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On my visit to 32 Ohm Audio, and how my mind subsequently got blown.

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by marximus, Mar 28, 2010.
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  1. Marximus
    I live in Vancouver, so I drove south today to check out the store, which is in the Hawthorne district in Portland. I was initially a little underwhelmed; yes, they had a lot of headphones to demo, but it didn't seem like there were a lot of different brands, mainly Audio-Technicas and Grados. There are a lot more than that, though.
    Anyway, I intended to check out two headphones, specifically: the K701s and the SR225s. The first ones I tried were the K701s, with ALO recabling. I don't know if I've ever smiled that much listening to music. I don't know what kind of a setup they've got behind the wall, but all you can see when you plug the demo headphones in is an iPod, with some music preloaded. Anyway, everything sounded amazing, from Bach to The Beastie Boys. I tried several others (the SR225s were extremely uncomfortable), and then asked to try some stock K701s. I've heard conflicting reports on recabling; some say it doesn't do much, others disagree. Put me in the latter category. It was a night and day difference. If you'd blindfolded me, and handed me both, I could have easily believed the stock and recabled K701s were different headphones.
    I had my iPod with me, and tried both plugged into the Nano. Of course, I had to turn the volume up to nearly full, but even with an iPod, they sounded excellent. I still overwhelmingly preferred the recabled ones. I can only imagine what they'd sound like hooked up to my home amp.
    In the end, this was a very bad idea. A week ago I wouldn't have dared spend much more than $100 for headphones. Now I'm considering spending $400. I'm able to rationalize, though, by selling all my others, and never buying another pair again. Hopefully I'll never come back to this site again....
    P.S. The store really is fantastic. If you're in the area, and even have a slight interest in headphones, I highly recommend it. The operations manager, Curtis Phillips, is a really cool guy, and he knows his stuff.
  2. KingStyles Contributor
    Congrats on finding a can that you like and also being able to hear the differences that a headphone recable can make first hand. I think 32 ohm is running rwa isabella's/isabellina's behind that wall with the ipod feeding them. Well hopefully highend cans treat you as good as your visit to 32 ohm did.
  3. Marximus
    No, I don't think you understand. This should be the last headphone purchase I ever make[​IMG]. Maybe not the last amp/source purchase.......
  4. KingStyles Contributor

    This should be the last headphone purchase I ever make[​IMG].

    Should be is the key words there.[​IMG]
  5. Acix
    Soon you'll need DAC and amp. [​IMG]
  6. radiohlite
    Hey! I was just there not half a day ago...came down from Walla Walla to check out some HD600s.

    It's really an awesome place, ain't it? I also tried the recabled K701s, but with my own source (PCDP and CMoy) and decided: "crap! I need a new source!". It didn't dawn on me to try their ipod setup. Couldn't make up my mind about the K701s because I could REALLY tell they were underperforming with my stuff. But I liked what I could tell about their sound.

    Also found out higher-end Grados are NOT flat by a long shot, and even with that deviation they're still 'leave you breathless' amazing!

    And I'm gonna need a lot of dough for those HD600s and an amp to do them justice...

    BTW: Curtis guy was really nice to me, I ended up auditioning headphones for more than 3 hours (he was gonna to let me try the HD800s they have on the display case, but I turned him down...I'm afraid I won't be able to cease obsessing about them once I hear 'em -and spending tons of money I won't have for a long while). Really knowledgeable and friendly. Good stuff.
  7. Marximus
    Yeah, I was tempted to ask if I could audition them, but it'd probably be like the K701s all over again, except worse, and somehow I didn't feel comfortable with the possibility of holding $1400 in my hands or on my head.
  8. Ham Sandwich
    Y'all should have gone there on Friday afternoon. We could have all said hello.

    I went there on Friday to try the SR325is. They've been on my need to try list and want to buy list for a while. I just needed to be able to give them a listen to know if they'd be agreeable to me. I brought my amp along, sat down in a comfy chair and listened. I must have liked them because I bought em.

    But yeah, the Grados are a bit uncomfortable (well except for the GS1000 which uses big huge deep pads and is a different beast). They're not a headphone I'd personally use for extended listening sessions. I think of them as more of a dessert can. Something to put on for the Grado flavor in smaller portions. But the real meal cans I have are much more comfortable and great for extended listening sessions.

    Take advantage of opportunities to listen to all sorts of headphones, even ones that are more expensive than you're willing to spend. That's how you find out what sound signatures and flavors you like. The HD800 is a neat headphone. What it does with soundstage is amazing with the right music (try it with acoustic or classical rather than typical rock, something with natural space and ambiance). You should have given it a listen. You should also get a listen to Denon, Ultrasone, and anything else that strikes your curiosity. The sound signatures are all different. Some will be agreeable to you and some will not. That's how you learn what you like. That's a lot more productive than trying to figure out what a headphone sounds like based on reviews here (the reviews here are all over the place and some are quite different than the way I hear things).

    Another neat thing about 32 Ohm Audio is that Common Grounds Coffee House is just a few blocks away. They do a good espresso. The only thing that could be better is if Common Grounds was right next door to 32 Ohm Audio. [​IMG]
  9. Marximus
    I went back there today. I didn't like the HD800s, nor did I like the HD650s (these were very short auditions, though). They didn't sound right, after listening to the K701s. Which is probably why they're no longer there. They're sitting right next to me now[​IMG]. They're perfect for me.
  10. mrarroyo Contributor
    Enjoy your new cans and hopefully some of you will take pictures on your next visit. The pictures I have seen show a very nice store indeed.
  11. Acix

    Originally Posted by Marximus /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I went back there today. I didn't like the HD800s, nor did I like the HD650s (these were very short auditions, though). They didn't sound right, after listening to the K701s. Which is probably why they're no longer there. They're sitting right next to me now[​IMG]. They're perfect for me.

  12. radiohlite
    congrats Marximus. I wish I wasn't broke...
  13. Marximus
    Listening to them right now. And in the process of selling the rest of my headphones to try and recoup my losses[​IMG]. But I seriously believe I won't need to buy another pair of headphones. They do everything right.
  14. radiohlite
    I just got a weird feeling: talking to someone who's listening to the exact same cans that were sitting on my head 24 hours ago. I guess I've never really had a 'real world' connection via the internet until now.

    BTW: how do those AT-AD700s sound compared to your new reference? I've been curious about them for a long time, and I'd have a better idea of relative descriptions based on the k701 that's still fresh in the memory. I'm looking for a good classical can, and if I don't go ahead with the HD600/580 I gotta find a good alternative.
  15. Brandon7s
    Now you got me wanting to have my K701s recabled [​IMG] - I think I'll wait a while before seeing about having that done though (I certainly don't trust myself to do it, in any case).
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