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Upgrade Suggestions for Classical/Vocal

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm planning on upgrading soon, wanted some opinions on some cans. I've had my eye on the Sennheiser HD600s and the 650s. I listen to a lot of genres, but my focus for this upgrade is classical and female vocals. I'll be running them with my fiio E7/E9 combo. I heard 650s have good 'synergy' with the E9, which also affected my decision. I'm open to suggestions for other cans. Thanks for the help.

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeDreadLocks View Post

I'm planning on upgrading soon, wanted some opinions on some cans. I've had my eye on the Sennheiser HD600s and the 650s. I listen to a lot of genres, but my focus for this upgrade is classical and female vocals. I'll be running them with my fiio E7/E9 combo. I heard 650s have good 'synergy' with the E9, which also affected my decision. I'm open to suggestions for other cans. Thanks for the help.


Heya,

 

HD650 is a great can for everything if you can get it.

 

However, take a look at the HD598 for female vocals. It's less expensive and is considered one of the better cans for that specifically. It's cheaper by quite a bit which may let you do something more fun like pick up a second pair of cans for other things (like a Grado 225 for example?).

 

Very best,

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick reply. How much do the 598s differ from 555 w/o dampening pads?

I've also been hearing about this mdr-SA5000. Any opinions on those as well?

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeDreadLocks View Post

Thanks for the quick reply. How much do the 598s differ from 555 w/o dampening pads?

I've also been hearing about this mdr-SA5000. Any opinions on those as well?



Sa5000 is for classical

SA3000 has more bass and would suit you better.

 

But compared to the sound of HD598, it's worse when you mention that HD598 have a whole body of mids the SA3000 lacks.

 

The HD558 is the upgrade to the HD555

And then the HD598 is a big brother of the HD558

 

The HD555 is modded to sound like's older brother and the HD558 is too. But the HD598 has a different driver case to it that produces clearer more detailed sound.

 

I forgot which HD55x the HD598 replaced, but it's better.

 

The HD598 will run great from your Fiio E7 and be a perfect choice for you.

 

I say it's like a Grado with soundstage and a bit more bass.

 

Call up J&R to get them for $180 shipped states. I did.


Edited by BotByte - 7/28/11 at 1:23pm
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 

How would the SA3000s suite me better? I like classical. I do listen to hiphop/rap and the like, but I want these to be mainly for classical/vocal. An all arounder would be nice, but those genres are priority with this purchase. Also, I have an E9, I don't think power will be a problem.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeDreadLocks View Post

How would the SA3000s suite me better? I like classical. I do listen to hiphop/rap and the like, but I want these to be mainly for classical/vocal. An all arounder would be nice, but those genres are priority with this purchase. Also, I have an E9, I don't think power will be a problem.



Pop and Classical is asking for two different cans here.

 

But I enjoyed the SA3000 more because of the quality of the bass and I know a lot of people to choose that over the SA5000 for that specific reason. But I'm just expressing my opinion.

 

If you think numbers and prices make a can better, then think that all day. 

 

 

But I want to stress that a HD598 does have better SQ then both the SA cans. IMHO

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

If you think numbers and prices make a can better, then think that all day. 

 

 

But I want to stress that a HD598 does have better SQ then both the SA cans. IMHO

 

I never said numbers/prices make a can better. That's why I'm asking here if there are other alternatives to big name cans like the 650 or 600. Also, I saw in another thread that the 598's mids are recessed. Is there any 'truth' to that? He was running them unamped, so I don't know if he was powering them adequately. 

 

Also, to be more specific about vocals, I don't think the singers I listen to fall under pop. Sara Bareilles, John Legend, or Corinne Bailey Rae. Not really into pop. 


Edited by JudgeDreadLocks - 7/28/11 at 7:21pm
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

I heard the Grado sound signature is more for rock. How does it fare with hip-hop, rap, or vocals?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post




Heya,

 

HD650 is a great can for everything if you can get it.

 

However, take a look at the HD598 for female vocals. It's less expensive and is considered one of the better cans for that specifically. It's cheaper by quite a bit which may let you do something more fun like pick up a second pair of cans for other things (like a Grado 225 for example?).

 

Very best,



 

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeDreadLocks View Post

I heard the Grado sound signature is more for rock. How does it fare with hip-hop, rap, or vocals?
 



