Originally Posted by philslade
Those are words of wisdom indeed... I'll diligently check on the Eddie Current EC/SS and the Heed Canamp.
RS-1s and HD-650s... You must be listening in pretty high resolution! Do you switch depending on the source material?
I had the 4g imod, but since it just got stolen (stupid me left it out at work one too many times), I'm getting the new 5.5 imod. I ordered it within a week of losing the old one. I can't go back to an ipod after having one, other than for the gym and kicking around town.
Re amps, if you're looking for a desktop solution, I have the Heed Canamp and have spent time with the EC/SS. Both are excellent amps...one thing to note: I prefered the sound of the Canamp (only slightly) to the EC/SS, but now that my Canamp has developed a bad buzz, I must beg my DIY friends for a fix as Heed is based in Hungary, and I don't fancy sending it off for repairs. Eddie Current is based in CA, and though no one I know has ever had a problem, I would imagine it to be a non issue to get it fixed. If I had to buy again, I'd go EC/SS.
I also have the Larocco PRII and the Hornet. Both are great amps, but if I were going to choose one based on sq (not walking around portability) and customer service, I'd go with the SR-71 and not look back. If looking for something more to walk around with, go Hornet, but the truth is that the imod (especially 4g) with an amp isn't exactly walking-around gear. It's more like take-to-a-room-and-sit-down gear. Also, people tend to not pay attention to the headroom microstack, but for a desk set-up with an imod, it's perfect.
Regarding headphones, there are enough recommendations around. My only comment is to avoid the KSC-75s. They're great for $20 headphones, but they're $20 headphones! Why do that after spending money for imod sq
(sorry, fanboys, but they're just okay) My recs: ATH-AD2000 (super lightweight and comfy X100, clean, balanced, great with pop and jazz, a bit airy for my tastes as I like a warmer tone); HD580/650 (super comfy, but not super lightweight, best all-rounder with an amp imo, and regularly available on the FS forum). I have/love Etys ER-4P/S, but don't like iems in my ears at home. I'm currently auditioning the new Shure line, and I love the comfort of the olive sleeves and the fullness in sound of the 530s. They are less microphonic than the Etys, but lose that crisp detail I've grown to expect. I wish I could merge the two.
If I were going to do the set up today:
Portable with amps: nano (no imod)/Tomahawk/your choice (I'm still on an iem search myself)
Home: imod/SR-71 or EC/SS/your choice
Good luck to you.