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HD580 to...what?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD580s with the 600 grilles and 650 cable. Recently I bought a Schitt Magni amp for it. Before that I just used a GoVibe portable amp. While I love the 580s I can't help but wonder if all the new super headphones might be a big improvement.

 

What do I like about the 580s? Very neutral, open sound, clean-tight bass. I primarily listen to classical music but also Celtic, folk rock and 60s era pop (Beatles, Who, Jethro Tull, etc.). I really value neutral sound and greatly prefer tight and clean bass over boomy or tubby, even it it does go deeper. Detail and sense of space are important to my listening pleasure.

 

I'm not too interested in putting big bucks into an amp at this point. I must admit to being agnostic on amp sound unless it is really designed to deviate from neutral.

 

So, recommendations? I suppose the HD800 is the big daddy to my 580 but read a lot about amp pickyness. The Audeze looks a bit too funky and they may be a bit too dark. I did hear the HD650, briefly, and though they sounded like a darker version of my 580s, which did not really appeal to me.

 

Not too many opportunities for auditions around me. One shop has a pair of HD800s but they are not out for listening. Another carries Grado which I did not really like, a bit to pushy.

 

Thanks to all who chime in.

 

Tim

post #2 of 15

The AKG K712 Pro and AKG K550 come to mind as headphones you can try and not have to worry about upgrading the rest of your gear.  They should sound more lively and speaker like than your 580s.

post #3 of 15

You own a set of cans that are near perfection, so upgrading from them is going to be difficult. You may not be necessarily upgrading going to AKG, they just have a different sound signature.

HD700's may not be a bad choice for you IMHO. I have a set of HD580's with 600 grills and a custom cable, they are still my every day listening cans, they still sound fantastic across the

genre's I listen to (Classic Rock/House/Trance/Rock/Jazz) 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I still have an old pair of AKG K340s, wonder if they have any resale value, and find them a bit dark. Maybe newer AKGs are more open. I guess, due to my love of Sennheiser sound, the HD800 and better amp, are the best bet at getting a better pair. Just not sure that much more money will bring a proportional improvement in quality.

 

Tim

post #5 of 15

to nowhere~  

I partly agree with tgeml. HD580 are very good phones. But I don't think HD700 can compete with them.

The new AKGs you mentioned~ Are they K812s? I've audited it b4 and I am 100% sure there is no need to buy them... I tell you, 580 is for music listening. 812s are for monitoring. See the difference?

Maybe you should consider to invest in speakers instead of in headphones now :P


Edited by gradoist - 2/4/14 at 1:14pm
post #6 of 15

We can all disagree I guess. I am listening to the phones you should probably get and that is the HD700. Fantastic phones, and I own all the above HD580, HD600, and HD650 and these are FAR better than all of them. I will say the 600 comes close though. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradoist View Post
 

to nowhere~  

I partly agree with tgeml. HD580 are very good phones. But I don't think HD700 can compete with them.

The new AKGs you mentioned~ Are they K812s? I've audited it b4 and I am 100% sure there is no need to buy them... I tell you, 580 is for music listening. 812s are for monitoring. See the difference?

Maybe you should consider to invest in speakers instead of in headphones now :P


I have Linkwitz Orion speakers so just about any other model would be a step down.

 

Tim

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

I did find a shop, about an hour away, that had some models I wanted to hear. They had the HD800, HD650 and Fostex TH900. The HD650s sounded darker than I like. The Fostex were really nice, great sense of inky blackness and very neutral. Except for the bass, it just sounded a bit bloated and tubby. Also, for a closed set, they did not block out much sound.

 

The HD800s did sound a bit more detailed, a bit more spacious and little deeper in the bass. However, just a bit in each area. They did not blow me away as I thought they might. I brought my HD580s along to compare. The audition area was in the front of the store on a busy block so a lot of street noise was present. I would still like to hear the HD800s for longer, in a more quiet environment but, for the money, I think I'll keep my current set.

 

Tim

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcteague View Post
 

....... for the money, I think I'll keep my current set.

 

 

 

Exactly why I've never sidegraded to other dynamics, except for the HD650's because I wanted some variety and I got a good deal on them.

 

 

Now if you're looking for a more resolving, detailed headphone, but don't feel the current crop of high-end dynamics justify the expense (like I do) you may want to think about a mid-range Stax (like I did). 

