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Please recommend a headphone for listening to solo (classical) piano - Page 7

post #91 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Voldemort View Post

Grados are surprisingly good for classical music, mainly due to their midrange. But the 598s are even better with a more accurate soundstage, less peaky treble range (for those contemporary/ post-romantic works which involve a lot of cymbals), and a larger bass presence (pretty much a must for certain music like Bach's).

 

Both are great cans for the genre though and the Grados, depending on th emodel you get, may be the better value. But the HD598s are just simply a better investment when you take into account comfort (no Grados can compare o.O ) and flexibility (above average in all genres, which is impressive). 

Can't agree on the 598's.  That was what I read but I found them veiled in comparison to 325is.  Just different opinions.

post #92 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

Can't agree on the 598's.  That was what I read but I found them veiled in comparison to 325is.  Just different opinions.

 

You know, the concept of "veiling" in headphones is actually strange. It is a "relative", not objective concept. I used to think that the HD650 sounded really veiled compared to something like the DT880 or K701 because it was too dark. Once you listen to a good electrostat, EVERY dynamic headphone sounds really veiled in comparison, and it has nothing to do with how bright or dark a headphone is wink.gif. The HD800 may be the only exception, having the most true detail. 

 

I just want to emphasize the fact that the the 598s are actually anything but veiled. If they are, it is suffered just as badly by the Grado and is a weakness of the technology and not the individual driver. The HD598 is actually the brightest of Sennheiser's circumaural open headphones with a slight tilt toward brightness. The SR325 is among the brightest headphones on the planet. While they have some detail, most of it is hyped up "peaky" detail that can sound more detailed at times, especially with its in your face sound stage. To some, this could be perceived as less veiled than nearly every dynamic, but to me, it sounds like knives in my ears. That particular model takes brightness to a whole other level.

post #93 of 104

I also think it is down to individual hearing, as in how good or damaged it is. Our ears will adjust to what ever they are being bombarded with and so with that I mean; if you start with the Grado route your ears will be coping with treble more than they would say with Sennheisers. Senn's will then sound veiled in comparison, this makes sense to me. Same the other way round. Some folk on here find the LCD2's dull and flat sounding and this annoys me because I don't hear that, I hear a natural detailed sound. If your ears have adjusted for peaky treble then they are going to miss that with different sound sig's. I found the K702's hard to adjust to and in the end I had to equalize them to tone them down. Listening the HE500's after those, the hifimans sounded dull and boxy...! They certainly don't now, but then Its a long time since I've heard the AKG's to compare.

 

Give any headphone long enough and your ears will adjust to their signature and that includes the beats!

post #94 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

I would suggest you look at dark headphones for piano. If you get something terribly bright, you're going to cringe the whole time. Piano shouldn't be piercing on the treble side, but recordings often are very hissy, and will sting on high notes with a bright headphone. I wouldn't get a Grado or HD598 for this.

 

Some suggestions:

 

T50RP modded (mad dog). It's a darker headphone, with delicious mids for piano, and a good low register.

AudioTechnica A900X. Warm, mellow, not quite dark, but not as bright as some others, it does very nice with piano.

Hifiman HE-300 revision 2. It's a little darker than other headphones in it's category and less expensive and easier to drive (no amp needed).

 

Very best,

Cant say more more then this. I love piano/strings on my mad dogs. I would say get them over the he300 because I have really enjoyed classical on Ortho hp rather then dynamics. That being said, piano is amazing on he400s but that is a bit out of your range. Mad Dogs are very nice and they are closed so you can take them on the go with you too which gives them even more use. 

post #95 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by juantendo8 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbophead View Post

Can't agree on the 598's.  That was what I read but I found them veiled in comparison to 325is.  Just different opinions.

