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Posts by Armaegis

Does your vinyl player have a phono preamp built in?
 I was just comparing new prices vs new. Used prices are a weird ballgame, as some brands/items devalue faster than others. Assuming one waits a few months for IDA-8's to show up on the used market, I'm guessing they'll go for $700-ish, maybe lower after a year. That's a very different budget than those in the $1k range. I can buy some old NuForce gear now for a fraction of the original MSRP if we're doing that. The cheapest AN kit is something like $2.3k, and upgrades...
Overpriced is... a funny word to use in hifi, but for my money I'd rather buy the LCD2 and spend the extra on recreational substances/people/activities, perhaps all three at the same time (or mortgage payment if I'm being a boring adult about it).   The LCD2 and HD800 are very very different sounding. One is going to give you a lot of meatiness and rumble, the other very fine detail and impact and immersive soundstage.   For most people, I'd say the LCD2 is the safer...
Do you have a multimeter? First you need to determine which wire is ground. I'm guessing it's black, but it's best to check.   Use the probes to measure resistance across the three different pair possibilities. On the pairing that measures double what the other ones are, the unused wire is your ground.   Now put the headphones on and with your multimeter measure between ground and on of the wires. Whichever side you hear a bit of static/scratching from, well now you...
I don't feel the LCD3 is worth the price difference over the LCD2. Start there and try it off the STX first before deciding if you want to spend money on an amp (you can feed an amp from the STX instead of dumping money on another dac as well)
An amp does NOT change the frequency response unless there is something very wrong with the dac/soundcard output. Those graphs they show are extremely misleading. Very likely those boosts in the bass and treble are done via software EQ to "enhance" gaming.
The ringing in the Vali is only a concern if you tap the case or constantly plug/unplug headphones. I haven't heard either of those particular pairings, but based on my experiences with the amps I would lean towards the Vali.   Do you have a Schiit distributor in your country?
I haven't heard the SHP9500 so can't offer any comparisons there. I've heard the Cityscape Downtown and thought it was nice and mellow, and really comfortable (which counts for a lot in my book).   The HD449 is basically more balanced compared to the 439.   It's been forever since I've heard the CAL! but I remember liking it and thinking it was really good for the price.
 A bit of an unfair comparison... The IDA-8 is $1k with dac and preamp ability. The 300B SET and A5 are nearing $2.5k and don't have a dac built in. The Rega is at least close, but again you're spending more once you add a dac into the mix. Curious that you didn't like the Krell... it is generally well regarded with the HE-6.
Having built three of them so far, one of the best things you can do (and a huge time saver) is to pre-measure and strip all the wires that you'll need and set them aside in the order that you'll need them. If you're so inclined, lightly pre-tinning the wires and assorted hardware makes life easier too.
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