Well, I've finally decided to make the leap to hi-fi, and I've been able to come up with some requirements for the products I wish to buy. Here are all of my requirements listed by component:
- Must have a frequency response of at least 5 Hz - 30 kHz. The lower bound can be lower and the upper bound can be higher.
Minimal roll-off in bass is preferred.
- Must have at least USB and TRS inputs
- RCA stereo output is fine, but TRS if not possible (and also preferred).
- Output power is not much of an issue considering the amp requirements, but 200 mW is good enough.
- Preferably parametric (that may be the only possibility considering the next requirement).
- Must be able to boost ~10 Hz by at least 24 dB.
- At least TRS input and output.
- Same frequency response requirement as the DAC.
- Same frequency response as the DAC.
- Don't care about bass boost functionality.
- At least TRS inputs and outputs.
- Output power of at least 300 mW @ 32 ohm (a Big Joe Power Amp if all else fails ).
- "A significant upgrade from the Sony MDR-XB700"
- Using the XB700 as a base, these headphones should have ("or greater" is implied, as in "similar or greater"):
- Similar bass extension.
- Greater sound stage.
- An open characteristic akin to the SRH440.
- Capable of producing significant amount of subsonic bass (kind of an umbrella requirement).
My budget is $2000. In another post, I initially said $500 for the headphones, but that would be half-assed of me. For what I want, I've found the resolve (and the savings) to invest in good audio. The aim of my setup is to reproduce all sound at an audible level with an emphasis on sub-bass. Of course, I don't see any headphone (or speaker, or anything for that matter) that has the driver capability to produce 1 Hz at an audible level, but that's not the aim of my setup. I want the components to get as close to producing those frequencies as possible. I find sub-bass to be less intrusive than mid-bass while also providing greater power to a song than other bass frequencies.
I found the Cambridge Audio DacMagic for $429. Are there any cheaper options? otherwise it is fine. As for the equalizer, the Rane PE 17 is the only one I can find that fits the requirement. In fact, there's an eBay auction for one right now for cheap (it could be broken). I found many more amps than DAC's that fit my requirement, and I haven't really narrowed my choices. Then, the most important component of all, the headphone. I'm looking at the Denon AH-D500, Ultrasone HFI-780, Reloop RHP-20, Ultrasone Proline 650 (really considering it), Shure SRH750DJ (really considering it), and BeyerDynamic DT 770 (is it really much of an upgrade?). What I'm looking for is, in a nutshell, a marriage between (the bass of the XB700 and the open nature and clarity of the SRH440) + bass. So my question to you all is do you have any suggestions as to what products to buy or comments about my requirements?