Opinions/advice wanted: 2nd pair of good phones?
Jan 19, 2005 at 1:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Routa

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I'm a happy owner of Alessandro MS-1. Lately I've been using them mostly at work, so another pair of good phones for home use would be nice. That way I could leave the MS-1's to work and wouldn't have to bother carrying them around with me.

I use MS-1s most of the time with my iHP-120 & Porta Corda MkII (work) and
at home I mostly use my stereo systems cd player (Yamaha something, over 10 years old but still good enough for my needs) line out -> Porta Corda -> Phones.

The question is, should I take the safe route and get some higher end Grados (I love the sound of MS-1) like MS-2 or SR-225 or should I go for something completely different like Senns or AKG's?

I've heard AKG 271s and I liked them at the time. I haven't heard them yet with Porta Corda but amplification should make them even better. I didn't like Senns (HD580, HD600, HD650) unamped but I'd like to give them another chance now that I have an amplifier.

I mostly listen rock (acoustic & electric), metal, drum'n bass, electronica. I'm not a huge fan of classical music. It would be a plus if my new home phones could double as decent gaming cans too.
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 3:22 PM Post #2 of 22

johnjac

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I find the ATH-A500 a good compliment to my ms-1.My listening is split approximately 50-50 with these 2 phones.Although to me the ms-1 sound a bit better I llike the soundstage of the 500s when listening to jazz
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 3:45 PM Post #3 of 22

kramer5150

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If you already like the grado sound and ergonomics, IMHO the SR225 should be on top of your list. IMHO is has a little more bass than the 125.

I like my bass head dt770, but you might find its bass excessive.

Garrett
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 7:58 PM Post #4 of 22

Routa

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I have no problems with Grado ergos (with comfies and modded senn pads that is). If I decide to go for second pair of Grados, I'll probably go for MS-2's because I can get them at a better price directly from Alessandro. Local price for SR-225 in Finland is a staggering 370 euros, when I can get MS-2 directly (taxes and customs included) for less than 300 euros. MS-2 would probably sound similar but just bit better than MS-1 in all aspects and in that sense would be a safe bet for my new dedicated home phones. I also like their look with their sexy aluminium cups and all (not that I dislike my MS-1, they look ace too
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).

Anyway, the thought that has crept into my mind is that if I get phones like Senn 580/600 with different sound signature (the sound of MS-1 and MS-2 will probably be quite similar after all) I have more options for different kinds of moods/music. And pair of closed phones like AKG K271S might be a nice thing to have too. I'll have to give at least those options a try and maybe try some Beyers too (AKG, Grados, Beyers and Senns are the brands that are easy to audition in Helsinki).

I not on a strict budget but I'm still not probably going to spend any more than 300 euros for new phones. The summer and trackday season is coming, after all and I'd like to save some of my hard earned to my other hobbies too
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So, at this point my list of phones to try is as follows:
- Senn HD-580,HD-600,HD-650
- Beyer DT770, DT880
- AKG K271S (and maybe K501 too, though I have my doubts about K501 as a rock phone...)
- Grado SR-225, SR-325 (the nearest equivalent of MS-2)

Any other suggestions, fellow head-fiers? Am I missing something here?
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 8:02 PM Post #5 of 22

philodox

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I think that if you've heard the K271S and liked them you should steer clear of the AT line of products. And the K271S should be even better for you with amplification.

You can probably rule out another set of Grado's unless you just reeeeaaaallly love them... be adventurous and get something different.

The high end Senns and the DT880's would be cool to try... I guess it depends if you think you really need isolation or not.
wink.gif
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 8:16 PM Post #6 of 22

Routa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
I think that if you've heard the K271S and liked them you should steer clear of the AT line of products. And the K271S should be even better for you with amplification.

You can probably rule out another set of Grado's unless you just reeeeaaaallly love them... be adventurous and get something different.

The high end Senns and the DT880's would be cool to try... I guess it depends if you think you really need isolation or not.
wink.gif



I'll probably have to skip AT's because I'll probably have no chance to audition them anyway.

