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Bronal

Dynamic headphones recommendations please

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I'm thinking of going back to dynamic headphones from my current Woo/Stax system.

 

I have the Woo GES amp with Stax 007s.  There are two inputs at the back, selectable by means of a toggle switch.  Now that I have an internet tuner, I find this arrangement rather inconvenient.  That's why I'm going to try dynamic phones again - nothing to do with SQ, as they probably won't be as good as the Stax.

 

I have a MicroZOTL 2 preamp/headphone amp with three inputs on the front that I can use.  My budget for dynamic headphones is $1500 to 2000.  I mainly listen to ambient/electronic and alternative music.  I am way out of touch with what's available or well-regarded and the only brands I'm really familiar with are are Sennheiser, A-T and and AKG, but I've noticed that a lot more have sprung up over the last few years.

 

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.  I don't need really accentuated bass.  Detail and tone are more important to me.

 

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Focal Clear. Can close thread now.

 

Check they work well with that amp though.

 

Heaps of options in that price range.

 

I should clarify. Heaps of options in that price range, but the Focals will overall get the most votes. They are excellent, no doubt about it. 

Edited by Bengineer

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AKG 701 I have never regretted owning, they are detailed and very comfortable and get lots of recommendations  

Some good advice here generally about choosing headphones  

 

 

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AKG 701 are good. But they are good $300 headphones. They aren't good $2000 headphones.

 

HD800 (and or s)

Focal Clear

Sony Z1R

Beyer T1 Gen 2

 

They are all good $1500-$2000 headphones and worth having a listen.

 

OP - By Dynamic do you mean Dynamic, or you just mean not Stax?

 

If the later. Then also LCD2, LCD3 used, LCDx, Ether Flow, Ether C Flow, some Hifiman models.

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11 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

AKG 701 are good. But they are good $300 headphones. They aren't good $2000 headphones.

 

HD800 (and or s)

Focal Clear

Sony Z1R

Beyer T1 Gen 2

 

They are all good $1500-$2000 headphones and worth having a listen.

 

OP - By Dynamic do you mean Dynamic, or you just mean not Stax?

 

If the later. Then also LCD2, LCD3 used, LCDx, Ether Flow, Ether C Flow, some Hifiman models.

I mean non-electrostatic.

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Open or closed, or no preference?

 

Closed would be between Sony Z1R (bassy but enjoyable amount) or Ether C Flow (much leaner)

 

Open would be Focal Clear, HD800/s or one of the many planar options. HD800 changes a lot with amps, so match it well.

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Open.  I've emailed Linear Tube Audio to get their recommendations.  The cheapest price I can find for HD800S is at DJs!

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There is a DuPont modded HD800 selling on here at the moment for a good price. Arguably better than a HD800s.

 

Can you demo anywhere?

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I heard that a lot of people did not find anything in  sound quality that would justify the HD800's premium price. I would suggest looking at Beyer Tesla T1s.  I am very happy with my DT990s and looking into T5 or T1 as a future upgrade. 

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Linear Tube Audio have recommended Audeze LCD-3 and Fostex TH900 MKii.  Anyone have these?

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Well, depends what you want....

 

TH900 is a bass slamming monster. King of sub bass. Thump thump.

 

LCD3 is sort of opposite to a set of STAX. Also weigh as much as a clay brick and a roll of duct tape.

 

How do you want them to sound?

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1 hour ago, Bengineer said:

How do you want them to sound?

If possible, I want something that approximates the sound of my Stax.

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Stax. Fairly nuetral. Very quick. Airy.

 

Best bet is HD800 I'd think. Wide soundstage, detail for days, nuetral, super light and comfortable.

 

Clear also fairly nuetral. Different overall tone, less clinical than HD800, still very detailed.

 

LCD3 and TH900 aren't the choices.

 

Ask @Benjet , he had Utopia now HD800.

 

And @Suopermanni had the LCD3.

