Due to kids, work commitments etc. I was off the hobby for about three years until about 6 months ago when I put together a little portable rig consisting of AKG K550 + FIIO E12 + iPhone 4s loaded with 44/16 aiff files for listening in the car as that was the only time I could have for myself (sad but true and who has kids and a full time job would probably understand). And man I got bitten again! What a sound, what a joy, what a pleasurable commute! I've been on this and other forums ever since and found things had moved on significantly in the past 5 years or so: SACD grabbing now possible using an old jailbroken Playstation 3, a bit-perfect and DSD playback via USB / DoP, availability of hi-res downloads, plenty of DACs around with asynchronous USB and DSD capability, good choice of playback software for MAC OS X and WINDOWS, even my iPhone can now play DSD files using Onkyo Player app! Happy times! I decided on selling my heavily unused STAX SRM 727ii + SR404 + Marantz SA7001KI SACD player and replacing them with a Violectric HPA200 amp, a Matrix X-Sabre DAC and a Sennheiser HD600 headphones (all based on reflections from users on this and other forums) using a JRiver Media Centre on a Mac BookPro as a source. And again - what a sound, what a musical pleasure! A league above the STAX system on sound quality, two leagues above it on practicality and all that for more or less the same money. True the Violectric is a bit laid back / dark / suppressed but hey if one wishes for more forward / brighter sound signature it is very easy to use the 64-bit equaliser / DSP built into the JRiver Media Centre! IMHO the Violectric HPA200 is a well sorted little headphone amplifier that could be all that one will ever need as long as he's happy with just one input and a single-ended output.
post #2626 of 2629
8/5/14 at 12:45pm