Originally Posted by negura
I fully understand where you are coming from. I have found this is not at all a problem with the SR-009s. That is with several amps, but even more so with the KGSSHV. For such resolving headphones, the SR-009s are quite accepting and a genre master with anything I throw at them: from Prodigy to Anathema and Rotting Christ to Verdi.
They are not perfect headphones, but about as good as they get technically. And very importantly do not exhibit any "glaring" flaws. :)
That said, I agree the HD800s can be tamed, but this is a mission and a hobby in itself for someone like me who likes to listen to one headphone for hours and hours on end.
Agree with negura's assertions. A good amp (e.g. full-size KGSShv, BHSE, T2) will coax enough bass & dynamics out of the 009 to make them excellent all-genre headphones for the majority of recordings. There's definitely some stuff -- e.g. thrash metal, or something particularly lean/bright sounding -- where I'd much rather pick up something like the ATH-L3000. But so far that's been the minority. The 009 are so good from top-to-bottom that they don't need to make concessions towards being forgiving. And when the recording is any better than mediocre (even just a tiny bit), the results are typically outstanding.
I've tried the HD800 now though SDS-XLR, GS-X Mk 2, Headamp Gilmore Balanced Reference, RSA Apache -- all in balanced mode from the same NAD51 source as with the 009 systems. And it's just a whole lot more difficult for me to get into it. The SDS-XLR gets me the closest, but that's probably filling in some bass more than neutral (sounds great, though). I also slightly preferred the Gilmore Balanced Reference to the GS-X Mk2 in all aspects except for that nasty HD800 treble peak, which was made worse (and kind of a deal-breaker, unfortunately). The GS-X Mk 2 is clean, neutral, and smooth from top-to-bottom, as expected; notably better than the Apache (which itself sounded pretty good in balanced mode).
Also borrowing some Lambda Pros -- they're a bit warmer and more forgiving, though (obviously) less resolving than the 009. Sounding great out of the KGSShv. Very nice; not a bad set to have around!
Edited by mulveling - 8/5/14 at 1:59pm