Great review and very illuminating.
i really appreciated your assessment and preference for wanting headphones to sound like speakers. i share this preference.
i imagine that one shares or disagrees with this goal based on what their past experiences with live music and speakers are, and also whether headphones are their primary system.
while i am not a soundstaging fanatic (i value most midrange purity and transparency), i've always appreciated the illusion that a good speaker based rig can create of a live musical event. My Maggie based setup does just that...the speakers disappear and their is a performance or venue right in front of me.
i digress: you made the comment that you wouldn't be upgrading your 600s for the 650s, but think the 650 is worth it for a first time buyer. can you elaborate? the cost differential between the two is ~$100. would this extra $100 be better spent on the amp driving the phones?
i'm currently in the market for a set of open style phones to use at work with my ipod and occasionally at home on my big rig (i am a 99% speaker user at home). i usually have Etymotics 4s for travel with my ipod (256 AAC tracks). so this purchase, along with an amp, would be to serve my work needs playing less than full resolution (although i do sometimes encode a few albums in AIFF/WAV).
if my budget is $600, am i better off buying the 600s (for now 275 since prices went back up!) + a $350 Perreaux amp *or* buying the 650s ($375) and a $225-250 amp?
thanks for your thoughts.