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MDR-SA5000... Can they be bettered? - Page 12

post #166 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarinetman View Post
I do agree with you in part. I did listen the R10s and they're literally the best I've ever heard, dare I say beating out the HD800 by a substantial margin (to my ears). However, other cans that sounded incredible had a tendency to be open; ones that stand out in my mind were the Qualias, Stax, K1000, and even just the DT880 (semi-open).

I don't believe everything on head-fi, I just speak from experience.
I just noticed you had a pair of Ultrasones yourself. What do you think of them in general and vs your 325i? I have those too.
post #167 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by sokolov91 View Post
I just noticed you had a pair of Ultrasones yourself. What do you think of them in general and vs your 325i? I have those too.
Well to start with, I actually have the older version of the Grados, so they're the 325, not the 325i. There may be a difference... Not too sure.

As a general rule, the Grados are more enjoyable to me for most genres with the exception of bass-heavy music, where they tend to lack body and sound somewhat thin. The bass on the 780 is definitely a strong point. Nice and detailed, slow enough to be enjoyed with house or gentler music, yet fast enough to not sound sloppy with upbeat electronica, rock, or jazz with plenty of slam. Even so, the bass quantity is sometimes too much and can make the rest of the spectrum muddy.

As might be expected, Grado takes the cake in terms of mids. In spite of the sibilance and harshness, vocals are creamy and intimate; with the Ultrasones the vocals sound further away and somewhat nasal or as if the singer had something in their throat.

Grado also wins me over for treble. The grittiness and aggression that I love so dearly makes up for the occasional sibilance. The guitar riffs in "Hotel California" were scaldingly hot and emotional when listening on the 325; with the 780 the riffs sound merely boring and round.

When comparing them, the difference in timbre and realism really amazed me also. The Grados sounded true to every individual instrument, whereas the Ultrasones sounded somewhat fake and metallic (like the other members were talking about).

Details, details, details! While the 325 isn't a detail monster, it has far better instrument detail and separation than the 780, which can sound quite veiled (though it gives much better ambient detail than the 325). One place I wish the Grado was different would be the soundstage. It gives a rather claustrophobic feeling, while the 780 is far more spacious and reverberant.

There you go! First review, btw.
post #168 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGreen View Post
What headphones do you have now by the way Covenant?
Sigh, I've read so many conflicting reviews about the SA5k I have no idea if I want to even bother as I am pretty sure I will be unsucessful at selling them if I don't like them
They are well worth going out of your way to get a listen to,you will either love them or wish you had never heard of them.

I did the rounds of the Grado's/Darths etc and had a pair of F1's,it was the F1 sound that made me go for the SA5000's and then onto the CD3000's and then to Headphile balanced CD3000 which is The phone that I listen to most of the time.
The Sony sound is adictive and I love it,if I come across a pair of R10's that I can hold in my hands then I will more than likely buy them,but that is another story.
post #169 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarinetman View Post
I do agree with you in part. I did listen the R10s and they're literally the best I've ever heard, dare I say beating out the HD800 by a substantial margin (to my ears). However, other cans that sounded incredible had a tendency to be open; ones that stand out in my mind were the Qualias, Stax, K1000, and even just the DT880 (semi-open).

I don't believe everything on head-fi, I just speak from experience.
I am not sure about the Qualia but if they are built similar to the SA5000 then they are not a true open phone.The SA5000 have a membrane that fully encloses the back of the driver.
post #170 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrGreen View Post
What headphones do you have now by the way Covenant?
Sigh, I've read so many conflicting reviews about the SA5k I have no idea if I want to even bother as I am pretty sure I will be unsucessful at selling them if I don't like them
It's a tough call with the SA5000. If you like them, they'll be one of your favorites. If not, you'll hate them. I was lucky enough to love the pair I bought.

To put things into perspective, I sold quite a few headphones to pay for the HD-800 and O2. Among those were the K-501, HD-600, HD-650, DT880, K-701, and RS-1. I couldn't bear to part with the SA5000, though. I loved all those headphones with the notable exxeption of the K-701.

My favorite quality of the SA5000 is its transparency. It is one of very few headphones that will pull the "disappearing trick." I'll forget that I have headphones on at all and just get immersed in the music. Most of the others in my sig do the same thing, which is why I have them.

If transparency and resolution are your thing, the SA5000 might be for you.
post #171 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clarinetman View Post
Well to start with, I actually have the older version of the Grados, so they're the 325, not the 325i. There may be a difference... Not too sure.

As a general rule, the Grados are more enjoyable to me for most genres with the exception of bass-heavy music, where they tend to lack body and sound somewhat thin. The bass on the 780 is definitely a strong point. Nice and detailed, slow enough to be enjoyed with house or gentler music, yet fast enough to not sound sloppy with upbeat electronica, rock, or jazz with plenty of slam. Even so, the bass quantity is sometimes too much and can make the rest of the spectrum muddy.

As might be expected, Grado takes the cake in terms of mids. In spite of the sibilance and harshness, vocals are creamy and intimate; with the Ultrasones the vocals sound further away and somewhat nasal or as if the singer had something in their throat.

