Q & A -

Headfonia Q & A

Feel free to post any questions you may have below at the comment section and I will try my best to answer them promptly. I try to answer all the questions, but I may miss one or two at times. Do repost your question if it’s left unanswered for a few days.

Please also go over the Buyer’s Guide articles before you post your questions, they may help to answer your questions.

 

Here is a link to the older Q & A pages:

 

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  • socks mk2

    Short, quality XLR interconnect recommendations for a balanced connection between a Mini-i Pro -> HPA V100 stacked on top of eachother?

  • Elliot

    Hi. I’ve heard the ath m50x and really loved the sound so much but can’t afford them just now. Just wondering what other lower priced headphones carry their sound signature I’ve been looking at some superlux models. Would they suit?
    668b/681evo

    I like clear, natural, balanced sound with tight, deep bass.
    Thanks.

  • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

    Just got the Grado PS1000e – shocking – it’s a different world.

    • Haryanto Suryonoto

      Can’t wait to read your detailed review

      • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

        youtube video is up

        • Haryanto Suryonoto

          Watched your review video. Great one. But you sound not to excited with it compared with your initial comment above.

          • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

            It’s so different …. here’s the best thing I can say right now – it plays music like a world-class weightlifter picks up a 10-pound dumbbell – effortlessly. And with some listening you really won’t like anything else. But, that assumes you’re OK with the signature, which is really different. Next time Nathan I do a podcast maybe I can elaborate on that.

  • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

    Just got the Musical Fidelity MF200. Very nice.

  • Nick

    What would be a considerable upgrade for AKG K550 in the 5-600$ range for over-ear, closed headphones?
    The AKG just doesn’t sound right. Bass is lacking, mids are thin. However its airy-ness sounds nice.

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      The FAD Pandora VI(6) is excellent, great detail. MrSpeakers Alpha Dog might be good if the bass port is set right. The Shure 1540 is a possibility with great detail, but it’s somewhat dark – slightly recessed upper treble.

      • Nick

        Thank you.
        In the 300$ range what would you recommend as an upgrade?
        I’ve seen now that AKG K550 are sold at 150$. :)

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          I have the K553 and it’s really good – strong bass etc. The EQ curve I did is:
          http://dalethorn.com/Photos/Audioforge/Akg_K553.jpg

          So the total variance was +2 to -3 db from 500 to 10000 hz. And it’s neither dull nor bright. The MrSpeakers Mad Dog is excellent. That’s about it.

          • Nick

            Thank you. I did not know about K553.

          • Nick

            What software is that? :)

            • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

              Audioforge parametric equalizer.

  • hvking

    I finally bought Momentum 2. I hope it is better than V-Moda M-100 in terms of bass.

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      It should be better in bass, if you’re looking for bass that’s not emphasized a lot. The midrange is very good according to user reviews. The treble is a bit recessed though – some people like that and some don’t – it probably comes down to the music you play.

      • hvking

        Thanks. I hope $330 is a good value for Momentum 2.

  • Zoltan

    Hello. I have a Meier Daccord+Classic combo and I’d like to upgrade.
    Any recommendations for a better setup (it can also be portable, if it sounds better)? I was thinking of Cypher Labs Solo+Duet, or Daccord+Vorzüge Vorzamp Pure II, Resonessence Concero and a few others. Preferably not exceeding 1000-1500 EUR.
    Thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      So many options. the advantage of the SOLO+DUET (I would get the TRIO) and HUGO is that it’s desktop quality that is portable. Concero is very good too.

      Do you want desktop or portable or both and for what headphones?

      • Zoltan

        Well, I would prefer portable or at least transportable, with desktop/reference quality sound, and better than the Daccord+Classic.
        I would use it with Noble Audio K10 IEMs and possibly also full-size headphones like the Beyer T1.
        There are so many options, yes, and so much confusion on my part haha.

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          The biggest problem I see for real portable (not just transportable) is the headphone cable. If you can find a great headphone with a reasonable cable, not too long or too fat, you’ve got a great start.

  • Dion

    Hi Was looking at getting a portable amp/dac combo but am not sure which one to get, currently have hifiman He400i headphone and looking into buying a pair of closed headphones either the mrspeaker alpha dog or fostex th900. Would be helpful if I could get some suggestions as to which one to get looking at $300-500 range, can be possibly a bit more if worth. Currently looking at the oppo ha-2, ifi micro idsd, theorem 720 dac or hifi-m8.

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      I would go for the Theorem. It’s a good dac and awesome amp for Planars and dynamics

  • Marcos socraM

    Hi there !!! For my listening (90% classical music – renaissance/baroque) which desktop set (headphone, amp, dac, source), do you recommend ? 2000US$ Thank you for your attention.

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      I think if you approached this as a consultation with someone who can give you lots of time and all of the factors with the different components, you could get something that works pretty well. But here, trying to get that all at once, you’ll get a scattering of opinions that will lead you to stuff you don’t want. Search for the headphone first, then find a good matching amp. The source is so personal based on user interface etc., that’s a whole research area unto itself.

