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Best Limited Edition Headphones

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
This is a constantly evolving thread about Limited Edition & Out of Production headphones worth collecting. The compilation keeps improving and I will humbly strive to compile impressions from this thread and across the internet. To bear with me in terms of speed of update as hold a very time consuming position at work.

If you have any feedback at all, or comments on your favorite headphones, perhaps I've not listed them, perhaps you like to add your two cents, perhaps you have information you think is worth sharing, I'd love to hear from it and document them =)

I will try my best to also tag comments to the people who have said them, so opinions can be directly discussed perhaps. I am but one person, so I'll do the best I can, and any and all feedback will be useful and helpful as a compiled thread many can benefit from. I have also tried to balance comments, as impressions are what they are - varied and many.

I've also listed my thoughts for each phone based on my limited understanding of it. I own/ have listened to a few, but I've not yet had the pleasure of listening to many others. Perhaps someday I will have that pleasure.

In the meanwhile, I do hope you enjoy what we've collectively, put together.

Post Edited 8th Feb 2014

Sennheiser HE60 (Under 2,000)



My thoughts thus far:

The HE60 or the Baby Orpheus, was created as to be an "Affordable Orpheus" in comparison to it's big brother. I believe it's production date to be 2002/2003 but I'm unable to find literature at this point. It is famously "bad" with it's stock amp, which is said to be no better than an attenuator. On proper amps like the KGSS, BHSE, it's said to be musical & addictive. While apparently slightly lacking in absolute resolution to the top of the line Stax Models, it's apparently makes up for it with it's quality of sound and sheer musicality.

Comment from Tjj226 Angel

"Side note: Sennheiser HE60s for the win. Super comfy and light, lots of great bass potential (I heard them on the BHSE), super clear highs and mids without ANY harshness, and they have a nice big sound stage."

Comment from Wink

"I find my HE60's very addictive, but I unhesitatingly say that the Stax SR007 MkII is a better headphone.
If you do a straight comparison by switching straight from one to the other, the HE60 wins.

If you pack the HE60 away and let your ears adjust by playing 2 or 3 tracks to let your ears adjust, the sheer melifluosity of the Stax comes through in spades."

Some rate it just slightly lower than the HE90 Orpheus. Some say it's different, not better than the HD800s, which is an in production model."

Comment from 3X0

"In all my discussions with fellow HE60 (ex-)owners, the key word was "addicting". I sold my pair to a gentleman who also owns the SR-007, SR-009 and HE-6 and he still loves the HE60. It's difficult to put into words without listening to them first-hand."


Sennheiser HE90 Orpheus (300 pieces)



My thoughts thus far:

Produced in the early 90s (I do not have exact date/ year), the Orpheus is said to the "The Greatest Headphone of All Time". Only 300 pieces were made in comparison to the HE60s 2000 pieces. Generally referred to as the Orpheus with it's matched Tube Amp (with a Key, yes a Key) - These are the most valuable, expensive collectors Headphones one can hope to own.

Comment from Wink

"I still maintain that the HE90 is the BEST headphone I have ever heard."

"From my recollection the Orpheus HE90 had some of the smoothest and luscious mids I've ever heard on any headphone or speakers. Like a level 9,000 Super Saiyan HD 650. It's extremely intimate sound, and the bass was heavenly. Soundstage was good, but felt a little more closed in. Vocals were very forward sounding (and super detailed)."

Comment by dxanex

"From my recollection the Orpheus HE90 had some of the smoothest and luscious mids I've ever heard on any headphone or speakers. Like a level 9,000 Super Saiyan HD 650. It's extremely intimate sound, and the bass was heavenly. Soundstage was good, but felt a little more closed in. Vocals were very forward sounding (and super detailed)."

Comment from Leonardo Drummond

"Best headphones I’ve ever heard, hands down. They sound like a window across which the music just flows beautifully. Incredibly detailed but euphonic. With the HeadAmp Aristaeus you also get an incredible bass performance: impact, weight, texture, it’s all there. Mids are wonderful. Treble can be a bit hot with some modern genres, though. Soundstage is diffuse but fantastic. They are one of the very few headphones which can provide you with an out-of-the-head experience."

Sennheiser HD1000 Charleston (Researching)



My thoughts thus far:

I do not have enough information on the HD1000 to make a proper impression, but I'll try. The HD1000s were created as a Jubilee celebration Headphone (to my knowledge, along with the HD580 Jubilee). They use HD4xx drivers and come with their own stand. Sound quality is mediocre, by all accounts I have found. This very cool looking, gold plated headphone is largely regarded as a collectors headphone.

Grado HP 1000 (HP1,2,3) (1000 pieces)



My thoughts thus far:

These are supposedly the first, and best Grado cans ever, hand tuned by Joseph Grado himself. They are touted to be extremely neutral. The main issue with these cans are the lettering on it, which apparently comes off if you "rub on it" hence making "perfect lettering" units extremely valuable and expensive.

