Originally Posted by Eruve
I'm new to all this HiFi stuff, but I'm willing to make it as my lifetime hobby. After reading this I'm afraid to buy a cheap low end budget dac & amp combination. For me, rather than continuously updating whenever I'm unsatisfied, I think I'm better off with a really good and high-end setup that probably gonna last for years. Because I'm a college student, I'm gonna feel really sorry for my wallet if I spent it wrongly.
I'm so interested on buying a pair of DT800 600ohm, but i guess I'll save it for later. Now I'm gonna let myself stuck in $100 headphone with a portable fiio (e17k/e17 still undecided) while saving money for something great like Valhalla / Lyr / Mjolnir / Little Dot MKII / i don't know. I still have a lot of things to spresearch on, something that can please my Electronic Music addiction...
Anyway thanks a lot for making this thread
I know where you're coming from, having been there myself recently. And having been a poor student too (long time ago). My advice: take it easy, take your time to get to know the gear you have and above all: don't get carried away by this site and the opinions you read (including mine). They're just opinions, some very well informed, many not.
That being said, here's mine regarding the headphones you talk about. I own the DT-880 in 600 Ohm and price/quality wise the DT-880's are certainly a very good deal, one of the best around at the price point imho. But if I were you I wouldn't go with the 600 Ohm version.
Theoretically they offer advantages as far as sound quality goes but they need a good, powerful amplifier to really shine. The FiiO E17 by itself won't cut it, you'll have to pair it with the E09K if you want to stick with FiiO. That's a total of about 250 USD right there. Save some of that and get the 250 Ohm version instead. Easier to drive and the sound quality is really virtually the same. I'd even recommend the 32 Ohm version which can be plugged right into an iPod or similar but in case you later want to purchase a DAC/AMP you need to be careful and check that the amp's output impedance is not too high (difference between output impedance of the amp/headphone impedance should be a minimum of factor 8 or they won't play nice together).
For a DAC/amp combo: opinions abound but price/quality wise my champion is the O2 + ODAC combo such as sold by JDS Labs in the US. If there's a deal with better specs around at even double the price I'd like for someone to point it out. I own the FiiO E17/E09K, the Epiphany acoustics version of the O2+ODAC and a Violectric V200 + V800 (amp & dac). The Violectric is best in absolute terms but that setup costs about 2600 USD new, value wise the O2/ODAC is much better. I'm not a fan of tube amps and think that unless you have sufficient disposable income and are ready to start tube rolling and enjoy changing the sound signature that way, you're much better off with a solid state system.
But above all, take your time and don't accept anyone's word for gospel.