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Suggestions for headphones with a Cafe Walter?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by dharma, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    After all the hype I read, I've picked up a Cafe Walter HA-1A (with adaptor.)

    I'm a living-room warrior, for now, based on a 4 p.m. - 1 a.m. night job. No gigs in my forseeable future, so my desires for a head to pair with the 15 I got a while back are more long-term than anything pressing, I.E. "I've got a gig and no head!" That said, my 15 is lonely, so if anybody's on the fence about dropping their SWR redface 350, now is the time to send me a P.M.

    Will give full review, probably including how bad it makes me sound when there's nothing coloring my sound, when I've had a chance to play around with it.
  2. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
  3. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    Cafe walters are the best!

    Do not pass go, do not collect $200, go directly to headphone.com. Those guys know what they are talking about.

    I love my Sennheiser 555s almost as much as my old 545s (which I'm pretty sure they quit making since they were better than the 600s for half of the money).

    If you don't want to spend that much, I've been using these at work and they are surprisingly nice:


    I just got a set of AKG K26-Ps which I'll try tonight and let you know.
  4. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    These AKGs sound pretty decent, with lots of bass, but the sennheisers (even the 201) are much more comfortable.
  5. seakamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    There are a couple of things that would help us help you out.

    How much are you looking to spend?
    Are you looking for open air or closed headphones?
    Noise canceling or dampening headphones?

    If you aren't looking to break the bank and don't mind an open air headphone... pretty much no other headphones will beat the Grado SR-60. These cans are considered by some to be the best headphone purchase for under $150 or so and they'll only run you about $70.
  6. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    The grados are another can that sound great, and kick mad bass, but are not all that comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

    Sometimes I shed for hours on the walter, and when I do I'm really greatful for my Sennheiser open back cans. If you're more of a sprinter the grados are great.

    555s for $150 are a big upgrade IMO.
  7. seakamp


    Jun 30, 2005
    Agreed 100%

    Just sayin the Grados are a great deal and fit a certain price point.

    I'd go with the Sennheisers. HD600s on my head right now.
  8. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The phones I choose for clarity, comfort, and good frequency range are the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro. I spent about four hours A/B comparing headphones at a pro audio specialty shop, and I walked out with the Beyerdynamics. Soooo plush comfy, too.
  9. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Point taken about the things that would "help you help me."

    Here's the deal, I'm thinking <100 and closed-around-the-ear.
  10. Brad Maestas

    Brad Maestas Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2003
    Oakland, CA
    In that case, my vote is for the Sennheiser 280 Pro's.

    I own a few different cans like the Senn 280's, 580's and 650's, the AKG K270's and the AT-M40fs'. The Senn 280's are not only very affordable and readily available but they also offer excellent sound reproduction, high sensitivity and great isolation. They're quite comfortable for long periods and they get LOUD very easily, especially with a high-quality unit like the Cafe Walter.

    One small possible issue is that they have a coiled cord and it's a little bit shorter than some of my other cans. But I find that the cord never gets tangled in itself and it's usually long enough for most applications so it's not an issue for me. When the cord isn't long enough I just use a high-quality headphone extension cable with them and I don't notice any sound degradation.

    They sound surprisingly good for the price. The 280's high sensivity makes it a good match with not only a good dedicated headphone amp like the Cafe Walter but also with many of the sub-par amplifiers found in today's portable music players. Overall a great can that can do it all.

    I'll echo the recommendation for the folks at headphone.com. They're great to work with, highly knowledgable and always professional! Have fun with your new toy(s)! :)
  11. dharma

    dharma Srubby wubbly

    Oct 14, 2005
    Monroe, Louisiana
    After a little looking around on Headphone.com ... ,

    I went with the Senn 201's.

    I'll include this in the review, probably A/B it with a pair of studio Sony's a friend is going to let me borrow.
  12. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    I think you'll like the 201, especially if you've never had something like a 555 or 600 to spoil you rotten.

    Actually, I got a replacement cord for my beloved 545s but still havn't taken them back to work since the 201s are good enough, and this way I won't put any more wear on my favorite cans. I listen to music pretty much all day at work ... and the 201s do pretty well. My ears will get fatigued and need a break after about 2 hours compared to 4 or 5 with the better headphones. Compare that to any of the Sonys which I can only listen to for about 20 minutes.

    One thing ... the SMELL like chemicals when you first take them out of the package. It wears off.
  13. BassGreaser


    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I like the Sony MDR-V600 phones with my CW:)
  14. ibz


    Apr 14, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    Grado SR-60's are a wonderful sounding headphone for not that much money and rivals much more expensive phones.

    I also have a nicer Sennheiser HD 650's and they are very good phones, but I use them more for hi-end audio.
  15. LoveThatBass


    Jun 28, 2004
    My advise to you would be (if you are near a Guitar Center) go down and listen to the ones they have before making a decision. I have Sennheizers, which are nice but pricy but found Sony to be nice also.

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