Deciding what's next


I feel pretty certain I will buy a pair of Nighthawk Carbons at some point, but I’ve also become interested in getting a bottle head crack with the speed ball upgrade when it goes on sale and getting a pair of Dt 880 600 Ohm and a HD6XX with it.

The questions I have is whether…

  1. It will differ enough from the Focal Elex I already own, instead of trying to compete with it.

  2. If I would rather put that money into selling the Elex later down the line and getting a pair of Clears and possibly selling off the Erish if I find the need to upgrade amplifiers to justify owning the Clears over the Elex, and I would likely get an rnhp if so.

  3. If I might be better off getting a headphone to run off the Erish instead of getting the BHC + SB + 880 + 6XX, which I’ve so far considered the Hifiman Edition XX, Audeze LCD-2 Pre-Fazor, and Hifiman Edition XV2, while also ruling out the dt1990 pro due to modding for balanced, fear of treble sensitivity, and if it’s as or more aggressive than the elex (Though I would consider it in place of the 880 + 6XX to run off the BHC if it would make it more warm and relaxed.) and Grado Hemp due to non-detachable single ended cable as well.

  4. Lastly, if I should consider something else to run off the BHC whether it’s 1 or 2 headphone(s). I’d consider anything 400$ and under in total. (I won’t buy two 400$ headphones, it must total 400$ or less.)


If I were to go with the Hifiman Edition XV2 or Audeze LCD-2 Pre-Fazor, I may decide not to get the Nighthawk or postpone it further due to the price. Everything you mention or I mentioned is with regard to used prices excluding the BHC+SB which is considered at the sale price, alongside me buying a few things I might not have to build it. (I don’t have any prior experience with the skills needed to build it, but I’m willing to take my chances on that with possibly getting help from someone I know with soldering experience.) My budget is 600$ and 800$ if we remove the Nighthawk.

Preferences: (In order of importance and may be susceptible to bias.)

  1. I would like something more relaxed than the Elex, not because I don’t like the intensity, but for variety and so I can take a break from that intensity every once in a while. (Essential)

  2. More slam, I’d like to have this for reasons of engagement and fun with certain tracks. (Essential)

  3. Better timbre, out of curiosity and feeling prominent on this being something I’d like to have although I have no tangible evidence to support it, more of a gut feeling. (Very Important)

  4. Warmer tonality, curiosity and because the brighter tonality of the Elex can be somewhat fatiguing for me over long periods of time and with a very small percentage of specific parts in songs.
    (Very Important)

  5. More depth, as that’s one complaint I do have with the Elex, as I wish there was a little more depth.
    (Very Important)

  6. An open sound. That is one of my favorites aspects of the Elex and something I’d like to keep.
    (Very Important)

  7. More sub-bass prominence. I don’t feel that I really notice the sub-bass all that much with the elex, though it could have a lot to do with the music I’ve been listening to. (Important)

  8. A larger sound, out of curiosity and I think it would be towards my preference. I can say between switching from a headphone to an iem, I prefer the larger presentation of the headphone. That’s the only evidence I have to support this claim. (Important)

  9. Decent or better instrument separation. I like having good separation between the instruments and I think as long as it isn’t poor in this area, I should be content. (Important)

  10. A little bit wider sound stage, again, variety. I’m certain I’ll want the more intimate stage of the Elex for certain occasions and a wider sound stage for other occasions. (Of Interest)

  11. Better layering, out of curiosity. (Of interest)

  12. More vertical stage, not so much a complaint, more so curiosity. (Of interest)

  13. Slower decay/speed, more of a hunch, I assume faster isn’t always better, and this would be nice to have for variety. (Of interest)


Note that not all of these need to be checked, it’s just a guideline and anything I didn’t mention could be due to lack of knowledge/experience/awareness or isn’t at the forefront of mind currently. Essential only applies to one headphone if I end up getting two. If the Nighthawk already checks some of these off, then note those as (of interest) unless your suggestion means I might not buy it.


I’m no expert in knowing about what biases there are out there, but I want to list what I might succumb to even if it’s totally inaccurate due to my lack of knowledge on the subject. Also, this might be written more so for me than for anyone else reading this.

