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Phones or amp first?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Pretty simple question right now. Just need some advice.


 I'm pretty young and I can't afford much. I've just managed to save up to $250 Canadian, which is pretty big for me because that's the starting point of most affordable/budget headphone amps/ headphones. Right now all I have for audio is an iPod touch, a pair of Sennheiser hd280 pros and a pair of MTPC. So I have a question :)


 Right now, there's a classified for a pair of Sennheiser hd600s for $220 US, easily affordable. I really want a pair of higher end big cans, because I have in time discovered I prefer circum-aural over in ear (my ears start to ache no matter which tip I use. The flanges work but they kill the bass response) so that would be a bonus to get a nice pair of over ears.


 I could also right now afford a little dot mk III tube amp. It's pretty highly acclaimed and I think that would be a good start to a nice desktop rig, and I could build on it later.     

 I could get a portable amp, seeing as right now all I have are really portable headphones and the practical devices line look good, however I AM MORE in the market for a desktop rig, so I'm not too sure about that option.

 Or should I start with a DAC? A DAC would make the computer noise not an issue. I would, If I got a headphone amp plug in my ipod through a LOD to RCA and listen to it like that. Not the best quality so a DAC would be handy.

 Or should I save up more and get the little dot MK IV SE, which looks like a sexy beast :). It's also one of the only amps I've ever gotten the pleasure to test (you don't get many opportunities in Dubai).


 SO that's that. ANY advice would be appreciated. :)


Thanks in advance



post #2 of 14



i'd find some cans you really want with the sound you desire and start there.  unless they are something crazy they will still sound pretty nice without the power. 


check maybe the shure 940s or Denon ah D2000 or something else that will play well without a dedicated amp but will also scale nicely once you get one


also there's those Beyer 770s on ebay for 90 bucks from that other thread, with those you could start with cans and amp.  but by your OP you may not be big on the sound sig.  pretty bassy



Edited by Rawrbington - 8/12/11 at 6:09pm
post #3 of 14

Get the 'phones first.  That's where you're going to see the biggest difference.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

 First off, thanks :)


 Secondly: So do you not think I should get the sennheiser hd600? I have to say that those senns by far have my favourite sound. And if I do get the phones first, what would the step after that be? Amp, or Dac?

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

 Ahh seller won't ship internationally :(

post #6 of 14

Given that most of your gear is portable, I'd bet you do most of your listening on the go.

If that's true then the HD 600 will be a waste. Take it from me--I got open headphones for use at home, and I think they're swell, but I don't get to use them very often. 


Get a pair of headphones that:

  1. Don't require extra amplification
  2. Work great portable
post #7 of 14



Headphone. Headphone. Headphone.


All the groovey equipment does nothing without the piece that you listen to. Put all your good budget into the headphone.


Very best,

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone.


 The only reason all I have is portable is because I couldn't really afford much else :/  I'm looking to start a desktop rig, which is why I was considering the amp and dac first. So I definitely woould put the 600s into use ( I prefer open cans usually). However, those wouldn't work that well unamped. I was wondering, I might be able to get a pair of k701s on a good deal. I do know you need power to drive those things, but for the time being how would they fare unamped?

post #9 of 14

You really wouldn't want to go ampless with the k701 for any amount of time.

post #10 of 14

Definitely new phones first. Enjoy them now...then enjoy them more with an amp later :)

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by sidel View Post

You really wouldn't want to go ampless with the k701 for any amount of time.

That's what I thought. What if I told you I could get the maverick tubemagic D1 AND the k701's.... verdict?

post #12 of 14

I'd suggest saving a little more and getting a used Valhalla and a pair of the 701's.

post #13 of 14
Ya can't listen to a amp.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by PanamaRed View Post

I'd suggest saving a little more and getting a used Valhalla and a pair of the 701's.

 But I still wouldn't have a DAC, and a bad sound card for that matter. I'll think about it, but I'm gone back to Dubai in two and a half more weeks, and not much/ not many people will ship there for cheap/ at all.

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