Comment From David Mahler

"Grado's long-out-of-production HP1000 is considered by many to be the single best headphone that the manufacturer ever made. It was produced in three different incarnations: the HP1, HP2 and HP3. A thousand units were made in total. The HP1 featured polarity switches. The HP2 is the most common variation of the HP1000 and is considered to be the best sounding by many. The HP3 was similar to the HP2, but is considered inferior due to the fact that the manufacturer was more lenient with regard to matching the drivers.

Founder of Grado Labs, Joseph Grado, is still pursuing ultimate audio perfection. Today, at 90+ years of age, he offers an exclusive mod for owners of the HP1000 (a headphone which he personally designed). I had the opportunity to hear a pair with this modification. While I could understand some preferring the sound quality of the modded pair, for me, the unmodified pair sounds more neutral and is ultimately my preference.

Of all the Grado headphones that I have had the pleasure of hearing, the HP2 is the most neutral sounding. Because of this, it remains my favorite in their product line."

Comment from Leonardo Drummond

"Just as natural as the Orpheus, but in a different way: the Orpheus portrays the music enhancing every nuance that makes it beautiful. It puts you in a gorgeous room where the music simply happens. The HP1000s sound analog, crude and raw. They show you the musicians tired playing on a dirty stage. If the HE90s show you a performance in an incredible Baroque concert hall, the Grados put you in a performance on a basement. Both sound like the real thing – though each with a different approach."


Grado HF1 (481 Pieces)



My thoughts thus far:

Modified 225s with wood casings, these were dedicated to the Head-Fi community. They are supposed be "very grado sounding", and Wikipedia calls it "One of the most sought after Grados". It has no analog - and apparently has a signature unique to it. I've ordered one, and will be on the way to me soon.

Comment by TheMiddleSky

"HF1 sound more gradoish, its brighter, more forward and narrow presentation.

Hf2 its a bit out of the box from grado line up, have warmer sound, more full body and relax vocal with bigger bass. (Its stil grado though, so dont expect to be warm and laidback like senn hd650)"


Grado HF 2 (550 Pieces)



My thoughts thus far:

The HF-2 has a metal housing as opposed to the HF-1's wood housing. It's known to be a baby PS1000, and was highly lauded during it's launch. It's value has since been depreciated with the launch of the PS500, which is supposedly analogous to it. All units pass #20 have Head-F1 (one), stamped on it, and not Head-Fi. The early 20 units are priced much higher when they do go up for sale. (Very rarely).

Comment from Jamato

"The Grado HF2, are a Grado. There isn't as much layering, the separation and depth of separation of instruments and voices but I find them very enjoyable and the better the amplification, the better they sound."

Comment from TheMiddleSky

"About HF2 and PS500, sound wise I think HF2 has better control through all spectrum, but I realize that it's really depend on each people preference. For people who craving for bass impact better to chose the PS500.

But when we talk about the collector item, I think HF2 is indeed special, yes it's true that HF2 and PS500 is a bit similiar, but when we look closely there're some significant different in term of collector item:
1. HF2 using aluminium housing that very-very similiar to the legendary Grado PS1 (super limited edition as well), which is better aluminium finishing than what PS500 use.

2. In HF2's box you get an original hand writing signature from John Grado him self, which is really incerease the collector factor"


Grado PS1 (250 Pieces)



My thoughts thus far:
I don't know much about these at all. They are supposed to be bass heavy, and not neutral. I welcome comments. =)

Comment by fkclo:

"To me, I like the HP1000 better - they are more neutral, accurate, and when plugged in the right amp - let you listen more to the music as recorded, instead of as "tuned" by the headphone. The HP-1000 works extremely well with my Silver Edition Earmax, and the WA6 as well. More recently, I listened to them on my LISA XP w LLP and the sound is superb, and a great match for good classical pieces.

The PS-1 is silky smooth and bass heavy ( the JVC DX-1000 also have similar bass so the PS-1's bass is not that exclusive). It works better with my RPX-100. In my opinion it is a tad off-balance. The PS-1 is a great can for jazz, but not really for classics ?"

Comment by wnmnkh

"Grado HP series headphones, which are Joseph Grado lineup instead of current John Grado lineup, have very warm and natural yet very accurate. I can tell you Grado HP series are far better than HD600 and pretty much any other headphones below $800 mark. Still, it is foolish to pay more than a $1K for it. If you can get it around $1K or slightly less, it is acceptable deal."

Audio-Technica L3000 (500 Pieces)



My thoughts thus far:

Some rate these as AT's top headphones of all time. 500 pieces were created, with 50 "Green Units". Trolling google, I've only seen one L3000G (Green) sold on Head Fi. At time of writing, I've seen 2 L3000s sold on Head-Fi within 24 hours, showcasing how prized these are. The L3000s were launched in 2003 and are said to be a fantastic compliment to the 3000ANVs - many saying they are the "Top 2 Headphones from AT".

Comments from TK3 (1)
It's not a neutral phone. The L3000 and W3000 happen to be the two headphones I have in rotation, with the former getting most of my head time.

