headphone Shootout (side by side comparison of 5 headphones)

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saisunil

Just wanted to share my first headphone review:
Pls ignore the typos -- I'll get around fixing them:
http://stereomojo.com/FiveHeadphoneShootout/5HeadphoneShootout.htm

Sunil.

Jon L

Nice work  :thumb:

"The 701’s are not as resolving as the GS1000, but they have the snap and bite without being irritating. They sound just right to my ears – right in the middle of the Senns and Grado."

Did you get a chance to compare stock K701 to Silver Dragon K701?  I sort of agree with the above statement, and I once had a seriously dilemma choosing Grado RS1 vs K701 (recabled with Mogami) and sold off the Grado, not b/c it is "worse" but b/c I could recoup a lot more money for it than K701.  Without that consideration, I would probably have chosen the Grado for its immediacy, colorations or not. 

But then the electrostats caught up with me and all my other headphones are gathering dust, even AKG K1000..

boead

Just wanted to share my first headphone review:
Pls ignore the typos -- I'll get around fixing them:
http://stereomojo.com/FiveHeadphoneShootout/5HeadphoneShootout.htm

Sunil.

“…The more I listen to Senn 600’s the more I like them. Slightly rolled off highs of Senn 600 work in its favor and make this track not only listenable but allow you to flow with music and be emotionally engaged. Two thumbs up!”

Yup!! I’ve lived with both the 600’s and 701’s and have had Grados (not the RS1 or GS1000 unfortunatly) and know the sound of the K-1000 from AKG well. The Senn. 600’s are just SO easy and comfortable to listen too, never feel like you’re missing anything and complement most popular music. The Grados are just not particularly comfortable on your head. I’ve tried all sorts of pads and the design is just not good for me, never good for more than a half hour or so. In comparison I’ve fallen asleep with the 600’s on a few times! The AKG’s are comfortable too but they’re big and ugly/funny looking.

Excellent review!

saisunil

My headphone journey actually started with Grado 60. They seriously lacked bass for me, so they were replaced with Grado 80. I had cable connection issues after a year or so of enjoying them - so I sold them and got Senn 595 - they were better in every way. The 595s have more forward presentation like the Grados than the laid back presentation of Senn 600 or 650.

Then came stock AKG701s, I was impressed but they lacked in bass - I sent the same set for recabling - so I could not do A-B comparison. The recabled AKGs were more transparent on top and mids. But the re-cabling made no apparent change in the bottom for me - O well!

I started asking around for a cure - some people suggested different amps. So I got Mapletree head amp along with Xin.

I always wanted to try Grado RS-1s and was curious about GS1000

Todd the Vinyl Junkie suggested  Senn 600 for the most balanced audiophile headphone.

Anyway - My personal headphone nirvana journey turned into a review.

I still haven't found a perfect headphone - people say that there is no such thing as a perfect headphone  :lol:

The 701s are my favorite thus far. I bought another pair and have sent them for Revelation Audio Cable re-cabling.

I am most intrigued by GS1000 as it has extreme strengths and flaws. I am contemplating on recabling the GS1000 as well.

I wonder if a 300B tube based headphone amp would be the right match for GS1000 - I am very curious!

Cheers
Sunil.

TheChairGuy

Sunil,

I am not a headphone junky - too old, don't care maybe.  The Grado SR60 was cheap and sounded well enough for me (as it was efficient, it worked with walkman well and didn't take up a lot of room when traveling (before I got in-the-ear phones).

After a few years of ownership I began tinkering with them.  I realized thru Grado cartridge ownership that Grado took a similar path with their headphones.  That is, focus is on higher quality cabling, less resonant or damped diaphragms and ear cups, primarily (along with more closely matched drivers as you run up the line). The cost to produce the SR60 may be $15, and the RS-1 more like $100.  As you move up their line, you do get a better headphone, but the basic structure is much the same....you are paying a LOT more for (largely) replicateable mechanical changes. 

The consistency of sound is unmistakeable as the materials are really, much the same.

The first thing I did was scoop out a quarter sized piece from the foam earpad.  This literally and figuratively removed a 'veil' from the music.  Still an uncomfortable earcup (can't do much about that but move to the larger SR80/125/225 size, but I found those model had unbalanced sound to begin with...I actually liked the SR60 balance a bit better). 

Then I used constrained layer damping on the outer earcup...with very positive results.  The earcup is damped - much in the same way Grado employs wood in their more pricey models (as they do with their phono cartridges)

Finally, a headphone is a relatively simple device.  Rather low level signals from a modest sized amplifier - perhaps 25mW or so.  Much like their cartridges, Grado uses OFC cable for their lower level units and ultra-high purity long crystal (UHPLC) oxygen free copper wire for their better units.  This UHPLC is probably either Continuous Cast Copper (1 crystal boundary per 125 meters) or LC-OFC (and earlier version of purer OFC at 1 crystal boundary per 25 feet or something like that).  Neither are terribly expensive, but yield additional gains in clarity - especially when used with low level signals.

