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Upgrade from Audio-Technica ATH-M50?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Alright, so I have had the M50s for a couple years now and I love the sound.  While in my Audio Engineering class, however, my friend let me listen to his Denon AH-D5000 and I was blown away.  One of the first differences I noticed right off the bat is how open they sounded (duh, they are open back headphones).  So I have been looking around and have decided I want something either open or semi-open.

 

I am trying to stay under $300, which saddens me because now I just really want the D5000, but can't afford them at the moment. That being said here is a list of possibles I have come up with.

 

AKG K701

Denon AH-D2000 (to stay around $300)

Sennheiser HD598 (although I don't like the 1/4" jack)

Beyerdynamic DT 880 (600 ohm version)

 

Basically, I just want something comfortable that will completely cover my ears.

 

I should also mention that I have a PA2V2, so driving these headphones won't be a problem.

Please give me some feedback and let me know if there are any other cans I should be looking into.

post #2 of 22

Are you sure you tried the D5000?

http://www.amazon.com/Denon-AHD5000-AH-D5000-Reference-Headphones/dp/B000MVEC10

These are closed.

I upgraded from my M50 to the DT880 600ohm and it seriously is a massive upgrade they do pretty much everything better from looks, comfort, to the actually sound. I do still prefer to use the M50 sometimes for some EDM but not a lot. But Im using them with a LittleDot mkiii , I'm not so sure about your amp. I they don't leak a whole lot for a semi open. If you want the D2000 try calling JR I've heard some people getting them for significantly under $300 if you bargain.

post #3 of 22

I think you're going to have to get used to the 1/4 jack - any headphone worthy of being classified a

middle tier and above comes with one because they are designed for full desktop amplification.

 

Just get a step-down adapter from Grado or if you buy the AKG K701 - it comes with a nice shiny

gold step-down piece anyway.

 

Denon D2000 if you want to stay closed, HD 598 if you want to go open.

 

You'll get the most out of these two from your PA2V2.

post #4 of 22

it really depends what you're looking for.

in terms of closed headphones, i'd get the Denon D2Ks and slowly modify them as you have more income to spend. it turns into a project that will make your headphones better and better until you max them out with high end cables. D2K ---> LA2K.

 

if you're looking for the open headphones, i'd strongly suggest looking into the HD 650s if you have a decent amplifier. you can purchase a used pair for like 250ish.

post #5 of 22

Asides from not being as portable as the M50, the Denon D2000 is an upgrade in every facet over the M50.  Bass, mids, highs, soundstaging, clarity, dynamics, comfort, timbre, neutrality-- all better.

 

HD598, DT880, AKG701 are all good upgrades, but they're not a natural upgrade quite like the D2000 is.  They're all open backed, and at that point you'd be wanting to pick and choose what are the more important things in audio are to you.  

 

If you like your M50, and want a plain upgrade, get the D2000.  If you're looking for a bigger change in sound (like a way more expansive soundstage but a loss of bass) maybe get the AKG701 or other opened headphones.

 

The D5000 is a closed-back headphone.  It might sound open to you because the M50 is very cramped sounding, and the Denons have a very spacious sound for being closed.  

 


Edited by TMRaven - 10/12/11 at 8:43am
post #6 of 22

I think that the Ultrasone 780 is also an upgrade from the ATH-M50 and recommend you give them a listen if you can.

 

I've had the M50's pretty much since they were released; though I sold my original coiled cord pair

and went for the straight cord version.  The 780's have a bigger soundstage (though it's not as great

as Ultrasone's marketing department would have it).  The 780's sound signature is somewhat different as well,

with a bit more emphasis on the high end.  I think the bottom is quite similar on both in quantity, but

more natural sounding on the 780's.

 

And - the 780's can be found from time to time for significantly less than the Denon 2000's.

For example, I noticed recently that buydig.com and B & H both had them for about 150,

which is even less than the M50's are selling for.

 

Just wanted to mention them (& recommend them). Clearly, though, there are many great choices for stepping up from the M50's.

Going to open headphones, such at the Beyer DT880 or AKG 701, would make the biggest difference IMO.

 

 

 

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by sixthwaytodie View Post

Alright, so I have had the M50s for a couple years now and I love the sound.  While in my Audio Engineering class, however, my friend let me listen to his Denon AH-D5000 and I was blown away.  One of the first differences I noticed right off the bat is how open they sounded (duh, they are open back headphones).  So I have been looking around and have decided I want something either open or semi-open.

 

I am trying to stay under $300, which saddens me because now I just really want the D5000, but can't afford them at the moment. That being said here is a list of possibles I have come up with.

 

AKG K701

Denon AH-D2000 (to stay around $300)

Sennheiser HD598 (although I don't like the 1/4" jack)

Beyerdynamic DT 880 (600 ohm version)

 

Basically, I just want something comfortable that will completely cover my ears.

 

I should also mention that I have a PA2V2, so driving these headphones won't be a problem.

Please give me some feedback and let me know if there are any other cans I should be looking into.


Get the D2000. Hands down.

 

The D5000 is basically the same headphone, just wood back and a little warmer. Otherwise, virtually the same.

 

You can get the D5000 for around $350 used some times. If you're patient you can find it. Otherwise, just get a D2000.

 

Very best,

 

post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Update for you folks in case you were wondering.

Ended up getting the Beyer DT-880 (600 ohms).  After a little help from Gary at Electric Avenues, I was able to turn up the gain inside the PA2V2 to drive the new headphones more cleanly.  

Even before this change, the PA2V2 drove these headphones beautifully (with an increased volume from my iPod), although I'm sure they would benefit even more from a tube amp ;)

 

As of now I have about 30-40 hours burn in on the beyers and have already noticed drastic changes in the high and low ends.

If anyone is interested to read a review on them, I would be happy to post one in the near future.

 

Happy New Year!

post #9 of 22

glad you are happy iwth them. isee u have the PA2V2. i was going to get it but decided not too at the last moment :/

post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

I recommend the PA2V2 highly.  As of now, it is the only headphone amp I have since my sources are all portable.  I haven't heard many other headphone amps that fit into the portable category, but from the ones I have, I recommend this one over them all.  

The price point on the PA2V2 is also such a bargain, it's almost too good to pass up.  The only challenger to this amp IMO is a CMOY (if you are into DIY).  I may also add that Gary is a huge help pertaining to anything related to the amp, and the lifetime warranty on the amp (including damage YOU cause) is nothing short of incredible.

If you are still in the market for a portable headphone amp, the PA2V2 should be at the forefront of your list :)

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Asides from not being as portable as the M50, the Denon D2000 is an upgrade in every facet over the M50.  Bass, mids, highs, soundstaging, clarity, dynamics, comfort, timbre, neutrality-- all better.

 



I do not agree at all.  There are many things the M50 does better.  The waterfall plot of the M50 is much cleaner than even the D7000. 


Edited by rhythmdevils - 1/2/12 at 10:28am
post #12 of 22

I could care less for petty graphs and measurements.  I'll let my ears be the final judge of sound quality.  

post #13 of 22

Right on.  I'm disagreeing with ya that's all.  bigsmile_face.gif

post #14 of 22

Yes, I know.  I respect your love for the M50.  :)

post #15 of 22

I notice you have the DT990 as well as the D2000. Between the two, which ones do you prefer? 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Yes, I know.  I respect your love for the M50.  :)



 

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