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