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Advice appreciated: Upgrading from MDR-V6/SR60 to HD600...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

 

I have these equipment (and my ratings of how much i enjoy them):

 

Sony MDR-V6 - 8/10

Grado SR60 w/HD414 reverse quarter mod - 6.5/10

Koss KSC75 - 9/10 (obviously not as good as SR60, MDR-V6, but the value just amazes me)

NuForce uDAC - i haven't A/B tested, but i honestly cant tell the difference when using these with MDR-V6, SR60s. 

Sennheiser MX560 - 5/10 (just for portable use)

 

Source: Laptop running Foobar2000 with NuForce uDAC (with ASIO4ALL.) MP3s mostly 320K and FLAC, with some 256kbps mp3s scattered in there.

 

 

Type of music: I listen to mostly to rock/indie rock (thus, the Grados were recommended to me first) BUT in actuality i really listen to everything from hip hop to black metal to jazz to electronica to classical to female diva pop. So I would like headphones that are versatile to handle mostly everything.

 

 

 

My hi-fi experiences thus far:

 

I really really like my Sony MDR-V6's for the way they can separate instruments. I prefer hearing all the instruments and seeing how they separately contribute to the overall sound, instead of how Grados blend everything together. The MDR-V6's guitar-detail isn't as good as the Grados, but I feel like the Grados basically shine with guitars, and that's about it. It's a little too over-the-top with it's forwardness.... it's disappointing, it's a very "niche" headphone, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy them in certain situations... I just feel it's appeal is limited to those certain situations.

 

I don't know if this is just my personal sound preferences, or my ears are retarded or what..... To be honest, I  dont feel like the Grados are THAT much better than my Koss KSC75s (which never fail to astonish me, and fulfill the same general purpose of the SR60s for me for like 8% of the price or so, since i got my KSC75s for $6). 

 

Anyways, that makes me think of my next upgrade path: I'm thinking about getting the Sennheiser HD600, because I think i'm looking for a "neutral", "analytical"signature. Based on my research in this forum, the Nuforce uDAC can somewhat drive the HD600.... so, I'll probably use the uDAC to drive HD600 before the upgrade-itis sets in again (and then get an amp/DAC later).

 

Does this sound like a reasonable next step in my Hi-Fi journey? Any advice you guys can give me will be very much appreciated! 

 

Budget: $400~450. I would really prefer to spend around $300, but i guess i could be talked into more, if its really worth it....

post #2 of 12

Well, let's start this:

 

1. Your idea of Grado sound is slightly wrong. They do separate great, and my Sr80i beat my V6 down easily

 

2. I see that you like more value in you cans, so I can tell that you'd be interested in some Fostex T50RP

 

The T50RP are great headphone, when modded. Some earpads, dampening and cutting of felt makes these $75 cans into, what I estimate as $700

 

My T50RP have the original cables, wiring, driver, body, headband, but everythign else have been modded and I have compared them on sight to a HD650 (better the hd600) and a LCD-2

 

The LCD-2, hands down, but the HD650 failed to meet my T50RP's

 

And that is why I will never move into the $200+ cans.

 

My review:

http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/559233/review-fostex-t50rp-it-s-been-needing-a-review

 

btw, most if not everything wrong I stated in the review have been changed through modding.

 

 

For $15 more you can get the HD650, ya know? Good deal for them, but to me, just not worth it. 

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My reasons for considering the HD600 over the HD650

 

HD650 is more picky about amp/source.... My amp/source is not great (just my laptop and uDAC), and I've heard the HD600 is more forgiving in terms of amp/source. 

AND (just as important, possibly more important)

 

I want (atleast, I THINK I want) neutral headphones. The HD650, from what i've read, is more colored (more focused on the lower end), while the HD600 is supposed to be one of the most neutral headphones around. 

