~$150 cans for large scale classical?
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 36

CYoung234

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Hi. This is my first post in this forum.

I had a pair of on-the-ear (open) Beyers in the 1990's that were just great for this, but they are now broken. I cannot remember the exact model number, but DT-125 sounds about right? They were mostly plastic, with a pleather pad under the band and fabric earpiece covers. They were lightweight and sounded very good on my stereo as well as on portable CD players.

As for the new headphones, these would be driven from a range of sources (iPod w/o aonther amp, computer sound card, dedicated custom headphone amp from my stereo system), so I am looking for something versatile. I am getting a pair of IEMs for the iPod (Head Direct RE0), so the full size cans can be either closed or open.

Musical tastes range from big classical (Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, etc.) to some rock / pop / jazz.

I have been reading these forums and searching for cans, but have not really found anything yet. I would like to stick to something for under about $150, as I do not have too much time to listen anymore. Thanks for any suggestions.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 11:01 AM Post #3 of 36

nc8000

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If you can find a pair of Koss A/250 in the "for-sale" section or else where (they are discontinued) they would be fantastic for this. They look and feel plasticy but they sound fantastic. Otherwise the AudioTechnica ATH-AD700 could be a good bet just around your price range.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 11:11 AM Post #4 of 36

1Time

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I owned the A250 and AD700, promptly sold both, and I don't recommend either. But I've read lots of people have enjoyed them. I used the A250 from a receiver and the AD700 from a sound card. I found the A250 unimpressive and nothing special and the AD700 too bass light.

Quote:

Originally Posted by nc8000 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you can find a pair of Koss A/250 in the "for-sale" section or else where (they are discontinued) they would be fantastic for this. They look and feel plasticy but they sound fantastic. Otherwise the AudioTechnica ATH-AD700 could be a good bet just around your price range.


 
Sep 13, 2009 at 1:33 PM Post #5 of 36

CYoung234

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Welcome.

FWIR...

I suggest considering the K240 MK II

Edit: I suggest searching and reading about the SRH840 / SRH440.



Thanks for the suggestions. I will look more closely at the Shures. Regarding AKG, do you have a preference for the K240 Mk II versus the K271?
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 2:54 PM Post #6 of 36

Gossling

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Hi, I am in a similar predicament. Regarding the K240 vs. K271, read all about it here:

In summary, it seems like it's too subjective to say which one's better. But it also seems as if the K271 is more picky about amp and source than the K240. Also, if possible, go for the MK2 versions, as they come with two pairs of cushions (velour and pleather?) and a detachable cable.

I've read about discomfort issues with the SRH-440 in pcmag's review. It's not an audiophile site obviously, but their remarks should still be sound as far as comfort level goes.

Feel free to read through the thread I started a few days ago as well. You'd benefit more from a larger soundstage, but I think we'd both need balanced and detailed reproduction across the spectrum.

A question, do IEMs ever reproduce classical music as well as full-size headphones? Or is it just a matter of soundstage? From what I've read, it sounds like IEMs can often pick up greater detail, but lack soundstage and bass. Sometimes I prefer a more intimate sound setting...would IEMs do this for me or would it all just sound cramped and less airy as compared to a good set of full-sized open cans? What about closed cans? If anything, it seems like closed cans are generally the worst of them all (boxy mids, overpowering bass, and not a great soundstage).
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 4:17 PM Post #7 of 36

CYoung234

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gossling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Hi, I am in a similar predicament. Regarding the K240 vs. K271, read all about it here:

In summary, it seems like it's too subjective to say which one's better. But it also seems as if the K271 is more picky about amp and source than the K240. Also, if possible, go for the MK2 versions, as they come with two pairs of cushions (velour and pleather?) and a detachable cable.

I've read about discomfort issues with the SRH-440 in pcmag's review. It's not an audiophile site obviously, but their remarks should still be sound as far as comfort level goes.

Feel free to read through the thread I started a few days ago as well. You'd benefit more from a larger soundstage, but I think we'd both need balanced and detailed reproduction across the spectrum.

A question, do IEMs ever reproduce classical music as well as full-size headphones? Or is it just a matter of soundstage? From what I've read, it sounds like IEMs can often pick up greater detail, but lack soundstage and bass. Sometimes I prefer a more intimate sound setting...would IEMs do this for me or would it all just sound cramped and less airy as compared to a good set of full-sized open cans? What about closed cans? If anything, it seems like closed cans are generally the worst of them all (boxy mids, overpowering bass, and not a great soundstage).




