Hello this is my second post. So I've been saving to become for a setup for a while (I'm 16 by the way) and I think I have found my system (Senn HD 600 + NuForce HDP) but I have a concern. I have my music (classic rock, old school hip hop) already ripped to FLAC and plan on using foobar2000 to play it but the problem is I listen to just music itself half the time and the other half I watch concerts on DVD so my question is will this setup (HD600 + HDP) be able to handle my DVD's? I know audiophiles are against audio in mp3 format so this is what worries me that I'll be able to enjoy my music collection but I won't be able to enjoy my concert DVD's since the audio in general is of lesser format. Here is a website I found on DVD audio: http://www.gromkov.com/faq/general/dvd_audio_formats.html So apparently PCM will be on par with my music collection (of 16 and 24 bit flac) but what about the rest? http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin-Robert-Plant/dp/B00008PX8P Here if you scroll to where it says Product Details in orange and look under Format it'll say PCM stereo at the end but if you look at this one http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin-Remains-Two-Disc-Special/dp/B0013K1ALE/ref=pd_cp_mov_0 it'll say AC3 in the same section. Does this mean that it'll be too weak of a source for my setup? Will it be like listening to low-quality mp3's? I would like to know if the system will be compatible with movies so in case if it's not I could just stick to my plan B: Grado SR325is + Dragonfly Amp for music only + Definitive Technology Incline for Concert DVDs). It'll end up costing about $850 which is the exact same as Plan A (HD 600 + NuForce HDP) I just don't want to purchase it if my low quality "AC3" movies like The Song Remains the Same will sound horrible on them (like low quality mp3s) So I would like to know everyone's experiences with DVD's who have audio similar systems. Thanks. (fyi the reason why HD 600 + HDP is Plan A even though it costs exactly the same as Plan B is because I personally prefer quality over quantity).
HD 600 for movies?
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You won't go wrong with the hd600. Grados are meh for me. They have a really specific genre preference and are too bright, while the hd600 can play anything really well.
But you'll get better results by spending more on the headphones and worrying about the source/amp later. The he500 is a very good upgrade to the hd600. And I'll argue any day that the he500 is better by itself than an hd600 + amp/dac. You could instead get something like the schiit magni/modi, which is an extremely good value. 600 + 200 = 800. In general, upgrading your headphones will yield the most results for your money until you get to summit-fi (which starts at he500 for me). At that point, it's all about sound signature preferences, and other more expensive cans aren't really much of an upgrade. So that's where amps and dacs become more cost effective.
As for file formats, only the seriously hardcore audiophiles really care. Realistically, it's almost impossible to tell the difference between 256/320kbps mp3 vs flac of whatever resolution. 196kbps is the lowest "good" bitrate for me. Anything lower sounds noticeably lower in sound quality. Mp3 compression these days aren't as bad as they used to be. LAME encoded mp3's are actually really good.
The impedance doesn't really matter that much. The he500 will sound better because it's just a better headphone and uses planar magnetic technology, which is better than dynamic imo. The he500 will have better sub-bass and should sound less laid back than the hd600. Mids will be just as great if not better than the hd600. Soundstage is also much better on the he500.
When people talk about amp pairings, it's usually related to the amp's slight sound distortions that work well with the headphone's sound signature. Most amps, even my fiio e10, has more than enough power to make you go deaf even with my q701 (which requires more gain than the rest of my headphones to reach the same volume). Of course there's a technical side to this, but unfortunately, i'm not too well informed.
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AC-3 is the original Dolby Digital audio encoding format that is commonly used on DVDs. PCM is one way that a device transmits the digital signal to other devices. Your device (computer?) should be able to decode AC-3 without any trouble. Blu-ray's HD audio is a step up from DVD, although likely old concert movies like the Song Remains the Same it probably wouldn't matter which format you got it in.
If you decide to go with the Definitive Technology Incline, be sure that you can place them. Def Tec's bipolar technology doesn't work well unless they have space around them. I don't know exactly what the Inclines need, but if you are planning on cramming them into a desk close to a wall, they may not work well and you would be better off going with other (cheaper) speakers. Be sure to research best placement before buying.
Nuforce ICON-HDP is a 2010 headphone amp/DAC product. The market has gotten much more competitive since then. Be sure you aren't paying near original retail price for the Nuforce, for you can likely do better. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Modi/Magni isn't comparable (but I don't know this).