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My next step up?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

I currently have a pair of SRH840's with a FiiO e7 & e9 combination.  That was my first voyage into head-fi, and I've had them for like half a year, maybe longer, but I'm looking to move up.

I listen to a lot of Scandinavian metal, like Sonata Arctica and Nightwish, and some other metal/rock.  I'm big into Blind Guardian recently, but more on that in a moment.

 

Unfortunately, I don't live alone, so I have to stay away from open cans.  This rules out the Grados, which I would have loved to try otherwise.

 

I'm listening to primarily 320kbps mp3's on my computer through foobar2000.  I'm replacing my collection with FLACs as I find them.  (as a side-note, what is the best way to get FLAC/lossless files?)

 

So, with all that in mind...  Before I had this setup, Sonata Arctica was by far my favorite band.  Honestly, I love vocals, male or female, I want to hear the singer up front and in my face.  I've found that with Blind Guardian on these cans, I turn the EQ up a few clicks between 1.8 and 3.5 kHz, with a click at 1.2 and 5.0, and I hear the singer loud and clear, up front and personal, just the way I like it.  In fact, that works for a lot of the artists I listen to, and I like the effect.  (This leads me to believe I'd like a headphone that naturally has more powerful frequency response in that range when compared to my SRH840's.)

 

However, Sonata Arctica's vocalist refuses to be moved, so to speak.  No matter what parts of the EQ I mess with, the sound is flat and boring, and I can't bring Tony Kakko to the forefront.  Such becomes my disappointment with these cans, I've actually changed my listening habits because although I prefer SA's music in the purest sense, most of my other frequented artists just sound more to my liking the way I'm currently set up.

Does that have to do with the mastering of the music, the file quality, or anything else like that, or is it the headphones?  I guess it could just be the way -they- intended it to be, too, but it's so easy to move the vocalist forward in other tracks from other artists...  My guess is it's at least partially because of the way it's mastered--newer albums sound better than the older, so they've improved--but I feel like I should be able to EQ the vocalist out a lot easier.  (But with headphones better suited to what I want to hear, that shouldn't be necessary, right?)

 

Anyway.  I know I rambled a bit, but with all of that in mind, where should I go?

I was considering Denon D5000's and switching to a FiiO e10.

 

Thanks everyone!

-Chris

 

EDIT: Just wanted to add that for $130, the SRH840's (originally recommended to me here) are a phenomenal value, and I really appreciate the recommendation.  Hence my return. :)


Edited by Throdd - 3/17/12 at 10:47am
post #2 of 10

I have D5000s for sale. I started out with SRH840s, and to be honest, anything you move up to is better than those. 

 

There are a number of ways you can go based on price point, including Denon AH-D2000, Sennheiser HD-650, etc. 

 

That said, D5000s are amazing for the money if you aren't OCD about tonal clarity on the high end. PM me if you are interested in purchasing D5s. 

post #3 of 10

Heya,

 

The D5000 and E10 would be an absolutely beasty way to go. Highly recommended for everything.

 

Alternatively: Beyer DT770, AKG K550, Ultrasone PRO 750. All will play great from an E10.


Very best,

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

The D5000 and E10 would be an absolutely beasty way to go. Highly recommended for everything.

 

Alternatively: Beyer DT770, AKG K550, Ultrasone PRO 750. All will play great from an E10.


Very best,



Hey MalVeauX!  You're super helpful :)

I know you have the SRH940's and the D5000's.  I read your review on the SRH940's.  Based on that, I was wondering if that might be a very good option for me as well, considering that I want to have the intimate vocals you described in your review and a high level of detail/clarity in the high end.

Would you mind comparing the two options for me?  Is there even a comparison worth making, or are the D5000's really that much better?

Thanks!

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throdd View Post



Hey MalVeauX!  You're super helpful :)

I know you have the SRH940's and the D5000's.  I read your review on the SRH940's.  Based on that, I was wondering if that might be a very good option for me as well, considering that I want to have the intimate vocals you described in your review and a high level of detail/clarity in the high end.

Would you mind comparing the two options for me?  Is there even a comparison worth making, or are the D5000's really that much better?

Thanks!

 

Heya,

 

The SRH940 has amazing clarity for vocals, it definitely is an excellent headphone for jazz/acoustic. But it's still an incomplete headphone to me, simply because it really is so shy on bass and won't excel at all genres, leaving you needing another one for everything else (at that point the cost you might as well have gotten a far more expensive headphone that does everything, ie, high-end).

 

The SRH940 is really special for vocals. However, the D5000 is more competent to me as a whole headphone. They don't really compare as the D5000 to me sounds more like what a complete headphone should sound like, capable in all genres and settings. The SRH940 is very specialized. Great at what it does, but very much not great for other things. An alternative to the SRH940 to me is the AudioTechnica A900X (or A900). Very similar vocals, but with some better lower frequency action, while remaining closed. I've found the A900X to be the SRH940 with bass, basically.

 

Very best,
 

 

post #6 of 10

I moved up from the SRH-840 to the Koss Pro DJ 100. Yeah, really.

