Has anyone eventually downgraded their system after reaching the 'top'?
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chimney189

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I'm wondering about this.
Today I suddenly told myself that listening to the HD 650 actually sounded more enjoyable to my ears when compared to TOTL headphones.

I believe that I'm starting to listen to my equipment more than my music collection.
It's a weird feeling that I can't seem to shake off.

So, I've actually thought about 'downgrading' my system.
Thoughts?
 
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Rhamnetin

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I certainly enjoy various sub $1,000 headphones more than many super expensive flagships. So in terms of monetary value, yeah I have downgraded for the sake of listening pleasure.

If the HD 650 is all you want, then I'd say stick with it. The HD 800 S is totally different, perhaps it's not for you? Sell it off for something you prefer and make back some of that money = win win.
 
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You're wiser than most to think this way.
The whole point of audiophoolery is to make music "more enjoyable [to my ears]" so if you don't enjoy the journey of reading, chasing, modding, and tweaking audio equipment, those are just hours wasted.

If you're not into the gear/equipment, listening to the equipment is best left to the reviewers and gearheads.
The whole point of 'the journey' is to reach the point where you transcend from listening to equipment, and can finally just relax and enjoy the music.

Downgrading or downsizing should have it's own thread. A lot can be learned from the equipment people used to own on their journeys, and often it's about leaving 'higher end' ($$$) stuff behind that isn't as enjoyable.
 
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chimney189

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You're wiser than most to think this way.
The whole point of audiophoolery is to make music "more enjoyable [to my ears]" so if you don't enjoy the journey of reading, chasing, modding, and tweaking audio equipment, those are just hours wasted.

If you're not into the gear/equipment, listening to the equipment is best left to the reviewers and gearheads.
The whole point of 'the journey' is to reach the point where you transcend from listening to equipment, and can finally just relax and enjoy the music.

Downgrading or downsizing should have it's own thread. A lot can be learned from the equipment people used to own on their journeys, and often it's about leaving 'higher end' ($$$) stuff behind that isn't as enjoyable.
I like the idea of a separate thread!
I suppose I'm just not one who cares so much about technicalities, but I don't see how I could have come to this conclusion without trying TOTL equipment.

It's interesting to note that I have the HD 800S and the Andromeda .. both praised for being technical.
Go figure. :beerchug:
 
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If someone offered me an HE-1 on the condition that I could never listen to a JVC HA-DX1000 ever again, I would turn them down ^_^
 
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I believe that I'm starting to listen to my equipment more than my music collection.
It's a weird feeling that I can't seem to shake off.
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If someone offered me an HE-1 on the condition that I could never listen to a JVC HA-DX1000 ever again, I would turn them down ^_^
Mm...have the HE 1. I listen through it a lot. But I still listen to my music through my Utopia, HE 1000, HD 800, 800 S, Audeze LCD XC, LCD 3, Oppo PM 1, Stax 009, etc. Etc. Etc. And i enjoy them all. Having topnotch headphones and enjoying headfi music are not mutually exclusive.

Bottom line: just enjoy headfi music regardless if it is through a 55K system or a 55 dollar headphone.

To answer the thread question, no. I do not intend to downgrade (whatever for?) nor upgrade (to what?).
 
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Mm...have the HE 1. I listen through it a lot. But I still listen to my music through my Utopia, HE 1000, HD 800, 800 S, Audeze LCD XC, LCD 3, Oppo PM 1, Stax 009, etc. Etc. Etc. And i enjoy them all. Having topnotch headphones and enjoying headfi music are not mutually exclusive.

Bottom line: just enjoy headfi music regardless if it is through a 55K system or a 55 dollar headphone.

To answer the thread question, no. I do not intend to downgrade (whatever for?) nor upgrade (to what?).
My point exactly.
I just feel lucky to have finally found a headphone that fits my ears so perfectly that I can stop listening to the equipment and the music just flows.
With the HE-1, I certainly experienced a few jaw-dropping and breathtaking moments, but ultimately didn't convey music to me as emotionally and musically to the point where I can lose myself and just enjoy it, and that at the end of the day is the goal.

(If I could afford an HE-1, I probably wouldn't intent to downgrade either 0_o )
 
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I'm wondering about this.
Today I suddenly told myself that listening to the HD 650 actually sounded more enjoyable to my ears when compared to TOTL headphones.

I believe that I'm starting to listen to my equipment more than my music collection.
It's a weird feeling that I can't seem to shake off.

So, I've actually thought about 'downgrading' my system.
Thoughts?
I've done this to see if I was actually able to hear a difference between $100 amps/DACs and $$$$ amps/DACs, so I could really appreciate just how much I invested in headphone equipment. Well, YES, I can hear a difference. (or that's at least what my brain is telling me when considering physical differences in the products' appearance...

_PRO1912.jpg
 
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I'm wondering about this.
Today I suddenly told myself that listening to the HD 650 actually sounded more enjoyable to my ears when compared to TOTL headphones.

I believe that I'm starting to listen to my equipment more than my music collection.
It's a weird feeling that I can't seem to shake off.

So, I've actually thought about 'downgrading' my system.
Thoughts?
In my view, it's not entirely possible to separate the headphone from the recording.
Some recordings might sound great through HD800S, but some won't.

