I've been going around Head-Fi, Innerfidelity, Headfonia, and probably 5 other websites trying to figure this out. I had some people tell me it was worth it but I'm still not sure if I should upgrade my Graham Slee Solo SRG 2 to the Ultra-Linear Diamond edition. At the moment, I have the HD650, HD800, HD598, Amperior, SR60i, SR325Is, Shure SE215, and a couple more. (shhh I bought a Bose AE2 and I'm ashamed of it.) My favorite and the most used one is the HD650. As for headphone amps, I have the Solo SRG2 as mentioned and the Vioelecric V200. For dacs, I have a Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 100 which I will replace with the Schiit Gungnir in the near future. The problem with me and amps is that I have a sort of a weird taste. I have tried many amps including Graham Slee, Schiit, Burson, Woo-Audio, Vioelectric, Little Dot, Fiio, Grace Designs, Naim, Sony, Cambridge Audio, HIFiMan, and more. Also, after trying out as many headphones I ended up with the HD650. I have seen people talk about the Sennheiser "veil" and my honest opinion is that I like it to be there. Some people were recommending some amps that would scrub out the sort of rich, creamy, masked sound. I would say like the 650's sound or go for something else instead of trying to tweak it or matching it with an amp say, such as Burson which changes the sound character completely. It's not that I don't like anything else then the 650, I like Grado, Alessandro, Audeze, and most companies. It is just that when using the 650, I don't see the point of making it sound different. Also, not a fan of tube amps although I want one so will be probably buying something from Woo-Audio once I clear things up with the Graham Slee and the DAC issue. Now, about the Graham Slees. I have listened to the Solo SRG 2 for many hours at a hi-fi shop for probably more than 40 hours with my 650 before getting. I do not have the PSU1 power supply and from where I live, which is Korea, there is no place for me to try out the Ultra-Linear Diamond. I have though, had a chance to try them out when I went to Hong Kong a couple months back. It was even noisier than the CES which I attended and it was hooked up to a CD player with music that I was not familiar with at all. Oh and sorry to mention it so late into the thread but I listen to everything except for jazz, most music made past 2005, some classics, and other things that I can't remember. I've been listening to a lot of Daft Punk constantly as a side note. Back to the amps, I did get to try them out at a very noisy place for a short time (10 mins?) and compare it to the Solo which was nothing but possible. From what I remember, the Ultra-Linear was a bit sweeter sounding with highs more quirky and noticeable. To clear things up, I don't like amps like Burson that make music sound too treble heavy or quirky in the highs. Naturally I am not a fan of Beyers. From that short period of time of listening at Hong Kong and hours of thinking and listening during the 2 months after the trip, I am lost whether to upgrade the amp or not. For those not familiar with Graham Slees, they don't sound like most solid state amps. Most solid states to me, sounds bloated and artificial something. (exceptions being the Grace Designs and the Graham Slee.) The SRG2 to me sounds more grown up compared to most solid state amps and the Ultra-Linear.(obviously I could not decide that with my shot listen to the Ultra-Linear but from reading articles and stuff) I am afraid I will wreck the Solo SRG2's ability to make all headphones and music so musical and grown up and turn it into something like Burson where the sound changes. Thanks for reading this long piece of writing and helping me decide(hopefully).
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2/1/14 at 10:13pm