DT880 vs D2000 vs MS-2i vs AD900 vs HD600
Nov 8, 2008 at 9:08 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
Revised.....:

As above, I'm looking to upgrade my year-old HD-595. I'm looking for a sound that is somewhere between the Senn and Grado house sounds: The lushness, warmth, and soundstage of Senns, but with some of that Grado dynamic punch, aggressiveness, and PrAT.

Disclaimer: I realise that there probably isn't a single headphone that fulfills my criteria perfectly, within my price range, but I will be satisfied with the best compromise possible.

Coming from the HD-595, I'd like the sound to be improved in the following ways:
  1. Wider soundstage
  2. Greater instrument separation
  3. Greater clarity and detail
  4. Tending towards a lush, warm sound, with sweet mids
  5. No recession or veil, as much as possible
  6. Greater bass weight and quantity, more impactful and punchy bass
  7. Perhaps a slightly more aggressive, coloured sound, more exciting and fun, more energetic, and with more PrAT
  8. More musical, involving, and engaging
  9. More or less balanced overall, no deficiencies in any one spectrum
  10. Overall SQ improvement, better fidelity

Paying particular attention to the criteria underlined

Budget: I'm located in Singapore, so the prices here will vary from US prices. My budget is SGD$400, or about USD$270, but I can push it to USD$300.

Setup: iMac > Zero DAC/Amp (OPA267/LT1364) > Headphones
I will likely get amp with the headphones.

Music: Old-school rock (The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols, Pixies, Television, New York Dolls), indie (Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene), singer/songwriter types (Jeff Buckley), folk-y (Iron & Wine, Devendra Banhart). I have quite an eclectic library, so something that will perform adequately at movie scores, electronica, post-rock, etc. as well.

Phones under consideration:

I have researched extensively on Head-Fi and review sites, and narrowed down my options to 5 cans, which fall within my price range: DT880 ($260), D2000 ($270), ATH-AD900 ($200), MS-2i ($320), and HD-600 ($300).

The following is what I like and dislike about each can, based on what I've read. If anyone can clarify these impressions, it would be much appreciated:

DT880: I think I'd really like the airiness, detail, clarity, and soundstage of the DT880, but I'm wary of reviews that lament its treble-emphasis which can border on sibilance, and can thus be bright. The sound is also sometimes described as dry, lifeless, even thin - whereas I'm looking for a can with some warmth and lushness in it's sound. Of the lot, it presumably has the best detail and soundstage.

D2000: These cans sound like good all-rounders: Good soundstage and imaging, though not as large as the DT880. Good detail. Deep, impactful bass. A lively, engaging, and fun sound. However, I've read that the mids can sound slightly recessed due to the emphasis of the highs and lows. The bass can also be boomy and overwhelming, and thus fatiguing to listen to.

ATH-AD900: The AD900 seems to have a sound sig that I might really like: Quick, fast, punchy, with a purportedly '"sublime" mid-range. Airy, spacious, and with a good soundstage. Also detailed. However, it is also reputed to be "bass lean", and this is a concern, because I did not like the lean bass of the 595, and think good bass is important to give rock songs power and drive. Unsure as to whether these would be a step-up in terms of SQ from the 595.

MS-2i: I read that these are more neutral than the MS-1, which I own and feel I would enjoy more if the sound was a tad less coloured and aggressive. I think I'd like the MS-2i for it's airy detail, aggression, excitement, and "fun" factor, punch, PrAT, and coloured sound. Where I think it might falter is its soundstage (can be negated if the sound is enjoyable enough), and its performance at genres other than rock. I also did not like that in the MS-1, the bass was pushed down, causing rock music to be lacking power and body.

HD-600: The only step-up to the 595 in the Senn line that I can afford, HD-650 would be out of my budget. I did a rather thorough search on the forum for 595-600 comparisons, and got mixed opinions. Some think the 600 is a league, even two leagues above the 595, some think it's just a step-up, and others that each merely offers an alternative to the other. I also couldn't find any posts which really went into the differences in sound quality and signature between each phone.

I'm open to other recommendations, as long as they are within my price range, and fulfill most of the criteria.

