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Womaz's picture
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New headphones - help please
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Womaz's picture
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RE: New headphones - help please

Arcam 82 CD player

 

Arcam A85 Amp

 

Quad 22L speakers

 

 

I am considering upgrading my system or at least some parts of it.

 

I am also keen to purchase a new pair of headphones. I currently use Grado SR80 and to be honest they are very good. However most of my music listening is done through headphones at night so I am starting to think that a really high end pair of headphones might be appropriate.

 

My Grados are Ok but they are nowhere near the sound quality when listening through my speakers. Will a high end pair of cans be able to get nearer to this kind of sound quality.

 

I would spend around £800 if I thought it was worth it. I spent this much on my speakers and they get used 20% of the time.

 

Any help or suggestions appreciated.

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RE: New headphones - help please

£800 can buy you a lot of truly amazing stuff! You could have: Audeze LCD-2, Sennheiser HD700, Denon AH-D7000, Beyerdynamic Tesla T1 and a few others... The difficlut thing is getting to try them out before you buy them which it sounds like you really need to do.

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RE: New headphones - help please

Just been informed today that if I spend that much on a pair of headphones then I must buy a headpone amp to do them justice.

I am now starting to think that with an £800 Arcam amp and £800 Arcam CD player, this might be a tad mad.

 

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RE: New headphones - help please

Actually a Grado PS-500 or PS-1000 will get closer to speaker sound than most other headphones, which just add colorations to fake the speaker sound.  And the PS-500 will run very well off of anything.  It will sound slightly better with a good headphone amp, but it's not anything you would need right off.  My iPod Touch drives it very well and the sound is very good.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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RE: New headphones - help please

Womaz wrote:

Just been informed today that if I spend that much on a pair of headphones then I must buy a headpone amp to do them justice.

I am now starting to think that with an £800 Arcam amp and £800 Arcam CD player, this might be a tad mad.

 

Sorry I don't agree with that, it is a complete misnomer. If you have a decent integrated amplifier, which you have, it will drive any can very well. Sure headphone amplifiers have a place but you certainly don't need to have one if you buy expensive cans. There is even a thread on Head-Fi where a large proportion of headfiers with multiple sets of expensive headphones have turned to running them off of vintage receivers. IMO after listening to various headphone amplifiers and integrated amplifiers with headphones they just have different sound signatures. One would assume that you like the sound of your Arcam since you purchased it, it is now just a case of finding the right pair of headphones for you. There are probably going to a number of people chime in and say the complete opposite, I say to you just try them for yourself I think you will find there's alot of BS floating around.

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RE: New headphones - help please

Interesting points thanks. The problem with headphones is I doubt I will have a chance to demo them.......

Will there be a masive step up frm the Grados I use?

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RE: New headphones - help please

I agree with eggontoast about you not needing another amp, yours will do fine! I just spent yesterday playing with a headphone amp that was £900 and I couldn't tell a huge difference between that and my little portable £50 Fiio!!! And you have an Arcam.... honestly you are fine, it's the headphones that will make the biggest difference here.

As for your main question (will you notice the difference between Grado SR80i's and an £800 pair?): Well that is a huge question, it is all relative and personal. I can tell you that I noticed a lot going from £160 Sennheiser's to £600 Denon's but I have just come from a post where a guy did not. If you are unsure then you simply have to try them out for yourself somehow. If you can't and are afraid you will make a mistake you could try buying from somewhere that will allow you to return them if you are not happy, some good hifi shops will allow this.

I have to say that I strongly disagree with dalethorn's comment about the those Grado's being the best. I haven't tried either of those so I can't say anything specific to counter it but I bet he hasn't tried all the compettion so neither can he. Everyone hears and want's different things from audio so don't listen to sweeping statements like that. I have read enough about headphones to know that such a view is not shared by the masses. If you look at head-fi's user opinions on headphones the top scoring 'over-ear' headphone models in your price range are:

1. Audeze LCD-2 (£800)

3. Sennheiser HD-800 (£1000)

8. Denon AH-D7000 (£600)

18. Beyerdynamic Tesla T1 (£800)

The expensive Grados are way down the list. Now I am not saying that they are bad, I'm just saying that there is a good chance that you will not agree that the Grado's are the best compared to the competition.

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RE: New headphones - help please

Womaz wrote:

Will there be a masive step up frm the Grados I use?

well I would emphatically say yes, but I maybe biased!

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RE: New headphones - help please

To be honest I would pay a lot of money if it was worth it, as most of my night time listening is through them.

I have a Grado extension cable too, would this be ok with a high end pair as my Hifi about 2 metres from me?

 

 

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RE: New headphones - help please

Womaz wrote:

A: To be honest I would pay a lot of money if it was worth it, as most of my night time listening is through them.

B: I have a Grado extension cable too, would this be ok with a high end pair as my Hifi about 2 metres from me?

A: The Bristol Hi-Fi show is next month, perhaps you could go along to that to see if anyone has any high-end headphones to try out. I know for sure Sennheiser will be there, they should have their new HD700 which fits nicely in to your budget I think. Hopefully you could try many more as well.

B: Most of the high end headphones come with long cables, the ones on the Denon Ah-D7000s are 3m. If they are not I don't see a big problem extendin them a bit, use a nice cable if it makes you feel better but don't worry about it.

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RE: New headphones - help please

Thanks Quadpatch...........as for visit to Bristol, that would be about a 600 mile round trip...:)

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RE: New headphones - help please

quadpatch wrote:
I have to say that I strongly disagree with dalethorn's comment about the those Grado's being the best. I haven't tried either of those so I can't say anything specific to counter it but I bet he hasn't tried all the compettion so neither can he. Everyone hears and want's different things from audio so don't listen to sweeping statements like that.

I said that the Grado PS-500 and *possibly* other Grados are more likely to sound closer to speakers, not that Grados are better as headphones in the absolute sense. I haven't tried everything there is, but I own the Senn HD-800, Grado PS-500, German Maestro 8.35, Shure 940, Beyerdynamic DT-48A (oval pads), Vmoda V-80, and B&W P5 currently, and have owned Stax SRX MK3, Senn 580/600/650, Grado 325, Beyerdynamic DT-1350, Beyerdynamic DT-48E, Phiaton MS-400 and some others I'd have to dredge up...

So the Grado PS-500 is an excellent all-round hifi headphone, being more neutral than other Grados I read (and hear) about, and there are other excellent choices depending on what sort of sound you're after.

AKG K812/K712, Beyer T1/T90 Jubilee/DT1350, v-moda M100/XS, Beyer A200p/v-moda Verza/Microstreamer DAC/amps, Portaphile Micro/PA2V2 amps.

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