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Audioengine A2 with Audioengine D1 DAC and audioengine desktop speaker angled stands - Page 5

post #61 of 76
Thread Starter 

I understand the ergo issues. My desk is permanent. Only thing I can do is adjust height of chair seat. Monitor I chose was more for its ability to have less height ( no base). They make bigger but I wanted the retain the view. For a dual monitor setup I would really need a faster cpu that can handle the graphics/etc..... One day I'll get a dedicated cpu for home but for now I need the portability and its convenient having everything in one. my chair i spared no expense. its an ergohuman all leather which set me back 700. or close to that. I have spinal fusion surgery a few years ago and have a cage of rods and pins surrounding my spine where I had two crushed vertebrae removed. Even after getting this chair I realize that there is not too much I can get that can really make me feel great. At least it is extremely customizable. Every single part of chair is. I also have a replaced right hip which adds to my woes. Then some kidney damage which I think contributres to fluid retention in my left leg and I get some swelling from sitting too long. And also some other medical issues but those don't directly affect me setting here. Rhematoid arthritis affects the typing. I have a fairly comfortable logitech keyboard and very comfortable logitech performance mouse. I get most comfort from my recliner or laying down. I'm probably going to find a nice looking platform to rest my feet on. I've seen the foot stools for computers but I bet i can find something wider and cheaper to get the job done. I have to have my chair higher to allow my arms to rest comfortably when i type and thus my feet dont rest as comfortable on floor as i would like and from what i read on ergo websites as proper sitting habits

post #62 of 76
Originally Posted by chapa6sigma View Post

I checked out the grados....I'm finding lots of comfort issue complaints with them...no complaints regarding sq.
I would ignore the comfort issues about the Grados and give them a try. I only wear headphones for an hour or two at a time, and I don't find them uncomfortable. They are just less comfortable than the DT880s and Q701s. If you like the sound of them, you might be happy to have them with the idea you won't be wearing them as much. For all kinds of rock music (and blues) they are hard to beat at their price because of their excellent transient response.

Plus, people that demo new pairs are likely to experience more discomfort. The L-cush pads on the Grados are much more comfortable after you wash them with hand soap and then let them break in a little bit.
Originally Posted by chapa6sigma View Post

Do you think I'd be able to tell a difference between 250 sennheisers and 400 dollar hi fi mans?

I have briefly listened to the HE-400s. All of these headphones that I listed and that the HE-400 will sound quite different. Your personal preference will make the biggest difference because you might prefer one sonic signature over another. You are in that price range where all are comparable but have different sonic signatures. Although if you are looking at the HE-400s at their price, you should look at the HD600s instead of the HD598s. Those are considered an upgrade.
post #63 of 76
Thread Starter 

Good tip on the grado's. I found some other reviewers who mentioned similar ideas. HD 600 is surely an upgrade. In fact, innerfidelity also states that between them nand the 650 the 600's are the ones to go with.


I've never owned a on the ear can, I demoed the bowers and wilkens at a store once but they were nothing to impressive for the price. Looked great and sounded good but what can you expect with an mp3 player also.


Whats your thoughts on the sr325i? 32 ohm, better quality materials than 225 and widerdynamic range with more bass......they should like a superb set of cans.


I think I will narrow down to sennheiser, grado, beyer, or hifiman....the audiotechnica's really sound a true bang for the buck.....but it will be nice to just upgrade once more and by selling my bose to someone who wants those, I can recoup that to use towards this purchase. I just read my realvoice just got off the wall of fame at innerfidelety b/c of philips model that is 20 more and sounds better....but I will never buy anything that says philips; no real reason except brand bias. Same as apple equipment. I think for the money , and your comments as well as others, I should give the grado's a try. What if I like them so much and decide not to try out the others? I don't think I have the ability to buy multipe expensive phones at the same time and not get shot by my lovely coowner of my bank account :) It would be a true pain to send back some grado's and try out others just so that i can repurchase them later. I'll have to research my local stores for an instore demo. My local magnolia doesn't have these though. None of them. They can order the hd600 I think but they don't have it in their website.

post #64 of 76
Your Bose should be easy to sell if you like something better.

The SR352is are supposed to be brighter (I have only heard the SR225i and the SR80i), and many people describe the SR225i as the sweet spot in the Grado lineup. So I went with them.

As for which to try, I think all of those headphones biggrin.gif For instance, I thought the AKQ Q701s were fantastic for certain types of music, but they aggravated my tinnitus with their very emphasized treble. The DT880s I really liked for their deeper bass extension with EDM, but I was disappointed in their imaging in comparison to my Grados. This is not to persuade you one way or the other, but just to point out again that these are all in that excellent class of headphones. They are all worth listening to smily_headphones1.gif

Yeah. I bought the DT800 and Q701 in the same week to try them, but used my Amex card so I didn't have to fork out the cash for both at once. Ended up with the Beyer DT1350s for portable headphones instead. I don't feel bad shopping for headphones this way by returning them if my intention is to buy a pair.
post #65 of 76
Thread Starter 

I need to get an amex one day :) but then again, I may be in trouble if I had one.....


