I'm looking for a new set of open cans. Primary listening is metal, but I do throw in a good bit of other genres as well (post-punk, folk, prog, classic rock, jazz). Most of the metal I listen to leans hard to the black side of the spectrum though I do enjoy most flavors save for tech death and slam. I've previously owned the non-fazor LCD-2 which I had a love/hate relationship with. Loved the sound, hated the comfort or lack thereof. Currently have Meze 99 Classics and the Periodic Be. I like both, but neither are open of course. The 2 I have on my list so far are the LCD-1, Sundara, and Ananda.
Budget: around $500
Source: mostly FLAC files stored on LMS networked Hard Drive
DAC/Amp: I don't have anything currently, so recommendations for good pairings that would be great too
Sound signature: I am a bass player, so I do enjoy the lower end of the spectrum, but I do not consider myself a bass head. My reference bass track is Rush - Subdivisions if that helps give an idea. Kick drums need to have punch. Definitely want to avoid any boomy-ness if that makes sense.
Check out the Sundaras. They are 90-95% of the Anandas for half the price. They are actually punchier than the Anandas and I can verify they sound fantastic with Rush. I am a huge Rush fan (I'm an ex drummer) and they are my favorite band. The Sundaras go great with Rush and really with about anything you throw at them. I find they go well with tube hybrids like the Little Dot 1+ and Schiit Lyr. The money you saved with going with the Sundaras over the Anandas can be used to get something like a Little Dot 1+, Schiit Vali, etc and add DAC of your choice. If you want to spend a little more something like the Schiit Lyr or Cavalli Liquid Platinum are even better. Just my dos centavos.