How much am I holding my headphones back?
Sep 8, 2009 at 11:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

iamthecheese

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My setup basically goes
mostly FLAC files -> x-fi platinum(I still play some games, but not as much as I used to. I used to play competitively but now I just play for fun.)-> Little Dot 1+ ->stock k601s, with about 500 hours on them.

I really enjoy the sound I have, but I'm sitting here wondering how much I'm missing?

Any input?
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 3:05 PM Post #3 of 9

Sennshead

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I run my hd650s from the same amp, and my only complaint is an issue of control. I'm not convinced that a portable solution exists that can maximize the potential of full-size phones
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 3:14 PM Post #4 of 9

TopPop

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I'd say the weak link is probably your amp. Can't comment on the source.

Some questions/comments:

1. Are you talking about the Little Dot 1+ (i.e. tube hybrid), or the Little Dot MK 1 (i.e. SS portable). If the former, have you tried tube rolling?

2. What cable are you using from the soundcard to the amp? Cables can make a difference.

3. Source, source, source. Again, I can't comment on your soundcard, because I haven't heard it, but it may be another weak link.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 4:03 PM Post #5 of 9

feifan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthecheese /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My setup basically goes
mostly FLAC files -> x-fi platinum(I still play some games, but not as much as I used to. I used to play competitively but now I just play for fun.)-> Little Dot 1+ ->stock k601s, with about 500 hours on them.

I really enjoy the sound I have, but I'm sitting here wondering how much I'm missing?

Any input?



If you're "wondering" enough to post a question here, then you're probably "missing" something. Head-fi gear is relative. Bad is bad. There's no getting around it. But good is a different story. There are degrees of good, and I think you become a headphile when you begin to pursue the ultimate good. The best.

The pursuit, too, differs in degrees, depending on your economic situation at the moment. But whether your wallet is thin or fat doesn't matter. Passion is all that counts. Most Head-Fiers make no distinctions among members. They're interested in gear that run the gamut from $50 to $5,000. So one of the first things asked of a noob who posts a question is "What's your budget for X equipment?" Based on the budget, they'll share their opinions and observations. And the vast majority of Head-Fiers will spend as much if not more time discussing a $100 piece of equipment as they would a $1500 or $3000 option.

I guess what I'm saying is that you are a headphile.

How to begin the upgrade process probably has as many answers as there are head-fiers. One that I recommend is to, first, focus on reference 'phones. You need a baseline for comparison, and since cans are at the end of the gear stream, their role is critical. Listen to different ones, read as much as you can, and select one that has an SQ you like. Don't cut corners. Buy the best you can afford, even if it means waiting another 6 months to a year or more for enough bucks for a decent amp that synergizes with your 'phones. Continue the process until you can afford a decent DAC, interconnects, power cables, etc.

If your taste in music ranges across more than one genre, then you may be looking at more than one rig, which means different cans, amps, etc. for each genre.

Head-fying is a hobby that everyone can enjoy, regardless of wallet size. In this case, size doesn't matter. You can find great sound at all levels, and there are forums for the full range. If no one's posted on a piece of equipment that you're interested in, post away. Don't worry about price range.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 6:06 PM Post #6 of 9

Scooterboy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by feifan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you're "wondering" enough to post a question here, then you're probably "missing" something. Head-fi gear is relative. Bad is bad. There's no getting around it. But good is a different story. There are degrees of good, and I think you become a headphile when you begin to pursue the ultimate good. The best.

The pursuit, too, differs in degrees, depending on your economic situation at the moment. But whether your wallet is thin or fat doesn't matter. Passion is all that counts. Most Head-Fiers make no distinctions among members. They're interested in gear that run the gamut from $50 to $5,000. So one of the first things asked of a noob who posts a question is "What's your budget for X equipment?" Based on the budget, they'll share their opinions and observations. And the vast majority of Head-Fiers will spend as much if not more time discussing a $100 piece of equipment as they would a $1500 or $3000 option.

I guess what I'm saying is that you are a headphile.

How to begin the upgrade process probably has as many answers as there are head-fiers. One that I recommend is to, first, focus on reference 'phones. You need a baseline for comparison, and since cans are at the end of the gear stream, their role is critical. Listen to different ones, read as much as you can, and select one that has an SQ you like. Don't cut corners. Buy the best you can afford, even if it means waiting another 6 months to a year or more for enough bucks for a decent amp that synergizes with your 'phones. Continue the process until you can afford a decent DAC, interconnects, power cables, etc.

If your taste in music ranges across more than one genre, then you may be looking at more than one rig, which means different cans, amps, etc. for each genre.

Head-fying is a hobby that everyone can enjoy, regardless of wallet size. In this case, size doesn't matter. You can find great sound at all levels, and there are forums for the full range. If no one's posted on a piece of equipment that you're interested in, post away. Don't worry about price range.



This is an excellent post and accurately defines what this hobby is all about.
beerchug.gif
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 7:47 PM Post #7 of 9

iamthecheese

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Quote:

Originally Posted by TopPop /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I'd say the weak link is probably your amp. Can't comment on the source.

Some questions/comments:

1. Are you talking about the Little Dot 1+ (i.e. tube hybrid), or the Little Dot MK 1 (i.e. SS portable). If the former, have you tried tube rolling?

2. What cable are you using from the soundcard to the amp? Cables can make a difference.

3. Source, source, source. Again, I can't comment on your soundcard, because I haven't heard it, but it may be another weak link.



1. the tube hybrid.

2. 6 foot shielded 18 gauge

3. I'm looking at the xonar essence st/stx vs an external dac, but thats a topic for another time.

@fefian thanks, that alot of good advice for a starter in this hobby like me.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 7:57 PM Post #8 of 9

TheAudioDude

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthecheese /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My setup basically goes
mostly FLAC files -> x-fi platinum(I still play some games, but not as much as I used to. I used to play competitively but now I just play for fun.)-> Little Dot 1+ ->stock k601s, with about 500 hours on them.

I really enjoy the sound I have, but I'm sitting here wondering how much I'm missing?

Any input?



Feifan's response is excellent. That's pretty much the way I feel. When I started looking for headphones, my budget was around $800 for headphones and an amp. Weeks later, I ended up buying a DAC for $1290, headphones for $550 and within the coming month(s) an amp for $1900. So yeah, this hobby will eat your wallet alive (if you want the best).
biggrin.gif
But oh is it worth it!

Anyways, I'd say that you are missing out on some things. My very basic setup is in my sig, and although I get excellent sound, I know that it could be much better. I'd say take the time and search these forums; read about what other people have to say, especially if they have the same headphones as you. It took me weeks of researching to settle on the equipment I wanted to buy.
 
Sep 8, 2009 at 8:06 PM Post #9 of 9

atothex

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I can't say I agree with the 6mo to a year part... Get something good and cheap for now, then just upgrade incrementally. A real source is a good place to start. K601s aren't exactly garbage phones, but sound cards are pretty much always garbage sources.
 

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