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What to get after Grado SR-60i? Want actual soundstage...

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by kosta, Aug 7, 2011.
  1. kosta
    So I bought a pair of Grado SR-60i's last year after lurking around these forums. They've served me very well, however the other day I got a chance to listen to my friend's HD555's and I noticed a huge difference right away.
    I don't know how to describe it, but everything sounded clearer and fuller because it sounded further away from my head, whereas the grados kind of just keep everything between my ears. I couldn't really believe how different some music actually sounded with the improved soundstage.
    I would get the HD555's but to me, they lack the punch and energy the Grado's have. 
    Are there are any headphones around $150 that have a soundstage like the Sennheisers along with the punchiness of the Grados? Or does this not come cheap....
  2. kingoftown1
    I know it's a bit outside of your price range, but I had the chance to audition the 225i side-by-side with my AD900, and the actual sound signature is very similar.
  3. mrAdrian
    The AD-700 have a good soundstage and fits your budget. I think people use it as gaming cans so the soundstage must be pretty accurate.
    Own experience,
    Saving up for a pair of Senns 6xx [​IMG]
  4. sidel
    A lot of the energy of the grados comes from them being so forward and lacking that spacious airy feel.
  5. kosta
    Thanks for the quick replies. After doing a search on the AD-700, I've read people saying that it kind of lacks bass and it's not very punchy. Although it supposedly has an amazing soundstage....I don't think I'd give up the bass and punchiness.
    And sidel, I was afraid someone was going to say that lol. Is there nothing decent in between? I mean I'd rather have less of the airy feel for more power, but to me the SR-60's are way too forward...


  6. sidel
    AKG K240 or maybe even a superlux (on the cheap) would sort of give you that feeling.  If you find the sr60s to be too forward for you you'll definitely notice things set back a bit,  but not so much that it's incredibly airy like the AD700 or HD555s.
  7. kingoftown1
    Yeah, the 668B might be a good option.  I haven't heard them so I guess I can't truly recommend them.  I do have a set of 681s on the way, but my guess is that those are going to be too bassy for general listening compared to the Grados.
  8. tdockweiler
    If you get the HD-668B you're going to be giving up those grado-like mids. The mids on the Superlux are kind of recessed. Their main focus is treble and then bass. They don't really sound all that balanced to me, but they're still good, but not really for me. I'd suggest saving up another $25 and getting the Sennheiser HD-598. Now those have very good mids and one of the largest soundstages there is under $250. Right behind the AD700 and K702 when it comes to soundstage size.
  9. TMRaven
    Get a 598.  It's a more punchy 555 with a better soundstage.  The beyerdynamic 990s also soundstage incredibly well, but they're energetic in a different way.
  10. acticulated


    +1 to both of these cans. Also the aforementioned akg k420 mentioned above (spring the extra for the mkii) was to me a good compromise between senn-esque laid back and forward grado-ness. It had shockingly good soundstage for a semi-open. Also I agree that the AD700 is atrocious for music, no matter how good the soundstage is. Everything already said here has been good, but there are a couple things I'd like to add.
    Personally, I've long since given up on the search for a single headphone to do it all. I prefer to keep contrasting pairs around. Different signatures handle different genres/tracks/moods better. I also find compromises less fulfilling. I think it's better to have a major strength for a select few genres than to be sub-satisfactory at all or even a majority of them.
    Having said that though, when I was dissatisfied with my grados soundstage (both width and accuracy) I have found that slip-on wood shells are an easy and cost effective way to disperse the soundstage out horizontally without sacrificing any of the treble or "energy" of the grado sound. My cups may look a little bit absurd, as my design is nearly 2 inches deep if I remember correctly, but the soundstage improved immensely. I remember sensing some pretty slight soundstage improvements from removing the white 'front' driver grill as well but that may have been psychological (expectation).
    If you want an even quicker and easier (and probably cheaper depending on whether you have woodworking tools already or not) way to get more soundstage out of the grados without sacrificing any energy, get L-cushions. When worn in the 'correct' supra-aural way (with the back edge of the cushion flush with the helix of your outer ear so that the driver distance is increased as well as slightly angled) they will easily rival the soundstage of a de-foamed 555. Again to be frank about the subjectivity of it all I should clarify that I found this to be certainly true in an A/B with my friends 595s which for the sake of argument I'm willing to call equivalent to a de-foamed 555, however YMMV.
  11. mrAdrian
    Oh how dare I forget to mention!
    Search for the ms1000 thread. They were my solution for more soundstage while remaining the grado house sound. I am waiting for my G-cush to arrive so I could not give you my personal opinions, but my ears are less trained anyways.
    Ask them to see if there are any solutions for the grado line. The thread is mainly for the ms1 but those geniuses might give you some help :)
  12. killmurer
    There's a very good improvement to the soundstage if you vent and damp the SR-60s. Won't approach the senn levels but way less inside your head feeling IMO.

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