  1. I may have a bias towards the Nighthawk and Edition XX due to the fact I have invested much more time atm into learning about those 2 headphones than anything else, which I imagine would to them being in the forefront of my mind whenever thinking about what to purchase. It would only make sense to me that what ever I’ve had the most exposure to, would be the first thing to pop into my head when thinking about what to purchase. (There are probably more biases than just time to contributing to putting something into the forefront of your mind, such as looks or uniqueness/absurdity, but let’s ignore those here as I believe them to be not as prevalent or absent altogether.) I also think that the more time I’ve invested looking at a certain headphone, the more I will value that time I’ve invested towards it, possibly making that time feel like a waste if I don’t decide to choose it. (I’m sure there is a word for the bias I am trying to describe here, but idk the word for it.)

  2. I likely have a bias towards any sort of gut feeling as well, sense I don’t have a vast wealth of experience in different qualities to know what is a tried and true preference for me and rather will resort to “I feel/I think” than having any real experience to support my claim.

  3. Also, there may be a bias towards the Nighthawks due to the bandwagon of the “Nighthawk gang” here. (I’m not trying to accuse anyone here of picking up the nighthawks solely or at all due to this, just stating it as a possibility.)

Even with all these potential biases, it’s still going to surely be better than going off of nothing.

I should also mention that I am more interested about the LCD-2 Pre-Fazor than the LCD2C and I don’t want to consider the LCD-X due to unit variance and weight. Not really concerned with dynamics, imaging, and detail retrieval, pretty content with the Elex for that, atm.

I will admit and note that I am a Nighthawk fan boy, but it honestly does check off a lot of the boxes that you listed out.


@M0N Could I get your thoughts?

Babe, just get yo self a Nighthawk and don’t look back

Yes, both the bh speedball and 880 or the hawks would offer you a different but very enjoyable experience imo

If you really like the elex a ton but want to see what’s above, this is a good idea imo. But if you aren’t fully sold on the elex and would be looking for a chance of pace I wouldn’t recommend doing this

I mean if you are looking for warmer, wider, thicker and relaxed the lcd 2 pre fazor is hard to beat here. Both the xx and x v2 are going to be more energetic and forward here in comparison imo

Personally I would probably grab a 880 600 ohm and a hd600

The hawks, 880 600 on the bhc+sb or the lcd 2 pre fazor would fill this well

The lcd 2 pf, hex v2/xx, and the hawks would fill this well imo

I think the hd600 or 880 600 on the bhc+sb, hawks, or lcd 2 pf would fill this well

The hawks, 880 600 on the bhc+sb or the lcd 2 pre fazor would fill this well

To be honest none of the cans you have mentioned will really give you that imo, that’s something you could get out of the elex by going to rnhp + bf2 or grabbing the clear + rnhp imo

The 600 and 880 600 ohm on the bhc+sb, the hexv2/xx, and lcd 2 pre fazor would fill this well

The lcd 2 pf, hawks, and hexv2/xx would give you this

The hex v2/xx, 880 600 on the bhc+sb, lcd 2 pf and hawks would give you this

This one I don’t think you are going to get without the aforementioned source upgrade for the elex or moving to the clear, potentially the hex v2 could give it to you but it depends

The hex v2, lcd 2pf, 880 600 ohm on bhc+sb, and the hawks would be good here

The hexv2 and lcd 2 pf would be nice here

Pretty much the hex v2 here is going to be great

The hawks, 880 600 and 600 would be my picks here for that


I would like to shill the Grado Hemps as I love them and think they check off…

  1. Timber
  2. Warmer
  3. More open
  4. Possibly slower transients (attack/decay)

I say this only because of my experience with the Hemps as I have not heard the elex. If you want to read more if what I and others think of the Hemps, check out the full thread.

Also I hear the hagerman tuba is good for Grados if you still want to get a tuba amp to play with.

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I have been following the thread and at this point I’ll probably go for the nighthawks just because I’m extremely interested in hearing what that sounds like and getting the BHC because I again am really interested to hear it since I don’t know what a tube sounds like yet and assuming I get the DT880 with it, I may read up a bunch on how to mod it balanced and I ever do decide to mod it and succeed, I’ll know I can going forward with considering the hemps when looking at future expenditures assuming I need balanced at that moment in time for the Erish. Also the Hagerman Tuba is more than I want to invest towards an amp currently.

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