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Beyer T1

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I'm fascinated by the sociological aspects of our little headphone world, when comparing the overall level of response that the T1 is getting relative to what the HD800 got when the collective knowledge base was essentially at this same stage.

Of course, it was Jude himself (in a very detailed and well written review) who broke the HD800 news, and not too much later, confirming opinions by 2 or 3, and then very quickly 8 or 10 other experienced and well respected folks. After that, all hell broke loose and order books were getting filled in hours, dozens of HD800 speculation threads started popping up (would they be good with X, Y or Z, and were they priced right, etc).

With the T1, about the only folks who have heard them extensively at this point are Skylab (well known, but opinions vary in terms of his ability to "get it right" in his reviews/impressions) and achristilaw (I don't know much about him and suspect I'm not the only one who doesn't). So, essentially, the T1's aren't getting much attention, whereas everyone was salivating to get a chance to hear the HD800.

I'm not saying that the T1's won't suck; they may well. But from what I've read from these two guys, they seem like strong contenders. Can't say I'm ready to buy a pair on faith, however.

The HD800 was the first and had therefore much more hype value than the T1.

The posts about the T1 (especially from Skylab) make a much more mature and knowledgeable impression on me. That is also due to the fact that he posted a lot more valuable opinions than most of us, which makes it easy to relate his opinion to my own assessments.

There is no "get-it-right". There is only "opinion and impressions". And some opinions and impressions are, for me, easier to relate to than others.

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I'm curious about them. I don't think Beyers suck, but have had problems with either the heavy bass (770s) or piercing treble (880s). Maybe they got it right this time. I'm for more good headphones in the market, so I hope they're great. I'm not willing to lay out $1000 on a Beyer without hearing them first, so they'll be on my must-check-out list for CanJam.

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I have listened and owned the latest Beyer 880 and 990 and neither stayed with me long. However the 2003 DT880 is a very nice sounding can which I regret selling and will try to find one soon. The DT770, well to much bass for my taste.

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I think it's what Vicki and Miguel are saying. We've all tried to love Beyer's other quasi high end offerings (DT770, DT880 and DT990) but have ultimately been left feeling flat, whereas the Senn crowd seems to have much stronger "feelings" (fanboy-isms) for the likes of the HD600 and HD650, so naturally it didn't take much to get them all stirred up. I guess the other aspect of it is that Senn had a proven track record with the HE60 and HE90 (different technology, yes, but still evidence that they can do great things). Beyer doesn't really have that, or if they do, very few people recognize it or identify with it.

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I think it's what Vicki and Miguel are saying. We've all tried to love Beyer's other quasi high end offerings (DT770, DT880 and DT990) but have ultimately been left feeling flat, whereas the Senn crowd seems to have much stronger "feelings" (fanboy-isms) for the likes of the HD600 and HD650, so naturally it didn't take much to get them all stirred up. I guess the other aspect of it is that Senn had a proven track record with the HE60 and HE90 (different technology, yes, but still evidence that they can do great things). Beyer doesn't really have that, or if they do, very few people recognize it or identify with it.

The HD600 actually is a good headphone, though. Also, the only thing Beyer keeps mentioning/hyping up about the T1 is that it has stronger magnets, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It means you can possibly use thinner/lighter voice coils and have increased efficiency, but voice coils can only get so thin before they become very fragile and heat up really fast and we don't need the extra efficiency. And you'd think Beyerdynamic would tout having extra thin voice voils as a feature on top of the magnets but they didn't. We all thought the HD800's ring radiator design wasn't that special, but it in fact is very special in comparison with increasing the strength of the magnets. Yes, this is all just speculation on my part so take it with a grain of salt.

