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Recommendations for a new set up ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I have been reviewing this site for about a month and decided to join this morning. I am thinking about buying a pair of LCD 2's and looked at the reviews and those that are compared against them, however should I be going the other way first with a headphone amp such as the Dark Star from Ray Samuel's Audio?

 

I listen to a wide range of music and just starting to get into movie soundtracks, I will be completing a presenters course for my local radio station and then hope to get a soundtrack show.

 

I have a reasonable budget, I will add that I live in Australia and hope that my question is not a boring one and a thread that has been covered before, I am new to headphones so seeking straight forward advice from the site, thank you

post #2 of 17
How much experience do you have with headphones?

First, I'll say that I think the LCD2 is excellent and have tempted to buy one.

However, if this is your first headphone, you should start at the bottom. You don't really know what you want yet.

Which is totally OK and keep in mind that the journey is lots of fun. You won't be bored or feel deprived.

I'd start out with one of the traditional beginner's headphones, like the Grado SR-60 or Sony MDR-V6. They're quite good. Listen for a few months and your reaction to them will tell you where to go next.

Maybe you'll end up with a LCD2. Or maybe a T1 or HD-800 would be a better fit. You might end up with a RS-1 or you might branch off to electrostats. You won't know until you listen to some different headphones.

Like I said, you'll have fun with this. Each new pair will be exciting and you'll learn about it as you go through your music.

The problem with going all-in at first is that you might change your mind a few months on. Then you'll lose a lot of money buying and selling. Until you have some experience, you'll get really curious about other stuff and - if you're anything like everyone here - will start buying it.

It costs less to start at the bottom and work your way up. Trust me, you won't suffer from bad sound. You'll enjoy the journey and then settle in with a setup you'll love and forget about the rest. I settled in about two years ago. I'm very happy with my rig. I've heard the others (some excellent) but have lost the urge to get more gear. I'm a little sad the adventure is (mostly) over, but I've relaxed and enjoyed the music more.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I don't have a lot of experience with headphones and research what you advise, thank you for the response, there is a lot of information on the site to wade through!

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoon47 View Post

Thank you, I don't have a lot of experience with headphones and research what you advise, thank you for the response, there is a lot of information on the site to wade through!



Well, since I'm better at low budget, I'll help you out

 

What's your sources? (Computer with soundcard, Ipod, mp3, cd)

Music you listen to.

Can's you've heard already

Headphone preferences? (portible-ish, comfort)

Price range (doesn't really matter here, but nice to know)

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

My main source is both CD and Ipod, there is no escaping ipod! Not heard many cans already I have 2 sets of in ears and a set of beats (given to me as a present) my preference is a home set up for serious listening just redecorating my sitting room and setting it up, new fire and a great place for chilling out, price range will push for a great set up!

 

Flicking my switch is Pink Floyd the all and the live stuff, Daniel Merriweather, King Kong soundtrack amongst others, blues, ray charles etc

post #6 of 17

Well, let's get you a total package. (I sound like a salesman)

 

Portable:

Cowon J3 16gb

 

What source are you running from for your home? Computer, vinyl, home cd deck?

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

I run all of those at home but mainly CD and Ipod I have a musical fidelity elektra e600 setup through mission speakers and a separate system for the tv

post #8 of 17

Wow, that's old

 

I don't have much experience with definite home systems, so connecting the amp to it would be up to you. But I guess that's better if you can run RCA to the amp rather then fumbling around with a USB dac

 

I work from my desktop computer to a Receiver.

 

FiiO E7+E9 combo

Great for most cans, has it's own EQ setting, input from USB, RCA, or Line in

It's a Amp/DAC and at $200, a steal

 

For cans:

 

Grado SR325i

Just about the best cans I can think of for Pink Floyd, rock, jazz, blues.

They lack at pop and rap, that's all.

 

Grab a Grado extension cable while your at it.

 

This would start you out for a while. Actually a LONG TIME.

 

Good tips:

Music on a Mp3 player, ipod or Cowon if you decide to buy it. Make sure you rip the music into FLAC level 3 or higher, roughly 920 kbps to insure best quality

Cowon vs. Ipod, it's a one sided fist fight with Cowon leading out in the first round. Anything Cowon will give you great audio, so shop around their products.

Buying a expensive headphone doesn't make them better then cheaper ones. I chose to keep low budget headphone for their personalities and overall performance.

Be wary of the "itch" when you try to buy more then you really need. If you don't stop it early, you won't be able to stop it.

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks yep my system is old and time for a refresh, its sounding a bit flat and can't put my finger on it, thank you for the tips will look at these and try to avoid the itch!

post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoon47 View Post

Thanks yep my system is old and time for a refresh, its sounding a bit flat and can't put my finger on it, thank you for the tips will look at these and try to avoid the itch!



Best tip from me to upgrade your system

 

Use a computer

 

I see no usage in the modern world for a complete set up like yours when you can just plug a Amp/DAC to any computer, run Foobar2000 and have your entire music collection at your finger tips.

I have a nice music collection, it's stuffed into my closet and vinyl, but I never take anything out because I've ripped everything to my computer and play from there.

 

What computer do you have?

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

I run an apple mac, but just about to buy a new pc as I study a lot and need three screens after I use two at work, you get through a lot more and quicker, although I would like a new power mac, but the expense!

post #12 of 17

Yeah... Don't buy mac

 

look up how to build your own system, it's like building blocks and very easy. It's cheaper and gives you knowledge of your system.

But don't buy a soundcard, if you get the FiiO E9, it's a USB dac to bypass the motherboard interface of the sound input. (acts as soundcard from usb)

 

What's your budget for a PC? Including screens?

 

I'm going the extra mile here.

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

budget is easy really as long as it is less than a new mac, sub 2000 or 1500?

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoon47 View Post

I run all of those at home but mainly CD and Ipod I have a musical fidelity elektra e600 setup through mission speakers and a separate system for the tv

Welcome to headfi.

 

That's an oldie amp, but a good one. You don't state the speakers model, but the Missions had a house sound sig. You should check your cable connections and clean them with a contact spray like Deoxit; also remove the speaker grills and check for degradation around the woofer edges - maybe that's where the flatness is coming from as they tend to age badly.

 

As for headphones, if you follow the Grado route you're in for a bit of a shock as they will sound totally different. This could be good or not so good depending on how you like you're current setup. Uncle Erik has given great advice. I'd start with the Sony's. As for amps, they will grow with your cans as your journey progresses. Get one of those Fiios or iBasso - entry models and with a small investment you'll have a good sounding rig.

 

 

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoon47 View Post

budget is easy really as long as it is less than a new mac, sub 2000 or 1500?



*Whistle*

My system is a total of $1000 including 4tb of memory with two screens

 

I'll send you a PM about this, I don't want to cloud the thread anymore.

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