What do I want? I want headphones. Yes, that'll do. I want full size headphones. I want headphones that are a great value at the price I get them. And I would like to have phones that I can build a fairly nice system around when I want to, not have to buy new phones, a new amp, and source just to get a better system going.
Do I have a favorite genre/sound signature? Yes. I listen generally to a lot of dubstep and electronic music. However, since I also listen to many other genres, and have decent headphones for all of them, I simply want the best sound quality for the price. Something which matches up to headphones at a high price level and is competitive. The one things that is required however, is that they can't be bass anemic (not a question of feel vs hear, as long as its there and noticeable).
Now, heres the catch: my price range atm is $430, for both amp and phones. If the phones can be driven with a cheaper amp, then theres more money for the phones, and vice versa. I might be willing to stretch a bit further for a significant improvement in sound quality
The top contender at the moment is the Mad Dogs with an Audinst AMP-HP. $430 on the dot. However, I've heard varying reviews of the Mad Dogs, from being only average at the price, to on the level of the LCD-2's.
Some other contenders are the Hifiman he-300 and he-400, but I've heard they don't provide much room for improvement with high end sources etc.
A couple more in consideration are the HD650, the dt880, and the Ultrasone Pro 900's.
Thanks for grinding through the long read, and for any and all advice given,
PS:a quick question. Are there any nice wood cupped headphones in this price range?