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Alternatives to the SA5000?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on keeping the SA5000, but will be replacing the Sennheisers in my collection because their sound signature isn't really to my liking.

 

I'd like something similar to the SA5000 in sound signature (fast, detailed, clear, somewhat bright) but more natural sounding. I'll be listening to a variety of music, but the majority will probably be acoustic jazz. The budget is about $300.

 

The source will be an iPod (no DAC), and it will be amped by the Matrix M-Stage.

 

 

Edit:

One more criteria: Sufficiently deep ear cups.

I ordered and received a DT880, and they just don't fit me properly.


Edited by gsilver - 10/13/10 at 5:18pm
post #2 of 16

DT880 comes to mind.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Any particular version of the 880? (32, 250, 600ohm)

 

I notice that I can get the 250ohm version for the least amount of money, and I would assume that given the M-Stage's capabilities, that would be best (600ohm may need more power; 32ohm would benefit less from the amp)... this is just an assumption.

 

 

The AKG 701/2 has also caught my eye.

post #4 of 16

I own the 32 ohm and your fast, detailed, clear, somewhat bright requirements are fulfilled indeed. However I do use a vintage stereo receiver as an amp, with tweakable bass and treble.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ok. I've got a pair of DT 880 32ohm and K702s on the way. They both should be here by the end of the week.

 

The winner will become my 'work headphone' and the loser will go to the for sale section... unless I like them both more than the SA5000... In which case, that's the one to sell, and the lesser of the two new headphones will go to my home computer.

 

(meanwhile, I keep waiting for the LCD-2s to go with my CD player)


Edited by gsilver - 10/11/10 at 6:02pm
post #6 of 16

I highly doubt that a computer can properly drive DT880's or K702's. Now, coupled with DAC's, on the other hand...

post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

The computer has a Xonar STX, which has a pretty good headphone amp. Maybe not as good as the M-Stage, but certainly competent.

post #8 of 16

I don't want to stomp on the Xonar cards as theya re good, but their headphone amp section is well, very substandard. They won't be able to power the K701/K702 but the DT880 should do OK.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilver View Post

The computer has a Xonar STX, which has a pretty good headphone amp. Maybe not as good as the M-Stage, but certainly competent.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

I got the DT880 today. First impressions are that they have a much better sense of space than either my SA5000s or HD650s, they're much fuller sounding than the SA5K, and their sound signature is more to my liking than the HD650. On the downside, they have a buzzing quality to many instruments, while the SA5K and HD650 sound more natural.

 

Also: Not enough clearance for the ears

That's definitely going to decrease their viability as all-day headphones.

 

I'll keep trying them out, then compare them to the K702 when I get it on Friday.

post #10 of 16

When I think fast, detailed, and somewhat bright I think of Ad2000 but thats out of your budget.

 

Next thing that comes to mind is grado 225i or 325i. They wouldn't really be an upgrade to your SA5000 but for $300 you're probably not going to get anything better than what you already have. 

 

post #11 of 16

good luck with the decision.

hopefully you pick the akg.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsilver View Post

I'm planning on keeping the SA5000, but will be replacing the Sennheisers in my collection because their sound signature isn't really to my liking.

 

I'd like something similar to the SA5000 in sound signature (fast, detailed, clear, somewhat bright) but more natural sounding. I'll be listening to a variety of music, but the majority will probably be acoustic jazz. The budget is about $300.

 

The source will be an iPod (no DAC), and it will be amped by the Matrix M-Stage.


If you can extend your budget by a bit, (200) dollars, and find a W5000 used... I would without a doubt go for it, they are exactly what you described, fast, detailed and a bit on the bright side... but ya, if 300 budget is solid go for the K701/K702's... I have the Ipod classic as source to the HA5000 to W5000 and this is the best sound I have ever heard... And yes, I have a better source, but believe it or not, the Ipod creates the best synergy with this combo, I am still stunned... Good luck mate! 

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigrock2150 View Post

When I think fast, detailed, and somewhat bright I think of Ad2000 but thats out of your budget.

 

Next thing that comes to mind is grado 225i or 325i. They wouldn't really be an upgrade to your SA5000 but for $300 you're probably not going to get anything better than what you already have. 

 



X2. What you should truly be looking at are the electrostats, which are about the only things that can be considered an upgrade from the SA5000, when it comes to what the SA5000 does best.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

I don't necessarily need an upgrade to the SA5K (as I like it a whole lot), just an alternative while in a 3rd listening location... "nearly as good" is good enough. Though, I don't exactly want another one, either (I'd like something different, and I've never liked the SA5K's headband).

 

From a comfort standpoint, I'm pretty sure that the DT880 isn't it; it puts too much pressure on the ears due to the shallow cups, so they get sore, quickly. The HD650 just barely touches them, and the SA5K clears them entirely.


Edited by gsilver - 10/13/10 at 2:59pm
post #15 of 16

Its time for akg k601, smooth but not dark, has sparkle, detailed enough, beautiful natural mids and great soundstage. Akg goes well with pretty much everything but with acoustic music its something special and comfort is on pair with denon d2000.

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