Hello and a question!
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

Head Room

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Hi,

Been lurking for a while and trying to build up a picture of what is available in the world of hi"gher" end headphones and amps.

Around a year ago I had my eyes and ears opened when I acquired a pair of Shure SE530's to accompany me on my many business trips. They have given me an insight into what headphones can do, and with the current domestic set up I would like to take this further with a good home set up.

My source will be lossless files from a MAC into a DAC, I will choose an amp once I have chosen my headphones.

This brings me to my real question ...... where should I been looking for a significant improvement to the Shures. I am a huge live music fan, the best music experience for me is always stood just near the sound desk at the Heiniken Music Hall, so my real quest is to get a strong sound stage, large scale, superb timing, and sweet evocative mids and highs.

What would be the views on this board as to the likes of Grados, Senns, Ultrasone etc - Budget for the 'phones will be +/- $0.5 - $1K

Cheers,

Stephen
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:21 AM Post #2 of 7

obobskivich

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check out Denon AH-D2000/5000's, maybe Grado SR-325i's or RS-2's, Sennheiser HD-580 (love mine), or more realistically HD 600/650's (or HD 595's tbh, but you'll probably just replace them)

with Ultrasone, I can't speak from experience (I'm so close to pulling the trigger on a pair though...), from what I've read the HFI-2200 ULE and Edition 9 are both positively amazing (granted, the Edition 9 blows past your budget by about half)

you might also consider the Sony MDR F-1's (or SA5000's), or Beyer DT 990 600ohm
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 8:42 AM Post #3 of 7

hawat

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I think the Edition 9 would fit what you are looking for, its possible to find them around 1k. Great sound, very involving headphones and you will feel right next to them
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+ They will sound great even without amp before you decide which one to get.
 
Nov 8, 2008 at 3:55 PM Post #4 of 7

hypoicon

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I'm very fond of my RS-1/Little Dot MKIII combination, though I occasionally think of picking up the matching Grado RA-1 amp. I find the Grados to be lively and exciting, and it seems like every day I find some new detail in familiar recordings that I have never noticed before.
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 8:01 PM Post #6 of 7

myinitialsaredac

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I have the se530s as my portable and love them for portable use, but for home listening I find them too slow, the soundstage is far too small, and they are not as clear/refined/sparkly as I like. My home pair is the 701s, they are the perfect compliment to the 530s because they fill all the desires you get when you listen to the 530s, they have liquid immediacy, smooth mids, refined sparkly highs, however you will find them immediately bass anemic, but upon further listen you will find the bass is tight and punchy, something I like to come home to after a day with the 530s.

For amps, tubes do the 701s justice, and IME the ultra micro dac from headroom makes them sing (though I am under the impression my love for the ultra micro is only because my other sources (yamaha dv-6770, onboard, micro dac, ps3, yamaha natural sound receiver) where just lacking what the 701s needed).

Cheers,
Dave
 
Nov 11, 2008 at 9:01 PM Post #7 of 7

Happy Camper

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Stephen, welcome to Head Fi and .... No! We are not sorry for your wallet. If you come here willingly and ask us to spend your budget, then we do be willin to oblige.
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Spending this kind of money for a hp without hearing them first could well lead to buyer's remorse. You should really listen to each camp to get a feel for what you like. Then get the top of the line.

Check out the meets forum to see if any are in your area. If not, send out a thread seeing if there are any head-fiers in your area. Guitar Center has a decent selection of cans to sample. If you are around a larger city, there may be many lines with the top end hps of each.

All the hps sound good. But there are many flavors that perform differently with varying genre, source, amps, etc. If you like taking long trips, just buy a set and see what you like. If you don't like them, take a loss and sell them and buy another. This way gets expensive pretty quick.

Good luck on your quest and glad to have another member in our asylum.
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PS
Beware! Upgrade/Tweak-itis is habitual and no known treatment short of destitution can cure it.
 

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