For those that prefer the short questions... will I be disappointed if I buy a pair of HD600s to replace my HD575s ? How will they differ in sound ?
For those that have time to kill.. you're invited to read on :)
I joined the Head-Fi forums waay back in 2004, and I found much good advice from reading here. I've returned to seek the wisdom of those that I know are more knowledgeable and experienced than myself ! And based on what I've seen here of late, I expect I may even hang around a bit more, especially in the search for new music to audition.
I've really, really enjoyed my Sennheiser HD575s. I certainly got my money's worth from them. And as anyone that has made a mistake, or had an accident, whilst tending to one of your beloved sets of headphones may be able to relate, I'm quite distressed that mine have had their service life cut short (8 or so years ain't a bad run, I suppose).
I know a lot can happen in 8 years with tech development, and so I consider myself a newbie once again when it comes to headphones.
I've considered myself an audiophile for the past 25 yrs, albeit one on a very low budget. Another admission that might cause some folks to spit with derision is that over the past decade or so, I've become one of these people that, in a way, turns their back on the music they might really love, and pursues recordings that simply sound better on your equipment, using it to the best of it's ability, whatever that equipment is. Sure, call me a "hardware whore" if you must, but I expect I'm not the first to be lured away from the pedestrian, glue-sniffing habits of mass-market pop/rock fans, only to find one's self amidst the hard-core coke cutters and shady back alley dealers of audiophile-quality recording artists (I still can't believe there's now some jazz music in my collection).
Seriously, how many of you wouldn't be happy to get your hands on audiophile quality recordings of the favourite music from your past if, for the most part, all that's been available to you so far has been relatively mediocre offerings.. some might say "regrettable mistakes" that were made many decades ago ? (Jeff Lynne and cohorts, I'm especially thinking of you !) How prevalent is this issue ? Very common, I'd submit. For those that grew up in the 70s and 80s, for example, as I did, with the various flavours of rock, pop and electronica becoming mainstream, well.. perhaps I didn't benefit from a wider variety of exposure as others may have, so to me, there simply isn't a massive list of choices when it comes to really impressive sounding recordings. I desperately hope I'm shown to be wrong and ignorant, and invite the guidance of those who know better. It's always exciting to be introduced to more artists and great recordings, and so now I relish the hunt.
As for the music I grew up with ? ELO, Bryan Ferry/Roxy Music, Toto, Bowie, Foreigner, Sting/The Police, Knopfler/Dire Straits, Ultravox, Nik Kershaw, Peter Gabriel, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Queen, Supertramp, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Redgum, Divinyls, GANGgajang, Chisel, Oils, INXS, etc. Countless mainstream artists from late 70's/early 80's.
Artists I've really grown to love since ? Eels, Cake, Faithless. Partial to a bit of Danny Elfman/Oingo, Tom Waits, Emerson, Lake and Palmer. There's a bunch of quirky other additions I could include in this list, but many are for individual pieces of music, not their entire catalogues... too many to mention.
Music I enjoy as a result of becoming an audiophile in my early 20's, and all the good recordings I've been exposed to thanks to various online audiophile communities ever since ? Modern classical (especially movie music) and some older classical; Telarc/Cincinatti Pops Orchestra/Kunzel, a few bits of jazz (eg Patricia Barber, Sara K, Martin Breeze Quartet), Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, a smidge of Mannheim Steamroller or Al DiMeola... generally anything that's well recorded/engineered/mastered (too much isn't).
So back to the headphones, and what they'll be used for. I've also been an online gamer for many years, and ended up using my 575s for that as well. I might require advice as to whether I should use the HD600s for FPS gaming purposes as well as music listening, or if it be detrimental to their longevity. My PC currently only uses on-board sound (which seemed reasonable driving the HD575s), but I may be persuaded to invest in a dedicated amp/DAC if it's deemed necessary for the 600s.
Hardware-wise, for my critical music listening, they'll be amped by either my NAD 3240PE integrated amp, or my Yamaha RX-V659 receiver.
Unfortunately, there's few retailers near where I live where I can audition better quality headphones, and so this time I'm taking two risks.. buying from overseas, and buying audio gear without having heard it. I'm trusting the plethora of reviews and videos that seem to agree that the HD600 truly are a classic benchmark set of cans.
I am very curious, however, to hear from folks who know or own the HD575s, as to how the HD600s will compare. Beyond that, if you've got any constructive comments or recommendations, please feel free to join the thread.
Thanks for indulging me, and for your advice in advance.
Edited by TassieDevil - 11/1/13 at 2:12am