Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Proper source components and cables for end-game kit.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Proper source components and cables for end-game kit.

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

This is my first post in the Head-Fi forums :) I was just curious what the community thinks about DACs and Phono amps to be paired with LCD-3 / HD 800 / PS1000 grade headphones with amps to match as well as Stax. I have yet to attend a proper meet but I soon hope to. In the meantime I'd like to gather more information on the subject and see what a full summit-fi heaphone system is comprised of. People seem to be most impressed by the BHSE, but what would be the best source option at such a high level of clarity output? Thanks for your time!

post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 

The reason why I'd like to know is because I'd be interested in purchasing a high quality source to bring to a meet I'd like to attend. I'd like to see what people would most appreciate so I would then be able to learn more from the audiophile community. I recently found HDTracks and the recordings are amazing. I've been going to record shops around my area and I would love to take advantage of the real fidelity that can be presented using such quality recordings. What is the best way to experience the music? What should I be playing these files back through? I need some help making a wise investment since there are so many options to sort through and for a novice it can be sort of daunting.

post #3 of 20
Really depends what your needs are. Do you want a stand alone DAC that you can use with a cd transport or computer, or a high end cd player with on board DAC, or one that can take external signals and act as both a cd source and an external dac (for other devices like computer), do you need SACD playback, or would a nice turntable and phono stage and skipping a DAC altogether be better? Another question is will you be going with a balanced chain, as with the BHSE you mentioned, which is a balanced amp. Which devices have balanced output if you need it?

Lots of things to consider but they rapidly narrow down your choices once you start making decisions.
post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 

First, to answer your questions, I don't believe I'd need SACD playback as I don't have any SACDs, although it might be a nice feature to look into for the future. I think I've honestly decided to skip the BHSE and Stax electrostatics because the price is a just a little steep for the two components, not to mention the wait time is somewhat of a factor. I think the honor of owning such a fine amp should be reserved for seasoned audiophiles, and I'm very much a novice. This system I'm building now should last a long time and if having a balanced chain makes all the difference then I should definitely look into balanced components just in-case I decide to re-terminate whatever headphones I choose at a later time. I've been trying to imagine what my ideal listening room will look like. I've exhausted my Logitech 5.1 desktop system and Sony headphones from Best Buy so an upgrade is definitely necessary. I have a small CD collection that I'd like to play through a dedicated CD Player. I've got two large moving boxes full of vinyl but my turntable and solid state amp by Pioneer are rather ancient and sound worn and mishandled, I got these passed down as second hand so it would be nice to replace them rather than have them serviced. I DJ so I have a vast collection of MP3 / WAV / FLAC files on my PC so a DAC is necessary. I auditioned the full line of AX speakers by Adam Audio and I was VERY impressed. I produce electronic music with various DAWs so having a nice set of speakers to do studio monitoring would be great. Two A8X speakers and a Sub8 subwoofer I imagine would be ideal and those would likely be hooked up to my PC via my PCI X-Fi Titanium Edition sound card, if I'm not mistaken (please suggest a different setup for this if I'm totally off-base, or if it would be possible to upgrade to something else) I'm also wondering if power conditioning for all this is a factor, as well as cables. I've been doing a bunch of forum browsing and reading guides so here are some products I think I'd be most interested in to be configured with each other. Like I said I'm very much a novice so any advice on this configuration or if something wouldn't sound well together please mention it and I would appreciate it! I can't wait to hear my huge music collection in full fidelity and bring some of this kit to a meet! Audez'e LCD-3, Apex Peak and Volcano amp, M-DAC by Audiolab, Silver Circle Audio Pure Power One 3.0, Leema Acoustics Elements Phono Amp, Rega RP1 Turntable, Goldring 2100 Cartridge, Marantz CD6004 CD Player, Quadrasphere Bamboo racks to store and house everything, and I seem to like Chord Company / QED interconnects because the price isn't outrageous but there seems to be some significant quality based on reviews I've read. Any additional pieces of kit I should look at? Thanks for your help and time to look this over!


Edited by DieNamic - 2/8/12 at 11:13pm
post #5 of 20

If youre such a novice that you aren't ready for a top-tier transducer, you definitely dont need to be worrying about cables - half of us consider them a complete waste, and the other half believe that they add the "final 1%" to a system.  Either way you look at it, they are not a cost effective investment in your position. 

 

Perhaps you should spend some more time trying out various headphones before deciding to jump head-first into high-end sources.  Especially given your admittedly low level of experience, it is important that you understand why the PS1000 should not be on your list, before worrying about the subtle differences between digital sources

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
A long time ago I used to work at Best Buy and I loved hearing the Martin Logan Summit X system we had on display in a listening room. I couldn't get enough of how that sounded and would love to re-create that experience with headphones. I've looked high and low for a hi-fi store in Houston where I'm from to try and demo some kit but there honestly aren't any that I'm aware of. I've searched on Yelp, google, asked around and even checked a phone book and the only store featuring anything somewhat high fidelity is Bang and Olufsen which isn't at all what I'm looking for. You said it is important that I understand why the PS1000 shouldn't be on my list, why is that? I've heard great things about that headphone.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieNamic View Post

A long time ago I used to work at Best Buy and I loved hearing the Martin Logan Summit X system we had on display in a listening room. I couldn't get enough of how that sounded and would love to re-create that experience with headphones. I've looked high and low for a hi-fi store in Houston where I'm from to try and demo some kit but there honestly aren't any that I'm aware of. I've searched on Yelp, google, asked around and even checked a phone book and the only store featuring anything somewhat high fidelity is Bang and Olufsen which isn't at all what I'm looking for. You said it is important that I understand why the PS1000 shouldn't be on my list, why is that? I've heard great things about that headphone.

first you have to understand that NO headphones on this planet will ever recreate the type of sound you can get from speakers. no one

except maybe the smyth realiser. but even the realiser can't punch you in the chest like a speaker system does..

