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Newbie needs help with 1st setup!

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Hello! I'm new to Head-Fi, I've been reading the forums for about a week, beacuse I am willing to get my first serious setup, and I know you audiophiles can help me!

 

So lets go. My budget is $450, and here are my needs:

 

- Full size circumnaural headphones (preferably open).

- Portable battery suplied headphone amp.

 

It is all going to be conected to my iPod touch 4G (with line-out). Although I want my setup to be more or less portable, don't worry about the headphones size, I don't mind wearing big phones in public.

 

The only headphones I've had that are worth mentioning are: Sennheiser PCX-II, Koss PortaPro, and Klipsh Image S4 (IEM's). I want to get the best possible sound within my budget.

 

Some headphones that I've been looking at are: Sennheiser 595/600/650, Grado sr225i, Denon D2000, Beyerdynamic DT 880.

Some amps I've seen: PA2V2, Fiio E5/E7, Mini3, NuForce Icon Portable, HeadRoom Total AirHead/BitHead

 

My musical tastes are: heavy metal (death metal, black metal, etc), classical music, jazz, etc. Soundstage and clarity are necesary as I want to be able to listen every instrument individually with no disortion. After meeting the previous conditions, the more powerfull the sound is, the better.

 

So, what do you Head-Fiers recommend me?

post #2 of 39

Well...the Grados are fantastic headphones (I don't particularly like the SR225's though) but if you must have a large sound stage, Grados will NOT deliver. They will however meet or exceed your expectations for the rest of your criteria.

post #3 of 39

You might want to consider the AKG K701 if you're truly interested in soundstage and detail. Unfortunately you will lose some bass (impact) which may be a deal breaker for you with metal, but for the almost every other genre they sound awesome.

post #4 of 39

I don't think that K701's will work well with most portable amps though...they need a lot of juice, otherwise the just sound...meh...

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks for replying so soon!

 

I don't know if its soundstage what I reallly need, I want to be able to hear every detail in each instrument individually. I am looking for a well-rounded sound. What Grados would you recommend?

 

I'll also take AKG's K701 into consideration, thanks!

 

What do yo know about Beyerdynamic DT 880? I reallly like it's looks.

post #6 of 39

Grados IMO have really good separation but like I said, sound stage not so great. IMO...for my money, I would go lower end with something like the SR60 or 80 or higher up the ladder with the SR325. To me the 225 is just thin and weak. Others will argue that the 225 is the best of the Prestige lineup. 

 

I don't know much about the 880's. 

post #7 of 39

You also might look at the thread about the Fischer Audio FA-003. The reviews are fantastic and even though they are closed, they are said to have a very open headphone sound and feel. I have a pair ordered...not the FA-003 but the FA-002w which is basically the woodied version of the FA-003.

post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I will check out  the FA-003.

 

Could you explain what does soundstage exactly mean?

post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 

And could you suggest some good portable amps?

post #10 of 39

Soundstage - The area between two speakers that appears to the listener to be occupied by sonic images. Like a real stage, a soundstage should have width, depth, and height.

post #11 of 39

Just to point out...Grados are not circumaural, they're supra-aural, and thus may pose comfort issues. I would definitely suggest finding a dealer and trying them out first. A much as I loved the sound and overall performance of my previous Grados (SR80 & SR325), I couldn't get over the discomfort on my outer ears after moderate listening (~1 hr), even after the various comfort mods I'd tried. I really wish I could get them to work for me because they really do sound exceptional. If they fit you and are comfortable, the SR80 is a great option for you...leaving you ample funds for a portable amp.

 

Good luck!   

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I've just seen an offer of a used RSA Hornet for $250. I've read that it is a very good portable amp. Should I go ahead and buy It? That would let $200 for the headphones though...

post #13 of 39

The Hornet is an excellent amp. I'm not familiar with the market value of a used Hornet, but I'm sure searching the FS/Wanted section will give you a good reference point. $200 is also plenty for a set of Grado SR80s or SR125s if that's the route you choose. I'm sure others will chime in on headphone alternatives.

post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
Could someone list Headphones which make a good match with the hornet?
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amused View Post

Just to point out...Grados are not circumaural, they're supra-aural, and thus may pose comfort issues. I would definitely suggest finding a dealer and trying them out first. A much as I loved the sound and overall performance of my previous Grados (SR80 & SR325), I couldn't get over the discomfort on my outer ears after moderate listening (~1 hr), even after the various comfort mods I'd tried. I really wish I could get them to work for me because they really do sound exceptional. If they fit you and are comfortable, the SR80 is a great option for you...leaving you ample funds for a portable amp.

 

Good luck!   


Jumbo pads can solve both issues though there is a price of slightly reduced SQ, easily fixed by some EQing if you find it necessary.

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