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BEST HEADPHONES FOR METAL/ROCK - Page 4

post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

Where in the world are you?

It can't be that hard to acquire an SR80.

 

First i ordered them from headroom without noticing the sale restriction. Then I tried the german, french, italian and british amazon but i either found unreliable retailers or restricting prices.

 

By principle, the salesman has to provide easy access of his product to the customer. If grado's intention is to drive their european customers away, then i am fine with that.

post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseWithWorms View Post

First i ordered them from headroom without noticing the sale restriction. Then I tried the german, french, italian and british amazon but i either found unreliable retailers or restricting prices.

By principle, the salesman has to provide easy access of his product to the customer. If grado's intention is to drive their european customers away, then i am fine with that.

Might be helpful to update your community profile with your location, just in case someone has a suggestion for purchasing Grados where you live.
post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseWithWorms View Post

 

First i ordered them from headroom without noticing the sale restriction. Then I tried the german, french, italian and british amazon but i either found unreliable retailers or restricting prices.

 

By principle, the salesman has to provide easy access of his product to the customer. If grado's intention is to drive their european customers away, then i am fine with that.

I still don't know where in the world you are. 

The prices are all about the same all across Europe. It's impossible to get Grados for U.S. prices in Europe unless you find a good 2nd hand deal. 

post #49 of 57

I recently acquired a Yamaha Pro 400, and I would go with that for closed and AKG 701 for open. They both have a sort of big screen tv equivalent sound, meaning that they enlarge most details while having a lot of width and depth. The 701 is a little faster and more immediate. The 400 can have a lot of sub bass. It's weird because a lot of metal sounds full and clear, but something like Fight-War of Words original pressing from 1993 will have its drums create tons of sub bass. It doesn't end up distorting, it's just different to listen to a headphone that is capable of recreating the power of drums like that. I just eq the bass down a little with my Sansa clip if I want it to sound more regular. For an amp, I use O2. I had been using a Darkvoice 332 and Heed Canamp, but I feel the O2 provides more transparent, better results. The 400 gets louder than other phones I have directly off the Sansa Clip. In my experience, I prefer closed headphones for Metal due to the smoothness and bass. Open phones tend to let a lot of the headbanging bass escape while magnifying static. The K701 seems to minimize that while also providing the necessary urgency in the sound to make metal sound exciting. Just try the original cd of Painkiller to see what I mean.

 

I'll list other phones I own and comment about using them with Metal:

 

 RS-1 with buttons-Too much treble

 

HD558: Too much static

 

K550-Pleasant, but very light and bright

 

UE6000: Very nice tonality, but has almost no treble energy.

 

DT 990 600 ohms: Very nice tonality, can be a bit too forward and fatiguing unless I use it with the Darkvoice and Arcam 73

 

Amperior: Nice tonality, good bass and weight to the sound, but can be a bit forward and fatiguing

 

HD25-1: Could sound fuller

 

SR-60: Less fatiguing than RS-1, but not as resolving or natural

 

Momentum: Good technically, but kind of muddy sounding at times.

 

Aviator: Too forward.

 

HF2: more body and bass than RS-1, but now the treble energy is a little low.

 

AKG 240: owned this and may buy another. This was like a muddier 701 that had better bass. I never got to try it with a Sansa Clip or O2. The amps and sources I was using it with were a bit colored, so I'm hoping it has better results with the more neutral Sansa and O2. This is definitely worth considering.

 

AKG K44: too muddy

 

Samson 850: Sort of like an AKG 240 with less bass and more open sound. Haven't tried it with Sansa clip.

 

Samson 600: Similar to 850, but more Gradoish soundstage. Need to try it with my Sansa as well.

 

I've heard many other phones like Sr-009, Abyss, T1, HD 800, HD 650, RS2, SR 225, SR325, Yamaha 500&300, the new Denons, LCD 2&3, some of the less expensive stax, M50, DT770, whatever else Best Buy has for demo, various Ultrasones at CanJam 2010, various other Senns, Phiaton various, the old Denon 2000-7000 line, a few audio technica, and probably others between all the meets and stores I've been to.

