Getting office set up, what makes sense?
Feb 26, 2006 at 10:55 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
I am planning to put together an office set up and trying to figure out what makes most sense. I have about 900$, but I want to set aside about 300-350$ for upcomimg E500 or smth good for rock music (maybe Grado), hence I am looking to spend ~500-600$ right now. I am thinking of using my EMU optical out and I like SM3 a lot, so I am thinking about dedicated DAC. I could also get some higher level headphones, smth like RS1 or smth else, but I would not have time for very critical listening and I am very content with the ones I have (I hope K701s will get here some day before I retire).

Reading some posts here, I was pretty struck by Presonus Central Station and for 400$ it sounds like a very sweet deal. I have no idea whether its amps will be any upgrade/change from SM3 (I doubt it), but the dac alone was compared favorably to DAC1. Plus I can hook up active speakers to it as well.

Other options might be VDA2 or Dack! or maybe even Aria or Micro DAC (although in this case EMU will be pretty useless). In the latter case, I could get the whole Micro Stack, but that does not seem to make any sense as I already have SM3. It does not sound, though, like any of these DACs would necessarily be a big improvement over Central Station, but would cost more for less options.

Alternatively, I could get a stationary amp, maybe Millet or Gilmore or one of Headroom amps.

Anyhow, I am looking to get some variety in my listening, that's my first preference, and maybe having Millet plus SM3 will be a good deal, while DAC would really not do much? Or maybe Central Station is a way to go? Let me know.
 
Feb 27, 2006 at 8:03 AM Post #2 of 5

mikeliao

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Posts
447
Likes
13
Location
San Francisco
Which headphones/amp/source is very dependent on personal taste, so there's going to be a lot of different opinions on how to spend $500-900.

For an office system, other factors you might want to consider are:

1. Open/closed phones - do you need to be able to hear others or can you close out the world?
2. Safety - ummm, do things go missing in your office? If so, maybe you want something smaller that you can lock up in a drawer, or a portable system.
3. Comfort - are you wearing it all day at work or do you need to take it on and off all the time?
4. Desk space - cubical dweller or corner office?
5. Geek factor - how appreciative are your co-workers of your love for music?

I used to work in an open office layout. Things occassionaly go missing from my desk so I went the portable/stashable setup with closed AKG271, PPA/Cosmic, PCDP/MP3. Since I managed everyone else in the room, they already made fun of me anyway so the geek factor wasn't an issue.

Now I have a private office with a lockable door. A full sized CDP, tube amp, and HD595 sit on the side desk. I pay everyone's salaries so people who don't appreciate my headphone geekiness either keeps it quiet or they can go find another job.

Oh...and CD's go missing really fast no matter how you lock things up.
 
Feb 28, 2006 at 3:30 PM Post #3 of 5

visia

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 16, 2004
Posts
589
Likes
11
Thanks for the reply! I'll have a separate office, so sound leakage and security should not be an issue. The same goes for geek factor and space.

Looking through a bunch of threads, two DACs seem like great bang for the buck:

1) Presonus Central Station - ~400$
2) maxed Zhaolu 1.3 - ~450$

both were mentioned as at least approaching being comparable to "standards" in <1000$ category (Ack Dack!, VDA2, Benchmark DAC1).

Alternatively, I could go stationary ampr route

3) PPA, Gilmore Lite - 250-400$

or maybe try a tube amp:

4) HR Millet sounds very interesting.

I am really looking for something that would provide the most upgrade over what I currently have and also provide perhaps some extension to the sound signature, maybe something more laid back with more bass compared to my current set up, but not necessarily. If I go route 1-3, I will also have some bucks left to get 1-2 pairs of nice headphones, but I am not going that route until I receive K701 and have a chance to listen to it.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top