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I want to buy headphones specifically for a single song. - Page 4

post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by B M Tarr View Post

Greetings Head Fi,

 

The title, while maybe humorous, is not a joke. I really do want to buy headphones that work best for one song, and that song is To Glory by Two Steps From Hell.

 

I will describe the song as "epic classical" in that it has booming drums and powerful, driving strings and accompaniment that traverses the frequency spectrum from the deepest lows to the highest highs.

 

It even has an element of synth bass.... 

 

This track really has everything that I want in music.

 

But in order to hear it fully, with great separation and articulation, I am not sure what kind of cans I'd need.

 

My considerations thus far have been:

Sennheiser HD650/700/800

HiFiMan HE-400/HE-500

 

I already own:

Sennheiser HD25

Beats (lol)

Beats Pro (more lol)

Westone 3 IEMs (looking for open-back for this purposes though...)

 

Budget: ~1000 but willing to consider more if the sound quality is improved significantly.

 

Thank you so much,

Banan


I love your passion for this song, I can't wait for you to pull the trigger and report back on how awesome your setup sounds.

 

John Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard is that "song/album" for me. :)

post #47 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oblique63 View Post

 

I'd say to not worry about this too much. Even my cheap O2 can drive them as well as $1k solid state amps, and should be more than enough to give you a good idea of what the headphones can do. If you want to add some of that tube sound to your rig later, you can always do that too; but don't feel pressured to go get a fancy $3k amp right off the bat just cause people here think that's what they sound 'best' with.
 

 

 

Orthos really don't really have that much of a distinct 'sound' when compared to traditional dynamics. Maybe in terms of transient response they're a bit unique, but the HD800's/700's manage to achieve that just as well as many orthos. I personally find my HD800's to be a step up from my HE-5LE's in every way (so much so, that I'm looking to trade them out soon), but are they $800 better? who knows. Point is, not all orthos are gonna have a similar sound, and they're not always gonna sound totally different from a good dynamic can either. Seeing as how you enjoyed the HD650's, I would've actually suggested you try out some LCD-2's at some point. But yeah, I don't blame you about wanting to try them out locally first; just remember that they're really not that 'unique' sounding compared to other headphone types; and at the end of the day, they're all still going to be trying to reproduce the same frequencies in your music.

I imagined this would be the case -- if they can't reproduce the sounds in the music in a way that is faithful to the music then who would like them? I will still try to find some locally first before spending another $700 (I think the HE-500 would be the direction I went).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mangel312 View Post


I love your passion for this song, I can't wait for you to pull the trigger and report back on how awesome your setup sounds.

 

John Coltrane Live at the Village Vanguard is that "song/album" for me. :)

Thank you for the tip on Coltrane's music. I will definitely have to check that out. Audiophile-grade gear has opened up the world of music for me in a way that allows me to appreciate many more types of music than I did before. The HD700s should be here Monday, but I don't expect to be able to report back until Wednesday.

post #48 of 71

wow that song is amazing. any more like it?

post #49 of 71

two steps from hell have a bit of stylistic similarity across a lot their music... if you really loved that one, chances are you'll enjoy some of their other stuff (imo, etc.)

post #50 of 71
Listening on my HD800 rig this song responds very well to huge soundstaging. I think you said you had already ordered HD700, but I would certainly suggest trying a large soundstage headphone next time. As has been mentioned a proper HD800 rig really is a $2000-2500 investment so it's out of your price range for now, but keep it in mind for later.

I can't imagine any headphone better than this type of music than an HD800 with great upstream components. Electrostats won't convey the drive of the bass as well, and orthos won't give you the soundstage needed. Most other dynamics simply don't have the precision and speed to keep up with high energy layered music, much less the massive soundstage. Only thing that could compare would be a well chosen 2 channel speaker system.
Edited by Maxvla - 2/3/13 at 8:24pm
post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by B M Tarr View Post

 

Both are comfortable for several hours of listening at a time?

 

Why do you care you only want to listen to one song? That's what... four minutes long?

 

 

:)

 

 

Seriously, a thread is really fun, and can point you in the right direction, but try to find a way to listen to various models. It is really the only way to find one that "fits" the bill in terms of sound quality.

post #52 of 71
My favorite epic music piece is a combo of tracks: Godzilla (1998) Opening Titles directly leading into Godzilla (1998) Looking For Clues. I used to listen to this very loudly with my HD580 back when the movie was not that old. Still listen to it occasionally and always love it. Gives me goosebumps occasionally even though I've heard it hundreds of times.
post #53 of 71

Hate to break it to you, but the "Epic Music" genre in general is all terribly recorded. I have all the albums from Two Steps From Hell, and basically every other similar artist, and the recording quality on the high majority of them is quite poor. Ironic, ain't it? Considering the type of music it is. While I still thoroughly enjoy that genre of music, I'll go ahead and make the wild but realistic suggestion of sticking with cheap headphones. The less revealing the better. Spent a few hours with my HE-500 today, and I can't recall a time TSFH music sounded worse, unfortunately.


Edited by Katun - 2/3/13 at 8:53pm
post #54 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsxboy View Post

wow that song is amazing. any more like it?

\/ \/ \/ See below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Errymoose View Post

two steps from hell have a bit of stylistic similarity across a lot their music... if you really loved that one, chances are you'll enjoy some of their other stuff (imo, etc.)

