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Headphone, Amp, & Cables Recommendations for playing Classical music on a Digital Piano

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I've just purchased Yamaha's CLP-470 Digital Piano (~$5000), and I'm looking for a recommendation for equipment to use with it. I mainly plan to use it to play classical piano music with headphones (I currently have Sony MDR-7505 which are actually great for their value but I thought about upgrading). This digital piano has RCA outputs and a standard "large" headphone output (I think it's 1/8 inch, in my country we call it "Large PL").

In addition I sometimes find some time to listen to classical music, which is generally the only genre of music I listen to.

 

This digital piano has a midi output (so theoretically I could connect it to a computer (or any other device which accepts midi input) to produce the piano signal from a an external sound card), but I'm not sure it is relevant for my question since I'm mostly interested in just playing classical piano music, i.e., I plan to use it as an alternative to an acoustic piano, and I'm not sure that using midi will utilize all the great effects of this piano that are used to simulate the playing experience of an acoustic piano (I'm not sure this data actually is transferred through the midi interface).

 

ThereforeI, I would like to enjoy the maximum quality of this digital piano sound through headphones. Since I I'm actually not sure about the quality of this digital piano's analog outputs, I don't think it will be wise to invest more than $1000 on equipment (such as headphones, amp, etc.) because I'm not sure that this digital piano as a source will justify such an high-end expensive equipment (Even though it's quite an expensive digital piano, I'm not that sure about the quality of it's various output signals).

 

So, I currently plan to buy a used pair of Sennheiser HD650 (at ~250$), and I was wondering about the following questions:

1. Are these headphones a good place to start with for my purposes? I also read some people recommending Sennheiser HD700, Sennheiser HD800, Audeze, and Beyerdynamic, all of these being more expensive and I don't' know if they worth the extra cost for my purposes, and in light of the fact that I'm not sure about the source quality.

2. Should inverst in an amp. (I've read that the HD650 quite demands one)? If so, which one? I saw some recommendations on both FiiO E09K (~110$) and Schiit Valhalla (350$).

3. Should I invest on replacement cables for these headphones, such as Cardas?

4. Which cables should I buy to connect the RCA output of the digital piano to the amp's input?

 

Saying I would like to invest up to a total of 800-1000$ on all these devices (headphones + optional amp + optional cables), what would you choose as the preferred combination for my purposes?

for example, should I take:

used HD650 + Valhalla?

used HD650 + Fiio E09K + Cardas replacement cables?

HD700 + Fiio E09K?

etc. ...

 

Unfortunately, I currently have no way to test these in my country in my own ears since these products are not available here (I will do a second check on internet stores but so far I haven't seen any store selling this stuff).

I will be grateful for your help.

 

Sincerely,

Amir

post #2 of 8
You want headphones for classical and playing the piano? What kind of classical and what's the source?
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

A great example of the kind of music I plan to hear (and play) you can find in "Demo 1" at the following webpage:

http://www.thomann.de/gb/yamaha_clp470_pe.htm

In the above page go to "Sound Samples", then choose your preferred sample rate and method (such as AAC 256kbps), and listen to Chopin's wonderful waltz being played there with this digital piano's samples. This demo1 uses the recordings of the samples named "Grand Piano 1" of this specific digital piano I own!, which is the specific voice I plan to use 99% of the time when practicing.

This recording also generally reflects the style of classical music I usually listen to (Solo piano, sometimes some strings around, or an orchestra, but anyway my request here in the forum is definitely oriented toward solo piano listening).

 

The source (Yamaha's CLP-470 Digital Piano) has:

1. Two standard AUX OUT 1/8 inch ports (one for Right channel and one for Left channel).

2. A standard headphone 1/8 inch port (actually it has two of these).

(A correction to my original post: It seems that the digital piano does not have RCA outputs).

 

Unfortunately, I don't have technical specifications of ports. I can only say that when using Sony's MDR-7505 headphones with this digital piano's headphone jack, I usually use about 80% of the maximal volume of the source to drive these headphones at a volume that is comfortable for me.

 

Amir

post #4 of 8
We might want a more educated opinion as I am not sure what suits piano the best, but for now I'd recommend the akg k7xx models.
post #5 of 8
I listened to the clips. I'm supposing you want something reasonably accurate with some roll off in the treble and / or enough bass to balance the sound.

For open models, I'd recommend Sennheisers (HD598 and HD600). For closed models, consider Sennheiser Momentum over ear and maybe Shure SRH840. Will you require isolation?

I don't know if you need an amp except for HD600. For the others, it might depend on the keyboard's output more than the particular headphone. Don't spend on cables now, so Monoprice and Radio Shack will do. Exception: if you buy HD600, buy the HD650 cable for it.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Thank you very much for your detailed reply!

 

1. My playing environment is quiet, and I don't require isolation for any other reason.

2. Comfort (in terms of both ventilation and not putting too much physical pressure over the head) is an important consideration for me when playing.

3. As for open vs closed models, Do you think open models will provide better sound quality (or comfort) for my needs?

4. The HD600 and HD650 are more or less the same price. Is there any reason to prefer one over the other for my needs? I've read that the HD650 almost always require amp to drive them.

5. Budget limit is about 800$-1000$ so I would be grateful for any recommendation that suits into this limit.

 

Kind Regards,

Amir

post #7 of 8

HD650 is warmer than the HD600. Despite the 650 being a larger number, many feel that the 600 is more neutral and that the 650 rolls off the high frequencies.

They're both great headphones though.

post #8 of 8
Given your relatively quiet listening area, an open model is the obvious choice. It will sound better too.

HD598 might be sufficient to your needs, but you could always choose HD6x0,which is better. Both of the latter require amps. HD600 is more neutral, and HD650 does has increased bass. For your purposes, HD600 is a better choice as it is clearer and plays piano music better.
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