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CAN COMPARIONS (Showdown) : Grado SR-325i vs. Allesandro MS-1 vs. Senn HD485 vs. HD600 vs. DT880

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Grado SR-325i vs. Allesandro MS-1 vs. Senn HD485 vs. HD600 vs. DT880 ('05)
Original Made For ZX TWEAKS
Written by Zombie_X



Source Gear: Zune 30GB 1st Gen
Ampliphier : Little-Dot MK1+ (with jumpers closed), Mini RA-1 (Grado RA-1 Clone)
Interconnects : Custom Silver/Copper 3.5mm cable, Custom Silver/Copper 1/4' to 1/8' cable
Music Type : Metal/Rock/Vocal/Classical
Burn In : MS-1 80+ hours, SR-325i Unknown (Bought it used), HD485 100+ hours, HD600, 250+ hours, DT880 150+ hours

INTRODUCTION:

Many people have been asking me to compare these two headphones together, so I thought I'd chare with you my findings and opnions. Before I start I'm going to tell you how I'm going to compare them. I will have 5 catagories : Treble, Mid-Range, Bass, Soundstage, Clarity. Within each of those catagory will be sub-catagories for each headphone. In those I will list + and - for each headphone. I also will list a grading scale for each section ranging from a+ to D-.

Also, these are my own impressions. I hope you understand that my impressions are ot be taken with a grain of salt.


TREBLE:

GRADO SR-325i:
Grade A
Treble on this can is exttremelt overexagerated. It is infact smooth and detailed wile being a little edgy. In fact I've heard complaints of harshness or Siblance, but I couldn't find any of these. The response is well extended and the detailing is incredible for the price. However if the recoding is bright, the headphones may sound shrill.

ALLESANDRO MS-1:
Grade A-
Treble on here is pretty nice and detailed. It doesn't seem as smoothed out as the SR-325i but it's still very good amd extends quite well. I did find that it did drown out somethings on music, but wasn't bad. Also it's very transparrent sounding.

SENNHEISER HD485:
Grade B
Not nearly as extended as the Grado's and Allesandro's, but offers a more relaxed sound that has good detail. At times with certain recordings it can sound recessed. Extension isn't really the best as it seems this headphone's highs are rolled off and don't sound good on things that have less treble. They transparrency on these isn't that good and sounds cloudy.

SENNHEISER HD600:
Grade B+
It's hard to differentiate between the highs on both Senns simply because the sound of Sennheiser cans are so laid back. The HD600 seems to be more extended and a bit more coherent. There are no peaks in treble and it is also rolled off. Not sparkling high though.

BEYERDYNAMIC DT880
Grade A
The highs on the DT880 are very clean and articulate. Defiantly the cans strong suite and almost as high as the Grado's.They are also smooth and not harsh. The extension is great and there is a sparkle at the top. Best of all is that there is no Sibilance whatsoever and no sound artifacts from increased treble extension.

MID-RANGE:

GRADO SR-325i:
Grade A+
The mid-range on these cans are full, lush, and very warm. The mids also have planty of detailing with out having any congested feeling to them. Female vocals really shine through with this can and osund verry emmotional. Male vocals also sound great. Guitars sound very lifelike and you can hear as the musician is sliding his fingers up and down the fret board.

ALLESANDRO MS-1:
Grade B
The Allesandro line are tweaked Grado headphones that are made to be more neutral. The mids here are still great, but a lot of the emmotion that the SR-325i had is gone and sounds a bit duller. Detailing of the mids is pretty good, but still a little bit diimed down. Vocals and guitars sound more transparrent and a little thin at times.

SENNHEISER HD485:
Grade B-
The mids on this can are warm and natural sounding, but a little conmgested at times. What I mean by congested is that it sound like it's all in one area and a little muddy. The detailing is also a bit lacking and sounds smoothed out to the point that fine details aren't as noticeable as they were with thr above cans. Vocals sound distant, and a tad emmotional for a Sennheiser can.

SENNHEISER HD600:
Grade C+
The HD600 seems to be a little mid-range lite. Though what's there is liquid and extremely transparent. Vocals sound awesome overall sound relaxed.

BEYERDYNAMIC DT880:
Grade C-
The DT880's mids are very recessed, but still present enough to add weight to vocals and instruments. Pretty transparent, but not quite liquid. Since the mids are recessed, you loose a lot of detailing in the spectrum.

BASS:

GRADO SR-325i:
Grade A
WOW! Deep, punchy, and powerfull with good extension. Not bad at all. The bass on these are perfect for double bass drum impacts. Bass guitars also sound very full and fleshed out. It was controled very nicely and was not boomy. The bass though isn't as textured as one would like, but for Metal it's perfect. Decay was decnt and quickly faded out.

ALLESANDRO MS-1:
Grade C
Bass on these was lacking in many ways. Since it was so subdued, this can was not good for rock. The only way to hear the bass is to do the "electrical tape mod" and then it's very prominant. Bass guitars sound thin and so do some vocals.

