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Best possible head-fi setup with PC as source for techno/trance/electronica/d&b when money is not...  

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

Hello

 

Firstly, thanks for a great community with lots of helpful people. I've been lurking around here for quite some time, but when I research one question ten new pops up. What I have gotten from all my research is that you need to know what you want, and you have to match every component to get what you desire. So basically what I'm saying is that after trying to figure everything out in this jungle of possibilities I find myself lost, and are in need for some direction.

 

Here are some of my prefrences and requirements:

 

1) Money is not an option for me, but I wouldn't want to pay twice as much for a setup which is only marginally better. ie I'm not spending $10k here unless I really need to.

 

2) Source will be a PC with all my ripped flac CDs. I have Asus Xense Essence ST installed, and can use the coaxial output, USB or even change the soundcard to supply an external source.

 

3) I mainly listen techno, trance, electronica and drum & bass. My optimal headphone system would have deep bass, punch and control in the midtones and be soft in the upper frequencies, but not too soft (I do like details).

 

 

A couple of days ago I demoed a pair of JBL K2 ($30,000) powered by a pair of Mcintosh mc1 2kw (~$25,000 each), sourced by a squeeze box and a DAC. If anyone has heard these, they have the qualities I'm after (in a pair of headphones, haha). They do however lack a lot in the lower spectrum, but that can be fixed by a sub or two.

 

So what do you guys think would be a great combo for me, what should I look into?

post #2 of 59
Ultrasone Pro900?
post #3 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by crinacle View Post

Ultrasone Pro900?


With FiiO E7+E9 combo

post #4 of 59

I find the LCD-2 rev.2 to be incredibly transparent and worthy of the praise. The bass is nuanced and natural, deep but well controlled. The speed and resolution of the drivers allows well recorded material to really shine. Acoustic music is incredible, but I've been amazed with how well electronic music is rendered by these cans.

 

If 10K is your absolute upper limit, I'd look at this all in one combo, pocket some change and not look back.

post #5 of 59

I'd look at the Denon line too.

 

If money is of no object, you might be able to grab a AH-D7000 with a proper amp.

post #6 of 59

I'm assuming you have minimal experience with headphones. Correct me if I'm wrong.

However, should my assumption hold true, I admit you've piqued my curiosity. Why are you willing to spend 10,000USD on headphones when you've only an ounce (if even that) of experience with them? Doesn't that strike you as even remotely daft? Start entry-level, familiarize yourself with the headphones you buy as they'll become your references, and educate yourself using these references. You'll appreciate your climb to the summit of high fidelity ineffably more since you'll understand high fidelity, and you've little chance that you'll waste your hard-earned dough on headphones that you bought b/c a stranger told you they were the Holy Grail. Considering your preferences, I recommend the Ultrasone HFI-580.

 

If I've assumed incorrectly, I retract all that I've said, but I implore you to offer a better reference next time - namely one that involves headphones, not speakers.


Edited by Nom de Plume - 7/31/11 at 12:29pm
post #7 of 59

Headphone recommendation for your music...

Ultrasone Pro 900 or HFI 580...

post #8 of 59
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for helping me this far! A lot of your advice has been recorded.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nom de Plume View Post

I'm assuming you have minimal experience with headphones. Correct me if I'm wrong.

However, should my assumption hold true, I admit you've piqued my curiosity. Why are you willing to spend 10,000USD on headphones when you've only an ounce (if even that) of experience with them? Doesn't that strike you as even remotely daft? Start entry-level, familiarize yourself with the headphones you buy as they'll become your references, and educate yourself using these references. You'll appreciate your climb to the summit of high fidelity ineffably more since you'll understand high fidelity, and you've little chance that you'll waste your hard-earned dough on headphones that you bought b/c a stranger told you they were the Holy Grail. Considering your preferences, I recommend the Ultrasone HFI-580.

 

If I've assumed incorrectly, I retract all that I've said, but I implore you to offer a better reference next time - namely one that involves headphones, not speakers.

