Upgrading from HD650?

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adydula

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #40 on: 23 Sep 2019, 11:33 pm »
It does t some..I bought two sets of Grados, but never could get used to the fit on my wars, the earpads were just too unconfortable.

I Personally like supporting local folks here in the states, but its a big workd out there and we all freedom of choice.

I have my share of several audio OEMs in the states, and in the world.

Alex

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #41 on: 23 Sep 2019, 11:47 pm »
Thanks for a very lively discussion. I’m going to have to frequent this circle more regularly!  I found a dealer about 20 min from my home that has both the HD800s and the Clears available for demo.  I will try to make it out there sometime hopefully soon to try them out.  I think for me, these two are the big contenders.  I love the wooden look of the ZMfs but would have to go solely on reviews since these are basically made to order.  They are also handmade in Chicago (my original home town) but I can’t justify paying that much money for a pair of cans I’ve never heard before.  I’m curious about the grado 3000e but from what I’ve heard from a lot of you, Grado may not be the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time.  Also, dealers (mine in particular) tend not to stock the higher end Grados.

toocool4

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #42 on: 24 Sep 2019, 07:43 am »
adydula I agree with you it’s important to listen before you part with your money, I never take a review or people's hearsay as gospel.
For me personally I always go to the dealers have a listen and then usually take equipment home and use in my environment with the rest of my kit before I buy, that way you really know. Even just listening at the dealers is not enough.
I remember many many years ago, I went to my dealers when I was upgrading to listen to a NAIM 72 pre, Hi-Cap power supply and 140 amp. At the dealers it sounded nice and I liked it, I took it home for the weekend. I could not wait to get it back the following week, it was horrible. If I had paid the money, I would have regretted it less than a week later.
You probably thinking how could he like it and hate it after a few days? Well let me describe it like this, let’s say you meet this girl or guy you like and they look fantastic. Imagine you got to go out with them, then you discover they are a pain in the ass and high maintenance.

So basically I never part with my money without listening first and I always advise everyone that ask for my opinion to do the same, never ever take anyone’s word as gospel just because they like something does not mean you are going to like it.

Wind Chaser

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #43 on: 24 Sep 2019, 03:02 pm »
adydula I agree with you it’s important to listen before you part with your money, I never take a review or people's hearsay as gospel...

There was a time when I’d take a risk, especially when it came to buying something “used” that is otherwise can only be purchased new direct by the vendor. If you buy the product new, the vendor usually has something in the way of a trial period to ensure your satisfaction. If can’t afford to buy new, or you just want to save a few bucks and dodge the delay of breaking in the new item, you can resell the item and hopefully recover all your money if it doesn’t work out. It’s a bit of a hassle but I’ve come out okay for the most part doing that sort of thing. Anytime I made a bad decision that resulted in a lo$$, I’d reframe that experience and looked at it as an education.

Quote
For me personally I always go to the dealers have a listen and then usually take equipment home and use in my environment with the rest of my kit before I buy, that way you really know. Even just listening at the dealers is not enough.

I’ve been wowed in a showroom but left unimpressed if not disappointed in my home. You can’t know what you’re getting into unless you try it in your own home. Even if you think you know your buddies system and room well enough that won’t necessarily translate into the same experience in your system and room.

adydula

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #44 on: 24 Sep 2019, 03:12 pm »
jawks,

I am glad too this is a lively and honest, open and candid discussion....without throwing stones at each other...its refreshing to find a bunch of folks that really like music and
enjoy the technology as well....

Welcome to the circle again and hope you contribute often.

Alex

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #45 on: 24 Sep 2019, 03:14 pm »
Thanks, Alex.  I've appreciated all the diverse feedback.  Definitely plan to keep contributing!

toocool4

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #46 on: 24 Sep 2019, 03:18 pm »
Wind Chaser I don’t buy used so I am okay on that front.
I love to open new things and you also have the full warrantee from the manufacture and the satisfaction you can always go back to the dealer / manufacturer should you have issues. So having to pay new price is no big deal. I don’t change kit that often, so when it comes time to changing kit I feel like I have had my moneys worth.

mresseguie

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #47 on: 24 Sep 2019, 05:33 pm »
jawks,

Thank you for initiating this thread.  :thumb: I've found the dialogue useful and informative because I have a pair of HD650 headphones that I purchased used about 5(?) years ago. It wasn't until about one year ago that I began wondering if I could increase my enjoyment by upgrading to a better pair. [I went through the same process with my audio speakers - and I'm delighted with the result.]

I hope you will return to announce your decision and your listening impressions. Such input benefits others.

Michael

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #48 on: 24 Sep 2019, 06:34 pm »
Michael,

Thanks for your reply.  I will be sure to post my listening impressions and final decision.  I may not have quite the technical savvy as many, but I can describe my subjective listening experiences as best as possible.

Albert

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #49 on: 24 Sep 2019, 08:23 pm »
Anybody have any experience with the Campfire Cascade headphones?  I've read some interesting reviews of these cans - some say they aren't for everyone - but I'm curious about any impressions if you have these.

adydula

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #50 on: 25 Sep 2019, 01:17 pm »
Nope never heard of them...

