Recommendations for accuracy
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JohnR

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Hi,

I've currently got a pair of Sennheiser HD570s and I want to get another set of headphones. My budget is around US$100.

A friend of mine has a pair of HD600s. These phones are certainly alot better than the 570s but i don't particularly like the sound. To me, the sound seems as if it has been "polished" in a way, possibly a bit too "smooth". I found it quite hard to find a recording which sounded bad on these headphones, everything just sounded too good to be real.. to put it another way, they don't seem to reveal much of the defects in equipment.

Sorry to dwell on the 600s but they are the only other high end phones i've heard extensively, plus I thought it would be useful for any suggestions.

So, can anyone recommend me some phones that will sound excellent for classical music and be able to reveal differences in interconnects/equipment easily?

thanks,
John
 
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Duncan

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Hi JohnR, Welcome to Head-Fi


My personal recommendation, although I must confess that this is only through the opinions of others here, is to pick up a pair of AKG501s... there was an offer a couple of weeks back for $79.95 a pair...

Whilst light(er) on bass than normal, and requiring plenty of juice, these are one of the most airiest 'phones around... would be good for placing classical musics instruments?!
 
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MirandaX

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The Etymotic 4P/4S are what you're looking for. They're tremendously revealing of interconnects and equipment, and phenomenal for classical. Unfortunately they're out of your price range. The AKG 501s are good, but be forewarned they need a good amp.
 
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a1leyez0nm3

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you could get the etymotc ER6. $130 or lower...
 
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fredpb

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Unfortunately, for under $100, you are stuck with the 570's, which are not so bad. The only othersmight be the Grado SR80's.

I would only try the Grado's if you have a 30 day satisfaction guarantee agreement.
 
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katsudon1

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I currently own SR60, SR80, ETY4P, HD600 & K240DF, so I feel that I am in a position to comment on this. Among all the HPs, the most revealing HPs are the ETY4P & K240DF. The 4Ps is very unforgiving headphone and their high sensitivity just make them pass all the distortions in the stereo chain or the flaws of the recordings to you. However, it¡¦s got a different kind of bass which may not be your club of tea. The 4Ps are slightly below USD 300 so I run it out as a recommendation. My recommendation for your criteria goes to the AKG K240DF, which is marketed as monitor HP by the manufacturer. The K240DF is the HP that is being used in studios worldwide. It¡¦s a nice pair of cans which deliver the music to you that the artists intend to let you hear. AKG has been manufacturing the K240DF for more than 24 years and they still selling pretty strong in the audio recording industry. The details are high given the recordings are good but the bass is somewhat light and don¡¦t sound as good as the HD600¡¦s hifi sound. I am not too sure if it¡¦s the way that the studio or the artists want you to hear it or what. But these K240DF is capable of helping you to find the flaws in the stereo, one of my audiophile friends, even use the K240DFs for sound tuning on high-end equipment. Besides, you can find the K240DFs easily for less than USD100. I think they are only around USD70-90 if you get them from ebay. Bear in mind that these can are very hard to drive (hardest in my opinion), they are 600ohm and really require to have a HP amp to drive them properly. There is a K240s version available which is only 60ohm or so. I have never tried them myself so no comment on them.

Kind of disagree with fredpb on the SR80 recommendation. They are nice pair of cans for pops / rock, however, they lack the transparency as found in the 4Ps and the K240DF. Plus, they tend to be sort of sweeten the sound and could sound harsh in some cases.
 
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katsudon1

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Forgot to mention that AKG also has a M version of K240. The K240M also are 600ohm. But I do have difficulties understanding the major differenct between the 2. Anyone cares to explain?


In terms of physically difference, the 2 pairs look the same except that K240M has gold color capsulates.
 
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Calanctus

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Please ignore my post if you have absolutely no intention, ever, of spending more than $100.

The most revealing headphones are electrostatics and a few dynamics including the AT W100s. These will certainly reveal many of the defects of substandard recordings, as your post indicates you want (though I assume you also want to hear more of the good points of excellent recordings
). But they cost much more than $100--about $300 or so for the AT W100 and $600 for the Koss ESP 950s (which I own) or hundreds/thousands/more than ten thousand for the low-end Stax/high-end Stax/Sennheiser Orpheus, respectively.
 
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Toe

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Your best choice would probably be some Etys. The consensus is that they're very neutral / honest but not quite as "friendly" as the HD-600s. The ER6 goes for around $130.

As an alternative, I can't believe no one has reccomended the Sony V6 yet in this thread. VERY popular in studios, they have a reputation for presenting sound as it is - warts and all. Pretty neutral, with some of the best bass extension out of any headphone at any price. Price - around $60. NOTE: that's the V6, not the V600 which is utter ****.
 
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JohnR

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Thanks for all of your suggestions!

The ER-6 seem like a good option, but I can't audition these where I live. Can someone tell me what 15-20dB of isolation will be like? Will I be able to hear myself clap softly? or will it be like I'm underwater?

thanks again

John
 
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nezz18

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go with the er6s. there the most accurate headphoness i've ever heard. plus they block out any outside noises even when the music is off.
 
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fredpb

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Quote:

Originally posted by katsudon1
Kind of disagree with fredpb on the SR80 recommendation. They are nice pair of cans for pops / rock, however, they lack the transparency as found in the 4Ps and the K240DF. Plus, they tend to be sort of sweeten the sound and could sound harsh in some cases.


Original poster said $100 limit. How much are the 4p's and K240F? Besides, I have had the K240's. No bass, too hard to drive, overpriced. Many studios and media use the Sony's V6's. These have much more realistic sound at $70.
 
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kelly

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John
The underwater feeling will subside after the pressure equalizes. The isolation is very good, though and you won't hear yourself clap if you got them in good.

I also agree that for what you're looking for the Etymotic will be the most revealing--and stringly disagre with the W100 recommendation for this purpose. If you decide to spend more money, your option list grows.

HeadRoom (www.headphone.com) is the place to order the Etymotic with a 30 day guarantee. If you don't like them, you can return them there.
 
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Matt

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...Sony V6's, Etys and Stax SR-303's together and I must say that the Etys perform admirably in the face of the Stax's (I was using the 4S's, but the 6's supposedly get you very close). The V6's sounded like **** to me, they a weirdly scooped out midrange, not nearly as much transparency as the Stax's or the Etys and had a weird overall tonal balance. Besides, the earcups are small and rest on your ears and aren't entirely comfortable, in my opinion.

I'd say for $130 for the Etys, you get a whole lotta Stax-sound/transparency/lovely sound, with none of the Stax brightness, for very little $. The in-the-ear comfort issue is a concern, but if you are willing to take the time to get used to them (which you most certainly will if you give it a week or so), again, you get a whole lotta performance for very little.

- Matt
 
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andrzejpw

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Get some stax! I mean come on, you can stretch that budget!
 
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