Alright, so I made the successful jump to caring about how great things can sound about two years ago, starting with the Creative Aurvana Live and buying several other mid-fi sets like the V-Moda M80s and things of that nature. Now I'm making another big jump - I will be getting the Hifiman HE-400 and I am now starting to look for amps.
Problem is, I don't understand them. At all. On top of that, I don't want to test and jump around like I do with headphones. I actually don't like the idea of spending a ton of money on amps, but it's necessary. I want to get an amp that works best for me and I just want it to work. I don't want to get an amp for $100 and then in a week have upgradeitis. I want to get a nice amp that will power my Hifiman HE-400 and eventually, the LCD-3, which will be my bigger headphone purchase, but not for at least half a year.
Most of my listening will be out of my laptop. So I guess I need a DAC too, but I don't understand those at all. I can buy a portable amp and DAC for $100 but when it gets into the high end, they're just amps without DACs? How necessary are they?
I have to say, I'm pretty intrigued by the Schiit Lyr. It looks really sexy. I've decided I want a tube amp, no matter what. There has to be tubes. Sure, that's because of the aesthetics, but again, I don't care if that's lame of me. Someday I'll probably get addicted to amps and want to buy more and more but right now, I just want something that will work with the HE-400, hopefully the LCD-3, and be under $500. That's my cap and I refuse to go over it for an amp right now. I'd actually vastly prefer it if there was a tube amp worth getting closer to the $200-$300 mark, but I'm ignorant about this stuff.
I mainly listen to folk and bluegrass, with a ton of hip-hop and alternative music as well. I like the punchiness of the V-Modas a lot and really detest harsh-ness. When music sounds harsh, it ruins everything. Is that enough info? I know I ranted a lot, but this is something I have to save up for, and would like to get it right on the first try.
EDIT: Also note that I will be buying more than the LCD-3 and the HE-400. I will have tons of headphones by the time it's all said and done. And on top of that, I REALLY like the look of the Valhalla. I'm just looking for some guidance.
ONE MORE EDIT: If tube amps REALLY aren't good for those headphones - as in larfely ineffective - then fine. How about the Asgard? Or something else in that price range ..
Edited by ninjames - 6/7/12 at 3:55pm