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Looking for reccomendations for upgrade from Meze 99 Classic / AKG7xx / ATH-M50x

  1. Luhaine

    I've been listening to the headphones listed in the topic title and I'm looking to upgrade. I enjoy a warm, fun sound with good bass and good vocal representation. I'm not a fan of neutral / analytic sound signatures. I used to own the Oppo PM-3 and the Mitchell and Johnson GL2SE but got rid of them because I prefer the Meze 99 Classic.

    As sources go I've got an Audio-GD NFB-28 and a Ibasso DX200 to drive them with. My budget is around 600 - 800 euro's. Which headphones should be on my shortlist to look into?

    Kind Regards,

  2. serman005
    I would urge you to read about the Mod House Audio Argon Mk. 3 and the ZMF Classic, for starters. If you want to push up against the upper range of your budget, I would recommend looking at a ZMF Blackwood or Ori (this last one could be just a bit over budget, depending on customs and import fees). I am recommending these cans because they generally have the kind of signature you have said you like. FWIW. Of course, as always, YMMV. :)
    JediMa70 likes this.
  3. Luhaine
    Thank you for the suggestion. I'll look into it. From what I've learned so far is that the Blackwood and Ori would probably cost me about 30-35% more than the listing price to import. Which would put the price for the Ori in the budget in range of the Atticus and the Aeulos. Those last two I can get locally for some reason but not the Blackwood or the Ori. That would stretch the budget to the 1100-1300 range. Would we still be talking Atticus versus Aeulos if that was the budget range?
  4. serman005
    Yeah, I suspect so, though full disclosure--I've not yet heard the Aeolus. There is a thread, however--you may have seen it.
  5. Luhaine
    Thank you, I've been looking into them. I can most likely audition these cans so hopefully I can actually get to hear them before making a choice. Which is pretty rare where I live. I've bought most of my stuff based on online reviews and headfi posts.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  6. serman005
    Me, too. :)
  7. Monsterzero
    I own the Atticus and have the Aeolus here on loan from Zach. Both are exceptional headphones and fit your description perfectly. However both are pretty amp picky.
    They sound their best from a tube amp. You can get pretty damn close from a vintage receiver,albeit a bright one. Through my Gilmore Lite Mk 2,which is a great sounding amp,the macro dynamics,slam especially,is noticably lacking vs. the other two mentioned.

    When properly driven you cannot find a better warm,slamming headphone with incredible mids.

    EDIT: Another headphone to consider is the Campfire Cascade,which can be driven from a mobile phone,so you do not need to buy all the peripheral gear needed by the ZMFs. That being said there is a noticeable drop off vs. the ZMFs,especially in the mids and to a lesser extent,the detail and soundstage.

    This is my review of the Cascades

    I need to edit my review of the Aeolus. It should be posted sometime today.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
    serman005 likes this.
  8. Luhaine
    Thank you for this insight. I'll look into the Campfire Crossfades. With regard to the ZMF's I don't own a tube amp unfortunatly. It's on the wish list with about dozens of other things. You mention that your amp is lacking compared to the other two mentioned, but I don't see any other amps mentioned besides my own or did you mean my Audio-GD and the dx200 or was the a reference to tube/vintage?
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018
  9. Monsterzero
    Yeah my tube amp,the GOTL,and any of my vintage receivers really all work and sound great as well.

    I posted my Aeolus review yesterday. In it I discuss amping ZMF headphones. Here ya go...

  10. Luhaine
    Thank you for the review. I listened to the ZMF line up last week along with some Mr. Speakers, Focul and Audeze's. They were driven straight out of my 3.5mm DX200. For me it was between the Atticus and the Aeolus. In the end I went with the Aeolus. Even out of my dx200 they sounded pretty good though they definitely sound better at home with a desktop amp. I might look into getting a starter tube amp to see what that does to it.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
    Monsterzero likes this.
  11. Monsterzero
    Great choice. Theyre a great sounding headphone.
    Where did you get to hear them?
  12. Luhaine
    I had a chance to audition them at HiFi Solutions in Amsterdam. It was pretty great, they gave me a quiet listening room to myself so I spend about an hour or so auditioning the various headphones they had available.
    zach915m likes this.

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