Help me spend $10k (or more) on a kickass rig
Jul 4, 2020 at 6:24 PM Post #61 of 94

ThanatosVI

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I am Not Sure if I recommended something in this thread a while ago, however personally I will aim for the following:

Meze Empyrean 3000€
Primaluna Evo 300 4150€
Rockna Wavelight DAC 4800€

This is already above 10k but it goes on
Rockna Wavelight Streamer 4-6000€

This is my Dream Setup
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 4:27 AM Post #62 of 94

Garak

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HeadAmp GS-X mini - $1800
Holo Audio Spring 2 - $2600
Abyss Diana V2 - $3000
ZMF Verite Closed - $2500

$100 left for some amazon basics cables :smile:
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 3:50 PM Post #63 of 94

Little Bear

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HeadAmp GS-X mini - $1800
Holo Audio Spring 2 - $2600
Abyss Diana V2 - $3000
ZMF Verite Closed - $2500

$100 left for some amazon basics cables :smile:

Agreed on the Mini - I bought one. Here's what I've bought so far:

Headamp GS-X Mini
ampsandsound Mogwai SE w/Jupiter caps
Bottlehead Crackatwoa OTL kit amp (not built yet)
HD 800S
ZMF Auteur (on order)

I'm really enjoying tubes. The Mogwai SE/HD800S pairing is nirvana with classical music. The Mini offers a little more detail, however.

I'll probably buy a Verite open as well, in the next LTD wood. I much prefer open back headphones.
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 4:11 PM Post #64 of 94

gimmeheadroom

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Toss a Mutec MC3+USB re-clocker on your list.

What does it do?

Yggdrasil v2 -> passive preamp with custom XA 25 with 4-PIN out -> Susvara

What?! Wait until Fried sees this post :wink:

P.S. No DSD no MQA no service :wink:

..

As far as the Oppo 205 goes it's pretty killer even for the stiff price we had to pay in Europe. I can't find fault with it except maybe it's more analytical with some recordings than I would like.

I'm surprised @dmdm didn't post in this thread; he has dumped a crapton of money on gear lately and probably has some helpful comments to make.
 
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Aug 2, 2020 at 4:38 PM Post #65 of 94

ThanatosVI

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What does it do?



What?! Wait until Fried sees this post :wink:

P.S. No DSD no MQA no service :wink:

..

As far as the Oppo 205 goes it's pretty killer even for the stiff price we had to pay in Europe. I can't find fault with it except maybe it's more analytical with some recordings than I would like.

I'm surprised @dmdm didn't post in this thread; he has dumped a crapton of money on gear lately and probably has some helpful comments to make.
Dmdm still "owes" us a lot of opinions and comparisons, I guess he is simply too busy enjoying all his new gear
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 4:46 PM Post #66 of 94

Little Bear

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As far as the Oppo 205 goes it's pretty killer even for the stiff price we had to pay in Europe. I can't find fault with it except maybe it's more analytical with some recordings than I would like.

Among disc players it's second to none. It's an audiophile DAC and analog stage coupled with a superb transport in a single chassis. Used ones are fetching $5k+ on ebay!
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 4:47 PM Post #67 of 94

gimmeheadroom

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Dmdm still "owes" us a lot of opinions and comparisons, I guess he is simply too busy enjoying all his new gear

yes I must agree. Before he had to unload all those boxes off the UPS truck he was posting more than me :D
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 4:48 PM Post #68 of 94

gimmeheadroom

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Among disc players it's second to none. It's an audiophile DAC and analog stage coupled with a superb transport in a single chassis. Used ones are fetching $5k+ on ebay!

I know, now I feel less bad I had to pay 2000 euros for mine when it was new when the Americans were paying around 1000 bucks.
 
Aug 2, 2020 at 5:27 PM Post #69 of 94

davesa

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Well, reading through the thread you have lots of options presented so far so I will add mine. Like you, I enjoyed my Audeze, except for me it was LCD-XC - when I tried a pair of LCD-4 I also did not care for them and they went back. I have not gone back to try other Audeze... my XC are a pair from before 2016 and I think I lucked out and have an amazingly good pair.

On the DAC side - I have a D90 that I just purchased and a Yggdrasil. I really like them both, and the D90 is not that much $$ if you want to try an AK4499, as well as a DAC that measures extremely well. I also think it sounds good in practice as well.

I recently bought a pair of Auteurs as well ( used ) to see if I found the ZMF headphones enjoyable, and I really did - they sound great off my Monoprice THX-887, which is an inexpensive, SS amp, which measures well. Since I just bought the D90, if I was doing it over I might buy the A90, to have a more matched set, and because I like the idea of an integrated power supply. You GS-X Mini has always been interesting to me and it seems like a great solid state option!

I also drive them with an LTA Z10e - which is a tube amp, that does traditional headphones, estats and speakers... something that might be interesting if you want to try estats...which I would recommend, specially since you like classical. the Stax Sr-009 is pretty amazing with classical, or any guitar heavy jazz.

