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End Game setup under $500

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am looking forward to start building my first serious rig for home use.

 

I know for $500 you can't get a true end game rig, but I am looking for suggestion that in your opinion, you can live with for a very long time without feeling anything missing.

 

For example, I have heard a lot of people swear by Sennheiser HD650 + Bottlehead Crack. But that is like $800. I am looking for a competent headphone with amp that is a  perfect pairing under $500.

 

Some Background: I recently purchased a sennheiser hd518. Its really good. It showed me what a great headphone can do, but its not perfect. Its a bit too smooth in my opinion.

Also I am new to this hobby and have not tried all sound signatures, so am open to most frequency response. Though I would prefer a moderately slow sounding headphone as I listen to music to relax, without sibilance. (setup should not give sibilance overall. Am ok if bright headphones with warm amp or vice versa). 

 

Thanks in advance.

post #2 of 15

The Schiit Stack ( Modi and Magni ) and the HD600 would be an excellent setup that could be had for under $500.

 

Just make sure that the options on the gear are what you want if you end up going that route.

 

Schiit:

 

http://schiit.com/products/modi

 

HD600 Review

 

http://www.headphone.com/rightbetweenyourears/?p=1306

 

and

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650

 

You may want to list what music you tend to listen to the most, what headphones / speakers you tend to like, and any relevant gear you already have this way the community here can help a bit easier.

 

I wish you the best on the journey!


Edited by NA Blur - 2/18/14 at 10:07pm
post #3 of 15

I would go for the O2/ODAC and used HD600. It should be around $500. If you remove the foam the sound really improves quite a bit IMO. 

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post
 

The Schiit Stack ( Modi and Magni ) and the HD600 would be an excellent setup that could be had for under $500.

 

Just make sure that the options on the gear are what you want if you end up going that route.

 

Schiit:

 

http://schiit.com/products/modi

 

HD600 Review

 

http://www.headphone.com/rightbetweenyourears/?p=1306

 

and

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/very-important-sennheiser-hd-580-hd-600-and-hd-650

 

You may want to list what music you tend to listen to the most, what headphones / speakers you tend to like, and any relevant gear you already have this way the community here can help a bit easier.

 

I wish you the best on the journey!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post
 

I would go for the O2/ODAC and used HD600. It should be around $500. If you remove the foam the sound really improves quite a bit IMO. 


Thanks for input.

 

Has anyone tried HD600 with vali? Is magni + HD600 = sibilence? I use lossless music.

post #5 of 15
A 600 ohm dt-880 and Crack would cost somewhere around there. Great pair
post #6 of 15

I would also recommend the Crack over the Vali (not meaning it sounds bad but.) It's a magnificent pair for the HD600. 

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwess View Post
 

I would also recommend the Crack over the Vali (not meaning it sounds bad but.) It's a magnificent pair for the HD600. 


yeah, I keep getting crack recommendations. gotta check out what fuss is about in some time. its too expensive for now.

 

perhaps a vali now, then upgrade to crack. have you heard both?


Edited by vaibhavp - 3/6/14 at 7:58pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 


yeah, I keep getting crack recommendations. gotta check out what fuss is about in some time. its too expensive for now.

 

Sometimes there are good deals on the F/s section, but they are gone within days. I'm talking of the stock unit without upgrades. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

yeah, but I thought people charged more for them as they are already built?

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 

yeah, but I thought people charged more for them as they are already built?

 

Yeah, but some guys drop the price. I have seen it as low as $250

post #11 of 15

AKG K612 PRO, Matrix M-Stage, Standalone ODAC

 

http://www.razordogaudio.com/collections/akg-by-harman/products/akg-k612-pro-open-back-reference-studio-headphone (use coupon K612PRO) $165

 

http://www.amazon.com/Matrix-M-Stage-Headphone-Amplifier-USB/dp/B00775POZW $209

 

http://www.jdslabs.com/products/46/standalone-odac/ (RCA output) $179

 

Total: $553 (you may can find an ODAC, elsewhere, for cheaper and save more)

 

You can thank me later... 


Edited by Change is Good - 3/6/14 at 8:59pm
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post
 

AKG K612 PRO, Matrix M-Stage, Standalone ODAC

 

http://www.razordogaudio.com/collections/akg-by-harman/products/akg-k612-pro-open-back-reference-studio-headphone (use coupon K612PRO) $165

 

http://www.amazon.com/Matrix-M-Stage-Headphone-Amplifier-USB/dp/B00775POZW $209

 

http://www.jdslabs.com/products/46/standalone-odac/ (RCA output) $179

 

Total: $553 (you may can find an ODAC, elsewhere, for cheaper and save more)

 

You can thank me later... 


I do have a dac. its audinst hud mini.

 

do razordog do international shipping?

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhavp View Post
 


I do have a dac. its audinst hud mini.

 

do razordog do international shipping?

 

Nice, then... all you need is the K612 and M-Stage...

 

I'm not sure if he ships, internationally... so try emailing him. His name is Brian...

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post
 

 

Nice, then... all you need is the K612 and M-Stage...

 

I'm not sure if he ships, internationally... so try emailing him. His name is Brian...


cool.

 

why do you prefer k612 over q701? I can get them off amazon for $200 as well.

 

also I found treble out of hud mini with my audio technica ws55 to be metallic and harsh.

 

do you think m stage will be better? If not, will a tube amp like vali improve it?

post #15 of 15
The K612 extends deeper and doesn't have that upper mid/high glare that the Q701 had, IMO.

I'm not familiar with what DAC you have. The M-stage has a mediocre built in DAC, so it'd be best to get a standalone DAC and use the rca inputs on the M-stage as your dedicated amp.

Also, not familiar with the Vali... sorry
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