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HD580s + PCDP + which amp?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Looking for opinions for an amp for my HD580s.

The complication is that my source is a pretty bad (I think anyway) Sony D-E441 personal CDP. It is a standard Discman with a line-out.

Does it make sense to add a Headroom Little, Creek OBH-11 or Corda HA-1 (or even something nicer) to this setup? Is my source so bad that a good amp would be wasted?

I am considering a Headroom Little + Clou Blue, but would like to know if that gear would be wasted with the POS source that I have.

If so, what would be a better bet? A small portable? PortaCorda? SuperMini?

Any advice appreciated!

This is my first post here. Be gentle. :-)
post #2 of 10
Hd580's are generally non-portable headphones. They are also 300 ohm and defently require an amp to hear what theyre all about. If all you have, and all you plan to have for a source is this pcdp then you dont want to sink much money into an amp. A fixup supermini (www.fixup.net) for $100 should be fine for this particular setup.

If you plan on getting a good source later on... That changes everything.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey Nef. Thanks for the reply.

This is a work setup, so I possibly upgrade my source later on. I'd like to have something compact if possible and not spend a ton of cash. I bet the world of hi-fi CD players is huge, so I'm sure there is something out there that would fit my requirements.

What is the price range of a budget CDP that would be an improvement over my discman?

And which if any of the aforementioned amps would you recommend? I'm thinking about the Headroom Little because of the upgradability, but have heard good stuff about the Creek OBH-11 and Corda HA-1 as well.

Sorry for being so clueless. This is a new arena for me.
post #4 of 10
Well, a good budget cdp is the NAD c521i, you can get one refubd for $220 here:http://www.yawaonline.com/nadc521icdpl.html .. I own the nad c541i and i love it.

I would not reccomend any of the low end headroom gear, or the creek for that matter. If you plan on getting a decent budget cd player later on I would reccomend getting a meta built by someone on these boards, 2 people that i know of that build metas for peoplea re JMT and Eric. A meta should cost between $180 - $350. Or find an antique sound labs mg/otl tube head. The newest ASL MG/OTL head is the mk2 and is $350. Its highly reccomended here, do some searching on it and you wil find tons on info. A used ASL MG head just sold yesterday i think for $175 in the buy/sell forum.. So you can find them cheap used. Good Luck.!
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Something I've never understood about high-end CDPs is that digital is digital, right? What makes that CDP sound better than my Discman?

Not being flippant, I'm serious. Please don't flame me because yes, I really am this dumb on the subject.

Subjectively, how much better would that CDP you recommend + a Meta42 sound over my PCDP + some other amp? I'd like to have a non-battery powered amp for my rig. I don't think messing with batteries would be much fun and could be expensive. If I could plug the thing in and forget about it, that would be much preferable.

I don't have much time or equipment availability in my area to do listening, so I'm relying on you guys for advice.
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by LSU_Tiger
Something I've never understood about high-end CDPs is that digital is digital, right? What makes that CDP sound better than my Discman?
I think it's just a matter of bigger size = bigger and better electronics, really. Think about how small your Discman and how much space a full-sized CDP has to fit components in.
post #7 of 10
The transport, the CD tray eliminating vibration, the DAC chip, the power supply....all that has an effect on the performance of the unit.
post #8 of 10
The problem with PCDPs is not just their small size, but it's the quality of their DACs, which tend to be generally crappier than those of most full-sized CDPs (though a few PCDPs have DACs that are comparable to those of low-end CDPs).
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally posted by LSU_Tiger
Something I've never understood about high-end CDPs is that digital is digital, right? What makes that CDP sound better than my Discman?
Digital may be digital (it's far more complicated than that), but the output of a pcdp is analog, except for a rare few. Let's face it, there's not all that much room for a good analog output stage in current players. In addition, the constraints of increased battery life and skip protection have caused compromises in the sound of many units. That being said, a pcdp can be a pretty decent source for a work system. The Grado RA-1 was my choice to use in a work system with the HD-580 and a pcdp, and it made a nice little setup.
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Subjectively, how much better would that CDP you recommend + a Meta42 sound over my PCDP + some other amp?
Well, to me the difference is night and day. My d-25s (which is a highly regarded pcdp) with the supermini doesnt sound near as good as my NAD with the supermini (but it sounds much better than most pcdp's). Same thing with my ASL head.. When using the cdp over the pcdp the difference is easily noticable. To me, the difference in having a good source is the difference between hi-fi and lo-fi/mid-fi. Your source is where it all starts. The first link in the chain. Its sonicly important that it is up to par with the rest of the equipment. If you want to hear what its all about a good cdp is a must IMO.
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