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Help me blow $2000! Build me a portable rig from the ground up!

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I don't go back to school until late August. That means I'm back to full time employment all summer long. I figure by the end of the summer I'll have $1500 to $2000 saved and I wanna spend it all on a portable rig. Help me fill the 3 hour gap between classes with audio bliss!

 

So tell me, what are you hauling around? How do you like it? How much did you spend? If you had to do it all over again, would you still spend your hard earned cash on that particular set up?

 

It'd be cool if you post pictures. I wanna see what I'm getting into!

 

 

Some background: I listen to ALL genres of music. I don't mind carrying around a "Franken-rig" because I'll be hauling it in a messenger bag. I don't necessarily have to spend all the money I save but I definitely can't go over $2000

 

Gear I've owned 

 

Headphones: Earsonics SM3, Denon D2000, Sennheiser HD 25-1 ii, Westone UM3X, Sony MDR EX1000, Hifiman RE262, Phonak PFE 121

 

Amps: ALO Rx MK1, Rx MK2, TTVJ Slim, Fiio E7

 

Sources: iPod 5 Gen, iPhone 4S, Hifiman HM601

 

CHEERS!

post #2 of 34
Wow ur gear is actually decent enough. Maybe u would like to go for a full custom paired with the ibasso dx100?

Can actually refer to average Joe's impression thread for some insight on how some customs compare and other reviews available here
post #3 of 34

Which headphones/setups were your favorite and why?

 

What kind of sound are you looking for? Reference? Basshead? 

 

How important is isolation?

 

Describe your ideal soundstage?

 

If you're looking to spend that kind of money, you need to provide as much detailed information as possible so we can steer you in the right direction.

post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by racoiaw View Post

Wow ur gear is actually decent enough. Maybe u would like to go for a full custom paired with the ibasso dx100?
Can actually refer to average Joe's impression thread for some insight on how some customs compare and other reviews available here

Most of that gear is sold off already. I'm just ready for something new I guess. I want to hear about the stuff people own and are currently in love with. I don't care if it's just an iPod and Triple Fi 10s. If you're in love with it and recommend it then I want to hear all about it!

post #5 of 34

My planned rig will consist of my iPhone/iPod Classic (160gb), CLAS, Rx MK2, and UM3X. If you like the sound of the Rx MK2 and UM3X, all you'll need is the iPod classic and CLAS.

 

Of course, you could go for customs too. A UERM or UE18 Pro will fit your budget and still leave enough leftover for a decent amp.

 

I'm currently using an iPod 5.5g, Fiio E11, and the UM3X. The only part of this rig that is likely to change in the near future is the amp. I'm looking into the JDS Labs C421 since I won't be able to afford anything by ALO for a while, haha.


Edited by calipilot227 - 5/31/12 at 7:19pm
post #6 of 34

I wouldn't bother, from what you already have you will be spending $2000 just on a slight increase in SQ. Also a portable $2000 rig will probably sound inferior to a $1000 desktop rig. Portable rigs just reach their peak so much quicker than desktop rigs, a lot of the $2000 will just fly away with the diminishing returns.


Edited by ProjectDenz - 5/31/12 at 7:23pm
post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdshain View Post

Which headphones/setups were your favorite and why?

 

What kind of sound are you looking for? Reference? Basshead? 

 

How important is isolation?

 

Describe your ideal soundstage?

 

If you're looking to spend that kind of money, you need to provide as much detailed information as possible so we can steer you in the right direction.

See the thing is, I'm wanting to explore. I've never owned any really bass heavy gear, but maybe I'd love it. My SM3 offer great soundstage, my UM3X don't, but I loved them both for different reasons, but I'm ready for something else.