I apologise in advance for the long post!
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 12:41 PM Post #2 of 59

paaj

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Posts
2,139
Likes
22
Location
Amsterdam
I have (had) the grado versions, but sr325i (~ms2i) gives you more bass than sr125 (~ms1) and better detail, but has the same 'shortcomings' if you want something different.
I find my AT's to fit somewhere in between, using an ES7 and ESW10 here, but I'm sure some fullsize can of them could be an option.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 12:50 PM Post #3 of 59

Jo6Pak

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Posts
327
Likes
11
Since you are open to recommendations, I will offer mine: HD650.

A year ago I went from 595 to 650 and the difference is night and day. Turns out the 595 was a waste of $200. I had it to do over again, I would have passed on the 595 and went with 600 or 650 right off the bat. My .02, as they say...
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:15 PM Post #4 of 59

jernmo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
191
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo6Pak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Since you are open to recommendations, I will offer mine: HD650.

A year ago I went from 595 to 650 and the difference is night and day. Turns out the 595 was a waste of $200. I had it to do over again, I would have passed on the 595 and went with 600 or 650 right off the bat. My .02, as they say...



I would also recommend the 650's, but I wouldn't call the 595's a waste. You could get a decent deal on them and they were half as much as the 650's. The 650's definitely have much more bass than the 595's and in IMO sound perfect. The music sounds exactly as it should with them whereas with the 595's they were a anemic in the low-end.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM Post #5 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
Quote:

Originally Posted by paaj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have (had) the grado versions, but sr325i (~ms2i) gives you more bass than sr125 (~ms1) and better detail, but has the same 'shortcomings' if you want something different.
I find my AT's to fit somewhere in between, using an ES7 and ESW10 here, but I'm sure some fullsize can of them could be an option.



Unfortunately the SR325i is out of my budget. I'm curious about ATs as well, but I think the ES7 would be a step down from the 595, while the ESW10 would be too expensive.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jo6Pak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Since you are open to recommendations, I will offer mine: HD650.

A year ago I went from 595 to 650 and the difference is night and day. Turns out the 595 was a waste of $200. I had it to do over again, I would have passed on the 595 and went with 600 or 650 right off the bat. My .02, as they say...



Quote:

Originally Posted by jernmo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I would also recommend the 650's, but I wouldn't call the 595's a waste. You could get a decent deal on them and they were half as much as the 650's. The 650's definitely have much more bass than the 595's and in IMO sound perfect. The music sounds exactly as it should with them whereas with the 595's they were a anemic in the low-end.


Thanks for the recommendations. However, I hardly think the 650 sound sig is what I'm looking for (it would immediately fail the first two criteria on my list), regardless of the fact that it's out of my budget. From what I understand, it's dark, laidback, and focuses on a slow decay. I'm looking for something more fun, more exciting, and with more PrAT than my 595.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:26 PM Post #6 of 59

jernmo

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
191
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by shampoosuicide /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for the recommendations, however I think the 650 sound sig isn't what I'm looking for, on top of the fact that it's out of my budget.


Understood re: the sound sig. If it's not what you're looking for. However I disagree with it. Also, I was able to pick up the 650 for under $320 after rebate from headroom, just an FYI.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 1:43 PM Post #7 of 59

Cool_Torpedo

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 6, 2008
Posts
1,340
Likes
15
Location
Spain
If you want bassier and punchier, IMO the DT880 won't qualify. Their bass is in the lean side of things.

If you want wider soundstage, the Grado based MS2i wouldn't qualify either, but I haven't listened to them myself. For the low-mid range Grados I know, were they alike, it's sure they won't give you a wider stage. Also not more bass, just punchier and certainly colored.

I haven't listened to the D2000, but for my experience with the D5000 and modified D5000, I'd say they could be your ticket. Perhaps too bassy, maybe not as wide sounding as you may be looking for, but more in the way you're looking for.

I agree with the other posters that the HD650 could be also what you're looking for. More bassy, more defined, more refined and quite open sounding. The trade off is that you'll need a decent amp to make them sound close to what they can. However I don't think they'll be more fun nor more "pratty" than the 595.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:12 PM Post #8 of 59

hentai

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Posts
1,488
Likes
14
For a setup like yours , you will be more satisfied using the hd595. HD650, hd600 are more for higher end stuff.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:19 PM Post #9 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
Quote:

Originally Posted by hentai /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For a setup like yours , you will be more satisfied using the hd595. HD650, hd600 are more for higher end stuff.


