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Newbies first (and second) Proper Headphone Demo

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hey All,

 

I thought I would post my findings after (finally) getting my butt off to the local Hi-Fi store and would be interested in your thoughts about how I found the cans & some improvements to how I describe the sound (we all have to start somewhere!!)

 

Bit of background first, I am very new to the headphone scene but my god is it addictive!!!  prior to joining Head-fi my only headphones were the Sennheiser PXC300 noise cancelling portable headphones & the Senn CX300 IEM's.

 

My first post on Head-fi was to ask for recommendation for some proper cans but after much deliberation I decided to just dip my toe in the water (without spending too much cash) and bought the Superlux 662F for very little money.

 

I recently decided to head off to my local Hi-Fi store and try some higher end cans to see what I was missing, here are my findings from the first session:

 

Session 1 - Grado 225i, 325i, PS500, RS1i & Sennheiser HD600

 

I started out with the Grado PS500, Grado 225i and Senn HD600 using a Sennheiser HDVD800  headphone amp with two cans connected so I could swap quickly between the two.

 

The difference between the 225i and PS500 was quiet noticeable with the PS500 sounding much more rounded but a bit heavy on the bass. The HD600's were next up but compared to the PS500's, the Sennheisers sounded veiled or not as up front as the PS500's (almost like listening to the sound from just outside the door as opposed to being in the room)

 

The owner suggested trying the Grado RS1's against the PS500's and I have to say that I really liked these. The bass of the PS500 really stood out against the RS1's but listening to Massive Attacks Mezzanine I found that I wasn't enjoying the added bass (just a bit too much for me).

 

Next up were the 325i's and the RS1i's and again the 325's were better than the 225's with a much clearer sound stage but still not as good as the RS1's.

 

I swapped the headphone amp for my own Beresford Bushmaster DAC and listened to the RS1's a bit more, the only downside was that some of the vocals (especially on some acoustic tracks) sounded very bright almost to the point of slight lisp/hiss at the end of lyrics (hope that makes sense).

 

I thought that I would give the Senns another go with the Bushmaster and again the sound was much weaker in noise levels that the Grado's but sonically they were very good. Before leaving I decided to turn up the volume on the Senns a little bit to see what happens and I have to say they sounded a hell of a lot better!

 

All in all I left the store empty handed and a little confused!!! before I visited the store, I thought the 225i/325i would be more than enough can for me but compared to the RS1's they really were not in the same range (hardly surprising give the price difference). The PS500 were very clear (which is what I like) but the bass was a bit too much for me.

 

The RS1's were the stand out cans for me on the day but I was a little put off by the brightness on the vocals (i think the is the treble???) and the sound of the HD600 was lovely and clear but lacked that punch or forwardness of the Grado range.

 

Session 2 - Grado RS1i, GS1000i, Sennheiser HD650, Beyerdynamic T90

 

First up were the GS1000's and I found these heavy on the bass for my tastes (similar to the PS500).  Next up were the RS1i's which I tried before but these seemed to be less bright which I put down to the WA7 amp that I was using?? These are the one to beat so far....

 

Next up the HD650's and I really liked these, not as forward as the Grado's but a nice balance overall with not too much bass. The guy in the shop also echoed what I had read here & other forums that the HD650's need a good amp to get the best out of them.

 

Finally the T90's which I must admit I was trying out of curiosity and I am really glad that I did. The sound via the amp was very neutral but forgiving at the same time the brightness of the Grado's was non existent and the bass was really tight and punchy. these were a big surprise for me.

 

I also took the opportunity to try all three cans via a standard ipod and not surprising the HD650's struggled a little (but they are not made to be driven this way so hardly surprising!), the Grado's still sounded good and so did the T90's.

 

Finally I tried the T90's with the ipod and a Fiio E12 portable amp and they sounded really good.

All in all a very informative day for a headphone newby and it certainly opened my eyes to the Beyer range (although i cant see myself splashing out on the Tesla T1's

 

Again please accept my apologies for the newbie language but like I said we all have to start somewhere and at lease I am keen to get involved on the forum :blink:

post #2 of 17

Are you in auckland by any chance? I was reading through the message and the session two sounded very familiar to me.. Did you go to Computer Lounge? ;)

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hahaha small world, thats me!! (are you the guy that helped me this afternoon?)