Alex

mresseguie

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #51 on: 25 Sep 2019, 01:53 pm »
I've been to Campfire Audio's headquarters located about 90 miles north of me in Portland, OR. I went there to check out a couple pairs of IEMs. The over-ear phones hadn't been released at the time - I believe. I posted my impressions on AC in this circle, no doubt. I came to the conclusion that their higher-end (top of the line?) IEMs were damned sweet, but that I'd need to buy a personal digital audio device to maximize their sound potential. I'd hoped to be able to simply plug them into my iPhone, but discovered the iPhone + high-end IEMs sounded like crap.




hibuckhobby

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #52 on: 25 Sep 2019, 02:25 pm »
I love the wooden look of the ZMfs but would have to go solely on reviews since these are basically made to order.  They are also handmade in Chicago (my original home town) but I can’t justify paying that much money for a pair of cans I’ve never heard before.  I’m curious about the grado 3000e but from what I’ve heard from a lot of you, Grado may not be the most comfortable to wear for long periods of time.  Also, dealers (mine in particular) tend not to stock the higher end Grados.

If you like the sound signature of the HD650's, but want more clarity and soundstage, the ZMF should be on your list.  I have a pair
of Atticus that I bought after a very short listen at a get together.   Zack is great to deal with and has a very good ear.
Hibuck....

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #53 on: 25 Sep 2019, 02:32 pm »
Thanks, Hibuck!  The ZMF's I'm potentially interested in are the open-back ones such as the Auteur, Aeolus, and maybe even the Verite.  I know they just released the Verite closed, and I'm interested to hear what people have to say about that vs the open back version.

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #54 on: 27 Sep 2019, 02:29 am »
So, I had my first chance to hit up my local shop and audition a few of these cans.  Unfortunately, I was only able to stop in for about 45 minutes after work and realize that I simply need more time.  I brought my own HD650s and my Fiio M9 DAP but will plan on bringing my laptop and probably also my Chord Mojo.  The shop had a LOT of higher end headphones for auditioning, including the Utopia, Clear, Stellia, Ananda, Sundara, HE1000, LCD2, LCD3, LCDX, Aeon closed, Ether flow, VOCE, and HD800s.  I didn't look carefully at the provided amplification and source components, since I brought my own for this audition, but I know one component was an Aurender.  The beauty was that I was able to sit by myself undisturbed in a small quiet dedicated listening room with all of the headphones available for the sampling ... it was amazing.

Given my limited time, I listened to the Clear, HD800s, Ananda, and Aeon closed and did some A/B testing with my HD650s.  All of the playback was through my Fiio M9, which I realize was not the best amplification but it will certainly be one of the components I use at home.  I listened mostly to jazz (Keith Jarrett Trio recordings on ECM, Bill Charlap Trio, Miles Davis "My Funny Valentine" album) and some classical (Radu Lupu performing Beethoven's 3rd piano concerto on Decca).  Next time I go back, I'll definitely be more selective about the recordings I use to audition these headphones.

I apologize if my use of descriptive terms below is improper!
 
I probably spent the most time with the Clear.  I could really appreciate the midrange, which was dynamic and more forward than what I was used to on my HD650's, and the bass was well extended (for my tastes) and tight.  In comparison with my HD650's, I could hear more detail but in a very musical way.  That's probably why I kept putting the Clear back on.  I did a brief comparison with the Utopia (only brief because I don't have the budget for the Utopia so I'm not going to even try to get myself hooked), and I have to say I didn't find that the Utopia was substantially better than the Clear.  However, this could be due to a lot of factors, including music selection, amplification, etc.

I regret to say that I was not thrilled with the HD800s.  Again, music selection and amplification probably had a LOT to do with this, but I found the sound to be somewhat thin and not as full as the Clear.  I also found the bass to be a bit lacking for my tastes.  I was waiting to be blown away by a wide soundstage, but it wasn't happening.  Next time, I will definitely have to try it out with better amplification to give it another chance.

I was pleasantly surprised by the Ananda.  While the Ananda didn't have the same dynamic punch as the Clear to my ears, it was pretty neutral sounding and had some nice soundstaging and imaging, particularly with the classical recording I used.  I was not expecting this.  I need to hear this again.

I would've liked to audition the Aeon Flow open, but they only had the closed.  I was only able to sample this for a couple of minutes, so I don't want to make any statements about it. 

So those are my initial thoughts.  After Round 1, the Clear would appear to be my favored headphone, but at least another round of auditioning is in order.  I'm thinking I may have to return tomorrow.








brooklyn

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #55 on: 27 Sep 2019, 04:43 am »
Nice reporting jawks.. I wish I had an audio shop like that near me to listen to a variety of headphones..
Good luck with your final selection.. I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

Jerry

timind

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #56 on: 27 Sep 2019, 12:07 pm »
Excellent write up Jawks. Thanks for posting your impressions. Hope you keep us in the loop as you continue your search.

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #57 on: 27 Sep 2019, 01:00 pm »
Thanks everyone!

I brought my bag of gear and music to work ... hoping to check out a little early and head over for more listening this afternoon.  I'll probably use their digital source component (I brought 7-8 CDs) and amplification today.  I've also brought a notebook to take notes (sounds old fashioned, but I like a good pencil and paper) so hopefully I'll have more details to report later!

Albert

toocool4

Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #58 on: 27 Sep 2019, 01:21 pm »
jawks like I said before the HD800 takes no prisoners.

If they have a Focal Elear there, I would like to know what you think if you compare it to the Utopia and Clear. For me both of those models make the Elear sound like it’s broken.

jawks

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Re: Upgrading from HD650?
« Reply #59 on: 27 Sep 2019, 01:27 pm »
toocool4 I did not see an Elear on the shelf, but I can check again today.  Will keep you posted!