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PLEASE...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

ight

i have tried so many tactics at getting some recommendations out of some of you experienced users

it's been a real trip.

six attempts deep, i'm giving it another go, and i'd really appreciate some help :)

 

recommend me a amp/dac/headphone combo!!

 

Budget: $500

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Main Use: To listen to my electro-acoustic music productions in Logic Pro 9.  The frequency emphasis really varied between compositions, so I don't want like "lots of bass" or "great highs" I want balance, but great, sparkling balance.  I want the headphones to sing, to sparkle, and to rock.  

Listening Use: incredibly eclectic, from 60's hard-bop to chugging metal-core to sparkling main-stream hip-hip to textured experimental indie. Again emphasis on a headphone that can handle variety.

Happily married with the dac and amp 

 

also: if any of you think that external dac's at this level are bullshit, and that they do not affect the audio quality, let me know!

 

 

give me some real combo recs please!

post #2 of 9

Beyerdynamic DT-990 600-Ohm for headphone, Audio-gd NFB-12 for DAC+Amp.

 

Sounds just what you're looking for, and the combo has very good synergy (the NFB-12 mitigates the DT990's main weakness of overly bright treble). I listen to a very wide range of music, and after hearing many headphones in the $100-$300 pricerange these were easily the best for me, very fun headphones with very wide soundstage, good bass (bit of emphasis), and crisp highs. The mids are a bit recessed, but nearly every "fun" headphone has recessed mids (there is no perfect headphone, period), I never found it a problem for any genre.

 

DACs make a significant difference if you are only using onboard audio from your computer, but in the $500 pricerange for headphones/dac/amp it's best to get a DAC/Amp combo unit. NFB-12 is one of the better ones in the $200 price range.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elanzer View Post

Beyerdynamic DT-990 600-Ohm for headphone, Audio-gd NFB-12 for DAC+Amp.

 

Sounds just what you're looking for, and the combo has very good synergy (the NFB-12 mitigates the DT990's main weakness of overly bright treble). I listen to a very wide range of music, and after hearing many headphones in the $100-$300 pricerange these were easily the best for me, very fun headphones with very wide soundstage, good bass (bit of emphasis), and crisp highs. The mids are a bit recessed, but nearly every "fun" headphone has recessed mids (there is no perfect headphone, period), I never found it a problem for any genre.

 

DACs make a significant difference if you are only using onboard audio from your computer, but in the $500 pricerange for headphones/dac/amp it's best to get a DAC/Amp combo unit. NFB-12 is one of the better ones in the $200 price range.

 

Thanks for the reply Elanzer!! so legit and helpful.  the NFB-12 seems very talked about and legit and that combination fits right into my price range. 

 

I was wondering what you thought about these combos:

 

AKG k70x + Little dot MKIII + macbook pro onboard dac

 

OR

 

AKG k70x + iBasso d10

 

any feedback or experience with these? I'm attracted to the AKG's because if I could boost their bass power it would mean i would have a balanced headphone and they are SICK for the value these days ($266 online!) 

 

post #4 of 9

K70x are demanding headphones, amp wise. I wouldn't recommend the iBasso d10 for it because it's a portable unit since portable units make compromises to be so small, it also has reduced power output over a regular desktop amp in exchange for battery life

 

The LD MKIII is an OTL tube amplifier and it's suited for high impedance headphones (ie: 300-600 Ohm), it doesn't output power efficiently for the 55-Ohm K701, so not the best choice. A solid-state amplifier is more suited for the K70x, imo.

 

I would try to escape the onboard as much as possible. For awhile I used my LD MKIII with just my onboard and it sounded like crap, the NFB-12 made a world of difference even just acting as the DAC, and I would say the NFB-12 as DAC+Amp was better than the onboard + LD MKII amp.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

ahh i see :)

 

thanks again for engaging in this discussion and helping me out. 

 

I hear that grados are great headphones with "pop" but good balance, is that true? would you recommend any pairs in my case? and if so, what would they be paired with? I'm very attracted to their aesthetic looks.  

 

I was reading about the interchangeable ear pads that had varying affects on the sound of the headphones with the grados and was intrigued since i'm not going to be able to physically shop for a pair.  Buying a pair of these and then choosing my favorite sound with the ear pads might be a nice direction to go in.  

 

any recommendations in that camp? thanks again

post #6 of 9

I think you should stick with a desktop dac/amp unless you really want a portable one. iBasso definitely makes some awesome portable dac/amps, but I think  in the end desktop is the way to go (just transitioned with my purchase of the Audio-GD NFB-2 and C2.1 :D).

 

As for the AKG70x + LD MK III combo, I'd rather get a better dac. Since your amp would be dependent on the quality of your source.

 

That's my 2 cents. I'm not going to try to recommend you anything, since my experience with all this is mostly limited to my current gear. And if you haven't read in the NFB-12 thread, there is a quite a wait time on orders from Audio-GD. Not that I'm trying to steer you away, I just hope you have enough patience to wait if you decide to go down that path.

 

EDIT: Haha looks like I took too long to respond and Elanzer just pretty much said what I wanted to say but in more detail.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by swappler View Post

ahh i see :)

 

thanks again for engaging in this discussion and helping me out. 

 

I hear that grados are great headphones with "pop" but good balance, is that true? would you recommend any pairs in my case? and if so, what would they be paired with? I'm very attracted to their aesthetic looks.  

 

I was reading about the interchangeable ear pads that had varying affects on the sound of the headphones with the grados and was intrigued since i'm not going to be able to physically shop for a pair.  Buying a pair of these and then choosing my favorite sound with the ear pads might be a nice direction to go in.  

 

any recommendations in that camp? thanks again

Hmm I usually hear Grados are good with rock, and that's what I think too. And I think they do just fine with jazz, metal, and j-pop but they definitely do not have a very large soundstage. And yes the ear pads do make a difference, for example the bowl ear pads (ones on the GS1000) increases the soundstage but doesn't sound as detailed or intimate(?) as with the stock pads on. Sorry I'm not that great with the terminology of sound characteristics. 

 

I would probably recommend the SR 225s, people say it's the sweet spot of the prestige line. The sr325is are quite bright, but I still like it, probably due to being used to it by now. And comfort-wise the sr325s are HEAVY compared to the others, when I tried my friend's RS-2...wow what a difference it made! So much more comfortable, as if it wasn't even there.
 

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

 

Hey all, thanks again

 

So after some more research, the Senn HD600's seem really to be the headphones for me...they're detailed as hell, balanced, and good for everything. 

 

I found a new pair for $308...which means i'll have $192 left to get a dac/amp combo that can drive them

 

any recommendations that will be killer?

 

post #9 of 9



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swappler View Post

 

Hey all, thanks again

 

So after some more research, the Senn HD600's seem really to be the headphones for me...they're detailed as hell, balanced, and good for everything. 

 

I found a new pair for $308...which means i'll have $192 left to get a dac/amp combo that can drive them

 

any recommendations that will be killer?

 



 I hate to be on the Audio Gd train, but they really are that good. Build, sound and value wise they are top notch.

 

I'd suggest if you squeezed a couple of dollars on shipping an NFB-12 and a HD600 it would be a wonderful setup.

 

I have a feeling that the HD600's are all of what you would want. I have AKG-K701's, people say they are bass-light, they are but with the right amp they can be fine bass-wise. But My HD650's have always felt rather great in all areas, but not acentuating in any in particular, the HD600's I think aren't that much different. Sennheisers I feel are good with any type of music, but not great at certain types like the AKG's can be.

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