Both are good but the L3000 has a much more physical and tangible effect to the sound while the W3000 sounds more refined and "ethereal". I mostly listen to pop/rock/vocal music and I like electric guitars, for this kind of music I think the L3000 is almost unbeatable.
To describe it simply, the L3000 is like a straightforward person that speaks clearly, while the W3000 a soft-spoken type comparatively.


Comments from TK3
I actually really like the L3000s for vocals, both male and female. They just have something that no other phone I've tried can replicate. A kind of in-your-face sound like Grados but without being screechy like some of those are. I think another one of their fortes is their imaging: their soundstage isn't that big but the way the sound moves around can really easily be tracked.
Actually, I think that people who like the Grado sound but are looking for something better, and also have a deep wallet could consider this thing.

It also doesn't kill your ears with the horrible earpads the Grados have. smily_headphones1.gif

Audio-Technica ATH W3000ANV (2000 Pieces)

My thoughts thus far:

Audio-Technica's 50th Anniversary Headphone, this is a pair I have the pleasure to own and have an intimate relationship with. It was strange listening to it coming from my HD700s with it's wide open soundstage, and (to me) sonic detail to the 3000ANVs. They are not a soundstage headphone. They don't focus on detail. I find they even have slight simbilance issues.

Vocals on them sound absolutely euphoric, airy, magical. These are addictive, and I can't live without them. I've tried other AT headphones, but nothing quite sounds like it. They look absolutely gorgeous, and they are rated (along with the L3000s) as one of AT's best headphones ever. I have to agree.

Comments by David Mahler

"The ATH-W3000ANV offers a uniquely euphonic sound. There's no other headphone that I've heard which sounds similar to it. The sound possesses a soulfulness that is very difficult to convey with words. Music feels rather personal when listening to the ATH-W3000ANV. The sound here is colored in a way that is very agreeable to my ears."



One account, "Does not have a whole lot of clarity, and you get a very unnatural sound stage .... sounds stuffy"

One account/ mine actually =) "Amazing sound signature, amazing mids, across the spectrum smooth as silk. Immensely euphoric."

One account " Isn't designed for clarity or soundstage, it's all about the mids. I listen to every genre of music minus non-vocals (for the moment) and metal and vastly prefer my r1 LCD2 on 90% of what I listen too, but ohhh man the 10% that goes to the is miles ahead of any comparable headphone I've tried. If you can listen to Lana Del Ray on them and stay unimpressed then I'm impressed."

Audio Technica ESW10JPN (1500 Pieces)



Comment by Maxx134

"The esw10 is a can I will bury in my coffin before letting go as its also has a maijic in its mids that leaves an impression of certainty in the mind and you just know it sounds right. But I hide it in my bedroom as the wood finish is just tooo precious.I use my larger sounding esw11 every day and those are glued to my head & also destined to my coffin on my head when I die as they have so palpable mids."

Comment by Jamato

"The ESW10 Jpn are very good, once burned in. They take many hours but open up and have a nice frequency range."

Comment from Currawong

"I did have the chance to try the ESW10s again a few months ago. While I like what they do, even though I could have bought them for what they cost new (about $500 IIRC) they simply weren't refined enough and isolating enough for me in comparison with, say, the DT1350s. The W3000s aside, most of the limited edition ATs for me have been somewhat of a disappointment, but then I was trying them years after they were sold in most cases and the headphone world has moved on."

Audio Technica ESW11LTD (2000 Pieces)



The primary thread for the ESW11LTDs can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/631719/new-audio-technica-ath-esw11ltd/

Comment from cky8

"The W3000ANV wins hands down with a good sized soundstage and imaging, extending well down with control, great dynamics and texture. I used to like the mids on the W3000ANV a lot until I got familiar with the ESW11LTD. Maybe preferences changed over time or I just heard better for myself. The ESW11LTD will sound overall more natural and weighty. The mids are really nice and its strongest trait. The W3000ANV mids may impress you with a drugged like mental state which for my taste may sometimes be a bit too much. So if you are really in the mood for that that might do well or not."

Comment from TheMiddleSky

"About ESW11LTD, just imagine your ESW9, but with:
- Fuller sounding midrange (still very sweet, melow and sibilance free) with a bit more upfront vocal
- Better bass extension (really go very deep, less midbass hump), more textured, with bass quantity roughly the same
- More spacious sounding, I think due the larger driver and larger woody housing
- Better technciality aspect such as detail, separation, cleaner sounding, and soundstage.
- More comfy to use (due the larger pad)
- More sturdy built quality

Haha, that really bring memories, I remember that the first time I listened to ESW11 my impression is really so-so and think that it's a bit overprice. Then after a month I have chance to listen the well burn-in ESW11, and I just can't believe that I skip this headphone at first.

For me the ESW11 is an allrounder headphone with very magical and beautiful midrange. Even when compare to full size (included any other ATH W-Series)."

