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Neutral and detailed DAC <$1500 to go with my K702's? - Page 2

post #16 of 60

Definitely check out the Wyred 4 Sound DAC's, either will be in the ballpark. 

post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by upstateguy View Post





Doing backwards, I think.

 

The phones are the  sound.  Second is the source, then the amp, but the difference they make is small compared to the difference headphones make.

 

USG


X2 

 

I'd rather listen to my T1 through a CMOY than using my HD201 with a Phoenix. biggrin.gif

 

post #18 of 60

Like everyone else I started out with headphones, here's my take on it...

 
To say pairing a $200 headphone with a $1500 DAC is out of scale simply shows how caught up you are with marketing. To put this into perspective we all know the Sennheiser HD800 is simply the next in line from HD600, HD650 and the whopping price simply shows Sennheiser acknowledgment that audio enthusiasts will pay up. Previous to the release of the HD800 the HD600 and HD650 fit the neutral reference sound just find with no short comings. Why do people find it more revealing; because it has a hot treble, much like the once sought-after Sony SA5000 which we've seen go from one of the most talked about a couple years ago to almost complete silence. With that said, some prefer the $300 HD600/650 over the $1300 HD800, I've even seen people prefer the K701 over a $2000 Stax setup. 
 
To mentioned iPod earbuds and HD201s as high end listening products just shows how far you have to take it to make a differential argument. Replace these headphones with any $200+ headphone and anything from this point on is merely a sidestep in sound signature. With that in mind I'd rather listen to my DT880 through a Phoenix than using a T1 with a CMOY. Unfortunately with the recent release of the HD800, T1 and the likes it has all come down to how much did you pay for your headphone, the rest of the system seemingly makes little difference.
 
The phones are not the sound, they just give you a way to listen too it. The phones are the predominant flavor in sound signature, headphones will give you the biggest change in that respect.
 
Onto the DAC. I've owned the op-amp based DACs and like many have come to the conclusion that price aside if you match op-amp for op-amp a $100 DAC will sound identical to a $500 DAC. How one DAC pairs well with one type of headphone and one with another, this is because they are flavored, not neutral; not what a DAC should be which is disappear from your setup altogether. I've suggest EMU 0404 and DacMagics to friends thinking they would be good external soundcards only to sorely find out my $100 op-amp based DAC/amp trumps them.
 
It wasn't until quite recently that I found the perfect DAC that bridged this digital to analogue sound which has given new life to all my other equipment. Upon first hearing the DL3 it was as if someone had cleaned my music with a sponge and soap, it wasn't a different sound, just a much cleaner one. Now some 5-years into my 'audio journey' I feel I have to go back and hear all the headphones I've since passed, this in my opinion is why it's important to have a good source from the get go.
 
I'm sure there are better DAC's and not everyone wants an analogue sound, I might add this digital sound first became apparent to me after moving away from Ultrasones. Audio-GD as mentioned above might build some great looking audio gear but I question why one DAC is suggested for certain bright phones and another Audio-GD for warmer sounding phones. In this respect the change in audio signature will be subtle, the difference between chocolate flavored ice cream and strawberry, all-being-while everyones forgotten about the once favorite; vanilla.
 
In closing, sound signature aside please forget about the price tag, it DOES NOT determine how good a piece of audio equipment is.
 
Marketing BS for the win!

Edited by Graphicism - 3/16/11 at 8:10pm
post #19 of 60

@Graphicisim, I simply do not agree, if you compare a pair of $200 to a pair of $1000 headphones you would definitely see a large improvement on the technical aspect side of things, of course the sound signature may not suit your tastes but it does not mean that they are not better headphones. Although I do agree equipment matching is extremely important.


Edited by jackmccabe - 3/16/11 at 2:26pm
post #20 of 60

Headphone A is $1000 and Headphone B is $200.  This alone does not mean that Headphone A is better.  Is that really debatable?

post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

Headphone A is $1000 and Headphone B is $200.  This alone does not mean that Headphone A is better.  Is that really debatable?


 

 

07233.jpg

 

post #22 of 60

Yes if you pay $200 for a headphone  and a $1000 for the same headphone in a different colour, there will be no difference. 

Yet if you actually look at some of the best value in each price bracket you will almost certainly see an improvement with the $1000

post #23 of 60

I disagree.  I think the Senn HD650 is easily a better headphone than the Beyer T1, at brand new prices.  And then on the used market, ~$500 will get you a Stax rig that will sound better than most dynamic cans, period, regardless of price.

 

I can certainly see wanting to like the more expensive phones better.  It sucks paying a lot of money for no improvement.

post #24 of 60

˄ This forum is now littered with people that think like that... A HD800 or T1 is better than a HD650 or DT880 simply because it costs a lot more and comes in a nicer box, when it fact it is only a side step. From around 2009 there was a massive flood of newcomers to head-fi and with it discussion of some 100+ headphones went out the window to a select few, no longer is it FOTM but FOTD (decade). Rarely do you see anyone speak of Stax, maybe they should re-release their headphone line with green cables?

post #25 of 60

I have actually heard several headphones costing around $200 and I didn't think much of them, but to be honest I have only heard one set of headphones costing around $1000 and that was the AKG K1000's. 

Personally I did not think the dt880, dt990, hd600, hd650 or grado sr325is competed.

If you are happy with hd650's great for you but personally, I found they lack detail and are fairly bloated. They were good for bass heavy genre's but I didn't like them with rock in the slightest.

I still feel that a $1500 dac is a waste on a pair of $200 headphones, but then maybe that is just me.


Edited by jackmccabe - 3/17/11 at 11:27am
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

to be honest I have only heard one set of headphones costing around $1000 and that was the AKG K1000's.


And from this you've arrived at the conclusion that all $1000 headphones sound like K1000s? ~ Which I'll add cost around $400 when they were in production.

post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackmccabe View Post

I have actually heard several headphones costing around $200 and I didn't think much of them, but to be honest I have only heard one set of headphones costing around $1000 and that was the AKG K1000's. 

 


facepalm.jpg

 

post #28 of 60

I have also heard several headphones that cost around $500-700 (w5000, and sr404) and I also found these by far superior to the previously mentioned headphones.

Also I have heard several people compare the hd800's to k1000 and they didn't come away so poorly.

 

Graphicism, what $1000+ headphones have you heard that perform as well or worse than $200 headphones as you seem to be fairly quick to criticize my points.

Also please note I was talking about the best headphones you could get for $1000 compared to the best for $200.

post #29 of 60

$1500 for a DAC is as much a waste on a $1000 headphone as $200 headphone. It's all up to what you are willing to pay. You can easily get a DAC at $200 that will be 99% the equal of DACs costing $1500, and probably even better in some cases. The simple fact is, tested side by side, you would be hard pressed to tell a difference between the $200 and $1500 DAC. If you are truly looking for the best technical performance you can get, you can get it for about $1000, with a headphone amp to boot: http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac/dac1

post #30 of 60

I personally didn't think very much of the benchmark dac-1 when I heard it and I thought you could do much better for the same price for instance pretty much anything from audio-gd in a similar price range or if you are willing to DIY The Buffalo II is excellent

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