Grados gotta go
Apr 6, 2006 at 9:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 23

stmpjmp

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Finally took the plunge (due to a great deal) and got some real headphones. SR80s to be exact. Ive spent about 10 hours with them so far and Im pretty sure the "Grado" sound isnt for me. (probably was the feeling of the sound being stuck behind my eyesockets and me disliking it so much I was ready to dig it out with an old wooden spoon.
tongue.gif
) I knew they were rock cans and I believed I was a rockER. Seems not though. So, time for a return and to find something more my style. Thats the rub though. Since I guessed so poorly first time out Im really unsure of my abilities to guess right this time. So Ill lay out what the Grado experence taught me and hope it can help you guys lead me to my sound.

Didnt like the "activity" going on and especially in my head. I want something more mellow that I can listen to for hours on end. I dont want to be put to sleep however but the sound out of my skull and not being so aggresive would be most lovely.

My music is mostly rock/alt but apparently I dont need it slamming to be happy. I want the sound to happen more around me than in me. Slower pacing is ok.

Price range is $125 or less for a more "single purpose" can. (Id then spend another $150 later on something opposite end of the spectrum from the first can) $200 or less if it is felt to be a decent "all arounder"

Open/closed wont kill a can either way but Id lean towards closed if all things were equal. Portability would be nice but only so far as I could walk upstairs or outside to the mailbox occasionally and not have to undo everything first then come back and resetup.

Cans Ive giving thought to so far:

AKG 81DJ (one use)
ATA900 (all arounder)

I know very little of the other lines, esp. the Senn line but Ive heard it often described as TOO laid back (a.k.a. boring) and while Im mellower than a grado it is still rock going through them mostly.

I had thought MS-1s at one point (prior to the 80s) but now Im quite gunshy about them. The 80 was SO harsh it would take almost a night and day tweak I feel to make the Ms1s my style. Im guessing they cant be different enough for me and still retain the Grado sound as is claimed.

Thanks for any help you can offer. At this point theres really no such thing as a bad suggestion (other than a grado sr80
tongue.gif
) so feel free to champion anything you like and feel is suited to me.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:04 PM Post #3 of 23

sgrossklass

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HD555s, maybe? They're known to be fairly forward for Senns, but still are a far cry from the Grado sound and known to be fairly good allrounders and fine for longterm use. You can get these around the $100 mark, which would leave a bit of budget for a decent amp (PA2V2 or whatnot).
Oh, and indeed, new cans do need some break-in, so I'd suggest to do that before dismissing the SR-80s... they'll never have much of a soundstage though, so they may still not be your cup of tea afterwards.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:13 PM Post #4 of 23

wakeride74

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HD595
HD280
DT990
ATH500
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:16 PM Post #5 of 23

NotoriousBIG_PJ

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Get some senn hd580's if you have a powerful enough source. The at 900's and senn 280's both have terrible nasal sounding mids. Akg 240's would work well for you as well.

Biggie.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:24 PM Post #6 of 23

spaceconvoy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jahvetti
Are they pristine Grados? So they have been played for 10 hours? You should give them 100 hours to get the real Grado sound. Brand new they are quite harsh but it will settle with time. Also the softening of the bowl makes a difference in sound in my experience. That will take even longer though.


Don't bother waiting. IMO, presentation and sound stage is the one thing that doesn't change with burn in. Either you like it or not.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:47 PM Post #7 of 23

stmpjmp

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Don't bother waiting. IMO, presentation and sound stage is the one thing that doesn't change with burn in. Either you like it or not.


That was my understanding as well. It can open a bit but soundstage isnt going to paradigm shift due to burn it.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:52 PM Post #8 of 23

stmpjmp

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jahvetti
Are they pristine Grados? So they have been played for 10 hours? You should give them 100 hours to get the real Grado sound. Brand new they are quite harsh but it will settle with time. Also the softening of the bowl makes a difference in sound in my experience. That will take even longer though.


I, of course, am going to let them burn in but it seemed to me that even if they softened they still wouldnt switch up soundstage. I thinking I just dont like music to feel "in" my head. (I will in time I assume but for now Im still ear-tuned to speakers so I lean towards more of that sort of presentation)
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:55 PM Post #9 of 23

kramer5150

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The SR680 IS a very in your head sounding can. Adding flat pads warms up the sound, but further compresses the image. You could sell the SR80 here for around $75. I dont think burn in can help in this regard.

