Looking for "something more" in a headphone
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thsu02

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Hello,

I'm pretty new to head-fi, and I must say I really enjoy it and my wallet has suffered accordingly.
However, I'm still in search of the right phone for me.

I'm looking for a set of cans for home use either from my Powerbook, iPod, or Rotel RX1050 amp/ Kenwood DP-R4080 CD player.
(Please don't flame my sources - those will be updated in time but right now I could use some cans)
I have a JMT META 42 and Fixup Super mini headphone amp.

My current phones:
Ety ER-4P
Koss KSC-35
Senn MX-500
Senn HD600/Cardas Cable
Grado SR80

My music prefs are classic rock, some alternative, modern rock.
Recent hi-rotation CDs:
1. DMB - All Albums
2. Norah Jones- Come Away With Me
3. Simon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits
4. Foo Fighters - The Colour And The Shape
5. Better than Ezra- Deluxe
6. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

The Sound I'm looking for is somewhere in between the Grados and the HD600s.
I have had the SR80s for a long time and like the sound - very crisp and lively. However, I don't like the harshness at times. Female vocals sometimes are actually shrill and can hurt my ears with these phones. They are fatiguing to me with certain types of music.

So, I recently picked up the HD600 with Cardas cable. I do like these phones a lot, but I feel like they distance me too much from certain types of music. I have removed the foam pads, but that doesn't really produce a natural sound to me. When I compare the HD600 with the Grados I sense the "veil" that some hear in the Senns. It's like some of the treble is lost or distanced. Of course the Senns have greater clarity and musical separation. The SR80s are a little muddy in comparison.

I know it's not really fair to compare the SR80 with the HD600, but they are the only references that I have.
The Ety's are great too, but are so neutral that I will use them mostly for portable listening only.


So, I'm looking for a headphone that will drop my jaw when I hear it. I want a transparent can with large soundstage. I am not really a bass freak and find the bass on the HD600 to be excellent - perhaps a little thin on the SR80.
I don't know if I should just go up the Grado line: ie SR-325 or even RS-1/Rs-2. Will these phones reduce the harshness and improve clarity while keeping the lively, crisp sound I'm used to?

Should I get some Audio Technicas?
I've heard great things about the w100 and the ATH-A100Ti. And there's great anticipation over the w1000 that are coming out soon.

Some people love the Beyers.

ARGHHHH, so many cans to buy, and so little money. I know a lot up this is personal taste, but I haven't found anywhere to audition a good range of phones. Can anyone with similar tastes to mine send over some opinions.
I'd really appreciate it.
By the way, I'm looking to spend at most $500.
 
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LTUCCI1924

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HI: Sounds to me like you are looking for the ATH-A100Ti or when it comes out the ATH-A1000 after you read some reviews on them. But I can recommend the ATH-A100ti now. I replaced my 580s with the equinox replacement cable with the ATs.
 
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Steve999

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If you wanna go cheap, you can try some Sennheiser HD 497s at about $50 at amazon. They strike me as somewhere in between Grado SR80s (or the SR60s at least) and Sennheiser HD 600s, more toward the HD 600, but maybe a little snappier and less laid back. Comfort can be an issue for some people. The sound pleases most.
 
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thsu02

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Ltucci:

I figured you might comment on the ATs. In fact it was your post about your new ATs that really got me interested in them. Especially since you previously owned the Senn HD580.
Believe me I'll keep ATs in mind.



Steve999:
I think the Grado SR60s might be a step backwards. I think detail might be lost, even though the harshness might be decreased. I must remind you that I have Head-fi sickness.... I just keep wanting MORE out of my cans.

Somebody help me!!


Thanks for your posts guys.
 
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bangraman

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What you use it from is the key, but as far as the Grado <---> HD600 sound goes, the Audio Technicas might be your cup of tea. For a reasonably risk-free trial of the 'Audio Technica sound', try the ATH-A900.
 
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sacd lover

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First, try your grado sr-80 with a flat or sennh-19545 pad.This will help in the shorterm. Look at the sr-225,again use the above suggested pads. MY GRADO PERSONAL FAVORITE IS THE RS-2, if you want to spend the cash.The sr-225 IMO is the best grado for the money, and its the least bright while maintaining all the grado virtues.
 
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When in doubt, wait before making a hasty purchase!! Buyer's remorese and lost finances can set in very quickly at this price point. If someone in your area would let you audition something you're interested in, that would be a huge help!!

Judging from you're musical preferences, the AT's would be one good choice: midrange a little sweeter and foreward when compared to the Senn 600's, high end a little more extended, soundstage a bit bigger, etc, etc. I would just say be patient until the new 1000 series come out!! It is hit or miss with new products. They could be absolutely dynamite, or pure junk. Unless you want to be one of the first to get them and try them out, wait.
 
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joelongwood

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Quote:

The Sound I'm looking for is somewhere in between the Grados and the HD600s.


Grado RS-1, or better still, the Alessandro/Grado Music Series Pro. Both are a bit over budget, but I think either one may be just what you're looking for.
 
