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What are your top 5 headphones for classical music? - Page 2

post #16 of 86

The combination of the Denon AH-D7000 with a good solid-state amp does indeed work very well for classical music. Mine is fed from a Luxman P-200 headphone amp and the combination sounds incredibly synergistic.

 

I'd like to point out though that with classical material, the source is as important, and with that in mind, I prefer to listen only in the SACD format, which benefits from a much higher resolution. Obvioulsy, listening only to the stereo SACD layer. Currently, I'm using the Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD Player as my source, again with great results.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane55 View Post

... I found all I was looking for in the Denon AH-D7000. They have the richness and acoustic qualities and sonority, but also deliver on the highs.

 

... Strangely, I actually prefer the 'soundstage' (thought I almost hate discussing it) of the D7000. It's more the width of the presentation, and for classical I prefer things a bit closer. Obviously this is all user preference and opinion, and I just like slightly more intimacy, or less space. When I watch a performance the musicians are usually in front of me, not on my sides, so I find extremely widened stereo effect to be unrealistic. The D7k puts the musicians right in front of you.

 

There it is... there are four, with one clearly above the others for personal preference only. Many will probably tell you the LCD or T1 or HD800, whatever. Try them all out if you can. But don't miss testing the D7000 with a good solid state amp. Wounderous.

 


Edited by Arnaldo - 4/25/11 at 5:45pm
post #17 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by forsberg View Post

Aren't the Denons more known for their bass, which may be too much for classical?


D2000 & D5000, yes. Had them, sold them. Had the modded version, sold it too. No-go.

But the D7k, while not bass shy, is not a bass monster. It's tight and controlled, though realistically present. Take the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th. There's so much double-bass and bass drum action there that if you have something with less bass, you'll be missing some fundamental impact and presence. For all the viola de gamba work I listen to, the sonority of the D7000, with it's ability to reach deep (with authority) has never failed, nor been too abundant.

 

And I agree with the above statement that source files, as well as source rig is critical. Synergy with these cans can make or break them, but when right, it's amazing.

 

Cheers
 

 

EDIT for clarification.


Edited by shane55 - 4/11/11 at 11:11am
post #18 of 86
I totally agree while D7000 have quite a large amount of bass, but not to the point of overwhelming, which I found the D2000/D5000 are.
post #19 of 86

 

I'm completely satisfied with the HD800. They sound flawless, as long as the recording itself is flawless (and I inclined to think that most of the classical music recordings are of exceptional quality).
 
Large musical pieces (symphonies, operas, oratories, etc.) benefit from exceptional soundstage of the HD800 – the sense of spaciousness, instrument separation, reverberations of the hall, defined soloists positioning – everything is rendered perfectly. Beethoven’s №9, Handel’s “Messiah”, Bach’s Passions, Wagner’s operas – no matter how complicated the music is, they manage to reproduce it effortlessly.
 
As for the chamber music – there you get all the details and nuances possible. Tonally accurate, precise, highly detailed and natural sound makes you forget that you listen to a recording!
 
One more thing – HD800 is, perhaps, the most suitable headphones to listen to organ pieces. Try some Bach’s (or Buxtehude, or Krebs) orgelwerke, played on Great Silbermann organ – simply breathtaking!
 
! A word of warning – the recordings must of very high quality. Old recordings won’t do either. It’s best to avoid remasters. In this respect HD800 are not versatile.frown.gif

Edited by Finnegans - 4/11/11 at 2:16pm
post #20 of 86


It's interesting to notice that the Denon AH-D7000 performs flawless with SACD reissues as well. I was recently listening to Sony's single layer SACD of Copland Conducts Copland (Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo) and in spite of its analog provenance, it sounded on par with the current state of the art. I can't say whether it was the recording itself or the D7000, but I felt the same way about Boulez conducting Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra and Miraculous Mandarin, another single layer SACD reissue of an analog recording. And whatever hiss was there, it was barely discernible. In spite of this, the D7000 were still incredibly analytical - in a good way - with large modern DSD recordings such as Channel Classics' Mahler recordings with Ivan Fisher and the Budapest Orchestra.

 

Regardless, I'm considering adding an Ultrasone Edition 8 Limited Edition to my little arsenal, based on a very brief and rewarding audition of some classical Exton SACDs (Wagner and Stravinsky).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegans View Post

I'm completely satisfied with the HD800. They sound flawless, as long as the recording itself is flawless (and I inclined to think that most of the classical music recordings are of exceptional quality).

