Yes I am, but I think the thread title may have changed. No big deal.
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Oh, ok, unfortunatly I can not help you with these three headphone's you are interested in, I have previously owned Grado SR80i's, Alessandro MS2i's and currently own Grado 325is's. Prior to owning the Grado/Alessandro line I've ownwed some koss and some bose.
In times like these finding comparison articles works, so you get to know the traits of headphones. But nothing will beat listening to them yourself and deciding what suits you best. I can offer a comparison article that I wrote a long time ago and, after many more headphones that I tried after I wrote it, I still have my ATH-M50 and love them, although I prefer other headphones for working with music (Sony z1000), but the difference is not drastic, and Audio Technicas still hold their ground. Anyway, just my two cents, here's the article:
Cheers and happy searching!
That's the thing, you can't completely trust others in these matters, as to one the highs might seem harsh, while to someone else - sweet and silky :)
I find ATH-M50 a very balanced (apart from a bit too big bottom end, which is kind of a plus in this model's case, as it does not intrude on mids, and you get a deep low end, while everything else sounds in the right place as well), while DT990 or Denon D2000 or most (all?) Ultrasone headphones have sharp, painful highs. I have never felt ATH-M50 have excessive highs, and I don't like sharp highs! So I don't know where all of this is coming from. As I wrote - you have to be careful about these claims. I have mixed on ATH-M50, and it makes the recordings a bit too bright, in my opinion, because of the mellow / darkish character of these cans.
Sorry for confusing you even more! ;)
Also, regarding the sibilance (S sounds). If it's in the recording and de-essing is not done properly (or artist made a decision to have hot sibilance on vocals for some reason, for example), then you have to hear it in the headphones, as otherwise it would mean that your headphones are too far away from the intended (or unintended through inexperience etc.) sound source, and basically are not very good. ATH-M50 will show that to you. If the sibilance is in the recording, you will hear it (but not excessively), while with the DT990, D2000 or UItrasones the sibilance is in the core of every song and every recording, IMO. That's the difference between the headphones and monitors - it's not enough to make headphones linear (as some manufacturers claim), because, unlike when listening to monitors or speakers, where the sibilance dissipates while sound waves travel through the air, get absorbed by walls and all kinds of materials etc., the distance between the listener and the sound source is non-existent while listening to music with headphones, and in the above mentioned models these piercing high frequency sounds are not dampened at all, it seems, which means a painful listening experience where you get ear fatigue very quickly. I have not noticed this trait with ATH-M50 whatsoever.
Sorry, I can't comment on amps, as I have almost no experience regarding them. In my case a quality stereo amplifier or a CD player (not portable one) is more than enough to drive most of the headphones.