Whats the whole deal with sennheiser veil and being "soft"  .Warm....grado certainly gets the "bright" award after seeing that word prevail. I've seen people describe sennheiser as "boring" certainly not to entail they are bad phones but after using grados and the like....the detail and brightness of the others leave them desiring that affect. If there really is a lack of bass...lack of high, lack of true dazzling impact...the grado's do sound like a better choice. Maybe there is at least one decent audio store in this town I live in that has a wide selection to try out.


You did mentioned you tried out the hi fi man.....what were your true thoughts? 399 is my absolute tops. I don't want to spend more on headphones than I did for my speakers or my dac. Even if I have to wait a little while before getting them....They seem top notch in comfort. I need to read more reviews on them. There are no other hd sennheisers in the price range and 650 seems illogical after reading about them compared to the 600's. Grado's lineup is unique but if I can get similar sound from hifiman compared to them then I reallydo have a feeling the comfort of the hifi's look better. As far as sound preference....I'm now kind of wondering about the potential of sennheiser. The cool thing about the grado's is that they are probably easier to wear for example when resting back of head on chair or recliner....every other pair of cans are quite large. My bose are over the air but certainly not that big or clunky as sennhesier.

post #66 of 76
Thread Starter 

Well cel


there is a dealer in my town, who sells grado and hifiman. I was able to get an appt for a listening session. I listened to these items using an unbelieavably expensive reference grade CD player, a unusually large head phone amp which even had additional XLR outputs and custom wires from japan which probably cost as much or more than the headphones I demoed. One word can adequately describe my listening :




The owner had me focus on the SR325 and HE 400 which after communicating exactly what I'm looking for and what price range I'm attempting to stay within...these are the contenders he showcased. He did also let me hear the HE500 and he pulled out some 1000 dollar grado's full size over the ear for my listening pleasure.


Both the grado and the HE are distinctive and yet spectacular. He had demo cd's with a wide variety of music types. Grado's appeared much more lively in detail and production. The HE's had a warmer sound but seemed fuller.....with more low end extension. Both are so good that its tough to pick only one. We discussed break  in, comfort, sound, etc... The grado's were about 80 percent broken in and the HE's were fully broken in. I was told the Grado's would loosen up, as far as comfort on the ears. They were not unpleasant to wear but I did find myself adjusting them often; I felt like I had to slightly tweak their position. This may be just to the fact that I'm not accustomed to wearing on ear phones. The quality of the build of these were phenominal. The HE's were heavier and larger but definately rest on the head easier without any pressure directly on the ear. He recommended I bring in my emotiva unit  and come back to test out the headphones with my own equipment, and to bring any cd's of my liking, which I may just instead bring my laptop to get a true reveal of what to expect.


For the session, I was in heaven. Those phones sound better than my speakers. Also more good news, the prices for the Hi fi man is349.99 and for the grados it is 269.99, which is less than retail and less than amazon. I buy the broken in ones or he can order me a new pair. I also get an additional 3 percent if I pay cash. The sound room I was listening in was state of the art in my opinion. Great customer service from an appointment only authorized retailer


I'm setting up my next visit soon and will be making a decision that day between the two. Its very exciting. I just put up my bose speakers on craigslist. I have not heard beyers and I don't believe I want sennheisers. I am just so impressed with your grado recommendation and also with the hifi man, that I will be more than happy with the choice I make on the next appt. My speakers are still working great and seem to get better with continued use.


I'll upload a picture once I bring my set home.

post #67 of 76
Glad to hear you enjoyed them. I only tried the HE-400s for about five minutes at a meet--so only quick impressions--but I could see why people like them. Probably either would sound awesome with your DAC/headphone amp smily_headphones1.gif

What I did with the L-Cush pads on my SR225i was gently wash them in mild hand soap (Dial pump bottle), squeezed them out gently and let them dry over night. That softened up a little more from wearing them. Eventually you find the sweet spot where you don't have to adjust them too much.

One thing about the Grados is that they still sound very good without amplification on a decent portable device and are not too difficult to drive. I use them with my Galaxy Note 2 phone and Sansa Clip+ mp3 player. Makes it easier to listen to them around the house in other rooms. If you don't have a DAP, a Sansa Clip+ is only about $30 and then you add micro SD card for extra storage.
post #68 of 76
Thread Starter 

The company owner did mention that to me; the ability for the Grado's to perform with a phone or DAP. What I also like about the Grado's is that I was able to rest my head against the comfortable leather recliner I sat on while listening to them, and I was able to sit back comfortably without worrying about the headphones being in much contact of the headrest. The Hifiman's size don't allow for much mobility of neck movement when putting my head back. He did say the hifiman's would require a little more power and that the HE500's would require even more power than that. He was actually testing them out with XLR's which I believe is rare/unusual. He had custom wires with them. One thing about the 500's is that they come with a upgraded wire which is higher quality than the HE400's. They also were quite heavier and had an unusual fit to them...different then the HE400's which were more comfortable. My  next appointment should be within 2 weeks. I had some unexpected financial situations that came up and I'll have to postpone this purchase. I have been downloading files like crazy though, using utorrant this time. Last time I did something like this is back in the limewire age, for me, probably over 10 years ago. I think in a matter of 2 days I've gotten over 200 gigs of flacs, entire discography's of a huge range of artists.