I have a pair of Verite closed on order... since I liked the Auteurs so much and since I liked the look of the camphor burl... and a lot of my other headphones are open...

For my electronic listening the XC's, Dan Clack Ether 2, or Auteurs are really enjoyable - just depends on how I am feeling that day - I like mixing things up and listening to different songs on different headphones / amps to see the differences, and which help me get into the music best.
 
Aug 3, 2020 at 3:04 AM Post #73 of 94

gimmeheadroom

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Well, what are your questions?

Maybe you could list some of the gear you would buy again for a kickass rig up to 10K.

Smart people learn from their own mistakes. Brilliant people learn from other peoples' mistakes :D
 
Aug 3, 2020 at 7:26 AM Post #74 of 94

helljudgement

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There are probably 2 ways I'd go about doing this. The first is to focus all your attention on a single headphone and build your system around it. For reference. I'm running my verite off RME ADI 2 and a DNA Starlett (incoming).

With your budget, I'd probably go:
Headphone - ZMF Verite (2500 - 2700) (Depending on variant)
Amp - DNA Stellaris (6700)
Dac - RME ADI 2 Dac (1150) or Schiit Bifrost 2 (699)
*Note dac made the least difference to me so I probably go for one with functionalities that I'd actually use. But I am keen on trying Schiit Bifrost 2 (699) and the Rockna WaveDream so if that you have the budget to spare do take a look (6000 for SE, 8300 for XLR)*

Another option is to go with multiple headphones. Having a variety of headphones with different signature to choose from is probably be more fun in the long run.

Headphones - ZMF Verite (2500 - 2700), Focal Utopia (3990)
Amp - DNA Starlett (2000),
Dac - RME ADI 2 Dac (1150) or Schiit Bifrost 2 (699)

The Starlett matches very well with efficient dynamic headphones so it's hard for me to pass on this recommendation but if you plan on getting any planars it might be better off getting a more powerful amp. I've not tested much amps so can't make any solid recommendation. Of the headphones I've owned or tested, the zmf verite and focal utopia stood out the most to me. Granted I don't listen to a lot prog rock and jazz so do take that into consideration.
 
Aug 3, 2020 at 11:32 AM Post #75 of 94

Little Bear

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There are probably 2 ways I'd go about doing this. The first is to focus all your attention on a single headphone and build your system around it. For reference. I'm running my verite off RME ADI 2 and a DNA Starlett (incoming).

With your budget, I'd probably go:
Headphone - ZMF Verite (2500 - 2700) (Depending on variant)
Amp - DNA Stellaris (6700)
Dac - RME ADI 2 Dac (1150) or Schiit Bifrost 2 (699)
*Note dac made the least difference to me so I probably go for one with functionalities that I'd actually use. But I am keen on trying Schiit Bifrost 2 (699) and the Rockna WaveDream so if that you have the budget to spare do take a look (6000 for SE, 8300 for XLR)*

Another option is to go with multiple headphones. Having a variety of headphones with different signature to choose from is probably be more fun in the long run.

Headphones - ZMF Verite (2500 - 2700), Focal Utopia (3990)
Amp - DNA Starlett (2000),
Dac - RME ADI 2 Dac (1150) or Schiit Bifrost 2 (699)

The Starlett matches very well with efficient dynamic headphones so it's hard for me to pass on this recommendation but if you plan on getting any planars it might be better off getting a more powerful amp. I've not tested much amps so can't make any solid recommendation. Of the headphones I've owned or tested, the zmf verite and focal utopia stood out the most to me. Granted I don't listen to a lot prog rock and jazz so do take that into consideration.

I've definitely decided to go the multiple headphones route, and multiple amps, as I like variety. I only have one headphone so far (HD800S, with a ZMF Auteur on order), and it's already clear that for rock music they sound better with my GS-X Mini, whereas for classical they really shine better with my Mogwai SE. I like having multiple pairings to choose from, as it's more fun, as you say.

One major difference in my setup from most others is that I don't use a computer for streaming or file playing. 100% of my music is on disc formats, and 90% of that is high resolution formats (SACD, Blu-ray pure audio, DVD-Audio) which cannot be output from my player by any means other than HDMI or analog. That means that my DAC options are extremely limited. Basically I can use the extremely good DACs built into my UDP-205 (ESS 9038 Pro), or I can use an outboard DAC that accepts audio HDMI. The only two DACs I know of that have HDMI inputs are the Bryston BDA-3 and one or two of the Denafrips units. I like Bryston products, but anyone would have a hard time convincing me that any outboard DAC, aside from maybe the DAVE, would be an audible improvement over the superb performance of the Oppo. I'm certainly not going to spend $4k for the Bryston just to find out. I'm in the camp that says DACs make very little difference, if any, as long as they are competently designed. For that reason, my focus is entirely on just headphones and amps.

I really like the DNA tube amps, though I haven't heard them yet. If I didn't love the Mogwai so much, I'd be looking hard at a Stratus or Stellaris.
 
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