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Completely new to audiophile world

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

Long time lurker, first time poster here.

 

So I have no previous experience with good audio equipments before, except having a listen to HD555 and some Bose headphones and thought they were good. I also tried some Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and hated those cans. I thought the bass is too much and overall sound too sharp. I think its time to get something for myself. Now I dont have a chance to try the headphones/amp/DACs out first thanks to my location. But I've researched thoroughly and got down to these: Sennheiser HD650 + Schiit Lyr + Schiit Bifrost USB. I will have a pretty good deal at AUD 1450 express shipped.

 

I will be running it out of the new Macbook Pro Retina. I do listen to all kinds of music but mainly: acoustic guitar/singing, jazz, classical (piano and guitar), flamenco, some pop songs with both male and female vocals. Will listen to some rap/metal but they arent important.

 

So the questions are:

 

  1. What do you guys think about my choice of equipments?
  2. Do I really need good cables and tubes? Which cables do I need?
  3. I heard Macbooks have Optical/Toslink out and I'm confused? I dont see any RCA plugs on the Macbook.

 

Cheers and have a good day !

 

ohhmygod.

post #2 of 18

The headphones, amp and dac are good choices. You might consider replacing the hd650 with the hifiman he500. IMO it's a nice jump in SQ and pairs beautifully with the other equipment.

 

I don't know much about the mac, but if it has optical out you could get the bifrost w/o the usb and save money and have a theoretically better sounding setup. 

 

 

gL!!

post #3 of 18

optical/ toslink dont have RCA connectors or obviously not any kind of analog connector so they wouldn't help anyway.  The headphone (or maybe another mini-jack) jack probably also has a optical connection  in it.  You will have to buy a toslink converter that goes into the headphone jack and provides the mechanical connection for the toslink cable.  There are also optical cables that have a build in converter on one end but I've never used one of those.

 

I would check the lyre and 650 threads to see what owners have already stated about that combination of equipment.  And tubes.
 

post #4 of 18

1. I can't really comment on that specific equipment.

 

2. You definitely do not need an incredible digital cable (USB/COAX/optical) and as long as an analog cable isn't trashed or extremely low low low quality, you're fine. Tubes, however, do vary. They sound different and have different effects on what they amplify.

 

3. Macbooks have an integrated toslink port that is in the headphone jack. You will need a special cable like this one http://store.apple.com/us/product/TL955LL/A


Edited by Flume - 7/30/12 at 9:27pm
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhmygod View Post
So I have no previous experience with good audio equipments before, except having a listen to HD555 and some Bose headphones and thought they were good. I also tried some Beats by Dr. Dre headphones and hated those cans. I thought the bass is too much and overall sound too sharp. I think its time to get something for myself. Now I dont have a chance to try the headphones/amp/DACs out first thanks to my location. But I've researched thoroughly and got down to these: Sennheiser HD650 + Schiit Lyr + Schiit Bifrost USB. I will have a pretty good deal at AUD 1450 express shipped.

I will be running it out of the new Macbook Pro Retina. I do listen to all kinds of music but mainly: acoustic guitar/singing, jazz, classical (piano and guitar), flamenco, some pop songs with both male and female vocals. Will listen to some rap/metal but they arent important.

So the questions are:

 

  1. What do you guys think about my choice of equipments?
  2. Do I really need good cables and tubes? Which cables do I need?
  3. I heard Macbooks have Optical/Toslink out and I'm confused? I don't see any RCA plugs on the Macbook.

It seems some Apple computer products are not coming with optical output (I do not know which ones).

Get an apple optical cable and plug it into the headphone jack, see if you have working optical output.

The headphone output (3.5mm 1/8" mini-jack) should also function as a line-out (like the RCAs).

As your getting the Schiit BiFrost with USB, just go USB cable from Mac to BiFrost.

At Monoprice, they sell "premium" cables for low prices.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/24/12 at 8:55pm
post #6 of 18

As has been said, you probably need a 3.5mm jack-to-toslink adapter for your computer. This is the same setup my Asus Xonar DX soundcard uses. Nice to have you on Head-Fi by the way, some of us are new here too.
 


Edited by DrNebula11 - 6/24/12 at 8:58pm
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNebula11 View Post

As has been said, you probably need a 3.5mm jack-to-toslink adapter for your computer. This is the same setup my Asus Xonar DX soundcard uses. Nice to have you on Head-Fi by the way, some of us are new here too.
 