Do you think there is a noticable difference being playing music between a high quality CD player transport and playing them through USB from the CPU? every single thing I've downloaded is FLAC but I'm wondering what type of difference there can be between maybe getting an EMOTIVA cd unit at 450 dollars. Not something I'll be doing too soon, if I get it, it would be around august and if I get a cd player, more so than finding the absolute most bag for the buck, I want to stick with the company I've already invested in. I also want my gear to match, this way if I move it from the current location it will always look nice sitting together and should work well together. Their cd player also allows for XLR balanced output from CD to the input XLR on my DAC. I think based on my experience and your input that probably the most important factor in sq is the speakers themselves (or headphones) as long as adequate power is supplied, the DAC the source, and other variables, probably with wires/interconnects being the absolute least important, makes less of a difference. So I think at the moment, I'm limited in output to the quality of my emotiva speakers. Not to say that I want to pair up my gear with a peice of junk player just to say I have one, I think the emotiva cd unit could fit my needs perfectly. Specs say it has the same dac chip that the xda2.

post #69 of 76
Thread Starter 

I guess I'm just starting to be more aware of slight hiccups in playback with all the high download/upload activity of a file sharing client program. Sometimes when playing back through foobar ( or any player) I'll get a quick "skip" sound. I don't know if its processor power lags when multitasking or its the quality of the recording when converted to flac or other. There is no way to ensure quality conversions by other people or perhaps at all for that matter


My laptop is an I5 2.3 ghz with 8 gigs of ram running off of power at all times here at home. I have a feeling a dedicated CD transport playing a true CD that hasn't been copied digitally, could run as flawlessly as possible with only errors coming from the actual recording.


Emotiva's CD is unusual b/c it uses a cd opening loader . I don't think it has a cd tray that slides out.

post #70 of 76

Set Foobars priority to above normal ( task manager, process, right click)


Make sure the WASAPI output is set to lowest buffering rate possible, probably 50


that should cure it, even my new I7 ivy bridge gets upset playing 24/192 sometimes

post #71 of 76
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot! I just switched it now. Will the CPU retain these settings for task manager; after the program ends and or when the computer restarts or shut downs?

I'm sure foobar will keep the change I just made to 50 buffer

post #72 of 76
Changing the buffer will make the biggest difference , foobar will save that.
Changing the processes priority has to be done each time, with an i5 you should not need it really.
post #73 of 76
I don't think I would invest in a separate CD player. You have a really good DAC already, so no benefit there. However, I wouldn't rip all your CDs from your laptop CD drive. Ripping lots of CDs can eventually kill a CD drive, and easier to replace an external USB drive.

If you feel like the activity on your computer is causing some hiccups, why not spend the money instead on a hard drive upgrade to an SSD and get two (2) external drives for your music storage? The SSD will definitely increase performance all the way around, and you need two drives because you need backup smily_headphones1.gif

Also, I might be wrong, but I think it can help to set the Windows advanced features for your sound device to let applications take exclusive priority.
post #74 of 76
Thread Starter 

I've done the tweaks that were recommended by the other person who commented. I think it makes a difference but now that I'm replaying specific tracks over and over and getting same issues I'm realizing there are copy errors rather than my CPU being the primary culprit. Utorrant is lowering my bandwidth a bit but its actually not using up much cpu power. Physical memory..more than usual but nothing 8 gigs can't handle. I've downloaded complete works of so many artists of people who have them on flac and its these files which are showing more obvious errors.


As far as cd burning, I've maybe done 2 or 3 cd's on my laptop. I do have an external cd burner which I've used in the past to make new CD's for my car. I actually only have a cd collection of maybe 10 cd's.....what I've been playing on the CPU is 99 percent straight downloads with hopes that others (normal people) 90 percent of my total music collection) burned and converted to FLAC under high standards. The other 9 percent of that is downloaded from companies who I expect may use higher grade quality equipment in which to upload and sell their tracks/services.


Do you mean an external SSD connected by USB 3.0 or actually trying to remove and replace the hybrid drive that came with my sony laptop?


I double checked my settings and switched on that box for priority to applications, thanks.

post #75 of 76
I think the advantage of hybrid hard drive is that the flash memory is used for the hard drive cache, giving it slightly faster speeds. But it could be worth updating to an SSD drive as your primary drive for the performance gains if you feel like that's why the songs are occasionally glitching. The thing to check would be to see if your hard drive is running full tilt a lot; an SSD might could improve that. Could be worth investigating. Because SSDs are so expensive for lots of storage, it makes sense to store your music on a separate external hard drive. And have an extra external for making a backup smily_headphones1.gif

However, if your flacs are having the same performance issues in the same spot in the song, the rip is the problem. Flacs certainly are ripped at varying degrees of quality depending on the condition of the original CD, the ripping software used, and the quality of the CD drive used to do the rip. If you are looking for high quality flacs, EAC is the popular preferred software to use.
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