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Budget ~$1500 for full-size open cans paired to WA7 amp

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi there, 

 

I'm in the market for a pair of open (preferably), full-size headphones in the $1000-1500 region.

 

I've been happy with my pair of Sennheiser HD555s and my trusty Woo Audio WA7 amp for about eight months. Originally I was set on a pair of HD800s, but the more research I've done, the more I've started to think they would be too bright and clinical for the kind of sound signature I want. (I've demo'd a pair with my amp & was impressed but I didn't get enough time with them.)

 

I mostly listen to pop music and some of my most-listened-to artists are Vampire Weekend, M83, John Mayer, Sufjan Stevens, Kanye West, that sort of thing. I listen to lossless audio through my Macbook via USB to my WA7 amp. 

 

I prefer a more forward, musical sound and I could care less about "monitoring" or hearing the sound as it was recorded. Most of my favourite music is quite over-produced anyway. I am looking for a set of mid- to hi-fi headphones with good resolution and imaging, with a big soundstage and separation between mids and bass. I fear the HD800s would be too bright and fatiguing, and not as "fun", even when paired with the WA7. 

 

Any recommendations (other than "just get the HD800s")? I am tempted by the LCD-2s for my purposes.

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liminal View Post
 

Hi there, 

 

I'm in the market for a pair of open (preferably), full-size headphones in the $1000-1500 region.

 

I've been happy with my pair of Sennheiser HD555s and my trusty Woo Audio WA7 amp for about eight months. Originally I was set on a pair of HD800s, but the more research I've done, the more I've started to think they would be too bright and clinical for the kind of sound signature I want. (I've demo'd a pair with my amp & was impressed but I didn't get enough time with them.)

 

I mostly listen to pop music and some of my most-listened-to artists are Vampire Weekend, M83, John Mayer, Sufjan Stevens, Kanye West, that sort of thing. I listen to lossless audio through my Macbook via USB to my WA7 amp. 

 

I prefer a more forward, musical sound and I could care less about "monitoring" or hearing the sound as it was recorded. Most of my favourite music is quite over-produced anyway. I am looking for a set of mid- to hi-fi headphones with good resolution and imaging, with a big soundstage and separation between mids and bass. I fear the HD800s would be too bright and fatiguing, and not as "fun", even when paired with the WA7. 

 

Any recommendations (other than "just get the HD800s")? I am tempted by the LCD-2s for my purposes.

According to a summit-fi thread, the LCD-2 is considered in general as the most overrated headphone. I'm just warning you before you spend big money on it. 

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubs28 View Post
 

According to a summit-fi thread, the LCD-2 is considered in general as the most overrated headphone. I'm just warning you before you spend big money on it. 

 

Rev. 2 is a very good model and not so very expensive used. Why do you think it's over-rated?

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

Rev. 2 is a very good model and not so very expensive used. Why do you think it's over-rated?

 

I haven't heard or owned these headphones myself, but the LCD-2 was mentioned alot of times as the most overrated headphone in a summit-fi thread. That would be a red flag to me if I was shopping for new headphones.

post #5 of 18
It's just cuz some don't like it, they find it bland and boring. That's my impression. Others find it euphonic, seductive etc..
post #6 of 18
I don't enjoy it (too dark) but I wouldn't say it's over-rated (or over-priced nowadays relative to most other flagships). I don't believe in public opinion: I trust my own ears/brain/soul, always.
post #7 of 18

I haven't heard the LCD 2, but I have heard the LCD X.  Personally, it is a darker, lusher sound, but it is very peasant and enjoyable.  The best bass I've ever heard.  Coming from headphones that are brighter, it might take a little getting used to, but they have their appeal.

 

Honestly, my only complaint about the Audezes is that they are heavy.

 

EDIT: Also, the LCD 2 in bamboo is under 1k which isn't too bad, but if you can get a deal or get a nice pair used, its a actually pretty decently priced imo.


Edited by AnalogSavior - 5/3/14 at 1:10pm
post #8 of 18
Well, I better mention HE-560 which is said to be pretty neutral but not bright. Else, oppo pm-1 which is said to be pretty dark, perhaps more so than LCD-2.
That's about it in planar world..
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Well, I better mention HE-560 which is said to be pretty neutral but not bright. Else, oppo pm-1 which is said to be pretty dark, perhaps more so than LCD-2.
That's about it in planar world..

I haven't been following the new Hifimans as there's too much to read and I hope to hear them soon at ChiUiFi 8 anyway. My sense of PM1 based on the three (!) threads is that it's about as dark as HD650, which is less than LCD2, but more mid-centric than either. That sounds promising and if it weren't for Oppo's trickiness and the annoying fans, I'd be more interested.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ubs28 View Post
 

 

I haven't heard or owned these headphones myself, but the LCD-2 was mentioned alot of times as the most overrated headphone in a summit-fi thread. That would be a red flag to me if I was shopping for new headphones.

ATH-M50s are called "overrated" all the time and people still love them. Lower price, I know, but the principle is the same. Whatever is popular gets a lot of hate. Some deserved, some not.

post #11 of 18
If I were to spend such money (which I might) I'd wait for Hifiman to update their line-up with the new Jade and the HE-6 successor. But you might not even want to go there in the first place..
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Well I ended up getting the HD800s. I couldn't resist the grey market price of AUD$1000. Good value and great cans. They sound particularly great with classical music.

 

What should be next in my upgrade chain? I am assuming the WA7 power supply... surely not cables? DAC?

post #13 of 18
A fine choice, though I'd have recommended a better all-rounder that is more forgiving due to your music taste and better possibilities for developing your taste in music.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

A fine choice, though I'd have recommended a better all-rounder that is more forgiving due to your music taste and better possibilities for developing your taste in music.

 

Now that I've had a taste for hi-fi cans, I am thinking of springing for the flagship Fostex 'phones. Or maybe the LCD-X, but they may be similar enough to the Sennheisers. 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liminal View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

A fine choice, though I'd have recommended a better all-rounder that is more forgiving due to your music taste and better possibilities for developing your taste in music.

 

Now that I've had a taste for hi-fi cans, I am thinking of springing for the flagship Fostex 'phones. Or maybe the LCD-X, but they may be similar enough to the Sennheisers. 

In your place I'd likely have gotten the he560 from the beginning. But that's me..

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