 

As for the T50RP.... I dont know, I havent read up on it. I might give it a try, as it's pretty inexpensive, but I really want to move onto the next tier of Hi-Fi with my next purchase, as I feel I've dabbled enough in mid-fi (MDRV6, SR60)

 

 

As for my impressions about my Grados.... I dont know what to tell you. It's what my ears are telling me......

post #4 of 12

I understand

 

But you should get the T50RP just because, well because they are great.

 

I've heard stories of the Hd650 being picky, then again through any receiver they play great. So it's just to DAC and amps.

 

 

Try to find a store or place where you can buy the HD600 and return them. Too bad Walmart don't sell them, they have a great return policy.

 

Well, look up returns and restocking fees and see if you like the HD600 for yourself. Personally, my HD598's can match the HD600 IMO

 

 

For neutral headphones, if you like the Grado sound, you won't like neutral cans. V6 are very neutral, but then again they are a little forward like Grado.

 

Senn for that matter aren't very neutral, more dark then anything, unless you find a wild horse kile the HD598 or HD25-1 ii

 

The T50Rp are pretty neutral, could be a little upfront at times, but balanced if you mod them correctly. Mine are very balanced and the most upfront with the best soundstage I could created. Weird huh? Forward and soudstage.

post #5 of 12

Yes. This does sound like a reasonable next step. In the interest of full disclosure, I've never even seen a uDAC in person, let alone driven a sennheiser with them, but they're a lot easier to drive than the comparable sounding but more affordable k701 (which seems to be less popular around here lately). You can ebay the hd600 new and with warranty for 290, so it works well with your budget.

It seems like you've already made a pretty sound choice, why complicate things with a head-fi advice thread?

Now that I've gotten that joke out of my system, have you considered the hd650? It's $55 more (again new and with warranty) from ebay, and it may be less neutral but after some extensive auditioning I ended up finding it better in every way, and probably worth more than $55 more.

Can you elaborate a little bit about what puts you off about your grados? I happen to love my grados, but some of that is sentimental as they were my first head-fi purchase, and first extensive modification project. Anyway, I find them to be a good complementary pairs, as anything that doesn't fall into the 650s specialty usually is more in the grado territory and vice versa. So far it sounds to me like the 650 would be more opposite the qualities you find unfavorable in the grados, but I also think the hd600s are a good choice for you based on just what you've written in the first post.

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

What I dont like about my Grados: i feel like they're very limited in terms of what they do well. I feel like it sparkles with guitar-based driven music, but thats about it. And while its musical, I also feel it blends the instruments together too much... I like to hear separation so I can listen for what each instrument is doing in any given song, and I dont think the Grados do it that well (I feel like my MDRV6s do it better). 

 

I HAVE considered the HD598..... but based on this forum, people seem to still consider HD600 to be a league above it, so if my uDAC can handle it, I'd rather go that route...

 

And for the HD650 thing... its about my current amp/source and sound signature at this point..... I want a neutral headphone, something similar to my MDRV6s. 

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

1. Your idea of Grado sound is slightly wrong. They do separate great, and my Sr80i beat my V6 down easily
I found the V6 to beat my SR125i, which is a reasonable improvement in the area of detail and separation over the SR80i, and more still than the SR60i.

Everyone hears differently, it's pretty likely he hears like I do.Having not heard the T50RP, HD600, HD650, or HD598, I can't offer much input here, but honestly, I'd go HD600 or T50RP (if you feel like modding) if I were to get any of them. The HD650 has always been called dark, the HD600 has always been called neutral (at least in comparison with the HD650). The T50RP has been called a pretty neutral set even stock, but then other flaws come out, and modding seems necessary with them. I'm growing more into the flat sound than the "fun" sound, and can see where he's going and why he wants to move from Grado. I'll probably buy a Grado cartridge for my turntable at some point in my journey, but I think I'm done with Grado phones for awhile.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

yeah i just went straight from my SR60s to my MDRV6s during a song and I really do like the MDRV6 better. 

