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Headphones for classical in sub-$50 range? - Page 2

post #16 of 40

Hi,

 

You should consider Pioneer Se-A1000.

 

Best Luck!

post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post
 

Hi,

 

You should consider Pioneer Se-A1000.

 

Best Luck!

 

Me x3,

 

Same questions that I ask everyone: :)

 

  • Have you tried them?
  • How do they sound with classical?
  • Sibilants?
  • Thruthful?

 

P.S. Have always regarded them as headphones for movies only. Not in a positive meaning of this word.

P.S.S. The FR graphs in Your topic show that the bass of these headphones is quite, m.. bad.

 

 

b0000,

 

I am puzzled by the reviews on the Superlux 668-B's HFs.

 

Some say "..Highs are delicate, soft, not too bright but still very accurate.."

The others - "..exaggerated bass and treble, sibilant, too bright to bear, harsh treble.."

 

Whom should I believe? :o


Edited by U6astik - 2/28/14 at 10:27pm
post #18 of 40
I read that SE-A1000 has creaky parts, but is otherwise fairly good.
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I read that SE-A1000 has creaky parts, but is otherwise fairly good.

 

Oh, God!

Seems like I have now one option more to choose from :( 


Edited by U6astik - 2/28/14 at 11:39pm
post #20 of 40

Take it slow. Make a list of potential pros and cons. You'll get there.

post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

 

Me x3,

 

Same questions that I ask everyone: :)

 

  • Have you tried them?
  • How do they sound with classical?
  • Sibilants?
  • Thruthful?

 

P.S. Have always regarded them as headphones for movies only. Not in a positive meaning of this word.

P.S.S. The FR graphs in Your topic show that the bass of these headphones is quite, m.. bad.

 

 

I've spent many many hours with Se-A1000.

 

This headphones are really smooth, and have wide soundstage. This aren't as bright as Takstar Hi-2050, so they sound good with a wide variety of music to my ears. Their sound is not as forward neither as transparent as lets say Hi-2050 or Beyers, but it's sweeter, less analytical, and you may find them more musical.

 

Their mids are slightly veiled, but this is more evident when comparing directly with a more transparent and brighter headphone, nothing to worry about at this price point.


Timbres are well preserved, and the overall sound is pleasing, and easy to listen.

 

Bass is full with good presence, giving the sound a warm tilt, warmer than Hi-2050.

 

Sub bass is lacking in comparison with closed back headphones, or bassy open back ones like Philips Fidelio L1.

 

Anyway, open back headphones with neutral sub-bass are often really expensive, and those with emphasized bass aren't good contenders for classical music because the big bass tends to bleed into the mids.

 

I think Pioneer Se-A1000s are a great pick if you are looking for smoothness and sweet highs.

 

If you want you can post an example of the music you usually listen to, and I can give it a listen with my Se-A1000. I can also compare them with my Hi-2050 with one of those recordings that you think are too bright for their sound signature.

post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 

Me x3,

 

Thank you very much for such detailed explanation of the SE-A1000.

I would also like to thank you separately for your generous offer! (did I use this word correctly?)

 

My most favourite pieces of music are:
 

My most favourite pieces of music are (Click to show)

(Additional inforamtion is in grey colour and small font in case you need it)

 

Mahler 6th - I Allegro energico and IV Finale Allegro moderato (Barbirolli, NPO, 1967)

5th - All, but V Rondo-Finale especially (Tennstedt, LPO, 1988)

3rd - I Kraftig and III Comodo (Rattle, CBSO, 1997)

(all from EMI Classics, Mahler - The Complete Works, 6089852)

 

Tchaikovsky 4th (Kurt Masur, NYP, 2006)

Francesca da Rimini (same)

Piano Concertos 2 and 3 (same)

(all from Warner Classics, Tchaikovsky, 2564 63781-2)

 

Bach St Joch Passion 245 (NBS, 2009, Channel classics, CCS SA 31309)

 

Shostakovich 1st and 4th (Barshai, WDR, 1995 and 1996, Brilliant Classics, 27CD box, red one)

 

Bruckner 1st (Wand, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, 1981, RCA, 09026 63931 2)

 

Mussorgsky - Pictures at the exhibition (Kuchar, NSO of Ukraine, 2001, Naxos, 6.1100616.1100616,110061)

 

I would be more than grateful to you if you could pick even one of them (to your taste of course) and try it with your Pioneer!

