I screwed up

I have a pretty good HiFi. I use Usher Dancer Mini 2 DMDs, powered by a Harman Kardon HK990 integrated amp playing Flac files and HD material downloaded from HDTracks and Tidal music streaming. My speakers, subs and listening seats are meticulously placed and my room is acoustically treated and is a terrific environment for audio playback. But, often at night I like to lay in bed and listen to music, so to keep from disturbing my wife I use headphones. I've had AKG-K701s for about 5 years and they have served me well.

My trouble started about a month ago when I happen to see a Beyerdynamic T1 Tesla headphone for a very good price, so I bought it. Now I am spoiled. My main rig just doesn't thrill me like it did. Instead of basking in the music I complain to myself about the lack of speed and detail. Other than shear musical scale, the headphone outperforms the room system in every way. Is it going to take some expensive new speakers like small Vivids or Raidho C1 to get that T1 sound quality? I feel like an old pothead that discovered crack cocaine and now rue the day that I put the pipe to my lips. Maybe the answer is to listen to my buddy's car radio in his 1999 Chevy pickup for a while and that might make my main rig sound great again! Is this scenario typical of an obsessed audiophile/music lover, or is something just wrong with me? LOL.
That is a very nice set of cans. Now you must dissect what they have the system does not; mostly involvement.

You can keep the Dancers, but the HK hits the road. That is a sterile amp my friend. Find some new life in a different integrated. Borrow something and find better than lifeless reproduction.

For SS the mid-range Rega will do nicely, for valve a Decware would cream that HK. Just free advice since that is why you posted here.
You need a good preamp.
You just discovered the truth about audiophile setups. Look into active monitors, they are just so much better.
Give yourself some time to see if you fatigue from the headphones. You're listening to the mix of a good sound engineer which is nothing like a real event. All of that detail just isn't in a live performance. It's addicting for sure but you just may tire of it. I did. I haven't used my headphones in over a year now and I used to love them.

All the best,
You already figured it out. Your system just isn't up to snuff. When you upgrade your system it should blow headphones away. If it doesn't, you need a bigger upgrade.
"09-13-15: Coli
You just discovered the truth about audiophile setups. Look into active monitors, they are just so much better."

That's a matter of opinion. I've tried many different powered speakers in all price ranges. You end up spending a lot more money for less sound quality.
Someone's bound to read my last post and say there's no way that I could have heard every active speaker on the market. That would be a true statement. I haven't heard every speaker in production.
Thanks for the feedback guys. I think I will take Nonoise's advise first (since it is free....LOL) and see if my love affair with the T1 Tesla is a fleeting thing. But, since my listening habits already include a lot of late night headphone use I'm inclined to believe that it isn't. A quality preamp in front of the HK power section sounds intriguing though. Can I get a good pre for $1200 to $1500? If so, what?
Yupp....that is true for my system as well. I have a dedicated amp for my Sennheiser 650's which are much better than my big system. I think that a good earphone system is better than any speaker system. You don't have room resonances, easier to drive, etc. Earphones do have a shut in image, that speakers don't have...other than that....
Danoroo, I didn't know you do a lot of late night listening. That changes things.
If that's the case and you really like what you hear, then a dedicated headphone amp (and all that goes with it) may just be your ticket to audio nirvana.

If you haven't already, check out:

There are more sites but these would be a good start.

All the best,
A lot cheaper that way too! Right Nonoise? Comparing the price of a state of the art headphone amp and maybe a DAC compared to a new set of Raidho C1.1s or Vivids and a good preamp, the former is a steal! Thanks again.
Clean all connections
Just curious here: Are you using the room correction function on the HK?

No. I ran it a couple of times, but I prefer to set my system up manually. I cross my Ushers over at 60hz to two SVS and an HSU sub. I do use the room correction functions in JRiver Media Center though.
Yes, you can get a good pre - in fact a pretty amazing pre - with tubes, too -The Eastern Electric Avant. It really is a giant killer. Or else one of the earlier Conrad Johnsons.
+1 for the EE Avant ,its not a gaint killer its THE giant
killer. Fantastic rhythm , instrumental tone and seperation. and wall to wall sounstage with great depth .
No weakness .
IMO tube pre w/o tube rectification is a waste of time .
Beat up on my rich buddies mega-buck Lamm and he admitted it .
How someover, I did not see it on sellers website , I seem
to remember reading 50 were allocated to USA and that was it. I paid 1700$ for mine and would not sell it for 5 k.
Thanks guys. I can see a good preamp in my future. But, since I started this thread I have purchased an ifi Micro iDAC2 bundled with an iPurifier. Using this DAC and bypassing the DAC built into the HK990 has breathed new life into my system. If a good preamp can do what this little DAC has done, I am definitely interested.