Thanks for all the friendly comments! I'm glad to have some followers with the HA-2. I'm sure they all will appreciate its qualites in a similar measure as I do – still do. It hasn't changed its face anymore after the last report from the 150 hour mark. And I was glad about that – the sound then was what I had hoped for: a really fine solid-state sound equal to my beloved Earmax Pro.
To be honest: with my HD 600 I used the EMP more often; there is a certain synergy with the two which the HA-2 doesn't have in the same degree, at least with classical music. The reason is the HD 600's slightly recessed treble which benefits from the EMP's smooth, but brilliant and extended upper end. It sounds just more natural. With rock and modern jazz it was a bit different: I liked the better control, tightness, dynamic and speed of the HA-2. Still cymbals were slightly rounded, a trace duller (although very detailed and with a beautiful sheen) than I remember them from the concerts, while the EMP managed to reproduce them with the exact right timbre. But it's in fact a «problem» of the HD 600 – which I wouldn't really have taken seriously without any comparison, because the HD 600 is great how it is. (BTW, there's a similar synergy with the X-Cans.)
And there comes another confession: I have a new favorite headphone. For those who wonder which one: you can see it from my profile.
But it's rather clear anyway, I even don't have to tell that it can be ordered from Jan as well. Sorry for those who have missed to go for the package with the HA-2 – I'm in the same situation.
I bought the DT 880
in my home town Zurich for CHF 315 (equivalent to ~$230). I'm really surprised – I didn't expect such
a sound quality, although I thought it could be on par with the HD 600. In fact it is better. Even clearly so. There's no frequency range and no criterion in which it isn't. I find the sound even sensational, now that it's passably burned-in, as it seems. Not that it's overly spectacular itself – well, the soundstage is the widest I've ever heard with buyable headphones (I haven't heard them all!), on par with my electrostatics –, but it's a sound with no weaknesses, no obvious colorations except for a very slight treble accentuation (which seems to smooth more and more with burn-in), an outstandingly high resolution and plainly a fantastic musicality in a degree I never heard so far. I even can't remember that the Orpheus was that musical in its presentation, although its resolution might be even higher.
You think I'm exaggerating? I'd like to bring the other recent best buy I've made to mind, the Philips DVD 963SA, which is equally sensational for the price in terms of CD and SACD (and DVD-video) quality. It's unbelievable, but it's true: it's on par with my Bel Canto DAC2 – without turning a blind eye –, and its transport function alone has lifted the quality level in a considerable measure.
I love the DT 880's bass. In the beginning it was slightly overdone and not too deep. I gave it some heavy bass during several hours to loosen the membrane suspension. It helped a lot: the bass now is just right and of a great extension, resolution, accuracy and finally musicality. Not to mention the smooth midrange and the fine and extended treble – they're simply outstanding and melt together to a highly homogenous and coherent sound.
And most notably: detail! It's absolutely great how it manages to present an enormous focus and accuracy in the whole frequency range and at the same time an esthetical elegance and musical flow of such a great quality. More than equal to the HD 600, and with much more detail clarity. Voices are warm, smooth and extremely accurate and articulate. Add to this the wide and credible soundstage without any artificial hollowness – all this creates sonic images which easily excite optical images with eyes closed... like riding through (or flying over) beautiful landscapes...
I slightly prefer the Corda HA-2 to my EMP now with the DT 880, sometimes even for classical. The beautiful warm clarity of this combo, with the Corda's impressive background blackness which enhances dynamic contrasts, is virtually free of any disturbing factor, nevertheless presents the tiniest details in the recordings. I'm at a point where I find that nothing must be changed or tweaked anymore. I'm hoping this will last.JaZZ