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How to evolve my set

  1. JediMa70
    I'm at a point where I wonder what to do.
    I've these headphones:
    Hifiman HE560, I love the warm sound
    Sennheiser hd600 my favorite about detail
    Meze 99C the best ones about bass and easy to drive
    AKG 712 pro great soundstage
    ATH M50X, koss sport pro and Sennheiser HD 4.50 btnc
    So what should I do now, replace with a better model one of them or add something that I'm missing sound wise?
    I know that all of this can sound confusing or greedy.. I'm just an enthusiastic listener that loves many music genres
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I'd just sit back and listen instead of wondering about gear other than if you need it for a specific use case, like if you need an IEM ofr listening far from your desk.

    I've had the HD600 since 2010 and the Meier Cantate.2 since 2012 (plus a back up Pangea HP101 when the gainstage on the Cantate.2 was screwing up, which went away as soon as I got rid of the low gain mode jumpers). Recently attended the annual HiFi show in my city. Focal Utopia and a transformer coupled KT88 Class A amp with some kind of fancy DAC vs my HD600 on the same amp (with the impedance switch on both hi and low). I just confirmed, again, that I wouldn't get too far even if I blow $8,000.
    HBen, PaganDL and JediMa70 like this.
  3. JediMa70
    That's a quite interesting and nice comment, well I don't have any audiophile IEM, just some good deal bout price/performance with some chinese brand.
    Where I struggle a bit it's only about amp power, I love my meier Jazz and it 's so good with Meze and Sennheiser but with AKG and Hifiman it really struggles, i tried to turn the volume to max and set on HI and the volume was just fine, somehow my portable FiiO A5 has more power but less sound quality.. probably it's a better amp that i should consider but can't afford a violectric and i don't want to replace a so well built one like meier with a crappy Schiit.
  4. PaganDL
    Hi @JediMa70,

    Agree with @ProtegeManiac on all points.

    I would just sit back & enjoy what you have, that is the goal.

    You will find after a while in this hobby, one overlooked fact is not many are willing to look at more diverse range of decently powered head amps & usually concentrate on headphone/IEMs &/or sources, not head amps.
    Perhaps I would suggest looking at my profile's head amp list as a guide for diversity as that seems to be the next step for you to take but only you can make that decision, no one else.

    As a guide, I suggest looking at the following in no particular order :

    Rupert Neve RNHP
    Presonus HP 4
    Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid (CTH)
    Burson Soloist MK 2 (Don't have this but have demo this a lot & tempted every time :p )
    Oppo HA 2/SE (if you can find one in good condition, suggest demo if possible)

    Feel free to ask me any questions if you need any info for anything which appeals, especially head amps.

    Hope you have a great day !
    JediMa70 likes this.
  5. HBen
    I agree with the previous posters: enjoy your music with your headphones and relax.

    If you want some advise on how to go further up the ladder I can highly advise to always listen to gear yourself before buying, whenever possible with your own music and on your own gear (amp, dac, ...).

    Be warned though, that going further down the rabbit hole doesn't necessarily bring more happiness and listening pleasure - if you read my bio you can tell that I'm speaking from experience :)
    Ignorance is definitely bliss in this hobby.

    Stopping or reducing to read reviews and forums like this one helps too :)

    Cheers and good luck on your headphone journey ^^
    JediMa70 likes this.
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    You're getting into diminishing returns already. If you'll spend more you'd probably be better off saving up for a really good speaker system. Think NAD D3020 and Focal Chorus 706 with a subwoofer.

    It's just an example for an alternate use case where you can't use your current gear but you might want to have performance closer to what you have in your main headphone rig.

    I doubt the A5 has more power, but obviously you're hearing the sound go off the rails already. Either it's already piling on distortion or worse, it's already clipping on dynamic peaks. That suggests higher gain...which it probably has being a portable as it's designed with 1V to 1.2V line signals from iPods and other DAPs in mind. The first iteration of the A5 (E12?) came out at a time when DAPs had 1.2V on the line out, ie, on par with later iPods.

    Are you sure the Jazz is working properly? Because even my Cantate.2 can instantly blow my eardrums out with a K70x if I put it all the way up on high gain, and this generation of amps with the analogue volume knob has -10dB or thereabouts on the low gain and something like +4dB on the high gain setting. The Jazz has a lower attenuation on the low gain setting since it doesn't need to attenuate a 2V signal too far just to get around the wider range where the analogue potentiometer is not balanced across both channels, and also has a higher high gain. +10dB I think.

    Also what CDP/TT or DAC/Phono Pre are you using? Make sure you're sending a full 2V signal into the Jazz FF.

    Well do you want more power so much you'd trade some of the Jazz FF's refinement? If you can then just get a Schiit Lyr3. If it's more refined than the original Lyr then then you might not even notice the difference in distortion and noise levels over the Jazz FF.
  7. JediMa70
    Ok I will try with my limited english to explain my setting:

    I have 2 amps: Jazz and Darvoice with RCA connected to a passive amp , from the passive amp i have 1 rca connected to my oppo cd player and a rca to jack connected to the line out of a FiiO X5 2nd gen, from the passive amp i switch the players. When I use Senn HD600 with jazz i hardly can go close to half volume , with AKG 3/4 , with HE-560 volume as i mentioned is just enough.
    So as it's hard to get Schiit items in italy for a decent price (Lyr3 price here is 700 euros !) i was considering garage project polaris or lake people stuff or anything else
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Don't you mean a passive preamp? Because a passive preamp can attenuate an input signal, but there is no such thing as a passive amplifier since by nature an amplifier is an active component that needs a power input in order to be able to amplify an incoming signal. Even a passive preamp wouldn't be able to make the incoming signal louder, it can just lower the voltage. And you might have it set to attenuate the signal - if it has a volume control set it to max.

    In other words the solution isn't acquiring new gear, but possibly, to reduce what you have. Take the passive switcher/preamp out of the chain first and hook up the Oppo to the Meier Jazz directly. If that gets louder, your passive switcher/preamp is the problem. And your X5 2nd Gen.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  9. buke9
    I agree with @PaganDL on one of the amps they mentioned the Massdrop Cavalli Tube Hybrid for the money it is a fantastic amp. One of a few amps I like the HD-650 from and does a great job with the HE-500’s also along with the HD-800’s but I like a bit warmer amp with them but will run them without a hitch and the detail and soundstage is there but just a bit brighter than I want for them but they are a bright headphone.
    PaganDL likes this.
  10. Whazzzup
    Focus, earn more spend more.
    JediMa70 likes this.
  11. JediMa70
    I tried this too and i didn't find any difference so it's not that the problem
  12. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Have you replaced the X5 with something else? It has well below 2.0V line output. Try it with a DAC with 2.2V output.
    JediMa70 likes this.
  13. JediMa70
    I can try with the topping d30 DSD although i'm not sure if it's 2.2V, so in case that is the line output the problem which are the solutions to solve it? replace the dap or ? o.o
  14. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    That one's probably 2V but that's still higher than 1.2V.

    Why not just use the coax output on the X5 to feed a signal to a DAC?

    You could buy the X5III which has a 1.9V line out, and you can dock it into the DK1. That's what I'd likely do but that's mostly because I'd hate the cable mess on the first option.
  15. JediMa70
    You are a genius! As I did it, the power is there !! Just with a cable! TYVM!

    Now i've to find a dac -.- because i removed the one from my computer..
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

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