First set of Head-Fi Cans: what should they be?
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Potting

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Hi to Everyone,
 
This is my first post. I live in Devon, England. My current hifi is a Cambridge Audio and Kef combo. I used to enjoy listening to my Walkman back in the early 90s with my beloved Sony MDR-A40 headphones attached. These were stolen and I never got over it. I'd still love to find another pair. I haven't really used cans much since. I began thinking about Hi Res files and FLAC/WAV in general, and how this is a route to getting closer to the mastertapes than ever before. Whilst I love vinyl, it's not the same if it's not studio vinyl and even then, one tiny scratch and things are ruined. CD and even SACD seems limited compared to Hi Res. I began researching the idea of a NAD M2 DD amplifier or perhaps some active digital speakers (Meridian) as a route to hifi heaven, i.e. being able to produce a sound that contains more information than CD/Vinyl/SACD. Friends thought me a little strange to want to go so far - "you won't be able to hear the difference". However, I am lucky in having sensitive hearing up to 30khz (tested), so great hifi is of real benefit to my ears (and heart). I was keen on the Meridian route but not so keen on a pre-amp. Why should the digital monitors need a pre amp? Adding boxes gets away from the purity of digital speakers in terms of simplicity. If I'm going to have a pre-amp hanging around, I may as well have a poweramp and go the Chord monoblock route I thought. Then I began reading about what drives the NAD M2 and realised the beauty of their solution, keeping the signal in the digital realm throughout. So, a £10k NAD solution or a £30k Meridian solution and neither being ideal. Then after more reading, I realised that what might produce the ideal musical and set-up solution might be the best cans I could find, driven by a headphone amp/DAC, with files at 24/196.
 
My taste in music (like many others) is varied. I have read a lot of reviews on this, and other sites, and was keen on a pair of LCD 3s. However, I did read one review that intimated a dislike towards classical and jazz from these cans. If this is true, they (is it?), they'd be useless to me, as I couldn't live without piano concertos and classical in general. I couldn't live without Coltrane either. So I'm left in a quandry about what to audition and buy. I don't have tonnes of money but I am prepared to spend whatever is necessary to max my enjoyment of music from cans. The cans would need to play classical, jazz, rock, folk, acoustic, ambient, pop and plumb the depths of Massive Attack/Leftfield et al. as well as giving a resounding recital of Public Enemy; Bring the Noise indeed. I wouldn't have a clue what amp/dac to pair them to, but this amp would have to be laptop friendly, to do justice to the Hi Res files it supplied. And it would also have to be semi-portable; think coffee table next to sofa, bed, desktop, as well as being able to supply an integrated Cambridge amp with a pre-amped feed from my laptop. Not that I envisage using the monitors much once some cans are procured.
 
I don't live in a major city and most retailers are at least a few hours drive away, hence me trying to narrow down what I 'should' be interested in.
 
Please excuse my rambling post.
 
Regards,
Simon.
 
P.S. I purchased some Bayerdynamix 160ie IEMs for my Nexus 5 (running KitKat OS) yesterday after spending a wonderful afternoon listening to Radio 3 (whilst playing snooker) on an old pair of walkman phones supplied with a portable CD player. Not expensive, but they had good reviews, would fit into a pocket easily and be not overspecified for a smartphone. Is there a better performing music player app for KitKat Android, other than the OEM stock player? Perhaps that old pair of CD player phones has started something expensive!?
 
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ostewart

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Neutron is the best music app for sound quality. Not for UI though.
 
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post-10618025
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Potting

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Thanks, I'll check that in the Play store.
 
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