 

I find it hard to explain why... the best i can come up with is the instrument separation, honestly. I do realize the SR60s guitar detail, vocal detail is slightly better, but I like the MDRV6 presentation for some reason... it doesnt sound like everything is blended together. I guess I'm not a fan of the "you're on stage with the band" sound....?

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joakcbasse View Post

yeah i just went straight from my SR60s to my MDRV6s during a song and I really do like the MDRV6 better. 

 

I find it hard to explain why... the best i can come up with is the instrument separation, honestly. I do realize the SR60s guitar detail, vocal detail is slightly better, but I like the MDRV6 presentation for some reason... it doesnt sound like everything is blended together. I guess I'm not a fan of the "you're on stage with the band" sound....?


I'm the same way. I listen to a lot of guitar focused music, and I go to the V6 far more. I'm thinking I may pick up a pair of T50RP with what I'm hearing about them and losing the Grados just to see what's up with them. The Grados just aren't what I'm looking for anymore. Maybe get the T50RP somewhere down the line mod them all to hell, but they don't look bad (appearance or sound) to begin with. That's probably my next move.
post #10 of 12

Boybyte always recommends the t50rp before I can finish typing a reply in the headphone forum. ha!

 

I was thinking if certain aspects of the grado really repulsed you, the hd650 would be a further step away from those aspects than the hd600. But I'll defer to my earlier conclusion and say go with the hd600. I think they're more like the v6s than the t50rp (though mine are currently back in my home country and my mods never really got them to sound quite neutral) but I do also agree with botbyte that the t50rp is a better value than probably any sennheiser can in terms of pure sound quality per dollar.

 

It seems we define the mid-fi hi-fi distinction differently (for instance i would still consider the hd600 mid-fi although quite near the top) but the t50rp really is on a different level than the sr60 and mdr-v6 and it would be a significant step up.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

yeah, I'm considering a T50RP.

 

Even if it's just a Flavor of the Month, with that price, it's hard to go wrong, really. Kinda worried about the amp it would need, but honestly, it can't be much different from me thinking of running a HD600 through a uDAC either. I'm also worried about having to mod the T50RP a lot... I'm pretty busy, so I don't have time to do too many extensive modifications of my headphones. 

 

But, honestly, at that price, a T50RP would be a side purchase, and I would still focus on getting something in the HD600-tier, unless the T50RP completely blew me away and made me think my life was complete. (I think we all know that this won't happen, because Head-Fiers always keep coming back...)

 

So, I think, even if I get a T50RP or not, this thread is still going to be relevant for me: I would still look into getting something that's Hi-Fi (or, as you categorize: upper Mid-Fi.) And I sorta think I'd still be making flirty eyes at the HD600.... 

 

 

 

(.....or unless the T50RP can seriously be classified as Hi-Fi/ upper mid-fi??!)

 


Edited by Joakcbasse - 7/15/11 at 12:03am
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joakcbasse View Post

yeah, I'm considering a T50RP.

 

Even if it's just a Flavor of the Month, with that price, it's hard to go wrong, really. Kinda worried about the amp it would need, but honestly, it can't be much different from me thinking of running a HD600 through a uDAC either. I'm also worried about having to mod the T50RP a lot... I'm pretty busy, so I don't have time to do too many extensive modifications of my headphones. 

 

But, honestly, at that price, a T50RP would be a side purchase, and I would still focus on getting something in the HD600-tier, unless the T50RP completely blew me away and made me think my life was complete. (I think we all know that this won't happen, because Head-Fiers always keep coming back...)

 

So, I think, even if I get a T50RP or not, this thread is still going to be relevant for me: I would still look into getting something that's Hi-Fi (or, as you categorize: upper Mid-Fi.) And I sorta think I'd still be making flirty eyes at the HD600.... 

 

 

 

(.....or unless the T50RP can seriously be classified as Hi-Fi/ upper mid-fi??!)

 


Isn't the original retail price on the T50RP actually over $200? Doesn't that fall into the upper-mid tier as far as prices go? I know they're not selling anywhere near their original price, but I can't remember for sure what the original actually was.
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