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I've been saving for a very long time now and have $2500 to buy the best setup for the money. - Page 3

post #31 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pachoo5 View Post
 

Are you sure that you want to spend it on Headphones instead of speakers? I think everyone for the most part agrees that the best sound will come from speakers. I don't have a speaker setup because I live in a condo but if I had my own house I'd spend the money on speakers instead of headphones. :) 

I also live in a condo and for 2500 dollars, I feel like I get better sound quality and detail retrieval for the money.

post #32 of 72
Here's a couple routes:

HD800, amp/DAC on the cheap side while saving for high end: Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB DAC ($320) or Schiit Modi/Vali stack ($220) (assuming you can use USB!)

HD800 and a solid mid range amp/DAC that you are reasonably sure you won't be upgrading soon: Schiit Uber Bifrost $419 (USB if you need +$100) and Schiit Valhalla 2 ($349).


Explanations: While the Bifrost and Valhalla are a good low-midrange pair for the HD800, the HD800 scales really high, so it can certainly benefit from the best you can feed it with. If you have any notion of upgrading past this combination, get something cheaper for the saving period. In order to seriously make your money work for you, you are looking at minimums of $1500 for an amp and $1000 for a DAC to make the HD800 come close to it's potential, so you can see how much of a gap there is in price. Buying anything between the Bifrost/Valhalla, and honestly the first 2 combos I mentioned is a very small stair step, and you will lose every time you move up to the next step. Trust me, I did this and the midrange stuff while nice, was not nice enough. The high end stuff is a significant step above, though.

I hesitate to even recommend the Bifrost/Valhalla 2, as I think the cheaper combos I mentioned are better value, however if that is your stopping point, I do think the more expensive combo will be worth it long term. With the Valhalla you can tube roll to fine tune your sound, something impossible with the M-Stage or Vali (despite it being tube). The Bifrost will be more resolving than either DAC and your HD800 will love you for it.

That's my advice after hearing dozens of setups over the last 3 years with HD800s.
post #33 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post

Here's a couple routes:

HD800, amp/DAC on the cheap side while saving for high end: Matrix M-Stage HPA-2 w/USB DAC ($320) or Schiit Modi/Vali stack ($220) (assuming you can use USB!)

HD800 and a solid mid range amp/DAC that you are reasonably sure you won't be upgrading soon: Schiit Uber Bifrost $419 (USB if you need +$100) and Schiit Valhalla 2 ($349).


Explanations: While the Bifrost and Valhalla are a good low-midrange pair for the HD800, the HD800 scales really high, so it can certainly benefit from the best you can feed it with. If you have any notion of upgrading past this combination, get something cheaper for the saving period. In order to seriously make your money work for you, you are looking at minimums of $1500 for an amp and $1000 for a DAC to make the HD800 come close to it's potential, so you can see how much of a gap there is in price. Buying anything between the Bifrost/Valhalla, and honestly the first 2 combos I mentioned is a very small stair step, and you will lose every time you move up to the next step. Trust me, I did this and the midrange stuff while nice, was not nice enough. The high end stuff is a significant step above, though.

I hesitate to even recommend the Bifrost/Valhalla 2, as I think the cheaper combos I mentioned are better value, however if that is your stopping point, I do think the more expensive combo will be worth it long term. With the Valhalla you can tube roll to fine tune your sound, something impossible with the M-Stage or Vali (despite it being tube). The Bifrost will be more resolving than either DAC and your HD800 will love you for it.

That's my advice after hearing dozens of setups over the last 3 years with HD800s.

Thanks for your input! What's the best you've ever heard it sound? What gear was used?

post #34 of 72
Matrix X-Sabre ($1100) + Headamp GS-X2 ($2800)

Note: I've heard many combinations much more expensive, but I preferred the combo listed above.
Edited by Maxvla - 6/11/14 at 9:15pm
post #35 of 72
Thread Starter 

Well that will certainly take a while to save up for... haha

post #36 of 72

You could probably get away with a pretty good rig second-hand:

 

HD-800s: $1000-1100

Woo Audio WA7: $800 ($799 was the original promo price for them)

Light Harmonic Geek Out: ~$200-400.