 

The ps1000s are great, even though I prefered the gs1000i's, but they're flawed. probably more than their closest competitors like the hd800's, Lcd-3 etc... If you can try them, do it. only trust your own ears


Edited by customcoco - 2/9/12 at 7:34am
post #8 of 20

I'll echo what El_Doug said.

 

DieMac, I think you're aiming for way too much in one step. There's no real chance you're going to successfully go straight from novice to end-game. 

Set your sights a bit lower and first find out which of the Stax/Grado/Audeze/etc house style you prefer. Absolutely nobody on earth is going to accurately predict how you will respond to these.

 

Getting others opinions can often help in narrowing down a wide field into a shortlist. But if you've never even once heard any of these phones, then you still will have no real idea what to expect. I'm surprised there's nowhere is Houston to demo phones, but if that's the case, then you just have to do some traveling, or buy some lower cost/second hand  phones for comparison.

 

BTW, I probably have a higher opinion on the potential of cables than El_Doug has, but even so, they should only be a consideration after you've got the basics right. And don't worry at this stage about balanced v SE. Most amps, including the BHSE, will handle both, and which sounds best depends on many factors.

post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
I know man! I was surprised also. I'm kinda' aggravated that there isn't a single Hi-Fi shop in the entire city or anywhere for that matter in Texas. I'll have to keep looking, I keep thinking that there is bound to be one but I haven't had any luck in finding one yet. I think everyone thinks I'm picky, but to be honest I've been living with super crap headphones for the longest time now, ANYTHING would be nice over these cans that are held together by tape. How could you NOT like headphones like the LCD-3s or etc? I understand some recordings might be TOO clear, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Too much realism is a whole lot better than the blatant hissing when I try to watch a movie or instruments being totally void in some recordings where I can distinctly hear them when I route the audio through my flat screen TV. I love music, and would appreciate a hi-fi rig too much to not have one. The reason why I gravitate to the Audez'e LCD-3s is because, and this might be as gimmicky a reason as ever, but they are endorsed by artists that I listen to on a daily basis. Nero, Downlink, Reid Speed, Chase & Status, Excision, Sub Focus, Vaski, etc... Downlink, an artists I have some respect for, commented that it was the best he's ever heard bass before so that means a lot to me. At least enough to be interested enough to demo them. If anybody knows a shop near The Woodlands, Houston, or surrounding areas please let me know!
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
customcoco, I definitely realize that headphones won't re-create speakers but I actually prefer headphones to speakers. Not to mention building a rig with loudspeakers would be much more expensive than putting together a solid rig meant for headphones. I prefer headphones anyway, actually. When I want to listen to music I naturally reach for my cans. Thank you for that explanation though. I won't even miss the thump of my subwoofer because the agility I would get through a nice set of cans would definitely, definitely make up for that. The headphones I have makes up for it, I can only imagine what real headphones would be like.
post #11 of 20
DieNamic,

I cordially invite you to attend the Head-fi Austin meet on March 10th 2012. Details can be found here: http://www.head-fi.org/t/577331/texas-meet-saturday-march-10th-2012-location-inside#post_7847797
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 

Alright! :D That's what's up! Much appreciated :) The only problem is, I have nothing to contribute!!! That was kind of the whole root point of this post, was for me to get something to bring to that meet in particular! What do you want to hear?? Can you bring your own music??

post #13 of 20
Gear is optional. The whole reason I invited you was so you could sample everything to get an idea of what you wanted to buy. smily_headphones1.gif

I would wait until then, things you think you will like, may not turn out so.
Edited by Maxvla - 2/9/12 at 9:32am
post #14 of 20

For sure its nice to show off your toys, but the primary reason I go to stereo related meets is to hang out with friends, and occasionally hear new music. There is nothing wrong with showing up to a meet with very little stuff. 

 

I would like to add this:

Spend as little as possible on cables until your DAC and phonostage combined cost about the same as an economy car. After that spend your cable money on liquor. Or lottery tickets. 

post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 

bahaha alright that sounds do-able on the cables, I'll buy some beer instead then. I guess I'll just bring some of my old vinyl or see if I can't pick up anything new from a shop around here somewhere beforehand. I see the thread starter for the meet, Morbid Toaster, has BT as his profile pic; that's badass. I'll flip my **** if I can hear Feed Me's Big Adventure on vinyl or a dedicated CD player through some high grade headphones and a DIY amp engineered for bass or something ridiculous like that. I'm pretty amped about this event!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: High-end Audio Forum
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Summit-Fi (High-End Audio) › High-end Audio Forum › Proper source components and cables for end-game kit.