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The best $1500 Bang for buck headphone rig in 2012

post #1 of 211
Thread Starter 

Soo, fresh out of the university and with a new reasonably well paying job. biggrin.gif

 

Looking to buy a good quality headphone rig for $ 1500.

I thought this thread would help others too.

 

Right now I'm leaning towards

hp: LCD2

amp: O2

dac: ODAC (?)

music: Everything. No classical though.

 

Any other new/used rigs possible under the budget?

I'll be upgrading from a humble hd25. Can't wait biggrin.gif

 

Some of the suggestions compiled:
LCD2 + O2 + ODAC
HE-500 + NFB-10SE
HE-500 + Schiit Lyr + Bi frost
KOSS ESP-950
JVC DX700/(used)DX1000 + Fiio E10 + Apex Butte + Monoprice Interconnect
Sony Z1070 + Leckerton UHA-4 w/ OPA627 + JH16/JH13/JH11/T1/T5P
Signature Pro? + ???
T1 + nuclear reactor
LCD2 + Vioelectric V100
RS1i + MAD EAR+ HD
HD 650 + Woo WA2
HD 800 + dacport lx + m-stage matrix (or lovely cube) (USED)
HE-500 + EHHA Rev A Amp + ODAC

Edited by killmurer - 4/28/12 at 11:58pm
post #2 of 211

How about the NFB-10SE and HE-500? You're looking at $700 for the headphones and another $650ish for the dac/amp if you get the remote and USB 24/192 support upgrades. 

 

This was my second all-in-one unit (first two being the Burson 160D and Audio GD NFB-12) and I originally paired it with a group of mid-fi headphones (Q701, HD 580, DT 990). Nowadays, I mainly use it with my HD 800 and HE-6. It has the power swing to drive the HE-6 without breaking a sweat and does a decent job on the HD 800. Audio GD can also install a -7db mod to low gain, letting you drive iems out of the unit as well.

 

Basically, if a headphone exists, this thing can drive it. Heck, if I stopped reading the summit-fi section, I'd lose the urge to upgrade.


Edited by steve2151 - 4/27/12 at 10:16pm
post #3 of 211

HE-500 

Schiit Lyr

Schiit Bifrost

 

Done

post #4 of 211

Koss ESP/950 - $600~

Whatever you plug it into (CDP, turntable, soundcard, etc (it only needs a line level output)) - up to $900

Stand for ESP/950 headphone - $whatever is left (I use a banana stand, it cost $3) 

 

You could even get something ridiculous like the Omega stand for them, it's like $100 but there's enough left over in your hypothetical budget to include it. 

 

Assumes: 

 

You have AC power.

You listen inside in a quiet-ish room (they're open).

 


Edited by obobskivich - 4/27/12 at 11:22pm
post #5 of 211

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mac336 View Post

HE-500 

Schiit Lyr

Schiit Bifrost

 

Done

This^^


Ahhh my Brethren!!!
_CSC0319.jpg

post #6 of 211

LCD2+O2+ODAC seems like a pretty good end-game rig for me. Lows that can impress you, mids that flat, highs that doesn't try to kill you. And all this beauty coupled with High Perfomance DAC+AMP. One possible problem - comfort would be an issue, LCD weights too much.

post #7 of 211

KSC75 and Sansa Clip+

 

But yeah, LCD2 and O2 and ODAC seems like a great idea. Also consider hifiman and maybe even a pair of magnums. The magnums are my favorite so far (haven't heard lcd2 or he500 though)


Edited by chrislangley4253 - 4/28/12 at 12:19am
post #8 of 211

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sllow View Post

LCD2+O2+ODAC seems like a pretty good end-game rig for me. Lows that can impress you, mids that flat, highs that doesn't try to kill you. And all this beauty coupled with High Perfomance DAC+AMP. One possible problem - comfort would be an issue, LCD weights too much.

 

+1 if you think they are comfortable 

post #9 of 211
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislangley4253 View Post

KSC75 and Sansa Clip+

this right here is the best headphone rig money can buy. it'll put your hd25's to shame fo real.
post #10 of 211
Thread Starter 

Comfort is the one thing I'm worried about.

I'm usually not a sucker for comfort but is the HE-500 waaay better in comfort?

The weight of the LCD2 is a turn off.

 

And how does an HD 700 rig compare to these two?

It seems it's not that picky about the source. 

And, thunderpants? Too much in back order? confused_face_2.gif

post #11 of 211

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killmurer View Post

Comfort is the one thing I'm worried about.

I'm usually not a sucker for comfort but is the HE-500 waaay better in comfort?

The weight of the LCD2 is a turn off.

 

And how does an HD 700 rig compare to these two?

It seems it's not that picky about the source. 

And, thunderpants? Too much in back order? confused_face_2.gif

 

Thunderpants use a subpar driver... I don't care how much makeup you throw on that pig, it's not going to become a flagship.. (i'm all for budget modding of the t50rp, just not for the all out thunderpants approach)

 

I should just stop commenting, I need to sleep anyways. 

 

Best of luck to you killmurer. Good amp and dac choice :)

 

 

post #12 of 211

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by killmurer View Post

Comfort is the one thing I'm worried about.

I'm usually not a sucker for comfort but is the HE-500 waaay better in comfort?

The weight of the LCD2 is a turn off.

 

And how does an HD 700 rig compare to these two?

It seems it's not that picky about the source. 

And, thunderpants? Too much in back order? confused_face_2.gif

 


Both Hifiman and Audeze products are practically unusable to me due to their weights.

 

Personally I wouldn't put much hope on Thunderpants as the unmodded T50RP didn't sound too good to me..

post #13 of 211

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kn19h7 View Post

 

 


Both Hifiman and Audeze products are practically unusable to me due to their weights.

 

Personally I wouldn't put much hope on Thunderpants as the unmodded T50RP didn't sound too good to me..

Seriously? my HE-500 Weigh EXACTLY 1Pound 3.5 ounces. That's 9 ounces lighter than my bike helmet, How does the weight affect you? does it force your neck into an uncomfortable position? Wearing the HE-500 for 2 hours was just like wearing my Grados for 2 hours.

post #14 of 211

Okay well, Grados aren't exactly known as comfortable headphones either. 

 

Contrast the HE-500 to some other stuff:

 

Sony MDR-F1 - 200g

AKG K701 - 235g

Koss ESP/950 - 353g 

Denon AH-D5000 - 370g

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteCrow View Post

 

Seriously? my HE-500 Weigh EXACTLY 1Pound 3.5 ounces. That's 9 ounces lighter than my bike helmet, How does the weight affect you? does it force your neck into an uncomfortable position? Wearing the HE-500 for 2 hours was just like wearing my Grados for 2 hours.

 

It depends on what you're buying with the $1500. Truly excellent headphones don't need to cost that much (at least historically), but unfortunately, $300 is becoming "average" for quality headphones. 

 

 
post #15 of 211

JVC DX700 or used DX1000

Fiio E10

Apex Butte

Monoprice Interconnect 

 

 

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