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Thread: Headphones and Amps and DACs... Oh My!

  1. #31
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    Nothing fancy, but good enough for my needs.

    For digital I have Tannoy Mercury speakers with cable upgrade, Cambridge Audio AM5 amp, Sennheiser HD449's and an HP Envy running Foobar 2000.

    I have a Denon PMA520AE amp for my turntable.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    Got 'em this morning, I'm in love. Everything just sounds perfect. The only problem that I have is that I'm now already looking at getting them a better amp :P The Schiit Magni 2 Uber is looking pretty damn fine right now...
    I sold my Magni a while ago and bought the Magni 2 Uber and the extra gain option helps a lot.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by virushopper View Post
    I sold my Magni a while ago and bought the Magni 2 Uber and the extra gain option helps a lot.
    I was looking at the Uber mostly because it has the extra output so I can run my speakers through it like I can with my D1, plus I heard great things about the first Magni and the Magni 2.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    I was looking at the Uber mostly because it has the extra output so I can run my speakers through it like I can with my D1, plus I heard great things about the first Magni and the Magni 2.
    Wait why would you need the Magni if you have a D1? The D1 itself is both a DAC and headphone amp.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by virushopper View Post
    Wait why would you need the Magni if you have a D1? The D1 itself is both a DAC and headphone amp.
    Oh it has nothing to do with needs, just wants.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by binaryhermit View Post
    Currently rocking this setup:
    Really old thinkpad running Windows 7 and foobar2000 or Google Play Music All Access > Monoprice Desktop Amp/DAC > AKG K7XX.
    Considering getting a Schiit stack.
    Well, I pulled the trigger on the Schiit stack early this morning and it's already shipped

  7. #37
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    I use Sennheisher HD 25-1 II to produce music. They are the best headphones I've ever had.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    Just bought a pair of these bad boys, after months of debating and financial decision making:



    Can't fucking wait for them to come in.
    My nigga that's some tight phones dar.

    right now I have this off brand headset right now called "Inf1nity" but I'm saving up for some new Senheizers, probably just a pair of 600s. I had 598s but a kids b-day party resulted in total annihilation and a very awkward conversation with two stressed out parents.

  9. #39
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    I don't normally go for "on-ear", but... $65!


  10. #40
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    My V-Moda M80's have just died, quite sad indeed as they a fine set of headphones and provided excellent service during their 2.5 year lifespan. They were used for commuting to work. So now I must find a replacement set of cans.

    I am considering the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones. Anybody have any experience with these?

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutilated View Post
    My V-Moda M80's have just died, quite sad indeed as they a fine set of headphones and provided excellent service during their 2.5 year lifespan. They were used for commuting to work. So now I must find a replacement set of cans.

    I am considering the Sennheiser Urbanite XL headphones. Anybody have any experience with these?
    Yessir, and I also have experience with the V-Moda M80/100's. I'm assuming you're thinking about the Urbanite XL and not the Momentum 2.0 because they can "fold" like the V-Moda's?

    In that price range, non-audiophile, I'd personally go with the Momentum 2.0's. That however was not one of your options. You'll notice a pretty large increase in soundstage and bass response (attack/decay) in the Urbanite XL's over the M80's. I would recommend them as a successor to your M80's.

    EDIT: The Urbanite XL is a good sound signature "match" for the V-Moda M80's if the above was confusing.
    Last edited by Jon; 04-27-2015 at 02:03 PM.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Yessir, and I also have experience with the V-Moda M80/100's. I'm assuming you're thinking about the Urbanite XL and not the Momentum 2.0 because they can "fold" like the V-Moda's?

    In that price range, non-audiophile, I'd personally go with the Momentum 2.0's. That however was not one of your options. You'll notice a pretty large increase in soundstage and bass response (attack/decay) in the Urbanite XL's over the M80's. I would recommend them as a successor to your M80's.

    EDIT: The Urbanite XL is a good sound signature "match" for the V-Moda M80's if the above was confusing.
    Massive thanks Jon. Food for thought, I had pretty much discounted the Momentums as I had tested a pair of the on-ear model and thought they were dreadful. Maybe they were version 1.0 but I will need to go back to the shop for a re-test I think.

