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$1500(budget)Im looking to upgrade my current setup (need help !!)

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

I'm going to have $1500 at my disposal in a few weeks and i'm looking to upgrade in any way. I love my hd650's, it's the signature sound that gets me, I however am unsure as I've never tested out any equipment other then my own that i've purchased over time. my journey started with the compass then I moved to portable getting the headstage arrow and went in the middle with the o2 amp (I guess LOL) I enjoyed my q701's and hd650's out of them but the itch of knowing that the hd650's can be improved upon leaves me at an awe. At the same time I've never tried anything higher end, any recommendations would be great and just to make clear what I've been eyeing already

 

my current setup 

 

dragonfly > o2 amp > hd650

 

 

Headphones

 

he-500

lcd-2

hd800(this is a wild card pick I can fit it in my budget thanks to a hook up)

 

AMPS

 

woo audio wa6

crack+speedball
lyr

csp2+

mjolnir 

 

 

with my budget an IDEAL setup would be

 

dragonfly>crack+speedball>hd650/hd800's.

post #2 of 25

Keep the o2 and buy the HD800 if that's what you want.  The o2 should drive them fine.


Edited by Shazb0t - 2/28/13 at 6:44pm
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 

well I can afford the crack+speedball and hd800 within my budget by hook up. 

post #4 of 25

I much preferred HE-500 & LCD-2 to HD800.  In your shoes I'd get the former if you want soundstage & sparkle (what HD800 does well, or in excess imo) or LCD-2 if you like deeep bass and a ruler-flat signature.  Your amp will drive all 3 just fine.

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

the only thing I might not like about the he-500 is the treble thats what turns me off from them and the lcd-2 has alot of other misc things that ppl dont like and I dont want or need alot of bass I dont care much for it I love mids and vocals ! 

post #6 of 25

If you're afraid of HE500's treble, what draws you to HD800?  I didn't mean to to say that the first have too much, just a little more than LCD-2 r1/2 and are closer to HD800 without (ahem) being excessive.  And LCD-2 doesn't have too much bass imo, it just doesn't drop off in the sub-bass like most (all?) other headphones & it is very very controlled.  I'm no basshead, I've sold off D7000, D5000, DT770, SRH840 for excessive bass lol.  Just be sure to get the bamboo since the regular are too heavy.


Edited by eucariote - 3/3/13 at 2:07am
post #7 of 25

the he-500 has very smooth treble, much smoother than the hd 800. if you prefer your akg sound, get the he-500, if you preferred the warmer hd 650 sound, get the LCD-2, it sounds very similar to the hd 650, but much more detailed and refined. i still believe the LCD-2 is the next step from the hd 650 for those who really enjoy its sound signature.

 

the hd 800 is the best, but can be bright and is the most unforgiving of poor recordings.

 

i just got the he-500 a few days ago and think its very good.

 

all 3 headphones excel in mids/vocals. the LCD-2 is warmest with the strongest bass, though its definitely still more neutral/refined than a basshead type of bass, the he-500 is in the middle, the hd 800 is the brightest but most detailed and has the best soundstage/imaging.

 

the crack/WA6/csp2+ will definitely be a great choice for the hd 800, the lyr for he-500/LCD-2, and the mjolnir for the LCD-2


Edited by Dubstep Girl - 3/2/13 at 10:21am
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by eucariote View Post

If you're afraid of HE500's treble, what draws you to HD800?  I didn't mean to to say that the first have too much, just a little less than LCD-2 r1/2 and are closer to HD800 without (ahem) being excessive.  And LCD-2 doesn't have too much bass imo, it just doesn't drop off in the sub-bass like most (all?) other headphones & it is very very controlled.  I'm no basshead, I've sold off D7000, D5000, DT770, SRH840 for excessive bass lol.  Just be sure to get the bamboo since the regular are too heavy.


The difference in weight is negligible. The rosewood are 1.16 lbs w/o the cable, and the bamboo are 1.15 w/o the cable, which is not much of a difference. Don't let the weight "difference" determine which wood orientation you decide on. Also, the HD 800 treble is not excessive, but I can see how it can seem like that to some. You just have the pair the right amp with them, tubes usually tame the HD 800 treble some and they can sound absolutely amazing. I've owned both the LCD-2.2 and HE-500 at the same time and they are both excellent headphones. I always like to describe the difference like this: the HE-500 is more balanced sound in comparison to the LCD-2.2. You won't get as lush of mids with the HE-500, and the treble will tend to be a bit bright, but paired with tubes again will subside some of that. Also the bass is some what more textured with the LCD-2. Overall I kept my LCD-2 and sold my HE-500. The HE-500 is still an amazing headphone, especially for the price... probably one of the best values. It is a tough decision but if you love lush mids and vocals, you can't get much better than the LCD-2.2.

post #9 of 25

I went from HD650 to HE-500.  I lost the mid-bass chocolatey gooeyness of the HD650 but got ample amounts of detail, bass control, tonal separation, and a top-end that says 'hey there' without stabbing you in the ear with tiny knives.  I didn't realize how much I missed the treble until I went from the HD650 to the HE-500, but now that it's there, I'm pretty happy about it.  It's smooth treble and it doesn't come at the expense of the bass - in fact, it's like someone gave Mr. Bass some guaifenesin or sudafed and he's not so congested.  

