I had pretty much the same reaction to the SR80's and switched to the HD555's, which I am happy with. If you have good enough source, you might want to consider the HD595's. I won't comment on the ATH-A900's since I haven't received them yet. That should be good choice too though.
Originally Posted by stmpjmp 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.
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.
10 hours is NOTHING! At the very beginning, my SR325i gave me migraines and headaches and ear fatigue and every other possible form of fatigue your brain can think of.
At 500 hours, they have mellowed out a great deal. My Hornet and RnB Black Diamond also helped smooth the sound out. Of course, you have to wear this buggers to get used to them. Leaving them on for a week straight and then wearing them won't improve the physical fatigue. The phones might smooth out a little, but you need to USE them MORE often. Give them a chance. I auditioned the SR80 extensively using a random CDP as a source and through the Grado RA-1 mains powered amp w/ bowls. I thought they were exquisite. They are so much lighter than my SR325i. The music was really dynamic and not harsh at all! Please, give them more time to mature (and for you to grow into them). I guess it's like a pair of new jeans. They're really stiff when new, after a weeks, they're nice, soft and flexible.