As far as my wife is concerned she’s just happy that I buy/collect headphones instead of bicycles. I currently have 4 bicycles - an aluminum hybrid (used for self supported touring with racks and panniers), an aluminum road bike, a steel road bike and a carbon fiber road bike. Still missing a titanium road bike.
A good titanium road bike would cost about as much as some of the more expensive high end state of the art headphones. But then I would need to upgrade the wheels, pedals, seat, handlebars, GPS unit, etc.
Years ago when someone would show up for one of our bike club rides with some old and very heavy bike that they dug out their garage, we would tell them to get a new and light weight bike. After getting a new bike they would proceed to leave us in their dust on the next ride.
So you were correct telling him to get a heavy bike
Impressive collection Ralph. Give the tubed headphone amps a whirl. Nothing like sitting in the dark with that warm tube glow. Definitely a fun gadget. I have eight sets of headphones, three headphone amps, and the only set we had in common was the HD800 headphones which are definitely a really nice set. I’ve moved more to planer magnetics, and I like that sound. Those being: Ether2, HE-6se, and LCD-X. Do you tinker with headphone cable upgrades?
Before reading my response to your questions please be aware of the fact that I stopped drinking the audiophile kool-aid quite awhile back. And while I no longer consider myself an audiophile that is just with respect to other audiophiles. Any non-audiophile would consider me to be an audiophile. Plus I refuse to throw out the baby with bathwater since there are still plenty of things that high end audio and audiophiles get completely right - build and parts quality, system and speaker set up, room treatments, etc. Just keep that in mind.
And also keep in mind that I fully respect your and other audiophile’s right to enjoy this wonderful hobby in whatever manner you chose. I’m not here to start flame wars and I normally just let all the audiophile talk go right past me, as is the case with the discussion above about tube amps - not my thing so I don’t need to thread crap on the discussion. I will occasionally post what I feel is a correction to outright audiophile BS, like the old stair step sampling rate nonsense or the 24 bit audio and dynamic range misunderstanding (actually more like misdirection being used by sellers of so called high resolution digital audio files). And remember that I stream my music via various Squeezebox devices, so how much of an audiophile could I possibly be?
Now to your questions:
So as far as me getting anything with tubes to playback digital audio - never. going. to. happen - I grew up in the 1960s and learned to really, really hate tubes, tube testers and the all those not so wonderful things about tubes. But hey you are more than welcome to glow away all you want.
As for after market cable upgrades - several of my headphones have them, mainly from the days before I stopped drinking the kool-aid. Both the AKG K701s and the Ultrasone Proline 750s have hardwired Moon Audio cables, the Sennheiser HD650s have Cardas cables and the Sennheiser HD800s have some aftermarket cable that I can’t identify. I bought the 800s used and that’s the cable they came with - plus I have a different cable for the 800s on order from Massdrop. I find that while cable upgrades may very well offer a slight improvement in sonic performance, that improvement is just not worth the cost - at least for me but as always your mileage may vary.
And I really did mean it when I wrote that AKG N90s are excellent and as you can see from my headphone collection I have plenty of top shelf headphones to compare them to and the N90s really do hold their own.
Thanks for the reply. I’m not an audiophile either, but an audio enthusiast who enjoys listening to lots of music. I like tubes, but to each his/her own. You pretty much have to have a tube tester to get deep into tube stuff. I have experimented with some upgraded headphone cables but nothing too high end…Cardas Cross, and some knock off Cardas wired cables. One of my headphone stations (in my main listening room rig) is twenty feet from my chair, so I had a nice balanced cable for my Mjolnir 2 made from Canare cable. I think the quality of some of the aftermarket stuff is higher, more so in build quality than to any sonic benefit you might gain. Enjoy the music.
Exactly how I feel about cables, however the stock cables on upper end headphones are usually pretty good. Although I am a bit disappointed to read that the stock cable on the Beyerdynamic T5p suffers from microphonics since these headphones are on my wish list.
… with your collection I am more than happy to let you win Ralph! To be honest, these Jecklins sound incredibly beautiful, but I only dare wearing them when no-one else is present. And although they are surprisingly comfortable to wear, one should be careful not to move one’s head too much…