 

You know, the concept of "veiling" in headphones is actually strange. It is a "relative", not objective concept. I used to think that the HD650 sounded really veiled compared to something like the DT880 or K701 because it was too dark. Once you listen to a good electrostat, EVERY dynamic headphone sounds really veiled in comparison, and it has nothing to do with how bright or dark a headphone is wink.gif. The HD800 may be the only exception, having the most true detail. 

 

I just want to emphasize the fact that the the 598s are actually anything but veiled. If they are, it is suffered just as badly by the Grado and is a weakness of the technology and not the individual driver. The HD598 is actually the brightest of Sennheiser's circumaural open headphones with a slight tilt toward brightness. The SR325 is among the brightest headphones on the planet. While they have some detail, most of it is hyped up "peaky" detail that can sound more detailed at times, especially with its in your face sound stage. To some, this could be perceived as less veiled than nearly every dynamic, but to me, it sounds like knives in my ears. That particular model takes brightness to a whole other level.

Like I said, just different opinions.

post #96 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by juantendo8 View Post

 

You know, the concept of "veiling" in headphones is actually strange. It is a "relative", not objective concept. I used to think that the HD650 sounded really veiled compared to something like the DT880 or K701 because it was too dark. Once you listen to a good electrostat, EVERY dynamic headphone sounds really veiled in comparison, and it has nothing to do with how bright or dark a headphone is wink.gif. The HD800 may be the only exception, having the most true detail. 

 

I just want to emphasize the fact that the the 598s are actually anything but veiled. If they are, it is suffered just as badly by the Grado and is a weakness of the technology and not the individual driver. The HD598 is actually the brightest of Sennheiser's circumaural open headphones with a slight tilt toward brightness. The SR325 is among the brightest headphones on the planet. While they have some detail, most of it is hyped up "peaky" detail that can sound more detailed at times, especially with its in your face sound stage. To some, this could be perceived as less veiled than nearly every dynamic, but to me, it sounds like knives in my ears. That particular model takes brightness to a whole other level.

Well, i AM electrostatic guy. Yet the  new models of dynamic headphones from JVC using carbon nanotube film as material for the diaphragm, at least HA-S500 I have bought because of the mamoth thread on head-fi, have so much going for them it is hard to describe to a person who is not familiar with any of the carbon nanotube models from JVC, IEM or on-ear.. Senn 600 and 650

have always sounded cold and ahem...dead to me, would never be satisfied with them after hearing ANY electrostatic - JVC HA-S500 is ALIVE and  so transparent it can reveal and pinpoint any defect in a recording with clear "digital logic" (  it is or it is not - no maybes like Lambda is prone to deliver when the going really gets tough ). It is on ear headphone - and therefore should not have been in a full size can thread - yet its (very) full size sound with the right pads would give a run for the money to almost any can in existance, not just those a couple times the price of JVC HA-S500s.

 

Its particular forte is the dynamic range - it can do ppp or even pppp of a particular instrument while simoultanously the rest of orchestra is thundering away. It would not compress even the most savage peaks. It is capable of very decent playback of Telarc recording of Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture - the cannon shots are very realistic and way beyond anything electrostatics will ever be able to play. It is at least a match for the Lambda in the ultimate audio porn - the quality of the sound of the groove pre and post echoe(s) in analog records !

 

With the sound of piano(s), their tuning(s), differences in microphone (techniques) to stash it into a can ( as tin can to conserve the food = recording) , not to mention the differences in playing all affecting the timbre to a lesser or greater degree - I suggest that dynamic range is important, particular for piano. Piano live has tremedous dynamic range, rarely matched in recordings. I had trouble finding headphones that would allow for monitoring uncompressed mike feeds of live recordings without running into dynamic limitations - you would be surprised how early lots of audiophille gear would fall to pieces even on relatively calm piano if replay level is closely matched to the level of sound live - no Prokofiev's Sarcasms needed !

