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  • Detailed Headphones

    I could use suggestions from those of you familiar with headphones. I am not. I need a pair of headphones (closed or open) that are highly revealing and detailed for my recording work. I'm not looking for gorgeous or lovely. I'm looking for revealing, neutral yet musical. Not bright. I would appreciate hearing from those who have compared headphones and had experience. Judging a recording using headphones is a bear. Thanks in advance. And I'll worry about price. Just need something that fits the bill.
    JLH

  • #2
    Hey Jonathan - Based on your description of what you’re looking for, the Sennheiser HD-800 would seem to be a very good match to what you’re looking for. I actually found them just a little ruthless for my taste for pleasure music listening - but that might be just right for what you want.

    Here is my review on head-fi of the original HD-800 model: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/revi...hd-800.432103/
    TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
    VINYL: Pioneer PL-50LII/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Denon DP59-L/Dynavector 20xH
    DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
    SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
    AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

    Comment


    • jonathanhorwich
      jonathanhorwich commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much. This is very helpful. Jonathan

    • jonathanhorwich
      jonathanhorwich commented
      Editing a comment
      Did Sennheiser ever fix the elevated treble response of the HD-800's you describe in your review?

    • Skylab
      Skylab commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, the current version is more balanced, but I still consider it to be revealing versus mellow.

  • #3
    don't forget youll need a very high quality headphone amp to drive whatever phones you get
    Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

    Comment


    • #4
      Hd800 are not ruthless they are honest but do need the amp to sound balanced . As for sound they are a balanced but have a type of sound. I'll post later today more.
      analog stuff.
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
      otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
      sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
      new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
      thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
      thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
      kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
      phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
      speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
      mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
      digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
      Dacs lampi various

      Comment


      • #5
        check out the Raal Requisite SR1a, I heard them at canjam Socal. A new high water mark IMO. The first cans i've heard that match or exceed the SQ found in Stax and Audeze, etc.

        https://audio-head.com/raal-requisit...am-socal-2019/

        Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Jadis | Denafrips | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a | McCollum ESL 57

        Comment


        • jonathanhorwich
          jonathanhorwich commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for this. Jonathan

        • Asamel
          Asamel commented
          Editing a comment
          I just listened to these and bought them on the spot. They are unconventional but I’ve never heard anything like them.

        • Rob
          Rob commented
          Editing a comment
          I noticed Drop (formerly Massdrop) was running a sale with a good discount.

      • #6
        I still really like my Audeze LCD-3s. The are as neutral as any headphone I have heard. They aren’t the most practical since they require a well powered amp capable of driving low impedance cans but if you have one of those the combination is excellent.
        Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

        Comment


        • jonathanhorwich
          jonathanhorwich commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you and very helpful. Jonathan

      • #7
        Originally posted by Rob View Post
        check out the Raal Requisite SR1a, I heard them at canjam Socal. A new high water mark IMO. The first cans i've heard that match or exceed the SQ found in Stax and Audeze, etc.

        https://audio-head.com/raal-requisit...am-socal-2019/

        The Raal's look very interesting. I've been a fan of the AKG K-1000 and was thinking of getting a used pair (which go for about $1K used if in excellent condition). So, I already like the open sounding ear "speaker" concept.

        The Raal's also must be powered by a conventional amplifier, but I don't see that as a big issue.

        I've wanted to try an electrostat like Stax but I would expect the Raal's true ribbon to be in a similar class. I have not been totally enamoured with the planar magnetics... Does anyone here on Audio Nirvana have a pair of the Raal's?

        Comment


        • Asamel
          Asamel commented
          Editing a comment
          I bought a pair on Fri. They sound great but right now I’m using an underpowered amp as I wait for a new Schiit product. They are truly unique.

      • #8
        Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post

        The Raal's look very interesting. I've been a fan of the AKG K-1000 and was thinking of getting a used pair (which go for about $1K used if in excellent condition). So, I already like the open sounding ear "speaker" concept.

        The Raal's also must be powered by a conventional amplifier, but I don't see that as a big issue.

