Anyone recommend an upgrade from PortaPro's for the new guy?
Oct 9, 2009 at 5:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

mritt400

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Calling on the Head-Fi Sages

So, this is my first post and I apologize in advance for any perceived or real noob-naiveté as I am just learning.

In searching the forum I noticed a mountain of general postings on which headphones to purchase as a result I will try to be as concise as I can to maximize the benefit of any feedback/input offered.

I currently have a pair of Koss PortaPro’s and I really like them but I am interested in developing a hobby I suppose and I am looking to try some different things and see how they work out. The PortaPro’s are great for on the go and I think they sound terrific but would like to expand and experiment a little in general.

In the interest of developing said hobby, I have determined that a 2-headphone arrangement would be a good fit for me. I am also open to implementing some sort of portable (read small, relatively inexpensive) amplification i.e. PA2V2, cMoy to increase performance and enjoyment. I have narrowed my headphone selection down to a few possibilities.

FYI- My music collection is highly varied with no one particular genre or style carrying any meaningful majority of playtime. Having mentioned that, I guess I suppose I am looking for an overall, versatile, “aural-pleaser”. Furthermore, as you may have guessed by my choice of the PortaPro’s that looks are not an issue for me - I am merely interested in the performance aspects of the headphones.

The headphones I am currently considering: Grado SR 60i, SR 80i, Alessandro MS1, and maybe even Grado SR 225i. I am open to any suggestions however. My max price point at the moment is $ 200 USD.

After searching/reading reviews, impressions and opinions I am pretty sure that any of these choices would be highly recommended but I would like some comparative assessments if anyone cares to share their insight.

So, on to the questions:

Which set(s) will (or will not) benefit from amplification?

I am guessing that the Grado SR 80i's and the Alessandro MS1's are very similar, how different are they?

How do the differences in construction/production between the SR 801’a and MS1’s translate into their overall performance?

I am certainly willing to try used equipment provided that it is in good working order (obviously) as I noticed this forum has a robust buy-trade-sell community here.

For any of you who may have any gear for sale and that I may be interested in have included a link to my eBay feedback profile for your reference (eBay My World - mritt4).

I appreciate the effort those of you that read this whole post for your patience and any feedback you may provide. The primary reason for asking for you input is to determine what might be the best fit for me. I have read in a number of places that many enthusiasts that go for the real high-end stuff end up settleing on the SR 60’s- so I am trying to find out before hand.

Thanks for your input.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 1:28 AM Post #5 of 16

nullstring

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Honestly, you have alot of options when you set the price high like that.

What do you like about your portapro's? what don't you like?

I would consider: Grado SR60, Denon D1001, ATH-ES7, ATH-ESW9.

It seems to me that one should start low on the grado line up to make sure they like the sound. I've never tried one though.. so what do I know?

PS: the bold is really nice... especially for these recommendation threads..
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 1:42 AM Post #6 of 16

mritt400

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I like some of the A-T stuff. The ATH-ESW9 may be a bit beyond what I would like to spend, at least for now... I did see that the ATH-AD700 are $87 on Amazon at the moment. Since portability is not really a major factor (got the PortaPro's for that) might that be a good direction to head? Not real keen on the purple however...

Thanks for the input!
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 1:44 AM Post #7 of 16

muxenle

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if you want to try grado I'd sugest ordering the sr60i from headphones.com(or any other grado model, or any other headphone they have there for that matter) to try them out, since they have a 30 day no-questions asked return policy, as long as you have all the packing and recipts, etc. If you like it you can stick with what you got, or send it back in for a full refund(though you have to pay for shipping back). Or if you don't like the sound you can still send it back; its win-win
smily_headphones1.gif


seems kind of dirty/under-handed but I ended up doing that, since though I really like the SR60i they really didn't suit my current needs(I thought the sound leakage wouldn't present that big of a issue...)
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 2:20 AM Post #8 of 16

mritt400

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nullstring /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What do you like about your portapro's? what don't you like?


