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Upgrade path from 'budget kings' Takstar/Superlux/Samson - where to next in mid/hi-fi journey?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hi all, long time Australian lurker, just registered and first post.

 

My gear:

HP: Takstar Pro 80, Superlux HD661, Samson SR850

Amp: Fiio E07K

Source: Clevo laptop, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Denon AVR-2113 (mainly playing Spotify, small amount of FLAC)

 

Music preferences:

- Movie soundtracks like Gladiator, Last Samurai, Tron:Legacy (especially like Hans Zimmer and James Horner)

Pretty wide range of Billboard Top 100 stuff (John legend, Katy Perry, Jason Mraz, Lorde, Ed Sheeran, etc.)

- I like a pretty wide range of stuff, but mainly looking for something to stir me emotional - songs that are calming or soulful, that are dramatic or uplifting, or just have a really nice beat to get the head bopping and feet tapping

 

In terms of my current usage, I use the Pro 80 and SR850 about 50/50 and almost never the HD661 (except when I travel which is once a year). I prefer the semi-open and airier sound of the SR850, but also do like the Pro 80 for that more intimate closed-cans sound for certain music. The Pro 80 has a harder hitting and smoother sounding bass. The SR850 seems a bit gravelly in the mid-bass, but it does extend low enough for that bass impact especially in soundtracks.

 

The highs of the SR850 are probably a tad nicer than the Pro80.

 

Soundstage also goes to SR850.

 

I prioritise airiness and soundstage, so I'm leaning towards another semi-open or open can.

 

So... with all of this in mind, where to next in this journey?

 

I've read that the Pro 80 and SR850 punch well above their price-range often being labelled as sounding 'as good as $150 headphones'. So what does that mean for me in terms of upgrading to something that is significantly better/worthwhile?

 

I don't intend on changing amps at the moment, but if it ends up being the weak link, then I can consider/budget for it.

 

So far, I've done research on these and are on the shortlist: (and price in AUD$ I can get them for)

ATH-AD900x ($200)

Sony MDR-MA900 ($265)

DT880 Pro-250 ($300)

DT880 Premium-250 ($300)

DT990 Pro-250 ($200 very good price at Amazon atm)

Phillips Fidelio L1 ($199)

Hifiman HE400 ($339)

 

Can anyone help with some advice on which of these best suit me? Which is best bang for buck?

 

Much thanks!

post #2 of 6
I don't think I would describe the HE-400s as "airy" (to meet your requirements) but they do have a nice soundstage and good imaging. Read about them here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13#user_HE400 These are a very resolving, detail oriented headphone with some bass emphasis and excellent bass SQ.

If I'm not mistaken, FiiO E07K has a rated impedance range of 16 ohm to 150 ohm, even though it does have some output at 300 ohm (see this review with the manufacturer specs). My "guess" is that your amp will probably do a bit better with the lower impedance phones in your list. The Denon should do better with the higher impedance phones; the headphone output of many receivers is not optimal for low impedance headphones.
post #3 of 6

Based on what you're prioritizing, go for the q701 (terrible headband bumps though), or the hd598. 

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by benandfaith View Post
 

HP: Takstar Pro 80, Superlux HD661, Samson SR850

Amp: Fiio E07K

Source: Clevo laptop, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, Denon AVR-2113 (mainly playing Spottily, small amount of FLAC)

 so I'm leaning towards another semi-open or open can.

I don't intend on changing amps at the moment, but if it ends up being the weak link, then I can consider/budget for it.

So far, I've done research on these and are on the shortlist: (and price in AUD$ I can get them for)

ATH-AD900x ($200)

Sony MDR-MA900 ($265)

DT880 Pro-250 ($300)

DT880 Premium-250 ($300)

DT990 Pro-250 ($200 very good price at Amazon atm)

Phillips Fidelio L1 ($199)

Hifiman HE400 ($339)

 

The AD900X should work well with the laptop, E07K & Galaxy Note 2, but not the receiver

Chances are your Denon AVR-2113's headphone jack has a high impedance, which is not a great match for low Ohm (40-Ohm) headphones, like the AD900X.

Where as the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm would work well with a receiver, like the Denon.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

The AD900X should work well with the laptop, E07K & Galaxy Note 2, but not the receiver

Chances are your Denon AVR-2113's headphone jack has a high impedance, which is not a great match for low Ohm (40-Ohm) headphones, like the AD900X.

Where as the Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro 250-Ohm would work well with a receiver, like the Denon.

 

Now that I think of it, I rarely listen to headphones on the Denon so I won't bother taking them into account.

 

I have been leaning towards the AD900x. I notice you have the Takstar HI-2050. How much 'better' would you say the AD900x is compared to the Takstar?

 

Part of me wants to just save some money and get the Takstar based on the rave reviews from the Takstar thread, but a bigger part of me wants something significantly better. Besides, I already have the Takstar Pro 80 which have the same drivers (I do know they are closed compared to semi-open of 2050)

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by benandfaith View Post
 

Now that I think of it, I rarely listen to headphones on the Denon so I won't bother taking them into account.

I have been leaning towards the AD900x. I notice you have the Takstar HI-2050. How much 'better' would you say the AD900x is compared to the Takstar?

Part of me wants to just save some money and get the Takstar based on the rave reviews from the Takstar thread, but a bigger part of me wants something significantly better. Besides, I already have the Takstar Pro 80 which have the same drivers (I do know they are closed compared to semi-open of 2050)

 

I own the A900X closed headphones and they do sound better then the Hi2050s & Pro 80s

The ATH-AD900 are considered a little more desirable then the ATH-A900s.

So I would assume the AD900Xs are a little better then the A900Xs.

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