Well, I've nerver listened to an edition 7, but let me say the following words referring to this discussion:
Every recording of a classical concert or an opera is limited by its recording technique. So old recordings with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra [VPO] (my favorit orchestra and perhaps the best orchestra worldwide) done in the 1950/60s by John Culshaw and Decca/London in the Sofiensaal, Vienna, offer a sound that I like most.
The VPO today offer another sound. They have changed some of their wind instruments. I've heard them sevaral times while sitting on an first category seat at the Musikvereinssaal, Vienna; Wiener Staatsoper, Vienna; Festspielhaus, Baden-Baden and Kölner Philharmonie, Cologne.
The live experience is truely more impressive than a recording. The sound of the VPO can really blow you away... there is NO headphone or other HiFi component that can do that. That's my opinion.
Here is what I think of recordings:
The VPO have a special sweet-bitter sound of their strings.
You can recognize it, if you hear them live.
But, and that is, why I often hate recordings, on some Deutsche Grammophon recordings, the strings sound very different, more like a mix of the strings of the Staatskapelle Dresden and Berliner Philharmoniker, which are, in deed, good orchestras, too.
The Culshaw recordings offer this special sound of the strings.
And that's why I love my HD600 and HD650 so much. Only these both headphones reproduce a sound that I would call erotic and offer to me the full rich bitter-sweet VPO-string sound.
Yeah! Erotic... that is the same feeling that flows through my body when I sit in a concert of the VPO. That is all I want!
Up to now only HD600/HD650 let sound a Culshaw recording like "reality".
I'm aware that Culshaw used many tricks and that the recorded sound is not "natural". But... having heard about thousand records of concerts and operas, live recordings and studio recordings, I could not tell you, what sounds "natural".
Maybe for that reason (compared with the HD600/650) the edition 7 would be a disappointment for me.
And now here is another point:
The VPO live sounds like the VPO, BUT(!) at the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna they sounded more like I like it, while at Baden-Baden their sound of the strings was a little bit too harsh.
But there are so many variables and not enough time/money to test them all.
In some categories there is no "better", there is only a "different" sound. I really do not think that any headphone sounds better than the HD600/HD650 for my preferences.
The most recordings of the label Naxos I've heard so far offer a bad recording quality, bad orchestras and sometimes bad interpretations of the recorded opus. Hearing this crap with an Orpheus, edition 7, Grado GS 1000, HD650/600 wouldn't make good music out of it, even if you wait millions of years...
So if you got your favorite recordings it's all a matter of taste.
My taste says to me:
HD650 + Culshaw record of a piece played by the VPO = Great pleasure!
But why do I tell that? You all know it by yourself.
Sorry, if this text was a little bit confusing, but my excuse is:
I'm a freak...
Greetings from Germany