Comment from uelover

"The most striking difference is the ESW11 is boomy and slightly dark sounding while the ESW10 has a much tighter bass, a more balanced amount of bass and a more refined sound. I am speaking in relative terms between these two headphones so if you have heard either headphone you can infer the sound of the other."

Comment from Asko

Originally a table, and I've put it as comments.

"ESW10JPN bass relative to midrange is slightly recessed, 400 - 800hz is recessed, Treble relative to midrange is emphasized or comparable, Bass is a little more tight, Overall Sound is bright/ harsh, transparency about the same, but higher pitch sounds more distinguishable.

ESW11LTD bass relative to midrange no recession, 400 - 800 no recession, treble relative to midrange recessed, bass is smooth, overall sound is warm, dark, mellow, smooth.


Beyer Dynamic DT 770 Pro (4000 pieces)



One account "Worth it because it's cheap and comfortable", I own a pair and I agree. I'd also add that it's bass isn't exactly the tightest. It's nice to listen too for a bit of a change and incredibly hardy.


Sony MDR- R10 (???? Pieces)




HE Audio Jade (???? Pieces)



Comment by dxanex

"On the other hand the Jade sounded more spacious, extremely clear with very good instrument separation. Unfortunately, my first impression though was that it felt extremely fragile in my hands. I was almost afraid it would break! The headband was very flimsy and the cups looked like they could crack easily. But the sound was very, very nice running on a Moth(I believe?) amp...more open sounding than Orpheus, bass was not as lush or deep but mids were nearly on par, and had a tad more sparkle in the treble that the HE 90. All in all, the Jade definitely held its own considering the huge difference in price."


Ultrasone: Edition 8 Limited Edition (Sourcing Information)



Comment by Leonardo Drummond

"Weird, because they cost as much as some no-compromise flagships, but is a closed-back portable, which makes it a big compromise. To me it does sound very good, but it’s too energetic and can’t compete sound-wise with the best in its price class. It’s very luxurious though, and also comfortable. Kudos to S-Logic on these, which seem to work. They kind of give you an instrument separation that sounds slightly artificial, but really works. It’s like a 5.1 kind of separation."


Fischer Audio FA -011 (40 Pieces)
Supposedly comparable to the HD650s, but more exciting. Accounts come from individuals who own them.

Comment by Loquah

"Fischer FA-011 LEs have a nicely balanced sound with a little extra bass. To me they're on par with other $400 headphones like the HD6x0, but more fun and exciting. Excellent detail, great bass and good imaging despite an average stage size."

Please comment =)



STAX 404 LE (1000 Pieces)



Comment from Headphonia Review:
http://www.headfonia.com/sr-404le-sr-404-signature-and-sr-lambda-pro/

"The Limited Edition is definitely the best sounding of the three. On the Lambda Pro, you get a thin sound throughout the frequencies. The SR-404 Signature improved on that, but only gives you a fuller body sound on “half” the frequency range. Finally, on the SR-404LE, the sound is full bodied throughout the frequency range. What’s more, bass presence is more felt on the SR-404LE, and bass punch is stronger and weightier than on the Lambda Pro. The sound is also smoother than what you find on the SR-404 Signature and the Lambda Pro. Though all three headphones display sibilance whenever they’re present on the recording, the SR-404LE seems to handle it best than the other two, while the SR-Lambda Pro is the worst of the three. Easily, the SR-404LE is more musical and more forgiving of the source quality than the other two."


STAX OMEGA (Out of Production/ Researching Total Number Made)



Rated as one of the best Stax HPs ever.

Comment from 3XO

"I haven't heard the SR-009. I plan to compare the two at the SF Bay meet but I am 99% certain I will keep the Omegas, possibly forever. I have other pairs of "great" headphones like the LCD2.2 sitting on my desk right now that see no serious head time because they are simply in leagues far apart, and this is out of the fairly modest SRM-323S."


STAX 007 Mk1 (Out of Production/ Gathering Information)



Rated as one of the best Stax HPs ever.

Smeggy's ThunderPants TP1 (Limited Production Modification/Gathering Information, EST 300 Pieces Made)



A "legendary" (had to burrow the word from Barney) mod of the Fostex T50, one so acclaimed that Fostex purchased one for their own R&D. It stands unique amongst the other LE's here, is it's not a standard LE, though it very well should be - as they are hand made and "Piece Unique". These are highly acclaimed as one of the best sounding headphones in the world. Not bad for a Mod.

What makes this even more interesting is the fact that Smeggy has gone under (apparently). It's comparisons can be found here, and I welcome more comments.

http://www.headfonia.com/standing-ovation-smeggys-thunderpants/

JCV HA- DX2000 (Researching)



Comment From MuppetFace]

The DX1000 is a fun headphone, but it's extremely colored. More than even the D7000. So I really wouldn't expect it to be a replacement for the TH900.

Comment From dukeskd

Extremely colored with a boomy bass is a more accurate description, but you can easily fall in love with these features as they present music with seduction.

AKG K1000 (10,000 - 11,000 Pieces Ever Made/ Out of Production)?