Overall, I think they sound really good – sorry for such a technical response. Ha. I think I like them so much in part because I do not have a real established frame of reference with decent earphones/headphones, not that they are only good because I am a relative novice. I am pretty certain they are objectively good. The only sets I have ever really used up until this point have been the stock-jobies, iPod, Zune, etc. and it seems the PortaPro’s have served as my “gateway-drug” in this sense.

I noticed that a lot of folks decry the bass-heavy characteristics of the PortaPro’s but that has not really come across for me – admittedly, I do love me some bass when the mood strikes. The low end seems focused for the most part, although Massive Attack’s Angel almost got on my nerves, almost... but the bass is a characteristic of that genre.

My source is an 80g 6G iPod Classic and all of my music is ripped MP3 at 320 kbps so until Apple decides to support FLAC this is the highest quality format I am going with. Having said that, I think that the higher bitrate does not offer as many opportunities to “slob-out” on the low end as lower bitrates. Maybe I am wrong.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 4:26 AM Post #9 of 16

mritt400

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Quote:

Originally Posted by muxenle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...if you want to try grado I'd sugest ordering the sr60i from headphones.com(or any other grado model, or any other headphone they have there for that matter) to try them out, since they have a 30 day no-questions asked return policy, as long as you have all the packing and recipts, etc. If you like it you can stick with what you got, or send it back in for a full refund(though you have to pay for shipping back). Or if you don't like the sound you can still send it back; its win-win
smily_headphones1.gif



I didn't realize that was an option. I may give that a shot - thanks for the tip.
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 5:23 AM Post #10 of 16

jjinh

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mritt400 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I didn't realize that was an option. I may give that a shot - thanks for the tip.


yeh, try that. you can maybe start with the 80s or 125s
 
Oct 11, 2009 at 5:40 AM Post #11 of 16

muxenle

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mritt400 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I didn't realize that was an option. I may give that a shot - thanks for the tip.


Glad I could help in some small way
smily_headphones1.gif
as of yet I can't gaurntee how well this really works, though I should find out on monday. I e-mailed them, got a nice response answering my questions the next day, though for what ever reason he didn't give me my RMA number so I had to ask for that(getting a same day response) and my return is currently in transit to their californa HQ.

I'd assume some other sites do the same thing, but I really don't know.

I know with headphones.com they also accept a google receipt/google order number for returns too(though I lost the receipt that came with so I asked)

they also offer free next day shipping(when you order, if you have to pay yourself for shipping back, around 10 USD for cheapest UPS)

and I'm starting to ramble... I'm just going to hit the post button now
 
Oct 13, 2009 at 6:19 AM Post #14 of 16

NLynch

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Looks like you're where I was a year ago. I had a pair of portapros for 7 years and then started looking at this site. I bought a pair of SR60s, 1 month later I got the SR225s, and just now I got the HF2s.

I had bought a pair of SR225s from headphones.com for my brother for his birthday and he didn't like the grado sound signature. He had no problem returning them and got a pair of AH-D2000s that he's been happy with ever since. As soon as you compare the grados and portapros side by side you'll realize why the portapros are considered bassy.

I recommend trying the SR60s (maybe the MS1, I haven't heard them and I don't know about the return policy) to see if you like the grado sound--and +1 on the headphones.com suggestion.

Or you could skip the upgrade process and just buy a pair of the remaining HF2s from TTVJ at 10AM this morning
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Oct 13, 2009 at 6:19 AM Post #15 of 16

plainsong

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I've not heard the sr60i but the sr60 was headache-inducingly bad. The ms1, especially with some Grado flat pads from Todd, were awesomely awesome direct from an ipod. I just don't have mine anymore because they were "gifted" to an alcoholic upstairs neighbor who never used them, and never game them back.
frown.gif


If you want that kind of goodness with smoother highs and smaller form factor, consider the Jays V-Jays. My feeling right now is that they compete with the ms-1.

It's just a _FEELING_ though because like I said, no ms1s on hand to compare. If someone has both and says I'm ten million kinds of wrong, then I'll just have to say I'm wrong.
smily_headphones1.gif


You can't go wrong with either though, seriously. I wonder if the ms1i is worth the 10 dollar upgrade to consider as well.
smily_headphones1.gif
 

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