I've been a Grado fan for a long time, had magnum V2's and now V4's, also the new V5 driver in various wooden cups. I have tried every headphone I could afford but nothing came close to the magnum V2's except the V4's , my V2's had replacement drivers that I really suspect were NOS HP1000 drivers The magnum X in wood is bad news folks, almost am radio like, just awful (mahogany, cocobola, limba.) Over the years I've tried every thing to get to that magic HP100/Magnum V2 sound.
Anyway the only headphone to come close to Grado realism was the HE-5LE, but it shined this bright spot on the upper midrange, it was like a pronounced glow, nothing sharp just a tonal imbalance.
Well just last week I tried the HE-500, this is it I think. I know its the honeymoon period, but these are like Grados without the distorted short cutted bass. I really think I don't need Grados/magnums any longer, technology has finally caught up to the foundation Joe Grado laid down many years ago, finally someone built a modern headphone with Grado magic. The only problem is they take a healthly amplifier (and I like tubes $$$.) So I am curious if anyone else has tried this headphone before I invest in an good tube amp for these orthos?