A reasonably decent mini-to-RCA cable, eg: Audioquest.

 

The Geek Out is a better DAC than the built-in DAC in the WA7 and will actually do a quite good job with the HD-800s even without an amp.

 

My best recommendation is, however, save a bit more and find a used Chord Hugo.

post #37 of 72

Hi,

 

If the HD800 is your route , you can consider many good relatively cheap option to build a good HD800 rig. but I'm not really convinced that the HD800 is the better option with 2500$. I know that Maxvla and maybe some others here are T1-haters but imo the Beyerdynamic flagship worthes some consideration in this price range. Something like a Beyerdynamic T1 + Jan Meier's TOTL rig DACCORD+CLASSIC coud IMO fit the bill for 2500$:)  .

 

I've the HD800 for a year now and I heard it from many rigs and I'm really a big fan but Im' convinced that buying a "good but not perfect" rig for HD800 is the best way to spend more & more money  because the HD800 can scales a lot and can really be painful sometimes, with some recordings and so on. 

 

If what you look for is to spend 2500$ and to stay with the rig for many years... the HD800 is not your best bet unless you're a very very very still rationnal head-fier ( something sounds wrong in this association :D

 

I really enjoyed mine with a dacmagic+Corda Jazz ( ~5/600$ rig) but a few month later I bought a 1400$ amp and a 900$ DAC .. and I can't really assert confidently it's my end game rig for HD800. 

 

My 2 cents ;)


Edited by Sorrodje - 6/12/14 at 3:45am
post #38 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post
 

You could probably get away with a pretty good rig second-hand:

 

HD-800s: $1000-1100

Woo Audio WA7: $800 ($799 was the original promo price for them)

Light Harmonic Geek Out: ~$200-400.

A reasonably decent mini-to-RCA cable, eg: Audioquest.

 

The Geek Out is a better DAC than the built-in DAC in the WA7 and will actually do a quite good job with the HD-800s even without an amp.

 

My best recommendation is, however, save a bit more and find a used Chord Hugo.

I haven't been able to find the hd800 below 1200

I don't know about the wa7, I love how quiet it is but I don't quite feel it's worth it. I was think the NuForce DAC-100 and a nice usb cable. I could save a lot of $$$ and save for a upgrade later on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorrodje View Post
 

Hi,

 

If the HD800 is your route , you can consider many good relatively cheap option to build a good HD800 rig. but I'm not really convinced that the HD800 is the better option with 2500$. I know that Maxvla and maybe some others here are T1-haters but imo the Beyerdynamic flagship worthes some consideration in this price range. Something like a Beyerdynamic T1 + Jan Meier's TOTL rig DACCORD+CLASSIC coud IMO fit the bill for 2500$:)  .

 

I've the HD800 for a year now and I heard it from many rigs and I'm really a big fan but Im' convinced that buying a "good but not perfect" rig for HD800 is the best way to spend more & more money  because the HD800 can scales a lot and can really be painful sometimes, with some recordings and so on. 

 

If what you look for is to spend 2500$ and to stay with the rig for many years... the HD800 is not your best bet unless you're a very very very still rationnal head-fier ( something sounds wrong in this association :D

 

I really enjoyed mine with a dacmagic+Corda Jazz ( ~5/600$ rig) but a few month later I bought a 1400$ amp and a 900$ DAC .. and I can't really assert confidently it's my end game rig for HD800. 

 

My 2 cents ;)

I know this price won't be end game. It is extremely good though and I know I will make the most of it until I can save more for a better amp and dac a bit down the line.

post #39 of 72

You shouldn't have any problem finding a HD800 for less than $950-1050 if you're up for bidding on a used pair on ebay.

post #40 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by blance44 View Post
 

I know this price won't be end game. It is extremely good though and I know I will make the most of it until I can save more for a better amp and dac a bit down the line.

