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Looking to upgrade

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Introductions first, I'm a newly head-fi enthousiast I guess, I've been using an ATH-AD700 for around 3 years and was very, very satisfied. I first used them for gaming exclusively, where they really shined with excellent left-right seperation and majestic soundstage. So recently I've bought me a digital piano and looked a bit into the high definition 24-bit/96Khz music scene, and got greatly interested into improving my equipment to both improve the piano sound while playing with headphones, and at the same time have an awesome set-up for my listening sessions.

 

Having researched a bit, I bumped into a second hand Burson HA-160 amp which I quickly snagged, and bought a Musical Fidelity V-DACII to compliment it. Next was looking into a worthwhile upgrade from the Audio Technica 700's, which main characteristics are excellent highs and very roomy soundstage, with rather muddled lows and overall they haven't got the clarity of phones three times the price. I liked the fact that the bass wasn't overwhelming though, I find an overpowering bass to be very tiring so that's a plus, although an EQ could always help.

 

Rather than looking for a more expensive Audio Technica model, I had gotten greatly interested into buying an AKG-701, and after some more looking around I bought AKG-702's since they seemed the better choice long-term (detachable cord).. not hiding the fact that the looked quite a bit better (guilty as charged).

 

To my great disappointment, though, the AKG-702's weren't to my liking at all. First off, they hurt like hell after wearing them for 30 minutes. They aren't made for large-headed people. Nothing some tinkering can't fix, but that wasn't the only problem. After letting them burn in for a couple of hours, their sound signature was underwhelming to say the least. Very analytical, yes, but that's not necessarily bad; the lows were definitely there more so than with my AD700's, but compared to those the sound stage was near non-existent, and after a couple of days they remaining sounding bland, lifeless, maybe a little bright but not warm at all. Not what you'd expect from headphones in the 300$ range. I returned them yesterday (through thomann's excellent returns service!).

 

So, here I am, looking for a worthy successor to my AD700's, proving sound stage, clarity, dynamics, and not too overwhelming a bass; to be used with a Burson HA-160, a digital piano (used as a MIDI controller so the real source would be a piano library such as Synthogy Ivory), and a wide range of music genres for overall listening. If I were rich something like HD700 or even 800's would seem like a dream, but music isn't something that dominates my life, it's just a hobby, so price range would be 300 to 500$ MAX.

 

At first glance Beyer DT880/990 (bassy?), Sennheiser 600/650 or a new ATH set look like interesting contenders.

 

Thanks for reading, looking forward to some recommendations.


Edited by Baten - 9/13/12 at 3:49am
post #2 of 8
probably, old beyers 880/931 & akg k500 - you can buy/win any of them within 300USD tag on ebay.
ad900 is upgrade, but not worth 2x price of 700s.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilya--s View Post

probably, old beyers 880/931 & akg k500 - you can buy/win any of them within 300USD tag on ebay.
ad900 is upgrade, but not worth 2x price of 700s.


Thanks! I'll look into them.

 

EDIT: Balanced 880's look *very* interesting, but I don't believe they are compatible with my 1/4" stereo output on my amp..


Edited by Baten - 9/13/12 at 5:34am
post #4 of 8

Heya,

 

Ideally, I would suggest the Hifiman HE-400.

 

Alternatives:

 

Beyer DT880

Sennheiser HD600

Hifiman HE-300

Ultrasone HFI 2400

AudioTechnica AD900

Fischer Audio FA002

AKG Q701

Denon D2000

 

Don't bother with balanced stuff, especially if you're on a budget. It's more theory than practical anyways.

 

Considering piano, I would edge more towards the DT880/HD600/HE300.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Don't bother with balanced stuff, especially if you're on a budget. It's more theory than practical anyways.

 

Considering piano, I would edge more towards the DT880/HD600/HE300.

 

Very best,

 

Alright, got it. The DT880 and HD600 are definitely being considered, I'll look into the Hifiman and Denon, both look promising.

Thanks for the recommendations!

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baten View Post


Thanks! I'll look into them.

EDIT: Balanced 880's look *very* interesting, but I don't believe they are compatible with my 1/4" stereo output on my amp..
not a balanced 880, i mean old 880 - from 1980s. you can buy it on ebay.de in good condition. they sound airy & natural and better than newer 880 2005.
Old K500 sound more lifelike and less analytical than K701 & has even wider soundstage.
MA900 is also very good as an upgrade of AD700. But they are very picky about the amp.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilya--s View Post


not a balanced 880, i mean old 880 - from 1980s. you can buy it on ebay.de in good condition. they sound airy & natural and better than newer 880 2005.
Old K500 sound more lifelike and less analytical than K701 & has even wider soundstage.
MA900 is also very good as an upgrade of AD700. But they are very picky about the amp.

Thanks for the advice, an airy 880 seems very nice indeed..

I'm kind of scared to try another AKG, but the K500 does look nice on paper.

Looking up the MA900  compared to the Philips Fidelio L1, the latter also seems pretty interesting.

So many choises.. hah.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Right now I'm leaning most towards DT-880's and Sennheiser 598's.

Any further comments? I'd love to hear what others think.

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