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Getting into the Hobby

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Well, I bought a pair of Ad700's for gaming purposes mainly, and I am awestruck the by the quality of a decent pair of phones compared to $20 sonys i had.  But now, like I'm sure many others have, I'm craving more!  I use these for movies, games, music, every use imaginable.  I don't really have a source, just a onkyo receiver and a Zune.  I listen to everything from pink floyd, to underground hip hop, to classical. So I am wondering where i go from here...

 

1) buy an upgrade pair that is not neccesarily for a certain kind of music for around $200 (thinking shure srh840's?)

2) buy an actual source that will be good for the time being (that I'll have to upgrade later)

3) buy an actually good amp/dac that will last me through many phones/upgrades

4) buy different phones that are good for different things (one for classical, one for hip hop, so on..)

 

Just wondering what method you guys used to ease yourself into the hobby while on a budget? Most cost-effective and satisfactory path to work myself into getting the most out of my phones/wallet

post #2 of 26

To save money, you could run a digital line out of your computer source to the receiver, which has a built in DAC, typically. That may be a good start to improve sound quality. With HiFi, it's not just the headphones, it's all the links in the chain that make the sound good. So, buying a ton of headphones won't do you much good if you can't drive them with a decent amp, or have a crapola sound file (i.e. MP3).

post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

thanks for the quick reply, so what exactly should i ask in the forum for getting a decent amp? and which forum exactly do you suggest i ask that in? what sound files do you recommend and where can i get them?

So i should stick with my current phones? I was thinking of dedicating my ad700s to gaming as i move forward with hifi, and buying a mixamp for digital surround sound strictly for the gaming benefits, then i could start with a decent amp, and more well rounded phones like the shures.

thanks again

post #4 of 26

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-AD900-Open-Dynamic-Headphones/dp/B00070GXBS

 

Buy them while they are $200 before they go back to $300. I'm not sure why it's showing the a900 picture though to start. Here's why I recommend them against your options:

 

1: If you like the Ad700 already the Ad900 are a 100% upgrade. They take the Ad700s and improve upon everything. There's no loss here. I upgraded from my Ad700 to the Ad900 and I don't regret it one bit. 

2: A Zune will power the Ad900 as will your receiver just fine. 

3: You won't notice a huge improvement from an amp on your Ad700.

4: The Ad900 have served me fine for every genre. I bought Grado Sr225i for Rock, but I prefer the Ad900 over them in every way.

 

I can not recommend the Ad900 enough if you like the Ad700. From there I suggest looking into a FiiO E7 with a FiiO L3 LOD. I suggest this because it's an excellent starter amp that not only serves as a portable amp, but also works as a desktop usb DAC/Amp. The E7 can be upgraded by buying an E9 down the line which the E7 docks into. A lot of people swear by the E7+E9 combo not only because it is $200 total, but it is comparable to higher end amp/DACs. 

 

The E7 has brought more clarity into my Ad900 while improving on the bass making them my favorite headphone I've ever heard. So yeah I suggest buying an Ad900 for $200 now before it goes back up to $300 then buying an E7 for ~$90 when you can afford it. I am 100% satisfied with this combo, coming from the Ad700.

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for the advice keanex, it seems like you have been in my shoes before, I do really love Audio Technica's products from what I've seen/heard/read so this probably will be the best option for me. This looks like it time-proofs, is cost efficient and you answered all of my questions very well.

Now I just have to read up some more on the whole amp/dac thing and I will definatley look into the FiiO E7/E9 so I know more about how to set it up and how it works. Thanks so much for helping me into the hifi world.. haha

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post

Thanks a lot for the advice keanex, it seems like you have been in my shoes before, I do really love Audio Technica's products from what I've seen/heard/read so this probably will be the best option for me. This looks like it time-proofs, is cost efficient and you answered all of my questions very well.

