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Grado SR325e with Dragonfly?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi there. Long-term lurker. I have a few headphones -- Grado SR80s (no "i"), Sennheiser Momentums (the original over-the-ear version), Shure SRH 440s -- and have been considering a new set in the $300 range. When I listen to headphones it's nearly always from my Macbook Pro, using either iTunes or Audirvana, and it's usually over a DAC/Amp -- it was a Fiio Andes, but I've moved the Andes to the office (with the SRH 440s) and taken the Dragonfly DAC off my living room media center PC for use with the headphones, with a Schiit Bifrost coming to be the permanent living room DAC instead.

 

So: I was considering the NAD VISO HP50s (and could still be talked into that), but after listening to the SR80s again I'm reminded how much I just love their sound, and I'm considering getting new Grados, either the SR225e or SR325e. (I'm not willing to stretch my budget too far past that for the cans, I don't think.) But the question for all the more knowledgeable folk here I have is -- are Grados and a Dragonfly a reasonable combination? Should I contemplate saving up for a tube DAC/amp? (Probably the Schiit Vali and Modi combo, although if something else was in the same rough price range, it could be considered.)

 

I know this is asking for a lot of likely conflicting opinions, but I'm okay with that. :) If I get the SR325es -- or any other headphones, really -- I'm likely to stick with the Dragonfly for a couple paychecks past that as it is, but I'm curious whether there's a general consensus of "tube amps + Grados = love" or not, and whether the Vali and Modi would be a good combination for that.


Edited by Chipotle - 6/30/14 at 8:24pm
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 

(A bit of a bump, as I posted this really late last night, and managed to misspell "SR325" in the title. Because late.)

post #3 of 9

I had some 325s with a Dragonfly a few months back and found the combo a little too bright. The 325 is already an aggressive sounding headphone, which is why tube amps - which smooth and treble - are so preferred. That's not to say that the pairing is bad, but if you're sensitive to treble harshness or brightness, I'd recommend looking at a headphone that's a little warmer in sound. 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

Do you have any recommendations? I've been thinking about the SR325e mostly because I really like the SR80 sound -- although I know the 325 series seems to be considered The Weird One among the Grado lineup. I'm pretty sure I'd like to go with an open set rather than closed. The other ones I've been considering are going down (sideways?) to the SR225e, or a DT880 -- I'm not sure whether I'm willing to stretch the budget up to the RS2 in this pass. Maybe.

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
 

Do you have any recommendations? I've been thinking about the SR325e mostly because I really like the SR80 sound -- although I know the 325 series seems to be considered The Weird One among the Grado lineup. I'm pretty sure I'd like to go with an open set rather than closed. The other ones I've been considering are going down (sideways?) to the SR225e, or a DT880 -- I'm not sure whether I'm willing to stretch the budget up to the RS2 in this pass. Maybe.

I think the 225 would be right up your alley. Many liken it to a more refined version of the SR80. Actually, yours truly wrote a review last year calling them "the sweet spot of the Grado fam."

 

The DT880 would pair well also. It's my favorite of the DTxx0 lineup. Bear in mind however, that the better versions of the DT series are more power-hungry and while the Dragonfly does amp most headphones quite well, the Beyers may benefit more from a more devoted amplifier. 

post #6 of 9

Hey. I've had the 325e for a bit and I don't think they are bright at all. I'm not a pro at all, but I listen to the RS2i at a store and THEY sure sounded bright. The 325es are really well balanced in my opinion. I also listened to my friend's K551s and whenever a singer pronounces an "s," it bothers me to no end. I've heard that was an issue with previous 325s but it sure isn't in the new e version.

 

Just my 2 cents. Hope I helped.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I did actually go ahead and get the SR225s, listened to them for a bit, and then got a Vali amp, which I'm already mildly in love with. I am, possibly sadly, strongly considering getting some Beyerdynamic DT-880s, though. (At which point I should then strongly consider selling a pair or two of my existing cans...)

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post
 

Thanks. I did actually go ahead and get the SR225s, listened to them for a bit, and then got a Vali amp, which I'm already mildly in love with. I am, possibly sadly, strongly considering getting some Beyerdynamic DT-880s, though. (At which point I should then strongly consider selling a pair or two of my existing cans...)

Sell! Bah! Think of each set or headphones like a child. : ) I think that the Vali is quite nice with the AKG Q701s and that headphone is quite a bargain at less than $200. You probably made the right call in getting the 225s because the 325 is just not a great pairing with either the Dragonfly v1 or the Vali. It has a amazing detail for the price, though.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipotle View Post

Thanks. I did actually go ahead and get the SR225s, listened to them for a bit, and then got a Vali amp, which I'm already mildly in love with. I am, possibly sadly, strongly considering getting some Beyerdynamic DT-880s, though. (At which point I should then strongly consider selling a pair or two of my existing cans...)

Those are quite different headphones. They could complement each other well smily_headphones1.gif
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