I didn't know where to put this, but in the interest of sparkling fresh first impressions I must start typing.
FLAC files from storage drive
Sound Devices USBPre 2 USB Audio interface
Beyerdynamic DT 770/600ohm and Sennheiser HD 598
I started on BD DT770 Pro 250ohm in April of 2007, this was the beginning. In a classroom full of HD250's I was the oddball with the Beyers (SAE Nashville is the school). I had them until March of 2011, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Side note to give you an idea where I was at - I didn't understand impedance or what a headphone amp was for at this point, but I learned :). I had some rattle at about 250hz in one ear and had them repaired free of charge, ty Beyer. I gave them to my father. This is when I found Head-fi ~August 2011, I bought some HD598 having only put on one set of open cans on in my entire life, the BD 880's on display at Guitar Center here in Nashville. I went in blind, and came out happy.
I always remembered how comfortable the DT 770's were and how used to the sound I was. I decided to grab another pair as I know that they're keepers for me. This time I had a capable headphone amp, so I went with the 600ohm variation.
Now to the nitty gritty, I would like to add another data point for everyone out there shopping at the 200 - 250 dollar range to consider.
Song comparisons (AB'ing the cans as I type *note burn in not even started on the DT 770/600)
Song: Shady Grove
Artist: Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Album: History of the Future
HD598: Vocals SOLIDLY up front in the mix, narrow sound stage, upright bass distinctive, guitar solos really mesh well with these cans but overtones of bluegrass flattops missing.
DT770: Vocals thin, whoa banjo sounds great, overtones of fiddle discernable, wider soundstage but still narrow, can pick up things like the pick hitting the strings, upright bass less distinctive and more boomy, the guitars sound like they should... but overloaded with overtones of sibilance which is what I pick up acoustically listening.
A/B: The masses are correct, the HD598 are more balanced providing a great low vs high frequency balance. The DT770 have a V EQ curve, accentuated highs and lows. My "feeling" is the DT770's are closer to what I'm going to hear at the Skimmerhorn symphony hall than the HD598's, but it also hurts just a little to listen to the DT770's. I'm also getting a hint of both of these headphones sucking at heavily engineered bluegrass, each in their own different ways, just being honest.
Song: Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)
Artist: The Rosenberg Trio
HD 598: The upright sounds like it ought to, rhythm guitar prevalent as I suppose it ought to be with the lead enough on top to be the star. Timbre of these D hole gypsy jazz guitars is closer to what I hear acoustically, minus those really nice high overtones.
DT770: Once again boomy bass that I do like in this situation of a trio. The rhythm guitar disappears at times (simply put, thin sounding) with only bass and lead being paid any attention to by my ears. The percussion aspects of these guys is best heard with the Beyers.
A/B: With a simple trio of two guitars and a bass, the HD 598's have this right (a bit more accurate), but the DT770's amount of detail clarity is kind of amazing me right now, even though it's inaccurate timbre, even though the mids were just MIA... they sound brighter, boomier, and I can actually hear the reverb giving me a pleasant listening experience. It's a definite trade-off scenario here. Do you want more mids (less accentuated highs and lows rather) or not? I want the DT770's to win if it were a fight, but the HD598's just handle the mix way too well. Both pleasant, but I can only imagine what a high end set of cans could do with this music.
Song: Cicatriz ESP
Artist: The Mars Volta
Album: De-Loused In The Comatoruim
HD 598: Tame. ~3:00 chorus the mids really rub together here, otherwise, superiorly balanced.
DT770: Wild. ~3:00 chorus the 770's really shine when there's a lot going on, and clarity and detail is superior. The drums sound like an acoustic set, kick snare and hat are really, really great (drummer here) cymbals cut through beautifully without being ear bleedingly sibilant, except the open high hat hits, they do hurt.
A/B: The 598's by themselves are really great, but throw them next to the 770's for some electonic hard rock with a killer drummer and prepare to pack up the 598's and send them home. This is a fun song and I kind of want to hurt on this one a little bit, so the 770's are great for me. I'll say again that the 598's are not bad on this type of music, just not the bastard V curve that I enjoy a little more.
If you're drinking alcohol, DT770
If you're drinking coffee, HD598
I actually need to stop for now, many of you probably think I should by now anyways. Thanks for the read!
Edited by iamtwon - 1/17/12 at 5:28pm