Comment from Leonardo Drummond

"Soundstage reminds me of nearfield monitors. They seem to portray a little but well defined soundstage just in front of your eyes. There’s nothing quite like it in the headphone world, but I find the tonal balance to be complicated. Mids are forward and the whole presentation can sound harsh and dry on most systems. Also, despite the imaging capabilities, it's not as resolving as many modern offerings."

Denon 7000s (???? Pieces/ Not true LE/ Out of Production Model)



One account calls it a scalable headphone, something that "scales with dacs". Other accounts say the Fostex 900 is far superior.


Welcome user Feedback. Please comment.

Looking forward to hearing from everyone! redface.gif
Edited by Jon-LF - 2/9/14 at 10:31am
post #2 of 71

After researching, the best is TBSE1. 

post #3 of 71

K1000s are nice. 

 

HE60s and HE90s are REALLY nice, but only the HE60 is worth the price tag of roughly 2K. 

 

Grado is not worth it at all. 

 

Audio technica is not worth your time even thinking about them (I prefer the Denon D7K)

 

Dt 770 pro is only worth it because it is so cheap and comfy. 

 

Denon D7Ks with mods > MDR-R10. Actually I was not impressed with the MDR-R10 at all. 

 

I have not heard the audio jade headphones

 

The ultrasones need to be thrown away. The sound way to harsh. 

 

Also consider the stax SR-omegas, and the stax 404 limited edition. And maybe the jecklin floats. 

post #4 of 71

Ultrasone Edition 5.

555 and $5000.

post #5 of 71
Thread Starter 
This is fantastic, I'm going to compile everyone's feedback below my thread smily_headphones1.gif

I understand it's all a personal opinion, and others may disagree, and I'll try to put it down objectively based on different opinions.
post #6 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

K1000s are nice. 

Grado is not worth it at all. 

Audio technica is not worth your time even thinking about them (I prefer the Denon D7K)

The ultrasones need to be thrown away. The sound way to harsh. 

Allow me to ask questions about the headphones you aren't a fan off?

1) Grado: I don't own a pair, and I'm curious why u made that statement. I have only heard a grado, once and only for two minutes. They do have hordes of fans... Or are u specifically referring to the LEs?

2) Audio Technica: I actually own the 3000anvs, took a while to get used too but right now I use it a lot - smooth silky sound, it's signature is unlike anything I've heard and for Jazz/ Vocals, it's so gorgeous.

3) D7k: Are u referring to Lawton cups? What is the sound signature and how does it compare to the Fostex 900 after mods?

4) Ultrasone: Seems to have some really polarizing comments on it, some really love it many hate it! Why do u think that is the case?
post #7 of 71
I have to second what Tjj226 Angel said about the Ultrasones. I found them to sound out right offensive, especially given their price tag. Some of the worst treble I've ever heard on a headphone.
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-LF View Post


Allow me to ask questions about the headphones you aren't a fan off?

1) Grado: I don't own a pair, and I'm curious why u made that statement. I have only heard a grado, once and only for two minutes. They do have hordes of fans... Or are u specifically referring to the LEs?

2) Audio Technica: I actually own the 3000anvs, took a while to get used too but right now I use it a lot - smooth silky sound, it's signature is unlike anything I've heard and for Jazz/ Vocals, it's so gorgeous.

3) D7k: Are u referring to Lawton cups? What is the sound signature and how does it compare to the Fostex 900 after mods?

4) Ultrasone: Seems to have some really polarizing comments on it, some really love it many hate it! Why do u think that is the case?

 

 

Sure

 

1: The grados are warm sounding, and very a pretty pleasing bass response. They have a nice thump for open back headphones.....and that is about it. The main issue with any grado headphone is sound stage. I personally feel that every single grado headphone has a very in your face sound stage. Some people thinks this gives you an experience that is akin to being on stage with the band or musical group. I like to call these people absolutely deaf. What grado really sounds like is two little speakers blasting music in your ear as hard as they can. NONE of the high end grados address this problem. Personally, I think the sennheiser HD600 sounds way more natural and warm than any of the grado headphones. 

 

2: The high end closed back audio technica headphones are a joke IMO. You pay a crap ton of money, and the sound signature is kind of stuffy. It is not all that boomy or muddy, but it does not have a whole lot of clarity, and you get a very unnatural sound stage. The Denon D7000s with the dynamat mod along with a decent quality dac sounds really open, they have plenty of bass and detail, and the mids sound surprisingly forward.  So I would choose Denon over audio technica for high end closed backs. 

 

3: You are killing me man....killing me : P. First, I have not heard them with fancy cups. I am simply referring to the dynamat mod. TBH, even in stock form, the denon headphones sound really nice. However, My friend and I both noticed that the denon headphones scale with the quality of your dac. We tried an Odac, a cambridge audio dac magic, a timbre TT-1, a Jolida Glass FX2, and an audio note 3.1. Here were our thoughts Odac< dac magic < Jolida < audio note < timbre. You could clearly notice a massive jump in quality with each dac. If you were to use something like an Odac for the denons, you would not get too much out of them, but even the dac magic just instantly raised the sound quality by a lot. It is weird because denon headphones are the only headphone where I have experienced that big of a jump between dacs. 