Firstly, I'm not interested in the HD650 or HD600. Their sound signatures are exactly what I'm not looking for. Secondly, I believe I stated in my post that I will be getting an amp to accompany the headphones.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:23 PM Post #10 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cool_Torpedo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I agree with the other posters that the HD650 could be also what you're looking for. More bassy, more defined, more refined and quite open sounding. The trade off is that you'll need a decent amp to make them sound close to what they can. However I don't think they'll be more fun nor more "pratty" than the 595.


From what I know, the HD650 is more likely what I'm not looking for. To me, the veil and laidback sound are a no-go. I went for the 595 initially because they're supposed to be the livelier, and more forward sounding cans of the higher-end Senns.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM Post #12 of 59

olblueyez

Banned
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Posts
5,339
Likes
13
Also, the 650 will get you closer to the music than some of the other headphones you have listed. The 650 sounds like you are in a recording studio and some of the others sound like you are in the audience in a larger forum. I have not heard the Denons so I cant comment on them.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:37 PM Post #13 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
Quote:

Originally Posted by olblueyez /img/forum/go_quote.gif
According to your original post the 325i is in your price range.

Yahoo! Shopping Search Results for grado 325i



I'm located in Singapore, so I would have to take shipping into account as well. Regarding the 325i, I'm wary of the purportedly harsh treble, and having a pair of MS1 myself, I know I'm looking for something with less colouration.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM Post #14 of 59

shampoosuicide

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jun 17, 2007
Posts
584
Likes
329
Location
Sunny Island
I'm a little confounded as to why the 650 keeps coming up in this thread. I believe it's stated in the OP that I'd like something more exciting and fun than the 595, something between the Senn and Grado house sounds.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 2:42 PM Post #15 of 59

olblueyez

Banned
Joined
Jun 16, 2008
Posts
5,339
Likes
13
ATH-AD2000 is the only thing that comes to mind when reading your list.



13 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
stars-5-0._V47081849_.gif
An ideal mix, November 17, 2006
By Amazonian
drop-down-icon-small-empty-arrow._V13355991_.gif

The ATH AD2000 occupies a unique position in the world of mid-priced stereophile headphones: it has a sound that effectively merges the best of what most people look for in a well-balanced phone. It's easier said than done.

The AD2000 has fine detail - easily capturing everything that the touted AKG K701 does - but with a richness of tone that's surprising. Instead of a "bass-boost" sound, these headphones offer a bass that's fully integrated into the music. Usually this kind of phone will require the use of a headphone amplifier, but through some kind of audio voodoo, these offer a full gain that can be heard easily with any portable gear. The velour earpieces make listening easy, though one may wish to "stretch" the wires backwards to make them even more comfortable.

These are open headpones, allowing the open flow of sound. If privacy is important, you may prefer closed headphones.

These headphones can handle a wide variety of music with ease, though they work best with pop/rock - mnusic that allows their power to come through. But it's striking how nice their presentation of classical instruments can be. One bonus is the AD2000's handling of Japanese music; it almost seems as if the headphones were especially tuned to capture these instruments and production. The AD2000 has earned respect as a fine all-around phone which can handle hard rocking pieces with ease.

Taking the earpads on and off can be an ordeal, so keep some patience stored up in case you decide to do any experimentation. Like so many Japanese headphones, they're held on tight, flexible material. Also, you may want to take care not to damage the "flying wings" that rest on top of your head; they flex for comfort, but may not survive a serious fall. Otherwise, these are extremely solid and well-made. The metal grilles are of the sturdy Sennheiser variety.

Balanced, detailed, full-sounding, and with a solid gain, these headphones offer sonic pleasures missing from products that cost considerably more. Right now, these imports are a bit overpriced, but they'd be quite competitive for around $420 - 450.

You would be able to use them without an additional amp as well, however they would scale well with an amp down the road if you did get one. For me, I would add the amp budget to your headphone bydget and get these for now. Your Zero should do quite well with this headphone as its low impedance.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top