headphones vs speakers
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Tom M

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I heard that headphones can give you better sound for the money than speakers. I guess they mean that you would have to spend much more to get the same quality sound that you can get with a decent pair of headphones. If this is true what are we talking about in terms of headphone price vs speaker price?
 
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Nick Dangerous

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Hrm... I'm guessing 1x headphone expenditures = 3x in equivalent speaker equipment if DIY, 5x if bought retail.
 
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Dev

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Ya, it's a philosophic question
.

To pay great money for great sound, or to pay smaller money for even better sound...

Just a different things
.
 
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andrzejpw

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nick probably has it right. . . may be a bit higher though. ..
 
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Dusty Chalk

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I would think it's more like 10x...I mean, you gotta take into account the speaker amp vs. headphone amp thing, too...
 
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john_jcb

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You give up soundstage and with better speaker systems there is a physic presence to the bass that you cannot produce with headphones. For the money though you cannot come close to headphone systems.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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I'm sticking to my multiplier estimations. After investing a certain minimum in a speaker system, the advantages of "out of head" imaging start to overtake the advantages of headphones.

Case in point: Oris 200 is $6250... 1/3 of that is about $2100. That's about enough for a Twin Head, HD-600, Equinox (or Cardas) cable, modded ART DI/O, and CD transport. I'd still take the Oris, but at 33% of the price the headphone setup makes an excellent cost conscious alternative.

A reasonably close retail equivalent would be a Martin Logan electrostatic setup with one of John Curl's high current amp designs. With careful selection it could be done for $10,000... or 5x the base headphone cost.
 
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eric343

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Oh, did you finish the Oris?

But yeah, headphones have a bunch of advatages - cost, no worrying about placement (just stick 'em on your head), you can move around the room with 'em (or around the world, if it's a portable setup), the portable setups can be just as good as the home setup (case in point: Gilmore's PortaStax)...

But you do lose soundstage. A LOT of soundstage... Which I hate. But you do kind of get used to hearing the musicians perform on a stage inside your head...

Pink Floyd Live in the Cranium...
 
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AssafL

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Quote:

Case in point: Oris 200 is $6250... 1/3 of that is about $2100. That's about enough for a Twin Head, HD-600, Equinox (or Cardas) cable, modded ART DI/O, and CD transport. I'd still take the Oris, but at 33% of the price the headphone setup makes an excellent cost conscious alternative.


I build my loudspeakers using Focal drivers. Damn froggy drivers need an amplifier and source and cable and....

Unlike British paper drivers, I Guess
 
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Tuberoller

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Quote:

Originally posted by Nick Dangerous
I'm sticking to my multiplier estimations. After investing a certain minimum in a speaker system, the advantages of "out of head" imaging start to overtake the advantages of headphones.

Case in point: Oris 200 is $6250... 1/3 of that is about $2100. That's about enough for a Twin Head, HD-600, Equinox (or Cardas) cable, modded ART DI/O, and CD transport. I'd still take the Oris, but at 33% of the price the headphone setup makes an excellent cost conscious alternative.

A reasonably close retail equivalent would be a Martin Logan electrostatic setup with one of John Curl's high current amp designs. With careful selection it could be done for $10,000... or 5x the base headphone cost.



Nick,You are a man after my own heart.I think we love all the same stuff.I will one day find the time to do an Oris system.

I can tell you from auditions that a properly built Oris system sounds better than any Avante-Garde.I still say that loudspeaker imaging and soundstage are far more accurate and convincing than any headphone set-up I've heard and I've heard the best.The real price-performance advantages with headphone rigs seems to be concentrated to sonic detail.You must spend big bucks on a loudspeaker system to replicate the detail offered by a good headphone rig.
 
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Nick Dangerous

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eric343: Oris finished... aside from a few tweaks left to do. Love it! It's my other girlfriend.

AssafL: $6250 includes Lowther PM2A's, Oris 200 horns, bass cabinets, bass drivers, Cardas litz speaker cables, Outlaw interconnects, 2A3 monoblocks with Magnequest iron, tubes, high current solid state amp, bass filter, remote controlled passive preamp, Altus component stand, B-Tech gold plated switchbox with SVIDEO inputs, Monster HTS-2000 line conditioner/surge suppressor, DVD/CD source, and a modded Art DI/O DAC.

Basically everything.


Tuberoller: True. The aformentioned $2100 headphone setup will probably elicit a smidgen more microdynamic detail than my Oris rig... but then again, I have yet to receive my modded Art DI/O.

Sounds better than the $XX,XXX Avantgardes, aye? That seems to be the word on the streets these days...
 
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Dusty Chalk

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I guess my problem was that I ruled out any speakers that didn't go from around 20Hz to 20kHz, because headphones that can do that can be easily had. And that's an important criteria to me. If it isn't to you, well, then...there you go, eh? I was thinking along the lines of multiple thousand dollar speakers such as the Reimer Tetons or the Soliloquy 6.5s. Also looking forward to the new Reference 3A two- or three-way system coming out.

I chose high(er) sensitivity speakers because I think headphones resolve with much less power. This is on a subjective basis, not trying to match sensitivity for sensitivity. If you had a nice enough amp (say, MF A3^CR bi-amped, or some sort of AudioValve monoblock), then I would add that into the equation. If there's something significantly cheaper than the Reimer Tetons along those lines, I would happily add them to my "short list".
 
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"I would think it's more like 10x...I mean, you gotta take into account the speaker amp vs. headphone amp thing, too..."

I disagree. I'd say it's closer to 3X. Just look at the average cost of the headphome amps we use around here. You could get a pretty decent 2-channel 100 watt amp for the cost of a sugden. Heck, you could get a multichannel DD/DTS receiver for the cost of an mghead (ok maybe not a great one).

I definitely don't agree that the $350 Senn HD600 is equivalent to your "typical" $3500 loudspeaker, or even your typical $2000 loudspeaker.

My $2500 behemoths (PSB Stratus Goldis) are far better at most everything than my $4K Sony R10s. There ain't no comparison between the PSBs and the HD600.

IMO, the only reason to go with a headphone rig over a speaker-based system has nothing to do with cost-- it's all about having a dedicated listening area and understanding neighbors. If I had a house of my own, I'd sell my headphone rig and blast my PSBs. And some day, I will!

markl
 
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Dusty Chalk

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Quote:

Originally posted by markl
I disagree. I'd say it's closer to 3X. Just look at the average cost of the headphome amps we use around here.


Well, I didn't interpret the question as average vs. average. I interpreted the question as a well-thought-out, planned out, intentional, shopping expedition, as it should be. So comparing a full 5-channel receiver that may or may not allegedly sound bad to a Sugden Headmaster, which is pretty much almost guaranteed in writing to sound good, is not a fair comparison. I think only comparing what many of us consider bargains, or high-end bargains, to bargains is the only fair way to go.

HD600=240? + AudioValve RKV=800 (that's what I paid for mine, and that's what most of the used ones have gone for, IIRC) == 1040;

Reimer Tetons=US$7K + MF A3^CR Pre- and Power (or Manley Stingray) = US$2K == US$9K

Close enough.

Haven't heard the PSB Stratus Gold-i's, will listen to them (I do have a local dealer) and see if they compare with the HD600's. Looking at the spec's, I would be tempted to add a subwoofer. I would prefer an all-in-one speaker. The original question did include the phrase, "...you would have to spend much more to get the same quality sound..."

But like someone else said, it's comparing pomegranates to orangutangs.
 
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