 

There really isn't a perfect metal headphone. So much metal is harsh-sounding on phones for one reason or another. Testament-Dark Roots is unlistenable on a lot of phones, but the 701 works pretty well for it. Right now you can buy a Yamaha 400 from Amazon for $150 used. It's possible to acquire a 701 for around that price too sometimes. I haven't tried the 400 with an amp yet. It seems to work well with both old an new metal. After the 400 and 701, I would go with a K550 or Amperior as my next choices. 

post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fateicon View Post
 

I recently acquired a Yamaha Pro 400, and I would go with that for closed and AKG 701 for open. They both have a sort of big screen tv equivalent sound, meaning that they enlarge most details while having a lot of width and depth. The 701 is a little faster and more immediate. The 400 can have a lot of sub bass. It's weird because a lot of metal sounds full and clear, but something like Fight-War of Words original pressing from 1993 will have its drums create tons of sub bass. It doesn't end up distorting, it's just different to listen to a headphone that is capable of recreating the power of drums like that. I just eq the bass down a little with my Sansa clip if I want it to sound more regular. For an amp, I use O2. I had been using a Darkvoice 332 and Heed Canamp, but I feel the O2 provides more transparent, better results. The 400 gets louder than other phones I have directly off the Sansa Clip. In my experience, I prefer closed headphones for Metal due to the smoothness and bass. Open phones tend to let a lot of the headbanging bass escape while magnifying static. The K701 seems to minimize that while also providing the necessary urgency in the sound to make metal sound exciting. Just try the original cd of Painkiller to see what I mean.

 

I'll list other phones I own and comment about using them with Metal:

 

 RS-1 with buttons-Too much treble

 

HD558: Too much static

 

K550-Pleasant, but very light and bright

 

UE6000: Very nice tonality, but has almost no treble energy.

 

DT 990 600 ohms: Very nice tonality, can be a bit too forward and fatiguing unless I use it with the Darkvoice and Arcam 73

 

Amperior: Nice tonality, good bass and weight to the sound, but can be a bit forward and fatiguing

 

HD25-1: Could sound fuller

 

SR-60: Less fatiguing than RS-1, but not as resolving or natural

 

Momentum: Good technically, but kind of muddy sounding at times.

 

Aviator: Too forward.

 

HF2: more body and bass than RS-1, but now the treble energy is a little low.

 

AKG 240: owned this and may buy another. This was like a muddier 701 that had better bass. I never got to try it with a Sansa Clip or O2. The amps and sources I was using it with were a bit colored, so I'm hoping it has better results with the more neutral Sansa and O2. This is definitely worth considering.

 

AKG K44: too muddy

 

Samson 850: Sort of like an AKG 240 with less bass and more open sound. Haven't tried it with Sansa clip.

 

Samson 600: Similar to 850, but more Gradoish soundstage. Need to try it with my Sansa as well.

 

I've heard many other phones like Sr-009, Abyss, T1, HD 800, HD 650, RS2, SR 225, SR325, Yamaha 500&300, the new Denons, LCD 2&3, some of the less expensive stax, M50, DT770, whatever else Best Buy has for demo, various Ultrasones at CanJam 2010, various other Senns, Phiaton various, the old Denon 2000-7000 line, a few audio technica, and probably others between all the meets and stores I've been to.

 

There really isn't a perfect metal headphone. So much metal is harsh-sounding on phones for one reason or another. Testament-Dark Roots is unlistenable on a lot of phones, but the 701 works pretty well for it. Right now you can buy a Yamaha 400 from Amazon for $150 used. It's possible to acquire a 701 for around that price too sometimes. I haven't tried the 400 with an amp yet. It seems to work well with both old an new metal. After the 400 and 701, I would go with a K550 or Amperior as my next choices. 

