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What are your top 5 headphones for classical music? - Page 4

post #46 of 86

I have been using an Ultrasone Edition 10, which seems targeted to an audience that listens mostly to classical on SACD, usually recorded with no EQ or compression. Whatever compromises made by Ultrasone over its measurements, which have been criticized elsewhere, were made with this kind of music in mind. And as per some of my impressions from posts on other threads:

"The horn section in the first movement of Bartok's Concerto for Orchestra - on a Philips SACD with Seiji Ozawa - displays the Edition 10's control over those full-metal blasts. Its precision when handling powerful horn bursts is on par with concert-hall realism. Actually, maybe the issue with the Ed 10 is that its presentation is so very un-headphone like, and instead, more like a concert-hall perspective. Basically, its soundstage is as expansive as one can get without a surround simulator."

"The SACD of pianist Vladimir Tropp playing Schumann's Fantasiestücke, Träumerei and Etudes symphoniques, is a hard to find but trilling DSD recording by Acoustic Revive, a Japanese company known for their audio hardware. What sets this disc apart is the employment of different recording techniques for each piece, with the one-point microphone system for the Fantasiestücke and the Philips system for the Etudes. In turn, Träumerei is played three times in a row, each time with a different mic arrangement. And through the Edition 10, one can precisely hear minute differences between each recording perspective. The Ed 10 offered as well an astonishingly detailed presentation of the overtones and the transients of the sparkling piano sound."

"The Pentatone SACD of Stravinsky's Histoire du soldat and other small ensemble pieces conducted by Paavo Järvi, contains a lot of percussion and plucked counter-bass. And via the Edition 10, it sounds perfectly balanced over the entire frequency range. The texture of individual strings instruments was viscerally realistic - you can literally feel the friction of the arch scratching the strings. Was it bright? Most certainly so. Actually, gloriously so!"


Edited by Arnaldo - 7/7/11 at 12:36pm
post #47 of 86

My top 5 hps for classical and acoustic music, will be 4 AKG, and one stax 4070.

 

post #48 of 86

lots of good suggestions so far. i'm a bit surprised that i didn't see the akg k701/2 listed. it's more neutral than the denons with a superior top end. it's got a nice spacious sound stage and can be quite good for classical, especially for the price, imo. did you limit yourself to full sized cans? the jh audio jh13 and the westone es5 are superb, as i'm sure some of the other top tier customs are. and the jh3a prototype i heard was fabulous!

post #49 of 86

I like my Grado HP1000's for orchestral music. Famously not the last word on sounstage, but they are very transparent and neutral, with the exception of a pleasing mid-forward dynamic presentation, making it very exciting, without any fatigue. Great headphones still.

 

I recently acquired the Beyer T1's, and I look forward to experimenting with them once they are more burned-in.

 

I'll be picking up the Denon D7000's soon too.

 

Does anyone know if there is currently an active audiophile classical label? As good as, say, Reference Recordings (which I think went out of business, correct?)

post #50 of 86

BTW daveDerek, I like your Gentle Giant avatar :-)

post #51 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveDerek View Post

lots of good suggestions so far. i'm a bit surprised that i didn't see the akg k701/2 listed. it's more neutral than the denons with a superior top end. it's got a nice spacious sound stage and can be quite good for classical, especially for the price, imo. did you limit yourself to full sized cans? the jh audio jh13 and the westone es5 are superb, as i'm sure some of the other top tier customs are. and the jh3a prototype i heard was fabulous!



I'm pretty sure those are on the top of Acix's list of 4 AKGs. k701smile.gif

post #52 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post





I'm pretty sure those are on the top of Acix's list of 4 AKGs. k701smile.gif


Hehehe, you're right...the K702 are on top of my list, as well the K-1000, K400, K141@600 ohms, the K-240MKll, and the K271MKll are great too. For me the AKG just have the right sound for classical and acoustic music. There are a few hps that can do it right too, like the Stax 4070, and the JH13a prototype as daveDerek mentioned.

 

post #53 of 86

 For classical, the HD800 was pretty exceptional, but with a couple issues that I just couldn't get past.  First were the highs; they were too shrill for my ears on many recordings.  Maybe tubes would round them out, but in my SS setup they were too much.  When tweaked with an EQ to tame the highs, the HD800 was second-to-none with instrumental classical.  Second, I found that vocals in opera recordings seemed too detached from the mix and as a result was distracting.  Again, this maybe because of my setup.  Bass-wise, the HD800 was spot-on: excellent depth and tonality.  Also, it was nicely placed in the mix.

