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#147201 - 09/09/06 06:44 PM Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
So, here is the dillema. 2:00 AM. I want music. Dorm asleep, roomate asleep. Axioms are no go.

So, here we go headphones! In my current headphone search, the following headphones interested me:

I've listed all the lowest prices I could find via pricegrabber.com.

Sennheiser HD 555 ($95)
Sennheiser HD 580 ($150)
Sennheiser HD 595 ($160)

AKG K240S ($99)
AKG K 171 ($130)

Grado SR80 ($95)
Grado SR125 ($150)

The only one of these I tried was the SR80. My friend down the hall has them. I was amazed how much they sounded exactly like the M22's with great, clear treble and midrange. I've read reviews about hwo the SR80's have good, punchy bass. When I was listening to them, I thought...what bass? I mean, it was there, but really didn't have the extension I was looking for when I was listening for it. Also, I could not STAND how they felt on my ears. Within 5 minutes I was consciously trying to recess the itchy uncomfortable feeling to the back of my mind. I probably wouldn't get them just for that reason.

I'd really only like to dish out $100, but if a $150 set of cans will make it worth it, I'll go for it.

From the reviews, I think the Sennheiser 550's or 580's...or 595's would be good for me. The 550's would be if I was fealing cheap. It seems to me the 580's are laid back like the M3's and the 595's are right up front like the M22's. I know they won't sound just like the axioms, but that isn't necessarily what I want. I might just go with the 580's cause they look cool and I can get a laid back presentation, I dunno.

Any recommendations for a headphone newbie that could possibly give me comparisons in reference to the Grado SR80's?

Thanks!

Also, another question I had. I am considering (note: considering) getting a headphone amp. However, the ones from HeadRoom (headphone.com) are pricy. The cheapest one sports a USB connector for digital output, and the review's I've read really only compare the sound to a laptop or MP3 players sound. I ALREADY have digital output from my computer to my reciever, turning into a near perfect signal, which is part of what you are paying for for the mobile line of amps.

So, would I be able to hear much of a difference between my Yamaha RX-V557 and... http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-micro-line/
That?

I've partially poked around in the headphone world and my goodness it does go deep. $12,000 CD players, $2000 headphones, $500 Power supplies, $5000 amps...wow.

Anyways, I'm turning to you headphone audio experts (or anyone with any kind of experience) for help. So, thanks .
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#147202 - 09/09/06 08:36 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: danmagicman7]
Wid Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/22/03
Posts: 6720
Loc: The Peoples Republic of Il.
If you don't want to spend a lot of money on a set of headphones go to your local RadioShack and pick up a pair of Koss KSC 75's. They are on sale for $12.49 and imo sound wonderful for the money. Run them straight from your receiver, they are only 60 ohm so they present a pretty easy load. They do have that Grado kinda sound.

I can't comment on the Senn models you mention but I do like the HD 280 pros I have.

The Grado pads do become more comfortable the more they are worn. I personaly find them pretty comfortable from the start.
_________________________
Rick


"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." Sigmund Freud


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#147203 - 09/09/06 10:03 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: danmagicman7]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10386
Dan, I occasionally use the AKG 501s that I've had a few years for late night Rachmaninoff, but of the ones you've listed I'd suggest the Sennheiser 595s. Your receiver should drive their moderate impedance without any problem.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#147204 - 09/09/06 11:02 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: danmagicman7]
F107plus5 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/24/05
Posts: 2034
Loc: Fla. Orig. Mich.
Hi Dan!

Wow! Rick and John have already said it all! I have heard great things about both the KSC 75 and the HD595!!

I would feel totally out of place, however....

...here it comes....if I didn't put in a plug for my favorite Axiom-sound-alike, the (TA-DAA!)Alessandro MS-1!!!

I did lots of research to see which cans best match my Axioms(since Axiom didn't want to build any for me. )and the MS-1s are it!! Compared to SR-80s however, the MS-1s would be a bit more analytical and netural, but a bit less exciting and less "fun"(this is the standard quote of the Grado/Alessandro differences.)

Seriously though, a great set of cans. I can't comment on the bass question other than to say that the bass is much like the bass from my M50s without a sub. Shucks! They sound just like my M50s! Ok; maybe a bit more foreward and a tad brighter, but I never feel sonic shock going back and forth from speakers to cans and back again.

I like the MS-1s so much that(Hey Rick! It's official!!)I'm getting a new set of Alessandro MS2i!! Ya-Hoo!!

