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HP recommendation for classical listening

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13 hours ago, Norton said:

If I can revive this thread.

 

I didn’t buy earlier this year as I simply wasn't sure I liked HP listening enough to justify 4 - figure expenditure .

 

I’m currently having another go, trying out the HD800s vs the LCD-X.  

I like both, the Audeze are an exciting listen, quite similar in character to my speakers, whereas the HD800s are cooler and more analytical. I’m tempted by the latter as a counterpoint to my speakers rather than just trying to replicate the sound.

 

I wondered if the HD800s is still the top recommendation for classical listening? Vs the new HD820 for example?  Or indeed what do others think of the LCD-X?

 

Thanks.

 

You stated earlier that the output of your preamp is 75 ohm. Have you heard the LCD-X in your own stereo? It will IME not match very well with the low impedance LCD-X. Low impedance headphones will sound (too) damped on high impedance outputs. I like the LCD3 better than the LCD-X and it has higher impedance as well, meaning better electrical match. If it sound sig is of your liking is another thing. Have you listen to any of the headphones from Hifiman? They are all IMO more all-round and HE1000 V2 for example is equally great for classic, jazz, electronic, vocal and so on. 

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5 hours ago, Summit said:

 

You stated earlier that the output of your preamp is 75 ohm. Have you heard the LCD-X in your own stereo? It will IME not match very well with the low impedance LCD-X. Low impedance headphones will sound (too) damped on high impedance outputs. I like the LCD3 better than the LCD-X and it has higher impedance as well, meaning better electrical match. If it sound sig is of your liking is another thing. Have you listen to any of the headphones from Hifiman? They are all IMO more all-round and HE1000 V2 for example is equally great for classic, jazz, electronic, vocal and so on. 

 

Thanks for this.  Yes I have been listening  in my system, although knowing the LCD-x was a high sensitivity HP I was surprised that it needed to have the volume set higher than the HD800, is this indicative of impedance mismatch?

 

As my amp HP output  is rated 75 ohm does this really mean  I should be looking at something  at 600ohm?  I ask because I’ve been enjoying the HD800s this time and was pretty much lined up to buy, but am aware they are “only” 300 ohm. As far as I  can see applying the 8x rule  would severely limit my HP choice. I don’t want to go down the separate HP amp route at the moment, especially  given the quality of my preamp.

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33 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I am evaluating a bunch of headphones for an upcoming review. While you can do better than the 800S for other genres, there really is no competition for classical. 

 

And at the price, it’s a no brainer. These other ‘phones are significantly more expensive.

+1. Still enjoying every minute with my HD800/HDVA600 combo for classical. 

 

Plus, and this in the end may be more important is that they are just amazingly comfortable to wear over even long listening sessions. 

 

At the time of purchase, I had compared them to the LCD-2 and 3 but the Audezes are significantly heavier. 

 

I’m convinced you won’t regret your purchase. 

 

Only thing to note: The 820 are closed so if you are listening with other people around they may be more convenient. 

 

Orherwise go 800S. 

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56 minutes ago, austinpop said:

I am evaluating a bunch of headphones for an upcoming review. While you can do better than the 800S for other genres, there really is no competition for classical. 

 

And at the price, it’s a no brainer. These other ‘phones are significantly more expensive.

 

Looking forward to it, I like your reviews.

 

Just ordered a Beyerdynamic T1...

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1 hour ago, Musicophile said:

Only thing to note: The 820 are closed so if you are listening with other people around they may be more convenient. 

 

Having heard the 820 at CanJam's, I will say that they are great - for closed back. But if you don't need that feature, I'd still recommend the 800S. The 820s do have a slightly fuller bass, but I do feel it loses some of that air and space that makes the 800/800S so special for classical.

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41 minutes ago, austinpop said:

 

Having heard the 820 at CanJam's, I will say that they are great - for closed back. But if you don't need that feature, I'd still recommend the 800S. The 820s do have a slightly fuller bass, but I do feel it loses some of that air and space that makes the 800/800S so special for classical.

I haven’t heard the 820s but the only closed headphones l’ll ever use are my trusty Bose QC35 without which I’ll never board a plane again. Otherwise open always sounds better to me. 

 

That said, closed just are less of a nuisance for your environment, with open cans you need to have your own room or tolerant people living with you. 

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23 hours ago, Norton said:

 

Thanks for this.  Yes I have been listening  in my system, although knowing the LCD-x was a high sensitivity HP I was surprised that it needed to have the volume set higher than the HD800, is this indicative of impedance mismatch?