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The HD600 actually is a good headphone, though. Also, the only thing Beyer keeps mentioning/hyping up about the T1 is that it has stronger magnets, which isn't necessarily a good thing. It means you can possibly use thinner/lighter voice coils and have increased efficiency, but voice coils can only get so thin before they become very fragile and heat up really fast and we don't need the extra efficiency. And you'd think Beyerdynamic would tout having extra thin voice voils as a feature on top of the magnets but they didn't. We all thought the HD800's ring radiator design wasn't that special, but it in fact is very special in comparison with increasing the strength of the magnets. Yes, this is all just speculation on my part so take it with a grain of salt.

I am not part of your "all" so maybe you shouldn't speak for me. Some people did think the HD800 wasn't innovative, but I think they are wrong in terms of the application and the execution and related technologies. Reading the related Senn patents would lead to the same conclusion for some but not all people on this forum.

On the other hand, based not on specific knowledge of the T1 but only on repeated exposure to shitty Beyer headphones, I have concluded that these headphones aren't worth their price or otherwise "special" in any way. I realize I could be proven wrong, but I doubt it.

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I called Todd this afternoon and had him put my name on the preorder list. Why even try to resist? He said that nobody in North America has them yet. They're expected to arrive sometime in February. He also said that his first order isn't completely sold out yet...

I talked with him about the PS-1000 as well, but will probably hold off on those until sometime this spring/summer when I'm passing through Montana and can give them some serious listening time. My guess is that I'd probably listen to them more than I do the HD800; even though they're not as good, technically speaking, I think they'll be more fun for a lot of music. Just based on what little I can remember about them from CJLA.

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Thanks (for taking one for the team)! I look forward to your impressions.

Not having heard them yet, I can honestly say they're the best sounding $1k I've ever flushed down the toilet.

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I called Todd this afternoon and had him put my name on the preorder list. Why even try to resist? He said that nobody in North America has them yet. They're expected to arrive sometime in February. He also said that his first order isn't completely sold out yet...

I talked with him about the PS-1000 as well, but will probably hold off on those until sometime this spring/summer when I'm passing through Montana and can give them some serious listening time. My guess is that I'd probably listen to them more than I do the HD800; even though they're not as good, technically speaking, I think they'll be more fun for a lot of music. Just based on what little I can remember about them from CJLA.

Looking forward to your impressions Wayne. After owning the 2005 990's and 770 pro's (stock and "Darth" Beyers), I am not expecting much from the T1's but I am keeping an open mind.

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I have some hope for these as they are 600 Ohm voice coils, which I seem to prefer in the Beyers.

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I ordered straight from Beyer months back and they arrived last week. Needed tons of burn time and prefer Tubes. Tonally VERY much like my HP-2's. The T1 has a slightly heavy lower register with smooth midband and slight depression in the treble. Not bad, as it is very easy listen, mine will be off tomorrow to the re-cablers. Need to be pushed a bit for both balance and details to shine however.....

They will go low...very low and with little prodding.

Edited by aRc

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I ordered straight from Beyer months back and they arrived last week. Needed tons of burn time and prefer Tubes. Tonally VERY much like my HP-2's. The T1 has a slightly heavy lower register with smooth midband and slight depression in the treble. Not bad, as it is very easy listen, mine will be off tomorrow to the re-cablers. Need to be pushed a bit for both balance and details to shine however.....

They will go low...very low and with little prodding.

Well I hope you are planning to bring these to Canjam, sir.

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Don't forget, regarding the hype, the first paid-for pairs arrived in people's hands just before Christmas, when people are distracted by other matters (I'd think anyway).

My random thoughts are, the impressions of the T1s seem to be less detailed, but more "fun" tonally than HD-800s. After just putting on my Stax LNS again (I borrowed a T1S) and being able to describe them in the same manner (I'd never have believed I could have a dynamic rig that was as detailed as Stax in the past) I imagine the T1s could potentially be similar.

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I bet T1 will not be as price controlled as HD800 and one will be able to get it under $900 in several month. I am in the minority here as I really like my DT880 and DT990 Pro as well as vintage DT220 (and did not like any Grados I heard) so I am looking forward to these headphones and hoping they sound like improved DT880. :P

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Well I hope you are planning to bring these to Canjam, sir.

