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Time to upgrade, and I'm clueless!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I sold off my DT 990 Pro and AD900x last night on eBay.

 

So everyone, I'm hoping someone will have a recommendation as to the next true upgrade for a good price.

 

 

So far I've owned the MA900, DT 990 Pro 250, and AD900x.

 

  • My main issues with the MA900 were the build materials, and the cloth pads.  The sounded more neutral than the other two, but very dull.
  • The AD900x was a whole lot smoother, sounded more spacious, and felt better on the hand/head.  It does sound unnatural to me with a lot of American Rock, and fails to separate fast percussion in almost any track I throw at it.  Electronica/Dubstep doesn't bode well either, as the tonality and bass doesn't sound right to me.  In most of my music, I felt the AD900x to be a little too bright in the treble.
  • The DT990 Pro actually sounded darker compared to the AD900x on my Walkman Z and Musiland 02.  I really liked the tonality of the guitar and piano on the 990.  The bass had far more texture than the other two, and did not just sound like thumps.  Cymbals were more defined as well.  The pads on the DT990 were my favorite, as the surrounded my ears and felt very good.  They lacked emotion in the vocals, and they were recessed some.

 

 

So after owning and listening to all three:

  • A real headband!  The cups often slid and pulled down on my head with the Audio Technica line.
  • Build quality would be nice, not needed but would be preferred.
  • Velour pads similar to the DT990's, that surround the ear and not press against it.
  • Well defined and textured lows, bass impact on level with the AD900x or greater.
  • Soundstage!  Doesn't have to be as large as the AD900x, the DT990 seemed ample to me.  Definitely open, or closed that can feel as spacious as either 3.
  • Mids do not need to be forward, but certainly not recessed.  Would like them to be airy and breathtaking like the AD900x.  At the same time I do not want them to be too forward as I often am focused on the instruments.
  • I'd like to have just a notch less energy on the treble compared to the AD900x.
  • Added details on all the frequencies
  • After hearing all three I do not want something as dark as the MA900, but certainly not painfully bright.

 

I have a fairly large genre capacity, and will listen to almost anything besides poorly written hip-hop/pop/indie/etc.  If I find it has good lyrics and a catchy tune, its a song to me!  

 

I am usually keen to orchestra type music with female vocals, rock (grunge, alt, heavy), metal (symphonic), trending music, country, electronica (dubstep w vocals, house), and jazz.

 

I really do not want a overly bright one this time, something that is comfortable and keyword, magical.  I want to be captivated and at the same time not fatigued.  I really like the emotion in female vocals on the AD900x, and like sound of Rock on the DT990.

 

 

In terms of budget, I think the most I would be willing to pay is $500.  My dac/amp will be an Aune T1, and I don't plan on upgrading it anytime soon.

 

Any suggestions are welcome and appreciated.  I want this purchase to last me a good while, not 2-3 months I need something new biggrin.gif

post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 

Bump

 

__And possibly a placeholder rolleyes.gif

post #3 of 16

hd600, mad dogs, fidelio x1 are good looking options

Why not upgrade your source and amp?

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaHat View Post

hd600, mad dogs, fidelio x1 are good looking options

Why not upgrade your source and amp?

Just bought the Aune T1.  It should suffice, as it is practically a Musiland 02 with a better amp.

 

From what I've read, the fidelio x1 seem to have so-so mids.

I'd like some more sub-bass than the hd600 has to offer.

The mad dogs are supposedly dark, not sure how I will take that.

 

I'm being picky at this point haha

post #5 of 16

how about HE-400?

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirisame Touko View Post

how about HE-400?

I was thinking about the HE-400, read that the mids would be better than the DT990.  This was about a year ago, and Hifiman has made several revisions on this model..

I wish there was a place to audition them >.>

 

My goal is to find a headphone I like, buy it, and not look back lol.

 

Most of my music falls into rock (guitar a/e, drums, bass), instrumental (anything you could find in an orchestra), metal, and synthesized

I generally listen to faster paced music

I usually listen to music with vocals

Those vocals tend to be male or female, roughly equal in my library

Vocals tend to carry more emotion than aggressiveness

 

Here is an example:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xix4le_pv-scarlet-knight-by-mizuki-nana_music

 

The AD900x is a bit too bright, and I can't makeout low end details

The DT990 could not nail the midrange, and there was something about the treble I didn't like

The MA900 was too dull, no magic happening anywhere

 

They weren't bad, but I would like to hear a real upgrade.  There has to be something mid-fi right?  It goes against my principals to buy something like the LCD-3, I do not have time to listen all day XD


Edited by Yazen - 7/28/13 at 7:27pm
post #7 of 16

Those are basically all the heavy hitters under $500. I had a similar dilemma until a realized maybe having two headphones with different duties isn't such a bad thing, unless you're down to spend a bit more to get what you really want. If so check out the he-500.


Edited by PanamaHat - 7/28/13 at 8:14pm
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaHat View Post

Those are basically all the heavy hitters under $500. I had a similar dilemma until a realized maybe having two headphones with different duties isn't such a bad thing, unless you're down to spend a bit more to get what you really want. If so check out the he-500.

My first dilemma was having three headphones, which added to around $530.