    In the meantime, I actually just remembered this afternoon that I have a spare pair of Creative Aurvana Live cans at the bottom of a wardrobe.So these will do temporarily.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mutilated View Post
    Massive thanks Jon. Food for thought, I had pretty much discounted the Momentums as I had tested a pair of the on-ear model and thought they were dreadful. Maybe they were version 1.0 but I will need to go back to the shop for a re-test I think.

    In the meantime, I actually just remembered this afternoon that I have a spare pair of Creative Aurvana Live cans at the bottom of a wardrobe.So these will do temporarily.
    The 1.0's are lacking in mid-range. I have a pair of "over-the-ear" and a recently purchased pair of the "on-ear", and the soundstage seems much thinner on the "on-ear". The 2.0 are an overall improvement in mid-range regardless of "on" or "over" ear.

    I can see how you'd have that initial reaction, though. The Momentums are much more neutral compared to the V-Moda's and the Urbanite XL's. You're probably much more attenuated to a "bassier" headphone. At the end of the day, it's all down to your personal tastes in sound signature.

  14. #44
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    I just honestly can't see how people enjoy on-ear headphones. Sound-wise I have no problem with them other than the lack of isolation you get with IEMs or over-ear, but even good pairs just feel super uncomfortable to me.

    On a positive note, I'm still madly in love with my DT990s and I recently went back to a few older Sennheisers (HD419 and HD428) I have kicking around and I can't believe I even used those before. Open cans for life (at home, at least). Looking into getting some IEMs for on-the-go soon, too. I've heard nothing but praise for the Shure SE-215 (and everything else Shure makes, really) but I think I've read they're discontinued now? So if I can find a pair of them on the cheap I'll jump on it.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    Looking into getting some IEMs for on-the-go soon, too. I've heard nothing but praise for the Shure SE-215 (and everything else Shure makes, really) but I think I've read they're discontinued now? So if I can find a pair of them on the cheap I'll jump on it.
    Shure still makes them.

    Me personally I use the thinksound ms01. It's neutral and warm sounding. I have tried the S215 and it was too bass heavy for me. The isolation was great but it was too much for me.

    Check out Head-Fi's guide for recommendations on IEMs: http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-buying-guide

    I will say the Hifiman RE400 is awesome as well but the build quality could be a little better.

  16. #46
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    Thinking of upgrading my D1 to a Schiit stack, Modi with either Vali or Magni 2. Any reason why I should go with one over the other?

  17. #47
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    bump

    My desktop setup is still the same (for now..) but I got a FiiO X1 for Christmas and holy shit, I love everything about it. Not only does my music sound better but I can carry 4x as much of it with me and my phones battery lasts way longer now. After using it for a few weeks I'm astonished that Apple discontinued the iPod Classic, instead of upgrading it, because that's exactly how this feels to me. Portable music player that will play damn near every format you throw at it, battery lasts forever, expandable memory, great UI, and of course, it sounds amazing. The only thing I could ask for is a colour wheel & texture list to customize your screen theme, instead of having to choose between 6 simple defaults.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    bump

    My desktop setup is still the same (for now..) but I got a FiiO X1 for Christmas and holy shit, I love everything about it. Not only does my music sound better but I can carry 4x as much of it with me and my phones battery lasts way longer now. After using it for a few weeks I'm astonished that Apple discontinued the iPod Classic, instead of upgrading it, because that's exactly how this feels to me. Portable music player that will play damn near every format you throw at it, battery lasts forever, expandable memory, great UI, and of course, it sounds amazing. The only thing I could ask for is a colour wheel & texture list to customize your screen theme, instead of having to choose between 6 simple defaults.
    How is the gapless playback on that?

    I have been wanting to dive into the portable DAP world for a long time, but find myself solely looking at players $500+. For under $100, I could have one and be off my high horse.