      • Marcos socraM

        Thank you dalethorn, If I buy a hd 600 for example, which desktop amp matches well with it ? Thank you again for you kind reply.

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          Me personally, I would get the WA7 Fireflies, but others here will disagree. I know it will sound good, and I like valve amps, but that’s a personal thing. You can look at the amps listed here – solid state probably – the Meier amps have a good reputation. The Lake People amp looks good. The latest Burson Soloist is always a great recommendation. Check out those and see what you think. A combined DAC/amp is best in my opinion, since it eliminates points of signal degradation such as : 1) Interconnect cables, 2) Output jacks and wiring from the DAC, and 3) Input jacks and wiring in the amp.

          • Marcos socraM

            Thank you I will see the Wa7 !!!

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          I wouldn’t recommend the WA7 but that’s me. I also wouldn’t go for an amp/dac combo. The only 2 i really like is the Meridian and the Hugo.

          It’s all very personal. I think you should read up more to get good recommendations once you knwo what you really want

          • Marcos socraM

            Thank you for your attention !!!! I wil definitely read up more !!!Thanks

  • Eli Segal

    Hi! What would be a better choice for me? Currently I have the DX90, iPod Classic, RS71A. And I’m listening to mostly hd25/t51p on the road and hd650/Grado PS500(Planning) at home.
    I’m thinking about my iPod Classic+Theorem or get an AK120ii and use it with my 71A when listening to hd650

    What do you think?
    Currently what is bothering me is that the DX90 is really uncomfortable to use and has really short battery life

    Thanks!
    Eli

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Both really good setups. the Theorem doesn’t charge the ipod and it will draw a lot of battery from it. I’m not sure you will get a longer life time than the DX90.

      I think I would go for the E120ii, I love that player, it sounds great, has good battery life, the best UI on the market, etc. the Theorem is somethign I would recommend if you had orthodynamics in your collection

      • Eli Segal

        Are you sure about the Theorem? On the review, it says that the Theorem do charge the iPod in use, Thanks

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          You are right sorry, I wanted to say the Theorem doesn’t charge by USB but it does charge i Devices yes, sorry

      • Eli Segal

        Would the sound of the AK120ii will be better than the DX90? How about the AK100ii? thanks!

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          Technically the AK120ii beats the DX90, it’s also my fav high end player. The AK100ii isn’t that highly regarded

          • Eli Segal

            Can you please tell me why isn’t the AK100ii high lt regarded? is the AK120ii all that better? Mind you I will mostly use it unbalanced.
            I’m having hard time to decide as there a big difference between the 2
            Also, I’m planning to get the he400i is that a factor?

            Thanks again,
            Eli

  • Dion

    H,i I was looking for a hard case that I could use to carry my Fostex TH-600 around daily in a backpack, was wondering if you were abel to suggest a section that would fit my description. Thanks
    Dion

  • Tronco

    Hi guys,
    A quick advice. I have two amps, a Schiit Asgard 2 and an Alo PanAm. I could get my hands on an almost new Burson Soloist for just about 500$. What do you think, would it be worth upgrading the amplifier?

    Headphones I have: LCD2, EL-8c, Alpha Dog, HD650, Shure SE215.

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      I sure would.

      • Tronco

        What if you could get a used (1 year old) Burson conductor for about 1K? Would you go for it? Is it worth upgrading the DAC too?

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          Is that the Conductor Virtuoso? It’s solid state, so shouldn’t be a problem with aging of parts. Which DAC does it have?

          • Tronco

            It’s not the Virtuoso, from what I have gathered, the Virtuoso was just released some months ago and features a new volume control and a remote. The one I’m looking at has the ESS Sabre DAC.
            From the reviews I’ve read it would seem that my setup would benefit from an upgrade. I think so too, but I’m wondering if I should go full Burson (DAC + Amp) or just get the Amp.

            • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

              Get the DAC. Mostly Headfonia recommends separates, but think about it – with separates you have extra outputs and wiring on the DAC, extra inputs and wiring on the amp, and add to that interconnect cables. All of that deteriorates the sound. Of course, a lousy amp or one that doesn’t match the DAC would be bad, but Burson should give you good all the way around. BTW, the ESS Sabre is fine…

            • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

              Dale is right, I would recommend seperate units unless it’s the Hugo, Meridian and very few others :)

  • Eli Segal

    Does the AK100ii/AK120ii has gapless support for all file types? or just flac? thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Should be for everything

      • Eli Segal

        Ok, thanks

  • Anonymous

    Thinking of getting a portable amp for my dx90 and i was hopping for better soundstage and separation of the instruments. any suggestions? pure II+ maybe? thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      That or a Duet

  • Eli Segal

    Hi,
    I went for the AK100ii and now I’m looking for a pair of open headphones that would go well straight from the player. currently I enjoy hd650(with SR71A), t51p and hd25 the most. I mostly listen to rock/pop. What would you recommend for me?

