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Good, All-Round Headphones

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Pros: Neutral, Very Good For Spoken Word, Acoustic, Vocal Music

Cons: Narrow But Precise Soundstage

These are my third pair of audiophile headphones. In the 1970's I had a set of ~$200 cans driven by a reel to reel, fed through a paragraphic 7 band per channel equalizer and a DBX Box.


Fast forward thirty years to 2003. I bought a pair of Grado SR-80's. Wow! About half the cost of the earlier high end headphones (Sennheisers?) I had owned. Tight sound, worked well with tv, ipod, and anything else, including an almost audiophile grade am radio. Sadly my middle god-daughter sat on these one day, breaking several bits and pullling out cables. (My hearing is still fine in my mid-50's, and I can still hear and appreciate Maddy Pryor or Yma Sumac hitting a high register in good form. I can also hear the awfulness that is inflicted on Maddy Pryor by mp3 direct-download album purchase--her voice did not and does NOT chatter or stutter on LP or cassette versions of the same song from the same master!)


I replaced the SR-80 model with the entry Alessandro offering-a factory "second" with some off-center moulding that didn't affect the sound. These are usually fed by a portable DVD/VCD player (an XRT) going into a Little Dot Mark III with Soviet military tubes, upgraded from stock.


These are more comfortable than the SR80 model and seem to conform better to my ears, and in general have a sweeter but still largely uncolored sound. I listen to a lot of Old Time Radio broadcasts, sourced mainly from transcription discs, chants, Niyaz, vartious other "world" artists and a lot of Bach. I haven't trtied these with orchestral music or arena rock (Rush et al) so I can't comment on whether or not this design can work magic with those as well.


Now that I have been introduced to the realm of after-market professional/enthusiast  headphone rebuilds and modifications, I am in a quandry: Should I sell the Alessandros and then have the Grado drivers rebuilt with a pair of wood cups? Or the other way around?


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