 

 

Claritas,

Thank you. I hope so too. :)

 

Seems like Superlux 668B are out of the competition. :( Sad, they were my favourite ones.

 

threi, the person that has both Sennheiser HD419 and Panasonic RP-HT711 (which I am enjoying a lot) has talked me out of buying 668B. He has mentioned that the latter have even more bright, than HD419 (which I hate most of the time) in this thread.

 

I was also advised that the Panasonic RP-HTF600-S is a better choice for a RP-HT711 owner. (Comparing to 668B)


Edited by U6astik - 3/1/14 at 2:07pm
post #23 of 40
You have *solid* taste in music. Mahler's 6th used to be my favorite. I found the Barbarolli very structured though, and prefer the late Bernstein (or Szell as a compromise between the two approaches).
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

Me x3,

 

Thank you very much for such detailed explanation of the SE-A1000.

I would also like to thank you separately for your generous offer! (did I use this word correctly?)

 

My most favourite pieces of music are:
 

My most favourite pieces of music are (Click to show)

(Additional inforamtion is in grey colour and small font in case you need it)

 

Mahler 6th - I Allegro energico and IV Finale Allegro moderato (Barbirolli, NPO, 1967)

5th - All, but V Rondo-Finale especially (Tennstedt, LPO, 1988)

3rd - I Kraftig and III Comodo (Rattle, CBSO, 1997)

(all from EMI Classics, Mahler - The Complete Works, 6089852)

 

Tchaikovsky 4th (Kurt Masur, NYP, 2006)

Francesca da Rimini (same)

Piano Concertos 2 and 3 (same)

(all from Warner Classics, Tchaikovsky, 2564 63781-2)

 

Bach St Joch Passion 245 (NBS, 2009, Channel classics, CCS SA 31309)

 

Shostakovich 1st and 4th (Barshai, WDR, 1995 and 1996, Brilliant Classics, 27CD box, red one)

 

Bruckner 1st (Wand, Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, 1981, RCA, 09026 63931 2)

 

Mussorgsky - Pictures at the exhibition (Kuchar, NSO of Ukraine, 2001, Naxos, 6.1100616.1100616,110061)

 

I would be more than grateful to you if you could pick even one of them (to your taste of course) and try it with your Pioneer!

 

 

Well, I've been listening to Mahler 6th - I Allegro energico and Mahler 5th - Rondo Finale with my Takstar Hi-2050s and Pioneer Se-A1000 paying special attention to those parts where te music goes louder and also brighter.

While Se-A1000's tonal balance is clearly less forward, neither of this headphones has a dark sound signature.

 

I find Pioneers to sound slightly less bright and more relaxed than Takstars, but Takstar's better resolution, separation, and more controlled bass (also slightly less in quantity) make them definitely a better pick. Hi-2050s really shine with strings. For people who like bright sound, this are a wonderful pick at their price point. But this is not the case...

 

So, I took my Fidelio L1 (definitely darker than Takstar Hi-2050 and Pioneer SE-A1000). Their highs are far less agressive, but tonally L1s are too laid back and also quite colored to my ears. The sub bass is emphasized and there is much less 'air' between instruments in comparison with Hi-2050 and Se-A1000.

 

At this point I was quite unsatisfied and didn't know what to say.

(The truth is that neither of this headphones are really appealing for this music, if you don't want the bright sound signature of Hi-2050s.)

 

I've tried all the headphones around me, (except Beyerdynamic DT880/DT990 which are more expensive and need extra amplification) and as I thought the right one is the hardest to recommend

 

The fact is that while writing this I listened to Mahler 5th - Rondo Finale and then Mahler 6th - I Allegro energico and then Mahler 5th - Rondo Finale again, with my Brainwavz R3 (Dual Dynamics IEMs) with the grey medium tips and they sound impressive, smooth and cohesive mids, fast and precise bass response, soft highs and lower mids. Not analytical definitely, simply musical and well balanced. The hardest part to belive is that their soundstage is comparable with most semi open back headphones, being less 'boxy' than Takstar's soundstage.

