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Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by levap, Apr 21, 2014.
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  1. SomeGuyDude
    I honestly cannot imagine listening to metal on a Grado unless all you care about is the guitar and the vocals. The drums turn into a trebly mess and the bass guitar disappears even more than normal. 
  2. SomeGuyDude
    I'll report my findings later today. I love VMODA too much to leave them entirely, I'm just curious if the XS shifts focus slightly and if it's a positive or negative. 
  3. marts30
    I do care a lot about guitar and vocals in metal, yes :p
    I think the MS2's have decent sub bass especially, very punchy... I don't feel the low end is lacking that much.
  4. SomeGuyDude
    I'm a die-hard metalhead guy who makes it to MDF when he can, but jeez. Without the drums punching you in the chest I just can't enjoy it. To each his own!
    That's actually one reason I respect the everloving hell out of Grado even though I don't especially like them. They're PERSONALLY tuned. They're not headphones made by a guy who sat there with graphs and charts, but a man who adores sound and tuned them how he thought they sounded best. I do wish more would follow his example.
  5. levap
    I have 325 (without "i") and I'm agree, it was a disappoitment... Looking forward to try 325is anyway )
    Considering your last.fm profile you are mostly on the symphonic/progressive/power side of metal and Grado, Alessandro are really good here[​IMG] My personal Grado-style favorites are RS1i.
  6. levap
    I'd rather say - to each subgenre - his own headphones ) Black and Death sound thin on classical Grado cans, but Grado are good on sympho/progressive/power. M-100 punch you in the gut on extreme metal varieties, but are helpless on subgenres sympho/progressive, M-100 just don't have enough space and air. So generally the best is to have at least two headphones and my little table is way to find interesting combinations.
  7. Redcarmoose
    It's nice to see an effort like this take place here for Metal. Metal has always been the non-noticed audiophile genre with reviewers rarely listing albums used for equipment testing in Stereophile or Absolute Sound or even Head-Fi for that matter. Those writers were way too stuffy and prim for a walk to the other side of town.
    It may be the 90% bluejeans construction worker or short order restaurant cook listening to metal all of which don't buy expensive stereos. Metal also had the magic of sounding great at 2AM from your car stereo as you drove home regardless of equipment quality.
    So in the last 5 years we see a Metal-Fi website dedicated to dynamic range metal recordings and now this list.
    Most of us metal-heads have needed to fend for ourselves with a hit or miss gamble of events. At times what we thought would be good ended up either being fatiguing or dull after time. As it turned out metal is a massive collection of sub-genres, all with their very own idiosyncratic demands and non-issues. In many ways Metal incorporates all the demands of every genre having the synth of techno, the violins and the screaming of ?? Ok, there is no other genre with screaming like metal.LOL.
    I read all of this and my humble opinion is it is great. My only concern is that there is no emphasis or source or amplification. I have no interest in complication of an already complex and convoluted subject, but state this only because of finding source and amplification to dramatically alter sound signatures of the headphones I have experienced.
    That said, the list seems very complete considering the magnitude of this endeavor. It's a hard job to do also considering everyone's personal taste. This ends up being a valuable resource both for the neophyte or Head-Fi member with a collection.  
  8. levap
    Thanks a lot for your interest and appreciation!
    Added hardware description to the first post (DAC: Mytek Stereo192-DSD, Amps: Burson Soloist, Lynx HA-61). In practice, I use one or another amp to tune result a bit for my personal preferences and mood. Soloist - to move result a bit to the bright side, HA-61 - to the dark. I do not record amps usage during listening sessions, but deeply understand the problem. 650 results with stock and Toxic cable - great illustration of possible effects. And worst of all - different instances of headphones of the same model can also really differ (650 I used for the test were more to the bright side, than 650 I had about a year ago).
    What to do here? I don't know )) May be at least for the top cans and amps I'll continue with something like this (amp A is fast and bright, amp B is slow and dark):
    But seem like there is too much to think about before start....
    The Audio Technica ESW9 is pretty awesome for metal. I've been using it this week as a portable and have been very happy with it. The mids are nice, the bass is deep and the treble is smooth. These are excellent if you like metal with hard break downs and bass drops.
  10. Redcarmoose

    Yes, that graph that first looks like a star-map, shows the possible out comes of headphones with amps. With all my years here I have yet to see such a guide, but it totally makes complete sense to me. I always wonder if any members ever copy set-ups that they hear and like at shows?

    The lunacy here is the reality that so many of us are putting combinations of stuff together on the fly and hoping the sound will be right. It's all uncharted based on a hope and tons of money is spent even before listening. At times I think it an art where folks will mix and match equipment that they just feel will work together. In all this chance there is no final proof until everything is plugged in and warmed up. A guide seems to be the first basic reference to making purchases.

    This said, the basic headphone page guide is so much truth in that it concentrates on each models intrinsic character traits. The source and cables and amp then fine-tune the character. What we always hoped was to find synergy in the equation, leading to an even better sound.
  11. levap
    May be the lunacy is the essence of our hobby in the end, the hope to find some magic in our bleak digital world? )) Then the star-map is the best travel guide, obviously. I hope I have enough stardust to carry on to the amplification side of this map, after I finish with headphones cartography ))
  12. SomeGuyDude
    I wanna see where you'd slap the Pandoras on that chart. All I know is they're perfect, haha. 
  13. levap
    It's worth to try (ES10 are realy good), added them to wishlist.
    Couple of days ago started with Pandoras. I am not sure, that they're perfect, but no doubt they're well equiped for metal! Stay tuned! ))
  14. Redcarmoose
    Well, I am from Southern California, and even though I never put together a high performance car I ended up talking to a bunch of car buffs. There is a parallel between the two hobbies and in the end these elaborate one-off Frankenstein combinations are the offspring of their master. It seems the chance of putting stuff together and not knowing the out-come ends up having a genuine romance involved. Maybe the thrill of sonic victory and the all-time-present chance of failure make this hobby fun and exciting. In the pages of Head-Fi we read about the success and fails. The folks write about em here because no one could possibly understand or even care out there in the real world.
  15. markm1
    I just upgraded from the 225i to RS1i. I like it after a few days of listening. I felt my 225 (while less detailed slightly) was also less sibilent than the 325 which seems the brightest. I thought for $200 or less used, the 225 was a really good value and excellent w/ most metal.
    I'd love to add an Ortho (HE500 OR LCD-2) for now-having got a great deal from a headfier friend-IMO-the RS1i smoothes out the rough edges of the 225/325, provides better imaging, details and a tighter, better base. Definitiely less fatiguing. The amp I have is Asgard-2. Picking up a tube hybrid now and with some tubes I think it's going to sound great for a number fo genres including metal. Now, If I were going to drop close to 1K-I'd go in a different direction. But, on the used/selling/trade forum, getting a good price on a RS1i-I think can be a great way into great rock/metal sound without breaking the bank. My 2C.
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