Hello Head-fi, the cash is in and I'm looking to spend $300USD on some cans to last for a good while.
To start, they will be amped from a NAD 7220PE where the headphone amp section specs are:
"Output impedance: 220ohms
Maximum output level: .10V into 600ohms
>500mV into 8ohms"
That is taken straight out of the the technical sheet from their archive on the series.
My source is a B&O Beogram RX2 with the number 5 cartridge for vinyl, and a 24bit Soundblaster (soon to be switched to a DAC cable) playing only lossless files (FLAC and Apple 320).
My most favorite phones right now are the Sennheiser 414 (Amazingly clear vocals when amped, it's amazing! But they lack in the bass section), Yamaha YH-3 (Sound awesome with more modern music, and have a good amount of bass that is controlled! I love tuning into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs or other alternative rock bands and hip-hop on these guys, but they are also my favorite for jazz), Grado SR-80i (My main classic rock and blues cans, it's astounding how good how well they make Joan Osborne sound, and I've never heard B.B. King and Bob Dylan sound so good). My favorite speakers I've heard are my AR-18, but I am only really talking about bookshelves. They all are quite unique in sound signatures, but I love the sound of all of them. I have also heard several other Sennheiser cans, but nothing over the 280. I have listened to the Grado 325i at my local Hi-Fi shop and loved them, but only sampled blues music (due to time constraints and it's quite a drive away). My local guitar center didn't have any AKG up for sample.
Now I suppose it's time to drop the musical tastes, and with that I can say virtually anything. My playlist on shuffle will go from playing the Sleigh Bells to Thelonious Monk to Fred McDowell and then start playing The Beatles followed by Social D, Rick Wakeman and Regina Spektor. I love classical and opera as well as a lot of traditional music equally as much as contemporary music.
I love acoustic instruments and vocals. When listening I love a good bass, but very controlled and tight! I love to hear a good walking bass to my jazz and the lovely cellos going in an orchestrated piece.
Right now I'm really looking at the Grado 325i and the AKG K701. I loved the sound of some good delta blues steel guitar on the Grados and their ability to mask old recordings. But I've heard many other good things about the AKG K701s when it comes to playing my beloved jazz and orchestrated master pieces.
Are there any other cans I'm over looking? They can be open, closed, or IEMs. Throw out any suggestions. I am located in Henderson, NV so if you know of any Hi-Fi shops to tune into cans please share the venue. I listened to the Grados at Premier Home Entertainment.
Thanks guys! I really look forward to any suggestions you may have.