Grado vs Audio-Technica for Metal
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deSelby

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I'm putting together a new PC and I plan on entry-level HiFi audio this time around. (My current setup is a Soundblaster 16 and Sony MDR-V150's, so… this upgrade is necessary.)

It's going to have an MAudio Revolution 7.1 or a Chaintech AV710; since surround sound, MIDI, and gaming aren't important but high quality music is. Instead of speakers, I'm going with some $100-150 phones. (My first big move into audiophile-ville.)

I mainly listen to metal such as Anthrax, pre-black album Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Tool, Alice In Chains, and Meshuggah. Meshuggah has me worried about phones--they’ve got baritone 8-string lead guitars where all the action takes place; a possible point of failure if phones don’t have good low-mids. (Getting a good listen at Cliff Burton's bass playing in early Metallica would be a great plus, too.)

I’ve been looking at some Grado’s and Audio-Technica A500’s. Being from a small town way up north (Ishpeming, Michigan) I can’t seem to get a listen on any phones over $50. Does anyone have experience with these on similar music? I have friends wanting to do something similar, so anything you can say would be a big help to many.
 
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KJ869

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I havent heard neither, but I would recomend third option.
Ultrasone HFI-650/700. www.meier-audio.de sells them atleast. I have hfi-650DE what is same as 700. I like it a lot for metal. It has enought slam on the bass, and still decent on other areas. 650 is just less bass version, or so is said. I havent heard 650 myself.
 
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Sduibek

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What kind of soundstage are you looking for? The A-T cans would be more like my CD3K in the sense that they tend to be more a "out of head" (i.e. sound surrounds your head, or seems to), whereas the Grado sound i've heard is more "flat" or "layered". I prefer the Wide soundstage of my CD3K and am intrigued to hear some A-T cans someday, because to my ears the "flat" Grado sound is just really cluttered, it's hard for me to pick out instruments and imagine i'm actually listening to music instead of a replication of it.
 
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Sduibek

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Oh! Welcome to HeadFI, sorry about your wallet.


(that's the first time i've gotten to say that. w00t.
)
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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I'd seeif you could find some used SR225's, they should suffice you for quite a while, if not indefinitely, whereas the A500 would likely have you slobbering to upgrade to the A900 or CD3000 after a while. I am a major metalhead, and the SR225 is my second favorite metal can that I've tried at length (behind only the CD3000), especially if you can swing some flat pads as well.
 
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terrymx

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my experience is i prefer grado over AT for metal because of theer bass. grado dont have that much of a soundstage, but metal music dont really concern soundstage, not as much as classical.
 
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deSelby

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Thanks guys. I didn't know what I should think about soundstage, but if it won't be a problem and since the Grado's keep getting such good reviews, I'll get those--or maybe a third or fourth option you recommend.
 
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BigD

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Never had A500/900, but SR225 are solid cans when it come down to guitar/drum.
As you see in "what phones to keep" I think my SR225 are here to stay for a long long long time.
 
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refault

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The Grados sound a lot better for metal than the A-T's. I prefer the A-T's for classical and electronic because of the soundstage/speaker-like effect (rather than Grado's headphone-like effect.)
 
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Norbert

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Your price range is a difficult territory my friend. Higher up the cost ladder you'll get exactly what you want. Cheaper options abound. But for where you are I would go with the Grado SR-80's (which I personally own) or the 125's, about which I have heard good things.

I can't comment on your choice of music. I tend to run from Metallica--a bit too...esoteric for my taste.

Unamped. I'd go for the Grado's.
 
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AdamZuf

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grado is a fast and solid impact.
 
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deSelby

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I've decided to save money by going with the Chaintech sound card (which is in no way a bad card) and redirecting my savings to get some Grado SR225's.

Pretty soon I hope to look like this guy:
 
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Iron_Dreamer

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Quote:

Originally Posted by deSelby
I've decided to save money by going with the Chaintech sound card (which is in no way a bad card) and redirecting my savings to get some Grado SR225's.

Pretty soon I hope to look like this guy:



Considering where you're coming from, I think you're going to be one happy metalhead
 
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