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Best headphones for opera within sub $400 price range with sub $350 amp/dac combo - Page 3

Poll Results: Best for opera:

 
  • 2% (1)
    DT880
  • 0% (0)
    DT990
  • 2% (1)
    HE-4
  • 47% (18)
    HE-400
  • 5% (2)
    HD598
  • 18% (7)
    HD600
  • 0% (0)
    K550
  • 23% (9)
    Q701
38 Total Votes  
post #31 of 53
Thread Starter 

Now I need help again choosing something that is both defined yet warm and powerful. Going to ask MalVeauX:

 

Is there a good tube amp / dac combo within reason in terms of finances to go with the he-400? I am thinking I need tubes...

post #32 of 53
Jvc s500 ftw tongue.gif
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamFrandsen View Post

I am actually also thinking about the Grado PS500's now... I know I like both Sennheiser's and Grado's cheaper models with opera... I will go so far as to say that the most gratifying experience I have had with opera, thinking back, was with a pair of Grado SR-60s from a Marantz amplifier feeding a turntable with a recording of Verdi's Macbeth from the 60's at the Yale Music Library. 

LIke I wrote before, you don't need fancy ancilliaries to make Grados shine.  Yesterday, I was digging on James King and Leonie Rysanek in a 1971 concert in Munich in stereo.  Real nice.

 

 

Edit:  Why not go to a dealer in Philly and try some Grados and others?


Edited by bbophead - 9/19/12 at 10:28am
post #34 of 53
Thread Starter 

Well - I returned the K550 and the Dragonfly and ordered the HifiMan HE-400 + HRT Music Streamer II + HifiMan EF5 - might as well get something good when I am spending this kind of money. Music is my life and my living, so if any buy is justifiable this should be it. 

post #35 of 53

Sounds like a very nice setup. Let us know what you think about the HE-400 vs the K550. My money's on the orthos - I haven't heard a pair of closed headphones that can better an open pair in the same price range.

post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamFrandsen View Post

Well - I returned the K550 and the Dragonfly and ordered the HifiMan HE-400 + HRT Music Streamer II + HifiMan EF5 - might as well get something good when I am spending this kind of money. Music is my life and my living, so if any buy is justifiable this should be it. 

If it doesn't work out for you, I'll just post this from Grado's website: "By the late 1980's Grado Labs was down to John Grado, three part-time employees and one full time engineer, John Chaipis. By then, founder Joe Grado was spending most of his time pursuing his hobbies: singing opera and making violins." In a word... "Joe"

post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaval View Post

If it doesn't work out for you, I'll just post this from Grado's website: "By the late 1980's Grado Labs was down to John Grado, three part-time employees and one full time engineer, John Chaipis. By then, founder Joe Grado was spending most of his time pursuing his hobbies: singing opera and making violins." In a word... "Joe"

 

But aren't the modern John Grado headphones more forward and tuned more aggressively? The HP1000 is supposedly even more neutral than the current HF2/PS500 and Alessandros. 

 

I could see where the HF2/PS500 would do a good job with opera due to the additional body vs the other Grado cans. Might be worth a shot if the HE-400 doesn't work out.

post #38 of 53

OP is looking at a niche tuned sound. Current cans are tuned to 3 predominant factors: 1) More bass 2) Aesthetics 3) Forgiving to compressed/poorly mastered audio content. I'm being extreme, but it's how I see the bottom line.

OP is looking for what used to be the trendy stuff back in the day 1) Neutral 2) Correct timbre 3) Musical + 4) Reproduction of voices with wide range. I'm probably extrapolating here also, but I'm not sure, from the listed cans on poll which model really fits this bill. 

 

Joe Grado liked voices and string instruments and his cans relate very well with these elements. Stax Lambda does it exceedingly well too, albeit diferently. The shame is availability and price (price is more related to old Grados, really).

post #39 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaval View Post

OP is looking at a niche tuned sound. Current cans are tuned to 3 predominant factors: 1) More bass 2) Aesthetics 3) Forgiving to compressed/poorly mastered audio content. I'm being extreme, but it's how I see the bottom line.

