Hello. First post on here, though I have read extensively on these forums and found them extremely useful.
I have an Icon Audio HP8 mk II tube amp and currently use some Denon AH-D7000 phones. While I'm generally pleased with the combination, there are two areas I'd like to improve on. Firstly, soundstage: a bit limited with the Denons, which I assume is partly down to the closed back design. Secondly, comfort: I don't find the Denons that comfortable for protracted periods, by which I mean anything beyond around one CD's worth of music.
While we're on the subject, my sources are a Leema Antila IIs CD player, and an iPod / Onkyo NDS1 / Arcam rDAC combination.
My music tastes are general rock and pop, not really classical or jazz. Or metal, apart from a bit of Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, and Them Crooked Vultures. Recent CD purchases (for a bit of background) include Arctic Monkeys, Goldfrapp, Leonard Cohen, Deacon Blue, Mark Knopfler, JJ Cale, Jools Holland Big Band Orchestra, and Lana del Rey.
I would ideally like to find a headphone with an expansive soundstage, such that you almost forget the phones are there. Probably unlikely given that they're clamped to the side of my head, but anyway.
I'm currently thinking of an open or semi-open design. Budget no more than £500-600, but ideally less if possible as I suspect there's a law of diminishing returns with headphones beyond a certain price point (don't ask me what that price is). However, if there's a view that a pair of T1s would be fantastic then I suppose I could haunt eBay and see what comes up.
Otherwise I will aim to audition new ones. I just need to narrow the list down, which so far consists of Sennheiser HD600 or 650, Shure 1840, Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm (seems to be perhaps an under-rated phone, from what I've read), Beyerdynamic T90, and AKG 702. My budget will have to include any after market cables, if there's a strong view that they make a significant difference to the stock ones (and I appreciate that not all of these models have detachable cables).
So, does anyone out there have the Icon amp, and if so which phones really work well with it?
Thanks for any help.