Comfort with Grados' is an interesting question; some folks have no problem with stock pads, others......well! I use Sennheiser HD414 pads quarter-modded and reversed and even with 100gm of sockets on the adjusters(don't ask)I was able to get in a ten hour listening test a few weeks back! But yeah; the MS-1 looks exactly like the SR-80 but comes with Grado "Comfy" pads and the choice of 1/4" or 1/8" plug and will run great without an amp....no problem!!

I have my eye on an amp that really has my attention at the moment. The Gilmore Lite. It was originally designed with Grado phones in mind and is extreemly flat and neutral. Ya better like your cans and ya better like your source cause it ain't gonna add anything or take anything away! The proverbial "bare-wire-with-gain!" The price is the same as the micro-amp: $299. It comes with a standard wal-wart power supply which virtually everyone who has tested finds acceptable but they also have a matching dedicated power supply for an additional $225 which is especially helpfull when the power company is having problems supplying good service!!

Oh; and the MS-1s are $99 shipped!
Rich.

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#147205 - 09/10/06 02:08 AM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone [Re: F107plus5]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
Thanks for the tips guys.

I've been looking around and for the money, Sennheiser is the best hands down. Any set of cans being compared to them (beyerdynamic, AKG, or whoever) fetch for much more money.

The 580's i've learned are 300 Ohm headphones that need lots of juice to sound good. And I see lots of people who love their Senn HD 595's and don't have any other headphones. One poster even used the words "orgasmic" and "595's" in the same sentence. Hey, if it's orgasmic, how can I go wrong?

I mean, if I get anything less I'm going to have upgraditis. Anything significantly better than the 595's are going to be lots more money (the 600's are almost $100 more)

I should be pulling the trigger within the next hour or so after I gather my nerves. Hehe.
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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#147206 - 09/10/06 02:57 AM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone [Re: danmagicman7]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17768
Loc: NoVA
I would definitely stick with Sennheisers for open air listening (having not heard Grados for 15 years), but if you're wanting to keep the noise down for your sleeping roomate, open may not be the way to go. I'd recommend AKG DJ81s for good low end punch, and pretty darn good mids and highs. You could also consider the Sennheiser HD280s, but I found the AKGs to be generally superior.

Oh, and as for the headphone amps, I have a Creek. I cannot hear any difference between that at the same volume and not using it. However, I can boost the volume more with the amp, and it's much better than just using the computer output. At the very least, only because it has a really nice volume knob.


Edited by kcarlile (09/10/06 03:03 AM)
_________________________
I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#147207 - 09/10/06 12:23 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: danmagicman7]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona
Dan, when I was in college I bought a pair of Senn HD570s and drove them with a Denon bookshelf system. I really like the smooth sound of the Senns. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to listen to other brands to offer a comparison.

An important thing for me was comfort. The Senns were very lightweight and comfy around my ears--could wear them and listen to them for hours without fatigue.

With open designs like the Senns, quite a bit of sound escapes--something to consider if your roommate has rabbit ears. Luckily my roommate slept like a log.
_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#147208 - 09/10/06 01:36 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: danmagicman7]
bridgman Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5390
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
Seems to me that the sleeping room-mate is your real problem. For the same price as a set of headphones you could get an expresso machine and turn your room-mate into a wild-eyed caffeine addict...

... and then you could use the Axioms.

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#147209 - 09/10/06 01:38 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone Help [Re: bridgman]
St_PatGuy Offline
axiomite

Registered: 03/07/05
Posts: 7400
Loc: Glendale, Arizona

_________________________
***********
"Nothin' up my sleeve. . ." --Bullwinkle J. Moose

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#147210 - 09/10/06 04:21 PM Re: Headphone Amp vs Reciever Help, and Headphone [Re: bridgman]
danmagicman7 Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/16/05
Posts: 1467
LOL

Yea..prolly not going to do that...bridgman..hah.

Well, I've been looking over at headfi.com...great forum. This is a forum where people embrace lots of different headphones and say why they like them and so forth. There was a "rate your headphones" thread where people simply rated their headphones.

The Senn 595's were simply a consistent winner, so it looks like I'm going with them.

My roomate sleeps like a log with 2 arms, 2 legs, and a head.

It's just that, he is on the phone with his girlfriend like...24/7. I think he said his latest cell phone bill said he used 20,000 minutes. So, thumping axioms are fine when he isn't on the phone, or when he isn't sleeping till 3 PM...or when others can hear me past 12 AM. So, headphones work out.

Thanks guys .
_________________________

M22s|VP100|QS4s|HSU STF2

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