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Advice on down-sizing

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone.

 

I have to move back out to uni and after the last move-out, I really don't want to bring so much stuff with me. I mainly don't want to bring my speaker amp which means my HE-6 isn't going to sound as nice. My DAC is sorta big ( not nearly as big and heavy as my amp), and I have a Digital Interface with a PSU. I have cut it down to three possible options unless someone can come up with a forth.

 

Option 1: I bring my HE-6 with me but I get a compact DAC/amp to bring down with me.

 

Option 2: Bring HE-6, current DAC and DI, but find a smaller amp.

 

Option 3: Get easier to drive headphones like AD700 or T70P. I could get a cheap DAC/amp combo or even dreadful integrated sound.

 

Ideally I would go for option #1 as I love my HE-6 and not many headphones match its performance and sound signature, but I'm not sure what DAC/amp to get. Whatever option I pick, I would like my sources to be as neutral as possible. I've been away head-fi for awhile so I'm behind on all the new gear that has come out in the past year or so, so please give me some options in gear. Obviously this all depends on my budget too. I will just put out a rough budget of ~$400. Cheaper the better of course and if something is in the FS section, even better. I'm only going to be using anything I purchase for about 3-4 months and selling it back on FS. I would like to not put so much money down even though I can get most of it back.

 

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 31
I wouldn't suggest T70p no matter what. tongue.gif

Anyways, have you looked at various compact solutions like the CI VHP2 or the numerous Asus cards with the same amp built-in? Or the Schiit, Fiio, or Audio-GD amps? etc

There's plenty of compact stuff that will dump a lot of power out. redface.gif

Or just suck it up and deal with the somewhat larger equipment that works right...ph34r.gif I do certainly understand your position though, but I'm not a fan of re-buying the same hardware over and over again.

I won't get into a DtoA discussion here. popcorn.gif
Edited by obobskivich - 9/14/12 at 12:28am
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

I wouldn't suggest T70p no matter what. tongue.gif
Anyways, have you looked at various compact solutions like the CI VHP2 or the numerous Asus cards with the same amp built-in? Or the Schiit, Fiio, or Audio-GD amps? etc
There's plenty of compact stuff that will dump a lot of power out. redface.gif
Or just suck it up and deal with the somewhat larger equipment that works right...ph34r.gif I do certainly understand your position though, but I'm not a fan of re-buying the same hardware over and over again.
I won't get into a DtoA discussion here. popcorn.gif

 

I don't know the output on the Ci VHP2 and can't seem to find it. HE-6 needs good power. The asus cards is a possible route but no power either. audio-gd might take too long to order from. Just wondering if anything new has come out in the past year that could be possible options.

 

I don't think I'll be selling any of the current equipment either, but I sure don't want to drag my amp to the new apartment nor will I have enough space. If I do get an internship or job, I'll sell my current dac and amp for high-end replacements tongue.gif

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ohhgourami View Post

I don't know the output on the Ci VHP2 and can't seem to find it. HE-6 needs good power. The asus cards is a possible route but no power either. audio-gd might take too long to order from. Just wondering if anything new has come out in the past year that could be possible options.

VHP2 and the Asus cards all use TPA6120 - 2W into 32R, 1W into 64R - way more power than your cans need on a bad day. Fiio E9 is the same thing for about 1/6th of the price of the VHP2. But they don't have consistently flawless vpots (that's what you get for spending less). There's also the Essence One which is a nice looking outboard device (it's Asus' attempt at building a Grace m903, basically).

The insanity and misunderstanding of "needs power" has really reached absolutely ABSURD levels in the last few years (I've seen people claiming you "need" up to 300W/ch for the HE-6 and other equally ridiculous claims - it's really just so far out of hand, and marketers and salesman have just poured gasoline onto that fire and gotten fat on the hog it's cooking...it'd be genuinely funny if it weren't so disgusting). The HE-6 are "power hungry" inasmuch as they're less efficient than many modern headphones, and need more than a fraction of a mW to get going. But 200 mW/side is really top of the mark (your ears won't take more) - so a 1-2W amplifier is perfectly rational.
Quote:
I don't think I'll be selling any of the current equipment either, but I sure don't want to drag my amp to the new apartment nor will I have enough space. If I do get an internship or job, I'll sell my current dac and amp for high-end replacements tongue.gif

Not touching the DAC discussion - you're not gonna make me.

Regarding the amplifier side - what do you have now? Is it really that unwieldy to move around? (I'm thinking in broader strokes - you're not in college forever, and while it sounds like you're probably living in some sort of student housing now, that probably won't even be for your entire time in college; so unless whatever you presently have is REALLY a bear, I'd probably try to find a way to make it work for six months or a year or what have you, rather than buying new equipment just to use short-term - alternately get more compact equipment that you'll retain indefinitely, and just sell the bulky stuff).

More broadly:

No idea on Audio-GD arrival times. Could e-mail and ask.