Nice post!!!

Im glad im not the only one here hearing mud with the Momentums

And for the 100th time on this forum...try the KEF500s...

I actually should stop recommending the KEFs,at this rate,I will be the only person here with a pair and when the rest of the world wises up to them they will be discontinued and I will have a collectors item on my hands!

post #51 of 57

Too bad I can't try those KEFs anywhere. One thing I should also note about the 400s is that they make the drums sound like drums and not clicks. Problematic drum albums like King Diamond's Them or Domination by Morbid Angel no longer have that clicky kick drum sound. Domination is pretty muddy sounding on the 400s though, even with a treble increase. I could also hear a lot of static on Nighttime Birds by The Gathering. Those albums are very loud though. Domination always had kind of a muddy, sludgy sound. Open headphones that didn't have a lot of bass make Domination sound lean and mean. That's how it is on the 701(although I don't think the 701 or any other non-Yamaha 400 phone I played that album on made those clicky kick drums sound like actual kick drums). But yeah, albums that are heavily compressed with big drums will not bring out the best in the 400s. Albums started having all the dynamic range eaten up as far back as 1993 with stuff like Believe in Me by Duff McKagan or Spaghetti Incident. Or in 1994 with Master of the Rings by Helloween. Those waveforms are almost all blue/nuked. I would say the 400s are like the K240 in regard to bass, but a lot less muddy overall. I think a big problem with Metal is the engineering. So many of the mixes are just a mess. Especially when you get into the mid-90s and labels like Century Media, Earache, Roadrunner, Metal Blade, and Nuclear Blast. You almost have to drench those albums in bass to keep them from grating on your ears. Phones for Metal are as much about minimizing the damage caused by bands and producers in the studio as they are about their own sound sigs.

 

Two albums that I think get a bad rap are Killing Is My Business and SFSFSW. Those sound way, way better than most 90s Metal. At least the engineers left some room for the music to breathe. Today's Metal seems to take all the worst of the 90s engineering and mix it with all Andy Sneap's bad ideas. I'm pretty sure he started the trend of replacing real drums with triggers to get around the clicky sounding kicks. 

 

I can say this much. Expensive, open phones will not be of much help. The RS-1 frustrated me for years. It has this wow factor, but it's so flawed that most overly loud, badly mixed Metal is almost unlistenable on it. I think it works better with my Sansa clip and O2 than all the expensive gear I bought or tried it on. The 701 doesn't have a ton of wow factor, but it's the easiest phone I ever listened to Metal on. It gets the job done, but in a very no frills way. Nothing is gonna make you go wow. But nothing is gonna make you go ouch or feel like you need to change anything. I'm still burning in the 400 and I've had a head cold the last few days, so I'm mainly going on what I thought before I got the cold and what I still notice with it. 

 

Maiden's Somewhere In Time, black triangle pressing, sounds great with the 400. I actually heard a ride cymbal throughout Caught Somewhere In Time that I couldn't before. It also gives the drums some much needed weight and realism. I remember Number of the Beast working well with the 400 when I was worried it would sound too muddy. 

 

I recommend everyone read the Sansa Clip measured article written by the designer of the O2 amp(probably need to do a search since I don't know if I can link the article here). He says it's pretty much a flat frequency response with a high-end dac chip. You can also put rockbox on it easily. Same goes for the Fuze or Fuze+. Those all cost $20-$30. I like the sound better than any cd player I ever heard. O2 amp can be built or bought assembled for like $140. It's as close to a jack of all trades amps as I've heard. It can power my 701 or DT990 600 ohm while also working with my lower impedence phones. And it's easy to bring with as a portable. I would try this stuff before throwing hundreds or thousands on gear you've never heard. 