No Jam for me next year (unless it's combined with peanut butter).

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Edwood posted on the other site that he had a listen @ CES and he seems to have pretty positive impressions of the T1. Maybe Beyer got something right finally.

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I bet T1 will not be as price controlled as HD800 and one will be able to get it under $900 in several month. I am in the minority here as I really like my DT880 and DT990 Pro as well as vintage DT220 (and did not like any Grados I heard) so I am looking forward to these headphones and hoping they sound like improved DT880. :P

Edwood appears to confirm your prediction. The rep at CES told him MSRP is $1295, but I saw a pre-order from a vendor for $995. Interesting. I wonder if Beyer's decision not to hogtie its distributors will force Senn to adjust its pricing strategy for the HD800. My guess is it won't--at least at first. Beyer probably isn't pursuing such a strategy simply because it doesn't have sufficient power to do so. Which, of course, further points out why Senn's pricing behavior is anticompetitive. But I digress...

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Edwood appears to confirm your prediction. The rep at CES told him MSRP is $1295, but I saw a pre-order from a vendor for $995. Interesting. I wonder if Beyer's decision not to hogtie its distributors will force Senn to adjust its pricing strategy for the HD800. My guess is it won't--at least at first. Beyer probably isn't pursuing such a strategy simply because it doesn't have sufficient power to do so. Which, of course, further points out why Senn's pricing behavior is anticompetitive. But I digress...

Todd told me that Beyer won't allow authorized US retailers to sell the T1 for less than $995, so that's where all of the usual suspects are pricing them at. Of course, this could change at some point in the future. Plus, it's anyone's guess as to what "Beyer won't allow" really means and how important it is to them to enforce their wishes.

Who knows? There may be some fringe Beyer retailer who'll be willing to challenge it and start selling them for $900. But the minute one of the other authorized retailers gets wind of it and reports it, I'd bet anything the discount retailer will never get another shipment of T1s.

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The more T1 impressions that pour in at HF, the more intrigued I've become about them. It's still a pretty small sample size, but at this point what does seem clear is that everyone who hears them at least agrees that they're an outstanding pair of headphones (a true high-ender) and worthy of an audition. That's all I need at this point, because I'm not really looking for my "ultimate" flavor, but just something interesting to add to the mix.

I really like the fact that Drew can mod them quite cost effectively, making them an excellent candidate for balanced cables. This gives us the flexibility of trying his Black, Blue and Silver Dragon options at CanJam, and perhaps some other cables from other companies by then.

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Who knows? There may be some fringe Beyer retailer who'll be willing to challenge it and start selling them for $900. But the minute one of the other authorized retailers gets wind of it and reports it, I'd bet anything the discount retailer will never get another shipment of T1s.

How well did this approach work for Sennheiser and the HD800?

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How well did this approach work for Sennheiser and the HD800?

I don't know, what do the HD800 sell for now? Has the price come down? Seriously, I don't know. Bought mine from day one and haven't paid attention since.

As I mentioned, Todd's answer was that $995 is pretty much the best deal you can expect to get for now or the foreseeable future. No doubt, that will change in time, as do all things. Likewise, that doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be a fringe e'tailer who is willing to discount them further right away. But my guess is that won't be the likes of TTVJ, Moon Audio, Headroom, and other proven companies in this circle. Just reporting what I've heard. Not trying to make the decisions for Sennheiser or Beyer, etc., or agree or disagree with their policies.

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Last I heard was that Senn was taking a very hard line on undercutters by cutting them off immediately. I also heard that Senn had at least one written agreement in place with a vendor, but I do not know the content of that agreement, nor do I remember the vendor. What I do know is that Senn aggressively tested the waters with respect to resale price maintenance in the wake of a new perspective on the law, and they appear to be holding firm. Some of my info is stale by now. I'll see if I can find out if Senn is showing any flexibility now.

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