Natural progression?

Currently my main Dac / amp combo is the Schiit asgard 3 and the cans I use are the HD58x and HE4xx.
I am questioning what would be the next progressive step deeper into the proverbial bottomless hole that we all have discovered. I thoroughly enjoy these cans but pondering the next? Another planar? Another Dynamic but different? I have been doing a lot of surfing different sites looking at different phones, Like the Sendy’s, The Sundara, The Elex etc. Open back, Closed back etc. Budget is semi negotiable between $300 to $800. Still thinking Nighthawks as well but hard to find. Here is the thing. I rarely need to use phones but enjoy some tunes on them even though I have some killer powered monitors in this small room .Thoughts? Music is the priority here. I listen to classic rock, jazz, blues, country, whether it be concert live or studio recorded. By the way I am the brain damaged individual who uses Adam T5v’s and a sub on my sim rig. Quality of sound is of utmost importance.

Hmm. Well, do you find yourself enjoying the 58x or 4xx more at the moment? What do you like about each and what would you change about each?

Hi Mon! Well Lets see here. I really enjoy the comfort and sound of both. The 4xx for its punch and to me it has close to what I like in clarity and a little more width then my 58x. still not large enough though. Both seem to be pretty balanced to me as well. The 58x seems to be a little more laid back.

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The 4xx at the moment but the nice thing is being able to switch when curiosity to a sound comes on. To me the 4 is more separated sound wise and individual instruments seem to be not on top of each other? Maybe it is my ears… The 58x has a smoother not punchy sound and is still extremely enjoyable more midrange I guess where the 4 has more bottom end. Both have great top end. To me they are similar but it also depends on different recordings as to their sound presentation if that helps or makes any sense. Some Country music sounds better on the 4xx and some better on the 58x. same on all music in general. I am trying to type but I nicked the tip of my finger today and I keep screwing up the words and it is PISSING me off!! LOL!

As for what I would change. well probably a bigger sound, little more low but not boomy and a little more high without being sibilant.

Prime example is listening to classic Carlos Santana instrumentals sounds better on 4xx but Stevie Ray Vaughan sounds better on 58x… Go figure.

Gotcha, well imo the elex does sound up your alley. It’s got a slight w shaped sound which should be nice, very good dynamic range, pretty dang good detail, and very impressive spatial capability. It is initially more intimate, but depending on the music it can be pretty wide, overall a generally impressive headphone, you only might miss out on a tad of impact. I think it would give you an overall upgrade while also giving you a mix of what you enjoy about each of your headphones

If you wanted something that would sound pretty dang large, a hifiman edition xx or ananda (the xx is going to be warmer and bassier while the ananda will be brighter), they have a fairly grand presentation and sound pretty large with good layering and a wide stage, a bit smooth and not as revealing but a pretty unique sound.

A used lcd 2 is also something to consider, wider, more relaxed, overall pleasing imo. Pretty refined as well, can be found used in your price range. Also good impact and layering too. There are lots of different versions of the lcd 2 tho.

Another thing you could do is with that budget is get 2 headphones, I would think like a sundara and something else to accompany it


I am sure you have experience with the 4xx and probably the Sundara. How much different is that? also I have been considering the Elex. I really know nothing of the edition xx and will look at reviews of it just for giggles (how bad did Zeos tear it up? ) I don’t believe he was that much of a fan of the Elex but maybe I am mistaken. Yet DMS loved it! I will look and post back… Thanks Mon!

It’s a step up in mostly every way technicality wise imo, but it is a different signature, it’s more neutral than the 4xx (and perhaps a tad less wide but it’s worth it).

Would a Beryerdynamic by good for him? the DT1990 is on sale for 410$ right now. isnt it neutral natural and wide soundstage?

It could get a bit harsh with some tracks and isn’t the most natural, but it would be impressive stage wise and have plenty of detail, I do think it would be worth a look for sure

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Where? would like to at least look


I vote for the Sundara, Elex and the Hifiman Edition XX. I found the Ananda to be too bright for my tastes and the midrange seemed to me missing to a point that it bugged me. The Edition XX has some of the biggest drivers around. large egg cups. so you might want to consider that.

Yes… Kind of leaning towards Elex or Sundara… Love my 4xx but feel they need something… Putting a better cable on them will help I am sure and have ordered one from Periapt. Love Love both my cans but looking for more. Not sure about the 1990s… will ponder

Not a given here and still looking for choices, Granted you probably cant go wrong with the Elex, Sundara and such but what about like the 880/600 or others. Lcd2c or??? Open or closed just looking for that quality of sound without being too harsh and analytical… a fun and enjoyable set.

I think the natural progression here would be something like the sundara 880 or 600 and I recommend the sundara because the 880 is borderline analytical and the 600’s width and more even sound may disappoint you (58x is probably better on strictly solid state as well)

elex and lcd2c would be like skipping a step and therefore not exactly a natural progression (but maybe that’s me taking it too literally lol)

Thanks, I meant the 880 600 ohm but that is fine… more answers mean more knowledge.

Very true lol, you would be skipping a step with like the edition xx / elex / lcd 2

The sundara would again be pretty sweet

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my bad lol the 880 is pretty sweet tbh but I haven’t paired it with the a3 yet… soundstage is wide (probably wider than 4xx if I remember correctly) and imaging is fantastic… when I say its borderline analytical its because its extremely detailed in the higher frequencies especially… I just think as a daily driver sort of headphone the sundara is preferable imo

I just think the 880 600 ohm might be more of a sidegrade/different sound compared to the 4xx and 58x, which isn’t an issue imo, but I just don’t think of it as an upgrade progression