    When I'm not doing anything "special", I use my iPhone 6 + Philips Fidelio M2L's connected via lightning cable (24/96, currently capped at 24/48 because of firmware) -- Is there any reason not to pick up the X1?

    EDIT: I'm also looking at the Audeze EL-8 Titanium's for tax season, regardless.
    Last edited by Jon; 02-07-2016 at 12:32 AM.

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    How is the gapless playback on that?
    Good enough that I never wondered about it before, double-checked the settings and listened to a few songs to confirm how it was. I usually listen to albums through-and-through and have never noticed a gap where it shouldn't be. I'm not using any particularly great headphones with it (yet), just a pair of Sennheiser MM50 I got for cheap. It's mostly for convenience so I can have more music with me on-the-go and save my phones battery, but I occasionally use it with my DT990 around the house and it sounds beautiful.
    Last edited by ibanez33; 02-07-2016 at 05:35 AM.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    Thinking of upgrading my D1 to a Schiit stack, Modi with either Vali or Magni 2. Any reason why I should go with one over the other?
    You can get either the original Vali for $99 or spend $169 and get the new Vali 2! It has a preamp output now like the Magni 2 Uber.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by virushopper View Post
    You can get either the original Vali for $99 or spend $169 and get the new Vali 2! It has a preamp output now like the Magni 2 Uber.
    I'm actually looking into the Sprout now, so I can integrate my turntable with my desktop setup. Price is a bit steep but totally worth it, it's an upgrade for my amp/dac, strong headphone out, and drives proper speakers instead of having a line-out to powered speakers like I have now.
    Last edited by ibanez33; 02-10-2016 at 02:33 AM.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    I'm actually looking into the Sprout now, so I can integrate my turntable with my desktop setup. Price is a bit steep but totally worth it, it's an upgrade for my amp/dac, strong headphone out, and drives proper speakers instead of having a line-out to powered speakers like I have now.
    Cool device. I have been looking into something similar but I'm not sure what I want exactly. Between the Sonos, Plex server, and stuff like this device I can't decide where I would go.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by virushopper View Post
    Cool device. I have been looking into something similar but I'm not sure what I want exactly. Between the Sonos, Plex server, and stuff like this device I can't decide where I would go.
    If I were doing it based around a TV/home theater setup I would go SONOS, but I'm more of an audio fan and I spend a lot of time on the computer, so for me the Sprout is exactly what I'm looking for in a desktop setup. Either that or the Sony UDA-1, which costs a bit more but definitely serves all of my needs and I could easily integrate a TV into my setup down the road, if I want to.
    Last edited by ibanez33; 02-12-2016 at 04:48 AM.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibanez33 View Post
    If I were doing it based around a TV/home theater setup I would go SONOS, but I'm more of an audio fan and I spend a lot of time on the computer, so for me the Sprout is exactly what I'm looking for in a desktop setup. Either that or the Sony UDA-1, which costs a bit more but definitely serves all of my needs and I could easily integrate a TV into my setup down the road, if I want to.
    i have several customers who have SONOS systems, and i personally think they're FAR too expensive for what they do. they essentially only fulfill the audio part of the AirPlay function of what AppleTVs can do (unless you get one of the ones that also powers speakers) and it seems kind of silly.

  25. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    i have several customers who have SONOS systems, and i personally think they're FAR too expensive for what they do. they essentially only fulfill the audio part of the AirPlay function of what AppleTVs can do (unless you get one of the ones that also powers speakers) and it seems kind of silly.
    I often have to turn away customers looking for SONOS on a daily basis, because my store doesn't carry them. Functionally they're pretty limited, but if you're looking for wireless speakers and they're in your budget, you really can't beat them.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by eversonpoe View Post
    they essentially only fulfill the audio part of the AirPlay function of what AppleTVs can do (unless you get one of the ones that also powers speakers)
    Truth.

    The SUB is the only cool/interesting part of the whole system, but is $200–$250 overpriced.

  27. #57
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    Finally got around to rigging my turntable to my current desktop setup, instead of just being *near* it, although it's super convoluted for the time being. My signal chain now is Turntable > USB > Audacity > USB > DAC/amp > headphones

    Still sounds good though, and I can finally turn use my turntable at night without waking anyone up.

