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$350-$400 budget for gears

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi there, I have a Cowon D2 (listening to flac) with a Klipsch X10 at this moment. I have decided to spend USD$350-$400 for upgrading and I have some ideas and see if you guys can give me some advice. I seldom listen to ROCK, METAL and CLASSICAL in my D2 and I am seeking for an overall upgrade in my portable music system =] 1. Buying a SE535LTD or a W4R 2. Getting an AMP (PICO!!) 3. A new player thanks in advance dudes!
post #2 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cancam View Post

Hi there, I have a Cowon D2 (listening to flac) with a Klipsch X10 at this moment. I have decided to spend USD$350-$400 for upgrading and I have some ideas and see if you guys can give me some advice. I seldom listen to ROCK, METAL and CLASSICAL in my D2 and I am seeking for an overall upgrade in my portable music system =] 1. Buying a SE535LTD or a W4R 2. Getting an AMP (PICO!!) 3. A new player thanks in advance dudes!

 

My "big" portable is shown in my sig below. (Touch, LOD, TTVJ, 650's) It cost over $1200 and is great. I have other gear as well, including the Cowon C2, and Klipsch X10's. They cost about $350 and together they sound incredible! I'm a jazz head myself and seldom listen to anything else. With the great Cowon EQ, you have a nice setup now. Before you spend your money, I would really suggest that you ask yourself exactly what is is you find lacking in your current setup, and what exactly you are trying to achieve. I spent a LOT of money over the years before I even knew what I liked. The idea of accuracy and faithful reproduction sounds good in theory (to me) but I personally prefer a colored "warmed up" and lush sound, with rolled off highs. If you cannot answer the questions above, you are likely to waste your money. How can you ever reach your sonic destination if you don't know what it is? This is the best advice I can give anyone, and I hope it helps.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
I think you have made a very valid point here. I reviewed my portable set up and I am not quite satisfied with the clarity at the moment. I want more width and depth. I like colored warm sound too, I don't prefer cold sound. I love female vocals and soft musics. Mid and highs are yet to be improved in my set up.
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cancam View Post

I think you have made a very valid point here. I reviewed my portable set up and I am not quite satisfied with the clarity at the moment. I want more width and depth. I like colored warm sound too, I don't prefer cold sound. I love female vocals and soft musics. Mid and highs are yet to be improved in my set up.

 

Excellent that you see the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Now other head-fier's can point you to the gear in your price range.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
any ideas?
post #6 of 16

sansa Fuze has pretty good LOD from what I've heard. And works very well with multi-armature high-sensitivity IEMs like SE535. Doesn't hiss like others. And supports Rockbox, which is great. It's cheap.

post #7 of 16

I would say hifiman 601/602 and jvc ha-fxd80's

 

Or a sansa fuze/lod and suitable amp like a p4 warbler or pico with the above jvc's

 

That's how i would spend it.

 

Or a rocoo/studio v with just those iem's.

 

The sudio has the advantage of an lod, should you wish to upgrade later on.

post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 
Should I replace my player first?
post #9 of 16

If you are after improvement in SQ, then upgrade in the order IEM's, then source, then amp. Well thats just my opinion and how I would do it. 

 

For IEM's You should also consider the Earsonics SM3, if you haven't already. Also check out joker's massive IEM review thread, you'll find reviews on the SM3, SE535 and W4 there as well as lots more. 

 

For source, you have lots of options, do your research to see which suits you best, and I don't know your price range either so:

<$200 - RoCoo P

200-400 - Studio or HM601/2

>800 - Colorfly C4, DX100 or HM801

 

For amp, if you're after a slim solution, Pico is best you will get, but if you want best of best, go with an RX MK3 B. However you probably don't need an amp for any of any of the players listed above, as those IEM's aren't all too hard to drive. 

post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I think I will go for a new IEM first. I would buy an IEM with replaceable cables for further upgrade in the future. I just read some reviews about SM3, those reviews reminded me one thing! Most of the reviews said that SM3 is thick and sounds a bit dark. To me, I wouldn't prefer an IEM with a very thick and dark sound signature. I would buy an IEM with a very ('humanistic') natural sound signature. I really hates er4p LOL. Also, I want a warm, bright(but not too bright pls) and responsive IEM. Any more concrete ideas??
post #11 of 16

Have you read jokers IEM review thread? http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-240-iems-compared-spiral-ear-se-3-way-reference-added-06-03-12

Read up on the SM3, the SE535 and the W4. Then go for the one you seem to like the best. But also have a read of others in that price range. 

 

Also if you plan to buy cables, make that your last priority as it will give you the least improvement in sound compared top upgrading your source and adding an amp. 

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AyeCee View Post

Have you read jokers IEM review thread? http://www.head-fi.org/t/478568/multi-iem-review-240-iems-compared-spiral-ear-se-3-way-reference-added-06-03-12

Read up on the SM3, the SE535 and the W4. Then go for the one you seem to like the best. But also have a read of others in that price range. 

 

Also if you plan to buy cables, make that your last priority as it will give you the least improvement in sound compared top upgrading your source and adding an amp. 


I have to agree with this 100%.  I also think Joker's reviews are pretty dead-on, at least from the iem's I have heard that he's reviewed. 

 

I'm going to toss a vote in for the Westone 4 here as I really loved the sound.  I listen to Rock, Alternative, Classical (vocal, opera, instrumental) and they honestly did every genre really well.  The sound was rich and lush and vocals were amazing.  I sent them away to get something I thought I wanted more and to this day I regret that decision and am actually trying to figure out what to sell to get them back.  At some point, you'll probably just have to pick one and if it's not the sound you're looking for either return/exchange it (depending on the dealer) or sell it and get the next one on your list. There's nothing wrong with that.  I read reviews for what seemed like ages before I made my decision and I think in the end, you have to read up on the ones that have the sound you think you're looking for and then make a choice based on your budget, etc..  I think all 3 options above are fantastic choices.

 

One thing I'll toss in and it's a total personal preference:  I tried the Shure 425's and didn't like their body or cables at all - I just couldn't get a good fit. For me, the Westone 4's were unbelievably comfortable and once I put them in, I never noticed they were there.  This is why it's so hard to read reviews because there are certain things, like fit, that you just have to try for yourself.  Best of luck!!

post #13 of 16
 For your preferred genres, I think the W4 would be the best, however still I stress check out jokers reviews!
 
Oh and thanks vocalist for the recognition, makes me feel good when I know I gave good advice :D
post #14 of 16

You could try reading more about the ortofons. For your preference I believe you will enjoy them immensely. They produce the best vocals I've heard so far in universal iem.

post #15 of 16

get a studio V...add a westone 4,

u get width..depth..v good seperation from the iem,

and gushing with energy from the slightly warm sounding class A studioV.

beerchug.gif

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