Originally Posted by vcoheda
what a great topic. hopefully it will stay on point and many will comment. if anyone has preferred the HD650 (Bal or SE) to the GS1000, Ed.9, L3000, or other limited edition AT or grado headphones, or any other expensive dynamic or electrotstatic headphones, please share your experience.
I definitely prefer the 650 balanced or single ended to the GS1000. I also clearly prefer the balanced 650 to the single ended L3000. I also prefer the 650 single ended to the L3000. The preferance is slight in favor of the 650 .... but the cost differential of owning the L3000 is huge. The more affordable AT W5000 is fair to good, IMO, but again, I prefer the 580/600/650.
Single ended, I prefer the Senn 580/600 to the 650 because I prefer the older senns tonal balance. But balanced I am still trying to decide; although at this point I think the 600 is the best of the three, overall, using a Singlepower Square Wave XL.
I dont like the Beyer DT880 nearly as well as the 650; although personally I find the new DT880 an improvement over the first edition. I like the AKG K 701. But, in the end the 701 just doesnt give me the enjoyment the Senn 580/600/650 or Alessandro MS2's do. With the right amp I do prefer the K1000 to the 650 .... in limited listening.
I have auditioned some of the Ultrasones and I plain dont like them. They have weird mids, a steely treble and excessive sibilance in every model I have heard. So far, I dont understand the appeal of this manufacturers headphones at all. To my ears they dont sound anything at all like what I hear live. I have not heard the E9's but unless they have a distinctly different sound from other Ultrasones I would bet on preferring the 650's.
Taking all factors into account .... comfort, price etc... with an emphasis on sound quality, I would rank my current preferance for headphones I own, have owned or auditioned extensively/ single ended something like this ....
1) Grado HP-2 .... despite the poor comfort, and being discontinued these headphones sound awesome. I had mine when they were well under $1k though.
2) Alessandro MS2 .... poor mans HP-2
2B) Senn HD 580/600
3) Grado SR-200
4) AKG K1000 .... if these had not been discontinued, had more comfort and more amp options/ flexibility the K1000 would move up.
5) Grado PS-1 .... a little bassy single ended and to expensive, plus similar to my MS2 .... or I would probably have a pair.
6A) Senn HD 650
6B) AT L3000
6C) Grado RS-1
7) Grado SR-225
8) AKG K701
9) Beyer DT880
10) Sony CD3000
999) Anything Ultrasone
Interestingly, if you balance the Senn HD 650 the headphone moves up to the MS2 / Senn 580/600 level. As a side note, I was skeptical about balanced, but it does wonders for the 650.
So, if the other headphones improve as much or more balanced the 650 would move back down.