Ya I love Grado's. I own a set of SR-80's. Sound wonderful. My buddy has a set of RS-1's. Those look and feel as good as they sound. I mean, who else makes headphones with wood chambers. There is something about the sound of Grado's. More speaker like, then canned.
My brother has a set of HD-600's. I thought they not only sounded dull, but were quite heavy on the head, and even though the coushins are comfy, the overall comfort was lagging. I felt like I had a large padded clamp on my head. They definately sounded good, but to tell you the truth I was doing a comparison between them and my SR-80's, and I prefered the sound of the 80's.
$3K is a lot to pay for headphones. If that's you budget, I would recommend some companies that have been in this business for a while (Sony has too, but I would think that they are also being pulled in all kinds of other directions). The single biggest improvement I ever got from headphones was by using a good headphone amp. I have one from Creek (wasn't my first choice, but the price was right), and it is a big improvement even with a pair of $25 Sony headphones. Sony has apparently put a lot of research into the comfort of these headphones and that is something that even the high-priced competitors need to pay attention to. For those of us who wear glasses, comfort, especially for long listening sessions, is very important. But I still couldn't bring myself to shell out $3K for them.
P.S. The other nice feature of a headphone amp is that it puts the controls next to were I'm sitting. I don't have to walk over to the preamp to change the volume.
well my budget for headphones went from $40 when I purchased some Koss portaPro's, to $80 when I purchased my Grado SR-80's....and might some day inflate to maybe $250 or so, to go with the SR-325i's....if I can get a deal on them.
Ya I have considered headphone amps. Though honestly my CD player's headphone jack sounds very good. About the volume control thing. You can also get a headphone extension and use a remote! Maybe your preamp doesn't use a remote...
I watch Grado's headphone amps that I see on ebay. If one went cheap enough I would consider it. I have listened to my phones over my brother Antique Sound Labs tube headphone amp and wasn't that impressed (it was $250 from Audio Advisor). I wanted to listen to a Creek one, along with the Grado one at a shop, to see if it really is an improvement, but honestly I would need to be able to bring it home, to do a comparision with my own gear. Audio Advisor has a money back guarantee. Maybe this summer I will get the Creek I was looking at and see if I like it.
I think if anyone's budget allows them to spend $3,000 on a set of cans.......they must have a lot of money!