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HD 650 and Amp, DAC, or AMP/DAC?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Background:

Let me preface this by saying that I am new to this site, but I have been searching the forums and reviews for about four days now.  I've gotten some really good information and I'm really glad I found this site before I made any more purchases.

I recently bought a pair of HD 650s, which should be delivered today.  I've been using un-amped ER4Ps through my X-Fi soundcard and have enjoyed the sound immensely.  I can no longer shut the entire world out with in-ear phones anymore (or my wife will kill me), so I bought the open HD650s.

 

Question:

Due to budget constraints I can no longer afford to buy the DV3322 as I had planned.  I can only spend about $200 on a solution to get me through the next four months or so.  Should I buy a DAC/AMP combo then buy the amp I want later and use the DAC/AMP as just a DAC?   Or should I spend all $200 on an amp?

 

Other Considerations:

I have no preference on SS vs. Tube and I listen to mostly heavy metal and classical music, with some movies and gaming.

 

Thank you very much for you thoughts and suggestions.

post #2 of 20

Have you looked at the Audio-GD FUN? http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/FUN/FUNEN.htm It's $190 for the basic version and looks like what you are looking for. There are several rave reviews of it on this site, but that was for the "A version" ($340).

 

It has a DAC and decent headphone amp in it and can also be used as a pre-amp when you have the money for the amp you want. Plus it's upgradable via the different modules.

post #3 of 20

Go with a DAC/AMP combo. I find that the Aune dac/amp works well with my HD650's.

Other choices that I have not heard but are in your budget are the uDac, and the Head Direct EF2.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

Ok, so it sounds like going the DAC/AMP route is the way to go.  I'll pick up the Darkvoice 3322 in a few months.  Thanks for the advice!

post #5 of 20

Why did you buy HD650?

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post

Why did you buy HD650?



I like the way they sound and I've had good experiences with various other Sennheiser products.  Why do you ask?  I know a lot of people say that Grados are the way to go for rock/metal, but I just liked the HD650 a little better.

post #7 of 20

Just wondering, as many people who are new to the hobby just go for things like HD650 or K701, and basically blow most of their load on the phones themselves. The problem is, that's actually not how money should be distributed into a system, and especially not with those 2 phones. They're both rather power-hungry and unforgiving when it comes to source, so I always would have to recommend an HD580 or K501 instead, just so the resources can be shifted over a bit to the electronics. Unfortunately, you now have an HD650 and only $200 left over, which makes things a bit tough...

 

Sorry, I'm not being particularly useful, but I don't know how to construct a good $500 system with $300 phones. If you had just initially posted "Hey, I have $500 and like Sennheisers. What are my options?" before actually making that 1st purchase, then I definitely could've pointed you in the right direction imo.

 

Edit: Actually, you might be able to score a nice Parasound DAC and Mini3 for a bit over $200 if you're very lucky. Might take more than a few months to find those, though. Just keep an eye out.


Edited by atothex - 7/16/10 at 2:05pm
post #8 of 20

 

I think the HD650 is a great choice as a first 'serious' headphone especially used. If you like the sound signature it work well with almost any type of music, its power hungry but not all that hard to amp, it's laid back enough to be forgiving of less than perfect recordings and DAC's, and it scales superbly when your ready  to make a step up.

 

For metal and classical I'd start with something solid state at this price point.

post #9 of 20

I disagree with you actually. The phones are fine as a start, he can upgrade and change his source and power as the years pass. The good part about the hd650 is you can really hear the changes in source and amp choice. It will be a fun and eventually an expensive project for the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post

Just wondering, as many people who are new to the hobby just go for things like HD650 or K701, and basically blow most of their load on the phones themselves. The problem is, that's actually not how money should be distributed into a system, and especially not with those 2 phones. They're both rather power-hungry and unforgiving when it comes to source, so I always would have to recommend an HD580 or K501 instead, just so the resources can be shifted over a bit to the electronics. Unfortunately, you now have an HD650 and only $200 left over, which makes things a bit tough...