OP is looking for what used to be the trendy stuff back in the day 1) Neutral 2) Correct timbre 3) Musical + 4) Reproduction of voices with wide range. I'm probably extrapolating here also, but I'm not sure, from the listed cans on poll which model really fits this bill. 

 

Joe Grado liked voices and string instruments and his cans relate very well with these elements. Stax Lambda does it exceedingly well too, albeit differently. The shame is availability and price (price is more related to old Grados, really).

 

Sounds right to me :) I really hope that this combination (HE-400+EF5+MSII) works for me though, I am quite excited to try it out. I have a good feeling about it. 

If I one day decide to upgrade, I will be sure to give the Stax a thorough listen - the SR-507 sell for around 995 on eBay and 1050 at WooAudio - expensive for now and the next couple of years :). 

post #40 of 53

Can I suggest that you read this review before you get the HE400s.

 

http://www.headfonia.com/mike-and-lieven-on-the-hifiman-he-400/
 

post #41 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by holden4th View Post

Can I suggest that you read this review before you get the HE400s.

 

http://www.headfonia.com/mike-and-lieven-on-the-hifiman-he-400/
 

 

Very few here who owns HE400s agree with this review, just FYI. So read it with 5 tablespoons of salt.

 

A few reasons:

 

1) there has been at least 1 (if not 2) revision changes that re-tuned the HE400 sound to be more balanced since their review,

 

2) that review was done with pleather pads, while it is now public knowledge that Hifiman velour pads are mandatory with HE400s for their maximum potential (pleather pads suck out the upper mids and treble and induce a nasty colouration on its sound, while velours don't)

 

3) The reviewers at headfonia KEEP STRESSING about how certain headphones are better than HE400s to their ears when driven out of summit-fi systems, disregarding the fact that HE400s are very forgiving and efficient in terms of sources which is quite a feat for a planar

 

4) These reviewers have a very...let's say 'peculiar' sonic preference, that causes them to love certain signatures that most don't, and hate certain signatures that most do. One such case is their claim that Senn HD700 is the best thing ever, heheh.

post #42 of 53
Thread Starter 

Well, the way I read the review it sounds like more what I am looking for - a darker fuller sound with better bass and mids - less treble is preferred in my case. I really truly think that the easiest thing to get right is acoustic music, jazz and clean vocals - not opera vocals though - huge difference there! Most voice recordings sound like they placed the microphone inside the mouth of the singer, and I hate that - even newer opera recordings are starting to sound like that. It totally kills the coloration of the vocal tone and leaves out what a good concert/recording hall/room can emphasize in the sound. Classical music such as symphonies, piano concertos, solo piano, chamber music etc. are also completely different from opera, and again much easier to make sound clean and crisp in an analytical headphone. I am not sure what exactly fits opera best yet, but I will post my thoughts on here once I get the HE-400's.

 

Peace out...!

post #43 of 53

Doesn't opera mean female vocals and soundstage ? then isnt the hd 598 a killer choice ? and is the HE-400 comfortable for long use ?

post #44 of 53
Thread Starter 

Not sure that it can be boiled down to only female vocals and soundstage - male vocals are also opera and in different registers and with different timbres and power.  

 

And guys I need help, I posted a thread here, all help is greatly appreciated:


http://www.head-fi.org/t/628480/help-just-received-ef5-and-sounds-strange

post #45 of 53
+ 1 for hifiman he 400
I have and sold a few headphones and he 400 is the one i prefer

The bass is good, mediums are life like and treble not piercing or fatiguing but with the right amount (velours)
All together it create a very pleasant sound where nothing is missing
What is enjoyable is that you have a good amount of bass and at the same time the instruments separation is perfect. The vocals are just rights with the perfect level of volume and the general timbre so stellar.
The all thing is presented to you as one making the music so coherent
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