headphones for jazz
Feb 3, 2009 at 11:50 AM Post #16 of 65

Kraps

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For me personally it is not about the genre, it is about the personal preference. I very much enjoy listening to jazz on K701, however, I also enjoy this on Stax Omega 2 and not the least on Beyerdynamic DT880, which are all very different cans but I like them all. On the other hand I know people that would not listen to any type of music on K701, since they find it "anemic". Therefore, things heve never been easy and won't be easy for Librarian either. The choice at the end of the day is a matter of trial and error and not recomendation. All this said I personally would recomend K701 (since the Omega is a bit out of budget).
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 12:02 PM Post #17 of 65

m0ofassa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vvanrij /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I disagree with you, should I post all the headphones recommended that I disagree with? Just put a headphone that you would recommend the guy. /snip


As I understand it, one cannot evaluate which phone is worth trying based on mere positives alone. eg, i could say iBuds are CHEAP++ (near free), but no one sane would go for them. As for coloration, I'd be careful - theres an unnatural desire for uncoloured sound on this site... after all, lots of musicians and sound engineers know what they are doing. my $0.02
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 12:10 PM Post #18 of 65

anoobis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by m0ofassa /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As I understand it, one cannot evaluate which phone is worth trying based on mere positives alone. eg, i could say iBuds are CHEAP++ (near free), but no one sane would go for them. As for coloration, I'd be careful - theres an unnatural desire for uncoloured sound on this site... after all, lots of musicians and sound engineers know what they are doing. my $0.02


And you need a neutral system to maintain what the musician/sound engineer intended. Surely?
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 12:23 PM Post #19 of 65

Nocturnal310

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Menisk /img/forum/go_quote.gif
It's all a matter of preference. There are people who like RS-1s with Jazz. I personally don't like Grado or AKG with Jazz, I love Senns but still recommend that he tries all 3 brands to see which sound he likes.


there are also people who dont enjoy Rock on grado..but do on Sennheiser..especially metal. (like me)

so u r rite..its a matter of preference.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 12:26 PM Post #20 of 65

sputnik00

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Quote:

Originally Posted by librarian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
As I understand so far:

Sennheiser HD are good for jazz, but has a dark sound, that some like and some don't

AKG has a sound with more air, less bass and good highs

Grado is very upfront/"in your face" and is well suited for most rockmusic, but also hardbop

What I really need is something neutral. I think.



hi there, i recently bit the bullet and bought my first pair of full-sized headphones - the audio technica ATH-AD900s. they are open-backed and absolutely not portable. but they stole my heart. i'm afraid i have not tried the AKG nor the Grados.

the source i use is a Hi-MD sony NH1 and i was looking for something that did not need an amplifier and which could handle jazz and classical music.

i tried the HD595 and HD600, the audio technicas ATH-AD500, ATH-AD700 and ATH-AD900. i used Paul Desmond's Bossa Antigua throughout the audition.

the senns, i found, laid-back and darker than the ATs. i have a small head and didn't find the senns comfortable so it was between the ATs.

i personally wasn't impressed with the sound on the AD500 and AD700 in terms of transparency and instrument separation. i use the audio technicas CK7s and i like the instrument separation which it has, albeit the highs can get bit bright at times.

two things on the Paul Desmond album made it challenging for the headphones - Connie Kay's rim shots and cymbals. he is such a brilliant drummer and produces gorgeous cymbals sounds and very robust rim shots. these were not apparent on the AD500 and AD700 and the sound was sometimes mixed up with Jim Hall's electric guitar beats.

on the AD900, it came through clearly and had this wonderful sense of airy-ness. the bass on the AD900 comes quick and fast. not boomy.

Paul Desmond's alto was decent on the AD500, but to my ears, they sounded smoother on the AD700, and came to live on the AD900. it was like listening to him in the flesh.

i have not tried jazz vocals with my AD900 but if you'd like i have some ella and diana krall with me.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 12:26 PM Post #21 of 65

vvanrij

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Nope, deadwrong tbh. But I'm not in the habit of writing big and long stories, we have people like Peter Pinna for that. Anyway read up on mastering that will teach you the most. As I'v been producing music for a couple of years now myself (not as profession!) I have read alot and talked to alot of people, and the truth (as always) is a bit more complicated than what you stated. To put it simple, if you would have the most neutral soure+amp+headphone in the world, you will 99% surely find the sound unlistenable ugly. A musician will find a good sound, a sound engineer will make it good on record for not only that 1 person in the world that will buy his album with a 100.000 hifi sound, he just might also make it listenable for the other tenthousands of people listening to it on their ipods.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 1:13 PM Post #23 of 65

jetstream

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Any high-end phone with a good quality recording will generally sound really good. It's just a question of flavor. For me personally, I like to have lots of flavors to pick from. And yes sources and amps will effect the sound sometimes dramatically. It always surprises me how many finite opinions are thrown out without any reference to associated equipment. It does matter.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 1:57 PM Post #24 of 65

m0ofassa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by vvanrij /img/forum/go_quote.gif
/snip world that will buy his album with a 100.000 hifi sound, he just might also make it listenable for the other tenthousands of people listening to it on their ipods.


