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Intro to HiFi

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Let me start off by saying this will be the first time that i am able to spend a fair chunk of change on audio gear. I have very little experience or knowledge in this field but am very keen on learning. I'm constantly doing research on everything I feel I should know and want to be sure that I'm getting the most out of my money. In saying this, please feel free to correct me if I am incorrect and set me straight.

The next point I should mention would be the music I listen to. Mostly electronic, hip hop, and jazz. However, i'm slowly branching out to different genres of music so I want something that will ultimately sound acceptable with most any type of music. 

My budget is roughly 3500$. That includes DAC, headphone amp, and a Pair (or two) of headphones. If you think it would be a better idea to two pairs of mid-level headphones please voice your opinion.

At the moment, I have put together a set up that I think will do the trick. After doing a bit of research, the LCD-2s sound like they would suit my needs perfectly. Well known for their bass and overall smooth sound. For the DAC ether the Benchmark DAC1 or the Anedio D2. The headphone amp looks like the WA6SE or the WA2. People say that the WA6SE is slightly more upbeat and face paced, which I feel would match well with the LCD-2.

These are just what I have come up with on my own. They may be not at all what i'm looking for, or they might be almost perfect with a different this or that. Any component is interchangeable as long as the reason is valid.

post #2 of 14

As a happy owner of the DAC1 USB, I have to recommend it. It's cleaner and more detailed as a DAC than a Lavry DA11 or a Rega DAC that I've sampled. The headphone amp builtin to it is weaker but in my opinion cleaner than a Schiit Lyr, the only standalone headphone amp I have experience with.  

  

I've used it with a Denon AH-D5000 and an HE-6. The HE-6 usage was minimal, mostly I had that amped through the Lyr and it was wonderful. But the DAC1's always been my dac, for the past 2 years anyway.  

  

Currently, I use the XLR outputs of the DAC1 to a Crown D75A to a set of Buggtussel floorstanding speakers. The sound is pretty fantastic. And I just ordered an LCD2 today, so we'll see how that matches the DAC1. 

post #3 of 14

Another pointless thread. There is sooooooooo many ways to Nirvana - a single direction is meaningless. Use some research. Find som indications. Then; prompt the question again. 

 

"tl;dr" Too many variables to answer your question.


Edited by Loevhagen - 2/8/13 at 1:30pm
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Another pointless thread. There is sooooooooo many ways to Nirvana - a single direction is meaningless. Use some research. Find som indications. Then; prompt the question again. 

 

"tl;dr" Too many variables to answer your question.


I'm not looking at this as a single direction, i'm trying to get the best bang for my buck with the money i have available based on my listening preferences. I will have to buy a DAC, amp, and a pair of headphones regardless of whether or not i plan on buying anything else down the road. May as well ask for opinions right?

After browsing around the forums for few days, I've decided it would be better to get the Gungnir / BHA-1, Mjolnir, and the LCD-3's. If I need to upgrade the amp or DAC I will, but i think this is a good starting point. Is it really so wrong to ask for assistance from people who know what they're talking about?

post #5 of 14

What equipment do you currently have? What is lacking? It's best to audition as much as possible to understand what you are looking for. Issues like ergonomics, sound signature preference, and comfort can only be tested by trying as types of equipment as possible. For example, the HD800 and LCD3 can both be considered top of the line but have very different sound signatures (and comfort levels).

post #6 of 14
I'm a fan of the Ultrasone Sig DJ. Certainly if you like EDM and the like. You can run it with almost anything. LCD-2 also works with a lot of amps and has nice bass as well. LCD-3 for $3,500 will leave you short something.

ANY kind of likes or dislikes will help us point the way. All we know now is that you like bass.
Love or hate treble?
How portable?
Do you have a significant other to bother late at night?
What kind of source?
post #7 of 14

If you want simplicity: The new WA7 + EH Gold Pin tubes + whatever headphones you like. No need for a separate DAC and more money for the headphones. It is a bit more forgiving but more enjoyable to listen with in some ways and will drive everything from IEMs to orthos without issue.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by m2man View Post

I'm a fan of the Ultrasone Sig DJ. Certainly if you like EDM and the like. You can run it with almost anything. LCD-2 also works with a lot of amps and has nice bass as well. LCD-3 for $3,500 will leave you short something.