I wouldn't mind if I had the complete Grado line in my disposal, but I also wouldn't mind if I had other nice and good sounding phones too (my wallet is trembling in fear
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)

Isolation would be a nice bonus, but it's not an absolute must. Another plus for K271S in my book would be their sub 150 euro price. It'll be interesting to try how they sound now that I've spent a lot of time with Alessandros. Last time I tried them my MX500 and the other phones that I quite auditioned at the time were my only reference
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 8:26 PM Post #7 of 22

luukas

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Routa
I'll probably have to skip AT's because I'll probably have no chance to audition them anyway.


Not quite so, Plainsong has the A500's, and I seem to remember that Halcyon ordered a pair of A900's a while back. You should attend our mini-meets sometime. Not that I have the slightest idea when the next one might take place... and where.
biggrin.gif
 
Jan 19, 2005 at 8:54 PM Post #8 of 22

Routa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by luukas
Not quite so, Plainsong has the A500's, and I seem to remember that Halcyon ordered a pair of A900's a while back. You should attend our mini-meets sometime. Not that I have the slightest idea when the next one might take place... and where.
biggrin.gif



Mini-meet? Sounds good to me
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I just browsed through the "new grado SR-325" -thread. Looks like my purchase is going to be even more complex now. I preferred the old styling of MS-2 over the new model and I definately want to hear also the new SR-325 before making any decisions.
 
Jan 20, 2005 at 7:29 PM Post #9 of 22

Routa

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Damn. After auditioning most phones that were on my list I must admit that maybe I'm a Grado guy after all.

Today I did some A/B testing with my MS-1. Rest of the gear used was my iHP-120 + Porta Corda MKII (I know the source is far from perfect but if phones sound good with this source, they only get better with a really good one, right?).

I used following songs as I auditioned the phones:
Tool - Ticks and Leeches
CMX - Sivu paholaisen päiväkirjasta, Väkivallan moottorit
Massive Attack - Angel
Godsmack - Re-Align (acoustic version)
Fear Factory - Cyberwaste
The Prodigy - Smack My Bitch Up, Spitfire
Opeth - The Leper Affinity
Mudvayne - Dig

-AKG K271S: Quite nice, but there was something weird in the way they portrayed some parts of the music, maybe it was some kind of overall honkyness, the highs also sounded a bit artificial in some songs. I don't know how much burn in the phones had. I also found the bass and overall attack a bit lacking for my musical tastes. I preferred MS-1 in every song that I tried. The only major plus points over MS-1 were the isolation and wider soundstage. The build quality and comfort was good except they felt quite warm and might get a bit sweaty in longer listening sessions

-AKG K240S: Didn't like them at all, not just my cup of tea.

-AKG K401: Nice mids, airy sound, good comfort, no attack and not enough bass. Next, please
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-Sennheiser 555: Nice sounding, but MS-1 sounded better. The Senns just didn't do anything special to make me open my wallet.

-Sennheiser HD650: The best challenger of the lot, very different from MS-1 but also very enjoyable. They did very good with Prodigy (I liked how they smoothed out the quite harsh soundin Spitfire and still had nice kick) and Massive Attack, I also enjoyed them thoroughly with acoustic Godsmack.

But they got totally lost with stuff like Fear Factory and Mudvayne and didn't sound very special with CMX (Finnish rock) or Tool. I'm not going to fork over 300 euros for these phones as I'm not planning to upgrade my sources of my amp anytime soon. I would like to have them, but I would miss the Grado sound too often if they were my only home phone.

So the options that are left are Beyer DT880 & DT770, Grado SR-225, old skool Grado SR-325 and Alessandro MS-2. I'm also interested in the new MS-2, the new gold coloured look of SR-325 is a but too much for me
biggrin.gif


Next week I'll try the Beyers, SR-225 and old skool SR-325. I doubt that DT880 is ideal for me as I've read that it's quite a bit like the HD650 but with less bass. It'll still be interesting to try it, because I've read that Porta Corda MkII should be a nice match to DT880.

