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2 Year Update: Sennheiser HD598 - Now what??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am relatively new to the head-fi world, having used nothing but Sony V-6s for the past 10 years.  After a bad experience with V-Moda LP2s (too bassy) I've settled in with these 598s.  

 

I will use these primarily at home with my laptop (factory sound card). I listen primarily to experimental indy, some minimal electronic (e.g. Fennesz, Keith Fullerton Whitman, NOT techno or bass heavy).  I like to listen closely and pick apart the smallest nuances in the sound.  

 

I would like to get the full benefit from these cans and have been researching DACs, amps and sound cards.  I will use only for music and only at home (portability not an issue).  

 

What would your advice be on putting together a rig? (e.g. combo of amp and card, if necessary, and dac, if necessary).  Let's say you had $500 to spend. Bonus points for a brief schooling on what each of these components bring to the experience.

 

Thanks!


Edited by dosprompt - 3/4/15 at 8:18am
post #2 of 8

Heya,

 

First of all, I would not blow $500 on equipment to "get the most" from a $200 headphone. I would get a $500 headphone, and use $200 to "get what I can" from it. Make sense?

 

The HD598 does not need an amplifier. It's efficient. Does it, or can it benefit? Slightly yes, but in reality it's not going to be a big increase, more like just a psychological thing, and perhaps a tiny, tiny technical bump in superior performance. You do not need something powerful here. A good DAC can go a long way, that's for sure, but you don't need something even remotely expensive. It pays to simply get something discreet and off the PC in my opinion (ie, avoid sound cards that go in the PC unless you're an avid gamer and do that primarily). You can get a simple DAC/AMP unit together with line out options for future ability to pass the signal to something else for very good prices. You can also get portable things that will work at home and on the go in case you want to use it on a trip or something.

 

I would put your budget around items like the following:

 

Fiio E10 (desktop USB dac/amp) $60~75

Fiio E07k (portable and desktop USB dac/amp) $75~90

Fiio E17 (portable and desktop USB dac/amp) $110~130

 

Schiit Magni & Modi (desktop USB dac/amp) $200 - This would be the "I might get harder to drive headphones in the future, so I want to kind of future proof myself and not look at dac/amps ever again for a few years (and good luck with that)."

 

If you have $500 to blow, then get a better headphone. Simple as that.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick response and excellent point on dropping the cash on better headphones.  It seems obvious now that you've said it bigsmile_face.gif

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by dosprompt View Post

Thanks for the quick response and excellent point on dropping the cash on better headphones.  It seems obvious now that you've said it bigsmile_face.gif

 

Heya,

 

Spend time with your current headphones before getting new ones. That's a dangerously expensive path. And by the time you've tried 2 or 3 headphones doing it, you could have simply just went from 0 to flagship and avoided the loss in cash on the climb to what you'll eventually end up with anyways.

 

If you do want to climb right away, which is fine, sell the HD598 or return it, and use the capital to invest in something like:

 

Hifiman HE-400

Hifiman HE-500

Audeze LCD-2

Beyer T1

Sennheiser HD700

Sennheiser HD800

 

And consider used.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks again.  Glad to hear I don't need to drop a lot more to enjoy these.  I'll look into the Fiio E10 and the Magni/Modi.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

UPDATE 2 YEARS LATER::::::::

 

So...two years have gone by and I am still enjoying my HD598 with Schitt Magni.  The only purchases over the past couple years were a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon turntable and a Technics SA-GX190 receiver.

 

Since this original posting I have been coveting the HD800 but have just recently been able to set aside approximately $3K to potentially blow on new audio gear.

 

My first impulse is to buy the HD800s with a ~$1,500 amp and call it a day.  However, my source would remain the pro-ject through the Technics with all cheap connects.  My question is whether the HD800s are going to just shine a spotlight on the mediocrity of the components?  Or, would this allow me to get the most out of the components and allow the best reference to audition additional components (e.g. better TT, pre-amp, etc.).

 

Thanks!


Edited by dosprompt - 3/4/15 at 8:19am
post #7 of 8
The Sennheiser HD800 is known to be very particular about the amplifier it is connected to and may not like your Technics receiver. One very important consideration before purchasing a headphone like the HD800 is whether you like very accurate and revealing headphones. Most people don't. They want smooth, euphonic and fun headphones. You might have a look on this website for "Sennheiser HD800 and HDVA600 Review". A much cheaper option might be to try a HD580/600 with a JDS labs O2/ODAC.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I pulled the trigger on them and am borrowing a HIFIMan EF6 amp.  The jury is still out...

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