ANY kind of likes or dislikes will help us point the way. All we know now is that you like bass.
Love or hate treble?
How portable?
Do you have a significant other to bother late at night?
What kind of source?


I've read quite a few threads on here and a lot of people seem to think that with the Mjolnir and a DAC like the Gungnir/BHA-1 still sound great with the LCD-3. Thing is that i can always upgrade the amp if i run into some money again.

I like treble just as much as bass. If possible, id love to have a headphone that didn't slump anywhere. But, where I have the 701s I don't mind headphones lacking in the treble department. 
Not portable at all. Strictly for home listening. 
Leaking noise isn't a problem since my roommates are all up relatively late. No significant other that would be bothered.
Building a PC, on which i'll be using foobar with mostly FLAC and some 320.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by third_eye View Post

What equipment do you currently have? What is lacking? It's best to audition as much as possible to understand what you are looking for. Issues like ergonomics, sound signature preference, and comfort can only be tested by trying as types of equipment as possible. For example, the HD800 and LCD3 can both be considered top of the line but have very different sound signatures (and comfort levels).


I have a pair of K701s and an old Sony 700es integrated stereo amp. Basically, I need everything. It's hard for me to audition anything living in Nova Scotia. No really audio stores here that have any high-end headphones besides one that has some nice Grados.

Looked into the HD800 first and it seems like it wouldn't suit my tastes. The LCD-3 seems to be everything that i'm looking for, however,  i have no real way to try them out.  
 

post #9 of 14

HD 800 (preferably modded)

Luxman P-1 or P-1u

Electrocompaniet ECD-1

 

or

 

LCD-2

Balancing Act

NAD M51

post #10 of 14
I'm curious, why the DAC1 over DAC2? Did they mess up the design on the DAC2 or something?
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post

HD 800 (preferably modded)

Luxman P-1 or P-1u

Electrocompaniet ECD-1

 

or

 

LCD-2

Balancing Act

NAD M51

He said his budget was $3500. 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loevhagen View Post

Another pointless thread. There is sooooooooo many ways to Nirvana - a single direction is meaningless. Use some research. Find som indications. Then; prompt the question again. 

 

"tl;dr" Too many variables to answer your question.

 

You can exhale now. Better yet, don't.

post #13 of 14

Personally, I'm sitting here in ecstasy with just a Bellari HA540 and HE-500. Hi-Fi is so open-ended and there are so many ways to just get that feeling that instantly makes to close your eyes and, well, melt ;)

post #14 of 14

Could you describe what you like and don't like about your current K701 / Sony integrated?  Might help us to get a better idea of your sound preferences.

 

If you generally like the characteristics of your K701, the HD800 might be a more natural upgrade path -- reasonably similar tonal balance and spatial presentation.  The LCD-3 offers a VERY different presentation when compared to the K701, both tonally and spatially -- but maybe this is what you're going for...

 

The Beyerdynamic T1, Fostex TH900, and Hifiman HE-6 are also valid options at this price point.  Given your stated current preference for electronic, hip-hop, and jazz, the TH900 or HE-6 might fit the bill very well.

 

Hard to say, really -- everyone has different preferences and hears things differently.  Too bad you aren't able to go anywhere to demo equipment.  If I were in your shoes, this is what I would do:

 

1.  Buy a good DAC, something like the Schiit Gungnir.

2.  Buy a cheap but decent amp, something like the Schiit Magni.

3.  Buy a pair of headphones used, listen to it on the Gungnir / Magni, take some notes on the sound, then sell the headphones used.  Wash, rinse, and repeat for all headphones you're interested in.

4.  Once you've listened to all your headphones of interest, buy the one you liked best (used or new).

5.  Buy an amp that will pair well with your selected headphones.  You could sell the Magni at that point if you wanted.

 

Buying used / selling used can allow you to demo a lot of gear without losing too much money.  It might end up costing you a couple hundred dollars, but considering how much you're looking to spend, it might be worth a couple hundred dollars to make sure you end up with a setup which you know you will make you happy.  Just my $0.02.

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