AudioQuest DragonFly + Audio Technica ATH-M50

Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers' started by Munrooe13, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Hi everybody!

    I own a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50 and I have a pair of Audioengine A2's.

    My source is a Macbook Pro. I listen mostly to 320kbs MP3's, but also Flac and Apple Lossless when available.

    I am looking for a cheap way to upgrade my modest setup. I was thinking about getting the AudioQuest DragonFly.

    But will it be a substantial upgrade? Or is there a better way to get better audio for the money?

    I hope some of you experts can help me, 'cause I don't know allot about, but I really do appreciate good quality audio.

    Any input and ideas is much appreciated.

    Thanx
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Dragonfly is a good long-term investment, and will be best appreciated with lossless tracks, especially the higher bandwidths such as 88 and 96 khz. But the M50's appreciation of that improvement is limited, unless you can find a good smoothing EQ curve that isn't too radical, that would not introduce more distortion than what it makes better. A better headphone would make a more immediate improvement I think, but there's no rule in these things except good planning and whatever you think makes the most sense for the next purchase.
     
  3. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Thank you for the reply.. I guess that means that it dosn't make mcuh sense for me to buy the Dragonfly with my current headphones.. Unfortunately a better set of headphones isn't something I can afford i the near future. Is there any other way to get better sound quality cheaply? Perhaps with a small amplifier..
     
  4. randomkid

    randomkid New Member

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    Epiphany acoustics EDAC
     
  5. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Thank you for the answer Randomkid..

    But will it not be the same issues with the Edac as with the Dragonfly?
     
  6. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    Since you were considering the Dragonfly (the best DAC/amp of its kind), either buy the Dragonfly now and get some use out of it until you upgrade the headphone later, or skip the Dragonfly and buy a comparably-priced headphone now. The Sennheiser Momentum would be an ideal choice. Slightly more than the Dragonfly, but just skip a few meals and there you go.
     
  7. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Is there that much difference between the M50's and the Sennheiser Momentum?
     
  8. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    A rather large difference, yes. The Momentum is very highly rated for sound (see Innerfidelity's review and my reviews), it's a very high quality item physically, very comfortable to wear, very lightweight and good looking. The M50 has a somewhat unbalanced (colored) midrange, but the Momentum is very smooth and clean there. The highs of the Momentum are smooth and sparkly, while the M50 is slightly peaky in places, also uneven. It's a big difference in price, but your ears shoud be treated to as good a sound as you can afford. The M50 is a good starter headphone, but you already have that, so you know. I might be a little biased with my Momentum in hand here, but I wouldn't part with this gem for anything. Well, maybe a Stax SR009, unless Sennheiser re-released the Orpheus.
     
  9. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Okay thanx - I will definitely check them out.. They are a gorgeous set of headphones, although I really only use them at home in front of the computer, so that will not matter very much. But they would benefit from a the Dragonfly then?
     
  10. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Momentum would especially benefit from the Dragonfly because the Momentum has a fairly strong output in the upper bass to lower mids, and most analog amps and computer sound cards make that bass slightly murky, while the Dragonfly keeps it more tight and detailed. Of course the Dragonfly can thin out the sound of some of the leaner more 'neutral' headphones, so the Momentum is a more ideal match.
     
  11. Munrooe13

    Munrooe13 New Member

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    Thank you for the answer. Since I will only use them at home, wouldn't a open back design be better? Maybe skip a few more meals and buy the Sennheiser HD650 or the Grado SR325is? I mean if im going to upgrade I might as well do it right the first time so I sont want to upgrade a year after again. Or are the Momentum really that good?
     
  12. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The Senn 600/650 designs are some 12 to 15 years old, and while that doesn't make them wrong, it does make them old. Without trying to write a book on this, I could offer a simple explanation: If your listening is mainly classical or jazz or folk music *and* you are a stickler for the classic concept of high fidelity accuracy/neutrality, the Senn 600 or 650 may satisfy. I personally would choose the Momentum over those. But if I were leaning toward the 600/650, I might go for the Shure 1840 or 1440 instead. I've owned both.

    The Grado SR325 is different - the one I had was 12 or more years ago, and it compared more to a Senn 565 - more of a mid-centric sound than the less-forward 600's, although the 580 was even more mids-recessed than the 600 series. If I were buying another Grado I'd get the PS500. I had the PS500, and the rewards in sound and comfort really justify the price difference from the 325.

    If you had one or two music tracks that were perfect examples of music you want the best reproduction of, I'd like to check those out myself.
     
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