Been lurking around the forum for years now and finally have the sense and knowledge to ask a question.
Specifically, I would like to know what headphone/amplifer set-up people think would be optimal for listening to Greatful Dead bootlegs. One must bear in mind that the quality of the source material ranges from crystal clear digital soundboard feeds to 40 year old audience recordings. www.archive.net has over 2000 shows available for download in a variety of formats if your interested in perusing the quality of the source material available. I currently have the shows stored as apple lossless in iTunes and they are cycled in and out of my iPod for car and portable listening.
As far as portable use goes, I'm looking forward to getting a pair of the Super-Fi 5pros when the come out, however I am looking for something at home as well.
My Mac has a toslink digital out, so the source can be sent to an external DAC. As such I would be looking for a system which includes all of the pieces. Perhaps a budget($500), midline($1000), and audiophile (??) breakout? The other item I would be interested in knowing is if I should go the tube route to smooth out the sound or stick with solid state throughout? Thanks for your adivce and help.
Some more info on my set-up... I forgot that I had a B&K AVP1030 preamp in my basement. I pulled it out and have set up a toslink optical -> digital coax converter so that I can use the B&K DAC (The only type of digital input the unit has is coax) and have it amp the phones.
I've thought about getting a pair of the 650's but my concern is that they may be too dark and make the sound too heavy. However, they are definately on my list. Conversely I'm worried about getting a pair of Grado 225, 325, RS-2, RS-1 because they may be too bright and make the audince recordings painful to listen to.
As such I was wondering what people thought about the suitability of pairing the 650s to my B&K AVP1030 front end and if there are better pairings out there. Also would be interested to know if I should should run a mini -> RCA instead of the optical to coax conversion. Thanks