post #97 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Well, i AM electrostatic guy. Yet the  new models of dynamic headphones from JVC using carbon nanotube film as material for the diaphragm, at least HA-S500 I have bought because of the mamoth thread on head-fi, have so much going for them it is hard to describe to a person who is not familiar with any of the carbon nanotube models from JVC, IEM or on-ear.. Senn 600 and 650

have always sounded cold and ahem...dead to me, would never be satisfied with them after hearing ANY electrostatic - JVC HA-S500 is ALIVE and  so transparent it can reveal and pinpoint any defect in a recording with clear "digital logic" (  it is or it is not - no maybes like Lambda is prone to deliver when the going really gets tough ). It is on ear headphone - and therefore should not have been in a full size can thread - yet its (very) full size sound with the right pads would give a run for the money to almost any can in existance, not just those a couple times the price of JVC HA-S500s.

 

Its particular forte is the dynamic range - it can do ppp or even pppp of a particular instrument while simoultanously the rest of orchestra is thundering away. It would not compress even the most savage peaks. It is capable of very decent playback of Telarc recording of Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture - the cannon shots are very realistic and way beyond anything electrostatics will ever be able to play. It is at least a match for the Lambda in the ultimate audio porn - the quality of the sound of the groove pre and post echoe(s) in analog records !

 

With the sound of piano(s), their tuning(s), differences in microphone (techniques) to stash it into a can ( as tin can to conserve the food = recording) , not to mention the differences in playing all affecting the timbre to a lesser or greater degree - I suggest that dynamic range is important, particular for piano. Piano live has tremedous dynamic range, rarely matched in recordings. I had trouble finding headphones that would allow for monitoring uncompressed mike feeds of live recordings without running into dynamic limitations - you would be surprised how early lots of audiophille gear would fall to pieces even on relatively calm piano if replay level is closely matched to the level of sound live - no Prokofiev's Sarcasms needed !

biggrin.gif

 

Sounds good. How are the "carbon nanotube models" compared to orthos? Just out of general interest 

post #98 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

biggrin.gif

 

Sounds good. How are the "carbon nanotube models" compared to orthos? Just out of general interest 

Too long since I heard any orthos - decades. From what I can decipher from head-fi, current crop is dark(ish) , can rip your eardrums if utilized to full capability, ( Audeze specs SPLs I could not believe at first - but physics says possible ), suffer in finesse when conftonted with electrostatics. Carbon nanotubes material has unheard of mechanical properties - ORDERS of magnitude better than anything used before in headphone diaphragms. That is why dynamic driver using this diaphragm can compete with electrostat in finesse and can put a sledge hammer when called upon to do so.

 

Much like your jaw would drop, when driving your Ferrari/Lambo/whatever fancy & expensive, after being humbled on road by some spanking new 

Hyundai ( with nano whatever technology )  - I kid you not. JVC HA-S500 only real flaw is rather cramped/congested soundstage, but that compared to Stax Lambda Pro/SRM1MK2 /ED1 and absolute king of the genre, AKG K 1000. And - very important - require really long and fervent burn in to start delivering; out of box can be horrible for the first hours. The better the source and amp, the better the sound. Any portable device should have enough juice to bring it to (un)comfortably loud levels - quite efficient, no amp required for loudness reasons alone. Stock earpads are too bassy and dark in the treble, after about two months since the intoduction/start of thread an optimum solution aftermarket ear pad has been found.

 

I know it is hard to swallow  all of the above at $ 75 ( plus customs ) or so for the HA-S500 delivered from Japan, but  -  it is true.

 

Earpads will set you back say another $ 15. Never before has been sound this good so affordable.  

post #99 of 104

Agree with Lord Voldemort that grado's can be great for classical. I have a 325is and listen to a lot of classical music...however I prefer to use it for smaller settings like Bach cello suites, or Michelangeli playing rachmaninov. The grado is very forward sounding. You're pressed upon every detail so to speak. This makes it a bit more fatiguing listing experience, especially if you're are listing while doing something else (spending to much time on the web...).