 

As my amp HP output  is rated 75 ohm does this really mean  I should be looking at something  at 600ohm?  I ask because I’ve been enjoying the HD800s this time and was pretty much lined up to buy, but am aware they are “only” 300 ohm. As far as I  can see applying the 8x rule  would severely limit my HP choice. I don’t want to go down the separate HP amp route at the moment, especially  given the quality of my preamp.

 

I suppose that 300 Ohm is okay with your amp, but would have expected that the high output would sound too soft and damped with the LCD-X. Obviously not the case in your opinion. And the only thing that really matters is if the LCD-X or HD800s sound good to you in the stereo that you are going to use. Impedance matching is only one of many things that can effect SQ. The 8x "rule" is one of many principles to consider for ultimate SQ. I would not roll out that you actually may like a bit of damping with the LCD-X ?

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On 11/25/2018 at 12:11 AM, Norton said:

If I can revive this thread.

 

I didn’t buy earlier this year as I simply wasn't sure I liked HP listening enough to justify 4 - figure expenditure .

 

I’m currently having another go, trying out the HD800s vs the LCD-X.  

I like both, the Audeze are an exciting listen, quite similar in character to my speakers, whereas the HD800s are cooler and more analytical. I’m tempted by the latter as a counterpoint to my speakers rather than just trying to replicate the sound.

 

I wondered if the HD800s is still the top recommendation for classical listening? Vs the new HD820 for example?  Or indeed what do others think of the LCD-X?

 

Thanks.

So Senor, will Santa bring an HD800S this year?

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4 hours ago, Musicophile said:

So Senor, will Santa bring an HD800S this year?

 

Possibly, if I could make my mind up!..After trying quite a few out the choice is (maybe) down to the HD800 (local dealer has new for a lot less  than the s), HD800s or Grado PS1000E.

 

I know the HD800(s) are super accurate and the  sensible choice, but I’m not sure I could live with them as home entertainment, great as they probably are as a monitoring  instrument.

 

By contrast, the Grados really are the nearest HP I’ve heard in sound to my speakers, a very  up front exciting  listen, but moving into serious money (£1900 in UK) for an agnostic HP listener like me.

 

One if the reasons I’m in no hurry is that I’ve dug out my Ergo2s for day to day listening -  the more I try out other HPs , the more I appreciate  how good they are, especially for  the money.  Somewhat eccentric perhaps, but they do have a unique open sound, then again there’s the upmarket Ergo AMT to consider....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, Norton said:

 

Possibly, if I could make my mind up!..After trying quite a few out the choice is (maybe) down to the HD800 (local dealer has new for a lot less  than the s), HD800s or Grado PS1000E.

 

I know the HD800(s) are super accurate and the  sensible choice, but I’m not sure I could live with them as home entertainment, great as they probably are as a monitoring  instrument.

 

By contrast, the Grados really are the nearest HP I’ve heard in sound to my speakers, a very  up front exciting  listen, but moving into serious money (£1900 in UK) for an agnostic HP listener like me.

 

One if the reasons I’m in no hurry is that I’ve dug out my Ergo2s for day to day listening -  the more I try out other HPs , the more I appreciate  how good they are, especially for  the money.  Somewhat eccentric perhaps, but they do have a unique open sound, then again there’s the upmarket Ergo AMT to consider....

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you get a good price on the HD800, go for it. I’d be extremely surprised should you regret it. 

 

And if you should you can always sell it. 

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2 hours ago, Musicophile said:

If you get a good price on the HD800, go for it. I’d be extremely surprised should you regret it. 

 

And if you should you can always sell it. 

 

@Norton - completely agree.

 

I am testing some very expensive headphones ($4k and up) for a future review. While they excel in many genres over the HD800, I still find myself reaching for the 800s when I want to listen to a classical album. There really is nothing better.

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In the end I did make a purchase - £49 for a pair of Meze Neo 11 IEMS for travel use.I’ve really enjoyed using them simply with flacplayer and  analogue out of my iPad.

 

Surprised that something so inexpensive offers such a neutral presentation.  

 

I wasn’t sure I get on with something inserted in my ear, but I find v.comfortable and preferable to having ‘phones over the ear. Making me wonder if there’s a place for high end IEMS for home use?

 

 

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Uhhh. Why yes there is!  I’m sure it’s no different than 2ch. What you have experienced is entry-level. Just imagine how much better it gets with better gear.  And boy does it ever.  Iems and portable sources have come a long way. 

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