 

IDK if this is just me, but I think the fostex headphones seal a bit too well on my head and cause a really boomy sound signature. Even if it weren't for the boomy sound signature, I still do not see what people see in these things. Sure they have a really natural sound signature, but so what? You can get a better sound signature from even the denon D5Ks or the new LCD-XC. I think they are just over hyped. 

 

4: To be completely honest, all shure and ultrasone products sound way to harsh. I pretty much have this reaction every time I hear one of their products. 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L34S4Tt1EuQ

post #9 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon-LF View Post


Allow me to ask questions about the headphones you aren't a fan off?

1) Grado: I don't own a pair, and I'm curious why u made that statement. I have only heard a grado, once and only for two minutes. They do have hordes of fans... Or are u specifically referring to the LEs?

2) Audio Technica: I actually own the 3000anvs, took a while to get used too but right now I use it a lot - smooth silky sound, it's signature is unlike anything I've heard and for Jazz/ Vocals, it's so gorgeous.

3) D7k: Are u referring to Lawton cups? What is the sound signature and how does it compare to the Fostex 900 after mods?

4) Ultrasone: Seems to have some really polarizing comments on it, some really love it many hate it! Why do u think that is the case?

 

 

Sure

 

1: The grados are warm sounding, and very a pretty pleasing bass response. They have a nice thump for open back headphones.....and that is about it. The main issue with any grado headphone is sound stage. I personally feel that every single grado headphone has a very in your face sound stage. Some people thinks this gives you an experience that is akin to being on stage with the band or musical group. I like to call these people absolutely deaf. What grado really sounds like is two little speakers blasting music in your ear as hard as they can. NONE of the high end grados address this problem. Personally, I think the sennheiser HD600 sounds way more natural and warm than any of the grado headphones. 

 

2: The high end closed back audio technica headphones are a joke IMO. You pay a crap ton of money, and the sound signature is kind of stuffy. It is not all that boomy or muddy, but it does not have a whole lot of clarity, and you get a very unnatural sound stage. The Denon D7000s with the dynamat mod along with a decent quality dac sounds really open, they have plenty of bass and detail, and the mids sound surprisingly forward.  So I would choose Denon over audio technica for high end closed backs. 

 

3: You are killing me man....killing me : P. First, I have not heard them with fancy cups. I am simply referring to the dynamat mod. TBH, even in stock form, the denon headphones sound really nice. However, My friend and I both noticed that the denon headphones scale with the quality of your dac. We tried an Odac, a cambridge audio dac magic, a timbre TT-1, a Jolida Glass FX2, and an audio note 3.1. Here were our thoughts Odac< dac magic < Jolida < audio note < timbre. You could clearly notice a massive jump in quality with each dac. If you were to use something like an Odac for the denons, you would not get too much out of them, but even the dac magic just instantly raised the sound quality by a lot. It is weird because denon headphones are the only headphone where I have experienced that big of a jump between dacs. 

 

IDK if this is just me, but I think the fostex headphones seal a bit too well on my head and cause a really boomy sound signature. Even if it weren't for the boomy sound signature, I still do not see what people see in these things. Sure they have a really natural sound signature, but so what? You can get a better sound signature from even the denon D5Ks or the new LCD-XC. I think they are just over hyped. 

 

4: To be completely honest, all shure and ultrasone products sound way to harsh. I pretty much have this reaction every time I hear one of their products. 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L34S4Tt1EuQ

Grado HP series headphones, which are Joseph Grado lineup instead of current John Grado lineup, have very warm and natural yet very accurate. I can tell you Grado HP series are far better than HD600 and pretty much any other headphones below $800 mark. Still, it is foolish to pay more than a $1K for it. If you can get it around $1K or slightly less, it is acceptable deal.

 

'Some' ultrasone headphones, notably their DJ lines are actually listenable, normal sounding unlike its consumer and flagship models.

post #10 of 71

Tjj226 what headphones do own then?

Do you still think the PS1000 has an in your face soundstage? Have you heard the MS Pro modded to Ultimate?

 

I personally feel the HP1000 is the best Grado I've ever heard including putting them over the PS1000. If I could find one for around a $1000 I'd buy one in a heartbeat. That is if you listen to Rock, Punk and Metal music -  the stuff that I've heard with them.

 

I prefer Audeze for Jazz and other headphones for other genres.

 

I think the TH900 are well above the D5000's and above the D7000's I've heard.

post #11 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

Grado HP series headphones, which are Joseph Grado lineup instead of current John Grado lineup, have very warm and natural yet very accurate. I can tell you Grado HP series are far better than HD600 and pretty much any other headphones below $800 mark. Still, it is foolish to pay more than a $1K for it. If you can get it around $1K or slightly less, it is acceptable deal.

 

'Some' ultrasone headphones, notably their DJ lines are actually listenable, normal sounding unlike its consumer and flagship models.

