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Specific Doubt about Monitoring Setup

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone atsmile.gif,

I have been reading forums for a lot lot of hours and says now, i am starting to produce electronic music with my laptop, i pretend to compose, mix and if i can, master all with headphones. So i'm looking for the most transparent, analytical DAC and Headphone Amp i can get...


Since i've read a lot of your reviews and i feel i can trust your opinion here are my questions:


Actually i'm almost 100% sure that my setup will be Laptop (MacBook Pro) --> DAC: Violectric V800 --> Headphone Amp: Qes Labs HPBA-2  --> Headphones: HD650, but this is very expensive so my plan is to buy cheaper stuff and then gradually upgrade.


Gathering all the information i could, i decided to go with one of these paths (but maybe you can recommend another one):


1.- Get the Yulong D100 and HPBA-2 at the same time and start using the D100 alone (since i wouldn't have money left for all the XLR cables to connect the D100 to this Amp and recable the Senns since the Amp output is balanced), then save for a like 5 months and buy the cables, then save for like a year or so and buy the V800.


2.- Get the Benchmark DAC-1 and start using it alone, then save for like 9 months and buy the HPBA-2 with all the XLR cables and use both DAC1 with HPBA-2 amp and then save for like a year or so and upgrade the DAC with the V800.


So what would help making the decision?

If i go 1st way i will be using the D100 for a while and i don't know if it's capable of driving the HD650 to make them sound as they are intended, and then down the road when i pair it with the HPBA-2, since it's a very "flat" HPAmp, i don't know if it makes sense to have that super amp (for like a year) with a very good but not outstanding DAC since will probably reveal all its flaws.


If i go the 2nd way i think it's a safe bet since the DAC1 it's so popular to achieve my purpose and it's inbuilt amp is good to power my HD650 from what i've read, although some think otherwise, the DAC1 DAC it's very flat as well so when pairing it with HPBA-2 should work very well. "Even if it's the more expensive and slow way to go, the point of this path is to always have a transparent sound suiting my objective, if this makes sense"


I'd like to add that i haven't ever heard a DAC or a Heaphone Amp so i know what i know from reading posts, i don't even know if my ears are sensitive enough to hear the differences between the gear i'm talking about, but i prefer to start at that point rather than buying cheap stuff and start upgrading and testing gear and all that lifestyle since i don't think i'm an audiophile, i just want a flat system and forget about it and just produce music :)

(I know that the HD650 will "color" the sound but in the other stuff i want total transparency)


++ If you agree in what i've said then i would go the 2nd way but maybe you won't agree in everything since i assume you're the ones that actually know about these subjects  ++


If you haven't heard about the HPBA-2 here's a review http://www.head-fi.org/t/479300/review-hpba-2-by-qes-labs, i have read a lot of comments recommending this amp in my reading sessions (from the same 4-5 people), and they speak wonders of it to achieve the sound i'm looking for. 


I read that the DAC1 and D100 are very similar (in their DAC) in the awesome Project86 review: http://www.head-fi.org/t/499562/review-yulong-d100-dac-amp-reference-quality-with-a-reasonable-price


I've tried to make a good and understandable argumentation with my not so bad english so i hope i succeeded :) I really hope you can help me because i've reached the point where reading more posts doesn't lead anywhere...
post #2 of 5

This may not be the answer you're looking for, but for mixing and producing, its best to use monitors.


There are three reasons I can see for that:


a)  Better response.

Monitors are designed to be neutral, but headphones are sometimes "tuned" differently, and have a single transducer. The HD650 is not a neutral headphone, so what you hear may not be what you get.


b)  Consistent Reference.

Monitors stay at a fixed place, and when you make changes, you'll hear them from a constant point. Headphones sound may vary (slightly) due to fitting and ear cup seal, which varies every time you put them on.


c) Price.

You can buy some decent monitors for less than $500

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

my problem is that i don't have a treated room, but thanks for the info

post #4 of 5

If you are talking about music mixing and studio use then the Benchmark DAC1 is the one as far as analytical performance goes. Not my cup of tea for general enjoyment use, but in a studio environment it ticks most of the right boxes. My choice of headphones with the DAC1 is the HD650. They somehow seem to fit together as a combination.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

i went with the DAC1 indeed :)

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