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$1000 Challenge - List your best amp/headphone pairing that can be had for $1000 or less - Page 2

post #16 of 112

There is a headphone amp called the "crack plus speedball"?  Good lord, that is the druggiest sounding name I've ever heard!

post #17 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward777 View Post
 

There is a headphone amp called the "crack plus speedball"?  Good lord, that is the druggiest sounding name I've ever heard!

Haha company is called Bottlehead. http://www.bottlehead.com/ They have other provocative named products like Quickie, S.E.X. (Single Ended eXperimenter), and Foreplay with Extended Foreplay upgrade option. Also check out Schiit Audio http://schiit.com/

post #18 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

Haha company is called Bottlehead. They have other provocative named products like Quickie, S.E.X. (Single Ended eXperimenter), and Foreplay with Extended Foreplay upgrade option. Also check out Schiit Audio.

 

All of which is funny the first couple of times you hear the name; if you actually buy it, you'll wish it was called something decent.

post #19 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 

 

All of which is funny the first couple of times you hear the name; if you actually buy it, you'll wish it was called something decent.

 

Lol I was at Best Buy talking with one of the guys working in the Magnolia store about my audio setup. We were talking about DACs and I mentioned my Schiit Modi without really thinking, and the conversation kinda died from there.

post #20 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

 

Lol I was at Best Buy talking with one of the guys working in the Magnolia store about my audio setup. We were talking about DACs and I mentioned my Schiit Modi without really thinking, and the conversation kinda died from there.

 

When there are strangers around, I call it "skooo-teh" in a Swedish accent.

post #21 of 112

You may try stax. Unparalled in dynamism, speed, and natural timbre. 

post #22 of 112

Is Crack (the amp..) what good?!?!

post #23 of 112

HE-4 with the amp you already got.

post #24 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrasdesoria View Post
 

You may try stax. Unparalled in dynamism, speed, and natural timbre. 


I don't have Stax brand, but I did recently get the Koss ESP950 electrostatic system for $600. It includes an amp, so can be run immediately off your DAC. I have to say for $600, it's a great value overall. The sound is interesting in that in certain areas like speed, it's better than anything I've heard and completely bests headphones in the same price range. But in other areas like sub-bass, it's in a league below the mid-fi price range. I find it to be great for classical and orchestral music. Only other drawback to this that it kinda ties you down to the amp provided, which isn't that great and holds back the headphones. It sounds much better through a Stax amp, but that requires an adapter to Stax pins and the amp options even then are limited, and more expensive than dynamic amps.

post #25 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

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!

 

Rules:

- 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.


Meier Corda Cantate.2 (paid $350+$70shipping used; when new, $600 including shipping+import duties where applicable) and HD600 (paid $275, SRP $399). Throw in the dock and easily removable, rubber+plastic case for my S3 and a $5 OTG cable and $3 Monoprice USB cable, and my total expense on my system is all under $750 (I don't count the phone since I need it as a phone also).

 

post #26 of 112
Another one for Bottlehead Crack/Speedball and HD600s:cool:
post #27 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lextek View Post

Another one for Bottlehead Crack/Speedball and HD600s:cool:

 

Bottlehead is truly a great brand in terms of value, but all DIY probably is. I have both the Crack and Quickie, and they perform far beyond the kit price. I've seen quotes for the Crack kit to cost $250 to be built for you without Speedball, so the labor costs are about the cost of the kit itself. Then you add the cost of a professional looking exterior design and marketing costs, and you got yourself a $1000 amp you see on the market. Really the Crack probably sounds as good as a $1000 amp.

 

A real value setup probably has some DIY.


Edited by Sonido - 12/11/13 at 8:25pm
post #28 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

 

Bottlehead is truly a great brand in terms of value, but all DIY probably is. I have both the Crack and Quickie, and they perform far beyond the kit price. I've seen quotes for the Crack kit to cost $250 to be built for you without Speedball, so the labor costs are about the cost of the kit itself. Then you add the cost of a professional looking exterior design and marketing costs, and you got yourself a $1000 amp you see on the market. Really the Crack probably sounds as good as a $1000 amp.

 

A real value setup probably has some DIY.

It can easily swing the other way too if you start getting boutique caps, resistors, wire etc. I did so with my Crack+SB, made it a cost-no-object design and I didn't cross $650, but that's far more than the stock kit. Speaker amps are especially dangerous, since all parts are generally bigger values and such.

post #29 of 112
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by brunk View Post
 

It can easily swing the other way too if you start getting boutique caps, resistors, wire etc. I did so with my Crack+SB, made it a cost-no-object design and I didn't cross $650, but that's far more than the stock kit. Speaker amps are especially dangerous, since all parts are generally bigger values and such.

The point though is even with those boutique items, if you assemble and build it yourself, you're saving a lot. Even if you're after the ultimate endgame sound, if you apply DIY, it's a much more economical way to do it. Especially in the speaker world where everything is more expensive and cost-no-object is just not feasible. The only way to get the ultimate sound there may be to DIY.

post #30 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonido View Post
 

The point though is even with those boutique items, if you assemble and build it yourself, you're saving a lot. Even if you're after the ultimate endgame sound, if you apply DIY, it's a much more economical way to do it. Especially in the speaker world where everything is more expensive and cost-no-object is just not feasible. The only way to get the ultimate sound there may be to DIY.

I see your point, but what I'm hinting at is that why spend $2k on a $500 circuit when you could've jumped up a notch or two. ;)

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