Back Again: SRH 940 Replacement Time
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TheAdmiralty

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I'm not sure I've ever seen one person carry on so many different threads as I have with discussions on what to do next about my aging SRH-940s.  I'll try to break this one up and make it a bit easier to read this time.
 
What I have / What I've Done:
 
Since you guys get ten thousand new members here daily, all asking for advice, I don't really expect you to remember my setup.  Back in May I bought myself a Maverick D1-Plus and a pair of SRH-1540 earpads to get myself through the summer with a pair of rapidly degrading SRH-940s... I just had to tighten down the left driver to get rid of a rattle in the earcup, the swivels are cracking on both sides, and as much as I love them, these things are just generally uncomfortable after extended periods of time.  Not sure who should get credit for the headband pad design.  Anyway, the $40 pad replacement made these cans sound $200 better, and I can't recommend them enough if you want a slightly warmer tone along with deeper and infinitely more comfortable earpads.  At first, the treble on these was absolutely sizzling with the Maverick D1 out-of-the-box, but it broke in pretty quickly and I've become enamored with the separation/soundstage, clarity, and fluid musicality it now puts out over my poor laptop's stereo jack.  Another one of the best purchases I've made in recent years  The only 'problem' I've noticed is that the unit is prone to noise over USB... for some reason, only when I have this laptop plugged in on AC power, there's a distinct whine that's semi-responsive to system activity, and this whine goes away when the laptop is unplugged and running under its own power.  Seems to be a grounding issue, but an optical cable fixed that up pretty quickly, and even the sensitive 940s don't pick up any noise until the volume pot tops out.
 
What I'm Looking For
 
Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much life these 940s have left in them, and despite my love for their sound, I'd really like to have something a bit more comfortable.  Looks like it's upgrade time.
 
I've basically spent the day surfing Head-fi with mixed results.  I'm looking for closed cans (I'm open to other designs, but I really need all the isolation I can get) that sound like a slightly warmer version of what I have right now.  I've also had a substantial increase in budget... I can probably muster around the $1000 mark for these, which isn't really a fixed number, but let's avoid doubling my budget and calling it reasonable.  I've heard amazing things about the Denon D7000s, but they aren't even being made anymore; with as much as I'd LOVE to have a pair of Fostex TH-900s, $1800 is out of what I can afford at the moment.  I'm told that I wouldn't enjoy the sound signature of Audio Technica's ATH-W5000?  IEMs are out, at least for now... I'm looking for a full-size set.  I'm constantly looking to the Shure SRH-1540 that I hijacked my current pads from, and I really enjoyed Jude's review of them, but would the difference between them and what I have now be worth dropping $500?  Then there's the Audeze LCD2... I'd buy a pair of them right now, but that completely blows my request for isolation out of the water - hell, they look like they'd drive the same amount of sound in both directions.  I looked into the Beyer T70, but immediately turned away when I heard that they lacked so much bass that they didn't even sound like Beyer headphones.
 
I'd like to say I'm not sure what to do, but you guys have already heard that numerous times from me.  I guess I'm just looking for opinions on what you'd buy for $1000-1200 or under if you were looking for a well-isolating pair of headphones that are more warm than cold with exceptional resolution.  My perfect match seems to be in the Th-900s, but I can't muster that kind of money for headphones right now.  Music-wise, I listen to just about anything, though most of my collection is actually epic score (classical?) with a bit of rock mixed in... Jude actually mentioned one of my favorite groups - Alter Bridge - in his review of the 1540s.
 
Any thoughts?
 
Much appreciated,
-Matt
 
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TheAdmiralty

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As much as I've strayed away from 'custom' build headphones / modded headphones, how are the Alpha Dogs?  I've been hearing a lot of good things about them, but I don't know what to expect from something so different than what I'm accustomed to right now.  How do they compare sonically to the 940s?  I haven't actually looked into any technical details yet, but I'm assuming a Mav D1 could drive them with no problems... I'd really hope so, this thing could smoke my Shures without a second thought.
 
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Claritas

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The Denons don't isolate well, which is probably why they sound less closed.
 
If you liked the sound of SRH940 (I had problems with the hot highs), I recommend Focal Spirit Pro which I think sounds much better. The only issue is that the pads are small--somewhere between over and on ear. But the sound is so good. It's also very easy to drive. I bought, borrowed, and demoed 18 others before "settling" on these.
 
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