Hi there. Long-term lurker. I have a few headphones -- Grado SR80s (no "i"), Sennheiser Momentums (the original over-the-ear version), Shure SRH 440s -- and have been considering a new set in the $300 range. When I listen to headphones it's nearly always from my Macbook Pro, using either iTunes or Audirvana, and it's usually over a DAC/Amp -- it was a Fiio Andes, but I've moved the Andes to the office (with the SRH 440s) and taken the Dragonfly DAC off my living room media center PC for use with the headphones, with a Schiit Bifrost coming to be the permanent living room DAC instead.
So: I was considering the NAD VISO HP50s (and could still be talked into that), but after listening to the SR80s again I'm reminded how much I just love their sound, and I'm considering getting new Grados, either the SR225e or SR325e. (I'm not willing to stretch my budget too far past that for the cans, I don't think.) But the question for all the more knowledgeable folk here I have is -- are Grados and a Dragonfly a reasonable combination? Should I contemplate saving up for a tube DAC/amp? (Probably the Schiit Vali and Modi combo, although if something else was in the same rough price range, it could be considered.)
I know this is asking for a lot of likely conflicting opinions, but I'm okay with that. :) If I get the SR325es -- or any other headphones, really -- I'm likely to stick with the Dragonfly for a couple paychecks past that as it is, but I'm curious whether there's a general consensus of "tube amps + Grados = love" or not, and whether the Vali and Modi would be a good combination for that.
Edited by Chipotle - 6/30/14 at 8:24pm