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how to upgrade

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hullo y'all.

 

I always come to this board whenever I need to research my next audio investment, though I've never been terribly active. I have picked up a bit of familiarity with what exists in the headphone world, though.

 

Which brings me to my predicament. At the moment, my rig is just an iBasso D2 Boa amp/DAC fed from my lappy via USB into my Denon AH-D2000s. I listen to a bit of music, but a lot more TV and movies through my computer (sometimes multichannel, but often stereo). This rig has never quite satisfied me. I'm definitely a basshead, and the D2000s are better than my old AKG K242 HDs in that regard, but still don't have much slam, and a lot less soundstage.

 

I think part of this may be an insufficiently powerful amp (being a portable). I haven't been able to find anything reasonably priced that I'm sure is going to really open up my Denons, though, which is what I want. I'm open to replacing other parts of my rig (separate DAC, new headphones — I've been looking at the Beyerdynamic DT880/990(/770 still produced?), though that may be redundant), as well. Alternatively, would a good IEM solve all my problems (increase bass impact and soundstage)?

 

Long-term, I'd like to get an Oppo BDP-95 (or whatever version exists by the time I collect the money), build a home theater system (linked to my computer) around it+some amps, and use the ridiculous DAC to feed my headphone amp. Thus, it may make more sense to put money into an amp than a DAC.

 

My current budget is probably up to $500, ideally $2-300. One other (slightly odd) caveat: I'm living in Japan at the moment (though I can buy in the US and ship, if necessary), but sooner or later I will be moving back to the US, and so really huge/heavy amps are sort of out (in the short-term). I'm also mildly aesthetic-obsessed, so I'm less likely to embrace something really ugly. I apologize for how open-ended this question is, but that's sort of the nature of my problem: what's the next step?

 

best,

Edward

post #2 of 2

If you're looking for soundstage for movies and TV, you might want to try a soundcard, internal or external, with Dolby Headphone (ASUS cards mostly) or CMSS-3D (Creative cards mostly). Both will color the sound, so don't use the effects for music, but it's nice for movies.

 

An IEM will in most cases not be what you're looking for. They tend to have small soundstages and less bass impact, because the drivers are small and much closer to the ear drum than full-sized headphones.

 

Your current headphones won't benefit from an amp. They're very efficient and have very low impedance. Pretty much anything can drive them. Only worry about getting a new amp if you get new headphones.

 

From reviews, Beyer headphones always struck me as good movie cans, but I haven't heard any.

 

If you like the D2000 in general, you can try to EQ the mid-bass up to improve bass impact. Soundcard software will probably include a crappy EQ you can use. Audio playback programs will have plugins for better ones, but they won't be usable for movies unless your video player has some as well.

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