Oregon Meet 01-07-06
Jan 10, 2006 at 9:39 AM Post #31 of 63

fewtch

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Quote:

Originally Posted by seeberg
islepnirsrig4bu.jpg



Hey cool, a pair of K501s was there. Anyone listen, and have an opinion? I love these cans, but I suspect they would give a poor first impression under meet conditions, for various reasons.
 
Jan 10, 2006 at 12:57 PM Post #32 of 63

seeberg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Hey cool, a pair of K501s was there. Anyone listen, and have an opinion? I love these cans, but I suspect they would give a poor first impression under meet conditions, for various reasons.


Uhhh, yeah, I had a go at them and several other cans this time around. Here's my impressions of what I listened to, under the guideline that when I listen to headphones, I do it on my equipment, and when I listen to amps, I do it with my headphones, therefore giving me a gaugeable familiarity with what I'm listening through. Also, I note that there was no way to compare my ER6i's to anything, since the changeout time and proper fitting time were too much to get a good impression of what the headphones were capable of VS. other headphones. Also, even if I don't enjoy a pair of 'phones doesn't mean no one else will, and I totally encourage those that are shopping around to try what they can. Anyway, here goes:

Grado HF-1:
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One of the stars of the show IMO.
Impact. Lots of bass, very smooth mids. Minor tinny-ness. More detailed and open than SR60, much more lively. More impact than my HD580's-those 'phones have a smoother take on the playback material, to which I don't wince at the high end of the spectrum. I still prefer that smoothness, but despite that, the HF-1's were certainly on of the better headphones I got to hear at this meet. They make me want to consider a woody Grado (RS-2 or MS-Pro)as an upgrade in the future, but I'd do my listening with HD580 pads if I could, since I'm used to them and I'd know how to adapt them for Grados.

Sony CD3000:
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Very comfortable, very lightweight. Very large!:cd3000: Good soundstage, excellent violin sounds, nice clear upper register. Instrument separation is very good. Not much low end, and mids are somewhat recessed. Good attack with cymbals, high end is ultra smooth to the point that my ears are in pain from everything else before I wince from the treble of the CD3000's at ear splitting volumes, although I don't listen THAT loud
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AKG K501:
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Where's the bass? Very revealing of the shortfalls of my VBR MP3 collection, but there's not much soundstage to listen to that level of detail within. Sound is congested, doesn't work with my ears very well. It sounds as if the K501's are trying to do too much within a compressed space and it shows with a lack of separation and overemphasis on the harsher frequencies. However, they are quite comfortable. Not a pair of headphones for me, unfortunately.

AKG K240S:
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Fun sound and good comfort. Drivers are close to my ears, much like Grado headphones are. Decent bass, smooth mids, clear highs. Seems to be a tad distant for voices at times, but the sound has a nice balance to it. The K240S's have sort of a fat bottom end, and are robust in that respect, moreso than my HD580's. Overall a very good headphone, and I'd even consider buying one in the future if my headphone rig wasn't practically already done, aside from minor parts purchases (grilles, opamps, etc.)

AKG K701:
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The next star of the show, these had nice comort, good depth of bass, and the mids were really smooth. The treble was well controlled and not overbearing, quite similar to the HD580's. Soundstage alos was quite similar to the HD580's. Instrument separation was decent, and the microdynamics were quite enjoyable. However, upon closer inspection with my rig and some fast switching between the pairs, the sound of the K701's was too similar to my HD580's aside from their left driver's distortion to justify the difference in price tag to my ears.

Grado SR-325i:
sr325ismall9db.jpg

Standard Grado comfort despite the added weght of the aluminum earcups and bowl pads, but sounds somewhat better than I had envisioned. Great separation, less shrillness than the SR-125's I used to own. Actually prefer the bowl pads on over other pads available at the meet(there were no flat pads available for comparison
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) Has warm mids, articulate bass, and not too harsh up top, contrary to what I had expected. I can only wonder what the MS-2i offer in comparison. Soundstage is normal, being that it is satisfyingly compressed, normal for Grados anyway. This may be different with the RS1 and RS2, but I have yet to hear either of those two woodies. Quite revealing of source material, shows clearly what the Sennheiser veil is by comparison. The SR-325i are somewhat clampy on the head, but that can be corrected if needed. Hard to fault by my ears.