 


Heya,

 

The Grados sound signature just has a forward bright mid/high frequency. It makes music that has that as the primary stage sound great. It's an energetic and aggressive sound. It's not laid back at all. It doesn't let bass over take the mids. Most hip-hop and rap will likely involve a lot of low tone bass and mid-bass. The Grados are not excellent for that. They will do that genre, but they simply don't excel at it. For vocals, they're great, vocals are generally in the mid range with some of the range hitting treble, but most of what we hear in vocals is in the mid range, so mid-range focused headphones that are forward are excellent for vocals.

 

That said, I'm wearing my new Shure 940's and as a complete basshead, I'm torn... these sound so beautiful for acoustic & vocals (think Ani Difranco, Ingrid Michaelson) and are so freaking comfortable that I started trying to listen to some of my House/Dance/Trance/Dub and they actually can perform decently on the low end. So I'll update by saying the Shure 940's for classical & vocals is an absolute contender. I like them better than my HD580's (which are HD600's old version essentially) for vocals. The mids/highs are forward but don't shrill, and there's little to no sibilance. The bass can extend very low, but it doesn't over take the mids. These headphones are.... dare I say... nearly perfect (for me). And they're closed, super comfortable, and isolate very well. I'm actually floored by these things.

 

Very best,

 

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudgeDreadLocks View Post



 

I never said numbers/prices make a can better. That's why I'm asking here if there are other alternatives to big name cans like the 650 or 600. Also, I saw in another thread that the 598's mids are recessed. Is there any 'truth' to that? He was running them unamped, so I don't know if he was powering them adequately. 

 

Also, to be more specific about vocals, I don't think the singers I listen to fall under pop. Sara Bareilles, John Legend, or Corinne Bailey Rae. Not really into pop. 


Vocals on the HD598 rival HD600 (when driven correctly)

 

My HD598 are my most expensive cans because I think they touch other more expensive cans the same way when you amp them well.

The mid's aren't recessed. In reality, the bass is. Someway the bass rolls off (good way) because the mids are fill in where the high take over.

The highs are full and to the point of sharpening, the mids follow that up and fill in the gaps while the bass just finds a place to play. But nothing is muddled or missed. The highs are crisp, mids are detailed and bass in nice and impacting.

One thing I need to point out. If they aren't driven well, the soundstage lacks. And since the mids are mixed through the soundstage, the separation of them could be drowned out if unamped

 

EDIT:

One review said that he loved Olivia Ong on them and couldn't get enough of her voice over the driver


Edited by BotByte - 7/29/11 at 12:53pm
post #11 of 13

Good points about the HD598, but I did find the mid range VERY slightly recessed. But if someone found the HD598's midrange to be recessed, then they'll find the Grado midrange is recessed as hell as I do. The upper midrange on the HD598 is very slightly emphasized making the headphone's mids and lower mids seem recessed.

 

This was my EQ for the HD598.

 

Untitled2.png

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by wind016 View Post

Good points about the HD598, but I did find the mid range VERY slightly recessed. But if someone found the HD598's midrange to be recessed, then they'll find the Grado midrange is recessed as hell as I do. The upper midrange on the HD598 is very slightly emphasized making the headphone's mids and lower mids seem recessed.

 

This was my EQ for the HD598.

 

Untitled2.png


Mine:

 

EQ.png

 

 

The mids can be fought

 

Listening to Reach Down from Temple of the Dog. Most the song is Mids with highs thrown in.

 

Compared to my T50RP, which I can count the guitar cords and tell which tuning they are at

 

The HD598 can capture a respectful 92% of the sound the T50RP can pick up

 

Which, that isn't bad at all since the T50RP is a mids all the way

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post




Mine:

 

EQ.png

 

 

The mids can be fought

 

Listening to Reach Down from Temple of the Dog. Most the song is Mids with highs thrown in.

 

Compared to my T50RP, which I can count the guitar cords and tell which tuning they are at

 

The HD598 can capture a respectful 92% of the sound the T50RP can pick up

 

Which, that isn't bad at all since the T50RP is a mids all the way


I try not to add any gain on the frequencies because that usually results in a lot of phasing and distortion. Try adopting a gain reduction habit. The benefits of gain reduction over gain adding is even more apparent on linear phase EQs.

 

I haven't tried the T50RP. It's the headphone that can be modded into the Thunderpants right? That seems like an awesome ortho, but I missed my chance to audition it at the SF meet.

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