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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. ferday

    My short but multiple times with the lcd2, I think the he400 has better quality bass but less extension/presence, I didn't really love the 500's, almost too neutral sounding for my taste (if that even makes sense). The 400's are a little to recessed in the midrange, the 500's have a beautiful midrange. The lcd2 are dark-ish but I really enjoyed the overall sound

    The preliminary stuff on the new he460 sounds really good, I can't wait to get a listen, apparently they are like the 400's in bass but with a fixed midrange....and a much better price range than any of the audeze

    Really I need to get the LCD-XC to listen, as I have much more need for closed cans
  2. markm1

    Yeah-seems like there's definitely some shifting sand w/ these two company's  products. My thing is-I've got good serviceable sound as I look for my various upgrades-both in the HP and speaker rigs I have. Bottom line for me is a question-do you like the sound you are currently listening to? For me that's a yes.  But there is always room for improvement. Good, better, best. I would say, I'm at better but not best.
    The road to perfection for me is a journey that probably won't ever completely end.
    So, I'm just going to bide my time like a snake in the grass waiting for the right time to make my move [​IMG] 
  3. ferday
    Ha ha agreed! I'm pretty determined to keep off the continual upgrade path, more often than not it's minor change at best. I'm currently very satisfied, I did just do some hifi upgrades and I'm happy there for now too

    But then again, we wouldn't be here on the site if we weren't enthusiasts :wink:
  4. markm1
    As a follow up-here's a common experience I have. I'm listening thru my Sonos Connect to my speakers. Sonos is a wireless streaming system that you can set up thru your own gear or with their wireless speakers. I'm usually listening to a playlist of new music or rock or metal all in lossless, and I think.....hmmm? Not quite what it should be.
    I put on my HP's. I still think hmmm? Better detail-more resolving. Yet. Something's not great. Maybe my amplification.
    So, I throw a CD in my dedicated cdp and think-yeah....definitely better.
    Then I go back to my Sonos digital music later in the day and another song comes in and it sounds great. I mean really good-about as good as from my CDP.
    Again and gain I'm reminded, it's often the quality of the original recording-the master, etc. and not my stupid ass gear!#(@#!
  5. deanorthk
    I just can speak for myself, but fostex HPA8C and grado PS1000, and Amon Amarth sounds really really great with them.
    Very fast, accurate, the voice well placed.
    I listen to almost all kind of musics, but metal is my thing.
    And from The Duskfall to Iron Maiden, Graveworm, In Flames, arc ennemy, metallica and so on, it sounds great.
    Won't say it's perfect, because the only comparison I can make is with my modded HD650.
  6. deanorthk
    The HD650 (stefan art cable), sound too dark, almost too closed, at least, with amon amarth, it's like moving to a tiny bedroom with the 650 to a big stage with the PS1000.especially you can really hear the rythm of the drummer, and the treble are shining (without beeing brilliant, thanks to the HPA8).
  7. levap
    It makes me wonder about HE400 sample variation. I personally was actually disappointed by HE400 compared to HE500/LCD-2 in every way possible, including bass.
    Ordered Fostex HP-A4 for setup at job, does HP-A8 worrth additional $?
    Planning to review PS1000 in august btw.
  8. deanorthk
    I guess the main difference from HPA4 HPA8 is the stronger amp side in the HPA8, thus, I guess, a better job at handling something like the PS1000.
    I've tried the PS1000 at work, but it's a no go, not because of sound quality, but... too much noise going OUT of the headphones.
    Ended up bringing my HD650 at work, and soon, in ear heir audio 5.0 plus theorem 720 portable dac amp.
    talk about stealth:)
  9. levap
    Couple of reviews more.
    Denon AH-D600
    By far one of the best cans at middle level. Comfortable fit. Wide, very wide soundstage (for closed headphones). Powerful bass, but alas not well controlled (bass kin of hang out on the wide soundstage). Highhs may become too bright on the bright DAC/amp, no complaints on the on a neutral or dark gear. Overall a bit too sweet sound character, has a tendency to embellish, to apply "Photoshop effects" to sound.
    D600 talents:
    Death: A sea of fun! I’m not sure, that Death should play soy joyfully, but when D600 play – they generate the most diverse emotions. Thanks for that.
    Black: Well measured heavy bass (unlike on a number of other sub-genres) – the key to success.
    Doom: Technical potency (yes, yes, again it’s about of volume of bass, albeit imperfectly controlled) coincides with the profile of the genre. Yes. They play doom. Savory.
    Sludge, Stoner: Despite the overload on the bass, potentially unacceptable, D600 play Sludge/Stoner with more enthusiasm than their colleagues headphones on middle level.
    Power: Probably the best cans for Power on the middle level (may be except AKG 712). Moderately lightweight and cheerful sound signature, nice midrange. Swollen bass is trying get in the way, but fortunately it fails to spoil the feast.
    Symphonic: Slightly too brutal, but fun and cheerful anyway. Unintelligent, but entertaining interpretation of Sympho-metal.
    That turns out not too well:
    Thrash: Amorphous, bulky, slow. Characters of cheerful songs rotate in a tank with oil, wrapped in a soft protective shell…
    Progressive: Fat and lard, looks like a greasy pan. Repulsive.
    Alternative: Bass excess confidently leads the brain into the overdrive.
    Overall, despite the impressive and apparent viability of a broad range of metal subgenres, D600 remain extremely non-neutral, non-flat and son non-universal headphones. Initial enthusiasm, if you are not full bore, is practically guaranteed. But how this enthusiasm will last, is much more difficult to say. Alas, for the cans with this level of "curvature", chances for close boredom coming are far from zero.
    Denon AH-D2000 (padauk cups mod)
    Bad guys (in a good sense) even against “not so good guys” colleagues)) Mod consists of 1) replacement of the cups - padauk cups installed and 2) tonal balance adjustment by sound absorbing material application. Result – very bass-heavy and heavy-weight headphones (probably another reason for gestalt response with heavy metal genres). Bass is powerful and well-controlled. Denon X000 drive is in place. Mids, alas, are imperfect, a bit recessed as compared with original D2000/D5000. Soundstage is narrow. Highs are quite acceptable.
    What’s good:
    Black: Dark, dense and comfortable. Feels like Alien’s larva rotating in the mucus in the parent shell.
    Doom: Ununexpectedly great. With such a bass it can not be not great.
    Heavy Metal: Wood consonant to live (at least relatively live) genres. Another confirmation.
    Industrial: Wooden sledgehammer gives lessons of Industrial with a human face. (Key point - concentrated bass hits right to the spot).
    Thrash: Moderately natural and immoderately involving. Bass - exactly what you need, ample but well controlled and concentrated.
    What’s not so good:
    Symphonic: Not their day (genre). Narrowish scene and pluses (fat bass) become more outs.
    Progressive: Alas, sheer lack of subtlety, delicacy and space.
    Goth: Instead of light melancholy we have boredom here – looks like Shrek is in sadness.
    In total, one of the best cans for the metal. And once again, not too versatile / neutral headphones. Love / hate test is presumed. 
  10. SomeGuyDude
    I wonder if I'm the only guy who doesn't consider a wide soundstage to be an automatic positive. 
  11. Kaizer-J

