Headphone suggestions needed

I'm building my first high-end headphone system and need some headphone and dac suggestions based on my current setup.

I went about this backwards....I bought the amp first (a good deal fell into my lap).  I bought a Cary HH-1, a tube hybrid that uses 6922 input tubes.   What headphones would pair well with this amp?  What DAC would you recommend?  I would like to have a few options to put on a short list to either demo or research in further detail.  My budget for now would be up to around $1000 for the dac/headphones, new or used gear.  Right now I'm listening to sennheiser momentum 2 wired overear, and for the most part...I like them.  I also have a bottlehead foreplay tube preamp that can be used.  I just don't want flabby bass or shrill highs, something with accurate bass, great mids, and airy highs that aren't fatiguing.  Grado? Sennheiser? Audeze?  I will be using my laptop/tablet as a source with tidal and roon.



An HD 600 / 650 would be a great choice. I've owned the HD 800 and it doesn't sound as natural through the midrange and treble as the 600 / 650. The only weakness is that bass frequencies < ~50 Hz aren't as well represented. This is a trait shared by all open backed headphones, though.


For a closed back headphone, I recommend the AKG K371. Very similar in midrange and treble to the HD 650, but with more complete bass response.


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Can’t beat the Akg closed back but open sounding k550’s excellent headphones, although you would have to settle for mk2 version. Shure makes two nice options in the closed back 1540’s and open back 1840’s. Also, now discontinued Audioquest nighthawk and nightowls. AQ got out of the headphone business, but these two were highly regarded headphones. As for an Amp to drive them, I like the Graham Slee Novo or the solo. I’ve had those aforementioned AKG k550’s for years now, they are my go to headphone, comfortable and non fatiguing sound, with plenty of detail and sound like an open back, but no sound leakage whatsoever. I own the Graham slee novo headphone Amp and it drives just about anything. Not sure why people always mention a dac to go with headphones, as the dac I use, the Border Patrol dac, is used within the system for cd playback, connected to a Cyrus cdt. Unless you are just doing a desktop dedicated headphone only set up, then I guess you would need a dac, idk. When I need to listen to headphones, I use the Novo, as I can play all sources through it, as it is a daisy chain style Amp. It is unique In this respect. I can listen to my cd’s, turntable, cassettes, fm tuner, and streamed music through my Novo, all I have to do is change the source selector on my integrated amp.

My suggestions would be:

-Meze 99 Classics

-HiFi Man 400i

-Grado RS1e

-Audioquest Nighthawk or Nightowl (If you can find them, discontinued)