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Old 10th January 2014, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default Help choosing replacement headphones

Hi all, just build a Crystal cmoy headphone amp with the OPA2132P and liking it a lot.

But I have been looking at my rather tired old pair of Sennheiser HD490. Ive had them so long I can't even remember how much they were.
Given this is for home listening primarily, I was looking into getting a pair of Grado SR60i. Would these be a good step up from my sennheiser pair?

cheers
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Old 11th January 2014, 09:51 AM   #2
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I got Sony MDR-7506, and I kind of enjoy them very much indeed =) Try them. They sounds amazing
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Old 13th January 2014, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks, I hadn't seen those
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Old 13th January 2014, 08:44 PM   #4
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Would that be the HD490 that was around in the early '90s (round earpieces), or the late-'90s/early-2000s "Live" model (teardrop-shaped earpieces, "bionic" series)? I imagine the former would be the better of the two.

Anyway, SR-60s are decent cans (and, ironically, technically pretty much as good as Grados get), but the world of headphones is not one-dimensional. Not even manufacturers can agree 100% on how they are supposed to sound, much less the stuff you can buy.

For 80 pounds I might look for a decently-kept used HD580 (or HD600) though. (I assume that these ought to be fairly common in the UK, given that they were manufactured "next door" in Ireland.) Assuming your cMoy has decently low output impedance, a HD590 would also be worth a shot (arguably the only truly good model in the aforementioned "bionic" series, I'm still using mine on a regular basis). They'll probably need new earpads and headband padding, so research the prices for these (and don't forget taking your heart medication first; having a first-born to sacrifice is also recommended). The current HD598s (and HD558s) are decent cans... but not a match for a HD580/600. In general, there isn't too much in the mid-price segment that I'd call overly exciting. Sony's open models currently omit it altogether, going from MDR-MA500 straight to MDR-MA900.

Last edited by sgrossklass; 13th January 2014 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 13th January 2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgrossklass View Post
Would that be the HD490 that was around in the early '90s (round earpieces), or the late-'90s/early-2000s "Live" model (teardrop-shaped earpieces, "bionic" series)? I imagine the former would be the better of the two.
They are the later ones with the teardrop shaped ear pieces, (btw I amazed you know this).

Lots to think about there, so value wise I might be better of either getting a cheaper pair or saving up and looking at around the 200 pound mark?
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Old 14th January 2014, 12:33 AM   #6
00940 is online now 00940  Belgium
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The "bionic serie" from sennheiser was kinda "treble heavy" iirc, compared to the hd580 and not a terribly good value (to my ears).

Anyway, either sr60 or the mdr7506 (or mdr-v6 same thing) aren't be too bad and certainly an upgrade. Imo, the sr60 sounds best of the two (I once had both).

If you're looking for something with a flatter frequency response, a bit more laid back but still open sounding, I don't think much could go wrong having a look at AKG. For 80, you could get a new k240 studio from thomann. On the used market, maybe a k601 ?

And of course, a used hd600/580 is imho the best value you could get, even if you need to change the pads (disclaimer: I'm currently married to a pair of HD650).
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Old 14th January 2014, 11:56 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by justaman View Post
They are the later ones with the teardrop shaped ear pieces, (btw I amazed you know this).
Bit of a Sennheiser fanboy here. Besides, HD590s were my first "serious" cans.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940 View Post
The "bionic serie" from sennheiser was kinda "treble heavy" iirc, compared to the hd580 and not a terribly good value (to my ears).
Well, they all were kinda bass and treble heavy to varying degrees, and several of them were rather inefficient as well (scooped-out mids had to come from somewhere). Sounding much worse than the preceding series at the same price didn't exactly make them popular. The only ones you really wanted were HD495 (a bit of a late-comer IIRC) and HD590. The oddball HD575 apparently was quite good, too.

'590s need a low-impedance output (<=10 ohms or so?), then they're fine cans to my ears. Not quite dead neutral but definitely likeable, and not an awful lot behind HD580s. Very, very open-sounding. Super comfy and lightweight, too, assuming you don't have a huge head. I don't think any other fullsize headphone can beat 210 grams sans cable (which is very light as well) to this day. You just have to clean any stray hairs out of the earpieces periodically, as the drivers are pretty much entirely open, only covered by thin foam pieces. That was a bit of an issue for my teen-aged self, no longer so now. This construction also results in a certain position sensitivity.
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Old 16th January 2014, 07:35 PM   #8
rondr is offline rondr  United States
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Sennheiser HD580 if you can get a pair. Shure SRH940 would be a close match to the Sennheiser HD580/600 for something sealed and at a reasonable cost.

Lots of valuable information can be found at Golden Ears -Truthful review based on measured data (Earphones, Headphones, Speakers, Mobile, DACs, Amplifiers) just look around.
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