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$1000 to spend - HD700s + amp/dac or HD800s?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Hey. I'd like to invest in a fairly nice setup. I have about $1000 to spend, and I'm in between two different routes currently. My first choice is getting open box HD700s for $530, then getting an amp and dac. My second choice is buying a pair of used HD800s for hopefully under $1000, and then continuing to save up for an amp and dac. I have some experience with low-mid end setups (HD600), but I'm lost when it comes to something high end such as this. I would love any advice. Thank you!
post #2 of 3
HD700 would be a mistake. HD800s are excellent, and you are in luck that there are a couple of great ways to drive them cheaply until you can save for better.

Here are the main options:

Schiit Modi ($99) + Schiit Vali ($119). I've not heard this combo personally, but it is constantly remarked as a great bargain setup for HD800. Do know that the Vali is sensitive to vibration, so keep it away from areas you might contact with your hands/arms. Basically don't keep it on your desk unless you isolate it somehow.

Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB ($320). This is the combo I like on the cheap. It's solid state so you don't have to worry about vibration and the amp scales very well, so you can upgrade the source first and still use the amp until you can afford a top flight amp. This combo is the only thing I would use until I had at least $1000 each for both DAC and amp ($2000+ total) if I had to do this all over again. Mid-tier stuff just doesn't make enough difference with HD800s. Great synergy low end stuff then skip straight to top end.
post #3 of 3

I'd go with the hd800, and rather than the hd700, you should consider an orthodynamic headphone instead like the hifiman he500 or the audeze lcd2. The lcd2 is a dark sounding headphone though, especially compared to neutral/bright headphones like the hd800/700.

 

What sort of sound signature are you looking for?

 

also, this thread should be an interesting read if you havent seen it already. 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13

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