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Home Computer Audio Recommendations

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

        Hi, new to the quality audio scene and would love some recommendations and opinions for companion pieces to my current equipment. I've been actively searching for information on this subject for quite awhile and find it very difficult to get a straight answer out of reviewers and reputable audio dealers. To start off the foundation of this system will run off of a mac which I have a Fiio E10 hooked up to it and in return I have my headphones into the E10. Headphones Include ATH-AD700 and SE215. As far as music goes all genres are important however electronic music takes importance (at the moment.) So I suppose my question is what gear would work with what I have? 

       

        Headphone (over the ear) recommendations would be welcomed as well, most likely a closed pair. I'm hoping the E10 can be used as a DAC and paired with an amp of higher quality or vice versa. For the sake of my semi-tight budget I think 250-300 should be the cap but I'm sure someone will convince me to shell out a couple hundred extra. Not sure if cables should even be a thought at this level but that should be open for opinions as well. I'm hoping this thread can be used for any in a similar situation and will get some clarification as I have seen some very conflicting articles regarding the basics and equipment. Thanks all for taking time to take a look and putting in your very wanted opinions.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        - Pat

post #2 of 33
Lots of good choices for headphones, and your idea of using the E10 as a DAC and then adding a separate headphone amp could be a good one. $250 to $300 will be enough to get a nice headphone upgrade, and then you could add an extra amp like the Schiit Modi.

Start with the headphones. I would suggest doing a little skimming and searching in the headphones recommendations thread (too big to read it all), and then posting there for a headphone recommendation: http://www.head-fi.org/t/529144/full-size-headphone-recommendations-thread-i-e-dont-start-a-new-thread-ask-for-advice-here-please-read-op

In addition to the type of information you specified here, be sure to say what kind of sound signature you are looking at. Do you want more bass than the AD700s? Are you OK with less sound stage (which you have to be to go with closed headphones)? What do you want to improve on over the AD700s?
post #3 of 33
Recenty I was in the same situation as OP. I allready had my headphones (AKG K601) and was in need of DAC and amp.

So I bought FiiO E07k DAC, FiiO E09k headphone amp and FiiO A1 digital amp for speakers.

You could buy E09k and E07k or E17 and later some stereo amp for speakers if need be.

Just my 2 cents...

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2
post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Lots of good choices for headphones, and your idea of using the E10 as a DAC and then adding a separate headphone amp could be a good one. $250 to $300 will be enough to get a nice headphone upgrade, and then you could add an extra amp like the Schiit Modi.

Start with the headphones. I would suggest doing a little skimming and searching in the headphones recommendations thread (too big to read it all), and then posting there for a headphone recommendation: http://www.head-fi.org/t/529144/full-size-headphone-recommendations-thread-i-e-dont-start-a-new-thread-ask-for-advice-here-please-read-op

In addition to the type of information you specified here, be sure to say what kind of sound signature you are looking at. Do you want more bass than the AD700s? Are you OK with less sound stage (which you have to be to go with closed headphones)? What do you want to improve on over the AD700s?

I'm thinking instead of upgrading I would rather find some headphones that are sonically different than the AD700. The AD700 is great for the occasional vocal or classical romp so I'd like to have a selection of different headphones for different genres instead of one to rule them all. Grados are definitely being looked at, but I think the next logical step is to have a pair that is the complete opposite of the AD700. So less soundstage would fit that. As mentioned before I am only about two years into the good audio so I'm not an enthusiast just yet so I'd love feedback on member's recommendations and stories. 

 

I have done a lot of searching on those threads and just find it near impossible to find any information I'm looking for, even distinguishing truth from bias is hard to do. And would it be ideal to go with a solid state amp vs. a tube system or would a hybrid be fun to play around with? 

post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moolok View Post

Recenty I was in the same situation as OP. I allready had my headphones (AKG K601) and was in need of DAC and amp.

So I bought FiiO E07k DAC, FiiO E09k headphone amp and FiiO A1 digital amp for speakers.

You could buy E09k and E07k or E17 and later some stereo amp for speakers if need be.

Just my 2 cents...

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2

How do you like the setup and what music genres do the AKG work well with? Unfortunately my living condition would restrict me from enjoying stereo speakers so I'd have to rule a dual purpose amplifier out. Thanks for the post and would to hear more from you.

post #6 of 33
Well I can't say with which genres AKG works well but I mostly listen rock, hard rock and heavy with country and blues. I've been happy with AKG so far, soundstage is nice and I can hear a lot of details. What it sort of lacks is bass but I'm not a basshead anyway smily_headphones1.gif

FiiO setup work fine for me. I used to have E10 but wasn't happy with headphone jack since it had 3.5 mm jack and AKG have 6.3 mm plug. I had to use adapter which was awkward. Plus I wanted rca connectors for stereo amp. And tbh E07k, E09k and A1 look cooler as a stack wink.gif

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moolok View Post

Well I can't say with which genres AKG works well but I mostly listen rock, hard rock and heavy with country and blues. I've been happy with AKG so far, soundstage is nice and I can hear a lot of details. What it sort of lacks is bass but I'm not a basshead anyway smily_headphones1.gif

FiiO setup work fine for me. I used to have E10 but wasn't happy with headphone jack since it had 3.5 mm jack and AKG have 6.3 mm plug. I had to use adapter which was awkward. Plus I wanted rca connectors for stereo amp. And tbh E07k, E09k and A1 look cooler as a stack wink.gif

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2

The only issue I have with the Fiio products is the quality control I presume, first E10 I got actually had a completely corroded headphone jack and the gain switch wouldn't switch over, sent that back and got their "new" batch model, awful rattling sound which I found out recently is just the low/high gain switch being very very loose and the volume control knob doesn't match up with where the volume is. Not too happy, but you get what you pay for. I have to admit the look of audio gear is partially why I love these products.

post #8 of 33
Sorry to hear you have had bad experiences with FiiO frown.gif

So far my equipment have been working without problems (knocks on wood)... I ordered mine from Amazon.de and they're the newer models (including my ex E10).

