Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Open Classical Music Headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Open Classical Music Headphones - Page 4

post #46 of 59
Thread Starter 

Hey, so once again for only classical music (all types):

 

DT880

HD580 (With HD600 grills)

FA-011

 

From most expensive to least.

post #47 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by XHale View Post

Hey, so once again for only classical music (all types):

DT880
HD580 (With HD600 grills)
FA-011

From most expensive to least.

Just reading this thread with the same basic question that you had. I wondered what phones you ended up getting got and your comments on the new phones. I use a Sennheiser HD558 with Aune T1 DAC/amp. This is fine for classical with small ensemble or piano solo (which I love) but large ensemble/orchestral simply aren't captured as well.
post #48 of 59
i'd take the k701 over the 880 anyday of the week for classical. The 880 is just too sterile, the music just seems to be so distant. The k701 also does a better job of relaying the different textures within music. The 600 is a good option as well, it's more coherent finally, however I found it to be a bit dry and slightly veiled.
post #49 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

Interesting comments, Lug. The DT880 is certainly bright, and I wouldn't generally recommend it with a headphone amp (as opposed to an integrated) unless you have some way to EQ. But once that top is rounded off a little the 880 is an incredible neutral and open phone that just sounds (to these old ears anyway) right, in a way I haven't heard from any other phone, not the HD650, the HE-500 or even the LCD-2 Rev1.

 

Not sure what you mean by "soft sounding". If I had to pick a phone I wouldn't describe as  "soft sounding" it'd be the 880. Unless of course you mean smooth. Also I can't agree that it's light on bass; it sounds just right in that area, with no lack and no exaggeration. Problem here is that not only do we all hear differently and have different equipment, but Beyer offer 3--count them, 3--different 880s, making things really complicated. And not just 3 impedances: the Pro, which I have, has a much higher clamping force and a different lead. Given all that, it's no wonder there are so many conflicting views on this phone.

 

Still, for me any 880 is better than no 880.  tongue.gif

Just seen this post now mate... :D (only a month and a half later... I've been hiding in the vintage thread)

 

Yeah I think I did mean smooth... But also 'soft' as opposed to 'hard' sounding because 'hard' they are not to my ears. Some headphones can sound irritating if they are hard sounding in the treble ~(Grado's spring to mind). So I meant the 880's aren't hard sounding... So 'soft' was the best I could come up with :D  

 

I totally understand why you like them for classical, especially orchestral. They do render strings beautifully. Very open, 'smooth' (not soft) and highly detailed. The brief time I owned them I was limited to a couple of headphone amps. If I was to try them now with my collection of vintage amps I'm sure I would like them even more! I also agree that they are better than both the orthos for classical.

post #50 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post

Just seen this post now mate... :D (only a month and a half later... I've been hiding in the vintage thread)

 

I totally understand why you like them for classical, especially orchestral. They do render strings beautifully. Very open, 'smooth' (not soft) and highly detailed. The brief time I owned them I was limited to a couple of headphone amps. If I was to try them now with my collection of vintage amps I'm sure I would like them even more! I also agree that they are better than both the orthos for classical.

 

Yes. I've been trying to figure out what I said to upset you.   wink.gif

 

You might recall that I had a hard time deciding between the 880 and HE-500, finally coming down on the side of the former and selling the latter. Well, the Ebay gods have smiled on me and I spotted another HE-500 at a price too good to pass up. Haven't got it yet, but when I do I'll be putting your last sentence to the test all over again. It never ends, does it?  tongue.gif

 

Incidentally, this deal includes a HiFiman adaptor for use with integrateds. Don't know much about this, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who does. They say the sound is better from the speaker output stage, but I've never been able to figure out why since most integrateds take their HP output from the speaker outs through resistors, which is pretty much the same setup.  

post #51 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

Yes. I've been trying to figure out what I said to upset you.   wink.gif

 

You might recall that I had a hard time deciding between the 880 and HE-500, finally coming down on the side of the former and selling the latter. Well, the Ebay gods have smiled on me and I spotted another HE-500 at a price too good to pass up. Haven't got it yet, but when I do I'll be putting your last sentence to the test all over again. It never ends, does it?  tongue.gif

 

Incidentally, this deal includes a HiFiman adaptor for use with integrateds. Don't know much about this, but I'd be interested to hear from anyone who does. They say the sound is better from the speaker output stage, but I've never been able to figure out why since most integrateds take their HP output from the speaker outs through resistors, which is pretty much the same setup.  

