Searching For The Right Cans
Mar 15, 2007 at 1:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

KVP

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Hello everyone, I'm brand new to the forum and haven't seriously listened to headphones since I was a teen living at home (we won't discuss how long ago that was) and my parents didn't exactly appreciate my musical tastes. And yes this is one of those preverbial what should I buy questions. I recently upgraded my home theater audio equipment but had been kicking around the idea of putting together a nice 2-channel system as my passion is still listening to great sounding music. However, budget and a wife who doesn't understand my "hobby" preclude me from putting together an audiophile type system.

Sooooo...... I started thinking about headphones (and probably an amp) as the next best thing (and maybe even a better thing). I have been researching on the internet as much as possible over recent weeks, and found myself spending a lot of time at this forum trying to learn from everyone here. I think I have my decision narrowed down to either the AKG 701's or the Beyer Dynamic DT880's, but I'm frustrated that it is hard to find a retailer who has either of them to listen to. I think you'll agree that what sounds good to each of us is a very personal thing, like auditioning speakers, but I am finding myself having to ask your opinions anyway.

The music I most find myself listening to is acoustic and vocals, and as I mellow a bit as I get older some jazz as well. I grew up listening to Jackson Brown, Loggins & Messina, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, etc. I guess you could say I'm a child of the 70's. For those of you familiar with XM Radio I spend a lot of time listening to "The Loft," if that's any help. Recent music purchases have been Allison Kraus, Diana Krall, Mark Knopfler, and yes even some Yo Yo Ma.

Budget wise I'd like to stay bellow $500 for the headphones so that I can consider purchasing a medium priced amp to go with them at some point.

So that's where I'm at. Sorry that this got a bit long winded but I figured that if you knew my tastes it might help with any advice you can provide. I am not a bass freak and definitely not into Techno or Rap. I haven't been considering Senn's as I'm hearing that they are a bit "darker" or subdued sounding. I'm more partial to clear, crisp and maybe even a bit bright I guess.

Thanks for whatever thoughts you might have.
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 2:07 AM Post #2 of 4

F107plus5

Headphoneus Supremus
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It's amazing about how quickly and inexpensively an audiophile-grade headphone system can materialize.

And how quickly it can proliferate!!

My dismal tenure here at Head-Fi began with the realization that my home speaker system had hit a brick wall....literally!! The brick wall that contains a fireplace that scatters untamed sounds all over the room!

Headphones to the rescue!!

And yes; a warning...."Sorry about your wallet!"

For it appears that you have roughly the same musical tastes that I do.

What sounds good to us is indeed a very personal thing. One day some good ol' rock does the trick, the next it may be some good old classical. Unfortunately the best cans for one may not necessarily be the best cans for the other.

Clear crisp and maybe a little bright sounds like my MS2i. They really excel in all things rock new and old. But for the classical side, something like the Senns which puts a listener back a few rows where the highs are naturally a bit attenuated really adds to the classical experience.

Ahhh...the ladies and how their singing tugs at the heart strings. With the MS2i they can almost tear your heart right out!

The MS2i put you right on stage with the gals, but the HD600 for the big classical pieces puts you right there in the concert hall surrounded by all that beautiful stuff the masters were noted for.

Having a pair of phones for each mood swing can certainly add a lot to the music.
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 3:59 AM Post #3 of 4

Dept_of_Alchemy

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With $500 you could get both the HD650 ($300 new) and the MS2i ($200 used). Headphone listening has the advantage that it is relatively inexpensive (compared to speakers) to have multiple headphones, each for a particular genre or mood of the day.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM Post #4 of 4

KVP

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Thanks for the input. Hey "F107 PLUS 5," while researching the MS2i's I found a thread you had on the Axiom website. I didn't say anything in my thread last night, but when I upgraded my home theater last year I went to Axiom speakers. I got the M80ti's, VP 150 center channel, and QS8's for side surrounds. Since you're on the Axiom site as well I'm assuming you've got Axioms also. How dy'a like 'em?

But I digress; back to my original question, I did consider Grado's when I first started my search and I guess after my research started thinking more about the K701's or DT880's with the thought of maybe looking into the lesser Grado's as an alternate. Comfort was a concern. Anyway, what is the relationship with Grado and Allesandro? They look pretty much like the same headphones. There are a couple of high end stores in the area that carry Grado's so I'd have a chance to give them a listen but I sure would like to be able to compare them against the others with my ears. It's kind of frustrating.
 

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