 

I suppose the only real demand I have is I need better than average isolation. I got rid of my EX1000 because of their were definitely lacking in that department...

post #8 of 34

For portability, I've been very happy with the DX100 and Sony XBA-3's. While I've found the top-of-the-line portable amps to be better than the amp in the DX100, they aren't, IMO, hundreds of dollars better for IEMs or the portable headphones I've tried with them. I save my crazy heavy portable rig for when I'm travelling, where it sits in my hotel/apartment/wherever on the table. It'd be more worth your while to put the majority of your $2k into a good pair of IEMs to use with one of the top-of-the-line DAPs. Part of the reason I suggest that is the better isolation good IEMs can provide.

post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProjectDenz View Post

I wouldn't bother, from what you already have you will be spending $2000 just on a slight increase in SQ. Also a portable $2000 rig will probably sound inferior to a $1000 desktop rig. Portable rigs just reach their peak so much quicker than desktop rigs, a lot of the $2000 will just fly away with the diminishing returns.

My money would be wasted on a desktop rig, I'm out and about too often. (I suppose any venture into the hifi world could be considered a waste of money. That's kind of depressing actually...)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post

My planned rig will consist of my iPhone/iPod Classic (160gb), CLAS, Rx MK2, and UM3X. If you like the sound of the Rx MK2 and UM3X, all you'll need is the iPod classic and CLAS.

 

Of course, you could go for customs too. A UERM or UE18 Pro will fit your budget and still leave enough leftover for a decent amp.

 

I'm currently using an iPod 5.5g, Fiio E11, and the UM3X. The only part of this rig that is likely to change in the near future is the amp. I'm looking into the JDS Labs C421 since I won't be able to afford anything by ALO for a while, haha.

I've been considering the C421 too. Do you think that'd pair well with the UM3X?

post #10 of 34

Maybe you should get a JH13/JH16/UM Miracle/UM Merlin and a better DAP. None of these require an amp.

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

For portability, I've been very happy with the DX100 and Sony XBA-3's. While I've found the top-of-the-line portable amps to be better than the amp in the DX100, they aren't, IMO, hundreds of dollars better for IEMs or the portable headphones I've tried with them. I save my crazy heavy portable rig for when I'm travelling, where it sits in my hotel/apartment/wherever on the table. It'd be more worth your while to put the majority of your $2k into a good pair of IEMs to use with one of the top-of-the-line DAPs. Part of the reason I suggest that is the better isolation good IEMs can provide.

Do you pair your DX100 with a pair of CIEMs? If so, which?

post #12 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by atty101 View Post

 

I've been considering the C421 too. Do you think that'd pair well with the UM3X?

 

That's what I'm wondering as well, although it should pair well as it puts out a lot of current with relatively low gain (good for high-impedance, high-sensitivity IEMs like the UM3X). Did you try it with the Rx MK2?

post #13 of 34

For portable, get a good pair of custom IEM. depending on what you get, that should cost you $1100 - $1500. get a nice small amp (I hear Pico Slim or Shadow are good) and use it with your iPod. I tried the no-amp option, but I enjoy more with an amp.

post #14 of 34

I'm pretty happy with my rig;

 

JH5, JDS C421, fiio lod. simple enough. you don't need an amp with the JH5s or most customs really but i do notice some difference. I figure you only need to buy one good portable amp, for all your headphone needs.

 

I too am a student working full time (internship for me) in between semesters, and i can say at least in my case you don't need to blow $2k to be satisfied. Granted better is better. I don't know your age, financial situation but i've always been a "money in the bank is money for tomorrow" kind of person.

 

That being said if i really felt like blowing $2k (and didn't want a new car), I'd probably pick up some jh16s, although the UM Merlins are pretty interesting. Customs are a really good way to go.

post #15 of 34
I would recommend first and foremost getting top high end ciem's like UM Miracle. Then either DX100 or HM-801 (preferably w/ GAME amp). The HiFiMAN is out of stock and a new model on the way: 802 / 901. If it hits the market before you are spending your money, you could choose the new model or get a nice used 801. Since a top high end ciem like the Miracle is $950 + impressions you will have max a grand for the DAP plus amp. In that context I strongly recommend forgetting the amp and either go for the DX100 or the TOTL HiFiMAN DAP. Their built-in amps are pretty good already.

Edit: If I should have done it all over now, knowing what I know now, I would have gone directly to UM Miracle and then get the HM-801 w/ GAME amp (mint or new depending on budget).
Edited by LarsHP - 6/2/12 at 7:10pm
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