Hello to all. I want to introduce myself and ask the all important question of recommendations from seasoned head-fiers. Since this is the thread dedicated to it I'm posting here, although I might suggest closing it and opening another as 720 plus pages is too burdensome. I’ve used the search extensively to gain information and greatly appreciate the posts, reviews, suggestions, etc. about particular items I’m interested in that posters have given on this board.
First, I am a long time music lover, amateur musician, and audiophile. I began collecting as vinyl was declining so I did not pursue analog over the years. Ergo, perhaps to my detriment, at this time my catalog is purely digital and includes some 4000 CD/SACDs. I moved from a house with a dedicated and purpose built listening room to one that has a dedicated listening area that is open and shares the acoustic environment with the whole house. As such, I see the advantage of a quality headphone system that will allow me to enjoy my music without sharing it with everyone else in the house at any given time of the day (or night). This will be integrated into my main system. In other words, I do not need portability and will not be connected to a server, computer or portable audio device.
As do most music lovers and audiophiles, I enjoy a wide variety of music, but for the purpose of this post, I carefully considered what music styles I would likely listen to most of the time on a headphone system. I realize that one set up that does everything the best does not exist, but would like to have the one that does everything well. Regarding budget, I place a high priority on performance and value. If, to my ears, the $1500 headphones sound far better than the $500 set, I’ll buy the $1500 set. If they don’t sound that much better and I enjoy the $500 set by all means I’ll buy the $500 set and put the difference in more music. Historically to me, the law of diminishing returns kicks in earlier on cables than with most other components. So, I'll try not to set my budget too stringently before I audition so as not to make myself like or dislike something due to their particular price point. That being said, I am not in the market for the STAX SR009s as I simply can’t afford them and any associated equipment.
I live in a remote area and I don’t know of any meets anywhere near me. I do plan to visit a dealer in the future and this is why I’m looking for advice as to which products may be worth auditioning. Thanks to all in advance.
Genres: Classical- romantic period to contemporary with concertos, symphonies, some small ensembles and sonatas and Grand Opera. Jazz: Mostly instrumental acoustic. Rock: Mostly symphonic metal and progressive metal (e.g. Symphony X, Kamelot, Dream Theater).
Source: High end CD player analog ICs.
Budget: See above, but probably in the 2-4k range inclusive of all necessary components like heaphones, amp, cables, upgraded tubes if necessary, etc.
Portability: Not needed
Sonic Priorities: Imaging, PRaT, warmth, at least some semblance of low end dynamics
Tubes/SS: I have both in my system and am not stuck on one or the other.
At this point I’m considering what seem to be the usual suspects: AKG 702, Beyer T1, Senn HD 6xx or 800, Grados and Audez’e. For amps, pretty much anything that works well and reliably is fine with me. I’ve been eying the offerings from Burson, Woo, Red Wine, Ray Sammuels and Eddie Current.
I thank you for your consideration and welcome your experienced thoughts and suggestions.