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Decent cans to use with a Furutech Headphone amp?

Moviebuff

Prominent Member
My last set of what I'd call fairly decent cans were bought in 1990 - a pair
of Quart Phone 90's that were about £150 quid. They have given sterling service, but after 23 years, and nearing their Gold Watch, it is time to retire them.

I have bought a used Furutech ADL GT40 headphone amp/Dac/phono stage,
which has been purchased on the blind, but from the research I've done, appears to be reasonably capable. I am awaiting it's imminent arrival.

So, my question for all that's both brave & kind enough to offer some much needed advice.

What Make & models of headphone should I narrow my choice down to, on a budget of around £300. This figure is not absolutely cast in stone, as I could postpone a purchase to raise more funds, should a clear winner emerge just above this figure. I realise the pro's and cons of both open and closed designs and would consider either - it is the sound going into my ears that needs to be the winner at the end of the day.

My choice of music is wide and varied, and of no particular genre - Floyd, The Prodigy, Simple Minds, Ibiza Chill - all sorts really and fairly wide ranging.

Most of the source material will be off of CD, with a small amount of lossless off of the PC.

So, taking the above into account, if the more knowledgeable could at least point me in the right direction, then it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks again,

Jerry :)
 

Drubbing

Established Member
The more logical way to do this would be to buy headphones you like, and buy back up gear to suit their needs. After all, it's the phones you're listening to.

The DAC amp you've got gets good reviews, but in building in some features that many may not use, it seems to fall down on the headphone stage - which is really the main reason to buy a good headphone amp.

I wouldn't look at phones over 250ohm, that would probably test its limits.

As to what, depends on the sort of sound you prefer - warm, laid back, or technical and analytical.

Open phones provide a more natural sounding presentation, but there's equally good closed IMO, which also offer some isolation. I think Grados/Alessandros offer good open phones. Alessandro are better priced Grados. Beyers lower ohm models of DT250 and 880 are also high quality.
 
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Moviebuff

Prominent Member
The more logical way to do this would be to buy headphones you like, and buy back up gear to suit their needs. After all, it's the phones you're listening to.

While I agree with what your saying, the price paid for the headphone amp was pretty hard to turn down - so it kind of dictated the run of things, as I didn't want to miss a golden opportunity! :)

The DAC amp you've got gets good reviews, but in building in some features that many may not use, it seems to fall down on the headphone stage - which is really the main reason to buy a good headphone amp.

From the most that I have read about the Furutech, it is the phono stage that is the more lacking, and
sounds to be nothing if not a capable headphone amp, even if it may not be up there with the very best.

As for my preference in sound, I prefer a clean, fairly detailed sound, without the hard fatiguing nature that some phones can exhibit.
 
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Drubbing

Established Member
I stand by my suggestions - the DT250 is closed, well detailed and the treble doesn't fatigue. The 880 is more detailed across the spectrum. If you like that, then it's good, if not it can sound a bit too clinical.
 

Moviebuff

Prominent Member
I stand by my suggestions - the DT250 is closed, well detailed and the treble doesn't fatigue. The 880 is more detailed across the spectrum. If you like that, then it's good, if not it can sound a bit too clinical.

Nice one - I shall look into them both. :thumbsup:

Thanks again. :)
 

Moviebuff

Prominent Member
To conclude this thread, I bought a used but as new condition pair of AKG K701's for not a lot of money. They seem to be a good match when taken into account being used with the Furutech ADL. This is from postings/reviews I've gleaned off of review sites and other, more dedicated headphone forum sites.

I don't like buying equipment blind, but couldn't find anywhere locally whereby I could audition multiple phones with my gear.

Only time will tell if it works for the good.
 

Drubbing

Established Member
You may find the Furutech lacking for power, as well as the headphone stage being the weak link, as suggested before. The 701 is a pig to drive, it's one of the few phones that break the ohm rule of thumb. They're less than 100ohm, but the sensitivity is really low, which means they need as much power as 250+ ohm phones.

Some big sites like head fi can't be relied on for good info on a phone like this. Too many fanbois, mythmaking, shills and followers. It's a common problem with niche gear-head sites.

The only way to know if you're not getting the best from them, is to try them in a set up that will run them easily.
 

Moviebuff

Prominent Member
Agree. I realise that the myth of high ohms is not the only thing to consider, and that sensitivity is a big factor also. The Furutech can drive my MBQuarts with ease, and they are rated @ 300 ohms. The comparison ends there, as I can't be certain of their sensitivity, and as they are 23 years old and were discontinued many moons ago, information is scant on their specs.

The AKG's are due to arrive tomorrow - will keep you posted of my honest observations.

With regards the Furutech, playing Flac files via my NAS>Laptop>USB - Furutech, it sounds impressive.
 

Moviebuff

Prominent Member
I received the AKG's today and initial impressions are more than favourable. They are easier to drive than my MbQuarts, and they have brought a smile to my face. The Furutech has no problem driving them at all, which, tbh was a bit of a concern.

Currently, one happy bunny. :thumbsup:
 

Member 410254

Established Member
Glad you found a great pair of headphones for the GT40, it's a great little DAC and head amp. For those that may still be looking for a pair of high quality headphones for the GT40 I would strongly recommend pairing it with the ADL H118 headphones. ADL combo should work well with great synergy.
 
D

Deleted member 79803

Guest
The Furutech can drive my MBQuarts with ease, and they are rated @ 300 ohms. The comparison ends there, as I can't be certain of their sensitivity, and as they are 23 years old and were discontinued many moons ago, information is scant on their specs.

If you are interested in finding out more about your MBQuarts you could always try e-mailing the guys at German Maestro. They started up when MBQuart pulled out of the headphone market and are run by the old management team and still based in Obrigheim, Germany.

In addition to making their own phones (they'll look familiar to you) they service / repair the old MBQuart range so should be well versed in them.

I received a pair of their GM 8.35D's (35 ohms - don't need amping but do benefit from one) a few days ago and have to say they're pretty good. I was also buying blind as it's near impossible to audition phones locally but pleased to find them as well balanced as the impressions I'd read suggested :)
 
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Moviebuff

Prominent Member
Having A-B'ed the MBQuarts & the AKGs, the K701's are more full bodied, and not quite as harsh, but are also more detailed, with more depth to their sound.. The MBQuarts have served me well for 23 years now, but I feel vindicated that the AKG's have taken over from them with such accomplished style. :)
 

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