Alessandro MS-1:
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Smooth body, nice balance. Not so upfront as with regular Grados in the similar range, most likely due to the implementation of comfy pads on these. I believe these have a similar signature to the SR60's using Ratshack pads, albeit a little more dynamic, and a little more detailed. Personally, I could live with either, but I can confirm one thing for certain. If you live abroad and want an excellent Grado sounding can, you can't go wrong with MS-1's for that purpose.

Audio Technica A900:
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Wow, teh comfort!!! Left side microphonics can't be a good thing with the single sided cord, but that's something I can live with, considering all else that these headphones offer. Sound is balanced to my ears, bass is very good- deep, present, and ready to pound on demand- there's gobs of it, good for all the bassheads
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Highs seem just a tad rolled off, although not by much at all. Mids are well placed and separation is decent, along with soundstage. Defiinitely a bassy headphones, but it can get the job done with lots of non-bass-centric material as well.

Beyerdynamic DT-880 Recabled:
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These were the 'phones I had the least time available for, only about five minutes or so, but I definitely liked what I heard. Sparkly clear highs, great soundstage and separation, nice bass and mids. Most certainly comfortable and easy on my ears. I'd definitely like to hear these some more, along with the SA5000's, although I did get a good listen out of them back in June of last year.

I didn't really get to hear any amps outside of Dev's Supermini (that's what its called, right? I don't know the names of Xin's amps too well), and I found the sound of it was way too close with my Mu, although the size of the mini was something to be desired despite the Mu's already small size (credit card footprint by under 1" high). I would like to hear more amps next time though, since I'll have a quality source to mess with, and headphones that should reveal enough about their qualities. 'Till next time, eh?

580smile.gif
,
Abe
 
Jan 10, 2006 at 1:12 PM Post #33 of 63

fewtch

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Quote:

Where's the bass? Very revealing of the shortfalls of my VBR MP3 collection, but there's not much soundstage to listen to that level of detail within. Sound is congested, doesn't work with my ears very well. It sounds as if the K501's are trying to do too much within a compressed space and it shows with a lack of separation and overemphasis on the harsher frequencies. However, they are quite comfortable. Not a pair of headphones for me, unfortunately.


Just fwiw... IMO it takes some time to "figure out" the K501 soundstage, as it's different than most other headphones. Needs lots of burn-in as well, and an amp with a lot of 'oomph' to drive them. I find them more spacious and airy than just about any headphone, but I don't think that would come across at a meet... you really need a quiet space listening for a longer time period. I can see how they might come across at first as congested due to the unique 'distant' headstage that places you toward the back of the hall. I don't find them any more revealing than the HD580, so I'm surprised that you found them so with your MP3s (I listen to CDs only with them & have no experience with that).

And finally... if this sounds like I'm being apologetic for the K501, nope... they definitely are not for everybody.

P.S. sounds like you guys had a great meet, wish someone would organize one in the Seattle area.
 
Jan 10, 2006 at 2:09 PM Post #34 of 63

seeberg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
Just fwiw... IMO it takes some time to "figure out" the K501 soundstage, as it's different than most other headphones. Needs lots of burn-in as well, and an amp with a lot of 'oomph' to drive them. I find them more spacious and airy than just about any headphone, but I don't think that would come across at a meet... you really need a quiet space listening for a longer time period. I can see how they might come across at first as congested due to the unique 'distant' headstage that places you toward the back of the hall. I don't find them any more revealing than the HD580, so I'm surprised that you found them so with your MP3s (I listen to CDs only with them & have no experience with that).

And finally... if this sounds like I'm being apologetic for the K501, nope... they definitely are not for everybody.

P.S. sounds like you guys had a great meet, wish someone would organize one in the Seattle area.