 

Sorry, I'm not being particularly useful, but I don't know how to construct a good $500 system with $300 phones. If you had just initially posted "Hey, I have $500 and like Sennheisers. What are my options?" before actually making that 1st purchase, then I definitely could've pointed you in the right direction imo.

 

Edit: Actually, you might be able to score a nice Parasound DAC and Mini3 for a bit over $200 if you're very lucky. Might take more than a few months to find those, though. Just keep an eye out.

post #10 of 20


Quote:

Originally Posted by atothex View Post

Just wondering, as many people who are new to the hobby just go for things like HD650 or K701, and basically blow most of their load on the phones themselves. The problem is, that's actually not how money should be distributed into a system, and especially not with those 2 phones. They're both rather power-hungry and unforgiving when it comes to source, so I always would have to recommend an HD580 or K501 instead, just so the resources can be shifted over a bit to the electronics. Unfortunately, you now have an HD650 and only $200 left over, which makes things a bit tough...

 

 



I think you're making heavy weather of very little actually. I use a 650 with a Cambridge Audio 340A integrated with great results, thanks to good synergy. I've had good results with other integrateds as well, certainly no worse than the Cute Beyond or LD MkV I've owned. The OP should check out this thread: 

 

 http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/397215/is-my-receiver-a-headphone-amp-as-well/30#post_6786873 

 

especially post #33.  


Edited by pp312 - 7/17/10 at 6:15pm
post #11 of 20

I also have to agree that buying a good set of cans and then building a good setup around them is an intelligent decision. Some things work well together, while some look ok on paper but don't work as well as you'd expect. Get cans with a sound you like, then build a system with synergy for them !

post #12 of 20

I have same problem here. I'm thinking of getting Sennheiser HD-650. Not just sure what amp+dac would be a good choise. I live in Finland, Europe.

I'd use PC as a source, I have H/K AVR 247 attached to my PC via Toslink. Any recommendations? Budget is open, I just want to get a good value for my money, so I need some help. I have read the forum for a while, but I'm just confused wether I'll make good purchases or not.

post #13 of 20

You should try them out of your AVR first.

post #14 of 20

That's what I'm going to do. I already ordered the headphones yesterday, but I'll have to wait for a while because they don't have them in stock. I'm just exploring the options for the future, because it doesn'tlook too simple to find a good match. And it isn't easy to listen different setups, so I have to trust people who have more knowledge about these things.

 

I'll use them out of my AVR atleast for a while. But if I happen to need something more, what would be the options? Ordering inside EU from a trusted webshop is ok, but US isn't really a choise, I guess.

 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by atothex View Post

Just wondering, as many people who are new to the hobby just go for things like HD650 or K701, and basically blow most of their load on the phones themselves. The problem is, that's actually not how money should be distributed into a system, and especially not with those 2 phones. They're both rather power-hungry and unforgiving when it comes to source, so I always would have to recommend an HD580 or K501 instead, just so the resources can be shifted over a bit to the electronics. Unfortunately, you now have an HD650 and only $200 left over, which makes things a bit tough...


that seems to be the popular sentiment here but i have to disagree. i have never owned a headphone amp and i've been using HD600's for ten years and they sound amazing plugged into anything. in fact i just bought HD800s and when they arrive next week i'm going to see how they sound first before i spend another $300-$600 on an amp or dac.

 

everyone swears you need an amp but a lot of people also swear that cables matter and i've never seen a single double blind test that showed a sound difference in cabling. maybe i'm wrong about the whole amp thing and i'll probably end up getting an amp for the 800's just to satisfy my curiosity and then i'll know for sure whether or not the amp matters. but even if the amp improves the HD600, i think it's strange to think the 600's are a waste of money without an amp. compared to most headphones, they are a terrific upgrade.

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