Opinions on the best relatively affordable full-size phones for orchestral music and opera?
From what I've read, the Sennheiser 800s are great - but at $1,400 they're simply out of my financial comfort zone, as are the Beyer T-1s (and the various Stax).
I own a circa 1992 pair of Beyerdynamic DT-990s pros, which IMHO are great for pop but too colored for orchestra music. I love the detail and and sparkle of my Etymotic ER-4s - but after 13 years, my left ear canal no longer loves the transducer getting inserted on a regular basis. And even when it did, the Etymotics lacked the low frequency authority and soundstaging I am used to through my big rig loudspeakers (Apogee Duetta Signatures).
I had planned on setting for a pair of DT-880s (with some sort of tube amp) - but after reading positive reviews of the Audio Technica AD-700s with classical music, began to explore reviews of their models much further upstream - like the ATH-5000 (which can had on Amazon for the relatively affordable price of $680).
I'm planning to drop $800-$1,500 on a headphone, amp, DAC combo (to be fed ripped FLAC files by a PC/laptop) at some point in the next couple of months - but am still up in the air on how those funds should be spread around.
So, if you were planning to spend between $200 and $700 on a phone for orchestral music and opera, what would you be considering?
Thanks in advance.