    Exactly my thoughts too... Based on my experience, the HE-400 sounds a touch unrefined and is a class below compared to both the HE-500 and the LCD-2 (both of these sound quite close to me BTW).

    I listen to Symphony X, Dream Theater and Testament exclusively on my LCD-2 Fazor, and they sound amazing... Ultra transparent, tight bass, detailed midrange that lets you hear all the grits and edginess in guitar riffs and the gruffness in the vocals (especially Russel Allen's). Treble can sometimes be a bit too hot in the louder parts, but never sibilant or grainy, just smoothness all around :D
  12. ferday
    The 400's are totally outclassed by the audeze, and in some ways by the 500's ....but the bass is outstanding with way more punch than the 500's (they punch well above their price class). To my ears anyways.

    The LCD is amazing, and amazingly expensive lol. Maybe one day I'll justify a pair. Honestly I'd choose the 400 over the 500 all day every day, just goes to show how preference factors in I guess. It's the same reason I love my rs1 so much for metal yet the grados are continually rated low by the masses. They just make me happy :)

    What I do need is some nice, highly insulating closed cans to replace my m50...
    You need a Denon AH-Dx000. 
  14. SomeGuyDude
    I say again. Final Audio Pandora Hope VI. 
  15. Redcarmoose

    Well if my pair ever broke-down I would feel I was just ostracized from metal music.
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