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First Set-up ever! Need advice from the experts at head-fi

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I've been reading and reading and my mind is going to explode. The more I read, the harder it seems to make a decision. At first, I thought I would spend a $1000 and get some decent equipment and see how I go from there. But then I came to my senses and decided I shouldn't get ahead of myself and risk all that money, considering I haven't heard any sound yet!

 

So, I've decided to buy a set-up on a tight budget and finally listen to some music, which is why I'm doing this in the first place. So basically, I'm looking for a set-up that can function both as a home laptop PC set-up, and a portable one because I skate to work everyday and gym 5 days a week. I don't want IEM's as I actually like having a pair of head-phones on my head (ok, maybe not while gymming). I listen to all kinds of music from John Mayer to Caribou to Jose Gonzalez to Paul Kalkbrenner. Love hip hop/R&B too as I love dancing (i.e. Trey Songz). Don't mind classical when I'm trying to be intellectual, or Rock when I'm trying to get amped for the weights. I've been stocking up on FLAC music so I can't wait to get into the audio-orgy.

 

This is what I'm sort of looking at now: Grado SR-60i's for the "Grado sound" which I haven't heard yet, but apparently it's good. However, the bass isn't good according to comments and not very good outdoors. I like the Grado look though, and I'm not terribly fazed about the retro-look, in fact I think it's beautiful. So I'm thinking I will need to pair it with an amp. So I hear that the Fiio E5 is the way to go for entry-level amps (a bit more volume and bass boosting?). As for the source, I'm thinking bout getting the Sanza Clip 2GB, however can this play FLAC music? If not, does that mean I have to get rockbox? Is this hard to do? With 2GB, I could probably only fit a few songs in, I don't mind as I don't intend to carry my whole library around with me. Apparently the Sanza Clip sound is not too shabby?

 

And with amp to source connectors, is that what you call an LOD? Are there any differences in LODs? Can I just use a standard mini-mini connector? 

 

Pardon the silly and noobish questions, my audio dreams are probably dwarfed by your mega collections. You may not think it, but I would absolutely loveee to hear your opinions and put-downs. Your opinions will be very valuable to me and my journey into learning more. I would also love to know some of the music you guys listen to everyday, swear by it and helped get you through thick and thin. I'm always up for good chill-out indie music. 

 

Please, audio-gurus, with your power of hindsight and experience, I would like to hear what you think!

 

Jason

post #2 of 43

What do you have against in-ear-headphones?

post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumflow View Post

What do you have against in-ear-headphones?


hey Sumflow, I don't have anything against them! I just like the look of the headphones when I'm skating. Tbh, I don't know much about IEMs. I assumed that for the portability and comfort they offer, you would be sacrificing sound? Or perhaps cost? I've had cheap old earphones in the past and just want to try something new and different. I will most likely buy a decent pair of IEMs further down the track! What are your thoughts on this?

post #4 of 43

You cant go LOD from a Clip+.

 

The Fiio E7 or iBasso T3 might be a better option than the E5.

 

LOD is bypassing the internal amp to preserve the audio source so a better signal can be sent to a better external amp.  It is not just a connector from the HPO (headphone out) to the amp.

 

The Fuze can go LOD but not if you rockbox it.

 

They both play FLAC and have expandable storage.

post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 

hi anaxilus. thanks for the clear up. that was helpful. does clip+ have expandable storage too? didn't know that. anyway, i'm changing my mind, and the set-up i'm gonna get is:

 

sr-60i

corda headsix amp

sanza fuze with lod

 

hopefully it will sound alright. so if I use the LOD i can't rockbox it? will i be missing out on much?

 

only bought the headphones so there's still time to change! would love more opinions, though.

 

cheers, Jas.


Edited by wooja978 - 6/11/10 at 3:30am
post #6 of 43

If you're on the go and on a budget, I would just get a pair of nicer headphones and skip the amp. 

post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

hi ypoknons. too late to get a new headphone! mayb i'll get the e5 instead with LOD. will this make any diff? is the e5 any better than the sanza amp? i just thought if I'm going to bypass the amp, might as well get a decent amp. the price diff is phenomenal tho, with the headsix. but then again, the sr60i prob won't go any further? who knows....i'll just hit first and miss then i'll have a better idea! better go the cheap way then. for now:

 

sr60i

fiio e5

fuze with LOD

 

actually do I even need an LOD and E5? hmm.....

post #8 of 43


You dont even need the Fiio or LOD, just run with the Clip/Fuze to the SR60i's and be happy. the Fiio wont increase sound quality, only a bit of low end bass. Save some cash for music or a new setup later down the track.