 

I was hoping to come back today with the DAC but didnt make it :(

post #4 of 17

It was indeed me :)

 

No worries at all i thought that is what happened~

 

I would have given you HD700 or HD800's to try too but sold out, got some more coming next week though (I know - bad :P)

 

You seemed to be swaying towards the T90's though to be honest and they are more of a rounded headphone from the music you were listening too.


The grado's are great but aren't what you would call a all round headphone.


Might have to help out with a lil' more discount for you ;)

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revogamer View Post
 

It was indeed me :)

 

No worries at all i thought that is what happened~

 

I would have given you HD700 or HD800's to try too but sold out, got some more coming next week though (I know - bad :P)

 

You seemed to be swaying towards the T90's though to be honest and they are more of a rounded headphone from the music you were listening too.


The grado's are great but aren't what you would call a all round headphone.


Might have to help out with a lil' more discount for you ;)

Well firstly thanks for the time today, it really helped to get my head around the different sounds and cans!! and the additional discount might certainly twist my arm ;-)

 

Do you think its worth me trying out any of the ATH range equivalent to the price point of the T90's?

post #6 of 17

Hmm.. well i still prefer the beyer sound myself to the AT's although you may prefer them? Very hard to say~

 

Will hopefully have some AD2000's in early oct' too; Although the T90's will still be more of a well rounded headphone than the audio technica's too tbh;

 

Then time to get a better amp :D

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that,  I will definitely be back in soon to try the T90 with the Beresford DAC.

 

For anyone else reading this & happen to be in Auckland, you cant do a lot better than the service and selection at computer lounge (sorry for the shameless plug but I was really grateful for the time & advice today).

post #8 of 17

No worries at all; appretiate it! trying hard to get a good range in NZ finally! 

post #9 of 17

If the pricing was more reasonable - I'd definitely be buying from you.  Unfortunately - so much easier to buy across the net and bring them in myself from US.

 

@JJH2204 - on of the problems with quick swaps of polar opposite headphones (ie any Grado and the HD600 or similar) - is that it will make HP like the HD600 seem veiled.  Would suggest next time to spend 15-120 minutes just listening to the HD600 & let yourself get accustomed to them.  Then try switching to the Grados.  They'l then sound unnaturally bright - rather than the HD600 being 'veiled'.

 

You could actually do a lot worse than getting both as they do really compliment each other ;)

 

@Revogamer - I've bought a bit of your computer gear over time.  What sort of pricing can you do on the HD800 and RS1i?  PM me if you want.  I'm in Invercargill.  It is a serious request.  I'm considering buying both over the next 24 months.

 

Cheers

 

Paul

post #10 of 17

Pm'd :)

post #11 of 17

Thanks mate.  Appreciate it.

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks Brooko I think you are right re hot swapping between cans, it definitely happened going from RS1is to the HD600 in my first session but was the opposite today going from the RS1i's to the T90's (the grados really faded in comparison to the wide sound stage of the T90's.

 

I have looked around on Head-Fi for some additional reviews of the T90's but there doesnt seem to be many posts/lots of love out there?? any idea why???

 

@revogamer, dont forget my special discount ;-)

post #13 of 17

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607079/beyerdynamic-t90-d

 

Check out the appretiation thread;

 

It is an overlooked headphone though tbh; with the T1 just above it~ (Although i find it great value compared)

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revogamer View Post
 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/607079/beyerdynamic-t90-d

 

Check out the appretiation thread;

 

It is an overlooked headphone though tbh; with the T1 just above it~ (Although i find it great value compared)

Thanks Matey, i will have a detailed  read through the thread but the ones i have just read all look really positive.

 

I was hoping to get back into the shop this week but it looks like that might not be a go-er so probably be back in early next week.

 

One more quick question, I don't suppose these come on sale at any time (I can probably guess the answer but no harm in asking :-)

post #15 of 17

No sale's really coming up on them; but will do my best to get you a good price anyway :)

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