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[Smart] Upgrade from HD598 and Asus U7

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Have some sort of extra n00b setup now. Ready for the next stage of audio nirvana.

Current setup:
— source: win box or macbook playing FLACs mainly
— HD 598

— Asus U7 as mediocre DAC+Amp

It sounds somewhat decent to me especially on absolutely excellent TRANCEMASTER collection, and may be some classical and jazz because of the whole 598's soundstage thing. But overall it's a bit dead and not impressive at all. 
But what I really appreciate is comfy qualities of HD598, can wear those for hours and hours, unlike i.e. head squeeze from M-50s which become too hot after 10 mins (I live in Cyprus)

Trying to evaluate strategies of upgrading to smth great while my full blown ADHD racing between following options:
— DT990 or HE-400 (thanks to cel4145 for the hint of HiFiMAN)
— somewhat used HD600
— really used HD800
— really really used LCD 3 = )

as for DAC + Amp, i'm completely at loss.


Music styles: prog trance, prog house, classical, ambient, rock, trip hop.


Will appreciate a good advice  (will edit this post for any clarifications)
EDIT:
location — Europe
budget < 1500-1700 EUR [headphones + DAC + amp]
totally indoors use and not necessary portable


Edited by oxygen1 - 3/31/14 at 10:05am
post #2 of 12

I think establishing a hard budget would help, at DT990 can be had for less than $150, and an LCD-3 at ten times that on a good day. And I'm assuming this is all for indoor, non-portable use?

post #3 of 12
I would recommend looking into the HE-400 over the DT990 while they are still available for $300. Here is an in-depth review. Note by looking through those other reviews how well it scores compared to more expensive headphones that you are considering.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jodgey4 View Post
 

I think establishing a hard budget would help, at DT990 can be had for less than $150, and an LCD-3 at ten times that on a good day. And I'm assuming this is all for indoor, non-portable use?


Budget limit is around 1500-1700 EUR, can be stretched if it makes sense, and yes it's all for indoors and NOT necessarily portable use.
 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I would recommend looking into the HE-400 over the DT990 while they are still available for $300. Here is an in-depth review. Note by looking through those other reviews how well it scores compared to more expensive headphones that you are considering.

Thanks for reply and link to a nice in-depth review! Yes, HE-400 makes a good addition to my ADHD list = )

post #6 of 12
The HE-400 really does sound nice. And the reviewers is not off when he describes the quality of the bass. I've heard some very high quality subwoofers--I'm talking high end subwoofers, not the lowe end home audio subwoofers that people buy from big box hifi stores--and the HE-400s are right up there with some of the best bass quality I've ever heard. For EDM, they really are impressive. smily_headphones1.gif

The HE-400s are somewhat inefficient, so they like a good amp. My Schiit Asgard 2 does really well with them. My Note 2 phone and Sansa Clip mp3 player--we'll it's listenable and sounds pretty good, but they can't drive them to moderately loud volumes. Something like the EPH-O2 would do pretty well with them. It's the same as the Objective 2 amp that you'll hear many people on Head-Fi in the US talking about.
post #7 of 12

Everybody is going to have a recommendation on how you should spend your own money... but I think your priority really needs to be to go and try out as many cans as possible. HE-400's are incredible value, though! You can read and read all day, but actually putting a dang pair on your head is worth more than every other person's review thereof combined.

 

Try to see if there are any audio/ headphone stores around, or check to see if there will be a Head-Fi meet in your area soon. It might be hard to do, but your ears and wallet will thank you. Well, maybe not your wallet ;).

post #8 of 12

It really depends on your sound preferences.

 

The HD 598 are relatively neutral save for the forward mids and the bump from 17-20 kHz. As you should know, these slightly bright headphones are pretty laid-back and relaxed in their sound signature.

 

The HE-400 seems to have a far more exciting, live sound that is forward and engaging. Some find this trait wonderful while some find it fatiguing for long listening sessions.

 

I recommend you try the HD 600 and HE-400 respectively for a bit of time to see what kind of sound signature you like better. (V-shaped or relatively flat) If you find you love that exciting, forward sound, then by all means go for the HE-400's. If you find that too fatiguing, the HD 600's are pretty good for long listening sessions.

 

Hope that helped you!

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks Garraty, I was blind but now I see  :)
Yeah, I would certainly prefer prowess to non fatiguing long session and therefore inclined towards HD 600. But afraid most probably will find them boring after a bit and upgrade bug gonna buzz like mad. I guess you cant have it both ways, or, actually you can = )

Just ordered new HD 600, will have them in 3 weeks. And gonna start looking for used HE-400 in good condition.
The most difficult part of equation, especially for n00bs like me — which kind of/model amp to buy (HD 600 threads whisper that it must a tube one). And whether or not do I need another DAC since I have, errh somewhat, one in asus u7 already, but i'm not really sure how much of bottleneck it is right now.

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygen1 View Post
 

Thanks Garraty, I was blind but now I see  :)
Yeah, I would certainly prefer prowess to non fatiguing long session and therefore inclined towards HD 600. But afraid most probably will find them boring after a bit and upgrade bug gonna buzz like mad. I guess you cant have it both ways, or, actually you can = )

Just ordered new HD 600, will have them in 3 weeks. And gonna start looking for used HE-400 in good condition.
The most difficult part of equation, especially for n00bs like me — which kind of/model amp to buy (HD 600 threads whisper that it must a tube one). And whether or not do I need another DAC since I have, errh somewhat, one in asus u7 already, but i'm not really sure how much of bottleneck it is right now.

 

Yeah, I'm coming from the same place. I currently have the HD 598's but I'm not upgrading for a bit- if I only had the money... :D

 

Good luck on your headphone quest!

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxygen1 View Post

Thanks Garraty, I was blind but now I see  smily_headphones1.gif

Yeah, I would certainly prefer prowess to non fatiguing long session and therefore inclined towards HD 600. But afraid most probably will find them boring after a bit and upgrade bug gonna buzz like mad. I guess you cant have it both ways, or, actually you can = )

Any headphone can be fatiguing if you listen to it loud enough and long enough.

Some headphones are obviously more prone to fatigue than others because of their particular sound signature, but it still depends a lot on the individual person's sensitivity and the volume the person listens at. The HE-400 is not considered one of the most fatiguing headphones. If you find you like it, and it's a little fatiguing, you could always try listening at a lower volume.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Received my HD600 about 2 weeks ago and like them very much.


Now trying to look for some comfy closed headphones as a setup for work, what are your guys top choces?

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