 

Since you wont need the E5 or LOD, get a bigger size Sansa clip+/fuze 8gig so you can rockbox it. Then you can just expand the memory later on for more FLAC files.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wooja978 View Post

hi ypoknons. too late to get a new headphone! mayb i'll get the e5 instead with LOD. will this make any diff? is the e5 any better than the sanza amp? i just thought if I'm going to bypass the amp, might as well get a decent amp. the price diff is phenomenal tho, with the headsix. but then again, the sr60i prob won't go any further? who knows....i'll just hit first and miss then i'll have a better idea! better go the cheap way then. for now:

 

sr60i

fiio e5

fuze with LOD

 

actually do I even need an LOD and E5? hmm.....


Edited by Townyj - 6/11/10 at 5:36am
post #9 of 43

Hi wooja, the SR-60i are open headphones. I don't own them myself but just be aware that you're likely to get a lot of outside noise, especially while skating or at the gym. The Shure 840 and Beyerdynamic DT250/80 closed headphones were recently recommended to me in these forums and I'll be getting them soon.

 

I use the Fiio E5 with my Sony MDRs and as Townyj said they only slightlty improve the sound quality at best (though the bass boost is suprisingly good) and that is off-set with the audible noise that it introduces, but then the E5 isn't really aimed at improving sound quality. For only $20 max the E5 is a crazily inexpensive way to get more power to your headphones. I found that even low impedance 30-80ohm full size headphones benefit from the added power of the amp. While commuting I can only hear some podcasts/music properly when using the amp... my source (Sony X) simply can't supply enough power to even my modest headphones. For only $20 why not try it? I just spent that on lunch :)

 

Given that you like FLAC and that the largest Fuze is only 8gb you may want to think about a larger player in case your collection grows and you lose interest in being forced to decide what music to take with you (that's just my personal experience). The S:flo2 could be a good option if you're willing to wait a long time for delivery. I dislike the seller myself, but it supports FLAC, has built in line-out, will easily drive most headphones up to 150ohm impedance at least and allegedly has a good sound. It also comes in a 16gb flavour which can be increased through flash memory cards.

 

Good luck with your hunt.

post #10 of 43

I used to own an E5 for a short amount of time and found a prefered listening to my headphones directly out of my mp3 player. Even with the bass boost on it didnt do much for me. But each to there own. Even though the SR60i's are open you will be able to hear your surrounding's, since your skating this can be a benefit. Traffic and mates calling out to you etc. Dont look at the SRH840's, i couldnt drive them directly out of my A818 and they are quite heavy on the head. Also the DT-250's will be more of a drama seeing the higher ohm. Within your price range the Sennheiser PX100, Koss Portapro, SR60i's maybe the AT ES7 would be good directly out of a clip+ or fuze. Try and demo some phones before you choose.


Edited by Townyj - 6/11/10 at 7:16am
post #11 of 43

Honestly speaking just forget about the amp and lod and just go straight from your mp3 player. You can save the money from the amp and cable and get a better phone than the SR60i

post #12 of 43

I was really excited about Grado stuff and went one day to the store to listen to some top line cans. Well, I don't know how people can name it as one of the best HPs eva which are plays music with pronounced glass (can) effect... So I would suggest you to buy either UE TF-10 or ES SM3. And the most important part of your setup is the DAC if you are about to listen to music via your laptop at home then you just have to get one of these. I recommend either Dr.DAC2 with upgraded Op-Amps or VALAB NOS DAC.

 

That was my experience. Good luck anyway ;)

post #13 of 43

Did you read what he wanted..?? He is going to carry a laptop with a dr.dac while skating..?? Hmmm.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theppd View Post

I was really excited about Grado stuff and went one day to the store to listen to some top line cans. Well, I don't know how people can name it as one of the best HPs eva which are plays music with pronounced glass (can) effect... So I would suggest you to buy either UE TF-10 or ES SM3. And the most important part of your setup is the DAC if you are about to listen to music via your laptop at home then you just have to get one of these. I recommend either Dr.DAC2 with upgraded Op-Amps or VALAB NOS DAC.

 

That was my experience. Good luck anyway ;)

post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Townyj View Post

Did you read what he wanted..?? He is going to carry a laptop with a dr.dac while skating..?? Hmmm.

 


 


Did you read my post? "...if you are about to listen to music via your laptop at home..."

post #15 of 43


Still no relevance to what he was after dude... Anyhow moving on.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theppd View Post




Did you read my post? "...if you are about to listen to music via your laptop at home..."

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