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thsu02

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Quote:

Originally posted by bangraman
What you use it from is the key, but as far as the Grado <---> HD600 sound goes, the Audio Technicas might be your cup of tea. For a reasonably risk-free trial of the 'Audio Technica sound', try the ATH-A900.


hmmm... I keep getting steered back to ATs. I think I might wait for the 1000 series though.
Thanks for the input.

Quote:

Originally posted by sacd lover
First, try your grado sr-80 with a flat or sennh-19545 pad.This will help in the shorterm. Look at the sr-225,again use the above suggested pads. MY GRADO PERSONAL FAVORITE IS THE RS-2, if you want to spend the cash.The sr-225 IMO is the best grado for the money, and its the least bright while maintaining all the grado virtues.


Thanks for the tip. I have some modded Radioshack pads in with the bowl pads, but I just ordered those pads from Sennheiser.

Quote:

Originally posted by ServinginEcuador
When in doubt, wait before making a hasty purchase!! Buyer's remorese and lost finances can set in very quickly at this price point. If someone in your area would let you audition something you're interested in, that would be a huge help!!

Judging from you're musical preferences, the AT's would be one good choice: midrange a little sweeter and foreward when compared to the Senn 600's, high end a little more extended, soundstage a bit bigger, etc, etc. I would just say be patient until the new 1000 series come out!! It is hit or miss with new products. They could be absolutely dynamite, or pure junk. Unless you want to be one of the first to get them and try them out, wait.


I think you're right. More and more the ATs seem to fit my preferences, but I don't want to keep throwing money away. I guess I will wait, but it's so difficult sometimes.

Quote:

Originally posted by joelongwood
Grado RS-1, or better still, the Alessandro/Grado Music Series Pro. Both are a bit over budget, but I think either one may be just what you're looking for.


Now I'm confused again. I know I like the Grado sound, and the RS-1 might be what the doctor ordered, but for that $$$ I could get a pair of ATs AND Grado SR225.

Thanks again for all your replies.
I guess the waiting game continues - until I get a wad of cash or get to audition some of these cans.
 
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shivohum

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I think the Etymotic ER4S probably best embodies the sound that you're looking for. My ATH W100s have a tendency to be shrill sometimes...
 
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If you like the Grado sound, then the higher end ones should do exactly what you want: increase clarity, cut the harshness somewhat (though not enough for those who don't like the relatively forward presentation of the Grados) and maintain pretty good bass.

Some people really like the Beyer DT770s with rock. These have a very natural presentation, quite crisp in the treble, but their best-known trait is great bass. I know that's not what you asked for, but I mention them anyway because of their rock reputation.
 
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Quote:

Now I'm confused again. I know I like the Grado sound, and the RS-1 might be what the doctor ordered, but for that $$$ I could get a pair of ATs AND Grado SR225.


First of all, make sure that you're not paying any more than $550 for the RS-1, a price that is still on the high side. They have their best value around $400-$500 IMO.

Secondly, I would try out the W1000 before the RS-1. It will be cheaper new than the RS-1 is used and I would definitely bet on the W1000 being better than the somewhat finnicky (lack of versatility) W100. And if it is like the W2002 in sonic character, then it will be better than the RS-1. You'll save money as well if this turns out to be true.

Also, if you end up not liking the W1000, you will very likely be able to sell it for full price as long as you sell it within the first few weeks (this was true with the W100).
 
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Quote:

Originally posted by shivohum
I think the Etymotic ER4S probably best embodies the sound that you're looking for. My ATH W100s have a tendency to be shrill sometimes...


Pssst...
He's already got the ER4P...

Personally, I'm waiting for the DT880s before I make any new headphone purchase considerations, especially considering how much I like my DT770s.
 
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thsu02

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Thanks everybody for your responses.
This forum is incredible, and unfortunately for my wallet has me reeled in.

I have definitely taken all of your comments in consideration.

I'd really like to audition some ATs, Beyers, and higher end Grados before I put down some more cash.

I think I'll find my jaw-dropping phones in there somewhere.

Hopefully that will cure my head-fi-itis and I can concentrate on other things. (like eating and sleeping)
 
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wallijonn

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http://www.headphone.com/layout.php?...tID=0020121000

akg k1000's? $529. when in stock.

you didn't list a location. who knows, maybe someone who has one lives close to you...

have you tried listening to the grados with the front of the can pinched in? it's a mod that i'm working on. i've already got the velvet type material to cover the new pad mod. the problem will be in making the diagnal cut. i've also swapped the left and right transducers by removing them and re-inserting. the pressure point is shifted in front of the ear instead of behind it, and while it does make a small difference, it still isn't enough.

otherwise i say try to find the akg k501's cheap. but then there's that whole "preceived" lack of bass thing. which is why i went out and bought the AT AD10's ear unheard (sight unsee?). i'm hoping...

i don't think you can live with the "preceived" muddy bass of the Beyer Dynamics'. and eltrostatics are too.... hmmm....restrained.

hey, it's GOOD to have more than 1 can... if the AT AD10's don't do the trick, i'm willing to get the AKG K501's
 
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