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Hello from an Excited Newbie Coming to Head-Fi...Can anyone help me find a pair of Suitable...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hie I'm Jeff!

It has been about 15 years since I last made any great effort or expense to surround my self with quality sound reproduction equipment and the urge has returned in a very small way. Back in the day I was not a headphone listener really. I had a pair of the first gen Grado-SR60's and Sony MDR-VR-6's but I was way more focused on my preferred listening style with floorstanding speakers. At the time I had Rega Planar II turntable (with wood trim) and Sumiko Premier MMT Tonearm, Arcam Alpha 9 Cd player, DH Audio Labs PSS Model 500 Silver Passive Preamp (Made By David Hum), and a Muse Model 160 Power Amp. I have always loved electrostatic speakers so I started with the Martin Logan Aerius' but moved up quickly to SL3's. I very much enjoyed them but when I auditioned the Anthony Gallo Acoustics Nucleus Solos with their Cylindrical Diaphragm Transducer Tweeters (God, I wish I never sold them) I was in love!!! They were a pain to place in the room but when set just right they were amazingly transparent with a soundstage I had never experienced the likes of before or since. Well I moved from this location and sold everything. I never really looked back.

 

I have since become an avid birder and photographer. The bulk of my money goes to this ridulously expensive hobby but my wifehas also started geting into making audio recordings of birds so I needed to buy her some decent headphones for this purpose. Sound isolation was of the essence and so I decided to buy her a pair of the tried and true Audio-Technica ATH-M50's. She Loves them! And they sparked in me a desire to hear music better again. Currently when not using Spotify on my Droid or on my PC I rip cds as full wavs to my hard-drive and spdif them to an Outlaw Audio 1050 A/v receiver and play them on 4 Modified Radio Shack Pro-LX5 speakers (Linaeum Tweeters and replaced the woofers) and PSB Center channel and Athena sub. Certainly nothing to writed home about! But with the purchase of the ATH-M50's I rediscovered the 1/4" jack outlet on the front of my Outlaw amp. All this got me wondering if I may be back on the good end of the law of diminishing returns and if a small investment in some decent headphones might greatly increase my listening enjoyment. I listen to about 50% Jazz (I'm a Miles Davis Collector) and 50% Hipster Crap (as my wife calls it. Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Devandra Banhart, you know Faux Folk.) ;) My listening preferences have always leaned toward the electrostatic strong suits, transparency, accuracy, huge soundstage (ha) and the ability to make a high-hat sparkle. These are of course riduclous preferences given I would rather not spend more than $200 on a pair of headphones (used or new) right now but I thought I would throw the preferences out there anyway. Btw the way I realize the ATH-M50's are passé and I will reveal what a noephyte I am but I really liked the sound of them if that helps people may recommendations. I would prefer Closed ear isolating cans that would allow me to listen without driving the wife nuts but beggars cannot be choosers. Anyone out there selling a used $200 pair of Stax headphones, ok no?, then where should I start? ;) Thanks so much for the help and tolerating my life story. :)

 

regards,
jeff

Downingtown, PA

Checkout our bird photos at the link below:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffamy/


 


Edited by jwdjwd67 - 7/17/13 at 12:56pm
post #2 of 9

If your plugging headphones into a receiver, headphones in the 250-Ohm to 300-Ohm would be safe.

AKG 120-Ohm and 62-Ohm should also work.

 

You prefer (need) to use closed headphones.

Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250-Ohm (closed) headphones.

 

I would hope to talking you into getting open headphones.

Beyerdynamic DT880s 250-Ohm (used)

AKG K601 120-Ohm

AKG Q701 62-Ohm (used)


Edited by PurpleAngel - 7/17/13 at 9:49pm
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Oh I'm sure I can be talked in to open ear since they are more fitting to the sound signature I'm looking for I think. How expensive a headphone amp will I need with one of these high ohm Headphones and my phone for portable listening?

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdjwd67 View Post

Oh I'm sure I can be talked in to open ear since they are more fitting to the sound signature I'm looking for I think. How expensive a headphone amp will I need with one of these high ohm Headphones and my phone for portable listening?

High impedance (100-Ohm to 600-Ohm) are great for plugging into receivers, but not with portable audio.

Where as lower impedance (16-Ohm to 40-Ohm) are great for portable audio, but not something to plug directly into receivers.

 

I would say to buy some JVC HA-S500 ($56) or HA-S400 ($30) folding portable (closed) headphones, as they will work fine plugged straight into your phone.

