~$150 cans for large scale classical?
Sep 15, 2009 at 6:47 PM Post #16 of 36

Acix

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For $200 you can get the K701 for used on the FS forum.
k701smile.gif
big upgrade over the K-240MKll.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 2:33 AM Post #17 of 36

CYoung234

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Okay. I visited my brother and picked up the K601s and the Shure SRH840s this evening. We listened to some stuff through his Gilmore headphone amp. I also received my pair of Head Direct RE0's today as well. I spent a few hours on my iPod with them at work today, and I can tell I am going to like them pretty well. They are a little hot on the high end right now, but I could tell they were settling in as I listened more.

I will post some longer comments on the full size phones in a day or so, once I get a better chance to listen. From my initial listening, the Shures high end sounds steely, but they have only been used for like 4 or 5 hours so far, so they likely need more break in. They seem to have more bass than the AKGs, but further listening is in order. The AKG's sound very nice so far, and handled some pretty complicated Shostakovich very well. BTW, I listened to the same cut on the iPod and the RE0's, and they also sound very nice, albeit with a much smaller soundstage (headstage?). The RE0's isolate very nicely as well, so they will be good on airplanes. One of my colleagues had to tap me on the shoulder to get my attention!

My brother concurred that a set of K501s would likely be ideal for me. He goes to a lot of headphone swap meets, so I may have him start to look around for some. I did not see any in the sales forum, and eBay doesn't have any either. I will give the Shures a good listen and maybe some pink noise for a few days.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 12:16 PM Post #18 of 36

CYoung234

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Okay, here are some initial listening results, AFTER burning the Shures in for 24+ hours of pink noise. Tests done just with my laptop and iTunes as source with EQ set at Classical.

Shure: Definitely easier to drive - on my Thinkpad T61, volume set to 20 as opposed to about 35 for the AKGs to get similar volume. The low end on the Shures is better than the AKGs, but the high end is worse. It is hard to be subjective as to whether it is improving with burn in, but the steeliness is still there. The track I use to reference this is the 3rd movement of Shostakovich Sym. #7, Chicago Symphony / Leonard Bernstein. This is one of the reference tracks I used when buying my current stereo system in the early 1990's, as the opening woodwinds and the following string passages and louder section about 9 minutes in seem to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. It doesn't hurt that I have performed with about 1/4 of the musicians on this recording, so I have some idea as to how they sounded in real life. The real problem I am having with the Shures though is that the soundstage sounds really closed in compared to the AKGs. I suppose this has to do with them being closed back versus open. However, even the little Head Direct RE0's seem to sound less closed somehow. The Shures have a very "in your fsce" sort of quality to the sound. They sound lifelike, but not spatially very accurate.

AKG's: Harder to drive, so these would be out for general iPod use. I will likely have my brother build me a headphone amp anyhow, so that is probably not a real issue. Less bass than the Shures. Originally, I thought that this might make them less involving, but that has not proven to be true so far. The high end is much more lifelike on these phones. The real difference is in the soundstage though. These phones work much better spatially, and they create pretty lifelike instruments with body and position.

After spending time with the Shostakovich, I moved to several pop or rock cuts to see if things would change there. I used Cheryl Crow's Wildflower and John Mayer Bigger than my Body and Home Life. While the Shures sound nice, again the spatial clarity of the AKGs worked better for me.

So, that is my brief review of these two phones. I will continue burning in the Shures for another day or so to get them close to 100 hours and then listen some more.
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 2:58 PM Post #19 of 36

Gossling

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Thank you very much for your impressions!

It's interesting that you find the 840 more closed than the RE0. Maybe I should start reconsidering IEMs. How do the two compare in terms of comfort? Instrument separation in chamber music?

Does the RE0's smaller soundstage (compared to the K601) distract from the overall listening experience?
 
Sep 24, 2009 at 4:22 PM Post #20 of 36

Pars

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
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.
.



Nope. I haven't heard the 580s, but the 600s and 650s turn into mush on large scale symphonic. This driven by very good amplifiers (Dynahi, balanced Dynamite) and sources. Comfy though...
 
Sep 24, 2009 at 6:16 PM Post #21 of 36

CYoung234

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Okay, here are some more results. I have put around 85-90 hours of pink noise on the SRH840's, and the steeliness is diminished, but still there. The AKGs continue to sound very good, on a variety of music. So, some results of this testing:

1.) I was able to locate a pair of Beyer DT411's on eBay. These appear to be the phones I used to own that I liked a lot. So, I bought them, and they will arrive in the next day or so.

2.) I posted a WTB in the Sales area and have been able to find a pair of AKG K501's, which I am also buying.

So, with these two phones for serious listening and the iems for travel, I think I should be set. I still need to think about an amp and negotiate with my brother.
smily_headphones1.gif
Thanks to all for the suggestions.
 