 

So, go for HD800 :)

post #41 of 72

I recently bought a used pair for $950 from here at the b/s/t forums....they are in beautiful shape.

 

also maybe consider an amp from 2359 glenn.....here is the thread....http://www.head-fi.org/t/600110/2359glenn-studio         you could ask questions......I hear he makes killer otl amps and will build one for your HD800....you may have to wait for it for awhile, though.

post #42 of 72

HD-800s, like everything, tend to appear in batches in the classifieds.

post #43 of 72

Hi,

 

The HD800 is a terrific headphone - I spent quite a while agonizing over whether I should go with an Audeze offering or the HD800. In the end, I wound up with the LCD-X - there's something about the effortless way the LCD-X renders vocals which won me over - though if I could afford both, I'd have gotten a HD800 as well in a heartbeat; the soundstage offered by the HD800 is the largest and most wonderful I've ever heard, and it does just about everything right.

 

That being said - even a new pair of HD800s will leave you a grand for a DAC/amp. I owned a Benchmark DAC1 for a decade or so - it retails at $995, leaving you with $5 left over for an album. The Benchmark is about as neutral as they come, and the integrated headphone amp is excellent - they should serve you well for years.

 

Some claim that a very neutral headphone+very neutral dac/amp sounds too bright - well, you may also find it to be so, but if you are not opposed to EQ on principle, it seems like a good idea to ensure your starting point is as close to being 'right' (As in, sonically - not necessarily according to your taste) as you possibly can get it, then EQ from there - at least to me. :)

post #44 of 72

This one is pretty easy, IMO.

 

Headphone, Used HD800 - $1000

Amp, Bottlehead Mainline - $1200

DAC, Budget Audio GD offering, several to choose from (buy used on these forums) - $300 or less

post #45 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by linglingjr View Post
 

You shouldn't have any problem finding a HD800 for less than $950-1050 if you're up for bidding on a used pair on ebay.

Well I don't trust ebay. I've had quite a few problems with them before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by whirlwind View Post
 

I recently bought a used pair for $950 from here at the b/s/t forums....they are in beautiful shape.

 

also maybe consider an amp from 2359 glenn.....here is the thread....http://www.head-fi.org/t/600110/2359glenn-studio         you could ask questions......I hear he makes killer otl amps and will build one for your HD800....you may have to wait for it for awhile, though.

Oh wow. The lowest I've seen is 1200

 

Great suggestion! Thanks for the input!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OddE View Post
 

Hi,

 

The HD800 is a terrific headphone - I spent quite a while agonizing over whether I should go with an Audeze offering or the HD800. In the end, I wound up with the LCD-X - there's something about the effortless way the LCD-X renders vocals which won me over - though if I could afford both, I'd have gotten a HD800 as well in a heartbeat; the soundstage offered by the HD800 is the largest and most wonderful I've ever heard, and it does just about everything right.

 

That being said - even a new pair of HD800s will leave you a grand for a DAC/amp. I owned a Benchmark DAC1 for a decade or so - it retails at $995, leaving you with $5 left over for an album. The Benchmark is about as neutral as they come, and the integrated headphone amp is excellent - they should serve you well for years.

 

Some claim that a very neutral headphone+very neutral dac/amp sounds too bright - well, you may also find it to be so, but if you are not opposed to EQ on principle, it seems like a good idea to ensure your starting point is as close to being 'right' (As in, sonically - not necessarily according to your taste) as you possibly can get it, then EQ from there - at least to me. :)

I've had a couple people suggest the benchmark dac1 but I would need the usb version which is another 100 dollars so I don't know if that would be my best decision though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Failed Engineer View Post
 

This one is pretty easy, IMO.

 

Headphone, Used HD800 - $1000

Amp, Bottlehead Mainline - $1200

DAC, Budget Audio GD offering, several to choose from (buy used on these forums) - $300 or less

I would want a better dac and upgrade the amp later. I'll probably get the DAC-100 for starters and go from there.

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