now i don't know what to choose, hd650 or sa5k
i have a crack amp about to arrive, if that help me to choose my HPs?
For what genres of music? The SA5k is a specialty phone. The HD650 will do MANY more genres better than the 5k. Unless you've heard the 5k, I would probably recommend the HD650, it's a much safer bet. Unless you listen solely to classical...
I'm interested in how you accomplish that.
I think, and many think the 5K works very well with those genres. However, many don't. All I'm saying that is if you haven't heard the 5K, it's a bit of a gamble since I don't think the 5K is as great of an all-rounder can. I bought my 5K FOR electronic, and some people love the 5K for rock. I didn't so much. The 5K is a peculiar can, and I can't recommend it over the 650 for someone that hasn't heard the 5K.
I would consider both the HD650 and SA5k to be excellent all-rounders as they're very close to neutral. The HD650 is definitely on the warm side and needs a good amp to shine, I prefer the 650s for more mellowed music, Jazz, that sort of thing. I would also consider them a relaxed listening headphone, perhaps a good phone before bed. The Sony's on the other hand are on the bright side, they don't require an expensive amp but do in my opinion improve with the warmth and body of tubes. They're also completely opposite when it comes to presentation, the SA5k are very aggressive, with excellent speed and clarity which is borderline fatiguing to some, they bring your music to life.
I've only auditioned the SRH840 but I would consider that bright, compacted and boring... very similar to a Sony MDR7506, a monitoring headphone. The SA5k has brilliant extension and musical separation they are nothing alike in terms of sound signature, they are however both quite neutral.
I've heard the 440 and 840, I remember liking the brighter of the two phones... perhaps I am mixing those up.
I do agree that these are specialty phones and not good as your only pair. I enjoy too much music that sounds terrible on these phones.
Also I only use them on my modded X-can v2 tube amp with X-psu, so YMMV.
That said, there are no other headphones I have heard (HD800's included) so detailed and magical on some recordings, especially female vocals with light instrumentals and Classical. They are also super fun on electronic music but are lacking in the bass.
They make my happy place smile more than my other headphones can when it's all right.
I have HD650's with modified pads and equinox cable as my 60% listening setup, D2000's for 20% and SA5000's for 20%. I also have the M50's or ER-4's for portable use.
You can't find the one headphone that does it all really well, on all recordings. If you like almost every Genre of music, especially if it's a high quality recording, you will need more than one headphone.
If you have a basshead phone, a midrange phone and a detail phone you'll be better off.
If you can only spend $300-500 on headphone, maybe consider some cheap Sony cans for bass, Beyer's for midrange, cheap Grado's for detail and try to pick them all up used.