 

Someone will come up with a more ideal headphone for Metal some day with the way companies are making so much new stuff now. Both the 400 and K701 do a good job with film scores, pop, rock, dance, most everything I've thrown at them. I don't really listen to classical and jazz, which I've heard are often the primary genres of people who buy the real expensive stuff.  I probably wouldn't put more than $200 into a single phone unless you have heard it and absolutely have to have it.

 

Wish I had the 400s FR graph. I know the K701's is almost flat/neutral. 

post #52 of 57
post #53 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheeseWithWorms View Post
 

I attempted to buy the sr80 only to have my order canceled due to sale restrictions. Damn you grado.

 

Are the ath ad900x similar enough to grados? Or good for metal in general?

I've never heard Grados, but I'm a metalhead and I own the AD900X. Metal sounds great.

post #54 of 57

I'm sure you can just simply find another Grado dealer to order from.

Or is Grado anti-Arizona?

post #55 of 57

A modded Q701 is a great option.

post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by fateicon View Post
 

...

 

 

Thanks for the great comments. Have you listened to Pro500? Could Pro500 be a step up or is it totally different/unnecessary?


Edited by AUTOMAGI - 10/13/13 at 2:06am
post #57 of 57

I made a few comments on the 500 in the yamaha thread when listening to it at fry's with my sansa clip. I thought it sounded pretty bad. Very cold and shrill with many tracks. Sansa clip's output impedance is 1, if I recall. One of the ipods was a 7. From what I remember, certain bass frequencies become less controlled the higher the output impedance of the source goes past the 1/8 rule. There's many reasons an output impedance close to 0 is considered good. On the fry's demo, the 500 and 400 both had extremely strong bass on most of the demo tracks. My guess is that the output impedance of the demo machine was a lot higher than a sansa clip. The 400 actually sounds much more balanced on the Sansa to my ears. The 500 was even colder and thinner than my K550. I would suggest searching articles that explain output impedance. I think lower impedance is the way to go, if I compare my Sansa and O2 vs my Arcam 73(150 ohm) and Darkvoice 332(tube hybrid, probably high output impedance). Sounds like the Arcam and DV cut off the high frequencies and change the FR of my RS-1. Making it sound much smoother as a result. The big treble boosts in the RS-1's FR graph are very obvious using the Sansa and O2, so I think the latter are as transparent as advertised. 

 

The one thing with transparent gear is that bad masterings on the source recording are very obvious. Even on soft rock stuff like Never Gonna Let You Go by Sergio Mendes. I first got the 2011 version off one of his comps. Horrendously bright and fatiguing. Then I got the Classics volume 18 version that came out about 1990. It was like night and day. I could crank it as loud as I wanted with no fatigue because the mastering was done right. I downloaded a vinyl rip of Emperor's IXE that I havta try. The cd sounds horrible with transparent gear. Just a shrill, trebly mess. Unfortunately a lot of 90s Metal is like this. Newer recordings seem to be a mess of bass, treble, and overblown everything. It might even be worse with the AOR genre, like the new Robin Beck album Underneath. One of the worst bloated messes I've ever heard. With horrible source recordings, you don't need to worry about buying a bunch of expensive gear. Unless you like the presentation in regards to soundstaging and stuff like that. But always listen first. Lots of people love Audeze headphones, claim they are among the best. I thought they sounded weird and horrible every time I tried them. Definitely way different than traditional headphones. Stax are another brand that get praised as being the best. I always found them to be very cold and thin aside from the SR-009(which was brilliantly clean but also thin). Maybe it's good for classical and/or jazz, but it's not what you want for rock and metal. There's a lot of metal that isn't gonna sound good with anything. Tolerable is probably the best you can hope for. AKG 240 is a phone I need to rebuy. I think my high output impedance sources were mucking up the bass. Otherwise I thought they were awesome. Sennheiser hd280 sounded good to me on best buy's demo. Best thing is just to listen to stuff instead of evaluating things based on so much of the standard audiophile opinions out there. But if you're gonna gamble, I'd say start with the less expensive stuff, because you could get a few quality phones for the price of one expensive model.

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