 To each their own. I have tested each grado headphone on very nice amps. Some tube, some solid state. And I have listened to the HP1000s several times. 

Maybe it is my ears or something. But I can tell you for a fact that the HP1000s lack sound stage. They are not as bad as like The M50s, but for a headphone that cost 1K+......yeah they are quite pathetic. 

 

The HD600s might not have as accurate sound, or maybe they are not even as warm.....but they have a much more realistic sound stage. 

 

To me, sound stage makes or breaks any headphone or speaker. The headphones HAVE to produce a believable environment before I even care how accurate the sound is. If my headphones are not transparent enough to connect me to the music at even a very basic level, I simply return them, sell them, or throw them away. 

 

As for ultrasone.....no. Every single ultrasone headphones quite literally give me splitting migraines. I have tried different amps, different dacs, and even went so far as to play with the EQ. NOTHING makes them sound good. I mean I guess they sound good for the money, but I would even take grados over ultrasone. 

post #12 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Schism View Post
 

Tjj226 what headphones do own then?

Do you still think the PS1000 has an in your face soundstage? Have you heard the MS Pro modded to Ultimate?

 

I personally feel the HP1000 is the best Grado I've ever heard including putting them over the PS1000. If I could find one for around a $1000 I'd buy one in a heartbeat. That is if you listen to Rock, Punk and Metal music -  the stuff that I've heard with them.

 

I prefer Audeze for Jazz and other headphones for other genres.

 

I think the TH900 are well above the D5000's and above the D7000's I've heard.

 

What headphones have I not owned is a better question. I have own K701s, Q701s, K702s, HE-400/500/6, LCD2/3, HD600/650/700/800 (including some lower models), D2K/5K/7K, stax lamda nova classics (the signatures are on their way). 

 

I like to swap my headphones every month or two to see what I like and what I don't like. To me headphones are more about trying new things than for actual audio. For audio I have a whole room dedicated for speakers that I have sound treated and everything. So I have no need to stick to a single headphone. 

 

Lots of other things I have heard in stores or at different audio events.

 

As for any hearing any special modded grados....I believe the only thing I have heard were the magnums and some weird comfy grado mod. 

 

TBH everyone I talk to says the same thing you say. My friend has the basic 325i headphones, and he really likes them for classic rock. They certainly have a very aggressive and strong sound signature, but I like to listen to a much broader range of music. I like classic rock and punk, just as I like some pop (lorde), classical, female vocals (norah jones), etc. The HP1000s can sit there and play led zepplin all day long, but as soon as you try to play dianna krall, the headphones just sound weird. 

 

IDK. Maybe I am asking too much out of a headphone.                              

 

Oh, and as for the fostex. Like I said, I think there was a problem with the seal around my ear. I heard the fostex headphones at a local head-fi meet and justin from head amp was kind enough to let me audition them. I told him about the problem I had and he said that since so many people have worn them that the pads could have just been deformed in such a way where they formed and A-typical seal around my ears. Thus causing the boomy signature. So it is entirely possible that my experience was just a fluke.                 


Edited by Tjj226 Angel - 1/12/14 at 11:16pm
post #13 of 71
Thread Starter 

Sorry on the multi quote guys haha. I'm really enjoying this thread. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post
 

 

 

Sure

 

1: The grados are warm sounding, and very a pretty pleasing bass response. They have a nice thump for open back headphones.....and that is about it. The main issue with any grado headphone is sound stage. I personally feel that every single grado headphone has a very in your face sound stage. Some people thinks this gives you an experience that is akin to being on stage with the band or musical group. I like to call these people absolutely deaf. What grado really sounds like is two little speakers blasting music in your ear as hard as they can. NONE of the high end grados address this problem. Personally, I think the sennheiser HD600 sounds way more natural and warm than any of the grado headphones. 

 

2: The high end closed back audio technica headphones are a joke IMO. You pay a crap ton of money, and the sound signature is kind of stuffy. It is not all that boomy or muddy, but it does not have a whole lot of clarity, and you get a very unnatural sound stage. The Denon D7000s with the dynamat mod along with a decent quality dac sounds really open, they have plenty of bass and detail, and the mids sound surprisingly forward.  So I would choose Denon over audio technica for high end closed backs. 

 

3: You are killing me man....killing me : P. First, I have not heard them with fancy cups. I am simply referring to the dynamat mod. TBH, even in stock form, the denon headphones sound really nice. However, My friend and I both noticed that the denon headphones scale with the quality of your dac. We tried an Odac, a cambridge audio dac magic, a timbre TT-1, a Jolida Glass FX2, and an audio note 3.1. Here were our thoughts Odac< dac magic < Jolida < audio note < timbre. You could clearly notice a massive jump in quality with each dac. If you were to use something like an Odac for the denons, you would not get too much out of them, but even the dac magic just instantly raised the sound quality by a lot. It is weird because denon headphones are the only headphone where I have experienced that big of a jump between dacs. 