Grado also wins me over for treble. The grittiness and aggression that I love so dearly makes up for the occasional sibilance. The guitar riffs in "Hotel California" were scaldingly hot and emotional when listening on the 325; with the 780 the riffs sound merely boring and round.

When comparing them, the difference in timbre and realism really amazed me also. The Grados sounded true to every individual instrument, whereas the Ultrasones sounded somewhat fake and metallic (like the other members were talking about).

Details, details, details! While the 325 isn't a detail monster, it has far better instrument detail and separation than the 780, which can sound quite veiled (though it gives much better ambient detail than the 325). One place I wish the Grado was different would be the soundstage. It gives a rather claustrophobic feeling, while the 780 is far more spacious and reverberant.

There you go! First review, btw.
Haha great review, nice first.

Hrm, well firstly let me say I am glad you enjoy your Grados so much. Reminds me of when I first got them. I listened to them for a year straight before I though to upgrade. Secondly, the 780 and 750 must be completely differently beasts. From what I have read, the 780 are much more musical, and the 750 are much less forgiving, and much more detailed. The 750 also cost significantly more, so I am not sure a direct comparison is really fair.

Now, I don't want to bash the grados. I enjoy(ed) them thouroughly, and I think they are a great can. One thing I am wondering is if the some of the detail grado has is in part due to the greatly accentuated high frequencies. They are a very bright headphone. They always impress me initially when I put them on, but the detail tends to only be in the highs IMO. But cymbals are always highly detailed with grado tbh.

In tracks where there are few instruments, the 325 really shine IMO. Acoustic + Grado = yum yum. In tracks that are busy and have lots of subtle things going on = you hear the hi hat and thats about it :P. Grados also tend to have... I guess what you could call cymbal slam? Like hi hats are particularly hard hitting with the 325i sounds like there is actually a hi hat there. Then again the hi-hat ends up being the focal point of most songs.

I am a/b the 750 and the 325i right now actually haha. I listened to some AC/DC off Hells Bells, some Jeff Buckley, and now I am listening to Tool - AEnima.

AC/DC - no contest 750. 325i is never bad, but 750 is a whole other league. Truly makes it sound like rock from the 80's.

Jeff Buckly - So Real. 325i is a much better contestant here. 750 edge it out for better background violin work, and creamier vocals.

Tool-Anima
To be honest I am actually quite impressed how well the 325i are performing in Aenima. The detail like you mention is there, and I don't remember drums sounding this good on the 325i. However, Tool does tend to be very textured and the sum is greater than the parts, quite a statement considering the craftsmanship in the parts :P. The attack of the drums is better on the 325i, but the decay and overall tone are better on the 750. Backing vocals definitly win on the 750, but Tool seems to be just a tad too bassy for a closed headphone. The trippy whining guitar effect is also much more convincing with the 750. It is almost unnoticable with the 325i.

Then again... the SA5K takes the crown when it comes to Aenima because man are the drums perfect on them...

Grado is like a kid with ADD, it does some things extremely well, but can't focus on one thing half the time, let alone everthing :P. Things don't to transition smoothly with them either. Parts in a song jump out and say "look at me! me me me!" which is very fun, but far from natural.

Ultrasone is still a work in progress right now. Detail is great, but could be better, soundstage and layering is phenomenal. They are... comfy in every sense of the word, comfy because no matter which genre you throw at them, they do it exceptionally well. So I guess you could say wise too. It feels and sounds most of the time like they are the authority on what things actually sound like, regardless of their tonal or detail shortcomings. I feel like I have much greater insight into what was mixed. But of course this is a feeling and not a fact. They are also the only headphone to never have given me fatigue even after 12 hours, literally, of listening (not at all the case with SA5k and 325i). They are still quite new, so their "place" in my mind is still being formed. I am unsure if this makes me more aware of their strengths, or more oblivious to their faults.

Anyways... more music and I'll post more findings later. I will do some SA5K/750 a/b later this week when I am rested and up to the task.

Cheers
post #172 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post
It's a tough call with the SA5000. If you like them, they'll be one of your favorites. If not, you'll hate them. I was lucky enough to love the pair I bought.

To put things into perspective, I sold quite a few headphones to pay for the HD-800 and O2. Among those were the K-501, HD-600, HD-650, DT880, K-701, and RS-1. I couldn't bear to part with the SA5000, though. I loved all those headphones with the notable exxeption of the K-701.

My favorite quality of the SA5000 is its transparency. It is one of very few headphones that will pull the "disappearing trick." I'll forget that I have headphones on at all and just get immersed in the music. Most of the others in my sig do the same thing, which is why I have them.