Thanks for the reply. I checked out your links, and it looks like, for me at least, the AKG 240 MkII or the Shure are the best bets. The Senn 555 or 595 might be worth a listen as well. As far as your question about IEMs, I don't know yet, as I have not received my RE0's. I was listening on cheap phones before. My regular audio setup spoils me a little as far as headphones go, as I am using Apogee Centaurs with an Audible Illusions pre-amp and a Counterpoint SA-220 amp in a great listening room. This setup is old and far from audiophile, but it sure still sounds good. The Apogees don't go that deep, but what they do, they do right. The mids and upper end on these ribbon drivers are very natural sounding and fast.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 11:45 AM Post #8 of 36

Don Quichotte

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Quote:

Originally Posted by CYoung234 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the suggestions. I will look more closely at the Shures. Regarding AKG, do you have a preference for the K240 Mk II versus the K271?


No no no, for classical try a used K501. Notably better than K240 and K271 IMO, at least if musical enjoyment is your purpose. Also be prepared to put up with the insufficient bass (but it's wonderful otherwise for acoustic instruments).
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 12:29 PM Post #9 of 36

JaZZ

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I strongly suggest a (used) Sennheiser HD 580, 600 or 650. It won't play very loud on an iPod, but I guess it would work, and considering your fully portable alternative in the form of an IEM, I'd make this compromise in favor of ultimate sound quality, especially for the use with a dedicated headphone amp and a sound card – where a higher-impedance (moreover high-efficiency) headphone is probably the technically better choice anyway. The Senns are known to sound excellent with symphonic music.
.
 
Sep 14, 2009 at 3:16 PM Post #10 of 36

Gossling

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Quichotte /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No no no, for classical try a used K501. Notably better than K240 and K271 IMO, at least if musical enjoyment is your purpose. Also be prepared to put up with the insufficient bass (but it's wonderful otherwise for acoustic instruments).


How much would I have to spend for an amp/DAC to do these justice?
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 1:03 AM Post #11 of 36

CYoung234

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Thanks for the responses so far. It turns out that my twin brother already owns a pair of Shure SRH840's, AKG K601's and K271's, so I will be auditioning them in the next few weeks. I had not talked to him about headphones, as I assumed he was still using Grado's.

Also, the AKG K501 seems to get a lot of love on this forum, even though it is discontinued and is getting pretty hard to even find. Can anyone comment on the differences in sound between it and the K601? I just wondered if it was even worth looking for at this point. My brother commented that out of the 3 phones I mentioned, the K601's are his favorites for classical music. His Shures are probably not fully broken in yet, though.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 1:19 AM Post #12 of 36

Reticuli2

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I thought the Koss A200 series was way, way too bright, though they had stunning transparency and openness. I also thought the HD580 (the brightest of that 580-800 series) was too dull. I think the Ortofon O-One is about right, though it is closed. It does sound a lot more open than most closed headphones. Another closed headphone with less bloom in the bass, more midrange, and better isolation is the ER4S. I think that also does big classical well. AKGs tend to be more appropriate, in my opinion, for jazz, weird eclectic alternative, shoegazer & distortion rock, and anything else you want to congeal into a sound or bring vocals forward & suppress sibilance rather than separate everything out.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 2:57 AM Post #13 of 36

Gossling

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CYoung, please let us know how the SRH840, AKG K601 and K271 compare. I am about to pull the trigger on the SRH840, but I would like just a little more evidence that they are right for me. If possible, could you also check how the SRH840 does without an amp or good DAC (out of ipod, for example). This would be amazing!

Thanks
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 10:59 AM Post #14 of 36

CYoung234

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Gossling,

Not a problem, but it will likely be toward the end of the week before I borrow anything. I will likely see if he can part with both the 601s and the Shures for a few days, probably with a headphone amp as well (he builds his own). He uses his K271s at work, so I would have to warn him so he could bring them home.

He is pretty confident the Shures will work with a portable source without amplification. The AKGs definitely will not work well. I will let you know. My portable is an iPod Nano 3G.
 
Sep 15, 2009 at 5:07 PM Post #15 of 36

Zaubertuba

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I don't know how they stack up against the MKII, but we use the K240 for mixing and live recording in our venue. I really can't imagine using it for listening at home, however--bass response is subdued and the highs are well, rather merciless.
 

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