My name is Scott. I am a soon-to-be-retired air traffic controller at MSP tower. Prior to my government service, I was a manufacturing engineer at a couple of different computer companies in the Twin Cities area in the late 70s and early 80s. I have been a tech and gadget geek for most of my life and am into photography, guitars, and motorcycles.
My wife and I have a lake house on Lake Superior. We will be moving there permanently in 2 years to retire, spend time with the grandkids, and enjoy life. I have drunk the Apple kool-aid which explains my current equipment roster: Mac Pro, iMac, a couple of MacBooks, an iPad and IPhones.
I recently re-ripped my entire CD collection to ALAC and put it onto an external SSD drive. I am very much enjoying being able to surf my music collection via iPad Remote and have the iMac send it all via airplay to the stereo system - NAD receiver, C370 amplifier and Magneplanars.
My music is Steely Dan, Bob Dylan, KD Lang, Dave Grusin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eagles, Jackson Brown, Pink Floyd, Tedeschi Trucks, etc. No Rap, No Metal. I like tight bass and clear vocals, music with a lot of space around the individual instruments - not the Phil Spector 'Wall of Sound', organic approach.
My Maggies will not fit in the lake home. I have a very small listening room overlooking the lake and am currently running my trusty NAD 7020 into a pair of Linn Kataan bookshelf speakers. They are wonderful for casual listening and anything more would overpower the room. I found this site in my search for good quality headphones so I can still do some serious listening - preferably with a good book and a great whiskey!
My plan is to install an iMac in the lake home and bring up my library on the SSD. The iMac will then be able to feed the music to the rest of the home. In searching for external DAC/headphone amps I found the Woo Audio WA7. I am pretty well set on it - the reviews have been great, the aesthetics complement an iMac, I can pass the DAC through to my NAD for casual listening, and to top it off, I am a sucker for tubes.
My budget is $2K to $2.5K. I do not plan on getting the tube power supply, so the WA7 will take $1K out of the budget. Do you think my amp to headphone price ratio is good, or am I skewed one way or another?
Based on my music preferences and the existing equipment listed, what headphones would you all recommend?
I will probably get the upgraded tubes for the WA7 at $100. The power supply looks to be an additional $400. This money would have to come out of the remaining headphone budget. Would this money be better spent on better headphones or on the power supply? The $2K number is a bit mushy, but the $2.5K cap is firm.