Originally Posted by Claritas If isolation isn't important, Grados sound good with all sorts of guitar-based rock. They're bright, not neutral, but the boosted treble enlivens the sound of the strings. SR60i is a good start, especially with with L-cushions. Comfort is an issue because the headband is too thin, so mod it with foam or buy an aftermarket headband or headband cover.
One that I have not heard but sounds as if it might interest you is SRH440. Reports range from neutral to slightly bright. I've been impressed with Shure's other products, and if I were looking in that price range, those are the ones I'd buy. You can also mod them for comfort if needed and probably for more bass too.
buy ATH-M50 for rock because the treble is too thin and metallic. That's a pity because it's an otherwise good product.
I agree about the Grados. In addition to what Claritas says, Grado drivers have excellent transient response, which gives them excellent resolution of guitar in the mids. The SR80i just makes guitar sound better than any other $100 headphone I have heard. Grados also have an engaging soundstage (like being up on stage with the performers) that you just can't get in a closed headphone.
I'm not too excited about the ATH-M50 for rock either also because the mids seem slightly recessed to me because of the bass emphasis, and also the soundstage is not very good. The ATH-M50 is a good all around headphone for the price when it's <$125, but it is master of nothing.
That being all said, the Grados absolutely are not good for use where you don't want to hear your environment or have people hear what you are listening to. They are definitely keep at home headphones. If you wanted an extra, general portable headphone for when you aren't at home, the JVC HA-S400
punches way above it's weight.