My second dilemma would have been buying the same headphones I just sold at a loss biggrin.gif

I could buy the HE-500, but I highly doubt it could be powered sufficiently by an Aune T1.

 

Do you know anything about the current HE-400, as to if they are better technically than my previous three headphones?  I'm afraid they are over-hyped, and are not worth the steady $399 they have been going for.

I do not want a bass oriented headphone, in fact the AD900x was really sufficient for me.  Just needed texture and detail, I want to hear more than tight thumping noises.

post #9 of 16

I only heard them briefly, not enough to give a real impression. Snare drums in hip-hop did sound kinda tizzy though, that much I recall.

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaHat View Post

I only heard them briefly, not enough to give a real impression. Snare drums in hip-hop did sound kinda tizzy though, that much I recall.

Hmm..  I think I have three dilemmas now >.> 

I should just spend the $2k already, but I'd rather put it towards a new car.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazen View Post

My first dilemma was having three headphones, which added to around $530.
My second dilemma would have been buying the same headphones I just sold at a loss biggrin.gif

I could buy the HE-500, but I highly doubt it could be powered sufficiently by an Aune T1.


Do you know anything about the current HE-400, as to if they are better technically than my previous three headphones?  I'm afraid they are over-hyped, and are not worth the steady $399 they have been going for.


I do not want a bass oriented headphone, in fact the AD900x was really sufficient for me.  Just needed texture and detail, I want to hear more than tight thumping noises.
You do get texture and detail with that he-400 or even better a closed can,
But I find the he-400 too thick and dark compared to my can history check my profile. I found it just dark and heavy sounding. Bass & lower mids prominent.
Plus you will always need amping.
Edited by Maxx134 - 7/29/13 at 9:01am
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post


You do get texture and detail with that he-400 or even better a closed can,
But I find the he-400 too thick and dark compared to my can history check my profile. I found it just dark and heavy sounding. Bass & lower mids prominent.
Plus you will always need amping.

In order to get a better idea on dark and heavy, is there a similar headphone as to audition it at a retail store?  The closest thing I had to dark and heavy was the MA900, so if you would be able to do a comparison that would be wonderful.

 

So far my list includes the AD1000x, DT880, MA900, and HE-400.

 

I really enjoy vocals, which sounded better on the AD900x (compared to MA900 and DT990).  The DT880 will likely have the tonality I like in the music instruments, but the mids are so-so.  The MA900 doesn't have as much treble energy as the AD900x (which I liked), but sounded dull and closed at times.  The HE-400 is surrounded in so much hype...

 

Looking for the strong, emotional mids of the AT line combined with a better instrument tonality (such as the DT880).  Instruments on my AD900x sounded too cheerful at times, and 70s electric guitar had a weird tone to it.


I was hoping the AD1000x was that kind of headphone..

post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yazen View Post


I was hoping the AD1000x was that kind of headphone..

 

Personally i've heard nothing but lukewarm to some what negative comments regarding AD1000x. From what i hear AD900x is the best value and if your upgrading go to AD2000x and skip the 1000x. Of course i have no personal experience to support this but thats what i personally found a long time ago when i was seriously considering a ADx model. (i was also a AD900x owner myself in the past)

 

 

If you do not have the ability to get a better amp i don't think HE-500 is a good idea. However i believe that HE-500 has great vocals and mids with deep bass (however i do not find it bass heavy) and may be what you are looking for however. The main improvement of HE-500 over the HE-400 is the treble. In my opinion its a phone that costs several hundred dollars less than flagships but can compete with them on very close to even grounds

 

Also if you are really unsure of yourself you can always purchase phones from a store with a great no questions asked return policy (like headroom -> you only lose the shipping back cost 30 days no questions asked) and try somethings out.

post #14 of 16
The he-400 is darker/thicker sound over the Sony ma900 wich by the way is also light as a feather compared to it.
You like quality sound and want speed and texture without need for heavy amping I would look into beyer t90 but it may have a bright upper end so I would go maddogs as they have it all only less wide soundstage than an open can but that's what I did as I sold my beyer t90 for the w3000anv wich is a closed can but had mids I was looking for.
If I was to get another high end home can it would be the ad2000x or a maddog but thats me.
Edited by Maxx134 - 7/30/13 at 10:47am
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxx134 View Post

The he-400 is darker/thicker sound over the Sony ma900 wich by the way is also light as a feather compared to it.
You like quality sound and want speed and texture without need for heavy amping I would look into beyer t90 but it may have a bright upper end so I would go maddogs as they have it all only less wide soundstage than an open can but that's what I did as I sold my beyer t90 for the w3000anv wich is a closed can but had mids I was looking for.
If I was to get another high end home can it would be the ad2000x or a maddog but thats me.

I was recommended a t50rp zmf modded for $180.  Are they really worth it?

 

I could get the T90, but I'm a little uncomfortable about owning a headphone this expensive.  Is there upper end brighter/as bright as the DT990 Pro?

I'm familiar with the AD line, but I thought maybe a different make would suit my tastes more.  I know for a fact I love the AT mids, but hate the way they sound with certain instruments.

 

Afraid to get a modded headphone, what should my expectations be?

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