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Neutral Full Range Headphones - Suggestions please

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Friends,

I have just relocated from India and starting to setup a system here. My system will not be a headphone setup but rather a traditional speaker + amp setup. But I have decided that I will first buy a kick-ass TT and then build my rest of the system around it. But as I am going around listening to various TTs I am really finding it difficult to listen to the actual TT character because all the showrooms have different speakers and amp combos and I am unable to figure out many a times which TT is actually better. So I want to carry a headphone and headamp with me to these showrooms and do my listening through the headphone also so that I have a common frame of reference.

 

So, I want to buy a headphone which is neutral, because it has to tell me truth as in which TT sounds like what and secondly it should be as full range as possible so that I can also guage the extension of the TTs.

 

Before I say my budget I would like to declare that I do not like Sennheiser, Grado or Beyerdynamic :)) .

I have heard all the top models of these headphones, they are nice but I cannot take their sound for a longer time. I had in my mind AKG 701.

 

How is AKG for my purpose and are there options that I should consider ?

 

My budget is around $500 for the headphone.

I also need a suggestion for a decent head amp to go with it. Again another $500 for it. Please shoot.

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If you have listened to the Sennheiser HD-800 and do not like it or do not want to use it for reference, but you still want a neutral reference, I don't know how you would do that. I suppose you could say that you want a sound that you prefer (which might not be neutral to the industry's experts) but is that really neutral? So you would have to explain. If you don't like those brands, then only you could decide what you want to use. The 701 is known as a good headphone, but how that would work for you in comparing systems, again only you would know from trying it out. Probably a Stax SR-009 would satisfy just about everyone, but that's going to cost a lot more.

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Well I do not like the presentation of the Senns. They have a sound which tries to impress too much. I find it fatiguing for that reason on longer listen. I admit that my exposure to HD800 is not much but I have spent a lot of time with HD650. I know all these headphones are revealing enough for my purpose but they will not stay with me long enough. I just want to know if we have any other options apart from the usual suspects. I dont follow headphones because I am not a headphone guy. Since I am staying in a shared accomodation at present I can only use a headphone for sometime now.

 

So, if I do get a K701 which amps should I consider in about $500 and why ?

 

So, if I do get the K701, which amp should I consider in about $500 range ?

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I have a big question for u , before u buy yr headphone..

 

you want a Turntable, you want to audition them

 

there is too many variable

 

Phonostage <---- important

Cartridge <---- important

Tonearm Cable

Interconnects

Power Cable

 

solve the above variable, or the "common frame of reference" u wanted, will never be accomplished

 

since is for monitoring... try monitoring headphones ...

 

Sony MDR-CD900ST Studio Monitor Headphones

Edited by alamakazam

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I have a big question for u , before u buy yr headphone..

 

you want a Turntable, you want to audition them

 

there is too many variable

 

Phonostage <---- important

Cartridge <---- important

Tonearm Cable

Interconnects

Power Cable

 

solve the above variable, or the "common frame of reference" u wanted, will never be accomplished

 

since is for monitoring... try monitoring headphones ...

 

Sony MDR-CD900ST Studio Monitor Headphones

 

I know and understand your concern. I am trying hard to resolve that issue but it is difficult and in some ways I am okay with it. I am okay because I will be a buying a complete TT setup at a time (TT, cart. tonearm and phono) so if I like a particular setup I can actually buy the whole thing. Mix and matching is fun and also rather logical for an audiophile but I am an entire newbie in analog so I prefer not to go that route right at the beginning. So my headphone should allow me to listen to the potential of the TT setup at least.

 

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Neutrality and fatigue sometime goes hand in hand. A headphones with a relatively flat response curve can be very fatiguing to listen to over an extended period. I think you shold be looking for "dark" sounding headphones since you are prone to high frequency fatigue. Or you need to pair your headphones with a darker sounding amp. Try some tube based amps like darkvoice or non opamps amp like the Schiit Asgard.......

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Neutrality and fatigue sometime goes hand in hand. A headphones with a relatively flat response curve can be very fatiguing to listen to over an extended period. I think you shold be looking for "dark" sounding headphones since you are prone to high frequency fatigue. Or you need to pair your headphones with a darker sounding amp. Try some tube based amps like darkvoice or non opamps amp like the Schiit Asgard.......