Now I just have to read up some more on the whole amp/dac thing and I will definatley look into the FiiO E7/E9 so I know more about how to set it up and how it works. Thanks so much for helping me into the hifi world.. haha


IMO amping the AD900 is a waste and holds zero benefit in my experience. A decent source is always needed though.

post #7 of 26

It's not a huge benefit in amping the Ad900, but the FiiO E7 with +1 bass boost not only made the bass exactly up to my standards for the ideal amount of bass, while adding slight clarity boost. I wanted to comment on the bass, the bass is much better than the Ad700, but I can assure you it is not intrusive in the least. Back to the E7 though, I noticed little to no improvement at first. It wasn't until Herbie Hancock came on where I AB tested with/without the E7 and the percussion seemed more clear to me with the E7. I then caved in and put +1 bass boost, which added a tinge more bass and I now consider these headphones unbeatable for $200. I may not have tried every $200 headphone, but I can't imagine anything sounding better than this for the price.

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

This may not be the correct place for this but can somebody please give me a broad and quick explanation of what the differences are between a source, an amp, and a dac?? A source would be like my Zune, or receiver, right? But if my receiver is an amp technically can somebody please explain the difference? Is it just that what I would buy is dedicated to headphones? I'm confused as to how all of this connects and what is necessary for a beginner and what isn't.

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by keanex View Post

It's not a huge benefit in amping the Ad900, but the FiiO E7 with +1 bass boost not only made the bass exactly up to my standards for the ideal amount of bass, while adding slight clarity boost. I wanted to comment on the bass, the bass is much better than the Ad700, but I can assure you it is not intrusive in the least. Back to the E7 though, I noticed little to no improvement at first. It wasn't until Herbie Hancock came on where I AB tested with/without the E7 and the percussion seemed more clear to me with the E7. I then caved in and put +1 bass boost, which added a tinge more bass and I now consider these headphones unbeatable for $200. I may not have tried every $200 headphone, but I can't imagine anything sounding better than this for the price.


The AD900s were great value at $300, at $200 I also think they'd be hard to beat.

post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

So now since I'm heavily leaning towards the ad900s should i consider selling my ad700s?? Maybe use that money to amp the ad900s??

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post

So now since I'm heavily leaning towards the ad900s should i consider selling my ad700s?? Maybe use that money to amp the ad900s??


If you have the AD900 there is no use for the AD700. Sell them off and use the money to fun whatever source/amp you want.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CodyZ532 View Post

This may not be the correct place for this but can somebody please give me a broad and quick explanation of what the differences are between a source, an amp, and a dac?? A source would be like my Zune, or receiver, right? But if my receiver is an amp technically can somebody please explain the difference? Is it just that what I would buy is dedicated to headphones? I'm confused as to how all of this connects and what is necessary for a beginner and what isn't.



A source is your Zune/receiver but also includes the quality of music. Most people here will recommend 320kbps, but that's wasted space. V0 quality is capable of reaching 320kbps, but only when necessary, thus maintaining the same quality as 320, but saving more space. If your receiver is an amp, then it does what any other amp would do which is power headphones/speakers that need it. A DAC is generally found with an amp and takes the digital signal sent from a computer or digital audio player (DAP) into an analog signal that then reaches your headphones. Certain DAC's produce different tones/clarity. Your receiver won't have a DAC though since it's intended for CD players, or other things already with a DAC to plug into it. 

 

As to what you need? Nothing but your headphones. As to what you'll want? Well that all depends on how happy you are with your sound from your headphones and if you want to get a "better" sound. Going from my iPod to headphones directly sounded fine to be honest. Eventually I wanted to see what was available out there, so I bought the E7, and the FiiO L3 LOD (which is the line out dock of your Zune/iPod) which I noticed a tad bit better sound quality overall. Was it worth the $85? I don't know honestly, but it does increase the listening experience for me.

 

As for your Ad700 unless you want to use them as a beater pair or something to lend friends, then sell them here for $80 or so, depending on Amazon prices, and put that money towards an Amp/DAC if you want.

post #13 of 26
Thread Starter 

Alright sounds good, and maybe one day I'll be able to have enough cash to buy the AD2000's like you.

They look extremely impressive, I can only imagine how they must sound.. well actually I probably can't.. haha

post #14 of 26

Oh god, after the ad900, I'm anxiously awaiting my chance to try ad2000 myself. The reviews here made my face go O_O

post #15 of 26

The AD2000s are amazing <3

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