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Headphones with NAD3020e

Diminishing

Established Member
Hi everyone,

I'm not very clued up on headphones but I'd like a pair for using in my room. Open backed is fine. I'm considering SR60s or RP-21s to plug into my 3020e amp.

I have two main questions:
1) Would this stereo amp be sufficient to appreciate the full quality of the phones or would I need a headphone amp?
2) Which of these two would you recommend for a music lover? (Classical, jazz, rock) Or indeed if anyone has any other suggestions I'd love to hear them - I really don't want to spend much more than £60.

Thanks in advance,

Diminishing
 

Drubbing

Established Member
THe SR60 definitely don't need an amp, but having one is nice. In my years with headphones, I've never even hear of the RP21 or the manufacturer, so that may be as good a reason as any to avoid it.

THe only real differences between a head amp and an integrated are that a head amp is built specifically for that purpose, so things like the headphone out stages are better quality. For a low end phone, the NAD will be fine.

Grado's are widely regarded as THE rock headphone, and Diana Krall sounds particularly hot on my RS2. Their up front, bright, and punchy presentation works well for rock, and the level of detail is good for jazz.
 
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Diminishing

Established Member
Thanks a lot for the reply, I appreciate it.

Do you happen to know what the Grados are like for classical music? - I listen to it the most.

I thought that the Equations were a well regarded pair, or aleast most results on google seem to think so (including some linking to this site).

Anyone else have any thoughts on the subject?
 

Drubbing

Established Member
Well the only good wraps I find on Google for the RP21 is from sites that are flogging it...

Technically, the Grado's do classical very well - you get great detail levels for your money. But the presentation isn't always everyone's cuppa. Rock really does rock with Grado's. However, they are on the bright, rather than bassy side, so you might find they are your cuppa with Classical.

Classical will work nicer with more neutral phones that don't 'throw' the music at you, like my DT250. But I don't know of a flat/neutral one in your price range, they tend to bias one thing or another, as consumers at the lower end tend to want that.
 
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Diminishing

Established Member
Thanks again for the reply; very informative. It's given me a lot to think about. Perhaps I should find s friend who has a pair of Grados to try them out. Especially as I've heard that they're not the most comfotable headphones.

Anything else I should look at? What about the Senns?
 

Drubbing

Established Member
The only people that find Grado's uncomfortable are the those used to ear covering phones. You can always swap the bowl pads for comfies, as the bowls can be a bit too firm.

Grado and Senn have two different sounds; Grado is in your face and punchy, Senns are laid back. But Senn has some fairly ordinary phones in the cheaper price bracket - they saturate the market at that level so some are poor value.
 

Diminishing

Established Member
Yeah, I've always had a small preference for ear covering phones you see. It's a toughy.

And I think I'd prefer more neutral headphones, but I understand that's hard in my price range. Hmmm.

Bottom line, what would you (or anyone else reading this) suggest?
 

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