Hi All - Thanks for the feedback and help. I got the phones yesterday, played around a lot with them, listening to music and test tones http://www.binkster.net/extras.shtml . They were definitely able to get enough volume going, I could even hear a 1kHz test tone at -60dB without any/much preamp “noise”.
In terms of sound … I compared them to my Audio-Technica ATH-M40fs. Although there was a clear difference, It’s actually hard for me to find the words to describe it. The easy comparisons relate to the low and high ends - both are more prominent in the B’Dynamics. I could actually hear some 16 kHz on them, I don’t think I heard any 20 kHz on either. Similarly, the bass on some CDs was clearer and more powerful on the B’Dynamics. Of course that by itself could be good or bad, but I take comfort in people more experienced than I saying the overall response on the B’Dynamics is pretty good http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jan10/articles/studioheadphones.htm .
Otherwise, I don’t know, maybe the B’Dynamics didn’t sound as “tinny” as the ATHs overall, but it’s hard to be objective about that.
They come with a nifty carrying case too!
Thanks again for all your comments and help!