Haha nooo you couldn't upset me! 

 

Keep us posted, I never got a chance to try the hifimans through speaker outs but I've read many positive things. 

 

You're right about the integrateds taking their power direct from the main transistor, and this tends to be on older amps generally (there may be current exceptions I'm not sure, or higher end ones that still do this now). It was the invention of opamps that buggered it all up haha. I think that was in the mid to late eighties. So amps before this period with a hp out will tend to have a high impedance and loads of voltage drive. Similar to tube amps. So higher impedance hp's can sound amazing. Or those unpredictable planars! 

 

I've been delving into 70's hifi as of late and loving the warm, sweet sound of the old Pioneer, Marantz, Technics etc. Wish I still had an Orthos to try on them because the power that they give out is crazy! I can hardly get the volume pot off the ground with my Sennheisers. 

post #52 of 59
Quote:

Originally Posted by LugBug1 View Post


You're right about the integrateds taking their power direct from the main transistor, and this tends to be on older amps generally (there may be current exceptions I'm not sure, or higher end ones that still do this now). It was the invention of opamps that buggered it all up haha. I think that was in the mid to late eighties. So amps before this period with a hp out will tend to have a high impedance and loads of voltage drive. Similar to tube amps. So higher impedance hp's can sound amazing. Or those unpredictable planars! 

 

 

I always hesitate to contradict a mate, but this question has been in contention for some time, most notably in an old thread that generated considerable heat:--  do recent (that is, from say mid 80s to now) integrateds and stereo receivers take their HP outs from the speaker taps or use cheap op amp based mini amps. The general consensus, which I can confirm from having opened scores of amps from this period, is that virtually all manufacturers take output from the speaker taps via resistors--a consensus that was further bolstered by one poster contacting most of the major manufacturers and simply asking them. And of course, when you think about it, it's logical. Why would mass manufacturers spend money on extra parts when they can just tap the speakers outs? They do what's easiest and cheapest.

 

Naturally some manufacturers like to be different. Cambridge audio amps above the 340A have separate amps. So do the expensive NADS. And needless to say all pre-amps have separate HP amps. Otherwise I think you'll find that most quality amp of recent vintage will tap the speakers for HP output.

 

So the old myth about 5c op amps in the HP outs is just that. And the idea that you have to go back to the 70s to escape those 5c op amps is equally wrong, In my experience the best value in integrateds  are quality Marantz, NAD and Rotel  units from around '95 up to now. I've recently tried the NAD 326BEE and Cambridge 340A and both are brilliant with headphones. However, neither impressed me more than my humble Marantz SR4200 HT receiver, so there you go. Sometimes great treasures lie in the darkest corners.

post #53 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

I always hesitate to contradict a mate, but this question has been in contention for some time, most notably in an old thread that generated considerable heat:--  do recent (that is, from say mid 80s to now) integrateds and stereo receivers take their HP outs from the speaker taps or use cheap op amp based mini amps. The general consensus, which I can confirm from having opened scores of amps from this period, is that virtually all manufacturers take output from the speaker taps via resistors--a consensus that was further bolstered by one poster contacting most of the major manufacturers and simply asking them. And of course, when you think about it, it's logical. Why would mass manufacturers spend money on extra parts when they can just tap the speakers outs? They do what's easiest and cheapest.