 

@Rickus Has the Clear, Utopia, Empyrean, LCD2 and SR009/7 to compare too. And every other headphone man ever created.

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1 hour ago, Bronal said:

If possible, I want something that approximates the sound of my Stax.

That's a big ask.  I really like the Utopia and Empyreans, also HD800S with the right amplification, but the SR-007A and SR-009 with Mjolnir KGSSHV definitely have qualities that the dynamic headphones don't.

13 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

 

@Rickus Has the Clear, Utopia, Empyrean, LCD2 and SR009/7 to compare too. And every other headphone man ever created.

@Bengineer  😛 

 

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You know it's true Rick. Don't pretend haha 

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I had hd800, th900 mk2, and he1000 v1, 

 

I would say he1000 a bit closer to Stax.

hd800 i always find have not enough bass and a bit too wide for soundstage.

 

for me i used all 3 headphone for different type of music

Hd800: Classical, live

Th900mk2: R&B, Rock, K-pop, J-pop.

He1000: pop, jazz, (basically can cover every type of music) 1500~2000 you can get the v1, you may get the v2 if you are lucky.

 

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On 12/09/2019 at 8:52 AM, Bronal said:

If possible, I want something that approximates the sound of my Stax.

If you want that, then TH900 AND LCD3 should NOT be on your list. The LCD3 are totally not like STAX and will do nothing for you if you love the STAX sound. I happen to like the Audeze house sound so they do something for me.

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What the others have already said. However nothing will approximates the sound of Stax. I remember hearing Wink's Blue Hawaii with Stax SR-009, SR-007 a few years ago. It's crystal clear and Pink Panther never sounded better though that is not my type of song.

 

HD800 probably is the closest. For a bit more punch, dynamics and more body tone, try Focal Utopia or ZMF Verite. LCD-3f which I bought from Suopermanni is a nice variation but it's more about the bass.

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From my limited experience with STAX, I would concur that something like the the HD800 would be the closest thing to it.

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I'd agree with Focal Clear recommendation if acoustic music was a priority. It's one of the rare headphones that doesn't need EQ. But for your leanings I'd go for the Grado PS-1000e. 

 

Stay away from the HD800 - like all Sennys it's coloured and rather clinical at the end of the day. 

 

Edited by was_a

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I'd agree with Focal Clear recommendation if acoustic music was a priority. It's one of the rare headphones that doesn't need EQ. But for your leanings I'd go for the Grado PS-2000e. 
 
Stay away from the HD800 - like all Sennys it's coloured and rather clinical at the end of the day. 
 

I used to be in the “not a fan” camp about the HD800. Their biggest weakness and also strength is that they are so revealing that they will lean heavily on the rest of the system. Get it wrong and you’ll pay the penalty. Get it right and you’ll have one of the best sounding rigs around IMHO. I’ve owned and heard plenty of cans and the HD800 are the ones I’ve settled on and I’m very happy with my decision.

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I guess I'm the opposite of you! I used to be an HD800 fan - and even upgraded to its 'bigger brother', but there's a 'plastic' quality to the midrange that, in my opinion, pales in comparison to Focals, or Grados - the latter in particular more 'electrostatic' sounding than any other dynamic design.

 

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Just goes to show we're all different and hopefully there is a headphone for everyone. 🙂

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1 hour ago, Odyssey said:

Just goes to show we're all different and hopefully there is a headphone for everyone. 🙂

There is. STAX SR009.

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I guess I'm the opposite of you! I used to be an HD800 fan - and even upgraded to its 'bigger brother', but there's a 'plastic' quality to the midrange that, in my opinion, pales in comparison to Focals, or Grados - the latter in particular more 'electrostatic' sounding than any other dynamic design.
 

I hope by “bigger brother” you don’t mean the HD800s. I’ve had both and in my opinion the second generation isn’t a patch on the first (of course I’m referring to a well modified pair). Maybe there are some modifications to bring up the “s” version, but as they are, they never sounded cohesive to me IMHO.

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