Hello my fellow head-fiers..
It's been a long time since I upgraded anything in my headphone collection. Been blissfully happy with my equipment and over the last many years (possibly 4 to 5 years), I have been sucked into the world hi-fi audio (speakers/amps etc.)
In that time, the headphone landscape has changed dramatically, in fact, it has changed so much that I hardly recognise it! The last time I was immersed in headphones, the DT880/HD650/K701 were kings of the headphone world and headphone amps weren't that popular (two main contenders were Meier Audio and Headroom). Today, there are headphone amps flooding the market. Headroom seems to be exiting the amp market. Meier audio still has some interesting amps but their design seems to be very different from the days when he was using Shangling to produce his amps. There's Burson audio, Beyer, Senn etc. all are producing headphone amps now! Also, the DT880/HD650 and K701 are now relegated to mid-fi equipment (but yet, price remains the same).
So, finally, I'm back to the headphone world and am looking at upgrading my aging headphone amp. I current have the Meier audio Aria (yes, the Aria!) but only using the amp section. For DAC, I'm using HRT Music Streamer II+ connected to my PC. I'm happy with the DAC, but am seeking recommendations from the dependable and wise Head-fi community. My headphone collection:
1) Beyerdynamic DT880 (the older version, I think pre-2005)
2) Beyerdynamic DT770pro - 250Ohm
3) Sennheiser HD650 - Older version with black driver
4) AKG K701 - early production unit.
I mainly listen to Jazz, Vocal Jazz and Classical (violin, piano, concerto).
Budget: I'm trying to keep to the $500 +/- $100 range.
1) Beyerdynamic A1
2) Burson Soloist SL
3) Headroom Microamp
4) Any others? I am so out of the loop that nothing else comes to mind!
The main thing is that it needs to be a significant improvement over the Meier Aria and I do love resolution, I love to hear all the micro details in the music as well as long decay, soundstaging and headspace.
Any help from this wonderful community will be very much appreciated!