Two Steps From Hell is quite the entrance into the genre. There are many others who, in my opinion, aren't quite to the same level as Two Steps From Hell in terms of overall discography, but have individual tracks which I feel are solid.

 

I'd suggest these albums to start off:

Skyworld - Two Steps From Hell

Trailerhead: Triumph - Immediate (The Immediate)

Illusions - Thomas Bergersen (a member of Two Steps From Hell)

Best of Brand X Music - Brand X Music

 

You can also selectively look into these artists:

Audiomachine

Future World Music

etc... use Amazon's "customers who bought this also bought" to find more... new stuff comes out all the time! Some of it is VERY good.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Listening on my HD800 rig this song responds very well to huge soundstaging. I think you said you had already ordered HD700, but I would certainly suggest trying a large soundstage headphone next time. As has been mentioned a proper HD800 rig really is a $2000-2500 investment so it's out of your price range for now, but keep it in mind for later.

I can't imagine any headphone better than this type of music than an HD800 with great upstream components. Electrostats won't convey the drive of the bass as well, and orthos won't give you the soundstage needed. Most other dynamics simply don't have the precision and speed to keep up with high energy layered music, much less the massive soundstage. Only thing that could compare would be a well chosen 2 channel speaker system.

I would have purchased HD800 except for the issue with upstream gear being so much more. Some day perhaps, after I get the gear to support them. 

 

I've been listening to To Glory on Beats Pro and Westone IEMs. I think it's fair to say that the HD700 should be a noticeable improvement. I'm not going into it with absurdly high expectations -- diminishing returns and all that, but I do expect it to be significant. I am highly looking forward to Tuesday night when I get my first chance to hear them!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ev13wt View Post

 

Why do you care you only want to listen to one song? That's what... four minutes long?

 

 

:)

 

 

Seriously, a thread is really fun, and can point you in the right direction, but try to find a way to listen to various models. It is really the only way to find one that "fits" the bill in terms of sound quality.

 

I chose that single song as the benchmark. As I said, it is the greatest song ever made by mankind (IMHO of course) so naturally it is my choice for benchmarking :D

post #55 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katun View Post

Hate to break it to you, but the "Epic Music" genre in general is all terribly recorded. I have all the albums from Two Steps From Hell, and basically every other similar artist, and the recording quality on the high majority of them is quite poor. Ironic, ain't it? Considering the type of music it is. While I still thoroughly enjoy that genre of music, I'll go ahead and make the wild but realistic suggestion of sticking with cheap headphones. The less revealing the better. Spent a few hours with my HE-500 today, and I can't recall a time TSFH music sounded worse, unfortunately.

Fair enough, we'll just have to see how it goes on Tuesday night.

 

My TSFH mp3s are 256kbit, and I know that they use Eastwest sound libraries for a lot of their work, which is considered to be some of the best you can get. 

 

Out of curiosity, in what sense would you say the recordings are "terrible", specifically?

post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by B M Tarr View Post

Fair enough, we'll just have to see how it goes on Tuesday night.

 

My TSFH mp3s are 256kbit, and I know that they use Eastwest sound libraries for a lot of their work, which is considered to be some of the best you can get. 

 

I've got all mine on actual CD's, plus the default 256kbps from Amazon MP3. They sound the same whether ripped loseless from the CD or compressing them down. In this case, it's not the bitrate that signifies quality. They simply didn't do a good enough job in the studio in the first place. Again, I find that extremely unfortunate, because I've been a fan of the "epic" genre for many years now and have bought every ounce of it that I could get my hands on... simply wishing I could hear them recorded better.

 

BTW, my favorite is Audiomachine.

post #57 of 71
Thread Starter 

Very interesting.

 

It's entirely possible that Chronicles could become my favorite album on high quality gear if my ears discern the same issues as yours.

 

BTW, I think I've read your reviews on Amazon, IIRC.  Well done.

post #58 of 71

Are you familiar with loudness wars? Epic music is professional when it comes to committing it.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ

post #59 of 71
Thread Starter 
Re: loudness wars -- oh yes I am familiar. My brother and I have done a fair share of mastering our own work, and let me tell you it is hard not to use compression, etc, in order to make the music sound more "full". At the end of the day we have to make a conscious effort not to overdo it.
post #60 of 71

Lets see if this will finally work. Head-Fi maintenance...

 

Oh excellent. So I assume you have an ear for that type of stuff. Are you able to recognize it in it's various forms with any of the epic music you listen to? Because it's all there. Throw one of the audio files into Audacity and analyze the waveform. Notice how much clipping is in each song. Now, I've still heard music that had pretty good sound quality but was clipped all over the place, but unfortunately, that isn't the case for this type of music. I'm no expert in the whole mastering, recording, and encoding process; but I know a lousy technical side to a song when I hear one. It's the type of music that sounds worse and worse the better your chain of components get. Or, in some cases, not necessarily worse, but never better... never improving. This is what I get from this genre.

 

Nevertheless, one shouldn't be critically listening in the first place. Music is best enjoyed when you don't have your poker face on and pencil in hand. Good music will always be good, regardless of equipment or source. It's just a shame when it "could" have been better, but isn't, and never will be.

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