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Which Cans Sound Similar to Sony SA5000?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I really enjoy the sound signature of my Sony SA5000's. What other cans have a similar sound?
post #2 of 20
eh...Qualia 010? xD

Why do you need another similar phone though? Its like the best phone with that signature apart from the above mentioned phone thats only for the rich and the worthy.

Maybe you just need a better source and a bigger amp xD
post #3 of 20
MaloS, have you even heard either of them?
post #4 of 20
It depends a little on what you like from the SA5000. If it is the more forward presentation and a slightly brighter sound, then Grado RS-1 may be a good headphone to try. The Grado will be on the brighter side as well, a bit less detailed, but with a smoother sound.

If you like the high level of detail, you may want to try the Qualia, or the Stax 404/Lambda line. It has a similar approach, slightly on the bright side, but a very high level of detail. However, if you go with Stax (or any electrostat), you will lose a little body on the tone. Electrostatics tend to sound a bit thinner than dynamics.
post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thelonious Monk View Post
MaloS, have you even heard either of them?
No I am just making stupid assumptions from what I read in all honesty, but I read quite extensively on sa5000 and by what I am gathering from this forum there is not another can like sa5000. I have no idea what Qualia is like since none ever wants to say anything about that and all Qualia owners disappeared mysteriously (is it that good?)
post #6 of 20
DT880 is similarly bright and detailed.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaloS View Post
eh...Qualia 010? xD

Why do you need another similar phone though? Its like the best phone with that signature apart from the above mentioned phone thats only for the rich and the worthy.

Maybe you just need a better source and a bigger amp xD
I think it's the addictive nature of this forum. I'm always looking for the next headphone in the horizon so that I can research it, look at it, and lust after it for a while. Although, having said that, I can't see myself ever affording the Qualia's. And, for whatever reason, I don't like to go used in headphones. It's not that it grosses me out or anything like that. I think it has to do more with the curiosity of actually hearing (if any) the sound change as the headphones get broken in. I kind of want to be around for the evolution of the sound, I guess.
post #8 of 20
the ultrasone 2500 bigger soundstage better bass similar detail minor to no difference in detail and its cheap $265 northernsounds i forgot the website but look for something like that !!!
post #9 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post
I think it's the addictive nature of this forum. I'm always looking for the next headphone in the horizon so that I can research it, look at it, and lust after it for a while. Although, having said that, I can't see myself ever affording the Qualia's. And, for whatever reason, I don't like to go used in headphones. It's not that it grosses me out or anything like that. I think it has to do more with the curiosity of actually hearing (if any) the sound change as the headphones get broken in. I kind of want to be around for the evolution of the sound, I guess.
+1, if I am buying used, its old and out of production =] (there is a different type of authenticity there), but having it come to life over time is just a pleasant feeling...kinda like watching a child grow I guess xD

I'll join seacard and suggest that you take a look into Stax honestly. If you are looking for detailed headphones, Stax are hard to beat, and they have that pleasant transparent sound signature that I find difficult to walk away from. Even the old cheapo SR-80 I just got has its issues, but the good really outweighs the bad, there are things in music it really brings alive.
post #10 of 20
The Qualia and the SA5K sounds indeed similar, I preffer the SA5K though, normal to use and no need a watchmaker to adjust the ehadbad to get the "proper fit"...

Bass in both is weak, and need to be improved, similar in another scale the CD3K details wise, but more musical and enjoyable, the PROLines with far better bass and better sondstage as stated above...I do not recall any other for around that price that will give you that details honestly....
post #11 of 20
I've never heard a headphone with a similar signature.
post #12 of 20
The Stax SR-404 and other Lambdas are the natural place to look for someone who likes the SA5k's basic sound. Personally, I think the Lambdas sound closer to the SA5k than the Qualia 010. I've done various shootouts between Lambda and the SA5k. The Lambdas, especially the Pros, are capable of much greater air and a sense of space - the SA5k, while having insane separation, aren't actually as airy of a headphone as they can be. A lot of this has to do with just the imaging ability, which again masters separation better than they do imaging. The Lambdas also are able to have a much more natural timbre and tonal quality than the SA5k can. But on the other hand, the SA5k can sound more refined than Lambdas - I find the electrostats need and respond much more to better electronics, while the SA5k does fine out of a reasonably synergistic system. Also, as previously mentioned, the SA5k does have a touch of Grado forwardness and punch which is quite nice.

After that I suppose the next place I would look would be the K 1000. But this is a whole 'nother ballpark altogether. Also somewhere around here I might consider the Qualia 010. The 010 is more refined and laid back than the SA5k, though it can have a much harder tone and forward highs than the SA5k. It is more resolving, more detailed and images far better. It lacks the forwardness and punch though that makes the SA5k a much more fun headphone. But do these headphones really sound that much like the SA5k? There are certain traits that one can appreciate in them - speed, detail, a sense of texture (though the SA5k's biggest flaw is in this area), though the cans execute on them in such different ways it's really hard to say they're all that similar. Related perhaps but not entirely the same.

Somewhere after that, I would look at maybe the K 701 or CD3000. I can see why someone might suggest an RS-1, though I find the timbre/tone and tonal balance to be so different that they don't sound very similar to me. But if you enjoy the SA5k, I would bet you'd enjoy a RS-1 (if only because I think most people who don't mind bright headphones would enjoy the RS-1 )...

I'm puzzled by the DT880 suggestion as they don't sound much like the SA5k to me, at least relative to the aforementioned.

Heh, I really ought to get around to writing that SA5k/Qualia 010 review... it's only been over two years since I promised I would...

Best regards,

-Jason
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioDwebe View Post
I really enjoy the sound signature of my Sony SA5000's. What other cans have a similar sound?
SA3000s
post #14 of 20
Yeah, and SA1000s as well.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjcha View Post
The Stax SR-404 and other Lambdas are the natural place to look for someone who likes the SA5k's basic sound. Personally, I think the Lambdas sound closer to the SA5k than the Qualia 010. I've done various shootouts between Lambda and the SA5k. The Lambdas, especially the Pros, are capable of much greater air and a sense of space - the SA5k, while having insane separation, aren't actually as airy of a headphone as they can be. A lot of this has to do with just the imaging ability, which again masters separation better than they do imaging. The Lambdas also are able to have a much more natural timbre and tonal quality than the SA5k can.

Hey Jason,

I've got a question about the Lambda Pros. Are they interchangeable with other headphones? In other words, am I able to plug them into my current amp, or do I need to plug them into their own amp?

I ask this because it seems like it would be a PIA to have to switch cables from my current headamp to the Lambda's amp each time I wanted to listen to them. On top of that, I've got both vinyl and digital going into one amp, which I kind of like the convenience of.

How do the Stax phones with their own power (or whatever they are) boxes hook up to a headamp?

Thanks.

Mamoru
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