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hd600 + Schiit Asgard?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

I have been debating whether I should buy an amp and, if I upgrade, what kind of amp I should get. This has gone on for a few months, so I now bring my question to everyone at Head-Fi. First however, I would like to give some background into what I want my setup to sound like. I included as much information as possible here, so this post is fairly lengthy. My questions for my fellow head-fi'ers are listed at the bottom of this post on the next post.

 

Background

My first cans were the Alessandro MS1s, which I picked up about the same time as the UDAC (original model). Then I got the Sennheiser hd595s. To me, the Sennheiser cans were drastically better than the MS1s. The detail is what I really love about the hd595s. The sound also sounds a lot more "full" than the MS1s to me. I now use those 95% of the time, occasionally switching to the MS1s for music that I want to be a little more forward. (Read: very infrequently. I probably do this for 2 hours per month max.)

 

Preferred sound signature

I make amateur music as a hobby, so balance is somewhat important. This is the main reason why I upgraded to the hd595s. I am somewhat concerned about the "boring" sound on equipment, but have yet to hear anything that actually sounds "boring" to my ears. Note: I've only heard my own equipment, so I don't have a huge reference point for this.

 

From my relatively limited points of comparison though, I really like the sound signature of my 595s a lot. I like how much bass it provides (much better than the MS1s), though I wouldn't want much more. To me, bass should have some heft to it, but not be overpowering. The highs -- they're fine. I found my MS1s to be a touch grating, especially when I first got them. And my 595's mids -- again, much better than my MS1s, but I have no great reference point for what other mid-fi phones sound like.

 

In short: I like the sound signature of my hd595s a lot. I'm not sure if I would prefer a more "neutral" phone like the hd600 or akg k701.

 

Genres

I listen to a pretty wide range of music. A majority of it has electronic influences -- psychedelic rock (Pink Floyd), breakcore/IDM (Venetian Snares), trip-hop (Massive Attack), dance (Simian Mobile Disco), chillout (Mr. Scruff), ambient (Brian Eno) and synthpop (Kraftwerk). I like some rock as well -- noise/drone rock (Bardo Pond), math rock (Battles), post-rock (Sigur Rós), indie rock (Bloc Party), classic punk (The Clash), post-punk (Franz Ferdinand).

 

Some of these genres (breakcore/IDM) need a detailed, almost mechanical sound, while others (trip-hop) need a more warm feeling. I'm inclined to take the midground between a mechanical sound versus a warm one. Most of the genres benefit from a wide soundstage (trip-hop), but others benefit from being more upfront (Franz Ferdinand). I'm inclined more toward a wider soundstage. I like what my hd595s provide -- I'm not sure if I would prefer more distant sound than what the hd595s give though.

 

Source

I currently play 320kbps mp3s off the MOG streaming service. This is the best quality I'm willing to seek. Currently using my UDAC.

 

Future upgrades

Update: I am thinking about getting the hd600 now. See following post.

I am interested in purchasing all new components eventually. I make about one gear purchase per year. Because I like the sound of my hd595s so much, I am inclined to upgrade along the Sennheiser line to the hd600 or hd650, though I don't know if those would be too "neutral" sounding. I will probably also eventually upgrade my DAC. What I am currently looking at is getting a dedicated amp to use with my UDAC.

 

Current upgrade options

Update: I am now leaning toward getting the Schiit Asgard instead of the MKV. See following post.

I am considering getting a dedicated amp to pair with my current setup. I am looking mostly at the Little Dot MKV Solid State amp, though it seems like a lot of people here seem to like the tube amps. To me, the tube concept seems like not only a hassle, but also a distortion of the sound. However, I am worried about my music sounding too "mechanical" as I have heard solid state amps described.

 

Price range

Update: My wallet is getting sadder by the moment... It'll probably be around $570 for the hd600 and Schiit Asgard.

The upper end would be the cost of the MKV -- $279 + $45 shipping. I'm inclined to buy new, though I wouldn't turn a stellar used deal down.

 

What I would like to know - responses to any of the following are appreciated!

Update: These questions aren't so relevant anymore. See following post.

1. Whether an am will significantly improve my current setup -- or if I should invest my money elsewhere. Every purchase I've made so far has been a big improvement over what I previously owned.

2. A comparison between the LD MKV and MKIII (or include other amp brands if you think there are better options), given my listed tastes

3. Whether suggested amps will scale nicely if I upgrade to higher end headphones


Edited by qoouep - 1/16/12 at 7:47pm
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 

Update

 

I'm now pretty much set on getting both the hd600 and the Schiit Asgard amp. I'd still be running it through my uDAC. Thoughts?