If the Beyers won't blow me away, I'll just have to read every review of the new Fatso style metal Grados until I get a chance to hear them...
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Jan 20, 2005 at 7:41 PM Post #10 of 22

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Routa
AKG K271S: Quite nice, but there was something weird in the way they portrayed some parts of the music, maybe it was some kind of overall honkyness, the highs also sounded a bit artificial in some songs. I don't know how much burn in the phones had. I also found the bass and overall attack a bit lacking for my musical tastes. I preferred MS-1 in every song that I tried. The only major plus points over MS-1 were the isolation and wider soundstage. The build quality and comfort was good except they felt quite warm and might get a bit sweaty in longer listening sessions


You prefered the sound of massive attack - angel on the Grados?
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In that case I would say that we have slightly different tastes.
smily_headphones1.gif


I will say that burn in is a huge factor with the K271S. I agree with your comments about soundstage and isolation, but next time you have a chance to hear them pay attention to the imaging and instrument separation.
wink.gif


Then again they might just not be your thing. I havent had the chance to hear the MS1's, but I havent liked most of the Grado's I've tried thus far.

You may find that the Beyers are your thing... you should try to audition the DT250's as well as the DT880's and DT770's.
 
Jan 20, 2005 at 8:06 PM Post #11 of 22

Routa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
You prefered the sound of massive attack - angel on the Grados?
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In that case I would say that we have slightly different tastes.
smily_headphones1.gif



Well, both were enjoyable. But the low bass on the song wasn't exactly something that I would call rumbling and powerful on K271S. And when the quitars kick in, well MS-1s did that part well in their own "in your face"-style.

Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
I will say that burn in is a huge factor with the K271S. I agree with your comments about soundstage and isolation, but next time you have a chance to hear them pay attention to the imaging and instrument separation.
wink.gif



I wish I had more time with the phones, but trying to get most out of a limited time in a shop is a bit difficult. So it's like "Hmm, these don't blow my socks off, maybe I'll have to try something else"
wink.gif


Have you tried the K271S with Porta Corda MkII? Maybe my amp is not the ideal match for the phone...

Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
Then again they might just not be your thing. I havent had the chance to hear the MS1's, but I havent liked most of the Grado's I've tried thus far.

You may find that the Beyers are your thing... you should try to audition the DT250's as well as the DT880's and DT770's.



Yes, I thinks it all boils down to personal preference in the end. But I'll try to keep an open mind and at least try all possible options before getting another pair of Grados/Alessandros
biggrin.gif


Thanks for the tip, I'll try the DT250 too. Aren't there two models of DT250, 70 ohm and 250 ohm? Which one do you prefer?
 
Jan 20, 2005 at 8:09 PM Post #13 of 22

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Routa
Have you tried the K271S with Porta Corda MkII? Maybe my amp is not the ideal match for the phone...


nope, havent had a chance to hear the porta corda... I know that the K271S are very picky with amps and sources though, so who knows Quote:

Originally Posted by Routa
Thanks for the tip, I'll try the DT250 too. Aren't there two models of DT250, 70 ohm and 250 ohm? Which one do you prefer?


Not sure, I havent tried them myself, just hear good things about them. From what I have read the 250ohms are better if you have the appropriate amplification.
 
Jan 20, 2005 at 8:15 PM Post #14 of 22

Routa

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Quote:

Originally Posted by philodox
nope, havent had a chance to hear the porta corda... I know that the K271S are very picky with amps and sources though


Then my source could be one culprit in the "artificial" sound that I experienced. Last time I tried them unamped, they sounded better amped but probably the amping revealed also things that I didn't like...
 
Jan 20, 2005 at 8:16 PM Post #15 of 22

philodox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Routa
Then my source could be one culprit in the "artificial" sound that I experienced. Last time I tried them unamped, they sounded better amped but probably the amping revealed also things that I didn't like...


Its quite possible, but on the other side of the equation I am quite happy listening to them on my av320... ampless.
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