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Ideal set-up for classical under $450? (Beyerdynamic dt880 vs HiFiMan HE-400

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by deltron 3030, Sep 10, 2014.
  1. Deltron 3030
    I'm looking for:
    -lots of detail and clarity such that the multiple melodic lines in a fugue are easily distinguishable and that every instrument in a piece can be picked out.
    -unrecessed midrange and textured, extended, substantial (but not at the cost of the midrange/overly bloated) bass.
    -A couple of key genres I listen to are organ music and vocal music (mass in b minor, Schubert songs, Falstaff to a name a few) so I would like these headphones to be proficient at them
    -Obviously they should be able to handle any chamber music and large orchestral works too..
    -I want them to be able to convey impact/power etc. I get the impressions that some commonly recommended options for classical (AKG q701?) come up short in this regard. I want to be able to feel the boom boom at the beginning of Beethoven's Eroica or feel the power of a dramatic moment in a Bach organ piece. I want to feel God's wrath in Verdi's Dies Irae
    I am coming from a pair of Denon ahd2000's which I enjoyed very much. Never the less I feel in some respects (forwardness of mids and clarity to name a couple, not that the Denons were awful at either of these, but probably not the best) they could have been improved on. I would like to lose as little of the Denon's awesome extended bass and such as I can. I would not have been pushed to buy now  had my Denons not stopped working on their right side. I was sorta planning to just hold out with my Denons until I could afford a pair of Audeze lcd-x's or something.
    My two top options I am considering at the moment are the Beyerdynamic dt880 600ohm's paired with a Fios e09k and the Hifiman HE-400 paired with some as of yet undetermined amp.
    I am a little scared that the Beyers will be a tad bright, but I don't think it'll be too much of an issue. It sounds kind of scary when people say they have recessed mids in exchange for highs though.. Which of these would you say is more detailed? Which do you think is best for classical overall? I am definitely open to any other options. Classical is the priority genre with organ music being a subgenre of concern. If I don't like these headphones with any other genres I can always just recable my Denons.
    So if you feel like helping me out I thank you in advance!
    -Deltron 3030
    edit:I could alternatively just recable the Denons and be done with it if you don't think I will be gaining much substantial over them with this pricerange.
  2. barid
    Between those 2 headphones the beyer is the clear choice for classical imo.
  3. zachchen1996
    I've never heard the DT880s but I remember the HE400s not being so good for classical.
  4. Head1
    I would also be inclined to the DT880. I've read that DT880 are good for pipe organ.
  5. lin0003
    Check out the AD900 as well, very good for classical IMO. 
  6. Deltron 3030
    I'll look into the AD900 as well. I have heard a couple people on headfi who liked their dt880's for pipe organ. but I don't think they had been exposed to much else in the pricerange if I recall correctly. Still it sounds like they are a pretty top contender. EDIT: Any thoughts on the qinpu a3 as opposed to the fiio e09k for the beyers? Also can anyone who has heard both the audiotechnica and the beyers comment?
  7. Bugler
    listen to mostly classical & jazz. I love my Sennheiser HD650 using a Schiit Valhalla.
  8. daerron
    Personally I would pick up the Hifiman HE-4 or if you can handle the weight, the HE-500 over the HE-400. The HE-500 which though $50 above your budget (and down from its prior retail at $700) is truly masterful for classical music. I love mine to bits for their wonderful mids when listening to classical. The HE-4, though I have not heard it, is said to be lighter and more spacious sounding and not as forward as the HE-500. Add an amp like the Schitt Magni or sell your Fiio and get an Audio-GD NFB-15 combo and you're set for a long time.
  9. DaemonSire
    I think you should still consider the Q701 but with the bass port mod.  The bass port mod would likely add the missing bass that you would potentially miss.  Plus it is reversible if you don't like the results.
    They can be had around the $150-160 mark.
  10. Deltron 3030
    I ended up going with the 600 ohm dt 880. The he500 would have been nice, but it is quite expensive and I am enjoying the sound of these beyers. I am still in the market for an amp though. I had originally purchased a e09k+e17, but the e09k's usb input wasn't functioning properly so I had to return it. Can anyone recommend a fairly transparent solid state amp? If I could find a nfb 11 used that would be great I think. I'm a bit scared of the magni as I hear that it is a bit bright and the beyers are bright enough as they are. May end up just getting another e09k... My budget for an amp/dac could be pushed up to around $200. I would like a tube amp like a little dot or bottlehead crack eventually, but I'd prefer to have a nice solid state to start. I hear the asgard doesn't match well impedance wise with the 600 ohm beyers. But yeah very open to other suggestions.

    Edit: maybe a matrix mstage used paired with a Schiit modi?
  11. daerron
    I see the Crack with the Speedball upgrade is on special. I'd guess for a high impedance headphone amp that would be your best bet. You can also check out the Matrix M-Stage + USB DAC module as a good starting point going solid state.
  12. Deltron 3030
    That bottlehead deal looks pretty incredible, but I have never touched a soldering iron...  Think I may end up going for an m-stage
    In the event the I did get a bottlehead crack would the tubeyness hurt instrument separation and such?
  13. daerron

    Best to ask in the Bottlehead Crack thread. From what I've read its supposed to be a quite a fast and transparent tube amp with a bit of natural warmth added by the valves. If I still had my Sennheiser HD580 I would definitely gotten one. Its one of the few very good affordable amps for 300-600 ohm headphones.
    Don't think you can go wrong with the M-Stage though. I had the Lehmann Black Cube Linear of which the M-stage is a clone and it was a very good solid state amp for high impedance cans.
  14. Head1
    There's also a Beyerdynamic A1 clone on ebay, FA1-PRO, which they say shares 99% of the components of the A1.  
  15. Deltron 3030
    Ended up going with the Matrix M-Stage as I found it for a pretty good price and it should have pretty decent synergy with the dt880's. May pick up a darkvoice or bottlehead in the future. Any ideas for dac? The Matrix comes with one, but I've heard less than great things about the dac. Should my fiio e17 be sufficient or should I sell it for an ODAC or Modi or something.
    That was a pretty fantastic find.. Only ended up going with the Matrix because I felt it was a safer bet, but I was tempted.

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