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Need an advice for new Headphones. Limited 1500$ budget - Page 2

post #16 of 56

Read this from a current thread just a couple threads down from this one.

 

 

 

I have Audeze LCD-2's, HiFiMan HE-6's, and Denon AH-D7000's, as well as Koss ESP-950s, Stax SR-007 Mk1 and Stax Lambda Signature, along with a number of amps, DACs and so on.

 

The LCD-2's have the bass I like best- perfect texture and "slam" as well as extended, flat response. The LCD-2's also have very good mids and treble that is recessed.  Above the midrange, the LCD-2's are not masters of detail.

 

The HE-6's offer more treble detail, and fine bass, but are not the equal of the LCD-2's in bass definition.

 

The AH-D7000's have the most bass, that's all I can say about them.

 

The SR-007's offer the most neutral sound of any headphone I've heard. Nothing is emphasized; detail is present only when there is detail in the signal. With bass-centric tracks, these 'phones don't deliver the bass perfection of the Audeze, but the bass is not lacking. Their mids and treble are beyond reproach.

 

The Lambda Signatures are famous for an upper midrange / low treble 'etch' which IS quite noticeable, but I like listening to them anyway because they offer a lot of detail (sometimes they have a little TOO MUCH emphasis on detail, this is the nature of the 'etch.') Bass is extended and clean, but not as satisfying as the LCD-2's.

 

The Koss ESP-950's have a quite different 'voice' from the Stax, but you can tell from their smoothness and top-to-bottom detail that they are an electrostatic high-end phone.  They have more bass 'slam' than any other electrostatic, but they do not have the 'taut depth' of the LCD-2's.  Compared to the Stax, the Koss tend to be a little warmer and have a bit more midrange 'presence,' but the detail in the mids and treble are definitely electrostatic in character- that is to say, there's an addictive transparency to all electrostatic headphones that I have not heard in any dynamic or planar headphone- ( the Sennheiser HD800 comes closest, but doesn't quite achieve a cigar.)  

 

If I had to choose ONE of these headphones, it would be the Koss ESP-950.  With it's better 'slam' and warmth, it is a little closer to an "all round' headphone than the Stax, and it offers a transparency that the dynamic and planar headphones just can't match.

 

If I was an absolute basshead and the number one most important thing I wanted was bass quality/punch/depth, then I'd have to go with the LCD-2.  However, as much as I like the effortless extension and mastery of bass texture offered by the Audeze, I find I can live with the bass from the Koss- which is "only" excellent compared to the "without peer" bass of the LCD-2; in addition to bass that is extended and tuneful, if not quite the equal of the LCD-2, the Koss offers greater mid and treble transparency than the LCD-2.  I'm addicted to that transparency.

post #17 of 56
Thread Starter 

And they are sold for 700$ on ebaY. I wish I could hear them somewhere....

Makes me also to consider Stax now


Edited by pila405 - 3/21/13 at 3:40pm
post #18 of 56

Since you have not yet invested huge sums in dynamic equipment yet, I do think an electrostatic setup could be for you. All 'stats that I have tried do classical music extremely well. I'm listening to Bach on my SR-202 right now in fact and it's superb. The Lambda series Stax 'phones are incredibly detailed, transparent and open sounding, and not very hard to drive. With the Lambda series, I mean the rectangular, old-fashioned looking ones, of which the SR-207/307/407/507 are the latest ones.

I don't know how familiar you are with electrostats, so you may already know this, but they are entirely incompatible with amps for dynamic headphones. You will need a special amp for them. Stax makes good ones, and much more expensive third party options are also available.

While you might just be able to afford an SR-007 with your budget, I do not encourage it, because of your requirement: 'Won't require amplification\source which will cost another few grands...'

Maybe the SRS-4170 (SR-407 + amp) system is something for you. Looking on pricejapan.com it appears to fit your budget at the moment. Buying straight from Japan is the cheapest way to go for Stax, if you're not buying second hand that is.

 

Feel free to ask any questions here, or in the (huge) Stax thread where there are lots of people with much more experience than I have.

 

You should know about the Koss 'stats that they are sensitive to dust entering the drivers, possibly leading to soft squeeling noises when you're listening to them. On the other hand, they are covered by a lifetime warranty and Koss is said to be very generous in honoring it, no questions asked.

post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michgelsen View Post

Since you have not yet invested huge sums in dynamic equipment yet, I do think an electrostatic setup could be for you. All 'stats that I have tried do classical music extremely well. I'm listening to Bach on my SR-202 right now in fact and it's superb. The Lambda series Stax 'phones are incredibly detailed, transparent and open sounding, and not very hard to drive. With the Lambda series, I mean the rectangular, old-fashioned looking ones, of which the SR-207/307/407/507 are the latest ones.

I don't know how familiar you are with electrostats, so you may already know this, but they are entirely incompatible with amps for dynamic headphones. You will need a special amp for them. Stax makes good ones, and much more expensive third party options are also available.

While you might just be able to afford an SR-007 with your budget, I do not encourage it, because of your requirement: 'Won't require amplification\source which will cost another few grands...'

Maybe the SRS-4170 (SR-407 + amp) system is something for you. Looking on pricejapan.com it appears to fit your budget at the moment. Buying straight from Japan is the cheapest way to go for Stax, if you're not buying second hand that is.

 

Feel free to ask any questions here, or in the (huge) Stax thread where there are lots of people with much more experience than I have.

 

You should know about the Koss 'stats that they are sensitive to dust entering the drivers, possibly leading to soft squeeling noises when you're listening to them. On the other hand, they are covered by a lifetime warranty and Koss is said to be very generous in honoring it, no questions asked.