      For speed and resolution I put my $500 SR404s right up there with the HD800.   I think the HD800 goes slightly deeper but I think the Stax has more satisfying bass in the most used bass frequencies in music.  The HD800 is a clear winner on soundstage, but to me soundstage is pretty far down the list priorities when choosing headphones. If you like to analyze music the HD800 is the better headphone, but for enjoying music I prefer my Stax.  I got around the big investment in electrostatic amplification with a Woo Wee. By dynamic amp standards the Wee is still a little spendy, but I got the SR404 and Wee for a good third less than the cost of a HD800.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcteague View Post
 


I have Linkwitz Orion speakers so just about any other model would be a step down.

 

Tim


Hi Tim

 

If your looking for a more speaker like presentation from the current stock of headphones, the Senn HD700s fills the bill, they’re about the closest I’ve had so far that compete with my Dynaudio Special 25s so that I’m content to listen to either or without reserve.

Overall the HD700 are IMHO a big improvement over my HD580/600s with better bass, correct staging (the HD580/600s have a tendency to produce a more forward and bigger than life center image), are quicker and overall much clearer, both are very good but in comparison I find the HD580/600 long in tooth with their much darker presentation.

Many have mentioned there is some peak in the treble, I’ve yet to confront it and find the HD700 very linear in their tonal presentation and overall the most satisfying of all my phones.

Another option as mentioned might be AKGs 700 series and with the bass port mod they are another rewarding headphone and would complement your HD580s when you’re in the mood for a brighter more extended treble and much wider sound stage.

But as I mentioned many time it’s nice to have a few pairs of phones on hand as not all recordings are created equal


Edited by Rob80b - 2/5/14 at 2:39pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by gradoist View Post
 

to nowhere~  

I partly agree with tgeml. HD580 are very good phones. But I don't think HD700 can compete with them.

..................................

Maybe you should consider to invest in speakers instead of in headphones now :P

I'd go as far and say the HD700s are the current speaker man's headphones, more so than even the HD800s.

I've seen quite a few head-fiers make reference to an oddity in staging with the 700s, all I can is that they must feel that near field monitor listening is the norm for a high quality speaker set-up. With that said, and even though I like my  HD580/600s, they and quite a few phones can not compete with the HD700s IMHO, at least from my 40 plus years in the hobby.

post #12 of 15

I would give the AKG 712 a try, I found the AKG's to sound a lot more speaker like than my 600's

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by defguy View Post
 

I would give the AKG 712 a try, I found the AKG's to sound a lot more speaker like than my 600's

 

Ironically, I much prefer the HD600 than the K712. To me, the K712 is not much more than a warmed-up Q701. Yes, the AKGs does have much wider soundstage, but that's all they have against the HD600.

 

 

 

To mcteague, this sums up what I've got to say about what you already have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tgeml View Post
 

You own a set of cans that are near perfection, so upgrading from them is going to be difficult. You may not be necessarily upgrading going to AKG, they just have a different sound signature.

 

Upgrading from AKG 701/702 and Beyers DT880 is simple, there's the HD800 / K812 / T1 which in essence best them in every single aspect. HD580/600 however, doesn't really have a "true upgrade" in my opinion. If you don't like the HD650, chances are you're not going to like the LCD-2 as well. 

 

PS: If you listen to a lot of 60s music, especially The Beatles, I would advice against getting a very analytical phones as generally 60s music does not have a good recording. Analytical phones would reveal these flaws, hence take away the pleasure of listening to them.

post #14 of 15

It's a settled feeling that you were able to try them and see for yourself whether you though they were better. I agree that it's not worth making a lateral move to HD6x0, K70x, or DT880. You'll probably find most planars too dark. I don't think they play classical as well as the other sorts of drivers, even though the open Audezes have a small following with listeners of orchestral music.

 

The only very expensive models I'm still curious about are HD800 and K812. When I tested HD800, it impressed me but not enough to buy it. I've agreed with 62ohm in the past that HD600 is as fine. Actually, HD800 sounds more like the successor to K70x because of its resolution and soundstage. But I'm not enthralled with K702 because it doesn't sound as integrated as K501 or HD600. I might buy HD800 at some point as an experiment, but I'm waiting till I get to hear HD800 and K812 side by side. It's still very early, but I'm dubious of K812 because of its portability (and I don't like it that the earpads aren't velour or another breatheable material).

post #15 of 15
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