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New guy looking for a guidance

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hi guys, I want to have a taste of the audiophile world. Some background: I love music, rock, blues, jazz, I play electric guitar in these styles mostly also. I also listen to alot of electronic music (Daft Punk comes to mind really quick). I also do alot of PC gaming in which I like to have good sound smily_headphones1.gif Also, I've recently downsized my guitar amps, and currently just home playing through a little Vox DA5, which has a line out, so a pair of cans that would be also good for some late night jamming is what I'm looking for!

 

So, I have quite a couple of questions for you guys:

 

1. I'm looking to get my first pair of Headphones. Been reading a bit around, and kinda narrowed it down between Grado SR60i (as I've seen them being recommended for rock style music) or Audio Technica M50's. 100€ for the SR60's, 120€ for the M50's. Any other suggestions? Below the 120€ mark preferably.

 

2. The necessity of amps (portable one preferably). Are they really needed? Will I see a big improvement over sound? What is the biggest change I'll hear with/without a decent amp? Considering these headphones would be 80% of time connected to a computer, 20% to an MP3 player, suggestions if I should get one, immediately or in the future after buying my first cans?

 

So, throw at me (yours truly, the newbie) any tip, recommendation, or whatever you're thinking, I appreciate any input :)

 

Nearly 1TB of FLAC files waiting on my HDDs to be enjoyed fully beyersmile.png

post #2 of 16
Consider the Alessandro MS-1. Built by Grado, but it's more neutral and sells worldwide for $100 USD.

The MS-1 used to be one of the most recommended headphones here. I'm not sure why it fell off in popularity, but it's still one of the best entry points. Go back and read the older reviews and fan threads. You'll find many good reasons to order one.
post #3 of 16

^ yes good point, I'd rather start with MS-1 then M50

post #4 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

^ yes good point, I'd rather start with MS-1 then M50



I on the other hand, would do the opposite.

 

Just like the OP, I was looking for some starter headphones only some months ago. I also listen to rock and jazz on FLAC. I purchased both the Alessandro MS-1 and the ATH M50.

 

I got rid of the MS-1 almost immediately. I really don't understand what all the fuss is about. They sounded noticeably worse than the M50 in every respect. The best way I can define them was grainy and cheap-sounding. The famed mids had a "sandpapery" quality to them. Brass instrument lacked body and weight. I discovered myself preferring my old Koss Porta Pro to the MS1. Really underwhelming.

 

I really wanted to love the MS-1..Every week I did a test swapping back and forth between MS1/M50 hoping to grow into the MS1...No luck. I found the M50 superior in every way. If you're in the US and you pay the same price for both, it's a no brainer really imho.

 

Interestingly, one positive point about the MS1 was their comfort. I actually found them quite comfortable straight out of the box: much lighter on my head than the M50 (which I initially found bulky and heavy), no pain from the headband (I do have thick long hair)

 

Just another opinion!


Edited by blacknile - 5/27/11 at 4:29am
post #5 of 16

well there you have it, headphone sound preferences are very personal.

 

I personally think the M50's are the ones being terribly overrated here. But I think those are way more comfortable then MS-1's.

 

To some extend, one just have to find out for him/herselve

 

 

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the answers guys! Considering I'm a newbie, It'll be hard to find good audio stores around here to see if I can test some of them, but you gave me a nice headstart :)

 

If anyone could clear me up on point 2, I'd appreciate it, just the basics, anything more in-depth I'll take to the appropriate sub-forum.

post #7 of 16

I've owned the Ms1 and from experience these things really benefit from a cmoy amp.I'd go so far to say that there twice as good, bass is twice as punchy, mids become warm, smooth, bright and energetic, some of the harshness is gone. However with this much energy I find them really fatiguing although I don't think it will be that much of an issue for a beginner ( I really only started really noticing this after I'm using my AD700)

 

In comparison with  the AD700, I have to admit that the AD 700 were superior in technical terms, greater clarity, detail etc. After reading some Superlux reviews I'm really starting to question whether or not the Ms1 is 100 king anymore. However I think that when you pay for the Ms1, you pay for the energetic down to earth experience. Looking back, the emotional engagement of the Ms1's were what put me into the audiophile hobby. From a slightly more experienced enthusiast, I'm beginning to prefer a more neutral less forward sound, but for a beginner audiophile experience is more important.

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proglover View Post

^ yes good point, I'd rather start with MS-1 then M50


I started with the MS-1i and subsequently bought the M50 to hear a different signature (closed, more low end). I had both at the same time, and the new toy appeal couldn't break my preference for the Alessandro. I sold the M50. I still have the MS-1i.

post #9 of 16

Also consider the Beyer DT770 in 32ohm or the Pro 80ohm version, both can be purchased on ebay for that budget range.  

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, I can't find online stores in Portugal, or even Europe, where I can get Alessandros, let alone try them in a physical store. So, my choice seems limited to the AT M50's or the Grado SR60 :( Lets make it simple: which would you recommend for Rock, Blues, and PC gaming (to a lesser extent)?

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by boiller View Post

Well, I can't find online stores in Portugal, or even Europe, where I can get Alessandros, let alone try them in a physical store. So, my choice seems limited to the AT M50's or the Grado SR60 :( Lets make it simple: which would you recommend for Rock, Blues, and PC gaming (to a lesser extent)?



That is correct, you can only order them directly at Alessandro, they ship worldwide

http://www.alessandro-products.com/headphones.html 

 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by boiller View Post

Well, I can't find online stores in Portugal, or even Europe, where I can get Alessandros, let alone try them in a physical store. So, my choice seems limited to the AT M50's or the Grado SR60 :( Lets make it simple: which would you recommend for Rock, Blues, and PC gaming (to a lesser extent)?



As Proglover said, only online..

 

My brother ordered them last year and is quite happy with them listening to Hardcore, Grindcore, Rock etc.. 

 

And now he wants me to mod them..so take care of your wallet :) :)

post #13 of 16

guys he needs it for pc gaming, the small soundstage of the grado/allesandro phones aren't going to cut it. I don't know much about the m-50s but if there a closed can then there probably will have a smaller soundstage. If you take into music and gaming in consideration, I think that the HD 555 are your best bet

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well, lets consider that all the use they'll get, is at home for music (rock and blues mostly), and at college library/labs, at low volume. What would I be recommended to get? I'm seriously inclined to the Grado SR60i, as they are also the cheapest in my selections. Also looking for something comfortable as I use headphones for hours at a time, for most of the day.

 

Also, it'll be mostly connected to the computer, which has a VIA 2020 on-board audio. I can't get much info on it around the net, but I've never been a fan of VIA chips. Should I get a DAC? What would be recommended? A DAC amp combo? Stand-alone? Bang for the buck if possible


Edited by boiller - 5/28/11 at 12:38pm
post #15 of 16

Well if its mainly for rock music then grados are definitely the "it" phone, blues I guess theyd still be pretty good at, although the sennheiser's laid back sound might be better. If we go by amazon pricing then the sr60is are 80 bucks, considering that the sr80i only costs 20 bucks more i definitely think thats the better buy. However the Ms-1 is like improved sr80i, not to mention it includes international shipping.

 

As for Dac/Amp combo I think you should be prepared to shell out over 100 for something decent 

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