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Looking for an upgrade/something different from Sennheiser HD 598s

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I've used my Sennheiser HD 598s lovingly for about a year or two, and I'm finally craving something different and a bit better. I've been looking since about November on and off (obviously not the whole time), but been unable to pick something. Mainly since I can't preview how cans will sound, and so I worry if it won't be a noticeable difference and will be worth the money. While I'm overall extremely happy with these cans as my first relatively non-cheap audiophile set of headphones (which also unfortunately doesn't give me much to compare them to) I certainly could be happier.

 

My budget is at about $200-$400. My main issues with the 598s is that some music seems to be lacking. I'm a fiddler and plain fiddle often does not sound too impressive, and other types of fiddle such as nyckelharpa and hardanger fiddle do not either. In some more complicated acoustic music a lot of instruments seem to blend together too, and it can be hard to pick out a harp from a nyckelharpa from a fiddle from a mandolin. In addition, the lows are noticeably not very great (though of course mids and highs are more important and I overall care more about). A song with acoustic guitar, maraca and jingle bells will have invisible hand percussion in the background.

 

I was looking at the ATH-AD700X in particular, and a bit right now into the AKG Q702. The AD700X sounds from reviews a lot like I want: beautiful strings, great soundstage, no blurring together of instruments, works on a variety of music such as traditional folk, classical, and black metal. The AKG Q702 from reviews sounds fairly similar, but with a larger soundstage and a bit more expensive (about $60 more from what I saw, here in Canada). However since these are so similar in price to my 598s, I'm not sure they'd be both a better sound as well as a different sound closer to what I want. A lot of criticism to some headphones will mention bass, and so I'll mention that I listen to almost no music with bass, and so it is not a priority. The last thing I'll add is although I think I'd prefer a more neutral sound that is close to the source audio, the neutrality of my 598s can sometimes seem to be a bit dull. I find I rely on slight, precise adjustments in an equaliser to make it sound more listenable, usually in a bit of a V shape with a bit of favour in treble. Maybe I'd like fairly neutral, but not too much?

 

Would anyone be able to advise me on a pair of cans I'd like and wouldn't regret? Any help is much appreciated.

post #2 of 4
I have a really great choice for you, given your musical background: ZMF v1. It sounds as if it was tuned for string music. I would say that it's not meant to be neutral, but to convey each range well. Treble extension is very impressive whilst never harsh. The mod takes advantage of the planar's black background to provide a focused presentation.

If you're looking for an open model, consider HE400. I think you'll find the others you mentioned too similar to what you're using now.
post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volo View Post

Would anyone be able to advise me on a pair of cans I'd like and wouldn't regret? Any help is much appreciated.

 

Might be helpful to know what sources your plugging your headphones into?

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

I have a really great choice for you, given your musical background: ZMF v1. It sounds as if it was tuned for string music. I would say that it's not meant to be neutral, but to convey each range well. Treble extension is very impressive whilst never harsh. The mod takes advantage of the planar's black background to provide a focused presentation.

If you're looking for an open model, consider HE400. I think you'll find the others you mentioned too similar to what you're using now.


Those look like excellent picks at a quick glance, I'll definitely do some reading about them tonight or tomorrow morning then get back with what I think. Thanks for the recommendations!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Might be helpful to know what sources your plugging your headphones into?

I have an Asus Xonar ST which has a built in headphone amp, would this be enough?

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