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Advancing from Sony MDR-7509HD

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello, my first post. First of all I have been using this forum for a couple of years now, I hadn't previously felt the need to register. Secondly, I notice there is not enough love for the Sony MDR-7509HD, and I feel that I'm possibly fooling myself that it is superior?

The Sony MDR-7509HD has been used for over 300 hours as an all-rounder and productions I listen to tend to sound 'crunchy' across the high-end which I really dig. It also makes MP3s sound terrible compared to lossless quality (.WAV or .FLAC), which is actually a good thing (it may just be my trained ears). I have to say the soundstage felt terrible, however in my DAW and on Foobar2000 I use the 112 Redline Monitor with -2 center, 90 degrees soundtage and 0m distance which definitely improves the way they sound however at the cost of more low-end. There seems to be a major lowshelf cut from around 250hz down on these cans (I'm getting starved for bass).

Recently while watching a bluray on my headphones, I layed on them and snapped one of the cups, so finally the opportunity to dig into my wallet and move on has come. I know theres 5x better cans out there.

My main application is professional music production, no mean to brag I've released many records using just headphones for the whole process. In most cases using just the Sony's I can get a production to 95% complete. It's weakness has to be the low-end without a doubt, there is just no tone or punch, and I have to turn to my Tascam studio monitors + subs to complete that end.

My source and headamp is the good ol' PreSonus FireBox. Which to mention is starting to break on me, so I clearly need to upgrade that too in the form of a professionally viable soundcard with a solid headphone output.

My previous cans have been: Audio Technica ATH-A700 (I thought the tone on these were great for a few weeks, but I got over them fast, either way they broke), Sennheiser HD485 (I felt these were fun to listen to at times, but the sound was really...lo-fi? with an overly bright high-end that was sometimes earpiercingly sharp, however they did  show that open headphones can definitely sound much better over closed I think, my pomeranian-chiuachiua ate them anyway (good dog!)), Beyerdynamic DT770-32ohm (Were these muddy as hell or is it just my taste, this may sound odd however I do remember enjoying the high-end).

New headphones I'm looking at are: AKG 70X (I really need a solid soundstage, I'm really interested in these... I think, however very scepticle as my main genre of use is Electronic Dance Music (Progressive House / Trance, Tech House etc. basically music based between 125-138ish bpm) and in terms of the bass, I am coming from the *Sony MDR-7509HD* which have that major lowshelf cut as I mentioned earlier, so that I'm not so concerned) Denon AH-D2000 (I hear great things about the low-end, snap and punch of these cans that make all EDM sound fun (I like the idea of that, as I'm able to adapt to all kinds of sound spectrums to work with professionally as long as the sound wows me), Sennheiser HD650 (I forgot why I was looking into these :))

So TL;DR; A professionally usable soundcard (preferrably internal) with a nicely amped headphone output. A couple of cans with a solid punch low-end, snappy mids, present high-end and a great soundstage all for considerably fast tempo EDM.

P.S. I think I forgot to mention that I also do film scoring, so something viable to theatrical music would be nice too.
P.P.S. I'm from Australia :) and usually always purchase from eBay, so gear available from there to my residence would be grand.

I really apologize about the overbearing post. I also wrote it straight-off, so I apologize if anything sounds off or annoying. I guess I've been building all this on my mind and blew it all out at once. Thank you for reading!

Oh, and no need to apologize about my wallet. Remember, I want you to damage it! I'd just hope to keep it under a grand AUD this time ;)

Thank you so much again, I'm really looking forward to posting more here (with promise to not be this long) :)


EDIT: The Beyerdynamics I had were actually the DT 770 Pro 80, not 32ohm. My bad. Also, as you can see, I tend to take my headphones through a lot of beating and they break sooner or later, so I don't have any of them for use at the moment and the cans I had were quite low range, so I'd like to try those expensive cans aswell. So, i'd prefer to have one can at a time, but wouldn't mind investing in a couple. :)

Edited by Teoman - 12/16/10 at 8:38pm
post #2 of 10
Have you listened to the Denon D7000? I really like how well it does with everything I throw at it.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 


Originally Posted by DjAmTraX View Post

Have you listened to the Denon D7000? I really like how well it does with everything I throw at it.

No, I haven't. I am very limited to trying out headphones before I buy them. Not a luxury I have unfortunately. What are they like to the D2000s? considering they cost around 500 more. I heard they're quite similar in signature.


Edited by Teoman - 12/16/10 at 9:04pm
post #4 of 10
I also own the 7509HD and agree with your characterization. I think you were on the right track with the HD-650, but you might find the HD-600 a little bit better balanced.

As for Denon headphones, I find them entirely too bassy. It tends to overwhelm the mids and highs. I did not like the K-701. I found it to have some very odd characteristics in the mids; vocals tend to sound plasticky. There's some debate over that, but I'm not the only one who gets tonal weirdness from the K-701.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Uncle Erik View Post

I also own the 7509HD and agree with your characterization. I think you were on the right track with the HD-650, but you might find the HD-600 a little bit better balanced.

As for Denon headphones, I find them entirely too bassy. It tends to overwhelm the mids and highs. I did not like the K-701. I found it to have some very odd characteristics in the mids; vocals tend to sound plasticky. There's some debate over that, but I'm not the only one who gets tonal weirdness from the K-701.