You have a 3.5mm jack to Toslink adapter for use with your Xonar DX?

post #8 of 18

Tubes are important.  Macbook pros have optical out that comes out of the headphone jack but not sure with the new Retina model, check with apple, then you just need the optical cable, i have apples, it works fine.  RCA you take out of your dac to your amp not the Macbook pro.  It goes optical out of macbook(if it has it) to dac optical in then rca out of dac to amplifier in to headphone jack for the HD650's.  I am a believer in cables but that is the last thing, and when that time comes just get silver for the headphone cable replacement to open the HD650 up a bit and they become a bit brighter instead of muffled, or what has been called veiled.  Good Luck with it.

 

 

Edit- copied this from the Retina on the Apple web site

 

Audio

  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual microphones
  • Headphone port
    • Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone
    • Support for audio line out (digital / analog)

Support for audio line out digital/analog means yes you have a digital out probably optical, which is typical for macbook pro's.  Analog is just straight headphone jack.


Edited by dallan - 6/24/12 at 9:48pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

Tubes are important.  Macbook pros have optical out that comes out of the headphone jack but not sure with the new Retina model, check with apple, then you just need the optical cable, i have apples, it works fine.  RCA you take out of your dac to your amp not the Macbook pro.  It goes optical out of macbook(if it has it) to dac optical in then rca out of dac to amplifier in to headphone jack for the HD650's.  I am a believer in cables but that is the last thing, and when that time comes just get silver for the headphone cable replacement to open the HD650 up a bit and they become a bit brighter instead of muffled, or what has been called veiled.  Good Luck with it.

Edit- copied this from the Retina on the Apple web site

 

Audio

  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual microphones
  • Headphone port
    • Support for Apple iPhone headset with remote and microphone
    • Support for audio line out (digital / analog

Support for audio line out digital/analog means yes you have a digital out probably optical, which is typical for macbook pro's.  Analog is just straight headphone jack.

The Digital output "might" be referring to the new thunderbolt ports, not a optical port.

Apple might have dropped the digital optical output forcing Mac owner to have to buy the thunderbolt adaptor ($$$) from apple, for digital optical output.

Apple does not seem to provide any info on optical output from the Retina Macbook.

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Digital output "might" be referring to the new thunderbolt ports, not a optical port.

Apple might have dropped the digital optical output forcing Mac owner to have to buy the thunderbolt adaptor ($$$) from apple, for digital optical output.

Apple does not seem to provide any info on optical output from the Retina Macbook.

But digital line out is listed under the headphone port actually.  It is also listed with the analog which i would thing that would mean it is the headphone port.  If you are saying the thunderbolt port is the headphone port than i get it but i think headphone port is a mini jack port.


Edited by dallan - 6/24/12 at 10:06pm
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by dallan View Post

But digital line out is listed under the headphone port actually.  It is also listed with the analog which i would thing that would mean it is the headphone port.  If you are saying the thunderbolt port is the headphone port than I get it but I think headphone port is a mini jack port.

I guess I did not notice the "digital"  was under the Headphone port listing.

I did not mean the thunderbolt is the headphone output, just that the Thunderbolt appears to have digital output option.

no disagreement that the mini-jack (1/8" 3.5mm) is a headphone output port.

 

I'm not an "Apple guy" at all, (but back in the late 90s. I did once see Steve Jobs go down isle 8 at Fry's in Palo Alto)

Just trying to figure out how the stuff works, from a distance.

post #12 of 18

Yeah i get it, i don't normally think they totally try to screw you but i have to admit that when the first ipad came out and had no usb port, you had to buy a camera kit or something to get a digital out, i thought that was sorta b.s......  Well i have a macbook pro i got almost three years ago but never an ipad or iphone.  My surf site is flash and they don't support it with the iphone, what use is a screen that you can't watch a surf camera and see how the surf is.cool.gif 

 

Got a little off topic i know, but yeah think optical mini out of the headphone jack.   I use the usb with a high end converter and use a firewire external hard drive to save usb ports, my macbook only has two.  I notice that the Retina has no firewire for now at least, and only one usb portfrown.gif  I take issue with that because use of external hard drive needs firewire or usb and audio usb for me, that's two outputs.........for me normal macbook pro.

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Wow thank you everyone for the quality of the replies !! Now the connections issue has been much clearly to me now :D 

 

Is there any other amp/DAC recommendations that you guys would suggest? I'm pretty much got put off by the Lyr's headphone drivers killing spree for now. Just looking for other options, be it tube or SS. The headphone is pretty much set on HD650. 

 

I've described the music genre in the first post, hence i want to have a set up that is sweet sounding, detailed, dont need boomy bassy stuff, warm enough so I can relax and enjoy the music. I havent find much detailed reviews about the Burson HA-160D/HA160DS + HD650 on here. That combo would be very convenient.

post #14 of 18
You would enjoy the burson. Very clean with a nice warmth to it.

Good luck
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Which Burson are you talking about ? I'm pretty keen on Burson actually ! Buy local ! :P

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