It's birthday time soon, and I'm finally going to step up into some real cans. Right now my set-up is Apple Airport Express>Little Dot MKIII>Grado SR-60 headphones. Yes, I know I need a DAC, and that will happen soon enough. I have done the tape mod to the SR-60's. The Little Dot was not doing much for my Grados. That is until I changed the driver tubes to Mullard M8161. That dramatically changed my sound. Wow, does metal sound amazing on this setup! However I am wanting some new cans more suitable for the rest of my music collection.
As for the type of music that I listen to, it is hugely varied. Acoustic and classical guitar, female vocals, male vocals, metal(all sub-genres), classic rock, folk, celtic, classical, etc. The only genres that I do not listen to are country and hip-hop.
As for the type of sound that I am wanting with the new cans: Large soundstage and excellent instrument separation. I'm finding the Grados extremely 2 dimensional, and I am wanting a more spacious sound. I am also wanting more bass than the Grados.
Plugged into some $12,000 source/headphone amp rig, I was able to compare my Grados to a few other cans at the local Hi-Fi shop. I initially compared them to Sennheiser HD595. My gosh did I enjoy those cans. Listening to my SR-60's first, then going to the HD595's, the HD595's at first sounded slightly muddy, but that only lasted for about 30 seconds. The HD595's were not as bright as the SR-60's but they seemed to resolve more detail at the same time. The mids seemed more forward on the HD595. The mids had a really nice warmth that I enjoyed over the Grados. The soundstage was huge on the HD595's. Instrument separation was excellent. The bass was way more on the HD595's. After about 45 minutes of listening, I really loved these cans. In almost every way I liked them more than my SR-60's. Just for fun I also tried Grado SR-325's. This I did not like. The highs were so cranked up and caused some serious fatique in no time. The shop did not have any DT880's for me to try out.
My budget is probably $340 max. This can get me into the HD600 range. I was not able to try out the HD600's. I hear from most reviews that the HD600's are an upgrade over the HD595's. So, the question is with the Little Dot MKIII, which cans will be the best upgrade for me? I've read a few times that the DT880/600 ohm are not amazing match with the LD MKIII. This could be incorrect. I've heard many times that the HD600 is incredible with the LD MKIII. Any thoughts? I really liked the Sennheiser sound. If anyone out there has both the DT880/600 ohm and the HD600's with the Little Dot MKIII, I'd love to hear how these compare to each other. Apologies for the long post. Thank you.