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What headphone(s) do you own ?

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Hey @Bald1 What's that little transparent box sitting on top of your Topping? ;-)
Solderdude nailed it (I believe he also had a hand in its design). :) LOL That's a Garage 1217 Project Polaris headphone amplifier. Great flexibility in settings with those jumper caps you see protruding through the acrylic top plate. Output is generous as well. :) Great synergy with my Sennheisers!

 
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solderdude

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There is a story behind the Polaris...
The first idea was to make a SS tube replacement so one could turn the tube amps into SS.
(This was before LISST existed). I could not get it to work as I wanted due to the design of the amp combined with the different supply voltages between the amps.
So I designed the Polaris ... but in the prototype used FETS that were obsolete (as it turned out later).
Had to look for available FETs with similar properties but in the end had to redesign as there were no direct replacements and the final Polaris was 'born'.
Jeremy wanted the BW settings to filter lower in freq. so in the end there is the option to order it with 'aggressive' settings (Jeremy's settings) and the more gentle settings (mine) where BW can be chosen between low (which rolls of treble somewhat similar as NOS DACs), mid setting which rolls of just outside of the audible band and full bandwidth which rolls off way above the audible band.
Jeremy wanted to roll-off treble happy headphones and the "NOS- alike' setting as well as the wideband so both options became available on order.
 
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@Bald1 & @solderdude

Thank you for your kind explanations.
Although I am too noobie to understand even half of it! :D
I was just curious for the nice looking box that seems to be a headphone amp and end up discovering a nice job performed for people who really loves (and know how to do) what they do!
Congrats!
Now I am on digging in Garage 1217 and solderdude's websites. There's a lot to learn!

Have fun you both!
 
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There is a story behind the Polaris...

So I designed the Polaris ...
Jeremy wanted the BW settings to filter lower in freq. so in the end there is the option to order it with 'aggressive' settings (Jeremy's settings) and the more gentle settings (mine) where BW can be chosen between low (which rolls of treble somewhat similar as NOS DACs), mid setting which rolls of just outside of the audible band and full bandwidth which rolls off way above the audible band.
Frans, thanks for the background explanation. FWIW my Polaris has your "mellow" bandwidth settings. :)
 

LTig

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Let me think ... I'm probably a Sennheiser guy regarding home usage:
  • Sennheiser HD-424 (mid 1970s): was my first one, no longer here.
  • Sennheiser HD-130 (1979): still used by my wife in her office.
  • Sennheiser HD-580 (1994): still used by me in my office. I took me one hour in the shop to find out that I prefer the HD-580 over the AKG K-500 which had fantastic open highs but just no bass at all.
  • Sennheiser HD-800 (2014) replaced the HD-580 due to intermittent cable connection problems. I tried both the AKG K-701 (bass still not good enough, too much pressure on my head due to stupid form of head band) and the AKG K-812 (just too heavy, and the mids are a very tiny bit rougher than the HD-800, and at that time more expensive as well).
But there is more:
  • AKG K-241 studio: closed headphone for playing electronic drums (Roland TD12), to suppress the noise from hitting the drums. I had first bought a Beyer Dynamic DT770M but its bass was much to boomy and I could not stand it, so the dealer took it back and gave me the AKG.
  • Beyer Dynamic DT-990 pro (inherited from a late colleague): a little too much bass and the highs a little too soft and nice, which is both perfect for my smart phone:)
  • Sony MDR-V300: bought for mobile usage, but very seldom used since I have the UA-5 (see next)
  • Ultimate ears UA-5 in ears: for mobile usage in loud environments. They insulate very good so you don't have to crank up the volume. They are actually better than the AKG-K241
 
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I found the Senns bass boomy -- 580 600 650 -- and was wondering if the 58x massdrop alleviates this. If anyone knows. There' s much to like in the Senn sound otherwise. I have purchased a series of iems recentley,
alll mediocre sounding and am getting a little frustrated. So many good reviews too. Are people deaf or is every reviewer incompetent or a shill?
 
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solderdude

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Both the HD660S and HD58X sound less 'boomy' and somewhat 'tighter/more controlled' in the lows to me.
Don't expect big differences though.
Still haven't had feedback from Massdrop whether the newest HD58X indeed differ from the first run.
This still has to be investigated before I would recommend the HD58X when bought new (or need to check more samples)

There are a lot of 'amateur' reviewers that only heard 1 or 2 other headphones. Wouldn't trust those. Pick one that agrees with your own assesment of the HD600 and HD650 (taking age of the headphone/pads into consideration)
 

Veri

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Don't expect big differences though.
This, really. I feel like the whole series sounds pretty close, unless it's been a long time and are comparing by memory they sound pretty damn similar.
 