If transparency and resolution are your thing, the SA5000 might be for you.
Very interesting ... I feel the same way about the K702, and love my HD 600 and cherish my SA5K. What do you think of the HD 800 compared to the HD 600 and SA5K? Care to share some insight? We seem to have similar tastes and it would be much appreciated.
post #173 of 274
another SA5k fan, just got them last week and have fallen in love with them ever since. I love the mids and vocals of the SA-5000, I can hear in great details the emotions and expressiveness in the voice of the singers. I think the mids are the main highlights of the SA-5000. Soundstage wise compare to my 325is the sound is more inside my head as if the music is giving my brain a massage, while the 325is is more in front of me. With my 325is I found it to be good with both the headphone output from my klipsch promedia 2.1 or my Beresford TC-7520, but with the SA-5000 I found It's only good with my Beresford TC-750, the first headphone to make me realize the importance of amps/headphones pairing. I think the next upgrade from the SA-5000 for me woud be the MDR-R10 .
post #174 of 274
I still think its strange there is not much recommendations of AD2000, I picked them (AD1000PRM instead of AD2000) over the SA5000, for my ears AD2000/AD1000PRM >= SA5000 > W5000 > K701 >>>> D2000. I like ultra fast, detailed phones with a good treble, SA5000 totally fit my bill, but the AD2000 just sounded more fun with most of my music but SA5000 sounded more spacious, AD2000 is more forwarded but I like them more with my music. Being said so, I like both phones VERY much and it was a hard decision picking one. Still not enough money for both. D:
post #175 of 274
I think a lot of that has to do with the quest for a dry sound (part of the reason for going for a fast headphone is the wanting to get "accurate" sound) and many people find the AD2000 too warm. Also, there's a price difference.
post #176 of 274
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonh View Post
another SA5k fan, just got them last week and have fallen in love with them ever since. I love the mids and vocals of the SA-5000, I can hear in great details the emotions and expressiveness in the voice of the singers. I think the mids are the main highlights of the SA-5000. Soundstage wise compare to my 325is the sound is more inside my head as if the music is giving my brain a massage, while the 325is is more in front of me. With my 325is I found it to be good with both the headphone output from my klipsch promedia 2.1 or my Beresford TC-7520, but with the SA-5000 I found It's only good with my Beresford TC-750, the first headphone to make me realize the importance of amps/headphones pairing. I think the next upgrade from the SA-5000 for me woud be the MDR-R10 .
Try the CD3000 it works out a lot cheaper.
post #177 of 274
haha, honestly I am pretty interested and curious in the CD3000 also, I want the R10 more, but it'll be some time before I can afford the R10.
post #178 of 274
are these phones suitable for the following artists:

1. metallica
2. madonna
3. bach
4. taylor swift
5. depeche mode
6. armin van buuren
7. mariah carey
8. diana krall
9. chicago
10. u2
and many more

thank you
post #179 of 274
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jarthel View Post
are these phones suitable for the following artists:

1. metallica
2. madonna
3. bach
4. taylor swift
5. depeche mode
6. armin van buuren
7. mariah carey
8. diana krall
9. chicago
10. u2
and many more

thank you
The headphone is suitable for anything really... just depends what your taste is... Metallica has notoriously low bass, so while the SA5K will show you many things metallica actually has going, it won't bring out the bass. So far only ultrasones have been able to do that without ruining the rest of the spectrum.

Pop, in general, should sound amazing, but very clinical... not so .. jumpy?

For jazz, u2, and taylor swift, and anything I can think of with limited instruments the SA5K REALLY shine as the extereme amount of detail through.

While they still show detail in clustered tracks due to their speed, i find they are not spacious enough to be able to indulge in all the detail at once. I find myself following a specific instrument.

The SA5K really need a clean and detailed source to shine. Otherwise you might find the shortcomings add up more than the pros. With a good source you will be in heaven. A nice amp will also bring out more bass. Anything but lossless and these cans get prissy pretty quick.

Hope that helped.
post #180 of 274
Thread Starter 

No grados allowed!

So, I will admit it is a ton of fun to have people comment in your thread much more than in others , but I wan't to bump my thread now that I have new experiences, and have done more research on google and head-fi.

Many people pointed me to the pro 900 and the W5000 and I am very interested in both. I feel I will sell my pro 750 and get the pro 900 and still look for another headphone to replace the rest of my open headphones.

The ultrasone pro 750 have something special, and very musical about them, but hearing an open can after using them for weeks at a time is like a breath of fresh air. The macro detail and dynamics in the pro 750, at this point in my career are unmatched. The SA5K after lots of AB is still much quicker and detailed over all. They have different ideas about tonality. Pro 750 tends to be very musically correct, while SA5K is PHD correct. Both are enjoyable and have replaced anything else I listen to as a duo.

The W1000x is on my watch list, the W5000 is too but I am wondering if it is more to do with how sexy they are, as opposed to what I have been told. Speed and detail and soundstage are supposedly great, but ultrasone has left me with a newfound desire of quality, audible bass.

In no order

D5/7000 -may have too much bass
W1000x - if is as good as the w5000 or better let me know
W5000 - if it beats the SA5K in enough categories to warrant getting, and > than w1000x
T1 - skylab and macedonian hero speak very highly of this can... seems to be quite a nice blend.

I would like to get the HD 800, but I will save that for a better source and amp in the future... hopefully the price will go down.

Are all fighting to claim my soul mate to the pro 900 I will inevitably be buying. It would replace the HD600/K702/SR325i/(SA5000 if possible)

If people could chime in again with their two cents, now that I have narrowed it down a bit, I would be very grateful.

And, like the title, please, no grados.


Thanks
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