I personally prefer a senn hd600 with toxic cables to listen to e.g. a beethoven symphony (that is going to be replaced in the near future). As for dacs/amps, i run a imac-hiface eveo II - metrum acoustics octave- violectric v200. Does it sounds better then straight out of the iMac. You bet.

post #100 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by armeko View Post

Agree with Lord Voldemort that grado's can be great for classical. I have a 325is and listen to a lot of classical music...however I prefer to use it for smaller settings like Bach cello suites, or Michelangeli playing rachmaninov. The grado is very forward sounding. You're pressed upon every detail so to speak. This makes it a bit more fatiguing listing experience, especially if you're are listing while doing something else (spending to much time on the web...).

I personally prefer a senn hd600 with toxic cables to listen to e.g. a beethoven symphony (that is going to be replaced in the near future). As for dacs/amps, i run a imac-hiface eveo II - metrum acoustics octave- violectric v200. Does it sounds better then straight out of the iMac. You bet.

Thanks, and thanks to everyone else who has posted here.

 

After much deliberation, I have decided to get the HE-400.

 

Just looking for a good deal on them before I make the purchase.

post #101 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atriya View Post

Thanks, and thanks to everyone else who has posted here.

 

After much deliberation, I have decided to get the HE-400.

 

Just looking for a good deal on them before I make the purchase.

Great choice. Never heard them, but from what I read about it, it should be much more than just OK for the price - and does not require a power station to function properly.

 

Since you are from the USA, while you wait for the good deal on HE-400s, you can use advantage of JVC releasing HA-S500 little brother/sister in the USA at very low price - it will set you back a "whopping" amount of less than $ 19.-   .... delivered, if you shop around :http://www.costpi.com/collections/headphones/products/dhhas400b . If you prefer it in white colour, there is http://www.costpi.com/search?q=JVC+HAS400W. Some even prefer it to the big brother 500 - check the thread on head-fi.  No connection to either JVC or costpi, just a satisfied customer of HA-S500  Carbon Nanotube Headphones . Do not let the low price to fool you into thinking they are no good - they punch far, really far above their weight.  Can only wish the prices in Europe were anything like those in the states - HA-S 400 is here approx 40 EUR + at least 10 EUR for shipping and as far as I know, HA-S500 still has to be ordered directly from Japan.

 

If nothing else, consider JVC for portable use.

 

As always, enjoy your music !

post #102 of 104
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post

Great choice. Never heard them, but from what I read about it, it should be much more than just OK for the price - and does not require a power station to function properly.

 

Since you are from the USA, while you wait for the good deal on HE-400s, you can use advantage of JVC releasing HA-S500 little brother/sister in the USA at very low price - it will set you back a "whopping" amount of less than $ 19.-   .... delivered, if you shop around :http://www.costpi.com/collections/headphones/products/dhhas400b . If you prefer it in white colour, there is http://www.costpi.com/search?q=JVC+HAS400W. Some even prefer it to the big brother 500 - check the thread on head-fi.  No connection to either JVC or costpi, just a satisfied customer of HA-S500  Carbon Nanotube Headphones . Do not let the low price to fool you into thinking they are no good - they punch far, really far above their weight.  Can only wish the prices in Europe were anything like those in the states - HA-S 400 is here approx 40 EUR + at least 10 EUR for shipping and as far as I know, HA-S500 still has to be ordered directly from Japan.

 

If nothing else, consider JVC for portable use.

 

As always, enjoy your music !

I just ordered the HE400 from HeadAmp. I must say, that these carbon nanotubes have me intrigued. They are not in stock at the links you sent me though. Does the entire series JVC HA-S300/400/500/900 (maybe some more) have this technology?


Edited by Atriya - 10/30/12 at 6:38am
post #103 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atriya View Post

I just ordered the HE400 from HeadAmp. I must say, that these carbon nanotubes have me intrigued. They are not in stock at the links you sent me though. Does the entire series JVC HA-S300/400/500/900 (maybe some more) have this technology?

