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I already know the answer is "Three grand and your problem's solved' but let's try...

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by hentai11, Nov 13, 2009.
  1. Hentai11
    I strongly favor IEMs for portable listening, since I'm a runner and nothing works better, but now my listening appetite's been whetted and I want to start improving my home setup.

    Off a PC, I'm running a pair of old, old Sony MDR V6s through an old, old Go-Vibe amp (the one that takes 9 volts) and I'm not unhappy, but I wonder whether there's more I could be doing.

    Assume a budget of $100-$150 per component. I'm now playing 320k mp3s, but will transition to FLAC soon enough.

    My listening habits are eclectic, so genres are probably unhelpful: classical, jazz, blues, soul, rock (punk and metal), reggae, hip-hop, electronica, and DnB.

    Sound qualities I need:

    Bass extension: it doesn't have to be loud, but it has to be present through the full range. The extension of the V6s falls off a cliff at around 55hz and it drives me batty, because a lot of my tracks have energy there and it sounds plainly wrong to have that energy go missing.

    Accuracy and speed: If you're pardon the IEM reference, one of the things I fell in love with in my RE0s was it's ability to handle high frequency transients smoothly. When listening to high-frequency percussion attacks--cymbals, high-hats, snares--there's a layer of stick-on-drum detail that I won't do without. (Please, please don't let this cost me a car payment.)

    The RE0s also taught me about soundstage, and it's fun but not a dealmaker. I'd pay $25 extra for it, maybe, but not $50.

    If it helps, my impressions of my current rig are moderately positive. As long as you don't drive the music too deep or too fast, it sounds good. Moderate soundstage, with a bit of pleasant airiness, they're good-enough phones.

    My question, then: What is my upgrade, and what will it cost me?
  2. estreeter
    $150 for each link in the chain ? Unless you get an insane deal secondhand, that isnt going to happen ....
  3. Hentai11
    Alright, then. What am I paying?
  4. paaj
    So, you are just asking for 'random' upgrade suggestions?
    Have you got a decent soundcard? That is one step you should take, that or an outboard DAC like the 0404USB for example.
    Next is the headphone: I loved the SR325i with all kinds of music, from classical piano to jazz to the heavy metal stuff and electronica. Used probably close to $200. Deep tight bass and lots of detail.
    You could search for the SR225 for the 'lower budget' option, not heard it myself but some prefer it to the 325i and all Grado's sound alike anyway (sort of).
  5. Hentai11
    Double post, my bad. Sorry.
  6. Hentai11

    So, you are just asking for 'random' upgrade suggestions?

    Not random, an upgrade that fit my tradeoffs: Necessary--bass extension, speedy transients. Nice--soundstage. Can pass on--bass power, wet mids/vocals.


    Have you got a decent soundcard? That is one step you should take, that or an outboard DAC like the 0404USB for example.

    I'll have to think on that. I'm now running off a Creative Audigy LS, serviceable so far, no complaints. Do I need to upgrade?

    EDIT: N00B question: I just looked at the 0404 USB...what would I do with it?
  7. John2e Contributor

    Convert to lossless first. You may be happy with this alone. It makes a big diffrence especially as you upgrade your equipment
  8. rodentdog Contributor
    I saw some very nice portable amps on the FS Forum, that are a signifcant upgrade at the higher end of your price range. Do just a little homework and you can upgrade (used) for good pricing, good fun, won't lose much when you change again. I love my Beyer DT-250/80, closed phones. Good all arounder. Well balanced, easy to drive. Can be had used for right at your price point.

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