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best headphone/amp combo for Classical.

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
First I would like to say that $250 may seem rather low for both headphones and amp, but unfortunately I am sixteen years old and I am a student, so it cannot be a cent over $250. I don't mind buying used as long as they work. I was thinking about getting one of the many beyerdynamic models used and then get a used amp as well but I don't know. I am looking for neutrality and I prefer open or semi open to closed. Thank you for any help provided.
Edited by MRodriguez - 4/17/14 at 11:50am
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRodriguez View Post

First I would like to say that $250 may seem rather low for both headphones and amp, but unfortunately I am sixteen years old and I am a student, so it cannot be a cent over $250. I don't mind buying used as long as they work. I was thinking about getting one of the many Beyerdynamic models used and then get a used amp as well but I don't know. I am looking for neutrality and I prefer open or semi open to closed. Thank you for any help provided.

 

Might help to know what sources the headphones are going to be used with?

Is this for on the move or in public or just sitting around?

Do you prefer laided back detailed sound or a loud fiesta in your face type listening?

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. OK, I will be using for listening at home not on the move. I want to have something with neutrality for my classical music. I very much prefer laid back, better quality, detailed, than loud boomy headphones. I will be using these with my desktop computer. Thank you!(EDIT: By the way, what do you think about the Sennheiser HD 598 for classical?)


Edited by MRodriguez - 4/17/14 at 12:48pm
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRodriguez View Post
 

Thanks for the reply. OK, I will be using for listening at home not on the move. I want to have something with neutrality for my classical music. I very much prefer laid back, better quality, detailed, than loud boomy headphones. I will be using these with my desktop computer. Thank you!(EDIT: By the way, what do you think about the Sennheiser HD 598 for classical?)

 

I own the HD558s, they which use the same drivers as the HD598.

Sennheiser add black rubber tape to the insides of the HD558 cups, it covers around 40% of the airholes.

I'm guessing it makes the HD558 more bassy and less like the HD598.

So removing the black rubber tape should make the HD558 sound almost as good as the HD598

You can buy a used HD558 for $96 and a new HD558 for $123.

Which would leave you with around $125 to $150 leftover for an amp (or DAC/amp)

 

The HD558 has a slightly veiled sound, which I think makes it easy on the ears and allows you to listen for longer periods of time.

The HD558 headphones are the oldest headphones I have that I still like to use.

This $18 to $24 cable makes it a little easier for using the HD558/HD598 with a 3.5mm plug.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?var=560313338477&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

 

A really cheap way to drive the HD558s is a Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card ($20-$40).

This month Newegg and Amazon have a $10 mail in rebate on the DG/DGX.

post #7 of 18

Since you're working with a computer source, I'm inclined to suggest you get an inexpensive DAC/Amp.  One idea would be get one of the Audioquestion Dragonfly USB Dac version 1.0c that are still available from Amazon or Audio Advisor for $100.  And then reserve $150 for the headphones.  Fiio also makes some DAC/Amps for around $100.

 

Just a thought.

 

If you went that route then perhaps the Sennheiser HD 518 which can be found from about $90 to $130.

 

Always a challenge to stay within budget!

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm leaning more towards the HD598s. OK so you are telling me that I should get a ASUS Xonar with or without and amp? In other words... If I found the HD598s for 150, what would you do with the remaining $100 (or less). EDIT: and by the way how do the the Beyerdynamic headphones compare to these?


Edited by MRodriguez - 4/17/14 at 2:30pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRodriguez View Post
 

I'm leaning more towards the HD598s. OK so you are telling me that I should get a ASUS Xonar with or without and amp? In other words... If I found the HD598s for 150, what would you do with the remaining $100 (or less). EDIT: and by the way how do the the Beyerdynamic headphones compare to these?

A lot of people would prefer the Beyer 250-Ohm DT880 & 250-Ohm DT990 to the 50-Ohm HD558/HD598.

The DT880/DT990 have more "life" to their sound.

But the 250-Ohm Beyers require a decent headphone amplifier, The headphone amplifier on the Xonar DG/DGX is maxed out when trying to drive 250-Ohm headphones.

If you bought a Sound Blaster Z ($85), it headphone amplifier could drive the DT880 Pro or DT990 Pro 250-Ohm headphones.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK and if I get that would I need a DAC too? And also which of the two beyer models would you recommend for classical?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MRodriguez View Post

OK and if I get that would I need a DAC too? And also which of the two Beyer models would you recommend for classical?

 

The SB-Z comes with a built in DAC chip and headphone amplifier, so you will not need anything else.

The DT880 offers a more balanced sound, where as the DT990 is more Bass/treble.

So get the DT880 (after all there has to be a good reason the DT880 always costs more then the DT990).

post #12 of 18
Since you're using a computer a soundcard or USB DAC is sensible and will leave you with at least $150 for headphones.

I think HD558/598 is less risky than other popular brands, such as AKG and Beyer. My cousin bought an HD595 five or so years ago and is still very pleased with it. Sennheiser makes the least extreme and possibly the most well-rounded models. I don't find them especially interesting, but it's a safe choice.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

Do you tjink the magni would be a good choice for this instead of the sound card?

post #14 of 18
Modi would be because it's a DAC. Magni's one of their amps.
post #15 of 18

I got the 598s recently and use them for classical and they work very well.  I would imagine the 558s are also pretty good.  The Fiio amps with the 598 would be within your total range as long as you look for good prices though the 558s would leave you more room for the amp when you factor in tax and possibly shipping.

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