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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. levap
    But now you find RS1i + Asgard-2 are not really good for metal? What problems do you see?
  2. Astrozombie
    Well isn't this interesting, I recently narrowed my list for my next cans to the DT770 and 840s. I heard great things about the Hd-25 but they have a short cord and are on-ear. I liked the 440s in the past and want something with a little less bass than my Q-40s, plus I've heard the 770s can have harsh treble.  Only thing i was worried about is some saying the 840s are a little "U-Shaped"...for portables i'm really loving the PX 100 II right now.
    FWIW I've heard the HD-25s were the best phones for rock/metal out there by several people, the Amperiors being slightly better. Let's hope we see more Blu-ray metal concerts in the future mates! *Raises beer*[​IMG]
  3. levap
    I think you are on the right way ))
    Drawback of "U-Shaped" headphones is in recessed mids. And mids of 840 are great, so I don'f find them "U-Shaped". But 840 could be a bit too bright, if you prefer comfortable "dark" sound type. 840 are more "airy", directly compared to 770, probably that could sound as if 770 have "harsh" treble.
  4. levap
    And I have one more favorite theme with LOTS of parallels to audiophile audio components evaluation. I think this feeling could be familiar for you, as you're California denizen. I'm talking about wine tasting / audio components evaluation parallels )) 
  5. markm1
    No problems, just a change in flavor. When I first did my reserach, I decided that the Asgard-2 would be good for my 225 because it's really versatile. I was thinking I might get a HE500 later on, and the A-2 will power both even though ideally if you wanted to stay in the Schiit line, you might be tempted to spring for the Lry with an ortho. I don't know if the A-w will power a LCD for instance.
    I found this reviews that helped me decide (and I think Grado recommend the Asgard) that specifically mention the 225 and RS1:
    Having used the Asgard-2 w/ my 225i (my only real reference point) I think they sound really good together. Very clean, clear, transparent and yes somewhat bright-high trebble. You can wrap electical tape around the bowls which is a popular, easy modification to increase the base in the 225 which I've done and think makes a lot of sense.
    That said, if you go to the Grado threads and search amps, there is a lot of love for Tube amps and specifically for the Little Dot 1+ which is quite inexpensive...you should be able to pick one up on Amazon or about $116. It's not as versatile if you wanted to use it for another(high imedence/power hungry) HP. Little Dot is a tube hybrid for low impedence HP's like Grado. Everyone says, they warm up the bright sound of Grados and maybe help with the base. You can roll tubes to change and play with the sound for relative little money if you know what you are doing.
    Long story short, now that I've upgraded from a 225-to RS1, I've decided it's worth the investment in a LD. It's just not as versatile w/ other HP's.
    The Asgard is of course solid state-it will give you great clarity which might be better for metal depending on your tastes, whereas the tube (I dont' have the LD yet-I've just bought a LD bundle on the sales forum but don't have it in my posession yet) will warm up their sound.
    LD1+ seems to be a preferred economical amp for Grados if you are willing to get into tubes and is supposed to have excellent synergy with Grados. I'll know in a few days [​IMG]
  6. Redcarmoose

    Well, you have the argument about quality and the perception there of. I'm actually a scotch drinker. I can tell you that expensive hard liquor is better. Black Label JW is better than Super Market stuff in the plastic bottles. Wine I know very little about. There is a great story about this Indonesian con man who generated his own counterfeit expensive wine. People were spending 75K on bottles. His game was up when he dated a bottle 3 years older than the winery was in existence. They found scanners and printers at his place where he would generate his fakes. High end audio has it's share of fakes too. I believe in some strange audio tweaks but have taken a long time to find em out. Were all crazy here! Lol

