Hey Jacobs34 -
There are, of course, a thousand answers for how you might drop 1K for a good HP set up. I'm pretty new to this and if I could go back few months I might do it differently, but for my 1K I got an iBasso DB2 (balanced portable DAC [about to ship - so I'm using a Fiio E7/E9 temporarily,]) an iBasso PB2 balanced portable amplifier, an iBasso balanced interconnect (between the two,) Sennheiser HD650's, and balanced (Senn. HD650) chord also by iBasso.
That's a fully balanced, surprisingly powerful rig with a well respected headphone for about 1K. There aren't a thousand ways to do that. Another plus is that it's reasonably portable. I'm not going to wear the 650s walking around, but I can easily take this back and forth between work and home and when traveling (maybe with a more portable HP.) I've had the PB2 and HD650's running balanced for a several weeks now and while I don't have much for reference points to offer, it sounds pretty amazing. You can read some favorable opinions of the pairing on the PB2 thread. It's also fun to dink around with the opamps and buffers in the PB2, as iBasso sends a variety and some members have spent a bunch of time helping others fine tune the sound they might want out of it and offer some kits to help out.
So I now do occasionally find myself wishing that I was looking at a beautiful tube amp sitting on my desk, but that may come later and I can use the DAC as a stand-alone in front of any future amp and this set up can be just for portable needs or a work rig.
Just one dude's $1,000 - Many other ways to do it. Some days I wish I bought some Audeze LCD-2's and worried about how to afford an amp later. Other days I wish I didn't find this website. Actually, you still have a chance - RUN NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN!
Wow. Thanks for the advice. Sounds like you have a good setup going. I've been circling around the HD650's for awhile now, as they seem to be reasonably priced and can scale pretty well as you upgrade the rest of your equipment. I will definitely check out the IBasso DAC's and Amps. As for running now, I think it was too late after the first time I put my AD 700s on.