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Which Summit-Fi Headphone For Me? - Page 2

post #16 of 178
Thread Starter 

Also, looking at the impedances, the Grado won't do well with Lyr either.

post #17 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by reddragon View Post

what is a good price for a esp950? i swear i saw it went down to 600 something bucks but now its 1000... thats on amazon btw. how much is the stax 507? stax website doesnt even list prices

List is $999 US. Normative is around $650-$700, lowest I've heard (new) is around $550 (and that was probably ten years ago). SR-507 is around $1100 for the headphones alone, amp is extra (another $500-$750), check Woo or AudioCubes2, or Stax USA (Yama's). Right now around $700 seems normal. Amazon and Koss.com are the only places I'd buy them from. Amazon is highly variable, Koss is $999 all day. When Newegg sold them (a year or so ago) they were like $800 iirc; would buy from Newegg too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post


SR80 and SR225.  The experience with "Grado House Sound" was enough to encourage me to not try any more biggrin.gif   Nor the HD700.  I was never a big Beyer fan either. 

What's the difference between RS-1 and GS1000 by the way?

E/90 for Koss.  I meant if I go 507 for Stax I'd need something else. I still don't think I'm going with Stax.  I'm just keeping the options open.

RS-1 and GS-1000 are very different from 225; once you get out of the Prestige Line you lose that "wall of sound" effect, and get a nice 3D holostage + better texture. GS-1000 is more v-shaped and has a bigger/better soundstage (some say it's the biggest of all Grados, including PSK, I've never heard PSK though). I like RS-1 for its tonality. Very textured, very much captures the "hi-fi full-range speakers" effect down to a T, none of this "studio flat" (meaning a billion dB up at 10khz) clash-trash.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Definitely looking for a "sunday drive special treat".  HD650 and HE-400 are more than I would ever need for my daily "sit down and listen to a CD straight through".  The high end one is the "something to really blow me away sometimes...to know what it sounds like at it's best" sort of thing.  Something as close to live as there can be...or better than live.

I'm definitely no treble head.  K702 is as treble-headed as I get.  I prefer more of a lifelike balance.  HD800 intrigues me as a semi-treble-headed can.  Stax....well stats are unusual to begin with.  They can make treble work, I do realize that, and it's a shame about their pricing. 

But Beyer...no so much...Grado (or the ones I've heard....not a chance.) HD700, not with those peaks.  biggrin.gif   My ears do fatigue with too much treble...K702 can be difficult to get through a full album, and they're not even very peaky.

ESP/950 much smoother than 701, RS-1 as well, but not as much as 950. Radiant, not hot. See my comparison of the two. RS-1 is more textured, more emotional, 950 more accurate and straight-on. RS-1 hits harder everywhere except the mids (probably still hits harder there, but not by a lot).

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Also, looking at the impedances, the Grado won't do well with Lyr either.

Well the amp is your problem. tongue.gif

Seriously though:
The Grado will drive out of anything, and you can throw impedance adapters on them with no ill effects (because they're so stable), FWIW. If you don't like Beyer or Sennheiser, there aren't good options for high Z without adapters. AKG, Audio-Technica, Grado, Denon, Ultrasone, etc are 60 ohms or lower more or less universally, a lot are 32-40. If an amp can't handle that, that's no good imho.
post #18 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


RS-1 and GS-1000 are very different from 225; once you get out of the Prestige Line you lose that "wall of sound" effect, and get a nice 3D holostage + better texture. GS-1000 is more v-shaped and has a bigger/better soundstage (some say it's the biggest of all Grados, including PSK, I've never heard PSK though). I like RS-1 for its tonality. Very textured, very much captures the "hi-fi full-range speakers" effect down to a T, none of this "studio flat" (meaning a billion dB up at 10khz) clash-trash.
ESP/950 much smoother than 701, RS-1 as well, but not as much as 950. Radiant, not hot. See my comparison of the two. RS-1 is more textured, more emotional, 950 more accurate and straight-on. RS-1 hits harder everywhere except the mids (probably still hits harder there, but not by a lot).
Well the amp is your problem. tongue.gif
Seriously though:
The Grado will drive out of anything, and you can throw impedance adapters on them with no ill effects (because they're so stable), FWIW. If you don't like Beyer or Sennheiser, there aren't good options for high Z without adapters. AKG, Audio-Technica, Grado, Denon, Ultrasone, etc are 60 ohms or lower more or less universally, a lot are 32-40. If an amp can't handle that, that's no good imho.