Hehe, we were talking during the meet about how great it'd be if some Seattle folks would visit for future ones, if I recall. Anyway, yeah it was wierd. It just didn't sound right to my ears. Regularly my VBR mp3's sound great, most of the time as good as their source CD's, but with the K501's they sounded somewhat garbled with artifacts and when I tuned up the volume to get some bottom end with my Mu amp, the 'phones would distort. The day after, I went to Goodwill and picked up some Sennheiser HD410SL's that still worked, aside from some seriously nasty deteriorated foam that I had to clean, and they had the same thing- no bass, and distortion on the low end at higher volume. But those were 600 ohm headphones and not suited for my Mu- perhaps the K501's aren't either? I'm sure if I had more time with a pair I might see things a little differently about the K501's, but I like where I'm at enough not to need to listen to them again for a while.

580smile.gif
,
Abe
 
Jan 10, 2006 at 2:44 PM Post #35 of 63

devwild

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SnoopyRocks
Care to guess what I bought? Here's a hint: I paid $229.


HD580s?
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I'm sure they pair nicely with your dynalo too
Quote:

Originally Posted by seeberg
Regularly my VBR mp3's sound great, most of the time as good as their source CD's, ... But those were 600 ohm headphones and not suited for my Mu- perhaps the K501's aren't either?


One thing I've learned from head-fi, that I totally didn't expect, is that much of the distortion I thought I was hearing from my mp3s was actually from source/amp. 256k vbr is plenty for my tastes.

And yes Fewtch, you should show those Seattlites what it's all about and come to our next meet.
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Jan 10, 2006 at 4:23 PM Post #36 of 63

SnoopyRocks

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SnoopyRocks
Care to guess what I bought? Here's a hint: I paid $229.


Quote:

Originally Posted by devwild
HD580s?
smily_headphones1.gif
I'm sure they pair nicely with your dynalo too



No. That's too much to pay for 580s. You're not too far off though.
 
Jan 10, 2006 at 4:28 PM Post #38 of 63

devwild

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Quote:

Originally Posted by SnoopyRocks
No. That's too much to pay for 580s. You're not too far off though.


Depends on if you bought them locally out of the need of instant gratification, so I just made the obvious guess.
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Next most obvious would be the 600s or 650s used.

edit.... or HD595
 
Jan 11, 2006 at 11:26 PM Post #39 of 63

james__bean

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Gigabomber
oh and JBean, when you get those ATH's, whichever you do decide on, tell me so that we can have a two man meet cause they have tempted me for far too long! Those CD3ks are beckoning as well....
Blast!



Just ordered the AD2000's from PriceJapan.
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Jan 12, 2006 at 12:14 AM Post #40 of 63

seeberg

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Nice! I should be ordering some HD600 grilles quite soon if I can find the thread with the contact info, if it's still up to date. Hopefully the numbers are the same...

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,
Abe
 
Jan 12, 2006 at 12:43 AM Post #42 of 63

seeberg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by james__bean
Its like 3 days after the meet and we're already ordering more stuff for the next one. Why did I ever come to this place...
tongue.gif



Not to worry for me, the HD600 grilles should be as cheap altogether as the HD414 pads I bought almost two years ago (I think).

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Abe
 
Jan 12, 2006 at 4:01 AM Post #43 of 63

SnoopyRocks

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Since we're all confessing our sins (new purchases), I'll come clean too. My headphone purchase, arriving Friday according to FedEx, is HD600. I also considered the DT880 for roughly the same price, but the bigger low end of the Senns was enough to sway me. Either way, comfort here I come.
smily_headphones1.gif


I have Dynahi amp and power supply boards on order as well. No promises though. At least I expect to have the upgraded power supply for my dynalo finished before the next meet.
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Jan 12, 2006 at 5:19 AM Post #44 of 63

devwild

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I'm buying something really, really awesome.... nothing!
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At least for now. I'm honestly shocked by the performance of my latest modifications to my system with the SA5000s, and I'm appreciating it all over again.
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My biggest debate is what piece of my gear I'm selling next.

I really look forward to seeing what comes of your dynahi project SnoopyRocks. That's definitely an amp I have been dying to hear.
 
Jan 12, 2006 at 6:10 AM Post #45 of 63

seeberg

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Well, I called Sennheiser and they weren't sure what I was talking about, and neither of the part numbers I found here on the forums worked. Perhaps they no longer carry "HD600 decorative grilles"?

Hmmmm, methinks this will suck supremely if this is true. I want my upgrade dang it!

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,
Abe
 

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