How to Allocate $1000k+ b/w Headphones, Amp, DAC
May 24, 2015 at 8:00 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

coastal1

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New to headphones.  Started w/ Sennheiser HD650 for $300.  I've listened to them some with friend's FiiO E12, as well as as the iFi iDSD Micro, and through my Onkyo home stereo A/V receiver.  I really like the HD650 (though don't have much to compare them to except a few in-store listens).
 
From reading the Sennheiser impressions thread, it seems like there are a lot of people that swear by the Bottlehead Crack + Speedball amp, and a general consensus that they thrive on tube amps.  I don't want to build that and seems like I could get it for ~$500+ new assembled from reputable source or save a couple hundred bucks and get it used. DAC would obviously be extra.
 
I'm not at all opposed to go this route, but as a hp newb I thought the headphones would be the most important part of the equation and thus the most expensive.  I realize the HD650 can sound very good w/ a cheaper amp/DAC combo, but I think I will end up spending more in the long run if I go with a cheaper amp/DAC to start and then ultimately get the Crack anyways.
 
Is there a 'normal' or recommended allocation of budget between headphones, amp, and DAC?  Would I be better served by returning the HD650 and buying more expensive hp and less expensive amp? 
 
May 24, 2015 at 8:11 PM Post #3 of 6

PurpleAngel

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  New to headphones.  Started w/ Sennheiser HD650 for $300.  I've listened to them some with friend's FiiO E12, as well as as the iFi iDSD Micro, and through my Onkyo home stereo A/V receiver.  I really like the HD650 (though don't have much to compare them to except a few in-store listens).
From reading the Sennheiser impressions thread, it seems like there are a lot of people that swear by the Bottlehead Crack + Speedball amp, and a general consensus that they thrive on tube amps.  I don't want to build that and seems like I could get it for ~$500+ new assembled from reputable source or save a couple hundred bucks and get it used. DAC would obviously be extra.
I'm not at all opposed to go this route, but as a hp newb I thought the headphones would be the most important part of the equation and thus the most expensive.  I realize the HD650 can sound very good w/ a cheaper amp/DAC combo, but I think I will end up spending more in the long run if I go with a cheaper amp/DAC to start and then ultimately get the Crack anyways.
Is there a 'normal' or recommended allocation of budget between headphones, amp, and DAC?  Would I be better served by returning the HD650 and buying more expensive hp and less expensive amp? 

 
You already have the headphones you like and getting the Bottlehead should help bring out it's best, seems simple enough for me.
At a later date you can always replace the HD650.
 
May 25, 2015 at 6:36 PM Post #6 of 6

coastal1

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I value clarity and warmth the most. from my limited experience, I like having the ability to tweak things like on the iFI iCan to certain songs/sources

What are your goals? Do you just want clearer sound, more details, etc. or do you want specific improvements like deeper bass, more impact, etc?
 

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