I previously owned a pair of Alessandro MS2i's but found them to be a little fatiguing due to their all metal construction, the weight simply made long listening sessions uncomfortable. So i'm thinking of picking up a set of Alessandro MS1's or Grado SR125's and an amp. The only question I run into is with these two sets of cans which amp would be better suited, an amp / dac combo or a tube amp? I really like the look of the tube amps, especially the Little Dot MK 2 II / MK 1+ I+ however i'm afraid that with my source (computer audio out) the dac would be an added bonus. Namely something along the lines of the Total Bithead, or similarly price wise.
So far i'm considering:
Grado SR125i / Alessandro MS1
Little Dot MK 2 II / MK 1+ I+ / Total Bithead
Budget is roughly $200 - $300 shipped.
Which do you think would be the better option for listening to rock, alternative, and metal music? I'm just afraid to upgrade too highly to the point where the flaws in the music itself (even at a good compression ratio or lossless) shine through. I've read often that this is especially problematic due to the loudness wars and lack of good recording with these tracks...
Also, is the MK 2 II worth the extra $20 - $35? I would assume so, due to the ability to swap between high and low impedence if I ever tire of the Grados. Any help would be greatly appreciated as I miss my modest hifi.