Mid-fi cans well suited for classical music and good mids/trebel (HE-400i versus Oppo PM-3)
Oct 13, 2015 at 4:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 32

duxbellorum

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Looking for a set that is portable, does a great job with classical music and guitar, and has mid/trebel focus with base definition, but not so much oomf. Good sound stage would be nice, but probably hard to find in my price range.
 
I really like the Grado sound, but they leave something to be desired for comfort. That said, some suggest that the HE-400i has a signature similar to Grado's prestige series but with less sound stage. PM-3 reviews say they are good all-around, but perhaps lacking in trebel and thus not ideal for classical music. They are quite appealing as a highly portable entry into the Planar Magnetic world, but it would be nice to hear from a classical music fan who has heard them. I'd be willing to consider an upgraded set of Grados if somebody says they really are the best, but I'd like to branch out a bit, particularly into planar magnetic phones. 
 
My price ceiling is $500, with the hope of finding something used well under that. 
 
The cans will be driven initially by a Maverick TubeMagic D1 with upgraded op-amps and tubes, but I'll probably get a portable amp to go along with them later, the amp depending on the headphone. 
 
What will make Brahm's String quartets sing?
 
Oct 13, 2015 at 5:32 AM Post #2 of 32

CrocCap

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would not recommend a pm3 for classical, its more suited for low end stuff, like electronic music. 
How about the beyerdynamic dt880? its got great treble for classical, good soundstage, airy, and is super comfy. not the most portable, but are lightweight and very well built.
 
Oct 13, 2015 at 7:08 PM Post #5 of 32

nick n

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I'd rethink the PM3 option, or at least specifically ask about the PM3 in the PM3 thread with this question.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/756828/oppo-pm-3-the-portable-planar-impressions
Get a few more firsthand use replies to your question.
 
There are LOTS of people there that listen to classical and can give you an accurate description.
I for one do not find the highs lacking, and there is some serious clarity, layering, detailing and extremely low distortion.
I do not understand the PM3 comments that say top end is bad, unless people like shrill items and distortion that masquerades as high end details.
 
But that's all down to personal preference I guess.
 
I assume you want something for classical that is more or less even across the board as well as fairly  linear all the way down.
 
my 2 cents.
 
Oct 13, 2015 at 7:33 PM Post #6 of 32

Redcarmoose

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Note: I have not heard the two headphones listed in title question.

Just wanted to throw a monkey wrench in.
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-701-Studio-Reference-Headphones/dp/B000EBBJ6Y
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-Over-Ear-Mastering-Reference-Headphones/dp/B00E4WXWBE/ref=cm_rdp_product
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k7xx

I would look at two sets of headphones one for portable and either.
The AKG k712
The AKG k701-k702
Or k7xx


Your going to struggle finding just the right amp for your volume level needs. But when you do, your home classical experience will be untouched maybe for the rest of your headphone life. IMO


If you want you can go mobile with the k7$$ series, I do at times with the JDS Labs c421 amp, which you can find used for $100.
 
Oct 13, 2015 at 8:13 PM Post #7 of 32

pp312

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  Which 880s do you suggest, 32, 250, or 600 ohm? They seem to differ significantly.

 
I use the 250 ohm Pro version. There's debate about whether the 600 ohm version sounds significantly better. I don't believe so, and most of those who've compared them seem not to think so either. The 600 ohm version is of course more difficult to drive, and sometimes dearer, which may affect your choice.
 
Oct 13, 2015 at 11:19 PM Post #8 of 32

CrocCap

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i have the pm3 and the dt880, and i did listen to some classical on both, dt880 is much better. 
 
i dont think the pm3 treble is bad, but a phone like the dt880 is better suited for classical
 
 

 
Oct 14, 2015 at 12:39 AM Post #9 of 32

MLegend

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I also wouldn't recommend the PM3 for classical. The treble is nice and smooth but it's not as in line or as loud as the rest of the spectrum, especially in the upper treble. The soundstage is pretty small too which hurts it's performance with classical music even more. It has a slightly warm timbre as well so that could or could not hinder it's classical performance depending on your own preference. 
 
Oct 14, 2015 at 12:41 AM Post #10 of 32

duxbellorum

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I am extremely curious how those would sound on my system, and what I could coax out of them with some upgrades, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the heartache of finding that sweet spot. 
Note: I have not heard the two headphones listed in title question.

Just wanted to throw a monkey wrench in.
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-701-Studio-Reference-Headphones/dp/B000EBBJ6Y
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-Over-Ear-Mastering-Reference-Headphones/dp/B00E4WXWBE/ref=cm_rdp_product
http://www.head-fi.org/products/akg-k7xx

I would look at two sets of headphones one for portable and either.
The AKG k712
The AKG k701-k702
Or k7xx


Your going to struggle finding just the right amp for your volume level needs. But when you do, your home classical experience will be untouched maybe for the rest of your headphone life. IMO


If you want you can go mobile with the k7$$ series, I do at times with the JDS Labs c421 amp, which you can find used for $100.

 
Oct 14, 2015 at 4:10 AM Post #11 of 32

gammarayson

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Beoplay H6 and Nad Viso HP50 are superb with classical music. I was listening to some Haydn string quartets last night on the H6s and they have fantastic clarity and soundstage for a closed headphone with a sound signature that reminds me of my Sennheiser HD800(though not quite rivalling them). The Nad are also excellent with a tiny bit more warmth and bass and are very easy to drive. Just about everything classical, orchestral, chamber music, choral music is very enjoyable on both cans.
 
Oct 14, 2015 at 10:25 PM Post #13 of 32

pp312

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Biggest problem with the AKG is the peak at 2khz, which I find audible. Also, the 880 is clear smoother through the sensitive 1--5khz area.
 
Oct 15, 2015 at 12:51 AM Post #15 of 32

Redcarmoose

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I am extremely curious how those would sound on my system, and what I could coax out of them with some upgrades, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the heartache of finding that sweet spot. 



Biggest problem with the AKG is the peak at 2khz, which I find audible. Also, the 880 is clear smoother through the sensitive 1--5khz area.


Yes, the peak at 2kHz. It's always there, it's something that gives them their character for better or worse. It is part of the whole love/hate thing around here. Amping is such a pain too. Still even with the best amp, they ARE qwerky.

:DOnly suggestions.
 

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