SENNHEISER HD485:
Grade B+
Bass on these was nice but a bit boomy and muddy at times. It did extend decently, but didn't sound right to me. It was very punchy though, perhaps a little too much in certaine songs. The decay of bass was good as it faded out to nothing.

SENNHEISER HD600:
Grade C+
This bass is tightly controlled and is a bit subdued. The bass extension is nice and deep, but doesn't have the weight or heft that other music may need. Nicely textured as well.

BEYERDYNAMIC DT880:
Grade C++
The bass is tightly controlled and also has great texture to it. It may be a bit anemic, but this can offers some of the bass reproduction than any other headphone available (IMO). Another goodie is that it's layered and doesn't sound like it's own entity, but rather separated. Hard to explain but the bass sound rather spread out and you can tell that each instrument's place in the bass.

SOUNDSTAGE:

GRADO SR-325i:
Grade C-
Soundstaging is a thing that Grado headphones could never do. They do sound 2D at times, but occasionally sound 3D. Mostly sound sort of binaural-ish to me. There is decent depth to it, but comes a little short. Since I'm using Metal in this comparison the soundstaging isn't really needed, but other genre's are lacking.

ALLESANDRO MS-1:
Grade D
Soundstaging on these is worse than the SR-325i's and HD-485's. Sounds literally 2D all the time with no depth. Just Abysmal. Only good for Metal and other similar genre's.

SENNHEISER HD485:
Grade C-
These beat out both other headphones by a mile, You can hear a lsight depth to the image and seems more spaced out. More suited for a wider range of msuic.

SENNHEISER HD600:
Grade B
The soundstaging is really spacious and enveloping. You can pick out where every musician and sound is coming from. Depth is is nice but I feel hight is lacking a little bit.

BEYERDYNAMIC DT880:
Grade A
There is a really sense of depth and precision on the imaging here! You can clearly tell where stuff is coming from. Incredibly wide and good height to it as well. I would say this would be perfect for gaming or movies.

CLARITY:

GRADO SR-325i:
Grade A+
Extremely transparent sounding can, yet not. Since this can is colored, some details are lost, but only a verry few. So those few really aren't even noticeable unless you are actually doing some form of critical listening. You can hear a lot of stuff such as background sounds and even bad editing.

ALLESANDRO MS-1:
Grade B
Very good clarity, but a little too much for this can. It's so clear that it makes things sound fake at times. Otherwise it's great and you can hear nearly as much as the SR-325i's.

SENNHEISER HD485:
Grade C-
This can isn't really that clear at all. Everything seems a little bit envoloped but other parts of the sound signature. Kind of smoothed out to an extent. You wiss a ton of details like stuff on a fret board. The only thing good about this is that you won't heard background noise as much, or the bas editing.

SENNHEISER HD600:
Grade B+
Nice detailing and precision. Though some of the fine details will be lost since the highs are rolled off. At time it's so clear you can hear tape hiss in the background as well and editing mistakes. Nothing to complain about.

BEYERDYNAMIC DT880:
Grade A+
Extremely clear, crisp, and detailed. It's so clear you can hear nearly everything. Even the singer taking a breath, or movement in the background. I also noticed you can hear as the musician open their mouth to say something.



Hope you enjoyed my impressions on these cans and your feedback is welcomed.
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
I will be adding the DT880, HD600, and HD595 to the list soon.
post #3 of 18
sweeet more battles the better.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Indeed... (As Teal'c would say)

The SR-325i seems to fit the bill best for me.
post #5 of 18
What ear pads were you using on the MS1s and 325is? Just curious. IMO you overrated the 325is on bass and underrated them on soundstage, though different pads may explain it.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
OH yeah, should have said I was using bowls with the tape mod.
post #7 of 18
Ow it's on, IT'S ON!! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zombie_X View Post
Indeed... (As Teal'c would say)

The SR-325i seems to fit the bill best for me.
indeed
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Added the HD600 and DT880 to the comparison. Enjoy!!
post #10 of 18
Nice comparisons. It seems like you are a Grado guy, sell the other can's and get a RS-1!
post #11 of 18
Nice review, my opinion about the MS1 mimics yours especially the soundstage part. But to be honest I feel that it can sometimes be a bit fun to listen to your favorite tunes with the MS1 soundstage, it's just sounds so different
post #12 of 18
A great late night read! Makes me want to listen to many of these again to see if I agree.
post #13 of 18
i enjoyed the read
you know, you have exacly my thoughts about theese cans, i agree with your statement 100%
post #14 of 18
you know, it was my impression that the 880s were a fairly neutral can... so i dont understand the recessed mids. Not that i have actually checked myself. and the grados can be a bit forward in the mid section. Oh well, it was good for a skim read at least.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Guys I will be adding more headphones to the comparison as well, and this is a massive thread bump. I kind of forgot about this thread..

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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › CAN COMPARIONS (Showdown) : Grado SR-325i vs. Allesandro MS-1 vs. Senn HD485 vs. HD600 vs. DT880