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post #61 of 286

Sennheiser HD800 modified using the following mod:

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/diy-modification-sennheiser-hd-800-anaxilus-mod

 

The HD800 can  be a tad bright with some gear / setups and the mod tames the highs and gives it more dynamics.

 

The Woo amps pair quite well with the HD800 and the WA3.

 

http://www.wooaudio.com/products/wa3.html

 

As for a DAC the QA-9 and QB-9 from Ayre would be my first no budget choices.  The Grace m903 is also a great DAC.

 

http://www.ayre.com/qa9.htm

 

http://www.gracedesign.com/products/m903/m903.htm

 

I hope you find what you are looking for and be sure to include us in what you end up with in the end.

post #62 of 286

@ bahamaman

 

If I was in your exact shoes I would go for this chain (this is all my personnel BS opinion from data gathered around Head-Fi).

 

Perfect Wave DAC MK2 (on sale now)  ==> Questyle cma800r // or Eddie Current Super 7 ==> HD800 (colorware to a better color like black)

 

If I had to build a second rig I would get

 

PWD MK2 ==> Audio-gd Master 9 ==> Hifiman HE-6 and or LCD-X

 

*I'm also very curious about the Auralic products like the Taurus Mk2 and Vega. If I was to get less expensive DAC I would look at the Yulong DA8 and or Matrix X-Sabre.

 

Hope this helps in your search.

 

I would recommend the K812, but I can't because it's very controversial at the moment. :( 


Edited by M-13 - 3/11/14 at 8:19pm
post #63 of 286

I got my entire 009 rig for ~$6k, for what that's worth. Even by commissioning a kgsshv build it'd come within that budget.

post #64 of 286

Given your budget, i will now tell you my dream rig.

 

HD800s(modded) - Why the HD800s? Simply because i find they are the most natural sounding headphone that is able to provide all the nuisances in every piece, soundstaging is amazing and i am a sucker for othrodynamics. They sound so NATURAL... Not as clinical as stax though.

 

Balanced Cables - I will recommend a OCC Copper litz based cable. Suggest Complement2 from DHC audio. A very important part of the chain.

 

Cavalli Audio Liquid Gold - Now i haven't heard this amp personally but i have had the pleasure of oh listening to the liquid fire and let me tell you that if this liquid gold sounds ANYTHING like the liquid fire (It'll probably sound better) you will fall in love with it, i have goosebumps remembering what i heard on that amp. Cavalli audio has stuff that really kicks ass and the engineer behind it knows exactly what he is doing.

 

Pair this up with a good balanced DAC with some balanced interconnects and high quality shielded power cables with maybe a power filter.

 

With this setup, you will have one of the best rigs out there. Not only extremely detailed but also extremely natural sounding. I cant imagine any further. This is the setup beyond my wildest dreams. 

post #65 of 286

I don't know where in Texas you are, but I have 2 chains that probably will give you the right idea of whether you want to go back to Stax or try a dynamic system.  If you are in Houston, you are welcome to come by and listen.  My wife and kids are out of town until next Monday so now is basically a perfect time!  It'll be dead quiet!

 

DACs: Metrum Hex/Anedio D2

Stax:  SR-007 MK1 -> KGSSHV

Dynamic: HD800 -> ECP L-2

 

I also have a Headamp GS1, but I like the L-2 better.

 

I'm currently evaluating which one I'm going to keep, and surprisingly leaning towards the dynamic chain.

 

I think a quality NOS DAC to an ECP amp and terminating in an HD800 is almost unbeatable.

post #66 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Failed Engineer View Post
 

I don't know where in Texas you are, but I have 2 chains that probably will give you the right idea of whether you want to go back to Stax or try a dynamic system.  If you are in Houston, you are welcome to come by and listen.  My wife and kids are out of town until next Monday so now is basically a perfect time!  It'll be dead quiet!

 

DACs: Metrum Hex/Anedio D2

Stax:  SR-007 MK1 -> KGSSHV

Dynamic: HD800 -> ECP L-2

 

I also have a Headamp GS1, but I like the L-2 better.

