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Advice for replacing HiFi with headphone rig

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!

I'm planning to replace my hi-fi with a headphone rig. I've underlined what I was thinking to buy, in addition to the headphones


OVERALL BUDGET: 600€ (I consider the secondhand market)

USE: Both outdoor (on trains, at the university), both at home

SOURCE: iPhone 4 (192kbps) + low-quality friendly portable amp  / macbook pro + hiface + Valab NOS dac (will replace these two if needed) + full-size amp at home

ISOLATION: Needed.

SIGNATURE: Deep but clear bass, possibly realistic trebles, good stage (at least with home configuration). Strong sound temper, but also sturdy manufacuring.


I have been adviced for the Sony MDR-7520 which don't need amplification. But I'd prefer to have different amplifications for mobility and home due to the different quality of the source. What do you think? Is this a correct approach?


Thank You in advance!
Edited by infinitesnow - 3/18/13 at 7:42am
post #2 of 8

Well, the first issue I see is your bitrate. Is that just for mobility on the phone, or is that the best recording you have? If it's just for mobility, I would greatly recommend throwing in a Sansa Clip+ with a 64gb microSD card and using at least 320kbps. To some extent, your idea of getting two amps makes sense. Can you carry full-size cans with you on the go? Or do you need small headphones/IEMs for that? Assuming you can use one pair of cans, I would say-

OTG amp-C&C BH

At home amp-either use the C&C or get another one-possibly a Schiit

Headphones-I'm not very well versed in full-size headphones. I'll let someone else pop in for that.

 

 

And if no one has said this yet,

Welcome to Head-Fi. Sorry about your wallet.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
First of all thanks for your attention, for your answer and your welcome!

To start with, no, I'm keeping them all in apple lossless format on my hard drive. I had got a cowon c2 + 32 gb microsd, but while I was camping in my friend's garden, an idiot washed our tent with the garden tube and broke it, 2 days after having reiceved it and payed the custom fees. While trying to repair it, I fried the microsd, too. Really bad memories. So, if it's a matter of bitrate I can just put on less music on the iphone but in better compressed quality or even lossless, but if I can get the same quality of the sansa with lod + amp, I'd prefer not to go around with too much stuff with me.

For the headphones, I can carry full size ones with no problems. I was adviced for Shure SRH840, on which I read reviews I liked really a lot, or Sony MDR7520 which are a bit over budget if I need to amp them. Anyway, I fear that buying the Shure
it would be maybe an overkill to spend too much money on electronics, and with the Sony ones, I would either go overbudget with the amps either have them too much revealing when using the phone. What do you think?

I'm on train at the moment, I'll check the amp you posted asap. I was adviced for the shure + fiio e7, too, if you want to give me an opinion.

Thank you again!
Edited by infinitesnow - 3/20/13 at 2:52am
post #4 of 8

As long as you don't have storage issues, the iPhone + LOD will probably sound better than the Sansa (no LOD, though rockbox can come close) I would use FooBar to do an ABX test to decide on which bitrate is right for you (which ones you can tell apart from lossless. Most people can't tell between 320 and lossless, for example)

 

I've heard good things about the Shures. They're collapsible too, which is nice. Though at $180, you won't come close to your budget. The Sonys sell for $370, so you could easily amp them and stay within your budget.

 

I'd avoid the E7. It is an integrated DAC/amp. While there is nothing inherently wrong with that, you can't use the DAC with your phone, so it's extra weight to carry around. Also, the amp in the E7 isn't really that great. It's on par with the E6. Most of the E7's price is for the DAC. As you already have a DAC in your home rig and you can't use one with your portable, the E7 should stay off of your short list.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi, thank you again for your answer!

Sony here (Italy) sell for about 450€, which is near to 600$ (maybe you're speaking about secondhand, but I can't find them in the secondhand market here). Buying from the US would be 290€ +50€ shipping + 21% taxes which is just a little less (530$, still around the double of the price of the Shure). Anyway I think I'll go for the Shure and keep some money in my pocket, which is not so bad regular_smile%20.gif I liked what I read so much.

 

Ok, I've read different reviews, and I like what I read about C&C BH, too, I think I'll go for it. Do you know somewhere trustable to buy it, shipping in (preferring from, too, to avoid the custom which is always a pain) Europe? Maybe Amazon? And, are the fiio lods ok or shall I go for something else?

 

And for what concerns the home rig, do you think that it is worth to pair the Shure with the Schiit amp? It costs more than the Shure, maybe it's an overkill. And I don't know if you know my DAC, it's called Valab NOS DAC (it was meant for a loudspeaker rig, but I think this doesn't matter). I paid around 200$ for it, plus almost 80$ (secondhand) for the transporter (M2Tech HiFace). They're working excellently, but I wanted to know if I should downgrade this configuration to suit to the Shure (as I said, I prefer to save some money than to exceed the budget) or even sell it; but maybe it would be money well spent to keep the DAC, the transporter and buy the amp, and in this case I'll go for that regular_smile%20.gif


Edited by infinitesnow - 3/20/13 at 3:40pm
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesnow View Post

Hi, thank you again for your answer!

