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Help with a complete desktop setup <400

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, first post here so I apologize in advance for any stupidity. I assure you that it's unintentional.

 

I've had over-ears for a couple of years now (almost exclusively Senns), but I only recently discovered what I was missing out on without a really nice headphone and DAC/amp. I have some good phones (Sennheiser 550) and a cheap DAC/amp (HM-101), but I know that there's a great deal more to be had from my music in terms of sound quality. However, being a college student, I don't have a ton of money to spend. I could go as high as 400 USD, but I'd like to keep it around $300 if possible. I was looking at getting Sennheiser 598/558 and a Fiio E10 for my setup.  Anybody have other ideas? I'm not a basshead, but not a purist either. I like accurate, clear music that can still sound fun when I want it. Portability is not a consideration at all, I'm looking for a home setup. I can't do on-ears, and the larger the ear cups the better. Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

post #2 of 29
I'm not sure how much of an upgrade the E10 will be over the HifiMan. Sure, the E10 is 24/96K instead of 16/48K, but IMHO that's not a huge difference. I think I would worry about the headphones first and if you get the itch to do another upgrade (and you will, because this is head-fi!) then look at the possibility of a different dac/amp.

There are lots of great choices at $300...
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 

Alright, makes sense. Any suggestions for headphones around the price range of the 598's? (they go for around $200 on some sites)

post #4 of 29
Sony ma900 is an obvious one
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookinaround View Post
 

Alright, makes sense. Any suggestions for headphones around the price range of the 598's? (they go for around $200 on some sites)

there is also the Beyer Dyanmic DT 990 Pro $150 new

 

you could feed that with the Schiit Modi and Vali for under $400 total, and if you browse the HeadFi for sale threads, you might be able to get all of that for under $300 [with the exception of the vali]

 

how ever there is also the Audio Technica AD900x, in that price range that I enjoyed.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 

I've been hearing great things about Schiit's line of amps, but I'm not sure which one to get. I'm stuck between the Magni and the Vali. I know the Vali is a tube hybrid and the Magni is a solid state, but being the audio equivalent of a fetus I don't know the difference between the two types. Is it worth the extra $20 for the Vali? How do they sound different from one another?

post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookinaround View Post
 

I've been hearing great things about Schiit's line of amps, but I'm not sure which one to get. I'm stuck between the Magni and the Vali. I know the Vali is a tube hybrid and the Magni is a solid state, but being the audio equivalent of a fetus I don't know the difference between the two types. Is it worth the extra $20 for the Vali? How do they sound different from one another?

What kind of headphones are you listening to 

post #8 of 29

The magni is more versatile. They do sound different.

The Vali might be more noisy and not well suited for easy to drive, low impedance headphones.

post #9 of 29
Magni/Modi + HD598 will give you a pretty great all around system for right about $400.
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogSavior View Post

Magni/Modi + HD598 will give you a pretty great all around system for right about $400.

So you wouldn't really recommend the 518 or 558 with that system? I feel like the magni/modi might be overkill for those two lesser models of the 5x8 line, but again, I'm not really sure. Could I go with the 558 or 518 and save some money, or are those pairs not really good enough to justify spending ~200 on the magni/modi?

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

The magni is more versatile. They do sound different.

The Vali might be more noisy and not well suited for easy to drive, low impedance headphones.

So in my price range of headphones, the extra $20 for the Vali over the Magni probably isn't a great idea? I want to try the tube sound since I've never had one before, but not if it's going to give me a really high noise floor.

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

What kind of headphones are you listening to 

I've been looking at the Senn 5x8 line, but I'm completely open to other suggestions

post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookinaround View Post
 

So in my price range of headphones, the extra $20 for the Vali over the Magni probably isn't a great idea? I want to try the tube sound since I've never had one before, but not if it's going to give me a really high noise floor.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lookinaround View Post
 

I've been looking at the Senn 5x8 line, but I'm completely open to other suggestions

I do like your user name btw, 

 

and honestly the Vali is a GREAT tube for your price range, about a year I ago I paid MORE for a tube that sounded WORSE than the Vali. If you can afford it I think it would be VERY nice with an open Back Sennhesier Headphone, I used my vali with two low impdeance senstive headphones, and I could not hear any discernable noise 

post #14 of 29
To get the most out of the vali you might want to step it up a little. Like akg k7xx, dt880, dt990, hd600 etc..
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

To get the most out of the vali you might want to step it up a little. Like akg k7xx, dt880, dt990, hd600 etc..

You can get a new Beyerdynmic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm for about $150 usd, which would pair really nicely with the Vali 

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