Regarding "anything in the last year" - no, not really. Not like amplifier technology has really changed in...well...a *long* time. redface.gif What I mean here is, if it was good last year, it's still good this year - don't worry so much about recency (because usually all it means is that you're paying more for the same hat).
Edited by obobskivich - 9/14/12 at 1:03am
post #5 of 31

I recently reviewed the Nuforce Icon2 which you may find interesting as I use it to power my HE-6...

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626851/review-nuforce-icon2-s-x-speakers-w-1-sub

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

Well, I've own different combinations of gear in the past and this one has sounded the best, mostly because the amp is a lot more powerful. I actually downgraded DAC quality for amp quality to obtain this setup and it sounds much better. There is no denying a powerful class A amp sounds better for the HE-6. BUT the HE-6 still sounds DAMN good with a regular headphone amp. If I can get a neutral amp with 1W at 8ohms, so be it. The power requirement thing has really been blown out of proportions the last couple years, but there is still some truth in it.

 

The amp I have is a Marantz PM-84, which is a big speaker amp that weighs ~50 pounds. Not only that, it is VERY fragile. I'm only living in an apartment for 4 months to finish my last quarter in uni. If I get a job, I can live there longer (probably find a nicer place). If I were to live in a place for 6 months or more, I would probably haul all my stuff including my very unwieldly gaming desktop.

 

I pretty much don't want to buy any budget audio-gd gear (I did own their mid-tier product), but don't like their lower tier stuff.

 

I know amplifier tech hasn't changed but I was hoping for a neutral amp in my budget. Lots of v-shaped or warm sounding budget amps, not a lot of neutral.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Bump?

post #8 of 31
I'd try the CIA VHP series - honestly. Class A, has a lot of power, very clean, and CI is a great company to deal with. While I did own the upgrade PSU and the stock PSU, I never tried the stock PSU, so I can't really speak to any benefits - my guess is that it's fairly minor though, but you might want to ask (because I know the 6120 has increased output with increased current supply, and the VAC does increase current output).
post #9 of 31

No comment on my Icon2 suggestion above?

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

No comment on my Icon2 suggestion above?

Is this directed at me or the OP?

If me, my response is:

I have no real opinion either way, because I'm not familiar with NuForce products, and have heard too many polarizing perspectives to want to take a "side" in that discussion without having a better idea of what they're offering. Their hi-fi separates are very nice looking components, but that's well above and beyond the scope of this thread.
post #11 of 31

Oh sorry, it was directed at the OP. Looking at the timestamps, I may have snuck in my response before one of his posts and he didn't notice it. Maybe. *shrug*

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

Oh sorry, it was directed at the OP. Looking at the timestamps, I may have snuck in my response before one of his posts and he didn't notice it. Maybe. *shrug*


Correct I didn't notice!

 

I'll give it a read and see if its an option.

post #13 of 31

Why not to get Schiit Asgard or if you like tubes Lyr?

post #14 of 31

Elwappo mentioned something about the Emotiva mini-x a-100 being a decent small and budget viable amp for the HE-6 over in main thread. Might be worth looking into for $219.

 

For an all in one dac/amp, you might be able to get a used NFB-10 for about $450 or so over in the sale forums. It puts out 6 W into 50 ohms and is very high performance for a single 10 pound box. I'd sell you mine, but it's getting its remote repaired and I won't see it for another 2 weeks.

 

On the headphone front, I don't think there's a $400 option that can touch the HE-6.  

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

I recently reviewed the Nuforce Icon2 which you may find interesting as I use it to power my HE-6...

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626851/review-nuforce-icon2-s-x-speakers-w-1-sub

 

This looks quite interesting and is probably the best solution. The one of the early sentences, you mentioned it worked as a speaker amp. That itself got me sold, then followed up with the words neutral and analytical. One question I have is how do I physically plug my HE-6 into that thing? There are only two outputs in the back for speaker. I was hoping to see L+ L- R+ R-.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2151 View Post

Elwappo mentioned something about the Emotiva mini-x a-100 being a decent small and budget viable amp for the HE-6 over in main thread. Might be worth looking into for $219.

 

For an all in one dac/amp, you might be able to get a used NFB-10 for about $450 or so over in the sale forums. It puts out 6 W into 50 ohms and is very high performance for a single 10 pound box. I'd sell you mine, but it's getting its remote repaired and I won't see it for another 2 weeks.

 

On the headphone front, I don't think there's a $400 option that can touch the HE-6.  

 

I previously owned an NFB-10ES. I loved that thing but I had drop out issues so I sent it back. I'll read up about the Emotiva. $219 is definitely not a bad price, but I have to bring my DAC and DI. My DAC doesn't nearly sound as good without the DI.

 

I've pretty much made up my mind that I will bring my HE-6. No doubt any $400 headphone can match up, even under-amped. Plus I bought a new cable to replace my oxidized stock cable. I might as well use that investment!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by olegausany View Post

Why not to get Schiit Asgard or if you like tubes Lyr?

 

Not a tube guy at all. I'm a SS type of guy.

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