I've ruled Grados out due to the reasons on my previous posts, but thanks for the suggestion anyway. (maybe I should edit my first post)
Yea I do mean hate. It's the combination of slow + laid back + the romantic presentation of the Hd650 that I dislike. The Hd650 has no veil, unless you power it with a cmoy or an ipod, then the sounds turn into a muddy pile - I guess that's what people mean by veil. The 600 is still slow, but it's more neutral than the 650; also a very realistic timbre + seductive mid = wins.
Bear in mind that 80% of my listening is Metal + Classic/Prog Rock, and the rest is Baroque and piano stuff (Chopin + Liszt). I could see how people with different taste in music love the Hd650 (jazz, vocal ... yada yada).
//back to the music, I don't really like Brothers in Arms, the only track from that album that I listen to is Your lastest trick.
For some reason I find quite interesting people's tastes, like mainly listening to metal and also liking classical stuff! ;P
Brothers in Arms (the track) is in my opinion one of the best guitar ever recorded, it's just plain beautiful. Something simple and so complex at the same time. After that, it's impossible not to like the rest of the album. And yes, the sax on YLT... ok, I'm going to listen to it now!
The Headfonia article you mention is just a view of one person.
My own view for the cans I have experience with:
HD-650 is comfortable, forgiving to bad recordings and the most euphonic (also the most colored of the cans I currently own) can I have heard. Not veiled, just with treble roll off.
K-701 is more neutral and with bigger soundstage. Less bass (the only significant flaw for me), about equal mids, more treble than the HD-650.
I hasten to add that the differences are NOT big (for me).
HD-650 would be my 1st recommendation for the genres you are interested, but not independedly of price difference (double price from K-701 would bother me).
HE-500 is for me just a little better overall than the other two, definitely in the diminishing returns area you mention.
Thanks! I'm probably set at either HD600 or HD650 now. I'll wait for Tyll's article about them before make my mind, and will try to find some way to listen to them, there must be someone willing to help me around here!
I've found HD600 for $300 and HD650 for $400 at AccessoryJack, so it's not that difference from the K701 (specially the HD600). I know they're grey imports, but even buying from an authorized reseller I won't have any warranty anyway... My only concern is about fakes, but the store seems legit (if anyone has experience with them please comment).