Interesting info on RS-1.   GS-1000's earpads appeal to me, but RS1's overal tone sounds more interesting.  Isn't RS-1 really in the same class as HD650/HE-400 though?  The goal of my high end purchase is to get into the diminishing returns and get a taste of "the really good stuff", not so much to add another excellent headphone of the same class I have a whole heap of already.  I know it's a fairly classic model from the HD600 era so I would think things have moved on a little bit in some of the newer items out there.  Not that I don't feel the old tops of the line are amazing...I'm still a huge HD650 fan after all, and I'm not one of the folks running around calling them mid-fi (and sped considerable forum real estate griping about that wink.gif) but at the same time, the aim was to get something that does a few things better even if it costs a lot more.  I don't know if RS1 is that class or just in the same-but-different-signature class as HD650.

 

HE-400 also gives a very speaker-like presentation.  I can't imagine the RS1 being much better than them...IE in HE-6, HD800, ESP950, T1, TH900, LCD2/3 class given its age and all.  But I could be mistaken.  I haven't seen RS1 referred to as much of a "summit" level piece.

 

But I do like the more emotive description.  Earpads look NASTY though.  For some reason HD800 still appeals to me on the surface even though everyone who's opinions I usually agree with steer me away from it.  I think it's a biproduct of being a long-term Senn fan!

 

The Lyr...well...Lyr is Lyr.   Mjolnir would handle things like that better, but I'm not in the mood for wholly balanced, and I'm definitely not in the mood for non-tube.  Next year Schiit's statement gear comes out....I probably won't buy it, but it's still a curiosity, and part of me suspects it may also include a real 2ch preamp.  I wouldn't rule it out since I like my Lyr so much but can't use it with more sensitive cans.

 

Lyr handles low impedance well..but it doesn't handle low impedance + high efficiency well.  That's its one weakness.  Denon, Ultrasone are no-go's...probably no Grado either. Not sure about Audio Technica...they can eat more power than you'd expect.  My AD700's force me to crank most portable devices to near max.  AKG however it does WONDERS for...it's the only amp I can stand my K702 on...but I actually like them on it.  They're low impedance but not sensitive at all.  Between HD650, HE-400 (power efficient for an ortho but not power efficient), and K702 all of them deal with the Lyr at roughly the same setting on the volume pot despite wildly different current requirements.

 

I've seen threads where RS1 owners love it with Lyr, and some where they say it may pick up a hum.  Malveaux pointed to a hum, and I'll go with his judgement on that since he was right about the Denons.


Edited by IEMCrazy - 8/3/12 at 8:08am
post #19 of 178
Thread Starter 

Ok...and I'm still open to options and suggestions.  So far I've got Koss and RS1 (unexpected on the latter) on the list.  Stax 007/009 is so far out of the cost zone I try to pretend they don't exist.  I'm just not dumping that kind of money on a headphone.  Ever.  Stax is OFF the radar.

 

Any other ideas.  Part of me still leans toward LCD-2...though I was hoping for a wider soundstage (which brings me to HE-6....ugh.)

post #20 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Ok...and I'm still open to options and suggestions.  So far I've got Koss and RS1 (unexpected on the latter) on the list.  Stax 007/009 is so far out of the cost zone I try to pretend they don't exist.  I'm just not dumping that kind of money on a headphone.  Ever.  Stax is OFF the radar.

 

Any other ideas.  Part of me still leans toward LCD-2...though I was hoping for a wider soundstage (which brings me to HE-6....ugh.)

Doing a quick search in this thread about what amps can drive HE-6s yield interesting results about Lyr, seems that they are pretty good (not best, of course) at driving the monsters.

post #21 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerg View Post

Doing a quick search in this thread about what amps can drive HE-6s yield interesting results about Lyr, seems that they are pretty good (not best, of course) at driving the monsters.

Interesting.  I asked in the other HE-6 thread in the summit forum and the result from two owners was bascically that it won't sound great on it...it drove it, but the sound was a little bright tilted on Lyr.  Granted, that depends on the tubes.  But a bright tilt on HE6 probably means a bad match for whatever it is about HD6 that prevents the low-end from coming out right on an amp it doesn't like.

