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What hdphone amp will improve on MF Vcan 2 or change hd phones ?

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andybeau's picture
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Hi all, just swapped over from speakers to AKG5550 hdphones using the MF vcan2

(because she who must be obeyed said she was watching gardeners world),

and wow it sounds EDITED. 

Listening to The Who Live at Leeds on vinyl

So is it the headphones or amp, or have I got used to the bass of the MA BX 2?

Christ I hate HiFi 

Cheer's in advance

Andy

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Rega Brio R, Inspire Quest Rega TT c/w Clearaudio Concept MM, Rega TTPSU, Marrantz CD6004, MA BX2, MF V-Can II, HRT Streamer2, Acer Aspire 1(Win7 Starter), AKG K451, AKG K550, SoundMAGIC HP100

Yamaha RXV671, Sony BDPS370, Xbox360, Samsung UE37E6300, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, CM10.1, 8.1 SW150

OneBoxSystem's picture
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RE: What headphone amp

Andy, I'm assuming you don't like the sound, are using the AKG K550s and find the lack of bass disturbing. Well, ask quadpatch on here and I guess you will find a friend! If you need bass, apparently the K550s are not headphone of choice for bass and something like the ATH M50 Audio Technica's will fill that gap. Smile Did you try before you bought?

dalethorn's picture
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What hdphone amp will improve on MF Vcan 2 or change hd phones

I've been springing a new headphone on my wife every week for a year, to see if any these new headphones could wean her away from her ATH ESW9a with the small wooden cups. Long story short: No. I've done many of the comparisons myself, and she has a point - they all come up short in one way or another.

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: What headphone amp

Yeah I couldn't get on with the K550 and my main problem was the fiddly, loose fit that destroyed what little bass it had. Some people are ok with very weak bass and thus there are fans of the K550, but not me and apparently I'm not allone. It's not the headphones on't problem though, the highs were a bit annoying to me as well. I should point out that it bugs me even more when the bass overwhelms the midrange. I've recently recommended the super cut price WeSC Chambers (£250 down to £50 in the UK) to people because I thought the sound was really good, but most of the time I try to EQ the bass down a few dB. 

I am guessing that the K550s are your problem, rather than your amp. Any amp that's remotely well recieved is not going to be the biggest contributor of providing a sound that you don't like. The only slight thing I will mention here is that I found the K550 mostly sounded better on my phone rather than a dedicatd head amp and this was because my phone, at the time, pushed the bass quite a bit. This was the main reason why I fell for the K550 after testing it in a noisy shop. I think I got lucky with the fit, the isolation must have worked quite well and I was probably pressing the K550s on to my head at the time. I found that holding the K550's cups hard into your head makes the seal much better and improves the sound a lot, although it doesn't fix the annoying treble. 

Anyway, I have found a few headphones that I really like that have nice, powerful bass but also sound good everywhere else too. Here they are in order of bass (most powerful first)

Denon D7000, Fostex TH900, Fostex TH600, Denon D2000, SoundMAGIC HP200, Hifiman HE-400, Hifiman HE-500, Sennheiser HD650, SoundMAGIC HP100, Sennheiser HD600

Now the HP100 is interesting because it's generally pretty neutral sounding (like the HD600), it's near the end because the bass isn't in your face in any way, but it's very enjoyable and oddly (nicely) smooth. Even the two models at the end of this list are miles and miles away from the bass-shy K550, they don't have that hollow feling that the K550 does. The HP100 is one of the only ones in the list that isolates really well. I found that generally good isolation kills soundstage, but the HP100 isn't too bad in that regard either. A good compramise if you want great soundstage and bass are the old Denons, I haven't tried the new Denons yet so I can't confirm if they are any good. The new Fostex models (in the list) use the same design as the old Denons (Foster Electronics made) and they're great, but they are very expensive!!

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

andybeau's picture
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RE: What headphone amp

Cheers all.

Yes agree quad on all points.

So new headphone hunt on the way.

Cheers again

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Yamaha RXV671, Sony BDPS370, Xbox360, Samsung UE37E6300, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, CM10.1, 8.1 SW150

quadpatch's picture
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RE: What headphone amp

You're welcome. Here's a slightly more clear list, added one more and put some more details (same order - more powerful bass first):

 

Grado PS-1000 (Very open)  - extremely expensive!

Denon AH-D7000 (Technically closed, but isolate badly) - pretty expensive, but hard to find now anyway

Fostex TH-900 (Technically closed, but isolate badly) - very expensive

Fostex TH-600 (Technically closed, but isolate badly) - pretty/very expensive

Denon AH-D2000 (Technically closed, but isolate badly) - reasonably priced, but hard to find now

SoundMAGIC HP200 (Open) - very reasonably priced considering their sound quality

Hifiman HE-400 (Open) - a little pricy

Hifiman HE-500 (Open) - quite expensive

Sennheiser HD650 (Open) - a little pricy

SoundMAGIC HP100 (Closed) - very reasonably priced considering their sound quali

Sennheiser HD600 (Open) - a little pricy

 

This isn't any kind of definitive list, just what I've heard. Obvisouly the Denon AH-D5000 should be in there, but I just haven't heard it.

