amp/headphone pair for 1000-1500
May 12, 2008 at 9:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14


May 12, 2008
Hi guys,

I'm going to be spending a lot of time abroad in a rented room that doesn't really allow any loud music, so I suppose I am limited to headphones. I have 1500, but will prefer 1000 if possible for both the amp and headphones combined. I understand that the combinations are endless, which is why I would like to consult you knowledge and experiences on this matter.

Thanks for you help
May 12, 2008 at 9:46 PM Post #2 of 14
You need to give more information, dude. It's impossible to give a recommendation when we don't know what music you listen to, what sound signature you prefer, whether you want open or closed, etc.
May 12, 2008 at 9:53 PM Post #4 of 14
Stax 2020 combo. Easily transportable, awesome sound to best any moving-coil and amp combo under $1500 and well under $1000 itself. Go forth and pick one from the electrostatic orchard.
May 12, 2008 at 10:00 PM Post #5 of 14
Sorry guys, I should know the drill by now. Various stuff - Jazz (both ensemble and vocal), Classic Rock, Contemporary Rock, Classical (orchestral), alternative rock, all types of softer stuff and there are days I will feel for metal. Basically, no rap, R+B, country.

Sound signature: prefer something not overly bright - no klipsch sound.

Hope that fills in some of the gaps
May 12, 2008 at 10:08 PM Post #6 of 14
Hmm... maybe Senn HD650 as the headphone. What is your source going to be, because that's the most vital link in the chain? Definitely spare a few hundred for a decent DAC.

You can get the HD650 for around $300 new right now.
May 12, 2008 at 10:11 PM Post #7 of 14
How about a Pico with Ultrasone Proline 750. The 750s are pretty versatile. Not the biggest soundstage but good enough for the classical music in small bites. Not harsh at all and killer bass that extends very far. The 750s also can fold up for portability. This combo is well within your budget. I'm assuming you are already set for a source since you didn't mention it. If it is an iPod, I highly recommend you get yourself an LOD to feed whatever amp you decide on.
May 12, 2008 at 10:37 PM Post #8 of 14
The source...well...actually I'm looking to change my current source. The story is that I originally spent around 4k on my speakers and amp+pre, but then found out that I would be away from home town for a long while, so I never did end up buying a decent source. Thus, for the remainder of time until I left, I was using a $25 used panasonic. I'm looking to get a new cd player as well, but wasnt sure if it is beyond the scope of this forum. If anyone has any suggestion on that that will suit my current system AND the future headphone system.

Audio Note ANJ/Spe
Audio Note 300B single ended triode 8wpc, moded with Black gate caps and tantalum resisters
Audio Note M1 preamp, moded with black gate caps (in the line stage)
May 12, 2008 at 11:43 PM Post #9 of 14
Audio technica AD2000 with Gilmore lite + DPS. done
May 13, 2008 at 12:21 AM Post #10 of 14
If you need a source, then why not one of the DAC/amp combos? The PreSonus Central Station is excellent and runs $500. The Benchmark DAC1 is also quite good at $1,000. I assume you have a laptop, so you could also skip carrying a bunch of CDs along.

For headphones, I'd go with a Sennheiser HD-600 or HD-650, depending on which appeals most. And I'd also toss in a Grado SR-60. They're perfect on-the-go and for when you need to rock out with a Grado.
May 13, 2008 at 1:00 AM Post #11 of 14
starting with benchMark DAC1 is a good choice. However, if you use with laptop, I recommend you need to seek the DAC1 USB(USB is the best for laptop or PC). If not, you need to invest some more money for a good interconnection cable.
If you doesn't want to upgrade your gears, then go for pico with USB and buy some nice phones like HD650, ath-w5000(my favorite now, go and grab it in the for sale forum with the price 475$ , you can't get w5000 with that price frequently)., ad2000(however, with the price 475$ ath-w5000 beat ad2000), grado rs1
May 13, 2008 at 1:38 AM Post #13 of 14
used Grace M902>Sennheiser HD650. Nice DAC, Very Nice AMP, and a really nice pair of headphones!!!!! Question is whether you can find a used Grace cuz they don't pop up too often.

Good Luck!
May 13, 2008 at 4:43 PM Post #14 of 14
Thanks for the replies so far.

It appears that some of these brands are difficult to find to audition! Before your suggestion, I didn't even know some of these companies existed. Does anyone know of any tube based output amp/DAC combos? The rest of my system is largely tube run, so I would like to keep it consistent if possible.

Thanks again for your help

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