The Koss Pro4AA is really a nostalgia headphone, nothing more at this point. I had one back in the early 70's and enjoyed it when I had it, but the industry left it long ago. If you can get over your desire to stick with closed, the world of headphones could be your oyster. Mine had the old fluid-filled pads which dried out after several years.
I agree with most of the assessments above. The K701 and its derivatives would really open your eyes and ears, so to speak. Although, I think you could quickly get used to the Sennheiser clamping force on the 580/600/650 family. They loosen up over time and are so comfortable that you really don't notice it.
Well, the newest ones seem to be, sure. I'm not a fan of those drivers. These are not the newest ones by any stretch. I should put the mods back on them and show 'em off - cheating bastard that I am, I have a lambskin wrap for the headband. But it has to be circumaural, period. I need isolation - supra-aurals are echo-chambers of distraction. And my doctor made it excruciatingly clear to me after last time that IEMs are strictly off limits, unless I want to be deaf. I do not want to be deaf.
As far as clamping force? I don't care how much you break in 6N cans, they are going to crush. And if they're pushing entirely at the top, which is the problem I have, you are done unless you have a burning desire to develop migraines. And Sennheiser has been the worst headband design for that problem, sole exception being Momentums. (But ugh, talk about brand markup.)
If you go for the K701, try to pick the K712 or the Q701.. The original K701 is a fantastic headphone, but the center bump on the headband can be excruciating. The Q701's moved it off of dead center, but got rid of them altogether on the K712. The Beyer DT880 is also a good choice, but the quality improves with the highest impedance you can stand. The 600-ohm DT880 is a world-class headphone (as are all I've mentioned), but it can be tough to amp with that kind of impedance. The Sennheisers are probably the easiest to amp consistently, while the K701 family is tough as well - needing a lot of current-impulse capability.
The bump is personal preference - and I like the bump! The current K701/K702 supposedly no longer has the bump anyway. (Or it does. It's not clear.) The K702's I listened to were not amped and sounded fantastic. Obviously burned in and with a properly tuned source. Still not terribly surprising given they're 62 @ 1kHz. They can go straight to hell if I need to amp 600 ohms to get decent sound though. Pretty sure the Starving Student can't push that - certainly I don't know how to make it push that much. Not to mention the DT880/600's are way over budget - but the DT880/250 Pros are in.
Sadly, the K712's while possessing a dreamy curve, are absolutely not happening - again, $50-250 range. If you can find me K712's in there, pretty please link so I can buy a dozen. I can't get them below $380 - which ain't bad considering the $700 list, but still way over budget.
Bear in mind, I keep volume pretty dang low with rare excursions. Again: do not wanna be deaf.
There's also a second choice - you might be interested in a Senn HD25-II (or Amperior or HD26). Those are on-ear, closed and IMHO, are greatly superior to the Koss. People in broadcast wear them for hours. You see them on the heads of NFL play-by-play guys all the time.
Found the frequency response curves for the Amperiors and HD25-SPs. Wow that is a big drop at 7kHz - I'd guess to dial out vocal sibilance? Problem being then you throw a good synthesizer at it like I regularly do, and splat hard on the highs. Best way to demonstrate it is go back to my first post, fire up the Mighty Switch Force OST. Go to track 10, Yummy and track 6, Love You Love You Love - or better still, buy it on Bandcamp in lossless. Now play with your EQ a bit. Yup - my favorite flavor of bright leads are deep in that gap.
You might look on Tyll's "wall of fame" on innerfidelity.com. Keep in mind that Tyll tends to like warm, mid-bass phones with some thump and tends to get frustrated over a little tizziness in the high-end. Someone with your hearing might easily prefer an extended-response headphone with lots of sparkle. That would tend toward the K701 family and the Beyers.
Will do! At this point, it kinda looks like it's down to AKG K702, added Shure SRH840 on strength of specs, and added Philips Fidelio X1's to the short list thanks to Tyll. So that narrows the questions down tremendously.
K702's, well, unless somebody can find K712's on one hell of a sale... or K812's. ;)
Shure SRH840's, well, all the questions I guess. They seem to be well liked, and I can't say I dislike the the apparent price point. Just how much clamping force do they have though? Anyone wearing them with glasses that have thick arms? Because those pads look frighteningly thin.
Fidelio X1/28's, well, who's wearing 'em with glasses? Has anyone figured out some way to replace the pads? There is no chance those pads will last even a year, so if there really is no replacement, this needs to come off the shortlist post haste. Other than the pads and being tuned for warmth over accuracy (I s'pose I can give it a shot) any reason to stay away?
Im using a DAS keyboard with mx brown switches, not as loud as those IBM buckling spring ones though.
Oh gods. While Das is the loudest of the Browns by far (cheap ABS keycaps = echo chambers) yeah, it is nowhere near buckling springs. Forget MX Greens on a plate mount. Sooooo, that would definitely knock the DT880's out of consideration.
My local guitar center has DT770's along with some other closed full sized headphones, like Shure 840 and Sennheiser HD280's, and guitar center is usually pretty good about letting you try products in store. Could give that a shot.
Heh, where do you think I found the KRKs? My local one didn't have anything but DT250s though - everything else was ship to store - and only had Shure's low end stuff in stock. I don't think they're expecting that store to survive much longer - four stores in 50 miles and it's the only one without GC Garage or Vintage. Would truly suck if they closed it down - it's the only store around here with people who actually KNOW analog synths.