 

I'm currently evaluating which one I'm going to keep, and surprisingly leaning towards the dynamic chain.

 

I think a quality NOS DAC to an ECP amp and terminating in an HD800 is almost unbeatable.


Ohh..  very interesting! You have the Anedio D2 and the Metrum Hex!

Have you compared them somewhere? I'd be extremely interested in what you have to say about them! :beerchug: 

post #67 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by eke2k6 View Post
 

I'm not exaggerating when I say the SR-009 made both sound like toys. Make no mistake, the LCD-3 and HD800 are good phones, but the Stax stuff is just on another plane to my ears. It was really remarkable to hear. 

 

I had a similar experience at the Bay Area meet last month. I listened to the 009s paired to a prototype Cavalli amplifier (currently codenamed Liquid Silk). They blew everything else I ever heard out of the water. There are fantastic headphones out there — I love HD600s, HD800s, and HE-6s. They all sound great, but compared to 009s, they are far more similar than different. The 009s sound stunning. (Similarly so, to my ears, to the original SR-Omega, though I didn't compare the two very closely.)

post #68 of 286

I haven't compared them in writing anywhere.  They are way too different tonally to compare, IMO.

 

It boils down to synergy.  I find the HD800 too bright with piercing treble when paired with the D2.  There is also a digital etch with the D2/HD800 combo which I find unappealing, and while the L-2 does lessen it, it's still there.  It's presentation is very eye-popping at first but it gets tiring.  Even with the L-2.

 

The SR-007 is better with the D2.  It's like it gives the SR-007 a jolt of coffee in the morning, wakes it up.  The Hex is still very good with the SR-007, but I like the energy with the D2.

 

As far as other elements to evaluate DACs like dynamics, imaging, soundstaging, instrument separation, etc. it's too close to call.

 

I find that the Anedio and the Hex are like siblings from a different mother.  They are both brilliant DACs.

 

I auditioned pretty much all the DAC contenders in the $1500-$4000 range when I was looking for a replacement to the Anedio and found that the Anedio was better than all of them.  So I kept it.

post #69 of 286

That's pretty much what I figured. Thanks for the feedback!

 

I'm intrigued by the Hex, just a shame it's so damn expensive!

post #70 of 286

The Hex is clearly better with the HD800.  It takes all of the good of the D2 and de-digitizes it, for lack of a better term.  But diminishing returns is definitely the descriptive term here.

post #71 of 286

Welcome back daddy!  I'm now in your shoes and have no time to listen to my system.  Anyway, I highly recommended the followings:

 

Rig 1:

Headphones:  Stax SR-007 MK1 ($1800 - 2300 used) 

Amplifier:  Headamp BHSE ($5000 - $5500 used)

DAC:  NAD M51 DAC ($1400 used)

 

The above should be a direct upgrade to what you used to have.  Given that you love the sound of SR-007MKI in the past, why not stick with what you love and make it noticeably better?  I have the SP ES-1 at one point and thought very highly of it.  Still, it was a better match to the HE90 than the SR007 MKI.  As for the 007, it will continue to hold its value for many years to come so it will not be a bad investment.  The BHSE is said to be a match made in heaven to the SR007 and it will not depreciate that much due to a long build time & and Justin's superb build quality.  Unfortunately, this system may exceed your budget by a grand, but your ears will thank you for it.

 

Rig 2:

Headphones:  Stax SR-009 ($3700 used) 

Amplifier:  KGSSHV ($2500 - $3000 used)

DAC:  NAD M51 DAC ($1400 used)

 

Rig 2 should be on the same level as the Rig 1.  I personally like the sound of the SR009 better as it sounds more refined than the SR007 to my ears.  Some have found the BHSE to be a tad bright for the SR009.  So the added warmth on the KGSSHV should compliment the SR009 nicely.  Personally speaking, the SR009 still perform better on the BHSE than the KGSSHV, especially with the NOS Mullard EL34 tubes.  If you are able to get a good deal on the amp, you may be right at your budget.  This KGSSHV is really an awesome amp and it comes within 10-15% of the almighty BHSE.  It looses out to the BHSE in soundstage depth, clarity, and transparency.  Some may argue that the KGSSHV slams a tad harder.

