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Headphones Too Good For System?post #1 of 1610/27/12 at 10:23amThread StarterAs the owner of a no-frills amplifier (Taec AR610) and an equally low budget Denon CD player, I am wondering if there is any sense in looking to buy a pair of mid-range headphones - something like the Grado SR325i's. I am a newbie here, but I read about folk buying similar specced headphones to pair up with iPods/laptops etc. Would the Grados be a waste of money matched with such a mediocre system? (I am on a tight budget and will not be investing in a dedicated headphone amp.)
Gear mentioned in this thread:post #2 of 1610/27/12 at 2:55pmThread Starterpost #3 of 1610/27/12 at 4:17pmpost #4 of 1610/27/12 at 4:36pm
Grado SR325is are very user picky from experience, even for Grado fans like myself. I like my hot treble, but be warned with the SR325is, it has one of the brightest treble I've ever experience. Returned the 325is for the 225i and I'm still happy today. Specification wise, Grados don't need amping, but they do like being amped. I noticed they sound much sweeter with tube amps (generally speaking) than SS amps.post #5 of 1610/27/12 at 10:26pmpost #6 of 1610/27/12 at 10:53pm
Headphones really aren't complicated, but the analysis (or over-analysis) of audio gear can certainly displace the enjoyment of music for music's sake. It's been said that there are those who listen to their gear, and there are those who listen to music. The general tone of discussion at Head-fi tends to empower the former.
Edited by swmtnbiker - 10/27/12 at 10:55pmpost #7 of 1610/27/12 at 11:20pmQuote:
Orchestras are the real thing. Music concerts are crap; they sound nothing like the album thanks to their special pitch editing, not to mention that the stage equipment are crap. Crappy mics, deafening loud and distorted speakers maxed out on sibilance, musicians dancing around losing focus on the music. Concerts were there to see the musicians live, not really to enjoy the music. That's why recordings specially edited with everything you can think of exists so we can enjoy digitally edited pitch perfect and amazing instruments that we do not hear live.post #8 of 1610/27/12 at 11:30pmQuote:Originally Posted by Tony1110
As the owner of a no-frills amplifier (Taec AR610) and an equally low budget Denon CD player, I am wondering if there is any sense in looking to buy a pair of mid-range headphones - something like the Grado SR325i's. I am a newbie here, but I read about folk buying similar speced headphones to pair up with iPods/laptops etc. Would the Grados be a waste of money matched with such a mediocre system? (I am on a tight budget and will not be investing in a dedicated headphone amp.)
I believe it's Teac, not Taec.
What model Denon CD player is it?
I'm assuming this setup is for just CD music only?
What is your budget?post #9 of 1610/27/12 at 11:54pmQuote:
Lol guys I was kidding. I'm not that oldpost #10 of 1610/27/12 at 11:59pm
Are you planning on sticking with the gear you have or do you plan on upgrading to better stuff at some point? I'd say the SR325i's would work great now and keep on working great, even better when you've upgraded to a better/amp source. I got my AKG K701's knowing my system probably isn't quite up to par, however now that I have some outstanding cans I can plan future upgrades around them.
Get the SR325i's. They won't cease to be relevant when you get better sounding gear, they'll actually benefit.post #11 of 1610/28/12 at 4:28amThread StarterI've done a bit of research since posting here and I think I'll go for the 225s after all. I've read posts by people in these forums who use vastly more expensive "'phones" without access to any form of amplification and that's reassured me that my cheap amplifier is better than no amplifier at all. I do own a pair of Shure 535 IEMs which I use with an iPod and although the sound is exceptionally clear I'm hoping for a more full-on effect when I hear the Grados driven through an amp - cheap though it is. The reason I'm making this purchase is to obtain the best possible sound while spending the least amount of money; perhaps a reasonably priced headphone amp could be considered at some point in the future. As 95% of my listening is done through headphones, I'd much rather make that purchase than splash out on a whole new fancy system.post #12 of 167/23/13 at 1:08am
We tend to get a little carried away in this hobby (understatement of the year, I know). Upgrading your headphones first will probably bring the most dramatic improvement to your system, you don't necessarily need world-class gear in order to enjoy them.
Unless it's a power-hungry headphone like the Audeze and Hifiman planars, or the Sennheiser HD800 (I know people will argue this one, but it does sound best with a hefty amount of current behind it. I've heard it), a modest source chain with a great headphone (e.g. SR225) will almost always sound better than a mediocre headphone (e.g. $40 Sony) backed by an expensive source chain. This is a bit of an exaggeration, yes, but it illustrates my point. My grandfather once said, "If your speakers suck, does it really matter how good your amp is?).
Buy the SR225, and if it sounds good to you, leave well enough alone. We sometimes tend to use music to listen to our equipment, rather than using our equipment to listen to the music.
I prefer the SR225 to the 325, personally. I found the 325 extremely bright, and the metal housings are heavy which makes them uncomfortable after a while.
I use a vintage Pioneer SA-8500 integrated amp to power my HD650s. World class? Wasn't even top of the line when it was introduced in 1976. Does it sound really really really good? Oh yes . Best $100 I've spent in a while.post #13 of 167/23/13 at 2:44amThread Starterpost #14 of 167/23/13 at 2:33pm
- Headphones Too Good For System?
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