 

So the HE-500 is different-better.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post


 I've owned both the LCD-2.2 and HE-500 at the same time and they are both excellent headphones. I always like to describe the difference like this: the HE-500 is more balanced sound in comparison to the LCD-2.2. You won't get as lush of mids with the HE-500, and the treble will tend to be a bit bright,

 

In a way, yes, but there's a null in the HE-500s treble that teds to rob some music of the excitement it ought to have. This is why I'm having trouble deciding between the HE-500 and DT880-250ohms. The HE-500 is more precise and probably more realistic, but definitely not more exciting. The treble is like a row of lights up a garden path. Somewhere up there one of the lights has gone out and it's spoiling the effect.

post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greed View Post


The difference in weight is negligible. The rosewood are 1.16 lbs w/o the cable, and the bamboo are 1.15 w/o the cable, which is not much of a difference. Don't let the weight "difference" determine which wood orientation you decide on. Also, the HD 800 treble is not excessive, but I can see how it can seem like that to some. You just have the pair the right amp with them, tubes usually tame the HD 800 treble some and they can sound absolutely amazing. I've owned both the LCD-2.2 and HE-500 at the same time and they are both excellent headphones. I always like to describe the difference like this: the HE-500 is more balanced sound in comparison to the LCD-2.2. You won't get as lush of mids with the HE-500, and the treble will tend to be a bit bright, but paired with tubes again will subside some of that. Also the bass is some what more textured with the LCD-2. Overall I kept my LCD-2 and sold my HE-500. The HE-500 is still an amazing headphone, especially for the price... probably one of the best values. It is a tough decision but if you love lush mids and vocals, you can't get much better than the LCD-2.2.

 

I a/b compared lcd2r2 bamboo & rosewood.  The weigh difference was noticeable, sound difference was not.

post #12 of 25

There shouldn't be any sound difference regardless of whether it is rosewood or bamboo, Audeze chose the right material so it retains the usual Audeze LCD2 house sound, it wouldn't be called an LCD2 is there was any sort of a marginal difference between the two different material based LCD2's for that matter. Weight difference, the bamboo are definitely lighter but they are also more stronger and reliable than the Rosewoods which is why Audeze made the change to a different housing material after learning the mess from the early Hifiman HE-5LE's and the early rev.1/rev.2 cracking.

 

Move onto the comparison.

 

The HD800 extract/offer the best and the most detail of all the 3 mentioned headphones in this thread. The slight treble peak can be of annoyance to those with sensitive ears but some mods and a higher grade warm amp can sort the problem out. It also offers the best soundstage/imaging of all of the 3 headphones as well, if you listen to classical, jazz none compares to the HD800's.

 

Regarding with people saying they are bass-light, they are not. Either that you're a basshead and used to the flabby basshead headphones widely available on the market or you don't have the right setup, I will say it again, to get the HD800's short of acceptable performance you need to have high quality source (music files/transport system/high end dac) and a very synergising amp. If you think you can just enjoy music on the HD800's powered by an O2 or Lyr, think again because I've heard it and it sounds crap, not saying the amp's are bad but the 800's are finicky when it comes to amplification. The Crack + Speedball powers the HD5xx/6xx/800's wonderfully and my honest opinion is that it sounds marginally better than any of the Woo WA6/22 combo I've heard.

 

Right onto the LCD2, regardless of revision, the LCD2's are very laid back (dark, warm) signature headphones. They sound thick and sometimes congested sounding compared to the HD800's. By congested I mean by for me I listen to some custom mixed electronic music with sometimes over 10 layers of various sound effects going off, faster based electronic the LCD2's sounds at times lacking air to catch up and so therefore can sound rolledoff. But they do have very impressive bass performance, I wouldn't exactly call them completely neutral but they try to imitate the neutrality of what you're supposed to be hearing from your source. Amp recommendations for the LCD2's is something bright or borderlining warm, certain tubes I don't recommend because the low-ends will sound flabby and too warm sounding restrictive. Though they are easy to drive and forgiving on the recording.

 

HE-500's, I've had a small amount of headtime experience with these and the HE-6 so take this with a grain of salt. The HE-500's are not bad headphones not exactly what I'd call up to the level of the LCD2's (imho) but both are directly comparable in certain aspects, the HE-500 are tad brighter than the LCD2's, does not exhibit the congested feeling I have with the LCD2's when listening to complex mixed/fast music, but the LCD2's have superior bass response compared to the HE-500's. HE-500's also don't require alot of juice to get the right ompph to sound right, fairly easy to drive and sound well as well, would like to pick these and the HE-6 up one day and give it a thorough listen but my favourite Hifiman has been the HE-400's so far. I feel the HE-500 offer tad bit more detail over any of the LCD's but again take this with a grain of salt.

 

The HD650's are not far from the HE-500/LCD2's in terms of performance, but I'd pick my HD600's over the HD650 anyday unless I had a SinglePower xds amplifier.

 

Hope this brief impression of mine helped.


Edited by DefQon - 3/7/13 at 5:17pm
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 

thank you for you post I went ahead and purchased a la figaro 339 and I won't be upgrading or buying another headphone for a while at least... I might get the hd800 if I ever have extra cash laying around unforunately the amp is all I'm going to afford if I really don't like it I might trade for a crack+speedball but I doubt it from what I've heard and plus it works with orthos thats a plus for me ! 

post #14 of 25

The 339 is good amp (for modding as well). Most if not all La Frigarro and Darkvoice amp's are underestimated gem's. They need more recognition. Btw, I'm assuming you're keeping the HD650's? You should also get a Crack + Speedball (DIY or buy built from Bottlehead).


Edited by DefQon - 3/7/13 at 5:29pm
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 

I should get both :( buttt so much money and I'd probably get a another headphone first like the hd800 before getting another amp :O or buy a better dac which seems to be diffcult to distingush around here if its worth upgrading I currently have the dragonfly which is an awesome dac... 

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