He siad he had the budget for a b22 and a buffalo dac. So I guess he could blow some cash on a stat amp. Haha...  highly uncompatible. More like completely :p in most cases. They'd be too strong and blow dynamic drivers a few times over. 

 

Not as big as the anime thread :)

 

Can agree on the Koss. The ESP/950 usually goes down the $600 and is pretty much king for everything below it and up to about $1200ish. 4 feet cable might not be ideal. Though it won't have much impact at all which is common of stats.  As for Koss, I've heard some horror stories, so maybe and maybe not. But I've talked to obobskavich and his is running fine and he hasn't had any problems, so it should be fine. 

post #20 of 56

I have also read good things about the Koss headphones, though I have never heard them. I have read some pretty bad things about the accompanying amp as well by the way, but luckily the 'phones can be driven by Stax amps with an adapter cable if you can make one.


Edited by Michgelsen - 3/21/13 at 5:56pm
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michgelsen View Post

I have also read good things about the Koss headphones, though I have never heard them. I have read some pretty bad things about the accompanying amp as well by the way, but luckily the 'phones can be driven by Stax amps with an adapter cable if you can make one.

 

I disagree.  I have hundreds of thousands of dollars of high end equip so a pretty face or big elegantly machined aluminum billet box no longer impresses me or makes me hear things that are not there (see "placebo effect" which 50% runs high end audio).

 

I am talking about the sound of the Koss with their amp as being fantastic.  If they are better with another amp, great.  But as they sit, as a package, they flat out work.  Don't let the little plastic box fool you.  And take the system as a whole.  And the sound as a whole, even at the $1k non-discounted price, is extremely good when all matters are factored in: listenability (which is very high), detail, (very respectable), etc.      


Edited by Operakid - 3/22/13 at 2:44pm
post #22 of 56
Thread Starter 

What 'phones have you heard in comparison? And what do you think about other 'phones in the 1.5K range in comparison?

post #23 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

 

see "placebo effect" which 50% runs high end audio

 

A valid point indeed.

post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michgelsen View Post

 

A valid point indeed.

 

I am a designer.  I pay attention to how folks react to looks, weight, the "machined from a billet" loo, and I use appearance to help my products be successful.  But I have seen, time after time, something a bit better than mediocre, get raves due to its looks, construction quality, weight, sheer "credibility" in appearance, and high price.  Don't forget high price.  Folks think "oh, it better be REALLY good if the price is high.  Well, it often is the opposite in luxury markets.  A high price can cause folks to "bracket" it, before hearing it, as one of the best.  A little plastic box like the Koss has?  I could easily sell a much larger, sexier box to folks even if it did not sound as good, just due to the expectation, based on looks, that it is better.   Look up the Ford Falcon in model 64.  The new Mustang came out as a "64.5", and sold like crazy as a sports-like car.  In reality, it was all Falcon, repackaged.

 

I bet most folks would say "that was then, it does not happen now".  Trust me, it does.  I see it first hand.  Perception is WAY more important than reality.  

post #25 of 56
Thread Starter 

Isn't reality only a synonym to perception?

 

And now back to our little discussion about 'phones and stuff...

 

Operakid, "What 'phones have you heard in comparison? And what do you think about other 'phones in the 1.5K range in comparison?"

post #26 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by pila405 View Post

Isn't reality only a synonym to perception?

 

And now back to our little discussion about 'phones and stuff...

 

Operakid, "What 'phones have you heard in comparison? And what do you think about other 'phones in the 1.5K range in comparison?"

Regarding reality being a synonym to perception, a philosopher, huh?  Did someone else coin that or did you just come up with it?  It's very nice and appropriate to my prior musing.

 

As for other phones, all the current Staxes save 007, Sigma, Lambda Pro, hd650, 600, 800, within 6 months.  I don't know all other phones in the 1.5k range for sure.  I am impressed by the Koss by how they sound relative to several very raved competition such as more expensive Stax and HD800 with some great amps.  Note I did not say they are as good as HD800 or much more expensive Stax models.  What I am impressed with is the overall quality of sound, the ease of listening achieved without a huge rolloff (which would be the easy way to "listenability") and how I sit there, right after hearing more expensive headphones, sit right back, and continue listening with joy.

 

If I were really struggling with money and every $700 really meant a lot I am pretty confident that the Koss would be  the ones I would keep, or buy if I did not have them.  I mean, amp, phones, connectors, lifetime warranty, all fits in a nice little case (small amp really helps there), great sound, nice detailing, and ease of listening.  The last 2 often don't come together!       

post #27 of 56

I am not presenting my suggestion as better than Michgelson's.  Very valid choice IMO (and I don't assume to know more or as much as him) that would require listening on your part to choose.  Problem is that is often hard to do.  I jumped in and bought a bunch of stuff as I could not get around to try them all out, and trying with different amps would have been ,more difficult.  So, I signed on to the "buy them and learn over time" method.  The Koss are easy to buy with return privileges.  The Stax, not so much.  A lot of the comparison between the two would be dependent on your own ears.    

post #28 of 56
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Operakid View Post

Regarding reality being a synonym to perception, a philosopher, huh?  Did someone else coin that or did you just come up with it?  It's very nice and appropriate to my prior musing.

I'm glad you like it. It is just the way I see things.

 

Thank you very much for the advice\'phones descriptions. I hope next week I will be able to have a go on most of these :)


Edited by pila405 - 3/23/13 at 12:31am
post #29 of 56

Keep us posted.

post #30 of 56
Thread Starter 

Sure will. Thank you very much for all you help guys :)

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