or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Would like some input on a home-rig for <2000
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Would like some input on a home-rig for <2000

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello!
Last year when I was travelling a lot I decided to invest in a decent pair of headphones to make the commuting enjoyable. After lurking and reading reviews for a solid month, I picked up a pair of Ultrasone Signature Pros. Now I am travelling less and looking to set up a rig at home: AMP+DAC and a pair of open backs.
I live in Ottawa, CA, and unfortunately there are not any places demoing the headphones/amps I have been looking at. As such, everytime I think I decide on a setup, I second guess it and back down. 

I am planning on spending 2000 or less to get an AMP, DAC, and headphones. I like to listen to a variety of music depending on the situation. I am not good at describing my preferred sound signature, however, I think I would describe it as warm (really want to stay away from bright headphones) but still has enough air to allow classical music to feel open. Another consideration I am trying to account for is the fact that I wear glasses - my ultrasones do start to hurt from the clamping force. I have been very interested in the LCD2.2s with a wa7, but im nervous that the clamping force would be too much.

Favourite music:
Alternative rock (If this is how you would describe Coldplay-type music)
Classical (Love listening to cello music)
Electro house
 

I plan on buying things used / waiting for a sale.

I would love to hear some thoughts! Thanks.

post #2 of 7

If it were my getting into a more serious home rig I would end up with the Sennheiser HD650, Woo Audio WA3 tube amp, and Music Halls 25.3 DAC.

 

You can read more here:

 

Sennheiser HD 650

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650

 

Woo Audio WA3 Tube Amp

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa3.html

 

Music Hall 25.3 DAC

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-2428-music-hall-dac-253.aspx

 

Cost:

Headphones New : $500 at most new ( Typically can be found for $400 or less )

Woo Audio WA3 Tube Amp: $520 ( or $620 with preamp option if you want to connect a turn table )

Music Hall 25.3 DAC: $600

PBJ RCA Interconnects: $89 ( used to connect the DAC to the amp )

 

Total:  $1709 ( more likely will be $1609 )

 

I have heard all of the this gear and can attest that it will be one heck of a setup and fun and engaging experience sans any brightness you may fear.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

If it were my getting into a more serious home rig I would end up with the Sennheiser HD650, Woo Audio WA3 tube amp, and Music Halls 25.3 DAC.

You can read more here:

Sennheiser HD 650
http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650

Woo Audio WA3 Tube Amp
http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa3.html

Music Hall 25.3 DAC
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-2428-music-hall-dac-253.aspx

Cost:
Headphones New : $500 at most new ( Typically can be found for $400 or less )
Woo Audio WA3 Tube Amp: $520 ( or $620 with preamp option if you want to connect a turn table )
Music Hall 25.3 DAC: $600
PBJ RCA Interconnects: $89 ( used to connect the DAC to the amp )

Total:  $1709 ( more likely will be $1609 )

I have heard all of the this gear and can attest that it will be one heck of a setup and fun and engaging experience sans any brightness you may fear.

Thank you for the response.
What are your thoughts on the wa7 compared to the wa3 and 25.3? I'll be connecting everything to my computer, just wondering if something with a built in dac would be good enough?
Also, mind if I ask what the difference between RCA and XLR cables are? I remember hearing that sometimes the RCA ones give noise.
Edited by Appl314 - 11/13/13 at 7:09pm
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Anyone else mind sharing their thoughts? Im enjoying researching all the different possibilities.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appl314 View Post

Also, mind if I ask what the difference between RCA and XLR cables are? I remember hearing that sometimes the RCA ones give noise.


Yes, balanced cables cancel noise. However, this is really only an issue for super long cables (like in pro sound applications) or if you live next to a radio station or some other source of EMF noise. 

Random suggestions and thoughts.

The Bottlehead Crack amp is considered a very good pairing with the HD600/650 (which I second as headphone recommendations). 

Audeze LCD-2 would be a great choice. IMO, it's worth spending the bulk of your budget on headphones. They make the most difference in the sound you hear. Hifiman HE-500 is another good planar headphone. All the amp has to is keep up. 

A tube amp is probably a better choice than a solid state amp. Woo Audio is known for smoother, more relaxed sounding amps. 

DAC choice is probably the least important compared to headphone choice and amp choice. 

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 


Yes, balanced cables cancel noise. However, this is really only an issue for super long cables (like in pro sound applications) or if you live next to a radio station or some other source of EMF noise. 

Random suggestions and thoughts.

The Bottlehead Crack amp is considered a very good pairing with the HD600/650 (which I second as headphone recommendations). 

Audeze LCD-2 would be a great choice. IMO, it's worth spending the bulk of your budget on headphones. They make the most difference in the sound you hear. Hifiman HE-500 is another good planar headphone. All the amp has to is keep up. 

A tube amp is probably a better choice than a solid state amp. Woo Audio is known for smoother, more relaxed sounding amps. 

DAC choice is probably the least important compared to headphone choice and amp choice. 

Hmmm, so the decision seems to be whether to get a nice introductory setup with the 650, or go a bit further and pick up the LCD-2s. 
Would you have a recommendation for an amp/dac to go with the LCDs?

post #7 of 7
I don't have any particular recommendations, but you could have a look here http://www.head-fi.org/t/495631/amp-recommendations-for-audeze-lcd-2
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Would like some input on a home-rig for <2000