 

IDK if this is just me, but I think the fostex headphones seal a bit too well on my head and cause a really boomy sound signature. Even if it weren't for the boomy sound signature, I still do not see what people see in these things. Sure they have a really natural sound signature, but so what? You can get a better sound signature from even the denon D5Ks or the new LCD-XC. I think they are just over hyped. 

 

4: To be completely honest, all shure and ultrasone products sound way to harsh. I pretty much have this reaction every time I hear one of their products. 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L34S4Tt1EuQ

 

1: On the Grados, that's interesting. I've heard about the soundstage issue, and I'm eager to experience it for myself. 

 

2: On the Audio Technicas: I own the 3000anvs, I was deciding between the fostex 900s and these. Coming from HD700s, I was initially disappointed, for the reasons stated. I was looking for "detail, soundstage, separation". It's not bad per se in those areas, but that isn't what it excels in. It's the silky (oh so sexy) sound signature. It's mids are gorgeous, but more than that the entire sound signature is smooth and silky. They aren't full range or neutral, but I've grown to love them so much I go for weeks without listening to anything else. And I don't even think I yet own it's best amp pairing. 

3: On the Denons: There is a nice 7000 on the market now hehe =) I love the Fostex signature, and I plan to buy it. But thank you for that very interesting feedback.  

4: On Ultrasone: Seems like 90% of the folk agree here on this. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

Grado HP series headphones, which are Joseph Grado lineup instead of current John Grado lineup, have very warm and natural yet very accurate. I can tell you Grado HP series are far better than HD600 and pretty much any other headphones below $800 mark. Still, it is foolish to pay more than a $1K for it. If you can get it around $1K or slightly less, it is acceptable deal.

 

'Some' ultrasone headphones, notably their DJ lines are actually listenable, normal sounding unlike its consumer and flagship models.

 

Unfortunately, the 2 HP 1000s on sale are at 1.5k - 2.5k Euro. I'd love to buy to collect, but it's hard at that price knowing I can get a Stax or a HE60 for the same price... 

Would love to own one someday with perfect lettering at $1,000 bucks but I think that's a fools dream...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eternal Schism View Post
 

Tjj226 what headphones do own then?

Do you still think the PS1000 has an in your face soundstage? Have you heard the MS Pro modded to Ultimate?

 

I personally feel the HP1000 is the best Grado I've ever heard including putting them over the PS1000. If I could find one for around a $1000 I'd buy one in a heartbeat. That is if you listen to Rock, Punk and Metal music -  the stuff that I've heard with them.

 

I prefer Audeze for Jazz and other headphones for other genres.

 

I think the TH900 are well above the D5000's and above the D7000's I've heard.

 

Another raving review for the HP1000s. I'd love to try this someday. How important do you think the cosmetics (lettering) are? I'm a bit greedy perhaps and want it all lol. 

 

I've heard many who agree with you on the D7000s vs the Fostex 900. I know I love the Fostex 900s. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post
 

 To each their own. I have tested each grado headphone on very nice amps. Some tube, some solid state. And I have listened to the HP1000s several times. 

Maybe it is my ears or something. But I can tell you for a fact that the HP1000s lack sound stage. They are not as bad as like The M50s, but for a headphone that cost 1K+......yeah they are quite pathetic. 

 

The HD600s might not have as accurate sound, or maybe they are not even as warm.....but they have a much more realistic sound stage. 

 

To me, sound stage makes or breaks any headphone or speaker. The headphones HAVE to produce a believable environment before I even care how accurate the sound is. If my headphones are not transparent enough to connect me to the music at even a very basic level, I simply return them, sell them, or throw them away. 

 

As for ultrasone.....no. Every single ultrasone headphones quite literally give me splitting migraines. I have tried different amps, different dacs, and even went so far as to play with the EQ. NOTHING makes them sound good. I mean I guess they sound good for the money, but I would even take grados over ultrasone. 

 

Please don't hate me for saying this - and I'm only asking because I'm curious about the product. There are some who say you can't get true soundstage with headphones anyway, without something like the Symth Realiser. Have you tried it, and what do you think the difference is between "high quality speaker simulation" and high end headphones with traditional amp/dacs? 

post #14 of 71
Thread Starter 

PS: First post updated and will keep being updated. Will add pictures soon too. Keep them coming =)


Edited by Jon-LF - 1/13/14 at 11:50am
post #15 of 71
Ive read the dennon 7000 sounds alot like the new fostex th600..
I have the w3000 & it does have that uphoric sweetness but I have to press the cups against my small head to get that bass seal..
The esw10 is a can I will bury in my coffin before letting go as its also has a maijic in its mids that leaves an impression of certainty in the mind and you just know it sounds right.
But I hide it in my bedroom as the wood finish is just tooo precious..
I use my larger sounding esw11 every day and those are glued to my head & also destined to my coffin on my head when I die as they have so palpable mids..
I have an Ultrasone pro900 now that can murder your ears with nastyness I would not put on my worst enemy's head!
As for best can regardless of anything I would say hd800 & stax...
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