How far can $1863USD take you? Sennheiser HD-800 + CANTATE.2
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niemion

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If you're in a hurry, just read this:

Sennheiser HD-800 + CANTATE.2

Can you recommend this combo, or can I get something better for the same amount? Or less?

I've heard so much positive about the HD-800 and Jan Meier's service as well, that I'm seriously considering it. I can't find much info on the CANTATE.2 though.

The long story, if you're not in a hurry:

I'm moving to a smaller place, so that was the speakers. Bye bye. I want better sound. Bose headset, bye bye. With the money earned from the sales I think $1863USD is the absolute max amount I'm going to spend on a phone + AMP/DAC.

Main use is music (Kraftwerk, Moloko, Diana Krall, Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel, Jeff Buckley, The Cure, Lisa Ekdahl, Sophie Zelmani, Anne Linnet, can't get enough of them female vocals) and the main source will be my computer. Onboard audio is what I have now, we'll have to fix that.

I have listened to stock Denon AH-D2000 and stock AH-D5000 (through CAMBRIDGE 840A v.2). I liked the D5000 quite a lot, and preferred it by margins to D2000. I also tried the Sennheiser 650 which I liked too, still I fancied the D5000 more. The 650 was a bit more dull, but I think I might appreciate the 'broing' sound in the long round. Today I tried the Grado GS1000. Too much 'ssss', too forward I think you call it.

Unfortunately I can't try the HD-800 and the CANTATE.2 anywhere in the neighbourhood. I would like to try the D7000, but the last ones just got reserved so I have to wait a week or so before that's possible,
 
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XXII

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Don't you have a DAC left over from your speaker rig? Why do you need a amp/dac?

In any case, if you're set on the HD800, I would try find $200-300 to spend.
$460 for an amp and a DAC that would do the HD800 justice is a bit tight.
 
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niemion

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XXII, speaker rig is sold. I need an AMP/DAC combo, I guess, because something will have to feed the phones. Source is FLAC's and 320's MP3's from my PC with onboard soundcard.
 
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koven

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If you must have the HD800's, I'd suggest investing more in the source and amp to get the most out of the headphones. If that is your absolute highest, I would distribute the spending more evenly.. maybe HD650, then you have about $1500 left to split between the DAC and amp.
 
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niemion

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#2 and #4

Spending a little more is always easy, but what makes the CORDA CANTATE.2 a bad HD800 partner?
 
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XXII

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I don't know how the Cantate would sound with the HD800 but I feel that for slightly more you can get a rig that would really be worthy e.g.

Pico DAC+ Gilmore lite, M3,...

I've had a brief look at the FS forums and you would have loads of options.
 
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panda

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all purchased used:

bel canto dac 2
headamp gs-1
grado rs-1

you will be in sheer bliss...
 
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XXII

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Quote:

Originally Posted by panda /img/forum/go_quote.gif
all purchased used:

bel canto dac 2
headamp gs-1
grado rs-1

you will be in sheer bliss...



Very hard to find a used gs-1
 
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JaZZ

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I would go for the HD 800 + Cantate option in your case and for your budget. A used Opera instead of the Cantate probably would be even better, though.
.
 
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JaZZ

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Quote:

Originally Posted by XXII /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...$460 for an amp and a DAC that would do the HD800 justice is a bit tight.


Quote:

Originally Posted by koven /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you must have the HD800's, I'd suggest investing more in the source and amp to get the most out of the headphones. If that is your absolute highest, I would distribute the spending more evenly.. maybe HD650, then you have about $1500 left to split between the DAC and amp.


For the record: niemion wants the best sound for $1863, not «do the HD 800 justice». And I can imagine that his initial idea be right, also in view of the HD 800 as a sonic ideal. Of course with better electronics it will sound even better, but with the given restriction...

If I had to decide between HD 800 + Cantate and HD 650 + $1500 electronics, it would be an easy choice – in favor of the former.
.
 
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XXII

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaZZ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If I had to decide between HD 800 + Cantate and HD 650 + $1500 electronics, it would be an easy choice – in favor of the former.


I don't think HD 800 + Cantate would (necessarily) sound better than HD 650 + $1500. But I agree that getting the HD 800 + Cantate would present a clear upgrade path for the OP (i.e. ditch the Cantate).

Besides, I'm not convinced that the Cantate is even the best choice at his price point.
 
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niemion

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Quote:

Besides, I'm not convinced that the Cantate is even the best choice at his price point.


What do you suggest XXII?

I'm looking at the Cantate because Meier offers a reduction of 25% his amps IF you buy it with the HD800.

If the Symphony is clearly the better choice then I'll have to wait a bit. It's 3x the price of the Cantate, so it really has to be the BETTER choice. And if the Symphony is a good buy, then with 25% discount must be a great buy?
 
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vkvedam

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Did you try to get in touch with Dr Meier? They have got HD 800 in their hands.
 
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niemion

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vkv, yes we have mailed back and fourth the last couple of days.

I started this thread to find out if the money could be better spent elsewhere.
 
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cswann1

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According to Skylab the Symphony is in another league than the Contate2.


I think too much is made over amp's personally. Granted the HD800 is reported to be much less forgiving than other headphones due to it's transparency. I think you would likely be very happy with this combo, provided you have studied what others have written about the HD800's characteristics and are sure that it is something you would like. Some Head-Fiers say that they admire them but prefer other phones that may not be as neutral or transparent.
 
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