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Best Portable Rig For Less Than $3K??

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Hi all. I am new here and I come from the big system audiophile world. I am looking for a GREAT portable solution. I currently have all of my music in FLAC format but I am open to converting to another format if I have to for portability.

I have a $3,000 budget and I was wondering if I could get suggestions on the very best battery powered portable digital audiophile rig available. I need one that can hold a lot of music like the iPod 160GB (which has bugs right?). I already know the what kind of headphones I like, I just need advice on digital music player, headphone amp/DAC and cables. I need it all to fit in a large cargo-pants pocket.

EDIT: Well why you are at why not recommend some fantastic portable headphones? I perfer full sized portable headphones. I prefer a live, airy sound. I have Martin Logan ESL speakers in my home system and I would like to come as close to that sound as possible. I can spend an additional $1.5K on headphones - so $4.5K total.

Thanks so much!
post #2 of 70
Pacemaker (about $US715/520Euro) + amp (I'd say iBasso D1, as the Pacemaker has a digital coaxial output) and custom Future Sonics.

$3k is a very nice sum for a portable rig, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Edit: Also, cables don't really matter. If you search in the iBasso D1 mega-thread, I asked about a mini to one RCA connector cable (to route the coaxial to the D1), and got linked, so look for that.
post #3 of 70
It might help if we knew what type of headphones you're planning on as well. $3000 for a portable rig will get you faaaaar, but I'm sure you already know that.
post #4 of 70
Thread Starter 

Headphones

Well why you are at why not recommend some fantastic portable headphones that are good for noisy enviroments. I can spend an additional $1K on headphones - so $4K total
post #5 of 70
You need to be more specific. Do you need full sized closed portable headphones or are IEM okay?

Best,

-Jason
post #6 of 70
5.5g 80gb iMod
ALO Jumbo Cryo iMod Dock
LaRocco Pocket Reference II
Ultimate Ears UE-11Pro
post #7 of 70
$3k portable rig. Nice...

Any limitations to size? What do you consider "portable"? For some, lugging a car battery would make it portable.

GAD
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceroid View Post
5.5g 80gb iMod
ALO Jumbo Cryo iMod Dock
LaRocco Pocket Reference II
Ultimate Ears UE-11Pro
Have you personally heard this rig, or is this just a suggestion? I personally wouldn't recommend a PRII for IEM's...it makes them hiss like crazy and it's not very portable at all, IMO.

Other than the amp, this is a good suggestion. I'd just recommend a Tomahawk if it's strictly for portable use...or a Hornet.
post #9 of 70
I really like:

iPod Classic (an iMod would be better though)
EFN made LOD
Xin Reference
W5000's

Not too close to 3k I know but I am really happy.
post #10 of 70
Definitely a 5th gen iMod, if you feel like carrying it get the V-Cap dock, otherwise stick with the regular iMod dock. Amp wise it depends on the IEMs, you can't go wrong with something from RSA or Xin. Though the Diablo is starting to ship, if you want to see if you could pick one of those up, probably wait for impressions on it first.
post #11 of 70
iMod>P-Vcap Cable>P-Vcap Dock>RAL mini 2 mini>Xin Reference>UE11
post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceroid View Post
5.5g 80gb iMod
ALO Jumbo Cryo iMod Dock
LaRocco Pocket Reference II
Ultimate Ears UE-11Pro
Hard not to agree with this....but I'd also suggest a Hornet or other more portable amp. I have a Diablo on the way, so my brand new Hornet just went back in it's box and will be put up for sale.

I went with the portable Vcap dock with Jumbo Cryo mini to mini.

I also have some Senn HD650s coming with a cable upgrade, but would also suggest checking into the Live Wires.

Fun budget...no limit for you!

RIDE
post #13 of 70
I had right around $1000 in my portable rig before I had to let it go to pay some bills. I was SUPER happy with it. 160gb iPod Classic with 1.0.1 firmware. Loaded with ALAC. Protected by and iTank and bestskinsever. APureSound carbon/cotton LOD (better than any ALO LOD I tried, even pure silver). I had the performance version of the XP Amp, but from what I hear the "performance" version of the Mini^3 is just about the same except a little better. And then out to a pair of Denon AH-D2000. Now the only thing I would have changed if I had the money would be a pair of Denon AH-D5000 and have them recabled by APureSound. Even it you bought all that new and retail, you would still be weill under $3000

$ 350 - iPod Classic 160gb
$ 100 - iTank
$ 8 - Bestskinsever
$ 75 - APureSound Carbon/Cotton LOD
$ 125 - Mini^3 Performance Version
$ 460 - Denon AH-5000
$ 200 - APureSound recable
-----
$1400 - with all the shipping

And the worry about the bug in the 160gb iPod will be fixed soon. It is the number one bug on Apples list to fix since it's keeping the hdd spinning.
post #14 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickknutson View Post
Have you personally heard this rig, or is this just a suggestion? I personally wouldn't recommend a PRII for IEM's...it makes them hiss like crazy and it's not very portable at all, IMO.

Other than the amp, this is a good suggestion. I'd just recommend a Tomahawk if it's strictly for portable use...or a Hornet.
I was just going for all-out most expensive parts available so that it would get up to about $2200 or whatever that setup i listed adds up to.

If it were me, you are exactly right I would choose a Tomahawk or Hornet any day vs PRII, I have heard all 3 and prefer not only size but sound signature of RSA over Larocco

Quote:
Originally Posted by RIDE View Post
Hard not to agree with this....but I'd also suggest a Hornet or other more portable amp. I have a Diablo on the way, so my brand new Hornet just went back in it's box and will be put up for sale.

I went with the portable Vcap dock with Jumbo Cryo mini to mini.

I also have some Senn HD650s coming with a cable upgrade, but would also suggest checking into the Live Wires.

Fun budget...no limit for you!

RIDE
AH! I forgot about the portable V-Cap dock, there goes even more money!
post #15 of 70
for 3k i can stretch it to having a portable and a home system. thats a big sum of money for a portable rig. people here just keep on throwing things but buying phones + amps w/o synergy is just like money straight to the toilet.
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