hope has returned, I'm making decisions :D
Nov 3, 2008 at 7:44 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

spanks

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Hello everyone. This will be my second possible adventure into things. I settled on a pair of sr225's some time ago, and didn't enjoy them enough over my hd-555's to keep them.

They made my ears sore (the outside), and while I liked the sound signature...I felt it was only a teaser of what the grado sound really was. While the hd-555's are a bit more muddy and arguably not as nice as the 225's...I still enjoyed them more. I listened to the 225's just about non stop without trying the hd-555's again for a couple weeks...went back to the 555's and was saddened to find a better sound. They seem fuller and more pronounced bass, and an overall more immersive sound.

I like lots of different genres, but mostly indie rock and punk rock stuff I guess.

Okkervil River
Mountain Goats
Modest Mouse
White Stripes
Dead Kennedies
Pink Floyd
Spoon
The Shins
Social D
Ratatat
Neil Young
Simon and Garfunkel
The Beatles
Hendrix
Interpol
Gorillaz
Clapton
Elliot Smith


Ok sorry for the spew of bands I like...but I'm bad at picking "favorites" and equally bad at describing music and genres.

Anyways.

My setup at the moment. Xonar DX + HD -555's. The Xonar DX is new with my computer, and is a substantial improvement over the soundblaster card I had.

However, I'm looking for a huge shocking Oh My God I can't believe this is the same music kind of change.

Cans I'm interested but open for suggestions -
DT-990's
Sennheiser hd-600 or 650's
no grados (I wanna hear some other stuff, nothing against em)

And I really want to get an amp this time too. I would like to get a tube amp because they're awesome, but if there is a better suggestion than I will consider it.

Do I need a DAC as well if I want this good of other components? I understand that using the digital out from the Xonar works pretty well, but a dedicated DAC works better...getting pricey though if I need a DAC also.

I'm completely lost when it comes to amps...I'm lost in general lol.

I am not against picking up used stuff, but would prefer new. If I am completely lost with what I'm thinking please set me straight.

Here's the magic number...$500-$600 if possible, I will contemplate higher if its justified. I have a bday and Christmas is coming..and I've got money as well. I just really want to make this happen.

Thanks for the help guys..sorry to make yet another one of these threads, but I am still lost after hours of reading and digging.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 2:38 AM Post #2 of 14

spanks

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ok. I think I've narrowed it down a bit.

I'm going to when I get a chance try to give the hd-650's a listen at a local hi fi shop...I haven't been there before, and hopefully I can see if I like them. I have thoroughly enjoyed my hd-555's, but a friend tells me that the hd-650's aren't the same sound signature as the 555's and 595's.

The dt-990's and the hd-650's seem to be pretty dissimilar. I can't find anywhere local that I could listen to the beyers.

As far as amps go, I'm thinking the darkvoice 336se, or the older 336si model would be a good amp for me to start out with? Does it pair well with the 650's?

At a slightly higher price point I have read that the KICAS pairs very well.

Since I will 100% be using these for computer use (racing sim and music primarily and normal use), should I look into a ZERO DAC/Amp as well?

Are the hd-650's too demanding for me to get into with this level of stuff? I have seen 2-3k$ rigs with the 650's...I'm no where near that level.

I'm 19 and I want to start a foundation for a rig that I can keep with me forever and build upon, or at least get my start. I am willing to buy used if I can increase the overall quality of the setup.

Thanks for any advice!
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 3:54 AM Post #3 of 14

tintin47

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Quote:

Originally Posted by spanks /img/forum/go_quote.gif
ok. I think I've narrowed it down a bit.

I'm going to when I get a chance try to give the hd-650's a listen at a local hi fi shop...I haven't been there before, and hopefully I can see if I like them. I have thoroughly enjoyed my hd-555's, but a friend tells me that the hd-650's aren't the same sound signature as the 555's and 595's.

The dt-990's and the hd-650's seem to be pretty dissimilar. I can't find anywhere local that I could listen to the beyers.

As far as amps go, I'm thinking the darkvoice 336se, or the older 336si model would be a good amp for me to start out with? Does it pair well with the 650's?

I'm 19 and I want to start a foundation for a rig that I can keep with me forever and build upon, or at least get my start. I am willing to buy used if I can increase the overall quality of the setup.

Thanks for any advice!



I was in a remarkably similar situation recently. I settled on the AKG 701s, because they have a sig somewhere in between the hd650s and the beyer dt880s. the 701s + my LD Mk III amp gave me that "whoa" feeling over the HD595s, so I am sure you wouldn't have a problem getting there from the 555s.

I know can't get the most out the phones with my amp right now but I am leaving it open for upgrade in the future, like you. My music taste is remarkably similar to yours, and I love the K701s. I don't think that it would be a problem to fall short of the full potential of whatever pair of phones you choose. That just means that you can upgrade when you want more.

