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Complete set up for <$800

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi! I've just gotten paid and am looking for an upgrade to my audio.

I'm currently using HD598s alongside a Creative Soundblaster Z sound card.

 

What would be a nice new pair of cans, as well as an amp & dac, which would sound much better than what I currently have for less than $800? I'm willing to stretch this budget as I was just paid and have an excess of $2000 left to spend (no living expenses, still a student luckily ^^). However, if at all possible I would like to be able to save as much as I can as it was just casual work for my mum and I won't be able to work there till next year.

 

I listen to all kinds of music, however deep and clean bass is a must as mostly it's Trance and R&B... Then I have my JRock and other Jap songs, so it would be nice if the headphones were well rounded as well.

 

Tbh, my HD598s sound like utter sh*t when not EQ'd and I'm not sure if it's the sound card, headphones, cable, or my expectations of them were just way too high.. But I could honestly compare them to my cheap Sennheiser CX-300 II earbuds when they aren't EQ'd. The only difference being that the bass on my HD598s are much cleaner. It wouldn't be the recordings, as I use FLAC files... And It's not just that. Games sound the same as they do on my HD 449s and the difference between the two on Youtube are minimal.

 

Edit: My setup will just be on my desktop.

Preferably closed headphones as I need deep and powerful bass, and no I would not consider earphones.


Edited by Evansoft - 2/6/14 at 8:23pm
post #2 of 4

There's a lot to consider.

Do you want the new setup to be portable?

Are you specifically looking for headphones? Open closed headphone?

Would you consider earphones? (prolly good consideration if you want the setup to be portable too)

What do you want your main source to be? Ipod? Computer?

 

Answering some of these questions will give people a better idea of what it is you need!

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Edited first post to answer your questions :)

post #4 of 4

Some decent DAC/Amp pairings:

Schiit magni/modi ($200)

JDS Labs ODAC/O2 stack ($280)

Matrix M-stage stack ($580) (probably a little pricey. They just came out with revision version. I havent heard the revision myself)

 

Or you could do more portable USB amps or DACs:

Resonessence Herus

ALO the Island

Audioquest Dragonfly

(A few I've heard... there are a ton more though)

 

I'm personally not all that familiar with closed back headphones so i wont comment too much on those. You also have to consider synergy when it comes to headphone and amp pairings though.

 

Some I like are:

NAD Viso HP50

Denon AH-D600 (its good for its price at least)

Mr Speakers Mad Dog

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