 

Brainwavz R3 is not a completely user friendly product, but maybe you could stretch your budget a bit and make a great deal with this very good sounding IEMs.

 

Brainwavz R3 measurements:

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/BrainwavzR3.pdf


Edited by Me x3 - 3/1/14 at 3:49pm
post #25 of 40
Thread Starter 

Me x3,

 

 

Oh, thank you very much for the time you've spent on my problem! A very useful comparison indeed.

 

Regarding the Brainwavz R3. I am usually a IEM-hater, but I would change my mind after your positive review.

If they were cheaper. ($100 is very close to DT660, which many people regard as a perfect headphone for classical music in its price range, so..)

Quote:
The truth is that neither of this headphones are really appealing for this music, if you don't want the bright sound signature of Hi-2050s.

 

An unpleasant truth :o

For $50 one cannot find good-sounding headphones for classical music if they are not into bright sound.

Seems, that I have to think and make a compromise.

 

 

Claritas,

 

*Solid* - I am not sure I understand. I'll PM you, ok?

 

About the 6th (Click to show)

Oh yes, I think Barbirolli is just a genius at 6th!

 

I've tried listen to the 6th with Bernstein and NYP in 2009 - I could not finish listening:

Energico seems like Bernstein is running out of time for some important meeting :blink:

Finale just doesn't seem Tragic. Ok, it does a tiny bit, but not ominous! After all, the 6th is all about the Apocalypse.

 

The 1989 recording by Deutsche Grammophon (Complete Symphonies) - Bernstein is running again in the First part, but here I can finally feel passion and tragedy! And yes, the Finale is much much better!

 

P.S. Why does Bernstein ignore LF? Seems like he hates double-basses and bass drums. And yes, his interpretation is B-R-I-G-H-T. I am literaly frowning from pain now in my sweet Sony MDR-Q68LW.

post #26 of 40

IMO you shouldn't really be turned off from bright headphones if you're only going to listen to classical. Classical recordings doesn't usually have the harsh trebles that is usually present in badly mastered modern or mainstream music that were meant to be played on less than spectacular gear. Sibilance shouldn't be too much of an issue either since classical doesn't have vocals. In fact, bright headphones tend to be recommended for classical, like the hd800, ad700, and k701. I myself usually reach for my hd800 when i listen to orchestral/soundtrack music, unless the soundtracks are electronic of course. I listen to stuff like immediate music, ivan torrent, two steps from hell, and tons of video game/movie soundtracks like lord of the rings, mass effect, joe hisaishi ect.


Edited by b0000 - 3/1/14 at 7:18pm
post #27 of 40
Quote:

Originally Posted by U6astik View Post

 

An unpleasant truth :o

For $50 one cannot find good-sounding headphones for classical music if they are not into bright sound.

Seems, that I have to think and make a compromise.

 

You can always EQ a little.

 

What was wrong with the Pioneers? So long as the metal build doesn't make creaking sounds, it sounded from Me x3's description that they were the least bright, though less resolving.

 

"solid" = very good :bigsmile_face:

post #28 of 40
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by b0000 View Post
 

IMO you shouldn't really be turned off from bright headphones if you're only going to listen to classical. Classical recordings doesn't usually have the harsh trebles that is usually present in badly mastered modern or mainstream music that were meant to be played on less than spectacular gear. Sibilance shouldn't be too much of an issue either since classical doesn't have vocals. In fact, bright headphones tend to be recommended for classical, like the hd800, ad700, and k701. I myself usually reach for my hd800 when i listen to orchestral/soundtrack music, unless the soundtracks are electronic of course. I listen to stuff like immediate music, ivan torrent, two steps from hell, and tons of video game/movie soundtracks like lord of the rings, mass effect, joe hisaishi ect.

