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Drolleke

Headphone and Amp advice

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I'm investing in a new headphone and I need some advice on amps.

 

My budget is 500-700, might go 900 (this is headphone + all required gear)

 

Currently I'm looking at an AKG K601 (-40% on amazon atm), K701, Audio-Technica ATH-AD 900

 

EDIT: I'm not afraid of DIY, but I'd prefer a kit

EDIT2: might need a DAC as well, playing from my computer

 

EDIT3: looking at a http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1 or FiiO D3 + Little Dot MKII ore higher

Edited by Drolleke

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HOW MUCH??

I wouldn't say you need to spend that much, personally.

Are you particularly looking at over-ear, on-ear or in-ear?

I've only heard good things about those Little Dot amps, never heard of the first. FiiO is generally reliable.

Headphones-wise the best I had experience with is the Denon D7000 so headphones-wise I'm not really qualified.

Worth keeping Unique"]http://uniquemelody.co.uk/ in mind if you're after in-ears.

Edited by SatansFate

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K701/K702/Q701's and a Cambridge DacMagic Plus would be a good combination. If you're looking for something a little lower-end, you could try that Maverick TubeMagic D1. IDK about the quality of the D1, but I'll be auditioning a DacMagic Plus against my LD DAC_I & MK IV this weekend. The dac/amp should be a good comparison to my dac & amp--both systems retail for $600 before tax or s&h. I personally love the sound & comfort of my Beyers but the 600-ohm version is definitely the best and practically requires a tube headphone amplifier--which is tougher to get in your budget.

 

There's also the Little Dot DAC_II--combines a reasonably good dac with a decent hp amp and about a hundred others that I'm not as familiar with. Check out Head-Fi--though be aware that many of the people around there are actually quite insane.

 

The higher-end AKGs are pretty sterile and I think have a pretty weak bass. Also note that a good setup will make great recordings sound great, good recordings sound good, and poor recordings sound poor. (They're not very forgiving of poor recordings. I've deleted otherwise good music because it's poorly mastered.)

Edited by Bob-sama

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Current list:

 

AKG K701 €200

FiiO D3 €30

Little Dot MK IV €237

Analog Cable €10

Optical Cable €5

 

Total €482

 

Comments?

 

Not sure about the DAC tbh

Edited by Drolleke

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Go with Bob's suggestion of a DacMagic Plus and forget the D3.

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I might, but at €372 I'm a bit hesitant.

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Current list:

 

AKG K701 €200

FiiO D3 €30

Little Dot MK IV €237

Analog Cable €10

Optical Cable €5

 

Total €482

 

Comments?

 

Not sure about the DAC tbh

The Fiio DAC would definitely be the weak point. At least in my opinion, the MK IV does a great job at making high-impedance headphones sing. I'll tell you more about the AKGs when powered by my MK IV in a few days. I personally think AKG's headbands are really uncomfortable--which is why I got the Beyers instead of AKGs. (If I did get AKGs, I'd probably have bought a Little Dot MK V instead--a SS amp priced the same as my MK IV.)

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Current list:

 

AKG K701 €200

FiiO D3 €30

Little Dot MK IV €237

Analog Cable €10

Optical Cable €5

 

Total €482

 

Comments?

 

Not sure about the DAC tbh

The Fiio DAC would definitely be the weak point. At least in my opinion, the MK IV does a great job at making high-impedance headphones sing. I'll tell you more about the AKGs when powered by my MK IV in a few days. I personally think AKG's headbands are really uncomfortable--which is why I got the Beyers instead of AKGs. (If I did get AKGs, I'd probably have bought a Little Dot MK V instead--a SS amp priced the same as my MK IV.)

Can you post or PM after you tried them? Not in a hurry to buy them.

 

I think I might be able to justify the cost of a dacmagic if its still relevant in a few years, when I add some speakers.

 

Have been reading a lot of AKG k701 reviews and amp/dac price comparisons, and I think I'm going to settle for The Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm version with a shiit Valhalla and bifrost amp/dac.

I would like to get the Little dot, but there are no official stores, and I need to pay extra import tax etc. The Shiit products have an official dealer relatively close by and have 5 years warranty compared to 1 year of little dot.

Edited by Drolleke

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Current list:

 

AKG K701 €200

FiiO D3 €30

Little Dot MK IV €237

Analog Cable €10

Optical Cable €5

 

Total €482

 

Comments?

 

Not sure about the DAC tbh

The Fiio DAC would definitely be the weak point. At least in my opinion, the MK IV does a great job at making high-impedance headphones sing. I'll tell you more about the AKGs when powered by my MK IV in a few days. I personally think AKG's headbands are really uncomfortable--which is why I got the Beyers instead of AKGs. (If I did get AKGs, I'd probably have bought a Little Dot MK V instead--a SS amp priced the same as my MK IV.)

Can you post or PM after you tried them? Not in a hurry to buy them.

 

I think I might be able to justify the cost of a dacmagic if its still relevant in a few years, when I add some speakers.

 

Have been reading a lot of AKG k701 reviews and amp/dac price comparisons, and I think I'm going to settle for The Beyerdynamic DT880 600 ohm version with a shiit Valhalla and bifrost amp/dac.

I would like to get the Little dot, but there are no official stores, and I need to pay extra import tax etc. The Shiit products have an official dealer relatively close by and have 5 years warranty compared to 1 year of little dot.

A Schiit Valhalla should be a good combination with DT880-600's. I can't speak about the Schiit's sound quality but it's there's many Schiiters on HeadFi. The BiFrost is possibly even better but the USB section (which enables 24/96 & 24/192) is another $100 on top--for a $450 DAC and $350 HP amp and $300 headphones. I'd hope it'd sound at least as good as my Little Dot setup or this Cambridge DacMagic+--both my Little Dot and the Cambridge run about $600 before s&h or taxes.

 

By the way... I didn't get to do an extended listening session last week but I might so happen to have something better brewing...

 

sm20120317201334.jpgsm20120317201244.jpgsm20120317201225.jpg

 

Those pictures just to prove that I'm not full of Schiit. My conundrum now is a question of where to put the DacMagic Plus...

Edited by Bob-sama

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Yea, schiit valhalla/bifrost combo + DT880 went a little over my budget, so I went with dacmagic + Little dot mk III instead :D got the headphones and dac, ordered the mk III friday

 

uKeO9.jpg

Edited by Drolleke

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... You have no right to talk about budgets!

 

The DacMagic Plus, at least here, is $600+s&h/tax. A LD MK III is $244. That's $850 right there. A Schiit BiFrost & Valhalla would be $800. I don't know which setup would be better, but I was hoping we could compare notes. I'm sure it'd be another side-grade or near-side-grade.

 

Unless, of course, you went with the previous-gen DacMagic.

 

I'm going to make a topic about the DacMagics. Unless you want the honors--I'm borrowing this one from my Uncle.

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Its a Dacmagic, not the plus version. Was around 370 EUR and 240 EUR for the DT 880, 260 USD for the little dot exc import tax.

 

Go ahead, I haven't been able to listen to mine, still waiting for my amp.

 

(still listening from my headphones out port on my pc atm, already a massive improvement over the shizzlety headphones I head before. Can't wait for the amp)

Edited by Drolleke

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