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The Next Step...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi all, longtime reader, and now I'm ready to participate. I was introduced to the wonderful world of Hi-Fi by getting my hands on some Grado SR-80's about two years back. They still make me smile when I listen to them, and even though I have not auditioned many other brands, I am confident in saying I probably would still prefer the Grado sound compared to others. I know there are lot of good cans out there though and I have been following the K701's from when there was first mention of them. I am interested in upgrading of course, and possibly hearing the sound signature from a different camp. Herein lies my conundrum; I am not that well versed in audio equipment per se, regardless of the fact that I know my sources thus far have been inadequate. (except the fact that the Zen Micro and SR-80 LOVE eachother) My humble question is, should I honestly get an amp at this point before I step up into something like the K701 or higher-end Grado? I've been drooling over the Meier Aria and have been reading excellent things. What does everyone suggest my next move be? Thank you in advance for your input.

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow thanks everyone, the Grado's are like ohh myy god post has gotten replies but my sincere request does not. Interesting. Not sure what I did incorrectly to not get any responses. Goodnight all.
post #3 of 9
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks Max for your reply. I only wrote that because that post was made after my original post and it was a joke, yet people responded. No worries. Never can tell tone (no pun intended) over the internet.
post #5 of 9
I suggest you try out more cans to see what you like (or don't). (They needn't all be brand new, plus you could sell used stuff again with minimal loss.) That being said, the price on the Aria will apparently be higher after Dec 31 (and there are only 500 of them to begin with), so if you want to have what seems to be a really nice amp with a DAC that should at least be pretty good and have the money, this may not be the worst choice and you wouldn't have to worry about the amp part anymore at least.
post #6 of 9
If you want to get the Aria, I'd get it now if I were you. Is there a reason that you like the Aria more than the other alternatives? If you have strong reasons for wanting it, get it while it's still on sale. Source upgrades can only make headphones sound better. I don't think you would go drastically wrong with getting a pair of higher end headphones, but the upgrade between your SR80 and your new one won't be as evident as if you get a source now, and upgrade your cans later.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Actually I have done a ton of reading over the evening, and I initially liked the idea of the DAC. I originally was considering a portable solution that I could obviously use at home such as the Larocco PRII such that you have and even the Hornet, but decided that 90% of my use is going to be home and stationary. What I'm now considering also is the Musical Fidelity XCAN V3 as it has received some glorious reviews. How do you feel the PRII would compare to it? Am I losing a lot in getting an amp designed for portable use. If anyone has any firsthad experience with the Aria, I'd still love your thoughts. Getting more confused by the choices hehe.
post #8 of 9
I'm not sure what your budget is but in my experiences here I've noticed a much greater pleasure return on my money when buying headphones vs. amps. You can really get some distinct new flavors buying new cans for a lot less then you'd spend to buy an amp.

If you like the Grado sound I'd move up from the ones you have and check out some 325i or something. If you are looking for something that is very different something from the AKG or Senn family may fit the bill, just order from Todd or Headroom so you can return/exchange if it's not what you wanted.

As far as amps go I've not heard as many as some of those here who attend the meets but if you are considering a DAC/amp combo the Apogee mini-DAC is excellent and I would highly recommend it with Grados.
post #9 of 9
I agree with wakeride.... If you stick to Grados your biggest bang for the buck would be a headphone upgrade, and not an amp addition. Thats the greatest thing about Grados, theyre very dynamic and sensitive and hence do not really *need* huge amplifier investments. Although they certainlly scale up well when the upgrade bug bites.

Used HF1 or MS2(i) would be my recommendation.

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