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      I think the AKG K712 are excellent. I paid $350 USD for mine, and no regrets. But it won’t be as bassy probably as what you mentioned.

      • Eli Segal

        Will the ak100ii be able to drive the K712? Other options I have in mind are: Audeze EL-8, Fidelio X2, He400i, Grado PS500. what do you think about these? which will be most easy to drive with the ak100ii? thanks!

      • Eli Segal

        Will the ak100ii be able to drive the K712? Other options I’m thinking of are: Audeze EL-8, Fidelio X2, He400i, PS500. What would be easier to drive?
        Thanks!

        • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

          The K712 efficiency is much less than the PS500, and probably the X2. I know that the K712 won’t play satisfactorily with an iPhone or the Oppo HA-2 amp, but L will have to tell you about the AK100ii and the EL8 or HE400i.

          • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

            I’d only go for the X2 really

  • RainHeaven

    Would the PlusSound Cloud Nine be a good pairing for the iBasso DX90 + Mrspeakers Alpha Prime/DITA Answer?

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      Sound wise I don’t see no problem, power wise neither. just form wise :)

  • Trevor

    What’s the best way to clean a pleather pads? my ATH M40x ear pad surface gets rough a bit now and stinks lol, even though I’m often cleaning it with a leather cleaner or sometimes with just a damp microfiber cloth.

    And the thing that annoys me the most is that there’s a kind of white thing on the side of the ear pads (see the pic), what’s that? is that a kind of fungus? I tried to clean that up with leather cleaner but can’t completely gone.

    Note: room temp usually around 32° C

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      That’s normal. Just buy new ones

      • Trevor

        The problem is I couldn’t find it anywhere, even right here at headfonia store for the m40x. Their official store did sell it, but just for the US.

        Are there any other solutions?
        And what caused the white thing appear?

        • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

          The Headfonia store isn’t related to us anymore actually :)
          Check amazon and ebay

    • http://dalethorn.com dalethorn

      If the plastic is leaking mfg. components, it could be hazardous or at least unhealthy. Better replace soon.

  • Venci

    Going to make a custom shell for Shure 530 with detachable cables. What male-female connections do you recommend?

    Westone 4R 2 pin, UE 2 pin, Shure mmcx (radium or gold ?) or other ?

    Thanks!

    • http://www.headfonia.com/ Headfonia_L.

      goodd old westone

  • http://www.headfonia.com/ L.

    Did you just really post a link to head-fi and asked for our help?
    The minimum would be to repeat your question here mate 😉

  • g.

    Okay, apologies, it’s a long post explaining my situation so I thought a link would be more convenient. I’ll copy paste here:

    My current heaphones are knock offs of Sony MDR V6, so I was looking into something decent. My budget is limited, and my choices are as well, because I live in Argentina, so many good cans might not be available, and buying outside the country is a nightmare (products stolen, having to pay huge fees to get it in,
    etc).

    So all I can do is browse local sites and compare prices there (in pesos). The main site is this: http://www.mercadolibre.com.ar/

    Since I don’t have much to go on in terms of experience, I browsed a post with recommendations in Head-Fi and searched for all those cans in the site I just mentioned. These were the ones I found:

    $185 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485383585-koss-auriculares-ur55-studio-_JM
    $395 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-491354019-auriculares-koss-portapro-_JM
    $425 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484864058-auriculares-phillips-oneil-the-stretch-red-sho956010-_JM Do these actually sound good? They seem gimmicky
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-487091477-auricular-cerrado-para-moviles-beyerdynamic-dt-235-_JM
    $477 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-484996413-auricular-beyerdynamic-dtx-300-_JM
    $888 http://articulo.mercadolibre.com.ar/MLA-485386840-koss-pro-dj-100-auriculares-estereo-profesional-dj-_JM

    Those are the ones I could find that fit within my budget (around
    $900 tops). Just for reference, the Sennheiser HD25-1 II cost over
    AR$2000 and the HD202 are around $300-400.

    I mostly listen to classical music, prog rock, and jazz (and Dawn of Midi, which I can’t put into a genre).

  • dalethorn

    Your selections include the very poorly made and easily broken Beyer DTX300 and the very well-made Philips Stretch. But to cover all the issues and the sound qualities would take a year. But only a year if all the reviews were in one place and condensed without any extra chat. On headfi you would have to read through all the many pages of commentary, so figure 2 years for that. Or — you could go to Amazon and click on the reviews, then sort by most recent first, and then you would be reading the reader/user reviews first and skipping the manufacturer house reviews which are nearly always posted first. That’s where you should start, and get your list down to your 2 or 3 best choices.

  • g.

    Thank you for the reply. There aren’t a lot of places where you can test a variety of headphones around where I live. I’ll go to a store next week but it’s safe to assume I won’t find all these options. I’ve also checked the headphones recommended here and most are either not available or way too expensive, with the exception of the HD202 and the Koss Portapro. I will check the amazon reviews as well.

  • dalethorn

    I think the 202 and Porta-Pro are both good for sound, but in my experience the Koss will need occasional repair.

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