Took a side-grade with the KRKs and tried the SRH-940. 940 is OK, but I think based on your description, the DJ100 is a better match. SRH-940 is overpriced in every way.

 

IMO the DT-770, K550 are the complete opposite of having "the singer up front and in my face." K550 mids are really thin and lacking. Yeah..coming from a KRK fan..

 

For the DJ100 vs SRH-840, I'd say the DJ100 isn't as warm, has slightly less mid-bass, but more forward upper mids and more treble. Much better comfort and soundstage.

 

DJ100 is possibly the best closed headphone there is under $200 i've heard for female vocals and it actually has bass! It's a very fun and engaging headphone without any bloated bass.

 

I actually found the SRH-940 to not do many things better than the DJ100. Not as clear, but yet had more treble and even more forward mids, but less bass.

 

Closest match to the DJ100 is the SR-225, but with less treble and a LOT more bass. DJ100 is a lot fuller sounding though.

 

BTW it seems like you can rarely have a headphone that's good for metal AND have upfront vocals. Usually when you find one you have to sacrifice bass or it has to be open.

Only think that comes to mind that's good for metal AND vocals are usually open. Grado SR-225i and Q701 come to mind (sounds different than K702)

 

D2000 vocals are OK, but not even remotely up-front to me. Mids are kind of recessed a tad. Vocals and recessed mids is a big no-no.

 

I imagine the W1000X is good for both, but haven't heard it yet.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

For the large majority of what I listen to, I don't perceive bass being a requirement.  The "metal" I listen to is 98% symphonic/melodic power metal (primarily Scandinavian) which isn't very bass-focused.  Granted, my headphones up to this point have been bassy/warm (QC15's and SRH840's) with a good boom/thump (respectively) whether I want it or not.  I guess I don't know what a headphone truly "without bass" would sound like.

 

Is $260 really overpriced for what you get from the SRH940's?  Price isn't really an issue here (I am looking at D5000's and a new dac/amp, after all), I'm just curious.

 

I guess I won't dive in just yet--I appreciate the continued feedback!  Hopefully MalVeauX weighs in again and I can watch the discussion ;)

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throdd View Post

For the large majority of what I listen to, I don't perceive bass being a requirement.  The "metal" I listen to is 98% symphonic/melodic power metal (primarily Scandinavian) which isn't very bass-focused.  Granted, my headphones up to this point have been bassy/warm (QC15's and SRH840's) with a good boom/thump (respectively) whether I want it or not.  I guess I don't know what a headphone truly "without bass" would sound like.

 

Is $260 really overpriced for what you get from the SRH940's?  Price isn't really an issue here (I am looking at D5000's and a new dac/amp, after all), I'm just curious.


Heya,

 

If you really want to taste the SRH940, I would try to grab a used pair for $200 or less. They show up often in the for-sale forum. Otherwise, maybe get it from a place with a 30 day return policy and just try it out. I really didn't care for the SRH940 with metal of any type. But some might. It is definitely going to deliver some bright treble and mids and have plenty of attack. And I do listen to some metal, but I tend to find myself wanting a full low end for it as well, those kick drums need to slam, not just tap for me. And a lot of metal these days has some really lower end bass involved, especially stuff in the symphonic/melodic/downtempo stuff. Since you already have the SRH840, you'll probably notice right away with a pretty noticeable loss in mid-bass if you were to switch up to the SRH940. I tend to like it at least to be flat, but the SRH940 isn't even just flat, it just has less than linear bass (even though it can land some sub-bass notes, it's just not forward or very apparent, and the mid bass really is dipped down).

 

For the cost, look into the AudioTechnica A900X and the AKG K550 (new). The A900X very much reminds me of the SRH940 for vocals, but has that mid-bass/sub-bass that the SRH940 does not. It's a pretty complete headphone, great for all genres.

 

However, I still definitely suggest going for the Denon D5000. I have a lot of closed headphones and not a single one really does it all like the D5000 does. Vocals are great, has that wonderful sparkle, great for every genre, and has that low end when it's needed, but doesn't push it in when it's not needed. It just does it all so right. I would try to nab a used one (~$400). There's so many mid-tier headphones in the $300ish range that are not complete headphones, they lack something in some way, but the Denon D5000 doesn't lack a single thing and is easy to drive to boot. Fantastic way to go if you're looking for a closed headphone that will cover all bases, look great, feel great, and run off anything.

 

Some others to explore:

 

Brainwavz HM5 (very isolating, great range, a touch of brightness, good extension)

Beyer DT770 (good isolation, sparkle, great extension, not overly bassy, wonderful for all genres, very comfortable)


Very best,

 


Edited by MalVeauX - 3/20/12 at 5:48am
post #9 of 10

I would definitely go with a +1 on the Denon. This would be a great purchase and a headphone that you would enjoy for many years. It's an everyday, go to headphone that you can listen to just about anything with. Don't get put off by the screw issue it's overblown and I have no problems whatsoever. I do NOT like the dj100. This hp has high clamp force and I did not enjoy the sound signature at all. 

 

Good luck...

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks very much everyone.  Denon D5000 it is! :)

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