Thank you very much, sir. I just did an impulsive buy on the D2000 as it was brand new, and considerably the cheapest I'd seen at $300 AUD, however I'm now looking around for a decent place to purchase The HD 650 or HD 600, based on availability / price.

Also, is it true the D2000s are tonally close to the old CD3000s, I remember hearing those when I was younger and that they totally blew me away. I think the idea of that is what attracted me to the D2000s the most.

 Much appreciated. Cheers!

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Sorry to bump the thread like this, however I was able to find a reputable seller online, from the USA for $450 shipped to my door. Is that a decent price for these cans? Cheers. :)))

EDIT: This is for the HD 650

Edited by Teoman - 12/16/10 at 10:35pm
post #7 of 10

Yes, that is an excellent price!  Considering that their US msrp. is 649.99 USD, I would say that's a stellar deal for you.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

OK, the HD 650 purchase went on hault due to an issue with the seller (I'll later explain, once the issue resolved, so people may avoid wasting time)

So, I've been listening to the D2000s and despite the best low-end I've ever heard in cans (personally) is it ok to feel disappointed with the overall performance? I think I was expecting too much. I mean I did get blown back with a "WOW!" at first listen, they scared the hell out of me, since I come from the Sony MDR7509HD's which have about a 10-20db -120hz lowshelf difference, however that excitement slowly sobbered up as I started to miss the mid-mids (is that a way to describe the center mf?) punch and the crunch towards the high end.

I definitely find them to be a fun pair of headphones which I can use as a pair of can-subs to judge kick and bass mixing (seriously, there is a great, extended sine-wave tone down there which I couldn't imagine in headphones) and basically general listening to club-oriented electronic music. I also have to admit I adore the 'airy' kind of warm sound they give and was exactly what I wanted in headphones.

The cans are plugged into the PreSonus FIREBOX, music listened to is Progressive House/Trance in the likes of Nic Chagall, Gareth Emery etc. and my own productions all in pure lossless .wav quality

Question is, will the mids open up once I burn them in?

Cheers :)

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 


Here they are. I'm not sure I like the way they sit on the table... swayed to the side rather than sitting solid. Would they damage like that?


post #10 of 10

If I may, I'll take the opportunity to hijack this thread instead of making my own.


Main reason being my situation is quite similar. Apart from having released any music. I produce and mix  EDM mainly Hardstyle and own and mainly use a MDR 7509-HD for this. Which to a certain extend has always treated me quite well. However the low-shelf described, which in the past I always thought to be a good reference as opposed to hyped bass, is doing my head in.


I cannot make mastering decisions concerning the low-end on these head phones and I'm also starting to feel the imaging is somewhat blurry.


Okay, so my situation. I produce music mainly with someone else in the room watching TV. So I really need a closed back headphone. Sessions are usually around 3-4 hours. I have Krk's rp6 (2nd gen) to sometimes check for reference (when the gf isn't home), but this is in an untreated room with ugly resonance peaks in the low mids. Apart from that I have a pair of Sennheiser 25-1 II's which I mainly bought for DJ purposes. Which I regret a little because I cannot get used to the on-ear and clamping pressure. As a reference  I find these too lower-mid heavy, and wouldn't even try production mixing on these.


What I'm looking for is accurate/defined better bass response than the 7509HD and a better soundstage and stereo image. Closed back, comfortable and if at all possible; portable and easy to drive. I might be doing some production work on the train with a macbook. However there is no need to make real mixing judgements on the train. So if a macbook can't drive them fully that's no deal breaker.


In Hardstyle, the kick is easily the most important in the whole mix. To pin point, I need to exactly HEAR where I need to cut off (low-cut/hi pass) the bottom end, to maintain a punchy clear love mid bass tail with solid sub sound without the low end taking up a ****load of headroom in subsonic frequencies. Apart from that it's 150 bpm and the headphone needs to keep up.


At home I drive the headphones with a Presonus Firestudio and have a SM Pro M-Patch 2, which could function as amp (should be uncolored). Apart from that I'm not looking to get a seperate hp amp.


So after alot of searching an reading here on head fi and looking at a couple of other reviews, I came across headphones that caught my interest with some concerns


Beyerdynamic DT 770 (250) - concerns: too hyped low end to make accurate mixing judgements

Denon AH-D2000 - concerns: maybe even more so than the above DT770


AKG K550  - concerns: too little low end to make accurate mixing judgements, not much of an improvement on the 7509HD's in the low end. This mostly due to the fear of my glasses hindering the ear cushions from sealing,


AKG K271 MKII - sealing issue, makes these bass light aswell


Shure SRH840 - concerns: Maybe a little slow for 150 bpm kicks, Maybe a little heavy/warm for 4 hour sessions. Although the 7509's get pretty warm aswell


Sony MDR-1R - concerns: More laid back, than revealing, a little slow for 150 bpm kicks.


I know there have been lots of comparisons on these and hope I'm not making your eyes roll. I have pretty specific needs for the headphones and maybe someone could say, I'm looking at the wrong things or can wash away my concerns.


Atleast thank you for reading

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