Sep 25, 2009 at 6:59 AM Post #22 of 36

pp312

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I'm a classical music man and would not go past the 595, especially for large scale stuff. Can't afford that, get the 555 and do the mod to bring it up to 595 standard. You'll read heaps about it here.
 
Sep 25, 2009 at 7:42 AM Post #23 of 36

Uncle Erik

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Apogees not being very audiophile? You are being modest, my friend.
smily_headphones1.gif


I was just about to give you a spiel on the K-501, but it seems that you found a pair. If you like the K-601, you should be very happy with the K-501. I used a pair for a few years and loved them. I only sold to help pay for a HD-800 and because I get the same sound signature (and then some) from the K-1000.

Anyhow, you made a great choice and I look forward to your impressions!
 
Sep 26, 2009 at 5:47 PM Post #24 of 36

CYoung234

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Thanks for the confirmation of my choice and for the nice words about my Apogees. I am not too sure how many people on this forum are even aware of what they are. However, their sound sort of cuts down on the number of headphones I would be very interested in using for very serious listening, not that I get much time for that anymore!

I actually should probably just save up for Stax's of some sort, although the AKGs sound good, and are fast enough and neutral enough. I will post some impressions of them once I receive them - they are being shipped from the UK.
 
Sep 26, 2009 at 6:54 PM Post #25 of 36

Gossling

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Thanks for all the impressions and thoughts, CYoung, and congratulations on finding the right pair (at least for now).

So what is your final word on the SRH840 for classical music, taking into account the price and the ease of driving? Much of my listening will be done out of a stereo sound system in a library, but much of it will be done at home, where I do not (as of now) have a decent amp or source. How would it be best to spend my money now? Just spend it on a decent pair that's easy to drive, or spend some on a source/amp combo and some on a lesser pair of headphones to be upgraded down the road? If I went the first route, I cannot say for sure whether I would upgrade them or the source in the future.

Thanks again
 
Sep 26, 2009 at 7:14 PM Post #26 of 36

sizwej

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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).


x2 for the K501.Super wide soundstage,and superb mid-range make it a good choice for classical or acoustical music.Only problem is, they are a little hard to find these days, and as a result you may end up paying an inflated price.
 
Sep 27, 2009 at 12:52 AM Post #27 of 36

pataburd

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I'll throw in a shameless plug for the DT880/2003 (used), which will give you more bass drum, more kettle drum, more grumbling double bass, and certainly more organ pedal along with transparent highs and clean midrange--but nothing on par with the K501's.

For acoustic ensembles, the K501 are tough to beat (and no, I haven't heard the K1000 yet). And while the DT880 won't knock your socks off in the midrange the way the AKGs can, they do a very respectable job with large-scale orchestral venues, like Wagner or Bruckner. If you've got tubes to further warm and nourish the midrange, the DT880 sound even better. The Beyers sound very good with the Darkvoice 336i, and very very good with the DV337. : )

I'm listening to Ensemble PAN (Music of Cypress) right now over the K501 (driven by an AMC XIA integrated), a lute solo, and it sounds hauntingly real.
 
Sep 27, 2009 at 1:18 AM Post #28 of 36

pp312

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Pars /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Nope. I haven't heard the 580s, but the 600s and 650s turn into mush on large scale symphonic.



Funny how our ears hear completely different things....
 
Sep 28, 2009 at 11:18 AM Post #29 of 36

CYoung234

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gossling /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for all the impressions and thoughts, CYoung, and congratulations on finding the right pair (at least for now).

So what is your final word on the SRH840 for classical music, taking into account the price and the ease of driving? Much of my listening will be done out of a stereo sound system in a library, but much of it will be done at home, where I do not (as of now) have a decent amp or source. How would it be best to spend my money now? Just spend it on a decent pair that's easy to drive, or spend some on a source/amp combo and some on a lesser pair of headphones to be upgraded down the road? If I went the first route, I cannot say for sure whether I would upgrade them or the source in the future.

Thanks again



Gossling, I spent some time last night listening to both the AKGs and the SRH840's while working on a paper I am writing. I was just listening from my laptop as source, and was using some different material (Masters of the Trumpet and an old Sony NY Phil recording of Shostakovich and Poulenc Piano Concertos). At any rate, the Shures seem to be getting better with time. They are actually a very good choice overall, as they do many things well. The steely high end is diminishing as they break in more, and they are, all in all, a well balanced set of headphones. They sound like they would be a good choice for you now, and would get better as you improve your amplification later. My only two caveats with these phones are the slightly steely high end and the soundstage. The steeliness seems to manifest itself mostly with loud string sections that are recorded a touch hot. The soundstage suffers mainly when you compare it to something like the AKGs.

Finally, their ease of driving is a real plus. The AKGs can be driven by my laptop, but I have to turn the volume up almost all the way.
 

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