If you are looking at the 6X0's, though, I have heard that both DV and LD amps pair very nicely with them. I don't think that you could go wrong with that combo. Just make sure that you audition both the 600 and the 650, because I like the 600 a lot more than the 650, and I have heard that from other people as well. Just an issue of personal preference.

Also, DT880s and K701s can be had for around $300 new or lower. Same with the hd600s. That would leave you a nice $300 for an amp.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 5:05 AM Post #4 of 14

spanks

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thanks for the reply, that helped a lot!

I was somewhat intimidated by the 701's heavy demands on amping, but the 650's demand quite a bit as well...or a better way to say it maybe is they keep getting better the more you invest
biggrin.gif
I like that better.

You definitely gave me some more stuff to think about though, thanks.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 5:38 AM Post #5 of 14

xxbaker

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i've got the 650s and the darkvoice 336se as my amp. i use the zero as my dac. the dv sounds awesome with the 650.

i'd also recommend listening to the hd600 (assuming the store that has 650 also has 600) because as tintin said, some people prefer 600 over 650. hd650 can be had for 330 on j&r fyi.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 5:54 AM Post #6 of 14

atomiccow

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I haven't heard a Grado in a very long time (sr325i is the one I listened to). I heard the HD600 more recently (when I decided to purchase the HD650 over it). To me the HD600 had everything I hated about Grado's in it, and that was fatiguing treble. The HD650 smooths out the high end a lot compared to the HD600 which permits long listening sessions for me. Its not for everyone, its somewhat dark but more so warm IMO while the HD600 was bright and flat. I've also heard a K701 and for me that was middle ground between the HD650's warmth and the HD600's brightness. It still fatigued me a bit but was tolerable.

I think I'm really a person with sensitive ears and can't take shrill treble very well.

As for amps, I don't think the HD650 is a phone that requires a "perfect synergy" amp to sound good. I think it sounds good as long as it has enough power driving it (which is quite a hefty amount). The HD650 is really my cup of tea
beyersmile.png
.

My KICAS Caliente is on the way, I'll tell you how it goes with my HD650.
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 10:21 AM Post #9 of 14

olblueyez

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650 is easy to amp, Whiplash has a pre-built Starving Student amp for 180 dollars that is the cats ass. 650 also comes with a nice OEM cable. Those should fit in your budget, the amp is American and easy as hell for just about anyone to repair and you can experiment with tube rolling. Just find a quick, dynamic, bassy set of tubes for your musical taste and party on dude.

http://www.whiplashaudio.com/index.p...amplifier.html

http://cgi.ebay.com/KECES-DA-151-USB-DAC-never-sounded-so-good-on-computer_W0QQitemZ150307893556QQcmdZViewItem?hash= item150307893556&_trkparms=72%3A1205|39%3A1|66%3A2 |65%3A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
 
Nov 4, 2008 at 8:53 PM Post #10 of 14

spanks

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Starving student amp is awesome...definitely adding that to the list.

I need to audition some cans and then I can start making more decisions.

Sadly I think that dac is going to be out of my price range for now. Would it be worth it to get a cheaper DAC for now, or would it be fine to just run off my Xonar DX for a while?

Xonar DX -> starving student amp -> cans
Xonar DX -> something like a zero DAC/AMP -> starving student -> cans

If I get the zero I'm not too sure I'd wind up upgrading. Does the KECES make that big of a difference? I could try to keep my eye out on the used section and pick up some deals and try to get all 3 maybe.

Thanks everyone for the replies! This holiday season is gonna kick ass
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 4:21 AM Post #11 of 14

spanks

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Well, I have done a lot more reading around today and I've decided on this so far.

1) Whiplash Starving Student amp

2) KECES dac, hopefully finding one used and in nice shape
smily_headphones1.gif


3) I'm hoping to love the hd-650's when I go listen to them...I hold high hopes. I'd also pick these up used.

200 (amp + shipping guess) + 235-ish? (DAC + shipping used) + 250-ish for the hd-650's = lets round up to 700...I did say I'd go a bit over I guess
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 8:52 AM Post #13 of 14

Anouk

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Hey, Well I really recommend auditioning some headphones. I myself vastly preferred the akg k701 over the sennheiser hd650 because, to me the senns sounded pretty recessed in the mids, and they were much too dark for me. I would really try to listen to a lot of cans before buying or buying at a place that has a return policy. the dt880 and akg k701 are quite similar in sound sig imho and the akg k701 sounded more magica lto me...
Greetings, Anouk,
 
Nov 5, 2008 at 9:22 AM Post #14 of 14

olblueyez

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650 is magic when driven with a proper amp. The 650 is like being in the recording studio, and the AKG is like being at a live concert hall. 701 also produced a lot of fatigue for me and was very uncomfortable. They do sound different but the Senn is more natural sounding and more comfortable sonically and physically.
 

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