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In order of my current preference:

Focal Elegia
MrSpeakers Aeon Flow Closed
MrSpeakers Alpha Prime
HiFiMan HE-500
KEF M500
Bowers & Wilkins P5 (Mark II)
Fostex T50RP MK3

and then some I use primarily for conference calls, etc. (e.g., Sony MDR-1000x, Bose QuietComfort 20).
 
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Nov 29, 2018
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Nothing special, just a cheap pair of sentry black diamonds (wired). For only $10 I've put them through hell and 3 years later they're still holding up. The only issue I've had with them is how tight they are when new. I fixed that issue by putting them around a box for a while, and flexing them a bit.

When I first bought them, I bought 2 more pairs as backups, thinking that being that cheap they'd only last a few months, I was wrong. Still have two other waiting when my first set give up the ghost.

Paired to the SMSL AD18, they're all I need. The AD18 while doesn't push much power for the headphone out, it's more than enough for these headphones to get pretty damn loud.

I like my music with a bit more bass, and these do deliver in that department.

And plus they work great when plugged into my PS4, so I don't have to have multiple headsets to use for other devices.
 

LTig

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I found the Senns bass boomy -- 580 600 650 -- and was wondering if the 58x massdrop alleviates this. If anyone knows.
This is the first time I hear that one of these models is boomy. I don't think that this may be caused by the amplifier, except in cases of really bad design. The output impedance must be quite high to have a significant influence on the sound due to the Sennheissers having 300 Ohm nominally impedance.

If it's just a case of personal preference (fine with me, tastes differ) you may be more happy with AKG K5xx and K7xx. Maybe not those models tuned by musicians, just the standard models.
 
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This is the first time I hear that one of these models is boomy. I don't think that this may be caused by the amplifier, except in cases of really bad design. The output impedance must be quite high to have a significant influence on the sound due to the Sennheissers having 300 Ohm nominally impedance.6
7
If it's just a case of personal preference (fine with me, tastes differ) you may be more happy with AKG K5xx and K7xx. Maybe not those models tuned by musicians, just the standard models.
the Shure 940 amd dt 880 have a much better neutral cut to the bass and I can hear pitch and tone better, though certainly bass lighter. On 650 in orchestral music I always heard low register overhang. Lesser extent with the other two Senns.
 
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Both the HD660S and HD58X sound less 'boomy' and somewhat 'tighter/more controlled' in the lows to me.
Don't expect big differences though.
Still haven't had feedback from Massdrop whether the newest HD58X indeed differ from the first run.
This still has to be investigated before I would recommend the HD58X when bought new (or need to check more samples)

There are a lot of 'amateur' reviewers that only heard 1 or 2 other headphones. Wouldn't trust those. Pick one that agrees with your own assesment of the HD600 and HD650 (taking age of the headphone/pads into consideration)
I had versions of the Senns quite a while ago (580 at least 15yrs) perhaps newest iterations are different.
 
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I think I have tried virtually all the top- and mid-tier headphones. I was lucky enough to live next to two huge headphone stores in Tokyo.

My current headphones include:

JVC FX850
Sony MA800
Sennheiser - various cheap earbuds
A few cheap noise cancellation headphones for flying
 

mickeyd123

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Audeze
EL8 Titanium
Isine 10
LCD x
Grado/Allesandro
Music Series One
Koss
ESP 950
Acoustic Research
AR1
Audioquest
Nighthawk carbon
Audio Technica
m50x
DSR9BT
ATH AD900x
ATH ADX5000
R70x
ATH AD 1000x
Meze
Classic 99
Mitchell and Johnson
JP1
Focal
Elex
Beyerdynamic
T5p
T1
DT900 premium
T90
brainwavz
alara
HiDizs
seeds
MS4
MS1
Ora
xxx (kickstarter graphene headphones not sent yet)
SHURE
SRH 1840
Sennheiser
HD6xx
HD700
HD800s
AKG
k550 mk3
N90Q
K712 pro
Hifiman
he4xx
he 560 (these are in excellent plus condition with balanced cable for $200 from adorama, use amazon to get them cheaper via adorama, instead of direct from adorama)
EFS

MY WIFE SAYS I HAVE AN AUDIO ADDICTION, CAN'T IMAGINE WHY....
 
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