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First real setup: Nuforce Icon HDP + HD650's? (best under $1000)?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I would like to build my first real audio setup and keep it under $1000 including DAC, amp, and headphones.

 

I've been partial to Sennheiser's since they are what I have used for the past couple of years.  From from I read, the HDP is a great DAC/amp combo and would sufficiently drive the HD650's.  Can anyone tell me what type of sound signature I would receive?

 

Also, any recommendations for other setups under $1000 would be great.  Thanks a lot.

post #2 of 18

Hi,

 

I got an Icon HDP and HD650 as my first serious system a couple of months ago. I was very happy with the combination, and it

played better than any of my previous headphones (HD545, HD280 and some cheaper crap).

 

Last week I got the Denon AH-D5000 phones after several test sessions at the local dealer. The main reason, and the main reason after having both the Denon and the Sennheiser for a week is that the Denon has an entirely different approach to bass reproduction.

 

I am not very good at descibing differences but here are my two cents: the denon have more bass, both lower and more of it.

Also I find the mids "sharper" on the denon, that is quitars and strings sound more metallic and sharp. Versus the HD650 smooth ride.

 

Bass vice I thought that the HD650 had very good natural bass, but now that I have the denons they do sound kind of thin.

 

Soo to get back to your question, I would describe the HDP + HD650 combo as a very good sounding, natural, open and smooth.

You will not get exessive amount or depth in the bass region, but the bass that is there is very high quality. I also think that the HDP will drive almost all headphones very nicely.

 

So just do some research into what cans you will like, and the HDP is just a great piece of equipment. :)

post #3 of 18

My favorite middle tier Sennheiser is actually the HD580.  It has the same drivers as the HD600, which I actually like better than the 650.  I've only heard them at meets, but IMO the HD580 was my favorite.  YMMV.  They aren't available new though, so you'd have to chase them down used.  But I think a 580 can be found cheaper than a 650 if you look.

 

The HDP is a great choice IMO.  It combines high quality DACs with a decent headphone amp.  And it's 15 volts, which is a good thing for high impedence cans.  I haven't heard it, but I've heard everything else by NuForce so I trust that it's good.

 

$.02

post #4 of 18

It's all a matter of taste. If you like the 650 sound signature (smooth, warm, laid back) then this is a fine system for you.

 

One other option worth thinking about would be a used HE-5LE - I've seen a bunch of them on the FS boards in the $500-550 range, which would squeeze them right into that $1,000 budget with the Nuforce.

post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmanGeorge View Post

It's all a matter of taste. If you like the 650 sound signature (smooth, warm, laid back) then this is a fine system for you.

 

One other option worth thinking about would be a used HE-5LE - I've seen a bunch of them on the FS boards in the $500-550 range, which would squeeze them right into that $1,000 budget with the Nuforce.


I'll second the HE-5LE recommendation.  I heard Larry's pair and they are great headphones.  I really prefer tube amps for orthos though, so if I was buying the HE5-LEs I wouldn't choose solid state to go with them.

post #6 of 18

The HDP is a very good choice.  If you like the Sennheiser house sound, I would recommend the HD-600 over the HD-650, and get a Cardas or ALO after market cable for them.

 

Happy listening!

 

Another great budget option is the NuForce µDAC-2, feeding the Schiit Asgard, feeding the HD-600.  You'll get better sound with this option and save money to boot!

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post

The HDP is a very good choice.  If you like the Sennheiser house sound, I would recommend the HD-600 over the HD-650, and get a Cardas or ALO after market cable for them.

 

Happy listening!

 

Another great budget option is the NuForce µDAC-2, feeding the Schiit Asgard, feeding the HD-600.  You'll get better sound with this option and save money to boot!


The uDac2 is good, but I did a comparison to the IBasso D10 and liked the D10 hands down better.

post #8 of 18

The HDP as a combo I found sounded a little bright and lean which is actually a good thing with the HD650.  I didn't like the HDP as a combo that much (loved its DAC section but not so much the amp) but HD650 was one headphone that I felt went very well with it.  Fully enjoyed the two together and I do recommend it as a budget combo.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post




The uDac2 is good, but I did a comparison to the IBasso D10 and liked the D10 hands down better.


No argument from me.  The D10 is more dinero though, right? 

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwkarth View Post




No argument from me.  The D10 is more dinero though, right? 

Yes.  The D10 is about $100 more than the uDac2.  So it's not quite a fair comparison.  But with a $1000 budget stretching to the D10 is worth it IMO.

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by barleyguy View Post



Yes.  The D10 is about $100 more than the uDac2.  So it's not quite a fair comparison.  But with a $1000 budget stretching to the D10 is worth it IMO.


You're probably right...  Yup, D10 it is.

post #12 of 18

I am using HD650 - Cambridge Dacmagic - Matrix M-Stage its sounds wonderfull ...
 

post #13 of 18

I don't have any idea about HDP, but i have used uDAC, it didn't give me a good impression with my HD 650. I would rather choose headamp section from Asus Xonar STX or Audiotrak Prodigy XT for my HD 650.

 

I wish HDP would be a great DAC & headamp for HD 650.. Since i still haven't found any proper amp that can give me a "day & night" difference.

 

Can't wait to audition HDP.

post #14 of 18

I have that setup and I love it.

post #15 of 18

I'd vouch for the HRT Music Streamer II as an excellent choice as a DAC feeding into a Schiit Asgard or Matrix M-stage. Take my advice with more than a grain of salt though, as the only components I've actually heard are the HRT MSII (which I own and love), and the Asgard for a very brief amount of time. However, I'm sure there are many who can support this claim on this forum based on what I've read.

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