Something more 'soothing' than the Beyer T1's?
Jan 14, 2011 at 6:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 24

bangraman

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I’ve been reviewing my everyday audio gear as of late, and as much as I like the T1’s for their speed and overall precision without overwhelmingly trebly performance, I’ve been feeling generally that they are, well, high-end DT880’s… i.e. a bit antiseptic. They are also really heavy on the head after a while, although they do actually fit my titanic head pretty well.
 
 
I’m seriously considering returning to the HD650’s if there are no other higher-end alternatives. From what I’m reading, although it’s hard to really pick up their exact nature, it appears that the HD800 won’t be the choice for me.
 
 
Orthos I was prepared to consider, but one of the issues is the limited range of gear they can be driven out of… as the T1’s are my home ‘computer phones’ and therefore needs to be drivable with a reasonably wide variety of decent stationary gear without resorting to additional amping.
 
 
I’ve never been a Grado fan, and as the GS1000 (my last high-end Grado) made very clear to me, as far as I’m concerned their ‘better choice quotient’ ends at the SR225 level.  A-T, I’ve had the W5000… not a huge fan, although they do have their moments. Denons, no. Once again I’ve had the 5000 and 7000, and their level of cartoony almost quasi-DJ sound isn’t what I’m after either.
 
 
Is there somewhere else I can go, or should I slink back to the staple Senns?
 
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 7:07 PM Post #2 of 24

Br777

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give into the great ortho seductress, she will not disappoint... seriously.. lcd-2, thunderpants, etc...   pick up a wee little cavalli cth or the new schiit lyr.. both very reasonably priced, and enjoy!
 
also.. what is your other gear? maybe you just need a tube or tube hybrid amp to ad some of that magic soothing quality and take the edge off your T1's
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 9:42 PM Post #5 of 24

bangraman

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Ha. Beat you to it
tongue.gif

 
Jan 14, 2011 at 9:51 PM Post #6 of 24

MacedonianHero

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Just within seconds...
bigsmile_face.gif

 
I would try the T1s with a tube amp (ideally OTL for their high impedance) before passing final judgment. Listening to mine right now with my MAD amp and they are slightly warm with incredible imaging and clarity....and yet not as clinical as my HD800s.
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 10:09 PM Post #7 of 24

bangraman

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I'm not really into unnecessarily hindering my phones... been there done that. The best tube amps I've had won't actually 'warm up' the output. And as I said, for the use this will be put to, I'm not that interested in accompanying the phone with a specific amp.
 
Also I'm not a stranger/detractor of subtle EQing but I rarely like adding gain due to issues. I'd rather choose something that offers a little bit too much bass for example, given two opposites. However I know the tonality of the HD650 hasn't required EQing in general use (although something brighter won't be a problem). Tonality wise it is e.g. possible to wrestle an AH-D5000/7000 into something I like via EQ because the changes are essentlally all lowering the gain on various frequencies, but the issue is that I don't think, once you take away their consumer-pleasant tone, they're actually all that good.
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM Post #8 of 24

MacedonianHero

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Quote:
I'm not really into unnecessarily hindering my phones... been there done that. The best tube amps I've had won't actually 'warm up' the output. And as I said, for the use this will be put to, I'm not that interested in accompanying the phone with a specific amp.


That's one of the issues of a "one size fits all" headphone amp...with my experience, there is none. I guess that's why I own 3 desktop amps (1 transformer coupled tube amp, 1 OTL tube amp and 1 SS amp).  With 600 ohms, they really need big voltage swings to power them properly and tubes (in general) can do this better than SS. But as they say, YMMV.
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 10:27 PM Post #9 of 24

Br777

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Quote:
I'm not really into unnecessarily hindering my phones... been there done that. The best tube amps I've had won't actually 'warm up' the output. And as I said, for the use this will be put to, I'm not that interested in accompanying the phone with a specific amp.
 
