Which Headphones - $500 Budget for Tube Amplifier

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by dneu201, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. dneu201

    dneu201 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have the below two headphone amps and want to buy some new headphones that could pair nicely with both of them.

    http://tubes4hifi.com/HA14.htm (main amplifier)

    https://www.us.marantz.com/us/products/pages/productdetails.aspx catid=hificomponents&productid=hddac1

    My budget is up to $500. Headphones I have used in the past are Grado SR125e, Sennheiser HD 650, and I currently have Hifiman HE400i's. The four options I am in-between are below:

    -Sennheiser HD 700
    -Grado RS2e
    -Hifiman Sundara
    -Sennheiser HD 660 S

    The HA-14 currently has 6l6gc short bottle tubes and has a high and low gain.
    The Marantz also has a low/medium/high gain setting to work with.

    I have an all tube system and will mainly be listening to vinyl (classic rock, some metal, and some jazz).

    Any help and experience is appreciated!
     

     

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  2. dneu201

    dneu201 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Anyone offer some input?
     
  3. markd51

    markd51 Nyuk Nyuk

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    About 5 years ago I bought a brand new pair of AKG 702 Phones in black color from Amazon for a real nice price. Been happy with them. Have both a mini 1/8" Plug which unscrews and exposes a standard type 1/4" Phono Plug.

    The Cable is removeable at the headset with a mini DIN Plug, and allows options for either longer cables, or a cable upgrade which I believe Cardas is one company that makes one. The sound of the phones are very nice, to me remind me of having that "JBL Sound".

    Ebay may be another source for them. Be sure to check electrical specs for compatibility.
     
  4. reydelaplaya

    reydelaplaya AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    From your list, I only have experience with Grado but I definitely would recommend them. I’ve had the RS1e for a number of years now and have really enjoyed them.

    Sound wise, they’re active and fun without overdoing the bass like many popular modern headphones, but you’ve had the SR125e so you’re already familiar with the Grado sound. Mine took maybe 30 - 40 hours to settle into their sweet spot, they’ve got now well over a couple hundred hours I’d guess.

    The only thing I would recommend would be to order maybe a $20 set of the G cushions on amazon or somewhere. The original L cushion is not very comfortable for long periods. EarZonk is the brand I got for mine (and they’ll fit the RS2e as well). They’re just wider concave bowls that move the edge of the pad out and off the ear for extended comfort without really changing the sound. Those bowls are aftermarkets of what come on higher up the food chain Grados.

    Good luck in your search :D
     
  5. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    Massdrop is having a sale on some model they went into cahoots with Sennheiser with. Model HD 6XX, it is well reviewed and they have sold almost 70,000 of them. Reviews compare it to the $1,000 Sennheiser model, sale price is $200. You have to be a member but it's free.
    Sale ends this weekend. No affiliation.
     
  6. dneu201

    dneu201 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I owned a pair of the 6xx for a few weeks after trading a friend my HD 650s. I liked them but wanted something better for my tube headphone amp.
     
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  7. dneu201

    dneu201 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks for the input. I am really leaning toward the Grado's but I really don't like how uncomfortable they are stock. I think the G cushions would be a must. Is there a big difference between the RS2e's and the 225e's?
     
  8. reydelaplaya

    reydelaplaya AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My first and only pair of Grado are the RS1e, I've never heard any of their other models to give a fair comparison between those two. The only difference I can tell is the material of the ear cup - being wood on the RS2e. A quick scan of the specs shows the RS2e has 44mm matched drivers. I don't see driver size info on the SR225e or the 125.
     
  9. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

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    Order all four. Return three. Write it up for us. Instant guru.
     
  10. dneu201

    dneu201 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Haha.. I like this idea...
     
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