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Headphones and Amp for Heavy Metal

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Headphones and Amp for Heavy Metal and maybe a cd player if required.

I need help with buying new headphones and amp, and getting advice from the people that know would be much appreciated.

 

Bands I listen to: Sacred Mother Tongue, Sylosis, Megadeth, Metallica, Machine Head, Kreator, In Flames, Hypocrisy, Gardenian, Fear Factory, Evile, Children of Bodem, Carcass etc…

 

My budget is £600. To upgrade a 15year old (Amp) Yamaha DSP-A590, (CD player) Marantz CD-67SE, and 5 year old (Headphones) Grado SR60i.

Thanks.

post #2 of 18

Do you like the sound of your Grados?  If so, why not upgrade them?  You might be able to go as far up as the RS2i, definitely into the SR325is.

 

My guess is that your current Amp and CD player should be fine (unless you want to go with tubes or something, you could always go with the SR325is and something from Little Dot for an amp).

post #3 of 18
Good USB Dacs have gotten fairly inexpensive. Have you considered building a digital library by ripping your music collection to a computer? Unless you are strictly an album person, there are some benefits to using a computer over a CD player with no loss of SQ.
post #4 of 18

If you spent your whole budget on the best grados you could afford, you wouldn't necessarily need to upgrade your amp and cd player. 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

I do like the sound from the Grados, I thought upgrading the headphones would require a better amp, especially for the headphones you mention, the RS2i are my budget alone £685 UK.

 

USB Dacs? I had no idea what a DAC (digital analogue converter) was until on went on What Hi Fi yesterday.

Remember I have not looked at upgrading my system for 15years, and the problem with computers they crash/die and you loose all data, I would have to look into it.

post #6 of 18

The higher end grados don't require any more power than the lower-end grados, as far as I'm aware. If you think your current amp is holding the sound back in terms of detail, then you could use a new one perhaps, but I don't think the RS2i really needs any more power than the SR60i. 

post #7 of 18
Grados are low impedance headphones. Lots of stereo recivers were/are designed instead for high impedance phones. A different amp might help SQ.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Grados are low impedance headphones. Lots of stereo recivers were/are designed instead for high impedance phones. A different amp might help SQ.

Good point
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draconian616 View Post
 

I do like the sound from the Grados, I thought upgrading the headphones would require a better amp, especially for the headphones you mention, the RS2i are my budget alone £685 UK.

 

USB Dacs? I had no idea what a DAC (digital analogue converter) was until on went on What Hi Fi yesterday.

Remember I have not looked at upgrading my system for 15 years, and the problem with computers they crash/die and you loose all data, I would have to look into it.


I found the manual to the DSP-A590 amplifier, it states the headphone output impedance is 390-Ohms :(

For your 32-Ohm Grado SR60i headphones, it would be recommend to use a headphone amplifier with a output impedance of 4-Ohms or less.

The DSP-A590 should have been causing a very bloated (louder, less detail) bass, for the SR60i headphones.

Which maybe for someone who listens to metal, the bloated bass might have been to your liking.

 

The AKG K612 Pro (120-Ohm) headphones sell for 159 Euros (135 GBP), at Thomann (UK)

 

I'm assuming you use speakers with your audio setup?

So replacing the Yamaha amp with something newer should help with the impedance (Ohm) issue.

I would think you could maybe spend 200-300 GBP for a receiver (new or used).

Check the website AVforum, someone there should be able to point at good deals on receivers (new or used).

Then you could just use a S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) cable to connect your Marantz CD-67SE to the receiver.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks PurpleAngel,

So new Amp it is then, I think I’ll get a dedicated Headphone Amp, looking on What Hifi.com the Graham Slee Novo Discrete got 5 stars £255, I could upgrade my Headphones too. What would your advice be?

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draconian616 View Post
 

Thanks PurpleAngel,

So new Amp it is then, I think I’ll get a dedicated Headphone Amp, looking on What Hifi.com the Graham Slee Novo Discrete got 5 stars £255, I could upgrade my Headphones too. What would your advice be?

The Novo does not even come with a DAC.

 

Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/amp (with TCXO upgrade) $300 (187 GBP)

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

 

 

Mine just arrived yesterday, It took 6 days from the day ordered (ships from Hong Kong) to the day it got to me in California.

It can easily be connected to the Marantz.

 

Still think the AKG K612 Pro is good buy, I've been fighting the temptation to by one myself.

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

Do I need a DAC? Connect Amp to CD player and plug in headphones job done.

DAC for Digital, for connecting to a computer download music streaming and all that jazz, not cd, or am I missing something?

 

I know someone who has the AKG k712pro, said I can use.

 

Asus Xonar Essence One has a DAC in it.

 

And finally, you have to email that Chinese site your order? Never had to-do that before.

audio-gd@126.com

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draconian616 View Post
 

Do I need a DAC? Connect Amp to CD player and plug in headphones job done.

DAC for Digital, for connecting to a computer download music streaming and all that jazz, not cd, or am I missing something?

 

I know someone who has the AKG k712pro, said I can use.

 

Asus Xonar Essence One has a DAC in it.

 

And finally, you have to email that Chinese site your order? Never had to-do that before.

audio-gd@126.com


The Marantz CD player comes with a built in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) chip, so an external headphone amplifier (Novo) could be plugged in the the Marantz's RCA (analog) output.

 

The Audio-GD NFB-15.32 comes with dual DAC chips and a nice headphone amplifier and it should cost you less then the 255 GBP Novo (amplifier only)

The 15.32 comes with USB and S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) input, so it could be connected to the Marantz or any computer (PC, Mac, laptop, Macbook, etc).

Computers usually do not come with good DAC chips built in, so with the Novo, you might end up having to spend more cash to buy a searate DAC for use with the computer.

You can load up a computer's hard drive with FLAC music files or use music streaming and play them thru the 15.32.

 

Audio-GD has a good reputation on Head-Fi and you can use Paypal with them.

Just send Audio-GD an email telling them what you want and they send back an email with the invoice, telling you how much to pay, thru Paypal.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

What do you think of the Audio-GD NFB-15.32, reviews are thin on the ground?

 

As you mentioned having a DAC looked at the NAD D 3020 and

Asus Xonar Essence One.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Draconian616 View Post
 

What do you think of the Audio-GD NFB-15.32, reviews are thin on the ground?

 

As you mentioned having a DAC looked at the NAD D 3020 and

Asus Xonar Essence One.


So far I'm really enjoying the 15.32, earlier tonight I was watching The PeaceKeeper Wars movie, on DVD.

It was sounding really nice, using my DT990 Premium 600-ohm headphones, plugged into the new 15.32.

Feel free to ask here about the 15.32

http://www.head-fi.org/t/648386/audio-gd-nfb-15-32-delivery-impression-thread

 

To me, the NAD D 3020 and Asus Xonar Essence One offer a lot of features that I would have no need for

and I doubt they would sound any better then the 15.32.

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