I just got the HE-500 a couple of days ago, so under orders am burning them in as we speak, but I've had a good play with them already and so far I think they are my favourite of any headphone in this list (which is already a shortlist of greatness). The HE-500 probably has the best tonal balance (although my opinion on that does shift from time to time) of any of these headphones and the most exciting sound (soundstage mostly perhaps) that I've heard relative to it's price. Listening to it these has revitalised my love for a lot of music and my favourite genre (soundtracks) have never sounded better! - hyperbol mode off...

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

andybeau's picture
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RE: What headphone amp

Cheers for that.

I did demo these and have had them sometime. Last time I used them was on

some Monk LPs and they sounded fine, but last night it was very tinny and also was

half way thro listening to album thro speakers. Maybe thats why I noticed so much difference.

Cheers again for the list. I've had my eye on the soundmagic ones, as I've got a pair

of there ear buds for laptop and very impressed.

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Rega Brio R, Inspire Quest Rega TT c/w Clearaudio Concept MM, Rega TTPSU, Marrantz CD6004, MA BX2, MF V-Can II, HRT Streamer2, Acer Aspire 1(Win7 Starter), AKG K451, AKG K550, SoundMAGIC HP100

Yamaha RXV671, Sony BDPS370, Xbox360, Samsung UE37E6300, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, CM10.1, 8.1 SW150

andybeau's picture
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RE: HP100 they're the future ;)

Quick update if you're interested.

Got a pair of SoundMAGIC HP100 and what an improvement in sound quaility and comfort compared to 

the AKG K550.

Everything is better soundstage, bass, treble and mids compared

to the 550's.

Very comfortable and the case they come in is very classy.

My only concern is the cable connection, a twist a clip

set up, but I won't be disconnecting, so should be ok.

Very happy

 

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Rega Brio R, Inspire Quest Rega TT c/w Clearaudio Concept MM, Rega TTPSU, Marrantz CD6004, MA BX2, MF V-Can II, HRT Streamer2, Acer Aspire 1(Win7 Starter), AKG K451, AKG K550, SoundMAGIC HP100

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quadpatch's picture
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RE: HP100 they're the future ;)

Thanks for reporting back. Big congrats on the new headphones! It sounds like you enjoyed the HP100s as much as I did. 

Yeah, I hate that damn cable connection too and wish they just dropped the locking mechanism because underneath it's just a simple 3.5mm jack, which would make everything so much more simple. If you hate the coiled cable as much as me as well, SM do make a straight one. They have it on the HP200, although it's a 1.2m with then a 2m extention. If you're interested and can't find one for sale separately try sending a mail to hifi-headphones ppl. Sorry for the blatant advert, but they are the only UK distributor as far as I know, even Amazon stock comes from them. 

Happy listening Smile

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Hifi: Audiolab M-DAC Audiolab 8200P Tannoy DC6T SE 

Headphone: Q701HP100HE500, M80TH900Mad DogD7000DT880M100K550TH600 

DAC: E7U100rPACModi/Magni120DsHP-A8DAC2 HGC, BDP 105EUEHP 02DiDAC 

andybeau's picture
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RE: HP100 they're the future ;)

quadpatch wrote:

Thanks for reporting back. Big congrats on the new headphones! It sounds like you enjoyed the HP100s as much as I did. 

Yeah, I hate that damn cable connection too and wish they just dropped the locking mechanism because underneath it's just a simple 3.5mm jack, which would make everything so much more simple. If you hate the coiled cable as much as me as well, SM do make a straight one. They have it on the HP200, although it's a 1.2m with then a 2m extention. If you're interested and can't find one for sale separately try sending a mail to hifi-headphones ppl. Sorry for the blatant advert, but they are the only UK distributor as far as I know, even Amazon stock comes from them. 

Happy listening Smile

No worries and thanks

I can cope with the coil cable cheers, mine are attached to a 5m extension so it doesn't really get on my nerves.

Had a good two hour plus session with them on the other day and very happy.

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Rega Brio R, Inspire Quest Rega TT c/w Clearaudio Concept MM, Rega TTPSU, Marrantz CD6004, MA BX2, MF V-Can II, HRT Streamer2, Acer Aspire 1(Win7 Starter), AKG K451, AKG K550, SoundMAGIC HP100

Yamaha RXV671, Sony BDPS370, Xbox360, Samsung UE37E6300, Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, CM10.1, 8.1 SW150