Sony here (Italy) sell for about 450€, which is near to 600$ (maybe you're speaking about secondhand, but I can't find them in the secondhand market here). Buying from the US would be 290€ +50€ shipping + 21% taxes which is just a little less (530$, still around the double of the price of the Shure). Anyway I think I'll go for the Shure and keep some money in my pocket, which is not so bad regular_smile%20.gif I liked what I read so much.

 

Ok, I've read different reviews, and I like what I read about C&C BH, too, I think I'll go for it. Do you know somewhere trustable to buy it, shipping in (preferring from, too, to avoid the custom which is always a pain) Europe? Maybe Amazon? And, are the fiio lods ok or shall I go for something else?

 

And for what concerns the home rig, do you think that it is worth to pair the Shure with the Schiit amp? It costs more than the Shure, maybe it's an overkill. And I don't know if you know my DAC, it's called Valab NOS DAC (it was meant for a loudspeaker rig, but I think this doesn't matter). I paid around 200$ for it, plus almost 80$ (secondhand) for the transporter (M2Tech HiFace). They're working excellently, but I wanted to know if I should downgrade this configuration to suit to the Shure (as I said, I prefer to save some money than to exceed the budget) or even sell it; but maybe it would be money well spent to keep the DAC, the transporter and buy the amp, and in this case I'll go for that regular_smile%20.gif

That sucks about the price in Italy. Not sure where to buy the C&C, sorry. FiiO LODs are fine-high end LODs are like high end cables. They might be nice for some people, but entry level works fine for almost all applications. Don't know if the Schiit has higher prices in Italy or if you are looking at a higher model, but in the US the entry level model (the Magni) goes for $100. Also, I believe you would need an adapter to plug it in-Europe is 230v outlets, right? I wouldn't downgrade your rig-if you already bought it, great, keep using it. Unlikely you could sell for enough of your original purchase price to make it worthwhile. I'd probably go for the Shures (Sonys if you can) and the C&C (if you can find it) and hold off on a desktop amp for later. I think the Valab is RCA out, so you would need a dual RCA male to 3.5mm male cable to plug into the C&C.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ender323 View Post

That sucks about the price in Italy. Not sure where to buy the C&C, sorry. FiiO LODs are fine-high end LODs are like high end cables. They might be nice for some people, but entry level works fine for almost all applications. Don't know if the Schiit has higher prices in Italy or if you are looking at a higher model, but in the US the entry level model (the Magni) goes for $100. Also, I believe you would need an adapter to plug it in-Europe is 230v outlets, right? I wouldn't downgrade your rig-if you already bought it, great, keep using it. Unlikely you could sell for enough of your original purchase price to make it worthwhile. I'd probably go for the Shures (Sonys if you can) and the C&C (if you can find it) and hold off on a desktop amp for later. I think the Valab is RCA out, so you would need a dual RCA male to 3.5mm male cable to plug into the C&C.

Yeah, that sucks. Anyway I've bought the Shures, the FiiO lod, and the C&C from eBay (I've read no one will save me from the custom frown.gif but I'll deal with that cool.gif), and I'll let you know as soon as possible how good they sound regular_smile%20.gif

Anyway yes, in Europe we do have 220V. We have an Italian Schiit reseller which I suppose serves them with the adapter, but they don't have the Magni yet, the most economic is the Asgard at the moment (a matter of time I think, but I would wait the same, so let's wait!).

 

Just to know, please, tell me a couple of other things. Is it worth to buy the Magni having the C&C (same price, I see)? And again, how much would you spend for this configuration (for dac + amp) if you didn't have the basic rig I have? Just to know. Because maybe one day I'll find someone who will buy the Valab for more than that, and selling it would be maybe worthwhile and I will buy something more pondered and appropriate, and maybe sell the HiFace to someone who could exploit it more than I can do, saving some money, too!

 

Anyway thank you very very much for your caring help. Thank You!


Edited by infinitesnow - 3/21/13 at 2:21pm
post #8 of 8

Not sure about the Magni. Schiit says on their site that to keep that price tag low, it's available in US only, straight from Schiit. The Magni is probably better than the C&C, not having a battery, but not by a huge margin. Likely not worth buying. How much would I spend? Depends on what I'm listening through. Generally I go by 1/2 of the price of my IEMs/headphones. So right now I have $400 IEMs, a $100 DAC and a $100 amp. If I got $1000 headphones, I'd spend $250 each on DAC and amp. I haven't gotten to a point where I've hit my ceiling for audiophile gear, so I really don't know where I'll stop.

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