    But the whole diminishing returns concept is a complete reality hear at Head-Fi. But everyone is into their own sound. I remember going to meets. Hearing some rigs sounding super delicate almost like clear whispers? Lol. To each his own.
    Karnitool12 likes this.
  7. levap
    Good news! Metal-Fi announced headphones review next week. Dave is planning to start from affordable/portable stuff, hope they will get to something serious soon!
  8. SomeGuyDude
    Man that FR chart just reminded me of how ridiculously uneven the D7100s are. 
  9. levap
    And, by the way, M-100 are not so far from the definition of metal-fi for metal headphones, at least compared to my personal basic level favourites )
    "metal headphone is a gentle downward slope – slightly elevated bass to help bring out as much of the usually squashed kick drum and bass guitar as possible, a flat midrange so that the guitars and vocals are front and center, and slightly curtailed treble response to reduce the artifacts from less than stellar recordings. "
  10. SomeGuyDude
    They're damn fine, I'll say that! I know my one friend who's a huge metalhead LOVES his. I enjoy the crap outta mine, too, and it took a lot of searching for a way to improve upon 'em. 
  11. levap
    Added reviews for Audio-technica ATH-W1000X and ATH-ES10
    Audio-technica ATH-ES10
    Bullies with a style. The mix of full-size headphone driver with a portable design leads to precisely this result. Cans are not too “balanced” - powerful bass (thanks to the driver), tasty mids (thanks to the driver again), not the most modest highs. Soundstage, alas, is small.
    Headphones show their best on these metal subgenres:
    Doom: In the middle weight class – one of the titans. ES10 easily let you to forget shortcomings (yes, it's not the most detailed cans, for example) and listen only to the merits (fat, stringy as toffee bass – “must have” for the Doom). Gestalt response of ES10 with Doom is impressive.
    Black: Fast and provocative, a kind of small Denon D7000. Well, may be a bit darkish compared to 7000.
    Heavy Metal: A simple device with a skillfully tilted balance, charged with drive and charisma is a way ahead of more flat but boring competitors.
    Power: Despite the fact that bass is trying to overshadow mids, charisma of ES10 (or call it “colouring” if you dislike them) definitely puts the overall impression of music to the joyful and merry plane, greatly related to the Power.
    Overall, probably the best for metal portable headphones of the middle level (that I had opportunity to listen to date). Can with cheerful character and charisma.

    Audio-technica ATH-W1000X
    And once again, cans with obvious and explicit talents outside heavy metal genres. But perhaps it’s even more interesting to try them metal, than straight metal-able headphones.
    For me, the keyword on W1000X is "air." You can feel the air in sound, in headbands touch to your head and in overall aftertaste of music performed by W1000X.
    Objectively talking the only thing, which is painfully lacking in relation to metal - bass, here the "air" plays a bad joke. Mids are the best, that the cans have, it's hard not to fall in love with this coloration. Highs are delicate, along with wide (for closed headphones) soundstage, pose a significant part of the overall airy image.
    Predictably enough ears showed themselves well on non-extreme metal subgenres, closer to rock / classic – the better:
    Heavy Metal: Softness and naturalness are welcome here, headphones are weaving amazing cohesive musical canvas.
    Symphonic: Unlike the D600 -  very soft, airy and judicious performance. Sincerely and good. Antipode of D600 for the one who prefers judicious performance to sheer entertainment.
    Thrash: Imperfect, but it is noteworthy performance. Feels like soft balls are rolled in the stomach. Looks like inappropriate for the Trash, but extremely interesting anyway.
    Alternative: A surprise once again! Comrade W1000X demonstrates amazing ability to play alternative metal. Hooray! Diablo Swing Orchestra and Serj Tankian hail W1000X.
    As a result, here we have cans, that are able to make a very fresh notes in non-extreme metal subgenres performance.
  12. markm1

    Great review. I really appreciate the time spent on different genres. Problem is most of us metal listeners listen to several genres. I think one of the great things about metal is diversity. I'd be hard pressed to pick a HP just for symphonic metal, or BM or sludge or whatever. I want it to be great with everything even if that isn't entirely possible.
    I recently read a review comparing two high end 1K HP's and the reviewer made the point that if you are going to spend 1K on HPs they should be able to play any genre with authority. And that got me thinking about HP even at modest $ levels. Sure some have more of this or that-bass, dark/bright, soundstage, imaging, separation of instruments, yada, yada.....but sometimes I wonder if we get hooked on genre a little too much.
    I"m listening to a Grado RS1i and everyone talks about how great they are with metal and rock and present the sound of guitar. And, yet, the detail involved really lend themselves to acoustic music. You can really hear each instrument like you were listening live.
    Shouldn't a good HP be able to represent any genre of metal? Or really-any genre of any kind of music?
    For that matter, I for one would not want to limit my listening only to metal.
  13. SomeGuyDude
    What's the budget we're talking? I own what I would argue are some of the best headphones around for metal: the Final Audio Pandora and the SE846, but both will set you back quite a few dollars. However, they're stellar in every type of metal as well as every type of anything else. 
    A $300 set like the M100 (and I still maintain they're my favorite $300 can) excels in certain areas but not others, but absolutely once you get up into the $1000 area you've got products that are amazing regardless of what you're throwing at them. 
    I'm not going to toss around buzzwords in my description of the Pandoras, suffice it to say that whatever aspect of metal it is that you like, they will give it to you in spades. Is it kick drums? They'll punch your chest. The roar of guitars? No problem. The snap of a snare drum? It'll crack your head in two. 
  14. SDub
    Any thoughts on the AKG Q701? 
    They're great with the bass mod done to them. I really enjoy mine.
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