Yes, I did see a post in the JVC HA-S400 thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/626332/the-new-jvc-ha-s400-30mm-carbon-nanotubes/540#post_8822454

saying they are temporarily out of stock, due to be back shortly. Understandable at the price, which seems to be the game with the main theme " How low can you go ?" The thread reveals much of the functioning of the market and should be quite an interesting read for the "freshman" in the USA. 

 

Not quite sure regarding carbon nanotube technology in models you ask for - 500 was the first non IEM JVC to use it, followed by the very latest 400. It is less than three months since they were first available in Japan ! JVC now has a new flagship IEM using carbon nanotube technology, but this one costs (better to say will cost - preorders so far only ) about the same as HE 400. I simply thought not getting a 400 in the USA at the above price would be a silly shame - as I said earlier, some even prefer it for music over 500, please check both JVC CNT threads for details. When you factor in shipping and customs for us Europeans, it almost makes no sense to go for the 400 instead of 500 - the difference in price almost vanishes for us. I would order HA-S400 under USA conditions in a heartbeat. JVC is this year on the roll and almost anything they touch turns to gold.

 

I am not normally concerned with dynamic headphones - I am an electrostatic guy, with the noted exception of the AKG K 1000. I did consider to add HE-600 to the stable, due to ortho capabilities in loudness and LF extension that surpasses both electrostats and K1000.  Again, I would do that in the states, over here in Europe it is another ballgame altogether. Got intrigued by the carbon nanotube technology by JVC used at first in their IEMs - somebody said here on head-fi they sound similar to Stax - that triggered it for me. That guy did not lie ... treble is similar/different to the point in some cases surpasses that of the Stax models. And getting on ears that match/surpass JVC's own IEMs at lower cost ( HA-S500 ) was no brainer. 

post #104 of 104
Quote:
Originally Posted by analogsurviver View Post
 

Oh dear ... headphones and mono do not mix well. 50s, 60s and 70s did produce great stereo recordings capable of stunning realism on headphones, but I get an impression you are about to listen to great masters of the piano, more or less regardless of the audio quality of the recording(s). Once upon a time I was working in CD retail, selling lots of historic recordings transferred to  CD, originally recorded as early as 1902.  The better the headphone - the less enjoyable you might find the overall experience. Mono can sound absolutely fantastic on speakers, the most realistic reproduction I ever heard was a 78 RPM record recorded in 1942 in La Scala, Milan, Italy - on the behemoth original Martin Logan Statement speaker system ( a six figure affair, sold in extremely small numbers ) - the realism was PALPABLE, better than any stereo I ever heard.

 

The same recording on headphones was - torture. Extreme in the head localization and every imperfection of the vynil ruthlessly revealed. Make yourself a favour, find a delar who will let you try the phones you are considering , with the sample of your own  ( mono ) CDs ( or whatever medium your piano is on ) - and then decide if it is headphones you want for your purpose. 

 

It would be a shame if technicalities get too much in the way of really appreciating the piano artistry of say Yudina ...or whoever you might want to listen to.

 

I agree that it's a consideration and a true generalization, so it's not true of everyone. The hissing and scratches help me concentrate. If I have to "hear through" it, I listen harder and hear more. (It's still not my favorite recorded sound.)

 

My first recommendation will probably be unhelpful because it costs more. I recommend the AKG house sound as found in, for example, K70x. It's open backed, so you need a quiet place to listen. It needs a stronger amp. It's large, so it's not really portable.

 

A closed back I can recommend is Shure SRH840 if you're willing to buy a cushion for the headband or mod one. Most will consider it portable because it can be folded. It doesn't strictly need an amp, though it sounds better amped (like almost everything). What makes it well-suited to piano is that it places the mids at the front of the soundstage.


Edited by Claritas - 12/10/13 at 2:54pm
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