Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › What would be an upgrade for my setup?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What would be an upgrade for my setup?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I may be back in the market for a new setup. However, I do not know what would be a significant upgrade from my current setup.

 

DAC/AMP: Fiio E09K + E17 (Using optical/toslink)

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 598

 

What would be your recommendations for a step up in audio quality?

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by securitybunny View Post

I may be back in the market for a new setup. However, I do not know what would be a significant upgrade from my current setup.

 

DAC/AMP: Fiio E09K + E17 (Using optical/toslink)

Headphones: Sennheiser HD 598

 

What would be your recommendations for a step up in audio quality?

 

For starters...your headphones! How much do you want to spend? What do you like/disklike about the HD598?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Let's say around $1,200 for a new DAC/AMP and headphones. I don't really have any cons about the headphones as I haven't really used anything better. My upgrade setup in the past has been Astro A40s w/ astro amp, Astro a50s, PC 360s w/ astro amp, then my current setup.
 


Edited by securitybunny - 3/2/13 at 5:52pm
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

 

For starters...your headphones! How much do you want to spend? What do you like/disklike about the HD598?

 

In fact, I think it would be best to stick around $1,000 total instead.

post #5 of 14

Ok, I'm going to make this real easy for you.

 

I went from HD 555 - HD 600 - LCD-2

Honestly, the 555, 598, 600, and 650 all sound pretty much the same and all have the same flavor.

If you are looking to upgrade from 598, I wouldn't recommend anything from Sennheiser unless it's the 800.

Even though they were a grand, the LCD-2's absolutely were the best money I've spent in audio.  The difference from 600 - LCD2 was MUCH more substantial than 555 - 600.

 

Headphones make 95% of the difference.  Amp 4% and DAC 1%.

^truth.

 

If you want the absolute best for $1000, here it is.

Get LCD-2 from a dealer for $900 (you can e-mail them, and most will bump it down to $900 for you), and get either the Magni or O2 amp.

I can't comment on the O2, but I have the Magni and it is good with the LCD-2's.  Both should be very similar.

Keep the DAC that you have.  You won't even be able to hear an improvement unless you spend a lot more, which I don't think is very worth it.

 

In my opinion, this is the absolute best $1000 can buy.  

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Panerai View Post

 

If you want the absolute best for $1000, here it is.

Get LCD-2 from a dealer for $900 (you can e-mail them, and most will bump it down to $900 for you), and get either the Magni or O2 amp.

 

Wow thanks for the response! Will my current DAC/AMP support the LCD-2 without much quality difference from a DAC/AMP that cost $1,000+? Would you recommend that I just keep using the E09k + E17 and purchase the LCD-2? I don't listen to much music, but I do watch a lot of movies, tv shows, and of course am an avid gamer.

post #7 of 14

I don't know how much e09k outputs at 50 ohms, but magni will be better since it outputs a full watt.

The e09k will be decent probably... but for just a few extra bucks, magni will be a decent improvement.

 

But if you're only going to be using the headphones for movies and games, there's honestly no need to spend $1000.

I play games too and watch shows all the time.  With the LCD-2's I don't really hear a difference with shows or games.

I am amazed by it every time I listen to music, but I hardly notice the difference with games.

IMO it's not worth if you are not going to use it primarily for music.

Maybe I'm just too focused on the picture to analyze the sound, but if I don't pay attention to it, nothing really jumps out at me regarding the difference between using my LCD's or AKG's.  

On the other hand, the AKG's absolutely suck in comparison for music compared to the LCD.

 

If you have the money, go for it, don't let me stop you.  

But I think for movies and games, HD598 are as high as you need to go.  

If something about them is bothering you... then maybe look at some other brands.

A relatively cheap recommendation is the HE-400.  You can keep the amp dac you have right now with it.

Amazing life-like quality and separation.  

I think for $400 that'll be a good change/upgrade from 598's for you.

... kinda regret selling my HE-400's now =/ haha.

post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

I think I am going to make the decision and buy sennheiser HD 800s. Will my E09k+E17 DAC/AMP setup be sufficient enough to support the headphones with amazing quality?

post #9 of 14

probably not.

hd800's are very picky from what I read.

post #10 of 14

but I think lcd-2's are better than hd800's.

they ave much better bass and a more fun sound to me.

I've only heard the 800's once though.

post #11 of 14
With that budget I would get the he500. They are a little cheaper than the lcd2, but still a nice upgrade from the lower sennheisers. That leaves you $700 or so for an amp/dac.
post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingStyles View Post

With that budget I would get the he500. They are a little cheaper than the lcd2, but still a nice upgrade from the lower sennheisers. That leaves you $700 or so for an amp/dac.

 

Honestly, I'd rather buy one headphone and never have to buy another one, at least for a few years. So I'm more interested in best of the best while not completely blowing my budget. I've read some threads where people used the HD 800 with the E17 and E09k, but I'm more interested in personal experience with that setup. If I need a better DAC/AMP, then I'll invest. If headphones affect 90% of the quality compared to a DAC/AMP upgrade, I'd rather have the best headphones I can get so I don't have to upgrade.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panerai View Post

but I think lcd-2's are better than hd800's.

they ave much better bass and a more fun sound to me.

I've only heard the 800's once though.

 

From what I read, the HD 800 is much more comfortable. If they are pretty close to the LCD-2 in overall sound, I would rather have comfort. Either way, it would still be a significant upgrade for me compared to the HD 598, no?

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by securitybunny View Post

Honestly, I'd rather buy one headphone and never have to buy another one, at least for a few years. So I'm more interested in best of the best while not completely blowing my budget. I've read some threads where people used the HD 800 with the E17 and E09k, but I'm more interested in personal experience with that setup. If I need a better DAC/AMP, then I'll invest. If headphones affect 90% of the quality compared to a DAC/AMP upgrade, I'd rather have the best headphones I can get so I don't have to upgrade.


From what I read, the HD 800 is much more comfortable. If they are pretty close to the LCD-2 in overall sound, I would rather have comfort. Either way, it would still be a significant upgrade for me compared to the HD 598, no?
The HE-5LE is also an outstanding, more affordable contender to the LCD-2 and HD-800 that is often over looked. However, you will need a semi-beefy amp (preferably balanced) to drive it.
Edited by brunk - 3/4/13 at 3:11pm
post #14 of 14
You need a warm amp to drive hd800 otherwise it will sound thin.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphone Amps (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphone Amps (full-size) › What would be an upgrade for my setup?