I'm all about getting the best bang for the buck. I get really excited when I discover a new pairing that really is greater than the sum of the parts. I think a lot of the fun in this hobby goes towards discovering different combinations of amps and headphones. So list what you've discovered so far, and found to really stand out!
- Must be $1000 total or less (a reasonable price range for most)
- You can include DAC as well, though I find amp/headphone pairing to be more deterministic when it comes to distinct sounds.
- You can use sale or used prices, but make sure you mention what you paid for it, the condition if used, and the normal price.
- I'll be using the notation ($paid price/$normal price) when I bought something on sale, others can follow suit as well.
For me, this topic is especially personal for me. When I started this hobby, I naively dived into some higher end gear without knowing much. I purchased the Sennheiser HD700 and Woo Audio WA7 for $1000 each. While it wasn't a bad setup, I have since found combinations for half the price, and much better in sound quality.
One of my first value combos under $1000 was the Beyerdynamic T90 ($500/$650) + Bottlehead Crack ($300 shipped). This combo in my opinion was on par with the HD700 + WA7 for less than half the price.
Currently my Hifiman HE-500 ($550/$700) + Emotiva MiniX a-100 speaker amp ($170/$220) + Bottlehead Quickie preamp ($100) is really something else and goes way beyond headphones in the $500-$1000 range. I've listened to the HD800 through the Crack extensively for a week, and I honestly prefer my HE-500 setup. It was really this setup that inspired me to start this thread. It's truly something special in my mind. But I'm sure everyone has something they've discovered they believe to be completely out of it's price league, so that's why this thread is here for all to share it with the world!