Originally Posted by julienchina
This is my first post on head-fi.
I used to be a professional cellist, and used to play alongside all kinds of instruments in all kinds of rooms or halls. And I love hi-fi, and have toyed with many very impressive systems, going up to the hundreds of thousands (US$).
I'm saying that because the typical musician doesn't know equipment. Musicians are easily impressed, because they don't even imagine getting close to the live experience with any equipment is a possible thing.
They are certainly not after it, because they live in live environments, so what they look for and notice the most in hi-fi is what is better than the live experience. Tell me I'm wrong.
In a nutshell, don't trust your musician friends on equipment. But maybe you can trust me a little... lol.
First of all, I want you all to know that by principle I am always trying not to be brand biassed.
Because most brands have different products that satistfy different customers. And if we speak of headphones they depend so much on the rest of the chain to sound good that many times comparing two pairs of cans on the same amp is not fair to at least one of them.
That being said, I have to confess that recently I am in awe with my 600 Ohm DT880. For acoustically recorded music (as opposed to music we usually listen to with amplification, such as jazz, pop-rock etc) , I think the 600 ohm DT880s ( I don't like the lower impedance versions) are the most timbre accurate (I choose my words very carefully, I didn't say most revealing) headphones I have ever heard.
They take time to get to their best, but it's the first time I hear this kind of instrument timbre accuracy on a pair of headphones. I have far less experience in the headphone domain than the speaker domain, so I have never heard the K1000, the Qualia, the Omega, the Orpheus, or the R10.
Nor the newest HD800 and T1.
But I've listened to my best recorded CDs and SACDs with many of the expensive Denon, Audio Technica, Mb Quart/Maestro, and of course Grado.
I never thought I'd feel like this, because so-called "accuracy" is always room acoutics dependant, so we always can argue that different devices' sound signatures are like different rooms.
But, that is the only pair of heaphones I've heard that gets the right timbre for every instrument and voice, even in big symphonic recordings. I don't love my HD650s that much anymore (still on certain types of recordings or music), because coming from the Beyers I hear distortion in the highs.
I just cancelled my order for the Grado PS1000 after a very careful listening session comparing them with the DT880s. Both had two weeks of 24/7 run-in time, and I compared them on different amps including the flagship Rudistor combo and the Lavry DA11.
Without a doubt, considerably more information, and more "air" is coming out of the PS1000, so in terms of resolution objectively the Grados are the better can by a mile. But at the end, as impressive as they can be, with classical music the Grados are not timbre accurate in the highs the way the Beyers are, there is a coloration that is quite far away from what the instruments sound in any acoutic conditions in real life. Compared to the DT880s. Then compare to the coloration on Audio Technicas and the Grados are Heaven on Earth, but that's another story...
Also, the PS1000s boost the bass slightly in a way that makes me feel that in many symphonic recordings the double bass low notes come even faster and clearer than the violins ! This is not normal, in real life it takes 10 times the time to even start the vibrations on a thick string !
Of course, the DT880s have their flaws too. They aren't that great for me in pop music or rock, they will often sound dull and dry and are the least forgiving I know on bad recordings or lossy files (in that category the oh so revealing PS1000s nevertheless sound better on pop/rock mp3s, and of course the low impedance allows them to play directly on mp3 players.
With them I was proven once again how better sounding my Samsung YP-P3 is than my so highly praised Cowon S9...)
The bottom line is : for good classical music recordings, the 600 Ohm DT880s are so timbre accurate that they outclass their price range by quite a margin.
So, for the next step I will have to choose between either the HD800 or the T1. If I like them.