 

I thought the K702 was pretty nice with classical and opera as well... kind of like a poor man's HD800.  They are a bit more grainy when compared to the HD800, but seem to perform better to my ears in the areas where the HD800 put me off.  If I were to buy either again for classical listening, it would probably be the K702. 

post #54 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamera View Post

I like my Grado HP1000's for orchestral music. Famously not the last word on sounstage, but they are very transparent and neutral, with the exception of a pleasing mid-forward dynamic presentation, making it very exciting, without any fatigue. Great headphones still.


hp2s are fabulous headphones, and are better than the highly regarded T1s. the first time i heard the T1 was at a nyc meet and someone had a nice set of HP2s there that i compared, via some Woo Audio amps, with the T1. the grado had bettter tonal color and balance, and considerably better bass.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcamera View Post

BTW daveDerek, I like your Gentle Giant avatar :-)


thanks. did you catch their current incarnation, '3 Friends', when they were in Montreal (what a great city!)? they headlned the fmpm festival 2 years ago at the Gesu, back when Kerry Minnear was still with them. 'twas a very special and wonderful event!

2009-09-13 Montréal Canada Festival des Musiques Progressives de Montréa

)

       

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post
Hehehe, you're right...the K702 are on top of my list, as well the K-1000, K400, K141@600 ohms, the K-240MKll, and the K271MKll are great too. For me the AKG just have the right sound for classical and acoustic music. There are a few hps that can do it right too, like the Stax 4070, and the JH13a prototype as daveDerek mentioned.


i'm not familiar with the 400s, though i'm guessing they're similar to my 401s (a phone that resembled my former 501s).

 


Edited by daveDerek - 7/8/11 at 1:41am
post #55 of 86

My 2 cents, as I never tried high-end cans, but I only listen to classical.

I've been happy with both the HD650 and the K702: the AKG have better control on higher frequencies, as someone pointed out brasses on HD650 are forward and not as smooth as with the K702. But the Senns have probably better dynamics.

With chamber music the AKG are almost perfect, with a very clear instrument position. They are also very transparent, and the bass is well controlled and deep.

I also really like them with performance on period instruments (Herreweghe, Savall, Hogwood, Kuijken etc etc)

I may try some HD800 in the future...or T1...who knows?

post #56 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnievidi View Post

 For classical, the HD800 was pretty exceptional, but with a couple issues that I just couldn't get past.  First were the highs; they were too shrill for my ears on many recordings.  Maybe tubes would round them out, but in my SS setup they were too much.  When tweaked with an EQ to tame the highs, the HD800 was second-to-none with instrumental classical.  Second, I found that vocals in opera recordings seemed too detached from the mix and as a result was distracting.  Again, this maybe because of my setup.  Bass-wise, the HD800 was spot-on: excellent depth and tonality.  Also, it was nicely placed in the mix.

 

I thought the K702 was pretty nice with classical and opera as well... kind of like a poor man's HD800.  They are a bit more grainy when compared to the HD800, but seem to perform better to my ears in the areas where the HD800 put me off.  If I were to buy either again for classical listening, it would probably be the K702. 




Well, you can try some tubes with the HD-800 that can fix the highs problem and put them back in place, a warm SS amp like the Violetric can help too.

post #57 of 86

At this moment I don't want to get another amp, but isn't there something tube-y that I can put between my DAC and receiver?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acix View Post






Well, you can try some tubes with the HD-800 that can fix the highs problem and put them back in place, a warm SS amp like the Violetric can help too.



 

post #58 of 86

1. Stax SR-007IImk2

2. AKG k701 (better dynamics than the staxes!)

3. Shure SRH-840

4. blank

5. blank

Since there are HD800, T1, the audezes, an the HE-x K701 are not "high end" any more, right? :))


Edited by brat - 7/8/11 at 5:45am
post #59 of 86

1. Stax SR-007IImk2

2. AKG k701 (better dynamics than the staxes!)

3. Shure SRH-840

4. blank

5. blank

Since there are HD800, T1, the audezes and HE-5/6 K701 are not "high end" any more, right? :))

post #60 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveDerek View Post


hp2s are fabulous headphones, and are better than the highly regarded T1s. the first time i heard the T1 was at a nyc meet and someone had a nice set of HP2s there that i compared, via some Woo Audio amps, with the T1. the grado had bettter tonal color and balance, and considerably better bass.

 




thanks. did you catch their current incarnation, '3 Friends', when they were in Montreal (what a great city!)? they headlned the fmpm festival 2 years ago at the Gesu, back when Kerry Minnear was still with them. 'twas a very special and wonderful event!

2009-09-13 Montréal Canada Festival des Musiques Progressives de Montréa

)

       

 


i'm not familiar with the 400s, though i'm guessing they're similar to my 401s (a phone that resembled my former 501s).

 



I did attend each incarnation of FMPM, but I had to miss the Three Friends set :-(  Cool to chat with Gary Green though. Long Live Gentle Giant.

 

Anyone know of any audiophile classical/orchestral labels currently active?

 

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