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Replacing a dead pair of Grados with.....??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi all,

 

My Grado 80's which Ive had for maybe 10 years or so, bit the bullet.  I only own one other pair of cans that I use in my small home studio.  AKG K240DF's.  Not bad, but not fantastic.

 

I enjoyed the Grado sound, as I tend to like things a bit on the detailed (read "bright") side.

 

My complaints with the Grados ...comfort.  I got used to them over the years, but never loved how they felt when wearing them.  They also felt kind of "chincy" to me.  In addition, it never seemed to take very long before the pads (when I got them they had the "hollow middle" type...it looks like they don't anymore) started to disintegrate leaving me with little tiny black bits on my ears or hands or anywhere I laid them down.

 

But the sound was always to my liking.

 

Which leads to the question...what do I get now?  I considered the Grado 225i or 325i...but because of the problems listed above, I'd like to try something else.

 

I am unable to try any of these before purchase:

 

Sennheiser 598s...supposedly not as dark sounding as most of their stuff.  And they look comfortable.  Not sure of durability...heard of some breakage, but that Sennheiser changed materials to alleviate that.

 

Beyerdynamic 880 or 990 ... have heard they sound detailed, but QC is an issue.

 

AKG K701 or K702  ...  Wondering if the sound signature would be more "exciting" than my K240DF's, as those were meant as a monitoring/mixing headphone  (The DF's are also a 600ohm headphone...so the 701s/702s should be much easier to drive.

 

Or...Just going with Grados....would the 225i/325i be a truly worthwhile upgrade from the 80i?

 

 

I'm currently coming out of my computer into a Parasound HCA-800II power amp that has what seems to be a decent headphone output, so not sure if I would need a different amp or not.  I'm also going from the amp into a pair of mourdaunt-short bookshelf speakers.

 

So, essentially I'm looking for something detailed...not laid back or rolled off on top, that's comfortable and durable.  I'm looking for something open-back.

 

 

Any and all suggestions (including ones not listed here, would be appreciated).

 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 6

Hello fellow Grado fan! I would tell you to go for the SR225i, but that's just because I view it as one of the best price=performance headphones out there. I thought about it for a few minutes and I don't think you would like the HD598's, IMO they're the exact opposite of the SR225i (which is basically the SR80 but better in every area). The best recommendation I could make right now would be an SR325i with the Sennheiser HD414 pads.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Yes, I have always enjoyed Grado's..but after so long, I keep thinking I should be willing to try something new...different...shake the status quo up a bit ;)

 

I may still end up going with the 225i's...not sure about the 325i's....Are they REALLY $100 better than the 225i's?

 

But...I have read good things about both the senn's and beyerdynamics...

 

I don't want to go over $300...and if I could get something good for a fair chunk less than that, even better.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tull1996 View Post
 

Yes, I have always enjoyed Grado's..but after so long, I keep thinking I should be willing to try something new...different...shake the status quo up a bit ;)

 

I may still end up going with the 225i's...not sure about the 325i's....Are they REALLY $100 better than the 225i's?

 

But...I have read good things about both the senn's and beyerdynamics...

 

I don't want to go over $300...and if I could get something good for a fair chunk less than that, even better.


IMHO, the AKG 701-et al line is the closest to the Grado signature.  They're not as up-front while having an incomparable sound-stage, but the frequency response characteristics are very similar. (No, don't go pull up a headroom graph and compare - I'm talking about personal preferences in sound signature.)

 

The Q701 is pretty much $199 most places, now, with some of the other variants a bit more - K702, K712 (more still).  Any of them are pretty hard to beat if you have a half-way decent amp. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

How different is the sound signature of the 701/702 series from the K240 series?  As I mentioned, I have some AKG K240DF's....and I'm not sure exactly what it is...but I just don't get into it as much when listening to them.  They are allegedly "flat" measuring....so maybe they just lack all excitement.

 

And any idea what the difference is between the "K" and the "Q" versions, other than Quincy Jones's endorsement?

 

Also...has anyone heard the Focal line of headphones?  If so...any thoughts?

post #6 of 6

In my experience, the K701 were not easy to drive and/or finicky when it came to optimal amping.

 

Also, I do consider the SR325i a +$100 improvement over the 225i.  The SR80i were the "sweet spot" for me from among the SRs at or below the 225i level.  The 325i, to me, were in a league of their own, but they definitely have a treble-dominant character.

 

If you are looking for a departure from the Grado house sound, but a good balanced listen nervertheless, the Sennheiser HD600 might do it for you.


Edited by pataburd - 1/14/14 at 1:28pm
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