  28. #58
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    I own and love a pair of Sennheiser HD438s headphones, which I got as a clearance bargain. They're closed design. They were a revelation to me when I first got them, hugely better than anything I'd used before, and opened up my existing music collection massively.

    However, most of my listening these days is on AKG K541s. I mostly listen either at work, or travelling to work, and they sound really good, nearly as good as the sennheisers, but are much more portable and convenient for working.

    On Black Friday I got weak and bought some Sennheiser HD598 Cs half price. They're higher-end than my 438s (at least theoretically) and similarly closed in design. I have not opened the box yet.

    I'm considering returning them. Even half price they were real money. My thinking is as follows: I wanted a serious upgrade from my 438s. But, is there likely to be that much of a difference? My 438s are awesome and perhaps I should listen to them more often than I do. If I was investing in new phones (not sure why I write that in the potential case, since I just did), I could look at open ones, which would give me a different soundstage experience, and I could probably get away with at work, and either way I could at home, and I work from home 1-2 days a week. So perhaps I would be better saving or waiting for an opportunity to get HD 598 Se (open design) or a higher end set, the 650s, or even something non-Sennheiser (I was recommended Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros by an audio engineer).

    What should I do oh Internets? I am confuse!

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    (I was recommended Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros by an audio engineer).
    Excellent recommendation for the price. Right now, the 80 & 250 ohm's are the exact same price in the US (around $135).

    EDIT: Does anyone here own a Little Dot MK VI+?
    Last edited by Jon; 12-02-2016 at 08:57 AM.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmtd View Post
    I own and love a pair of Sennheiser HD438s headphones, which I got as a clearance bargain. They're closed design. They were a revelation to me when I first got them, hugely better than anything I'd used before, and opened up my existing music collection massively.

    However, most of my listening these days is on AKG K541s. I mostly listen either at work, or travelling to work, and they sound really good, nearly as good as the sennheisers, but are much more portable and convenient for working.

    On Black Friday I got weak and bought some Sennheiser HD598 Cs half price. They're higher-end than my 438s (at least theoretically) and similarly closed in design. I have not opened the box yet.

    I'm considering returning them. Even half price they were real money. My thinking is as follows: I wanted a serious upgrade from my 438s. But, is there likely to be that much of a difference? My 438s are awesome and perhaps I should listen to them more often than I do. If I was investing in new phones (not sure why I write that in the potential case, since I just did), I could look at open ones, which would give me a different soundstage experience, and I could probably get away with at work, and either way I could at home, and I work from home 1-2 days a week. So perhaps I would be better saving or waiting for an opportunity to get HD 598 Se (open design) or a higher end set, the 650s, or even something non-Sennheiser (I was recommended Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros by an audio engineer).

    What should I do oh Internets? I am confuse!
    I spent $99 on a pair of Sennheiser HD500s in 1999. They were, as you said, a revelation. I babied them, I used them all the time. And around 2009, one of the speakers was making a terrible noise, so I capitulated and bought a slightly used pair of HD555s. I don't know if it was just time taking it's toll, or an improvement in technology over a decade, but when I went back to my HD500s, they sounded muted, the high end wasn't as present as my HD555s. Also, the terrible noise in the left speaker of my HD500s turned out to be a cat hair.

    The HD555s actually didn't stand up to wear all that well - I didn't baby these as much, admittedly. It got to the point where, last year, I fell into a similar on-sale HD595 trap. I'm okay with that. They're the most comfortable headphones I've ever owned. They're not much of an improvement over the HD555s, even though they're a fair bit more in MSRP.

    Moral of the story? You're at a significant point of diminishing returns now. You can pay more for better headphones, but you're going to pay a lot for not a lot of difference.

    I prefer open-backed headphones, but there's no way I could wear them to work. It'd be annoying to my coworkers, and it wouldn't keep the background sound out. So that's why I've got a pair of HD280 pros at work. I found them more effective than noise-canceling headphones in that regard, actually.

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