Sent from my LG-P970 using Tapatalk 2
post #9 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPBateman View Post

The only issue I have with the Fiio products is the quality control I presume, first E10 I got actually had a completely corroded headphone jack and the gain switch wouldn't switch over, sent that back and got their "new" batch model, awful rattling sound which I found out recently is just the low/high gain switch being very very loose and the volume control knob doesn't match up with where the volume is. Not too happy, but you get what you pay for. I have to admit the look of audio gear is partially why I love these products.


i've had nothing but great experiences with fiio products, i have the e10, and eo9k,

i got mine off of amazon as well, fiio has a problem with people counterfeiting their products

the e10 can be used as just a dac, it has a line output on the back

i'm currently using the hrt microstreamer, amp/dac, its awesome !! under $200

i also want a dedicated headphone amp, i have the eo9k, and i've ordered a schiit magni, and a bravo v2 (hybrid)

i'm really interested to see how the eo9k and the magni compare head to head !

post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MPBateman View Post

I'm thinking instead of upgrading I would rather find some headphones that are sonically different than the AD700. The AD700 is great for the occasional vocal or classical romp so I'd like to have a selection of different headphones for different genres instead of one to rule them all. Grados are definitely being looked at, but I think the next logical step is to have a pair that is the complete opposite of the AD700. So less soundstage would fit that. As mentioned before I am only about two years into the good audio so I'm not an enthusiast just yet so I'd love feedback on member's recommendations and stories. 

I have done a lot of searching on those threads and just find it near impossible to find any information I'm looking for, even distinguishing truth from bias is hard to do. And would it be ideal to go with a solid state amp vs. a tube system or would a hybrid be fun to play around with? 

I haven't heard the AD700s, but I have heard others by Audio Technica, and the Grado house sound is quite different from AT. If you want a pair of headphones that is very good for rock, hard to beat the SR225i in your budget range.

As for amps, I know some of the hybrid amps, such as the Little Dot I+, are designed as hybrids so that they can work better with low impedance phones as opposed to Little Dots full tube amps.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywillin View Post


i've had nothing but great experiences with fiio products, i have the e10, and eo9k,

i got mine off of amazon as well, fiio has a problem with people counterfeiting their products

the e10 can be used as just a dac, it has a line output on the back

i'm currently using the hrt microstreamer, amp/dac, its awesome !! under $200

i also want a dedicated headphone amp, i have the eo9k, and i've ordered a schiit magni, and a bravo v2 (hybrid)

i'm really interested to see how the eo9k and the magni compare head to head !

This is the first I even heard of Schiit Magni, looks like a steal. Love to hear how the Fiio and the Schiit pair together, and as well as your impression on the Bravo. What headphones are you frequently using at the moment?

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I haven't heard the AD700s, but I have heard others by Audio Technica, and the Grado house sound is quite different from AT. If you want a pair of headphones that is very good for rock, hard to beat the SR225i in your budget range.

As for amps, I know some of the hybrid amps, such as the Little Dot I+, are designed as hybrids so that they can work better with low impedance phones as opposed to Little Dots full tube amps.

The AD700's are accurate and reserved, that's the best I could come up with to describe them without saying how impressed I am with the soundstage on high audio sources. If I do get Grado's I'm thinking 60i's or 80i's, I just don't listen to Rock or Metal enough to justify using my budget on 225i's, and would you care to explain about the house sound for Grado house sound. I see everyone use that term but feel like I'm kept from knowing some secret.

 

I have looked at the Little Dot 1+ as well as the HiFiman EF2A in the past, the Highest impedance headphones I'd be going up to would be 250-300 ohms. So maybe tubes wouldn't be ideal for my uses. From what I've gathered solid state would be up for the task. Although the idea of swapping tubes is awesome.

post #13 of 33
The Grado SR80i have a better cable and, I believe, a little better matched drivers than the SR60i. So it can be worth the extra money. If you decide you want to experience more of the sound of the mid-range Prestige series, get the L-Cush pads (Amazon has them). They will take the SR80i 80 to 90% of the way to the SR225i.

As far as the sound? More forward than ATs. I have the AD900X and ATH-M50s, and have demoed the A700X. Some describe the Grados as being bright, and it scared me away from them at first, but I don't think they are overly so. What they do very well is have good mids and highs with very good transient response, making guitars sound great. And I like the imaging on them.
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 

Sounds interesting thanks for the tip, Grados sound like they are a very mod friendly bunch as well. Anybody have any experience with Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohms? There's so many choices in everything that I dont even know what I'm looking for anymore, I think I'm looking for quick responsive headphones with more bass. Seems this thread has been getting some great responses so far, thanks for all the replies.

post #15 of 33
Those DT770s are nice for the price. Right now you can get the DT990 Pros for $179 on Amazon.
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