Best gear for listening to classical music...
Dec 3, 2015 at 7:53 AM Post #302 of 319

JahJahBinks

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HD600 is the safest choice of those three. Its chief weaknesses are lack of bass extension and some gaps in the soundstage (less evident on HD650 than HD600).

HD800 has much better detail extraction, imaging, and bass extension. But it requires some combination of careful gear choices, EQ, and mods to help with the treble.

HE560 has impressive bass but it sounds aggressive on both ends, which your friend might or might not enjoy--or might enjoy for short periods but not for long periods.

Both HD800 and HE560 have tempted me repeatedly. But every time I listen, I come away sensing that I simply won't end up using them. Unless your friend can audition them on a set up similar to his for several hours, I'd recommend the safest choice: HD600.

Besides that, look into Audio Zenith PMx2 as well. I haven't been able to try it yet, but I've heard some pretty good things about it from friends and it measures pretty well. A less sensible idea, but still worth airing, is a used HE500. Some of the pros vs HD6x0 are bass extension, blacker background, and a more filled in soundstage. The cons are extremely poor weight distribution and a shallower soundstage.

Best luck!

 
Very helpful!! I will ask him to try both the 560 and 600 if possible. Thx!
 
Dec 24, 2015 at 4:27 PM Post #303 of 319

Invocation

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Hi guys,
  I need some recommendation on a headphone. Currently I am using HD600, one of the "safest" choice of mid-fi headphones for classical (my first series headphone). While I am very happy with its analytical presentation as well as its beautiful treble, I still feel it lacks something when listening to large symphonic works. It is hard to say, but I just think I cannot feel the "excitement" that I enjoy in concert halls. It could be the neutral sound taste, or its more controlled bass. So I am thinking of getting a second headphone mainly for music with large scale and plenty of dynamic. I expect something with a large soundstage, clear separation of instrument, full range of sound that is powerful but does not cause fatigue easily.
   My budget is 500-800 USD so that rules out HD800 or T1. I have tried HD650 but I do not like its recessed treble and I feel it is kind of similar as HD600, and I want to try something with more difference. Any suggestions?
   Thanks in advance!
 
Dec 27, 2015 at 5:34 AM Post #304 of 319

bracko

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  Hi guys,
  I need some recommendation on a headphone. Currently I am using HD600, one of the "safest" choice of mid-fi headphones for classical (my first series headphone). While I am very happy with its analytical presentation as well as its beautiful treble, I still feel it lacks something when listening to large symphonic works. It is hard to say, but I just think I cannot feel the "excitement" that I enjoy in concert halls. It could be the neutral sound taste, or its more controlled bass. So I am thinking of getting a second headphone mainly for music with large scale and plenty of dynamic. I expect something with a large soundstage, clear separation of instrument, full range of sound that is powerful but does not cause fatigue easily.
   My budget is 500-800 USD so that rules out HD800 or T1. I have tried HD650 but I do not like its recessed treble and I feel it is kind of similar as HD600, and I want to try something with more difference. Any suggestions?
   Thanks in advance!

 
Beyerdynamic T90 would be a nice choice for classical if you want to try something different to HD6x0. I use it almost exclusively for large orchestral pieces. It is accurate, has great imaging and large soundstage. The price is $500 for new. You can surely find used pair in great condition for $300. 
 
Dec 27, 2015 at 3:31 PM Post #305 of 319

Invocation

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Beyerdynamic T90 would be a nice choice for classical if you want to try something different to HD6x0. I use it almost exclusively for large orchestral pieces. It is accurate, has great imaging and large soundstage. The price is $500 for new. You can surely find used pair in great condition for $300. 


Thanks. Many people here have recommended this headphone to me. So I will keep an eye on the market and get one if the price is decent.
 
Dec 28, 2015 at 5:17 PM Post #306 of 319

Quinto

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  Hi guys,
  I need some recommendation on a headphone. Currently I am using HD600, one of the "safest" choice of mid-fi headphones for classical (my first series headphone). While I am very happy with its analytical presentation as well as its beautiful treble, I still feel it lacks something when listening to large symphonic works. It is hard to say, but I just think I cannot feel the "excitement" that I enjoy in concert halls. It could be the neutral sound taste, or its more controlled bass. So I am thinking of getting a second headphone mainly for music with large scale and plenty of dynamic. I expect something with a large soundstage, clear separation of instrument, full range of sound that is powerful but does not cause fatigue easily.
   My budget is 500-800 USD so that rules out HD800 or T1. I have tried HD650 but I do not like its recessed treble and I feel it is kind of similar as HD600, and I want to try something with more difference. Any suggestions?
   Thanks in advance!


You might want to consider the X2..
 
Dec 30, 2015 at 10:57 AM Post #309 of 319

Claritas

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I need some recommendation on a headphone. Currently I am using HD600, one of the "safest" choice of mid-fi headphones for classical (my first series headphone). While I am very happy with its analytical presentation as well as its beautiful treble, I still feel it lacks something when listening to large symphonic works. It is hard to say, but I just think I cannot feel the "excitement" that I enjoy in concert halls. It could be the neutral sound taste, or its more controlled bass. So I am thinking of getting a second headphone mainly for music with large scale and plenty of dynamic. I expect something with a large soundstage, clear separation of instrument, full range of sound that is powerful but does not cause fatigue easily.