        I've wanted to try an electrostat like Stax but I would expect the Raal's true ribbon to be in a similar class. I have not been totally enamoured with the planar magnetics... Does anyone here on Audio Nirvana have a pair of the Raal's?
        Jude of HeadFi says he's always fancied a pr of AKG K-1000s since hearing the Raal he's lost the lust. Raals are the headfi equivalent of Apogee Scintillas, they come with an interface box packed with power resistors s they're drivable with 'normal' amps. Jason Stoddard has a prototype amp running for the Raal which may become a future Schiit product.
        Linn Kilmax LP12 | Channel D | Jadis | Denafrips | Innuos | Klipsch Cornwall IV | Falcon LS3/5a | McCollum ESL 57

        Comment


        • #9
          I’ll bet they sound great. But there is little if any new here.
          putting aside AKG there have been a few over the head speakers like this. Jenklin float for one and a newer one made by heil as well.
          A big pro is the air they provide this makes speaker lovers feel there in a room.
          another is the stage it’s actually outside of your head for real.
          cons a few power being one this limits us to how we use them.
          biggest con is there is no room sound cutoff this means all hear you and you hear all around your. To a point it’s not practical if your not alone.
          if I’m asked the Jenklin was the best headphone ever made it was surreal in all aspects. But you look like your in a cheap Syfi movie lol. And you had to use his amps as they were ES
          a I have owned many of the past flagships
          senn Orpheus
          senn mini Orpheus
          heard the new O2 as well.
          still own stax 009.
          none of them can compete with the jeklin float
          a planner is a more weighted sound at the exp of fast details. Planers like he6 were also very good but seem slow compared to his as well.
          how much are these ?
          analog stuff.
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
          otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
          sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
          new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
          thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
          thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
          kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
          phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
          speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
          mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
          digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
          Dacs lampi various

          Comment


          • #10
            Originally posted by Rob View Post

            Jude of HeadFi says he's always fancied a pr of AKG K-1000s since hearing the Raal he's lost the lust. Raals are the headfi equivalent of Apogee Scintillas, they come with an interface box packed with power resistors s they're drivable with 'normal' amps. Jason Stoddard has a prototype amp running for the Raal which may become a future Schiit product.
            So are these, ie need a speaker amp:
            https://precide.ch/eng/eergo/ergo.htm Price is circa $1200.

            Comment


            • #11
              I did get the HD 800 as I found a brand new open box pair and found a brand new open box Sennheiser amp. Pretty much perfect for my location recording needs. Not ruthless or bright at all. But revealing, which is what I need. Thank you all for your help.
              JLH

              Comment


              • #12
                For all my restoration work, I either use Abyss or Audeze LCD-XC

                Comment


                • jonathanhorwich
                  jonathanhorwich commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Smart and for in-house work that works. On location I needed sealed and somewhat neutral and detailed. And not too expensive.

                • Bruce B
                  Bruce B commented
                  Editing a comment
                  The Audeze headphones I use are sealed....

                • jonathanhorwich
                  jonathanhorwich commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh, nice. They must be very good. I have to say although I need sealed phones I'm unfortunately very sensitive to their obvious cupped sound which I assume is true of almost all headphones except the fancy off ear type. It throws me off on what I really have on speakers.

              • #13
                Exactly jonathan. While a sealed can has merits it has an inherent sound cause of its sealed enclosure. Now Bruce is the exception in that he knows the music ahead if he is dubbing or mixing not a live event.
                very few headphones to me have a speaker sound like our rooms. The hd800 are a close to this sound due to there ambience. I own them and still use them.
                analog stuff.
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                Dacs lampi various

                Comment


              • #14
                the biggest difference between listening to speakers vs headphones is with speakers, both ears hear both channels, and with headphones each ear hears only one channel.
                Some headphone amps have special circuits to emulate "speaker mode" by blending a little of each channel into the opposite channel with a slight delay.
                Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Shelter 501 Mark II Cart (St) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (St) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (St) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (M) , Luxman Tonearm (M) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (M) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-300 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

                Comment


                • #15
                  I had an amp that did this and more can’t think of the name now. It allowed you to sit in the music where you wanted. It was made in Germany I think. The sound of the amps was not good on my hd800 headphones .
                  analog stuff.
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                  otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                  sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                  new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                  thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                  thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                  kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                  phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                  speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                  mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                  digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                  Dacs lampi various

                  Comment

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