So, I finally had Brad at Revelation Audio mod my SR60's (his first pair of headphones - I was his guinea pig  :wink:).  The results are magnificent now...truly, they sound to me as good as a headphone can (I'm still no headphone fan, really).

Hey, for the same money I could've bought a stock Sennheiser 600 and been just as happy...but my headphone journey was a happy one, nonetheless.

I think you're gonna' like those reterminated 701's from Brad....hi quality silver is a 'revelation' to headphone listeners  :thumb:

John

ecramer

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I found these to be all that was looking for in A Headphone  beyerdynamic DT 990. The Senns were to laid back and the grados sound and confort didn't work for me at all.  I like the AKG's which would be my second choice,

ed

saisunil

I found these to be all that was looking for in A Headphone  beyerdynamic DT 990. The Senns were to laid back and the grados sound and confort didn't work for me at all.  I like the AKG's which would be my second choice,

ed
Hi Ed,

I have been thinking about the Beyers too. Speaking with folks at headroom - they were recommending 880s.
Have you had a chance to compare 990s with 880s.
I have also heard that 990s can sound a bit tipped up on top.

Can you please share your 990 impressions.

I may want to include the Beyers in the mix - if my finances allow or if someone loans me a unit ;)

Cheers
Sunil.

ecramer

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Hi Sunil

I own a pair DT770 pro 600 ohm's and a pair of DT880 new 2005 model and listened to the DT990 on a couple of occasions I would say that the DT990's new model and the Dt880s selection would be decided if you wanted a little more bass with a great mid vocal range with a slight  tip in the high the 990's are the ticket they are a really a great set of cans Now the Dt880's may be a hair light in the bass , I didn't think so, its just not overpowering,  but some people seem to think so, every thing else about them is outstanding great mids and highs crystale clear and sharp. The only reason that i don't own the DT990's as well is  that i want a set of Headfphile woodies and i never seem to have the money in my pocket when a set of them comes up for sale on Head-fi and I'm to cheap to buy a new pair from Headphile  :oops:  But know that i see they come done in price on Amazon i may have to snag a pair


I found these to be all that was looking for in A Headphone  beyerdynamic DT 990. The Senns were to laid back and the grados sound and confort didn't work for me at all.  I like the AKG's which would be my second choice,

ed
Hi Ed,

I have been thinking about the Beyers too. Speaking with folks at headroom - they were recommending 880s.
Have you had a chance to compare 990s with 880s.
I have also heard that 990s can sound a bit tipped up on top.



Can you please share your 990 impressions.


I may want to include the Beyers in the mix - if my finances allow or if someone loans me a unit ;)

Cheers
Sunil.

edit
« Last Edit: 7 Apr 2008, 01:56 am by ecramer »

Russell Dawkins

But then the electrostats caught up with me and all my other headphones are gathering dust, even AKG K1000..

Which electrostats are those, BTW?

Jon L

But then the electrostats caught up with me and all my other headphones are gathering dust, even AKG K1000..

Which electrostats are those, BTW?

Sennheiser Baby Orpheus, Headphile-modded with woody cups.



And I have this one coming next week.  HE Audio HE1.2B :)


2bigears

Re: headphone Shootout (side by side comparison of 5 headphones)
« Reply #10 on: 7 Apr 2008, 04:38 am »
:D Jon L ,where did you buy those 1.2b's ???? they look interesting indeed.. thks  Pat  :D

Jon L

Re: headphone Shootout (side by side comparison of 5 headphones)
« Reply #11 on: 7 Apr 2008, 08:01 pm »
:D Jon L ,where did you buy those 1.2b's ???? they look interesting indeed.. thks  Pat  :D

You can order here:
http://www.head-direct.com/products.php?m=11#

There is a long wait time, though, as I waited around 2 months to get my shipping notice..

saisunil

Re: headphone Shootout (side by side comparison of 5 headphones)
« Reply #12 on: 7 Apr 2008, 08:16 pm »
Hi JonL,

Can you please tell us little more about your HeAudio 1.2s
Which amp are you suing and how do they compare to other electrostats like stax and to conventional headphones like Senn.

Cheers

Jon L

Re: headphone Shootout (side by side comparison of 5 headphones)
« Reply #13 on: 7 Apr 2008, 09:37 pm »
Hi JonL,

Can you please tell us little more about your HeAudio 1.2s
Which amp are you suing and how do they compare to other electrostats like stax and to conventional headphones like Senn.

Cheers

Mine's still in transit, but there's a gargantuan thread to get you started here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f4/heaudio-eh-1-3-eh-1-2b-electrostatic-headphones-287277/index31.html