Headphone Triad Recomendation
Jun 4, 2013 at 10:36 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

Mandolin Poet

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I haven't really been able to afford Mid-Fi or Hi-Fi audio until now.
I have saved up and pulled the trigger on buying an amp and DAC. You can read all the reviews this forum has but eventually you have to make a purchase (my eyes can't hear).
 
So here is what I'm starting with.
Amp: Just Audio AHA-120
DAC: Meridian Explorer
 
Music I listen to: Almost everything: Vocals (Josh Groban, Norah Jones) Rock (Counting Crows, Incubus, Van Halen) Country (Carrie Underwood, Hank Williams) Folk (Joshua James, Bret Dennen) Classical (Bruckner, Tchaikovsky) Blue Grass (Sam Bush, Cherryholmes) Rap (Trick Daddy) HipHop (RhymeZweLL) Jazz (Gillespie, Dave Brubeck). Pop (Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera) don't like metal but everything else I like.
 
So here is where I would like some recommendations. I am looking for 3 headphones because of my wide taste in music.
 
1. A V-shaped headphone. Prefer closed back. Mostly for rock and Pop. A bit more bass for handling rap also. But mostly a rock can. $200-$300
2. A neutral clear phone for Classical. Open back. (I don't like laid back highs for my classical music. I want to make sure the highs blend well with the rest of the sound) $300-$400
3. Warm/Dark. That smokey mid-range emphasized jazz club sound. Either open or closed back, want a more intimate sound stage with this choice. $300-$400
 
Still waiting to receive my equipment. Here is what I currently have to maybe help with recommendations.
 
Source: I-pod nano 5th gen and the crappy phone out on my computer.
Current headphones: 1) Yuin OK-2 for that warm sound. 2) Harmaon/Kardon NI for a neutral clear sound. 3) Logitech UE 500 for the V-shaped rock. (I don't like the Logitech for rock though, it doesn't have enough bass but the mids and highs are right for what I want in a rock headphone)
 
Considerations:
V-shaped rock can. Grado SR225i, but I don't think they will have the bass I want.
Neutral can. AKG K702, but I have read that they can sound thin and the sound stage isn't natural to some.
Warm can. Mad Dogs by Mr. Speaker. I think this choice is a definite for what I'm looking for.
 
One other feature I would like is a removable cord so I don't have to wind up / unwind cable when switching cans. I can use one cable for all 3 and leave the cable length plugged into the amp.
 
P.S. Before anyone suggests why don't I just by one phenomenal can instead. I don't believe one can would to the trick, in my opinion, for all my varied musical tastes.
 
Thanks to everyone in advanced for your suggestions.
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 3:35 AM Post #2 of 2
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Hi Mandolin Poet, welcome to Head-Fi. 
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  Sorry about your wallet. 
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Well first let's take a look at what's currently under consideration:
 
1.  V-shaped rock can. Grado SR225i, but I don't think they will have the bass I want.
2.  Neutral can. AKG K702, but I have read that they can sound thin and the sound stage isn't natural to some.
3.  Warm can. Mad Dogs by Mr. Speaker. I think this choice is a definite for what I'm looking for.
 
The Grado is open-backed, so I'm not sure how that would work out for any portable needs you might have.  Likewise, I am also a bit concerned about whether you'll get the bass you're craving.  As for the neutral cans, yeah the K702 is a good choice... though it may be just a bit shy in the low end.  And finally, while I love the Mad Dogs, I wouldn't say that they are particularly known for being warm.  I would probably restructure the list as follows:
 
1. A V-shaped headphone; prefer closed back ($200-$300):  Audio-Technica ES10
2. A neutral clear phone for Classical; open-backed ($300-$400):  AKG Q701.  Or alternatively a Beyerdynamic DT880/250
3. Warm/Dark - that smokey mid-range emphasized jazz club sound ($300-$400):  Sennheiser HD 600 or HD 650
 
The prices for the suggestions I listed are a little bit off individually, but the total price should be spot on.  Hope that helps!
 

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