 

 

Rig 3:

Headphones:  Stax SR-007 MKI ($2000 used) 

Amplifier:  KGSSHV ($2500 - $3000)

DAC:  NAD M51 DAC ($1400 used) or higher end DACs

 

I'm anticipating that this system should be near the same level as your ES-1 & SR007 MKI rig if not slightly better.  The KGSSHV is very powerful amplifier and should have enough voltage swing to properly driven the SR007 MKII.   This rig will be well within your budget.  You can use the extra $1000 on a better source.  Still, I think the SR007 will perform at its very best with the BHSE.

 

Rig 4:

Headphones:  Sennheiser HD-800 + upgraded cable ($1500+) 

Amplifier:  Headamp GS-X MKII ($2500 - $3000)

DAC:  NAD M51 DAC ($1400 used) or higher end DACs

 

If you want to hear what a really good dynamics rig can do, check this one out.  You should get the HD800 upgraded with a good balanced cable.  As good as this system will sound, the above rigs will sound more refined and opened.  The HD800 is really good though when properly driven.  This system will come in under budget by nearly 2 grands. 


Edited by purk - 3/11/14 at 10:32pm
post #72 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by gepardcv View Post
 

 

I had a similar experience at the Bay Area meet last month. I listened to the 009s paired to a prototype Cavalli amplifier (currently codenamed Liquid Silk). They blew everything else I ever heard out of the water. There are fantastic headphones out there — I love HD600s, HD800s, and HE-6s. They all sound great, but compared to 009s, they are far more similar than different. The 009s sound stunning. (Similarly so, to my ears, to the original SR-Omega, though I didn't compare the two very closely.)

Liquid Silk? Is this a successor to the Lightning? Tubed maybe?  (Maybe I missed this in some other thread...).

post #73 of 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoEars View Post
 

 

So if you have that kind of money let's skip all the small stuff... Here's your rig:

 

Headphone:  Stax SR-009

Amp:            Headroom Blue Hawaii Electrostatic Amp

Dac:             Anedio D2 or Matrix X-Sabre

 

 

You're not going to find anyting better than that. The SR-009 is widely regarded as the best headphone currenly in production. See here for reference: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634201/battle-of-the-flagships-58-headphones-compared-update-audeze-lcd-2-revision-2-6-4-13

 

 

The Headroom Blue Hawaii is Tyll of Inner Fidelity's personal favorite amp for that headphone. He has two of the most experienced and trusted pair of ears in the headphone business. See here: http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/listening-stax-sr-900-and-great-headphone-amplifiers-headamp-blue-hawaii?page=1

 

 

The DAC choice is a bit controveral and while some people will scream "no you can't use a sabre dac!!" I personally love this chip. It's very detailed and highly resolving with lots of texture. I have heard many other dac's that are more forgiving but none that hasn't been at least a little bit veiled in comparison. If you want to really look inside the music this is the kind of dac you need. For the price both are fantastic.

 

Don't spend too much money on cables, not a cable believer.

 

HeadAmp, not HeadRoom!

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

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post #74 of 286

If you don't want to go exclusively e-stats path again. 

 

There are few amps such as the GSX MK2 that supposedly pairs extremely well with the LCD3.

post #75 of 286

welcome back, bahamaman. we joined head-fi around the same time and i, too, had a fairly decent rig before selling it all (k1000, RWA signature 30 and GSX) and going with some DIY stuff for a number of years. i just got back in the game a couple of months ago and don't have the budget you do, but decided to travel down the ortho route, just to see what the excitement is all about.

 

my suggestion, given that you're coming back to a world that is so different than when we first joined years ago, is that you see for yourself what all this craze is over orthos and some of the new USB-based DACs.

 

what i might try if in your shoes with your budget: HE-6 or LCD3/Auralic VEGA DAC/and your choice of amp, perhaps the Cavalli Liquid Gold.  not sure exact cost, but somewhere around your budget, i think. you know what a nice electrostat system sounds like...try something else. you can always go back to your stats.  my .02 :o2smile:

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