Many people is normally chasing the headphone that make all recordings sounds the best and there's no such a thing since there's huge variance among recordings.
Some recordings benefit from HD650's slightly raised mid-bass and relatively soft treble. Those won't sound that great on the leaner and brighter HD800.
Some recordings benefit from big soundstage headphones like K701/K702/K812/HD800/HD800S, some don't and simply sound unnaturally dissociated on those headphones.

Sometimes the cheaper headphone is the one that makes your music sound the way you enjoy the most.
In some cases the cheaper headphone is also more comfortable, you know...

Having the HD650 around is always a safe bet.
Have you tried the Focal Clear?
 
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serman005

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I have a fairly large HP inventory. That said, I spend a considerable amount of time listening to a $99 IEM and an ipod shuffle. Why? It is very convenient and mobile and it sounds good enough to be enjoyable. I guess what I am saying is that there is listening enjoyment to be had for me at all levels of the economic spectrum. More $$ does not always lead to more enjoyment. At least so it seems to me.:)
 
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I had Ethers, but settled for 400i's. I could hear the benefit of the Ethers, but preferred other qualities of the 400i. The price of expensive headphones just sitting idle didn't justify itself, so they were ditched. Same with HD800 and HD650. Had both, kept the 650s. It's not always about what is "better" but what "sounds better to you".
 
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I'm wondering about this.
Today I suddenly told myself that listening to the HD 650 actually sounded more enjoyable to my ears when compared to TOTL headphones.
Because the higher you go the tendency is for most (not all) gear to be technically better. That means less compromises.

The problem is that people have confusing name for everything (not just computer parts manufacturers who instead of just calling "High Gain" what it is goes with "eXtR3Me Pr0 G4MeR ULTIMATE PAWN4G3 Your Mum Was Fun" Mode). Like "Sound Signature," which doesn't immediately lay out why that is the sound signature, although of course it's an easier way to say it. What it really is is "what compromises our engineers can make for this price that Marketing bets and/or can work with to pitch to people." The more you spend, the fewer compromises would have to be made, hence the difference wouldn't be as drastic.

And then on the consumer side, some just subjectively prefer a lower range product. Then again, it's not like the above point is absolutely perfect in every application, so let's look at your HD650 vs the HD800. HD800 costs more, so less compromise, supposedly, and they got a much wider and deeper soundstage than the HD6xx series. But that's just for soundstage - overall despite the seemingly obvious imbalance the HD650 curve is relatively smoother. So in that case it's less of the HD800 being unequestionably superior overall, it's just absolutely superior in one aspect - imaging - but to some the treble peak would not be an acceptable trade off.


I believe that I'm starting to listen to my equipment more than my music collection.
It's a weird feeling that I can't seem to shake off.
Listening to the equipment is being so absorbed in what to change in the equipment, not simply in having different equipment (that may be due to use case, like a headphone or speaker reference system and then an IEM for portable) or even some overlaps (like having a Grado for casual, not full attention but still tapping your feet or subconsciously humming along listening, and then having a technically smoother response headphone with better imaging for when imaging and smoother sound matters more during dedicated listening sessions).

That said, all i have for the main headphone rig is an HD600, otherwise all my other gear are for different use cases (and yet sound similar enough that with a little EQ everything sounds similar in the end, albeit the cleaner, more lifelike sound on the HD600 with the desktop amp).


ISo, I've actually thought about 'downgrading' my system.
Thoughts?
You might find more people who downgraded in the speaker audio forums. Look for everyone who was already an audiophile before 2008, lost their house, moved into some apartment; some of them probably made their way here later.


I've done this to see if I was actually able to hear a difference between $100 amps/DACs and $$$$ amps/DACs, so I could really appreciate just how much I invested in headphone equipment. Well, YES, I can hear a difference. (or that's at least what my brain is telling me when considering physical differences in the products' appearance...
I tried to get DAC or even regress back to a CDP before but hilariously enough only the Arcam CD72 was better in every way vs the PCM2702 USB DAC section in my Cantate.2 (Other DACs use that chip only as a receiver chip; the Cantate's implementation is like a cheap USB soundcard's, ie receiver+DAC in one, but likely a better analogue output stage). Everything else either imaged the drums too far out in front (Cambridge CDPs and one of the DACMagics), NAD player just had slightly better bottom end and Marantz had a slightly nicer midrange, and then the Rega Saturn gave Norah Jones sinusitis. Decided to just save my money.
 
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In my view, it's not entirely possible to separate the headphone from the recording.
Some recordings might sound great through HD800S, but some won't.

Many people is normally chasing the headphone that make all recordings sounds the best and there's no such a thing since there's huge variance among recordings.
Some recordings benefit from HD650's slightly raised mid-bass and relatively soft treble. Those won't sound that great on the leaner and brighter HD800.
Some recordings benefit from big soundstage headphones like K701/K702/K812/HD800/HD800S, some don't and simply sound unnaturally dissociated on those headphones.

Sometimes the cheaper headphone is the one that makes your music sound the way you enjoy the most.
In some cases the cheaper headphone is also more comfortable, you know...

Having the HD650 around is always a safe bet.
Have you tried the Focal Clear?
I haven't tried the Focal Clear .. sad to say, but I truly don't like that color scheme.
How does it sound compared to an HD 800?
 
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To my ears all the Focals that I've heard (Utopia, Clear and Elear) sounded closer to HD650 than HD800 in tonality, but with dynamics and detail closer to HD800.
Quite a nice combination I think.
 
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