 

As an aside, does anyone think the cost of the hd600 will come down after the hd700 comes out? It does seem like a bit of a stretch since there's a pretty wide gap between their prices. But I picked up my hd595 last year shortly after the hd598 came out (mid March) for an amazing $125. Should I wait?


Edited by qoouep - 1/16/12 at 7:01pm
post #3 of 22

Good choice.  Very doubtful the price will come down.

post #4 of 22

doubtful the price will come down any time soon, as the Asgard is a relatively "hot" amp right now.

post #5 of 22
From the pricing I the HD700 I think there is still room for the HD600 and 650 so the prices might not really change. Having said that watch the FS forum an watch for deals that pop up on Amazon and other online sources. I got my HD600 for $250 or something around there a few years ago and had zero reselling for what I paid when I decided to go a different direction.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 

Right -- I was wondering specifically about the hd600 for price drops (on Amazon). In any case, it looks like neither the headphone nor the amp is likely to drop in price any time soon.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Androktasiai View Post

doubtful the price will come down any time soon, as the Asgard is a relatively "hot" amp right now.



 

post #7 of 22

I just upgraded hd580 to hd650 and, while they're not burned in yet, am really enjoying the upgrade.  I missed the Amazon sale but bought them on electronics expo and used a coupon code I found on head-fi called BOUNTII.   Got them for $350 delivered.  My recommendation, after doing my own upgrade research, is to start with headphones that you like, then go upstream from there to amp, then DAC, then transport (or music server).

 

I'm  looking at Schiit Asgard and Little Dot amps.  

 

I'm also using MOG for some of my listening and think it's a great service with great music and audio quality.

 

post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by qoouep View Post

Right -- I was wondering specifically about the hd600 for price drops (on Amazon). In any case, it looks like neither the headphone nor the amp is likely to drop in price any time soon.

HD600 rarely goes on sale. The only time they have a big discount is on Black Friday. I haven't seen it go on a big sale any other time.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 

I'm doing the "upstream" upgrade path as much as I can, but I don't expect that it would be fair to pick up the hd600s and judge them without an amp better than the one built into the uDAC (correct me if you think I'm wrong here).

 

I also quite like my hd595s, so in that sense I am also going upstream to the amp (and upgrading the phones simultaneously).
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nymarty View Post

I just upgraded hd580 to hd650 and, while they're not burned in yet, am really enjoying the upgrade.  I missed the Amazon sale but bought them on electronics expo and used a coupon code I found on head-fi called BOUNTII.   Got them for $350 delivered.  My recommendation, after doing my own upgrade research, is to start with headphones that you like, then go upstream from there to amp, then DAC, then transport (or music server).

 

I'm  looking at Schiit Asgard and Little Dot amps.  

 

I'm also using MOG for some of my listening and think it's a great service with great music and audio quality.

 



 

post #10 of 22

Upstream path makes sense.  If you really like the hd595's (they're great headphones) then keep them and work up the chain.   I thought you were considering getting hd600's, which may be more of a side-grade from the 595's.  I know my hd580's use the same drivers as the hd600's and are virtually the same headphone.    Besides, I broke one of the drivers which gave me an excuse to upgrade while I get them repaired.

 

Have fun.  Post what you end up with.   For me, it's the 3 amps I mentioned in my last post that will best meet the sound I want and my budget.

 

post #11 of 22
Thread Starter 

I was looking at getting (only) an amp (at the time it was the MKV), but after doing research, I've changed my plans a bit. Instead of making a new thread, I bumped this one with new info, which I'll admit may have been a little confusing.

 

Ever since I first tried my hd595, I figured I'd eventually upgrade to the hd600. It made sense to get an amp first, so I was planning on picking one of those up and eventually moving to the hd600. When I saw a lot of praise for the Asgard + hd600, it looked like I found what I needed.

 

The Asgard has a 15 day return, which I want to take advantage of. So the main reason why I'm planning on picking up both the Asgard and hd600 simultaneously is to see how much the Asgard improves the more demanding hd600. I figure the Asgard may seem superfluous with just the hd595.

 

So that's why I'm looking at getting both at once. I don't expect to return either, but I like the comfort of having that as an option.

post #12 of 22

I have the Asgard and the HD600s.  Great combo.  Schiit said they used to the HD600s to voice the Asgard.  Based on what I hear, I believe it.  It's a very, very good pairing.

post #13 of 22

Personally, I prefer a solid-state amp to be paired with my HD600's.  Although, I primarily listen to rock music.

post #14 of 22

The Asgard is very good with rock.  I find it very true to the source.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by seslwr View Post

Personally, I prefer a solid-state amp to be paired with my HD600's.  Although, I primarily listen to rock music.



 

post #15 of 22

OP...also check out user "RazorDogDeals2008" for the HD600's on eBay.  He's an authorized Sennheiser dealer and has excellent pricing (make him an offer).

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