 

I wish LCD-3 weren't $2k :P that's a bit steep for a headphone otherwise I may have gone for it.  It has aspects I'd like over LCD-2, but somehow my search keeps coming back to LCD-2.  I'd love something else to pair with it at the high end...HD800 still intrigues me even though it shouldn't :P  RS1 almost intrigues me but it seems to be yet another good but not "summit level" headphone...and I already have quite a few of those.  If LCD-3 were $1500 I'd take it.  If HD800 didn't suck without EQ, I'd take it :P Part of me still is curious about it :P   I'm not using a PC source so "EQ" isn't just a matter of pushing down the bumped treble in software, but means actually connecting an EQ console :P

post #22 of 178
Age means nothing, and there's no "classes" of headphones (none of this "mid-fi" "hi-fi" crap as you mentioned). The HD 650 are still "summit fi" imho, the only difference between them and more expensive models is that they don't cost enough and don't have a billion dB up at 10khz to be "detailed" and "analytical." tongue.gif Anything you get will be "different" more than "better" to the 650, except for some of the stats and planars, that have a couple of specific theoretical examples over all dynamic headphones. But that doesn't mean they're overall "better" in some Car & Driver review sense of the word. Price doesn't unfortunately answer this question either.

Regarding the RS-1 - I find them comfortable (who'dve thunk?), but understand the aspersions related to the Grado pads. They're very light though, so I usually don't notice them after a few minutes. From what I've read, talking to Grado and so on, the RS-2 are lighter and in theory would be more comfortable, and apparently the sound is nearly the same (less at both ends is what I keep hearing). I don't know if that's a viable consideration as well. The sound is probably the best I've heard from any dynamic headphone - but how do you quantify "best"? Are they better than the Sennheisers? To me, yes. But by how much? Or why? I just like how they sound. redface.gif

When I say "speaker like" I don't mean modern speakers with tubs of bass, I mean they do a pristine job of re-creating what a pair of hi-fi bookshelves do - they get out of the way of the music and let it flow. The 950s are a bit less engaging in that regard, they aren't "headphoney" but they're more like having the sound injected into your ear nozzle. It just exists and is available to hear. The Sennheisers I would put somewhere in the middle - they re-create the response of a more modern speaker (with the midbass plumpness), but don't have the treble clash, and also have a degree of that sound injection feeling. They're very easy to listen to more or less forever, and do everything fairly well. I think the RS-1 are a very solid complement to them (search back like 5-10 years, before measurement hysteria, and this is a common suggestion - HD-600/650 and RS-1/2), the 950s are a very solid improvement to them. If that makes sense.

Regarding the GS-1000, I haven't ever personally compared them 1-to-1 with the RS-1, so I don't have A/B opinions on them. Overall I think they're a better "all rounder" but they sacrifice some of the visceral impact to get there - if I was only going to own one headphone, and wanted a Grado, the GS-1000 would seem a reasonable attempt at replacing the 950s and RS-1s all at once. But I don't like conflation of that manner, and I've always felt that at $995 they're a bit steeply priced (remember that the 950s, owing to their stat heritage, will be faster and more truly detailed than basically any dynamic). I think they should be more closely priced to the RS series, as a different option, not a "final solution," kind of thing. But I understand they might cost more to produce, and are probably done in lower volume, and so on and so on. You might also look around for info on the PS-500; I've never heard them, but I've yet to find an owner talk poorly of them - they seem to have an extremely high rate of user satisfaction, and reportedly have a bigger soundstage than the RS-1. Again, just basing this on all of the very happy campers in the Grado thread - usually when people who can't agree on anything all start universally liking something, it's worth paying attention for a bit. redface.gif
post #23 of 178
Thread Starter 
What's the difference between PS500 and RS1? They seem cheaper even though they're the pro series and look like a similar headphone on the outside...

Your speaker-like description is interesting.....PS1000 intrigues me but the v-shape turns me right off. I have Denons for that :P

I'll come back to "mid-fi' later but my thoughts are similar to yours and that's well documented in many paragraphs in many threads here :P But while I can never accept HD650 as mid-fi, I can accept it as hi-fi easily.....summit-fi may be pushing it. I'm a huge fan, but I can accept it is not the summit...therre are more musical and more technologically impressive headphones. They cost 2-4x more for a percentage of improvement here or there in speed, soundstage, or smoothness/musicality, but that makes them summit....crazy money for getting a bit more performance. HD650 is neither crazy money nor the pillar of performance....just an awesome hi-fi headphone for a slightly unreasonable price smily_headphones1.gif Mid-fi....not a chance....that disgusts me. M50 can be mid-fi....sure. HD650...no. But I'm not sure I'd stretch it to summit either...which is something coming from me..... :P
post #24 of 178
Thread Starter 
Also, supposedly the GS1000 pads also fiit RS1 and vice versa....any experience with that effect?
post #25 of 178
Thread Starter 
It's interesting the dichotomy of "better" The idea that the Koss are a good solid improvement to HD650 is intriguing. The idea that they are more headphoney than RS1 makes me NOT interestied

