I apologize for changing the subject of this thread mid-stream. I decided it was better than spamming the forum with a second post.
I have a pair of HD598's with a Fiio E07K. For some reason I've never been able to to duplicate the sound I get out of my old Sony receiver. I have an Audioengine D3 on order (that may do it).
After thinking about it this last week - I'm willing to spend up to $1,500 for a good setup that I won't want to upgrade. I don't have interest in owning 15 sets of headphones - just something that will get me really close to my music. I prefer to buy used better equipment over new. If a $600 setup can get me to the point I can barely tell the difference between it and a $1,500 setup - I would pick the $600 setup over the $1,500. (I considered going up to just the HD600 or HD650 - but based on everything I read many people prefer the 598's over the 600 or 650.)
These songs probably accurately reflect my music taste
Children of the sun - Dead can dance
Juke Box Hero - Foreigner
Herb Alper - Rise
Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
Fox Capture Plan - 疾走する閃光
It is important that my setup is semi mobile. Right now I'm living remotely to take advantage of low cost of living while working. Sometimes I work from my flat - others I go to a co-workspace. I don't mind hauling gear if there's a big gap between quality / cost ratio of super portable vs barely portable. (My laptop weighs 10 pounds).
My music source will be an HP mobile workstation most likely streaming Spotify or Tidal (have not been able to tell a difference with my current setup).
Here are my current setup thoughts
1 - Grado RS1i.
Pros - listed as a great jazz headphone in the jazz headphones thread (only one < $1,000 with a great rating). $500 used & supposed to be easy to drive (Audioengine D3 would probably be fine?). May hold it's value since it's discontinued.
Cons - Seems niche (don't see anyone using it as their main headphone). Not sure about comfort (may be wearing headphones 6 hours a day). Look breakable (I tend to be hard on things)
2 - HD 800.
Pros - This is the clear upgrade path from the 598's. Half of the reviews on the 600 & 650's state that people prefer the 598's. Based on the definitive headphone flagship shootout thread - the HD 700's are a questionable upgrade over the 650. No one argues that the HD 800 is a big upgrade. Probably really comfortable (love my 598 comfort).
Cons - Listed as average on the best headphones for Jazz thread. Not sure what I would need to drive it appropriately.
3 - LCD 3.
Pros - Pretty much uncontested winner across all genres by all audiophiles in this list. Won't have to worry about headphone upgrades after this.
Cons - I feel like a ****** for not being an audiophile & willing to drop this kind of money on a pair of cans. Entire budget taken up by headphones - probably wind up driving them with Audioengine D3.
I'm leaning towards the LCD 3 or the RS1i. Is the LCD 3 on an Audioengine DAC / AMP going to sound comp to a $1,000 used HD 800 with a $500 DAC / Amp? This is kinda time sensitive as I have about a 2 - 3 week window to get them sourced in the states before I leave again.
Open to other suggestions ...
(This was my original post)
tl;dr - I love the sound I get out of my Sony Receiver streaming from my Roku Box on HD598 headphones. How can I re-create this with my computer (I already have an FiiO e07k)?
I purchased a set of Sansui speakers with an old Sony receiver (Sony STR-D1090?) at a garage sale for $50. A few years later I got a pair of HD598 headphones (in love with them). Based on everything I read - I needed a built in Amp + Dac so I got that for my laptop. It was nice but not much (if any) better than my Galaxy S4.
One day I went home and plugged it into my Sony receiver out of the blue with my original Roku box streaming some Jazz from Pandora and I couldn't put the headphones down. I have no idea WHAT made the sound difference but it was huge. I tried hard to find sound differences between Tidal, Spotify & Pandora off of my E07K & heard nothing (probably I'm not sensitive enough to tell the difference) but I'd really really like to figure out how to recreate the sound off the receiver.
It felt like things came thru that normally didn't and everything had a fuller sound without being louder. On a good violin - when you pluck the string it reverberates for a long time - it builds to it's peak then falls off it's peak (but still continues to give echos of the sound). On a cheap one the sound is a muffled dud a bit. It produces the sound but doesn't echo truly and falls off quickly. This is really the only way I can describe the sound differences.
I have up to $500 to spend (would like to keep it a lot less than that :P). Based on what I'm reading (and have heard) my 598's are capable of producing the sound I want. I just need to get a different DAC / Amp? Does it have something to do with the 3.5 vs 6.3MM headphone jack?
Audioengine D3 or Apogee GROOVE Portable USB DAC?
Edited by rdnkjdi - 8/12/15 at 10:40pm