Also I'm not a stranger/detractor of subtle EQing but I rarely like adding gain due to issues. I'd rather choose something that offers a little bit too much bass for example, given two opposites. However I know the tonality of the HD650 hasn't required EQing in general use (although something brighter won't be a problem). Tonality wise it is e.g. possible to wrestle an AH-D5000/7000 into something I like via EQ because the changes are essentlally all lowering the gain on various frequencies, but the issue is that I don't think, once you take away their consumer-pleasant tone, they're actually all that good.



not really sure what else to tell ya..  i mean the definition of what a tube amp does is "warm up" the output.  and if youre not willing to try tube amps, or any other amps for that matter, than of course your only other choice is to change phones, but i'd say you are shutting out a HUGE realm of possibilities in the amp department, as well as the eq department for that matter.   Its perfectly possible to eq to your hearts content without introducing any gain..
 
also, as im sure you know, (or maybe im wrong) -  the gear you are using is studio gear, so its going to be geared towards giving you the most neutral/clinical sound possible, which sounds like exactly what youre trying to avoid.
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 10:41 PM Post #10 of 24

bangraman

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Quote:
Quote:
I'm not really into unnecessarily hindering my phones... been there done that. The best tube amps I've had won't actually 'warm up' the output. And as I said, for the use this will be put to, I'm not that interested in accompanying the phone with a specific amp.
 
Also I'm not a stranger/detractor of subtle EQing but I rarely like adding gain due to issues. I'd rather choose something that offers a little bit too much bass for example, given two opposites. However I know the tonality of the HD650 hasn't required EQing in general use (although something brighter won't be a problem). Tonality wise it is e.g. possible to wrestle an AH-D5000/7000 into something I like via EQ because the changes are essentlally all lowering the gain on various frequencies, but the issue is that I don't think, once you take away their consumer-pleasant tone, they're actually all that good.



not really sure what else to tell ya..  i mean the definition of what a tube amp does is "warm up" the output.  and if youre not willing to try tube amps, or any other amps for that matter, than of course your only other choice is to change phones, but i'd say you are shutting out a HUGE realm of possibilities in the amp department, as well as the eq department for that matter.   Its perfectly possible to eq to your hearts content without introducing any gain..
 
also, as im sure you know, (or maybe im wrong) -  the gear you are using is studio gear, so its going to be geared towards giving you the most neutral/clinical sound possible, which sounds like exactly what youre trying to avoid.


I think a lot of people overestimate the tonal change on a good tube amp, being swayed by the 'it's a tube amp' factor. I've had a wide variety - from hundreds to thousands - and I really don't feel the burning need to get back into them simply to have a 'warmer' tone. I did mention EQ, but the fact is that the fundamental tonal issue at the moment is with the headphones. I can, for example, clamp on an HD650 with a 'clinical' (wrong term, btw) source and be pretty happy with the tone, and as I'll say once again, I have zero interest in pairing the phone with a specific amp that will colour it in a way I like.
 
Jan 14, 2011 at 11:11 PM Post #12 of 24

MrSpenkelink

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I agree with your "antiseptic" description of the T1's presentation. Having tried the LCD-2, I found it to be a non-fatiguing, albeit dark sounding headphone. I think that its presentation could qualify as "soothing". However, it's heavier than the T1 (although I found it more comfortable) and you appear to have ruled it out anyway based on amping requirements.
 
Jan 15, 2011 at 12:38 AM Post #13 of 24

sfmatt

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I'm in a similar boat, I've been to meets to try and find an upgrade for my HD650 and I've found the HD800, T1, Omega and such were not my cup of tea even if they're all objectively better. As you say it's a matter of tonality and sound signature.
The only one I am seriously considering is the JVC Victor DX1000 (felt like a better HD650, closed cans to boot) but I want to listen to the LCD-2 before pulling the trigger. And who knows by the time I'm ready Sennheiser will deliver the HD850 I'm dreaming of...
 
Jan 15, 2011 at 12:47 AM Post #14 of 24

Kernmac

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Sell your T1s and purchase Edition 8.  Detailed but not clinical, fairly well balanced, musical, and should be easily driven by your lifestyle sources.  Any headphone is a compromise of something, or a specialist that lacks versatility, but the ED8 is as close as you can get to the ultimate all rounder, a chameleon that adapts to most genres, great sound, non fatiguing, and comfortable IMO.  It does lack the big sound stage (not the best choice for primarily listening to classical and there are better acoustic headphones), however that is not everything to a lot of people and instrument separation and clarity are still there in spades. 
 
EDIT: I just looked at bangraman's profile and see an ED8 already listed.  Makes my comments a bit redundant.
 
Jan 15, 2011 at 3:59 AM Post #15 of 24

KingStyles

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I think the LA7000 would work good for you. Pretty balanced signature and can be driven from anything even though they sound best from an amp they can control them.
 

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