 

Naturally some manufacturers like to be different. Cambridge audio amps above the 340A have separate amps. So do the expensive NADS. And needless to say all pre-amps have separate HP amps. Otherwise I think you'll find that most quality amp of recent vintage will tap the speakers for HP output.

 

So the old myth about 5c op amps in the HP outs is just that. And the idea that you have to go back to the 70s to escape those 5c op amps is equally wrong, In my experience the best value in integrateds  are quality Marantz, NAD and Rotel  units from around '95 up to now. I've recently tried the NAD 326BEE and Cambridge 340A and both are brilliant with headphones. However, neither impressed me more than my humble Marantz SR4200 HT receiver, so there you go. Sometimes great treasures lie in the darkest corners.

To be fair mate, you know better than me. I'm new to the 'old' integrates and I'm learning as I go. I've never looked inside anything newer than 1980.. 

I'm leaning towards checking out some newer models now though! 

 

beerchug.gif

post #54 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

[...]

Naturally some manufacturers like to be different. Cambridge audio amps above the 340A have separate amps. So do the expensive NADS. And needless to say all pre-amps have separate HP amps. Otherwise I think you'll find that most quality amp of recent vintage will tap the speakers for HP output.

[...]

 

Going off topic a bit here, but just to add to the list, Red Wine Audio's Signature 16 has a separate headphone amp stage. To bring it back on topic a bit, pumping classical through it into some HD-650s sounds spectacular. Handles the delicacy of a handbell just as well as the thrust of a pipe organ!

post #55 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by brhfl View Post

Going off topic a bit here, but just to add to the list, Red Wine Audio's Signature 16 has a separate headphone amp stage. To bring it back on topic a bit, pumping classical through it into some HD-650s sounds spectacular. Handles the delicacy of a handbell just as well as the thrust of a pipe organ!

 

Yes, I should have made clear that I was referring to budget and mid-price gear only. As suggested by the top end NADs, most expensive gear uses separate HP amps--they can afford to. Personally I'm against it, as I believe the signal sent to headphones should be just a reduced (and of course impedance modified) version of that sent to the speakers. Otherwise how can you choose a good amp for headphones based on reviews? You wouldn't know what you were getting.

post #56 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

Yes, I should have made clear that I was referring to budget and mid-price gear only. As suggested by the top end NADs, most expensive gear uses separate HP amps--they can afford to. Personally I'm against it, as I believe the signal sent to headphones should be just a reduced (and of course impedance modified) version of that sent to the speakers. Otherwise how can you choose a good amp for headphones based on reviews? You wouldn't know what you were getting.

Oh, I realized your list wasn't intended to be exhaustive, just thought I'd throw it in there. I'm not necessarily sure I'd agree that pulling off of the speaker amp is necessarily the best idea when headphones may have very different demands than speakers. And choosing based on reviews, well, you'd look for reviews that mentioned headphone listening, of course! But ultimately the ears will be the judge, and if a pairing is good I am all for simplicity in circuit design. I would certainly prefer a company design one good amp even if the headphone output is less than ideal, vs. half-assing two separate stages.

post #57 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by brhfl View Post

 And choosing based on reviews, well, you'd look for reviews that mentioned headphone listening, of course!

 

Ay, and there's the rub, as Will Shakespeare used to say. They almost never mention headphone listening, and when they do, it's almost never with anything above a Senn 580, if that. To almost everyone outside this forum, headphones are an afterthought.

post #58 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by pp312 View Post

 

Ay, and there's the rub, as Will Shakespeare used to say. They almost never mention headphone listening, and when they do, it's almost never with anything above a Senn 580, if that. To almost everyone outside this forum, headphones are an afterthought.

Yeah… Point taken.

post #59 of 59
For classical:

K601 on a small budget
HD600 on a decent budget
HD800 on a big budget
SR009 on a ridiculous budget
Edited by eugenius - 7/27/13 at 2:30pm
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Open Classical Music Headphones