 

Right now the AKG K601 & Q701 (open headphones) are selling for $200, might find better deals on used ones on eBay.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm sorry I have not mentioned it already but thank you very much for your response to my post.

I was thinking that if I went with one of the higher ohm models I would need to invest in a Portable Headphone Amp to drive it but you suggest to invest in a decent (cheap) low ohm HP dedicated to the lower fidelity portable sources and stick with a high Ohm pair of headphones dedicated to Outlaw and home listening. That makes very good sense. Have you had any experience with the CAL's Creative Audio Lives? Would a pair of these be good for portable listening if a nice price could be found or do the JVC HA-S500 surpass them for my needs? Thanks again!

 

regards

jeff

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdjwd67 View Post

I'm sorry I have not mentioned it already but thank you very much for your response to my post.

I was thinking that if I went with one of the higher ohm models I would need to invest in a Portable Headphone Amp to drive it but you suggest to invest in a decent (cheap) low ohm HP dedicated to the lower fidelity portable sources and stick with a high Ohm pair of headphones dedicated to Outlaw and home listening. That makes very good sense. Have you had any experience with the CAL's Creative Audio Lives? Would a pair of these be good for portable listening if a nice price could be found or do the JVC HA-S500 surpass them for my needs? Thanks again!

I do own the CALs, currently one of the cups is broken off.

The CALs do have good audio quality......but for me my ears seem to be sitting about 2mm from the cups diaphragm, so I could only wear them for 15 minutes before my ears seemed "bothered"(?) and I would need to take the CALs off.

 

So for me personally, I would take the JVCs over the CALs anytime.

Also with the JVC HA-S500 (or HA-S400s) it's about $16 to order different ear pads for them, Velour or leather.

The JVC use the same ear pads as some Audio Technica headphones.

Changing the pads can affect the "favor" of the JVC's audio, personally I like the Velour pads, not for effecting sound quality, but for the comfort.

 

Here is a link to a HA-S500 fan thread, you can ask to see if others have a informed opinion on CALs verses JVCs.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/621063/the-jvc-ha-s500-appreciation-fan-thread

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well I pretty much just took your advice hook line and sinker!

I bought myself a pair of Black pair JVC HA-S500 which are way better than any $50 headphone have a right to be! Just amazing for the price they sell for and very listenable with portable audible.Thanks. I also purchased a pair of the AKG Q701's that should arrive today. I am certainly excited. I did buy new ones so I would expect a burn in period. Any suggestions of where to pick up some noise recordings to facilitate burning in? I used to have one of the Sterophile Test CD's and I loved it but can't find it anyone. Thanks again so much, Love the JVC's so far!

regards

jeff

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwdjwd67 View Post

Well I pretty much just took your advice hook line and sinker!

I bought myself a pair of Black pair JVC HA-S500 which are way better than any $50 headphone have a right to be! Just amazing for the price they sell for and very listenable with portable audible.Thanks. I also purchased a pair of the AKG Q701's that should arrive today. I am certainly excited. I did buy new ones so I would expect a burn in period. Any suggestions of where to pick up some noise recordings to facilitate burning in? I used to have one of the Sterophile Test CD's and I loved it but can't find it anyone. Thanks again so much, Love the JVC's so far!

What price did you pay for the Q701s?

I've been thinking of adding a black Q701 to my collection.

 

For breaking in my headphones, I leave them plugged into a receiver, tune into the "Metal" channel and leave the volume at something a little higher then normal volume and cover the headphones with something to block the noise, I do that for a few nights.

 

I would guess there must be some white noise audio or pink noise audio on Youtube.

 

The JVC headphones use carbon nanotube in the diaphragm, I'm assuming carbon nanotube is around the hardness of diamond and very light.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

I paid the Amazon Price of $245. I know over budget. I almost went with the amazon warehouse offerings but I had a bad experience with them and decided to go new. They arrived last night and I listened to them with zero burn in time. I must say I am very disappointed... That I hadn't bought these sooner!!! Amazing! Again I have always been a loudspeaker guy and have very limited experience with good quality headphones but it sure seems to me I would have to spend 4x the money to get speakers that approach the quality of these HPs. Beautifully detailed and transparent (especially for $245 dynamic drivers ;) and I have an actual soundstage again! The Outlaw really did a great job! I can see (perhaps for this first time since I have been more decidedly low-fi since I purchase the receiver used for $200) why it was once considered a two-channel man's A/V amp. I am incredibly pleased. Thank you for the advice!

regards

jeff

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