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Choice between Beyer T90 and Shure 1840 (mainly for classical music)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have been thinking about compli(e?)menting my HE-5LEs with a pair of dynamic headphones. I find the Hifimans pretty good for everything, but sometimes I want a better imaging for classical music. I think planars' imaging is in a different way from dynamics. With planars, instruments seem to always be around your head, never inside your head, unless it is deliberately made so in recordings (like singers in pop songs), thus making the soundstage a little empty in the center sometimes, and 'crowded' in the periphery. This makes me miss the analytical ability of dynamics, especially listening to orchestral music. 

 

Based on my preference for tonal balance (well controled bass, not over colored mids, good treble and some nice higher frequencies), these two seem to be potentially good choices. Does anyone has experience with both? Any impression or idea is welcome. Intriguingly these two also seem to get mixed opinions. I am partially inclined to the beyers since I have had pretty good impression from DT990s. But the 1840s seem to be also a very neutral or objective pair of headphones. 

Since I live in a small town I have no chance to audition them. Your suggestions please! 

post #2 of 10
Regrettably, I haven't heard either. If I had to choose based on charts, I'd buy the Shures.

My favorite in production model for classical is HD600.
Edited by Claritas - 7/15/15 at 1:04am
post #3 of 10

I haven't tried any of those headphones. Based on my experience with DT990 and on some reviews/measurements of T90, I think that bright Beyers(DT990/T90) excel at reproducing strings and woodwinds, specially from small ensembles, while can be over bright for some wind instruments made of metal.

 

Most of the times, two recordings of the same musical piece differ quite a lot. I find "The Four Seasons" from Telarc really detailed and enjoyable with my DT990, but I prefer "The Four Seasons" from Harmonia Mundi with my more neutral DT880 or K702.

 

HD600 paired with a very good headphone amplifier seem to be the safest pick.

 

SRH-1840 also seem to be a good pick as a very good all rounder for classical music, but their THD measurements are a bit scary.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

Regrettably, I haven't heard either. If I had to choose based on charts, I'd buy the Shures.

Hmm, the frequency response chart I've seen for T90s differ largely from this...That looks like a lot of bass and low mids, which seem to contradict people's impression... And the Shures' look like they have no low bass... strange. 

Quote:
 My favorite in production model for classical is HD600.

Yeah I used to have HD650s and find them too warm. I doubt how much 600s can be, but I think I will have a chance to hear them in the summer at my friend's. So it seems it's best to not go in a haste. 

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 I think that bright Beyers(DT990/T90) excel at reproducing strings and woodwinds, specially from small ensembles, while can be over bright for some wind instruments made of metal.

You have almost the same experience as mine. I kind of regretted letting the 990s go. I thought the Hifimans can handle everything. 

Quote:
 Most of the times, two recordings of the same musical piece differ quite a lot. I find "The Four Seasons" from Telarc really detailed and enjoyable with my DT990, but I prefer "The Four Seasons" from Harmonia Mundi with my more neutral DT880 or K702.

That's also definitely true for me. Recordings sometimes make greater difference in sound than any other part of the system. 

Quote:
 

HD600 paired with a very good headphone amplifier seem to be the safest pick.

What would be your specific example of 'very good headphone amplifier'? 

post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by marshallmole View Post
 

What would be your specific example of 'very good headphone amplifier'? 

I should have written my point with more detail. I haven't heard HD600, but based on many reviews, it's pretty fair to say that most people like their easy going sound signature, and also their tonal balance for classical recordings in general. I'm sure K701/DT990/DT880 are better for some recordings, but can be a bit bright with some other recordings.

The smooth HD600 always appear to be the safe choice unless you want some sparkle and a lot of detail in your treble or a bigger soundstage (K7xx)


My point is that is probably safer to pick HD600 and invest the rest of the money (vs SRH1840) to improve the rest of your set.

 

When I said a 'very good amp' I was thinking in a good amp that suits your preferences. Picking a revealing solid state amp vs a warmer tube amp can often make an important difference.

There are many reccomended Amps for HD600 at different price points.


I've read nothing but good things about Gilmore Lite and HD600

O2 Amp seem to be a great pick at its price point.

 

Anyway, I've also read some good things about SRH-1840, if you can live with those THD measurements, then they are also a great pick (specially in terms of build quality)

 

I just expected Shure to come out and explain why such amount of distortion is indeed very good, if they can... Well maybe they can't.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks, that's very helpful. Makes me think about the choice again. The HD600s should have a higher priority I guess. 

I just looked at some measurements of the 1840s, they do seem terribly high in THD+N in the low and mid range. I think I will not buy them without auditioning then. 

post #8 of 10

Well, I had the SRH-1840 for some days. I can confirm that they are a bit high. When listening with them to some songs from singers like Sarah Brightman who naturally sings with a high voice the sound impression sems a bit unnatural. I wouln't have guessed it from the frequency chart above but these charts can be misleading sometimes.

post #9 of 10
Seriously don't buy 1840 without auditioning them first, such unbalanced phone and a terrible value for its price even after the price cut (was a total joke before IMHO).
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Yeah, and given the place I live in, I might never get the chance to try them out... It is interesting though, some people seem to love the 1840s while others have no good respect for them. 

For now I will wait for a chance to hear the HD600s. If they don't get close to what I'd like, then maybe try out the T90s. 

Thanks everyone! 

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