don't know if you've had a chance to try HE-400 yet, but I think you really should if you like headphones that sound like speakers. There's something remarkably natural and speaker-like about them...ergonomics of HFM aside, it's kind of addictive. Most that have tried LCD-2 like it better however. But not all that have tried HE-500 like it better.

But in terms of "sounds like speakers", HE-400 is generally my first recommendation to folks. The Grados intrigue me because if they CAN compete with the $1-2k monstrosities in terms of performance....they could hold a value slot along with the cheaper HFMs.

IMO, HD700 is a disgrace that was never on my radar. I want desperately to like HD800....I know it IS an amazing piece of hardware....I just have a hard time thinking of it as a music source and think of it more as a lab tool...which would actually justify the price. T1 should be more than it is for the money. It intrigues me, but with hardwired cables for $1300 that's a bit much....I hate hardwired cables....cables DO break. I like being able to replace them without sending them in. I can escuse the Grados for that....they're not $1300 smily_headphones1.gif

TH900 gets a lot of praise....but I do think the price is too high for what you get. What you're paying for is limited production, not high performance. It intrigued me, but I found it hard to justify buying it. Both Audeze cans still intrigue me. HD800 still does but I question the ability to enjoy it. HE-6 still does but I'm not sure my amp is well matched for it (the other HFM models yes, but it may just be a bad pairing.) The Grados intrigue me. The Koss intrigues me...with hesitations. There's a lot of great options.
post #26 of 178

The PS500 have much more bass impact and less treble boost than the RS1. However, since we're in the "summit-fi" category, I wouldn't recommend either. They both have lots of ringing and some unnatural glare in the midrange.

 

The Magnum solves most of these issues and I would consider it a higher end headphone. It has the FR curve of the RS1 but very, very little ringing so harshness and glare are much less. it's a little like the HP1000 in that way (but still not as smooth and neutral)

 

Unfortunately, you can't get a new one but I think there's one (a proper one, not just a DIY without the aluminum driver shells) for sale here.

 

I also would not recommend the GS1000. booming, exaggerated bass and piercing, occasionally painful treble. PS1000 is better but, imo, is not worth the MSRP. Maybe if you can get one for around 1000 or close to it.

 

The problem is that you already have excellent headphones. So getting a real improvement in sound is going to cost a lot.

 

An RS1 or PS500 isn't in another league from the HD650. it's just a different flavour with strengths in one area and weaknesses in other areas.

 

Oh, and RS1s with GS1000 pads don't sound good. moving the drivers so far away wrecks the sound.

post #27 of 178

why are you bothering him with so much options, he said that he liked the HD650, there's a good chance he'd fall in love with the Audeze LCD-2\3. You've experienced a lot of headphones, picking should be easy for you, am I right ?! besides, if you're sensitive to bright ( over-emphasized treble ) headphones, then the LCD-2\3 it is. It's a no-brainer.

 

I think you should check out these links

 

Audeze LCD-2: $995 Planar magnetic headphone, one of the world’s best!

 

The Spectacularly Yummy Audeze LCD-2 LCD-3 Headphones Reviewed  by innerfidelity

post #28 of 178

I'd pick the LCD-3 over everything, only IF, you couldn't get the HE-6 and drive it off some mono blocks or an old vintage receiver. 

post #29 of 178
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

What's the difference between PS500 and RS1? They seem cheaper even though they're the pro series and look like a similar headphone on the outside...
Your speaker-like description is interesting.....PS1000 intrigues me but the v-shape turns me right off. I have Denons for that :P
I'll come back to "mid-fi' later but my thoughts are similar to yours and that's well documented in many paragraphs in many threads here :P But while I can never accept HD650 as mid-fi, I can accept it as hi-fi easily.....summit-fi may be pushing it. I'm a huge fan, but I can accept it is not the summit...therre are more musical and more technologically impressive headphones. They cost 2-4x more for a percentage of improvement here or there in speed, soundstage, or smoothness/musicality, but that makes them summit....crazy money for getting a bit more performance. HD650 is neither crazy money nor the pillar of performance....just an awesome hi-fi headphone for a slightly unreasonable price smily_headphones1.gif Mid-fi....not a chance....that disgusts me. M50 can be mid-fi....sure. HD650...no. But I'm not sure I'd stretch it to summit either...which is something coming from me..... :P