 

 

b0000,

 

You are probably right.

The thing is I don't have so much experience with headphones to say "I hate treble emphasis", but, for me, some classical music CAN be bright. It can depend even on the conductor (see Spoiler in my previous post) and yes, there are lots of vocals in the classical music - many symphonies have female/male/choral vocal parts and some of them are massive.

 

I am quite surprised to understand may high-end headphones are bright.

In this case I have two three options:

 

  • Their brightness does not hurt my ears
  • Those headphones are just not for me
  • Or may be I will need to by a separate EQ (that will probably decrease the SQ)

 

But anyway, I am too far away from HD800, SR-00x, K701, etc to talk about it.

My goal is to find cheap headphones that will play classical better than my current Panasonic RP-HT711 and will not make regret that small amount of money.

And yes, I should not probably be turned off from bright ones, but they are options with higher risk of insatisfaction. ;) 

 

 

Claritas,

 

Thank you for the compliment!

 

You can always EQ a little.

 

No, I can't. I am not using a laptop (I am using ONKYO CDP) and I am not going to buy a dedicated EQ, which costs $100-200.

 

About Pioneers: They cost 55$ in US, but £90 in UK (which is hilarious). Pity

Also:

 
Originally Posted by Me x3 View Post

 

I find Pioneers to sound slightly less bright and more relaxed than Takstars, but Takstar's better resolution, separation, and more controlled bass (also slightly less in quantity) make them definitely a better pick. Hi-2050s really shine with strings. For people who like bright sound, this are a wonderful pick at their price point. But this is not the case...

 

At this point I was quite unsatisfied and didn't know what to say.

(The truth is that neither of this headphones are really appealing for this music, if you don't want the bright sound signature of Hi-2050s.)

 

Me x3 thinks that neither Pioneers, nor Takstars are best for classical music. I wouldn't call it a negative review, but..

 

Has anybody heard of Pioneer SE-M290 or Panasonic RP-HTF600-S?


Edited by U6astik - 3/1/14 at 8:16pm
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

About Pioneers: They cost 55$ in US, but £90 in UK (which is hilarious). Pity.

 

Sweet Jesus! :(

 

Any chance you can find SRH440 used? As I wrote, I haven't heard it but reviews and FR charts indicate it would work. If you're concerned about the bass roll off, I think there's a mod for that called ShurEyal by @eyal1983.

post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by U6astik View Post
 

 

 

b0000,

 

You are probably right.

The thing is I don't have so much experience with headphones to say "I hate treble emphasis", but, for me, some classical music CAN be bright. It can depend even on the conductor (see Spoiler in my previous post) and yes, there are lots of vocals in the classical music - many symphonies have female/male/choral vocal parts and some of them are massive.

 

I am quite surprised to understand may high-end headphones are bright.

In this case I have two three options:

 

  • Their brightness does not hurt my ears
  • Those headphones are just not for me
  • Or may be I will need to by a separate EQ (that will probably decrease the SQ)

 

But anyway, I am too far away from HD800, SR-00x, K701, etc to talk about it.

My goal is to find cheap headphones that will play classical better than my current Panasonic RP-HT711 and will not make regret that small amount of money.

And yes, I should not probably be turned off from bright ones, but they are options with higher risk of insatisfaction. ;) 

 

 

Claritas,

 

Thank you for the compliment!

 

 

No, I can't. I am not using a laptop (I am using ONKYO CDP) and I am not going to buy a dedicated EQ, which costs $100-200.

 

About Pioneers: They cost 55$ in US, but £90 in UK (which is hilarious). Pity

Also:

 

Me x3 thinks that neither Pioneers, nor Takstars are best for classical music. I wouldn't call it a negative review, but..

 

Has anybody heard of Pioneer SE-M290 or Panasonic RP-HTF600-S?


Wait, don't get me wrong, Takstars Hi-2050 are wonderful for classical music at its price point. What I've said is that they are definitely on the bright side, so, if you are looking exclusively for headphones that don't have a bright sound signature, then you should look elsewhere, this Takstars are not appealing.

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