Agreeing to disagree (having done some home production myself/worked with professional producers), even though my currently favourite set of phone/amp/source is coloured to my personal preference. I believe there is a difference between 'uncoloured' and 'cold' sounds.
Anyway, personal recomendation for jazz would be a HD600 with a 650 cable...
and x2 for the many flavor approach. I like to have colouration at the headphone level most though (and EQ just before the headphone). It's a mixing habit...
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 2:25 PM Post #25 of 65

vvanrij

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I didn't use the word cold anywhere, nor do I disagree that there is a difference between uncoloured and cold. I don't quite get your post.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 4:00 PM Post #26 of 65

FoleyF

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I personally prefer the HD600's for Jazz. They are a mellow phone that reproduces the music very well. I have a very large Jazz on vinyl collection and use a vintage Empire 208 turntable as my source. Currently I'm using an AT Cartridge (a little brighter than most). I'm running the 208 into a Sumiko Tube Box Phono Stage and then to an Antique Sound Labs MG Head Headphone Amp. All in all, a very nice sound. For my ears you can't beat the HD600's......you can literally listen to them for hours with absolutely no ear fatigue. I have many sets of headphones and for me, the HD600's are the best all around can and certainly the best for Jazz.

As everyone else has stated, it starts with the actual record....is it clean? Then you have to look at the cartridge that you use.....is it good for Jazz? Then you have to look at the phono stage and amp........and then of course all of the cables and tubes! If there a chink in the armor anywhere along the line you sacrifice sound quality. You can literally change any one of these items and get a completely different sound from the system. For example, I can get a completely different sound just by rolling out the stock tubes on my MG Head and replacing them with some Telefunken's or Sylvania's.

Hope this helps!

Foley
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 4:14 PM Post #27 of 65

Katysax

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My favorite headphones for jazz are the AKG K701. I've tried, and even owned for a while, just about all the recommended headphones. The reason that I like the K701 is that on that headphone a saxophone sounds like a saxophone. I'm a sax player and most headphones really bother me on sax solos because it sounds like an electronic instrument, not a sax.

If the album is predominately vocal I tend to prefer the Denon D5000 because it turns good voices into a glorious liquid that I enjoy. If the album features a bass player like Marcus Miller or Jaco Pastorius the DT770-80 is a lot of fun.

But if I had to stick with one headphone and only one headphone for jazz, it would be the k701 hands down. Neither the Sennheisers nor Grados would be my choice. I've owned several different Sennheisers and to my ears the "veil" is frustrating. Grados turn organs into harmonicas.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 5:10 PM Post #28 of 65

wfranklin

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Given the eras you are listening to, I'd recommend the K501's, since most of those recordings don't carry a lot of bass.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 5:28 PM Post #29 of 65

olblueyez

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If you want something smooth and musical and extremely good at reproducing vocals then the 650 is a great choice. Unlike some of the others here I'm not going to speak of headphones I never owned. I will tell you first that the 701 is a huge mistake as it has no bass weight and will make the vocals sound very plastic. The 701 is also not good for long listening sessions as it produces a very fatiguing sound and cannot be used for more then 2 hours stretches. With the 650, the bass will have the proper amount of weight and the sound will be well balanced from top to bottom. Male and Female vocals will sound amazing and you will discover that a headphone does not have to be bright and harsh to retrieve a great amount of detail. I can listen to the 650 for 6 hours and still be ready for more. When under amped the 650 will sound a bit boomy and the mids will sound veiled but they will still be nice and smooth allowing for long listening sessions. The 701 just gets more and more harsh when not driven properly.

I also have 2 recommendations if you do decide on the 650. First is to get a tube amp with some good tube rolling options because the 650 responds well to tubes due to the fact it is a high impedance headphone. Also with the ability to roll tubes you can adjust the sound signature of the amp 100 percent. Don't ask me why most people ignore this fringe benefit of tube rolling, it really makes no sense. Get this, Get that, hey you know what? Get a headphone that likes tubes and roll some tubes and you can find EXACTLY what it is that your looking for. Second thing is the sound signature of the 650 and cables. You will read everything about cables, including "Little green men from mars". I have used 2 different HP cables with the 650 and one in particular has been fantastic. The SAA Equinox cable has exceeded my expectations and address the two major points of contention people have with the 650. People say the 650 is too warm and that it is veiled. The Equinox will reduce bass weight slightly and replace that with tons of bass impact (no more boomy bass). Especially useful if your amp isn't up to snuff. The Equinox also brings a portion of the mids forward (Lifts the veil) where vocals reside. Both qualities are very useful when using a sub par amp or when going solid state and you are unable to tube roll. The short version is the 650 can sound like anything you want, to achieve similar goals on the 701 your looking at purchasing a lot of very expensive equipment and even then there is no guarantee as to you liking what you hear.
wink_face.gif


BTW, you can pick up a tube amp cheap. 2,3,4 hundred dollars.
 
Feb 3, 2009 at 6:02 PM Post #30 of 65

vvanrij

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Can you spot the ones who recommend headphones they didn't listen to, it could be quite helpfull
 

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