisconnect

    Yes, it isn't the most powerful amp around. The DacMagic also isn't the best DAC around. It's possible even that a more powerful amp and a better DAC could have fixed the problems I have with the T1 (I doubt it though). Unfortunately, given my budget, I won't be upgrading either of them for at least a couple of years. So you're right that I need to look for some headphones that I can be happy with out of my current setup and that hopefully might scale well with a better setup in the future (though I imagine I'll want to upgrade my headphones by that time too!)
    The impressions I've read of the LCD2 and HE500 suggest they're fairly similar in terms of the difficulty in driving them. I've read some impressions saying the HE500 scale better with better systems than the LCD2 but I'm not sure how accurate that is. I'm afraid I don't know enough to work out efficiencies and current requirements though, so it would definitely be helpful if you or someone else could give me an idea about whether the Talisman will be good/powerful enough to make either the HE500 or LCD2 sound good (if not their best).
    I also appreciate everyone else's advice. Still deciding between the LCD2 and HE500. I may be leaning more towards the HE500 at the moment if only because the price of a new HE500 in Aus is $719 and the price of a new LCD2 is $1185, so the LCD2 is about 50% more expensive. There seems to be a pretty even split in the impressions between those who prefer the HE500 and those who prefer the LCD2, and some say they're ultimately pretty similar, so I'm not sure it's worth the 50% extra just for the potential of a slightly better sound in the LCD2. But I'm still open to paying the extra if I'm convinced it's worthwhile.
  15. headinclouds
    It is now morning in UK and I have to go out, but I will give a quick few thoughts.  The published sound levels put out by the phones is:
    HE 500 is 89dB/1mW  38 ohm.,    LCD2  91dB/1mW  60 ohm,  Beyer T1 102dB/1mW 600 ohm,  Shure SRH1840  96dB/1mW  65 ohm.
    To get peaks of around 110-112dB with the two orthos,  you would need around 130 mW from the amp  (close to clipping).  Hifiman recommend amp power of 1Watt for their phones.  
    Table in this review;   http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/hifiman4/1.html
     You would need around 30mW for the Shures and even less for  the Beyers.
    The Shures are easy  to drive  as they have a middle value impedance 65 ohms with the highish sensitivity.
    Depending on the level you like to listen at the Talisman should be able to drive the orthos but it might sound a bit lacking oomph.  As always only a listening test can resolve it.
    I would recommend asking Talisman if the amp can drive the HE500 and to what level .
    Sorry this is a bit rushed.

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