So... you want to spend $125 and then another $150 some time later?... If you sell the SR80 for $75 you'll have a total of $350 available.

Am I reading that right?
Ive seen older model DT880 and 990 on ebay for around $200.
HD580s are around $160.

Amp any of these with an AC/DC pimeta. Surf the FS forum for a used deal.

The HD580 is a tame can, but if you choose your pimeta OP amps wisely and power it with 18-24 Volts it really helps liven the 580.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 10:57 PM Post #10 of 23

stmpjmp

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Quote:

Originally Posted by NotoriousBIG_PJ
Get some senn hd580's if you have a powerful enough source. The at 900's and senn 280's both have terrible nasal sounding mids. Akg 240's would work well for you as well.

Biggie.



Amp worries arent something I want to tackle just yet so the AKGs and 580s are out. I do have a decent Marantz amp but Im trying to focus on getting a pair of headphones first to use while I save up for a serious headphone amp.

Interesting info on the AT900s and 280s mids being nasal. I had heard they werent the greatest but tollerable. Certainly hadnt heard "nasal" (although I did read in a review that Charlotte Church was made to sound like she had a cold. Hmm)
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 11:05 PM Post #11 of 23

stmpjmp

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
The SR680 IS a very in your head sounding can. Adding flat pads warms up the sound, but further compresses the image. You could sell the SR80 here for around $75. I dont think burn in can help in this regard.


I can return them no harm no foul other than the postage. I paid more than $75 so back they shall go. (esp. after your in your head after burn in statement)

Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
So... you want to spend $125 and then another $150 some time later?... If you sell the SR80 for $75 you'll have a total of $350 available.


My goal right now is nothing much over $200. And it can break in a few ways

One $200ish all around can
Two cans totalling $200 (in any config) but they would be quite different from one another for variety, learning of companys sounds. (like a Senn and a Grado for example)
Can (that needs an amp to achieve the company sound) and modest amp
Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
Am I reading that right?
Ive seen older model DT880 and 990 on ebay for around $200.
HD580s are around $160.



I can get an older model DT880 for $200ish but it would most likely need an amp. If I blow the wad on a $200 can, its GOTTA be useable ampless for awhile.
Quote:

Originally Posted by kramer5150
Amp any of these with an AC/DC pimeta. Surf the FS forum for a used deal.

The HD580 is a tame can, but if you choose your pimeta OP amps wisely and power it with 18-24 Volts it really helps liven the 580.



I may go that route but as Im having enough trouble tackling the very basic sound signature problem, Im not looking to add amp variables to it. If money were no object I would buy one of each of the following: Senn, Grado, AKG, Beyer, AT and test each one out against each other to get a feel for them. As I cant do that Ive got to go bit by bit and I only want to use amps if NEEDED to acheive the company's sig sound, not to alter it in any way.

Thanks for all the help btw. Im feeling a hella lot better and more confident Ill find my can.
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 11:08 PM Post #12 of 23

Audiofiler

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let those puppies calm down some...give them at least a few days burning in, as they are brighter than a new pair of sneakers out of box...your cans and you will be singing a different tune perhaps after they break in, they sound way better after break in and continue to get better some would say.

For your investment, you have not really tried the cans out as far as their sound and natural presentation is concerned...they are hyper bright and imo too harsh to enjoy for long periods new...but is way cool listening every few hours or cds while they break in..neat stuff.

The MS-1's would/should be considered if you are looking to replace, as they are more analytical sounding but still retain the forward sig grado is famous for..these are great flippin' cans for the cash.. Recently picked a pair up for me and a buddy, do recommend
biggrin.gif
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 11:10 PM Post #13 of 23

Audiofiler

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spaceconvoy
Don't bother waiting. IMO, presentation and sound stage is the one thing that doesn't change with burn in. Either you like it or not.


Presentation is everything sometimes..
 
Apr 6, 2006 at 11:32 PM Post #14 of 23

Icehawk

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Older DT models can be found for less than $200 - more like $160. Do a little searching, Sweetwater was one place I saw them that cheap when I was considering them. I honestly don't think they sound very good though.
 
Apr 7, 2006 at 2:04 PM Post #15 of 23

PaulRivers

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I'm not sure if it's in your price range or not, but I have the BeyerDynamic 250-80's, and they sound like they might be about what you're looking for. It's easy to listen to them for hours - personally, I'm not sure whether I like the "laid back" sound or not, I might like the "intense, in my head" sound. But I haven't found them *terribly* laid back or anything either.
 

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