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.
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