Some ideas to consider:

1. Replacing your rig instead (if that's something you're open to). For example, one of the cheaper vintage Theta DACs + Meier amp or Valhalla 2.

2. K7XX. Versus HD600: Deeper bass extension. Somewhat cool-toned. AKG finally seems to have fixed the crisp K7 series treble. Soundstage is set closer but has fewer gaps and is both taller and wider.

3. ESP950, either deeply discounted on sale or used. Versus HD600: Less bass extension but slightly warmer-toned. Effortless presentation--less headphony. Soundstage is set even closer but lacks gaps. Tends to perform better with smoother DACs.

Best luck!
 
Dec 30, 2015 at 4:19 PM Post #310 of 319

Invocation

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Some ideas to consider:

1. Replacing your rig instead (if that's something you're open to). For example, one of the cheaper vintage Theta DACs + Meier amp or Valhalla 2.

2. K7XX. Versus HD600: Deeper bass extension. Somewhat cool-toned. AKG finally seems to have fixed the crisp K7 series treble. Soundstage is set closer but has fewer gaps and is both taller and wider.

3. ESP950, either deeply discounted on sale or used. Versus HD600: Less bass extension but slightly warmer-toned. Effortless presentation--less headphony. Soundstage is set even closer but lacks gaps. Tends to perform better with smoother DACs.

Best luck!

 
Thanks! I think replacing the rig will be the final solution but it seems not very economical at this moment. I plan to get a good tube amp in the future but need to save some money (really like the design of WA7 but it is quite a lot of money). Seems between K7XX and ESP950 I need to choose whether go cooler or warmer in tone, as HD600 is kind of neutral. I guess for larger scale music a warmer tone might be better but just checked the price of ESP950 it is 999 USD on Amazon... Do you know whether it is on sale somewhere now? Or I shall keep an eye on the used market.
By the way, have you used HE560 before? I wonder how it compares to HD600.
 
Dec 30, 2015 at 11:10 PM Post #311 of 319

Claritas

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Seems between K7XX and ESP950 I need to choose whether go cooler or warmer in tone, as HD600 is kind of neutral. I guess for larger scale music a warmer tone might be better but just checked the price of ESP950 it is 999 USD on Amazon... Do you know whether it is on sale somewhere now? Or I shall keep an eye on the used market.

By the way, have you used HE560 before? I wonder how it compares to HD600.


Of those, K7XX is probably closest to what you're looking for in soundstage and instrument separation.

ESP950 is usually marked down considerably for Black Friday, and you can often find a used one in good condition for less. It comes with a lifetime warranty in case anything goes wrong.

HE560 is more visceral than HD600. You might end up finding it fatiguing because of excess treble. With some planars, it seems as if the sound is emanating from an imaginary wall instead of from a space (the stage). I don't want to say that the soundstage is shallower but the effect is somewhat less realistic to me, except for soloists because they don't require much stage depth. It's quite impressive overall because of its speed and bass quality, but you'd need to give it a good long listen to see if it's for you.
 
Jan 15, 2016 at 10:52 PM Post #313 of 319

figaro69

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Classical on the HD800 with Balanced Black Dragon Moon-Audio cables, driven by the Ray Samuels Darkstar SS amp attached to the Auralic Vega DAC with balanced Black Dragon Moon Audio interconnects, using the an Oppo BDP-95 to spin the CDs.  I tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard this with classical/opera.  Expansive, detailed, yet rounded sound.  No screechy violins here.  Now, understand that the whole setup is around 10,000.  Anything less and the HD800s won't do classical music full justice.  Took me about five years to get it right after much disappointment.  End-game system, at least for me.  I also really like the T1s with this set up.  For closed cans, nothing beats the LCD-XCs with classical music...the Audeze headphone for people who hate the Audeze house sound...actually on the north side of neutral.  .
 
Jan 16, 2016 at 4:50 AM Post #314 of 319

uchihaitachi

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  Classical on the HD800 with Balanced Black Dragon Moon-Audio cables, driven by the Ray Samuels Darkstar SS amp attached to the Auralic Vega DAC with balanced Black Dragon Moon Audio interconnects, using the an Oppo BDP-95 to spin the CDs.  I tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard this with classical/opera.  Expansive, detailed, yet rounded sound.  No screechy violins here.  Now, understand that the whole setup is around 10,000.  Anything less and the HD800s won't do classical music full justice.  Took me about five years to get it right after much disappointment.  End-game system, at least for me.  I also really like the T1s with this set up.  For closed cans, nothing beats the LCD-XCs with classical music...the Audeze headphone for people who hate the Audeze house sound...actually on the north side of neutral.  .

You would get a pretty much identical set up with just the HD800 with something like an ODAC and O2 and using EQ to tone down the highs.
 
It seems the Darkstar has recessed treble from your impressions.
 
Jan 16, 2016 at 10:14 AM Post #315 of 319

figaro69

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  You would get a pretty much identical set up with just the HD800 with something like an ODAC and O2 and using EQ to tone down the highs.
 
It seems the Darkstar has recessed treble from your impressions.


It wou
  You would get a pretty much identical set up with just the HD800 with something like an ODAC and O2 and using EQ to tone down the highs.
 
It seems the Darkstar has recessed treble from your impressions.


Yep...it's like a combination of SS and Tube...since the treble is a bit recessed, the HD800s and T1s shine.
 

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