! A word of warning – the recordings must of very high quality. Old recordings won’t do either. It’s best to avoid remasters. In this respect HD800 are not versatile.frown.gif

 


Edited by Arnaldo - 4/11/11 at 6:05pm
post #21 of 86
Was curious if anyone else had come across the issue with the AKG K501 mentioned towards end of this page :
http://www.headfonia.com/akg-k500-k501/2/

Good Ultrasone material here (bass drum) biggrin.gif :
http://www.amazon.com/Sibelius-Lemminkainen-Legends-Op-Saga/dp/B0000027U8/ref=sr_1_3?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1302559353&sr=1-3
Edited by chrisjackson - 4/11/11 at 3:10pm
post #22 of 86

Omega 2, and I don't care about the 4 others.

 

I did like the HD650 quite a bit on smaller works - its warm tone gave a very melodic, rich quality to instruments and its impact and overall tactile quality really worked well where it was appropriate; piano, for instance, sounded rich and impactful, and woodwinds had a very earthy, seductive quality. But on larger works its relative lack of speed and resolution compared to electrostatics made things sort of blend together instead of being resolved into individual instruments, and the more dense and hectic things got the more the HD650 struggled to keep up.

 

The K340 did have enough speed and detail, and it did image quite well. While listening to large-scale orchestral works on it I was readily able to pinpoint the location of each instrument and could hear the separate texture of each instrument well. But it was far from linear, in fact it was coloration alley, though mostly in a pleasing way.

post #23 of 86


Quote:

Originally Posted by catscratch View Post

 

I did like the HD650 quite a bit on smaller works - its warm tone gave a very melodic, rich quality to instruments and its impact and overall tactile quality really worked well where it was appropriate; piano, for instance, sounded rich and impactful, and woodwinds had a very earthy, seductive quality. But on larger works its relative lack of speed and resolution compared to electrostatics made things sort of blend together instead of being resolved into individual instruments, and the more dense and hectic things got the more the HD650 struggled to keep up.

 

 

 

Was this with stock cable? Because I switched to the Headphile Blacksilver cable and found that helped a lot with resolution. Controversial, I know, but I'm just reporting what I heard.

post #24 of 86



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegans View Post

 

 
! A word of warning – the recordings must of very high quality. Old recordings won’t do either. It’s best to avoid remasters. In this respect HD800 are not versatile.frown.gif


If that's true then it's a serious flaw. Much of the music out there, particularly in the classical field, is archival, and that's not counting individual's archived recordings--stuff copied from old tapes, LPs etc.  
 

 

post #25 of 86

I know you said no Stax, but plenty can be had for under $1500 (even with amplifier included).

 

Stax Sigmas

Stax Lambdas

AKG K1000

 

After that there's nothing I've had lots of time with that I'd say is truly excellent with classical (in this price range).  The LCD2 is great with more intimate chamber music but kinda falls flat with the large orchestral stuff.  I'd imagine the HE6 is better in this area.  The HD800 just bugs me period.

post #26 of 86
Thread Starter 
Why do the HD800s bring such polarizing opinions? Is it because of the hype and price..?
post #27 of 86

I think DavidMahler explained it best in his review of the Woo WA-5 amplifier. He felt the HD800 performed best with an amp with a euphonic sound signature. I might take a wild guess that Uncle Erik's 2A3 amp would also come close to that description.

 

In the meantime ampless as I am at the moment, I'm happily listening to Haydn's Cello Concerto #2 (Rostropovich) with my HD600 connected directly to a Mac Book Pro.

post #28 of 86

I tried stock, Moon Audio Blue Dragon, and Headphile Black Silver. I found no difference in speed and clarity. They did alter the tonal balance slightly though. The silver cable was leaner and brighter than the copper ones. I didn't do any DBT however, just ABX.

post #29 of 86
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pigmode View Post

I think DavidMahler explained it best in his review of the Woo WA-5 amplifier. He felt the HD800 performed best with an amp with a euphonic sound signature. I might take a wild guess that Uncle Erik's 2A3 amp would also come close to that description.

 

In the meantime ampless as I am at the moment, I'm happily listening to Haydn's Cello Concerto #2 (Rostropovich) with my HD600 connected directly to a Mac Book Pro.


What made you get the HD600 instead of HD650?
post #30 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by forsberg View Post

Aren't the Denons more known for their bass, which may be too much for classical?


They're bass presence is overstated.  Speaking of the D7000 that me and Shane are referring to.  In fact, their bass character is what helps to offer that sweetness to certain acoustic instruments.

 

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