I don't see any ads on the site or a Recommended Headphones section, so I guess it's fair to suggest any brand, yes? My newest headphone, the Vmoda M80 (same as V80) has very rolled off highs played straight, but with my iPod Touch's treble boost EQ the sound becomes much like a Senn 800 from the mids down to the bottom, but the zingy or bright high end is not there. I really like them. I've had a Phiaton MS-400 which I EQ'd with bass reducer on the iPod, and with that EQ, the bass seemed flat somewhat like the Senn 800, but the mids and highs were smoother and more enjoyable than the Vmoda even, darker would be the word I think. I would still have the MS-400, but my earwax built up too quickly with that headphone for some reason. The B&W P5 has a fairly neutral to slightly warm sound, but is soft on the ends, which may or may not please everyone.

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Went to Jaben Network yesterday, heard the following:

 

1. AKG K702

2. Senn HD600

3. Beyer DT880

4. ATH W1000X

5. Denon 2000

6. Denon 7000

7. Sony MDR-Z1000

 

AKG was my first choice before I started this shoot out and it also ended up being my final choice as well.

The only other headphone I really liked and should I say more than AKG was the Denon 7000 but it demanded very good amplification and was also way out of my budget. I bought the Q701 finally. BTW, can anyone tell me what is the difference between K702 and Q701 ? Jaben guys are ready let me have their 702 as well. I did not try to compare 702 and Q701 because 701 was fresh out of the box and 702 was their demo model fully burnt in. 701 still did sound a little more refined to me though a little dark as well.

 

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Well I do not like the presentation of the Senns. They have a sound which tries to impress too much. I find it fatiguing for that reason on longer listen. I admit that my exposure to HD800 is not much but I have spent a lot of time with HD650. I know all these headphones are revealing enough for my purpose but they will not stay with me long enough. I just want to know if we have any other options apart from the usual suspects. I dont follow headphones because I am not a headphone guy. Since I am staying in a shared accomodation at present I can only use a headphone for sometime now.

 

So, if I do get a K701 which amps should I consider in about $500 and why ?

 

So, if I do get the K701, which amp should I consider in about $500 range ?

 

From my experience on the AKG headphones which i owned last time till the hd800 that i currently uing.i can say that i do not like th presentation of the senns until listening to the hd800..so basically i do not like the hd650 too from comparing them to my akgs,which is as follow,k701,k701 PcWork modded,K601,K501,K240 sextett LP and lastly K240 monitor..

 

The akg have the kind of sound i always wanted but there are somethig lacking in the sound that i cannot figure out..i have heard alot of amps with the akgs,and end up keeping my Diva Goya..i will recommend you to look for the heedcanamp too if you are talking about pairing the k701.Q701 with..i feel that it matching well and goes well with each other to be paired up with.

 

The reason being that the k701 tend to be bright sounding vs the senns which is darking sounding..except the hd800 as the hd800 does not sound like the little brothers at all to being with.so being having an emphasis on the highs,mid high..it will need an amp that provide it with more body to balance out the sound..so that it wun sound so thin,beside the akg does have a very lean bass but it goes down low and hit hard when needed..so it have th perception to be lean sound..so i find that a warm amp will pair well with the k701,q701 to bring out the fuller sound of the AKG..

 

Just my 2cents worth here and i find that if you love the q701,k701 sound..the hd800 is an upgrade to look up to if you can afford it,if not just be happy with the Q701 at the moment and do up a good setup too as the akg is not going to sound good with a low end equipment..it sure need some juice and money to play with akg as they are one of the most difficult headphones to play with in the beginning..but comes to say,it you play well..it sure do not dissapoint at all..

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You could buy a Senn 800 plus an amp to "fix" the 800's lack of warmth, all for about $2000 USD. Or you could spend 1/10 of that and get a Vmoda M80 and get much the same thing.

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Too bad for me the m80 is not even much the same thing,if not i would have saved money :rclxub:

Anyway if ones find the senn hd80 lack of warmth,then that will be to go for beyers T1 :grin:

I don't know if you knew, but I have a HD800 right here next to the M80, so I was being serious about getting just about as good of sound, for 1/10 of the money.

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