I found out where my sound went

I setup my sound using BeyerDynamic DT 880 Pro headphones and took the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones to the park (the disastrous day I couldn’t get the sound right). Tonight, end of set, I swapped the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro phones in and my bass low mid and fidelity disappeared! I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t heard it for myself. The Sennheiser volume was scorching and seriously lacking before and after I turned it down. All transparent guitar and vocal response returned with the BeyerDynamic phones. It was like listening over the phone and in person. I’ve had the Sennheiser phones for years and likely muddy tuning accordingly. They sounded fine, until I dialed in the sound with the 880s. Another trip to Ebay. Just sold my Taylor 514ce and Washburn Prairie Song 12 string. The DT 880s go everywhere from now on.

The DT880s are amazing and very “honest”. I have a set of HD280s too and they have super harsh mids and almost no bass. I use it to track vocals sometimes but honestly I don’t really like or understand their tuning. Next time I need a good set of vocal tracking cans I’m going with the DT770s which are not as flat as the 880s but very pleasant to listen to (and have a closed design).

Definitely a worthwhile realization, good luck with the rest of your setup!

Thanks sanderxpander,

Mark at Sweetwater has approved replacement of the 880s. They’ll arrive on Monday, so I can perform an A/B comparison.

Having convicted (perhaps too fast) the Sennheiser phones, I decided to list them on Ebay, but not without ensuring they work properly. So I plugged my Breedlove into a Mackie Mix8, set the input gain, and discovered that with all EQ at 12 o’clock the 280s had full range with as you stated harsh fidelity, but the 880s sounded like they were feeding through a low pass filter.

I tried two guitar cables, an instrument cable and channels 1 & 2. After lunch I will try a second Mix8.

It’s possible all my trials were the result of a defective set of new headphones. I’d expect a flat response, but it should be equal. I had to set the bass to 10 o’clock, mid and high at 1 o’clock and boost the volume to get anywhere near the same sound as I had from the DAW… but that was with equalization dialed in for the 880s. If they are bad, so is the DAW equalization, and that echoes what I experienced during my virgin voyage in the park (extreme treble and reverb with missing bass).

I’ll know soon.

Testing the Sennheiser HD 280 Pro headphones revealed the flat response of the DT 880s. So did plugging directly ino my Fishman Loudbox Artist and Performer monitors (with no headphones). Turns out my mid/high faders on the LR Baggs Element Onboard had gone to sleep after 15 years in the same position.

When they were exercised they came back some, but they still lacked full clarity.

So my SC25/MY Breedlove is on its way to Sweetwater, to have an LR Baggs Anthem installed.

The second pair of DT 880s confirmed they were fine. I kept both.