I think it was stacker45 who wrote a comparison thread between the two. I haven't heard the PS500 - but my understanding in terms of the business side, is they're inspired by or based on the HF-2, in that they're wood inside, and metal outside. The "Professional Series" are a new thing from Grado, and I'm not sure why they picked the Pro monkier (they produce the Alessandro Music Series that Alessandro markets to musicians and such directly, the flagship being the MS-Pro, and those seem to be truly targetting pro users (like Sennheiser's HD 280)).

Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

Also, supposedly the GS1000 pads also fiit RS1 and vice versa....any experience with that effect?


Yes, all Grado pads fit all Grados. The 1k series pads are not a good idea on the Prestige or Reference cans generally - they screw with the overall tonal balance of the cans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by IEMCrazy View Post

It's interesting the dichotomy of "better" The idea that the Koss are a good solid improvement to HD650 is intriguing. The idea that they are more headphoney than RS1 makes me NOT interestied
don't know if you've had a chance to try HE-400 yet, but I think you really should if you like headphones that sound like speakers. There's something remarkably natural and speaker-like about them...ergonomics of HFM aside, it's kind of addictive. Most that have tried LCD-2 like it better however. But not all that have tried HE-500 like it better.
But in terms of "sounds like speakers", HE-400 is generally my first recommendation to folks. The Grados intrigue me because if they CAN compete with the $1-2k monstrosities in terms of performance....they could hold a value slot along with the cheaper HFMs.
IMO, HD700 is a disgrace that was never on my radar. I want desperately to like HD800....I know it IS an amazing piece of hardware....I just have a hard time thinking of it as a music source and think of it more as a lab tool...which would actually justify the price. T1 should be more than it is for the money. It intrigues me, but with hardwired cables for $1300 that's a bit much....I hate hardwired cables....cables DO break. I like being able to replace them without sending them in. I can escuse the Grados for that....they're not $1300 smily_headphones1.gif
TH900 gets a lot of praise....but I do think the price is too high for what you get. What you're paying for is limited production, not high performance. It intrigued me, but I found it hard to justify buying it. Both Audeze cans still intrigue me. HD800 still does but I question the ability to enjoy it. HE-6 still does but I'm not sure my amp is well matched for it (the other HFM models yes, but it may just be a bad pairing.) The Grados intrigue me. The Koss intrigues me...with hesitations. There's a lot of great options.


I'm not sure that "more headphoney" is a good word - they're stats. They just float the music into your world. It's hard to explain reasonably. I'm not talking overall soundstage, but tonal presentation moreso. Regarding hard-wired cables - Koss has the lifetime warranty, Grado will re-cable your headphones (either to fix them or if you want different cabling (length, type, termination, etc)) for a fee and on request (if it breaks under warranty they should fix it free though). But yeah I get what you're saying about longevity - I think there's very few headphones in the "expensive" class that are really designed for mobile (ab)use (the Ultrasone PRO and Signature are one exception, and if you want to talk about glare and shrill...).
post #30 of 178
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by paradoxper View Post

I'd pick the LCD-3 over everything, only IF, you couldn't get the HE-6 and drive it off some mono blocks or an old vintage receiver. 

Hey since you're a fellow Lyr addict, and are the one that got me hooked on those Mullards (though for now I'm still enjoying muy Tungsrams...) you're probably a good opinion to get. I hadn't realized you owned a lot of the cans I'm looking at, or formerly owned some of them

So you own LCD-2 but seem to like LCD-3 significantly more. Lyr is my main amp and the center of my tube collection, unless I eventually upgrade to the Schiit statement gear. Whatever that may be. HE-6, assuming you've tried it with Lyr, I assume that means it's a no-go with Lyr for you as well? I have plenty of receivers around but none that I hope to use with the headphone rig. Too bulky. Too hot! Granted, the Schiit statement, I'm guessing, will have binding posts or banana plugs. Just a guess though. But I may or may not get it...Lyr's excellent on its own.

I'm still getting mixed feelings elsewhere about HE-6. But when well driven on better than Lyr, you still feel it bests LCD-3?
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