You are correct about me not knowing a lot about headphones, but I have been deep into highend stereo before. Right now I'm living in a flat, so loudspeakers are out of the question for the next 3-4 years. I suppose many of the rules that apply to hifi stereo also applies to highend headphones, and this is why I'm willing to start in the upper spectrum. If I start with high end gear I can make the journey to my preferred setup as cheap as possible, as I can buy and sell equipment and get a taste of the best straight away.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BotByte View Post

With FiiO E7+E9 combo

Seems a little cheap, but probably something I might check out. I see that they're going for ~$120 ish at dealextreme.com, shipping included.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olor1n View Post

I find the LCD-2 rev.2 to be incredibly transparent and worthy of the praise. The bass is nuanced and natural, deep but well controlled. The speed and resolution of the drivers allows well recorded material to really shine. Acoustic music is incredible, but I've been amazed with how well electronic music is rendered by these cans.

 

If 10K is your absolute upper limit, I'd look at this all in one combo, pocket some change and not look back.


I've read about these and understand that they are a small company right now. As I've stated earlier in this post I want to take the journey to find a good combo, but are in need of directions. These are probably not so easy to shift on the second hand market, and I have no way of trying them out here in my home country before I commit to buy.

 

---

 

 

I realize I'm asking too much. The best combo is subjective and I think it is better if you guys help me narrow down which headphones I should consider, given my prefrences in sound from the first post.
 
My consideration list this far is:
 
Beyerdynamic T1
Grado PS 1000
Ultrasone Pro 900
Denon AH-D2000 and AH-D7000
Sennheiser HD800 (Got to check them out even though they are probably not suited for me).
 
These are diffrent both in terms of price range and possibly quality, but are probably worth checking out.
post #9 of 59

Hey everyone has pretty much recommended everything I would. Just wanted to point out the E9 alone is $120 not including the E7 which is $84. Together they're about $200 and work very well when paired with Denon/Ultrasone.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norway View Post

Seems a little cheap, but probably something I might check out. I see that they're going for ~$120 ish at dealextreme.com, shipping included.


 

 

post #10 of 59

What about the Sony XB1000, which is supposed to be superior to the Ultrasone Pro 900 in sound. It's only available in Japan, but there are plenty of dealers who will ship internationally. It's also less expensive than the ultrasone pro 900s.

 

EDIT: Make sure to audition a few headphones before buying!

post #11 of 59

"Money is no object", unless you mean you're flat broke.

post #12 of 59
Thread Starter 

Quote:
Originally Posted by soundstige View Post

"Money is no object", unless you mean you're flat broke.


Not rich, but I make a pretty decent living. :)

 

However, just so people here don't think I'm some rich brat coming in here buying expensive **** like I don't care. I do care. When I've found what I'm looking for the bargain hunt begins. I also like buying second hand, because that makes the losses smaller if I find something i like better and elect to sell later.

 

I just don't see the point in going for the cheaper phones and work my way up the ladder if I don't need to.

 

I'm not into all the specs and details, this is not an obsession to feed my OCD so to speak :) If I like the sound, that is good enough for me. I've heard some of the beyerdynamic phones and they sound pretty good, so I can't wait to hear the T1. The Grado PS 1000 didn't impress me when I auditioned it on Friday, but they had never been used before and the amp they connected it to might have been a bad match.

post #13 of 59
I can vouch for the ps1000's and techno. The only caution is that the amp pairing is very important for bass heavy genres. I love using valves with mine, but I think a good ss amp may be better for techno.
post #14 of 59

These threads kinda make me laugh lol

 

Denon bass is some of the cleanest deepest bass I've yet to heard. I don't have the opportunity to listen to flagship cans, but the D5000's was good to me, I assume it gets better as you move up.

post #15 of 59


I'm with Nom de Plume, the joy in this hobby is the journey not the destination. If you've spent a lot of time lurking around here Norway, and you dont mind buying used...I'd say start with some gear that you've read about that intrigues you and has you curious. The only real way to know how something sounds is to check it out. You might end up at some point with 2 or 3 pairs of headphones. If you are going to be listening from your computer I'd go with something like olor1n linked. Not those specific components but a nice Dac / Amp combo and a headphone that synergizes with the genres you listen too, like the ultrasones or the Denons. Good luck.

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