I have my closed cans, I have my open cans, I have my amp....now what?
Jun 25, 2008 at 12:42 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Finally got my little noob setup going. Ordered my HFI-780s about a month and a half ago, they've been burned in quite well and serving duty at work. Lovely headphones. Ordered my PROline 2500s about 2 weeks ago and have been listening to them off and on (can't use them at work due to being open). Ordered my Travagan White amp 2 weeks ago and David shipped it out last week, so (hopefully) it'll show up before I have to take a business trip; if not, it'll be here when I get back.

So, now, the logical next step? Buy more stuff.

Sort of considering a set of DT-880s, or a set of Grado 325i phones. Seems like plenty of people around here love to talk about them. Thing is, much as I'd like to have a whole bunch of different headphones, I'd also like them to serve specific purposes - 780s are for metal and basically anything and everything in my collection (no country, rap, or hip hop, but just about everything else). The 2500s are for acoustic stuff, and most of the live/instrumental music I have. While the 880s and 325is are probably great, they seem to fall in the same basic class as the 780s.

So, I'm thinking electrostatic. Questions - without an uber amp (granted, I have very high hopes for the White, and reviews have been spectacular, it's not one of the $1500 static home amps that I think of when I think uber), and with a music collection of extremely varied bitrates and quality, would they be worth the money? I've seen a few places where it's been mentioned that the lower-end Stax stuff can be had for not too much, but I know absolutely nothing about Stax, and the few threads I've hopped in have so much tube talk and acronyms and the like, I have no idea what is what.

Halp!
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 1:02 AM Post #2 of 15

WittyzTH

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better DAC, amp or cans.
biggrin.gif
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 1:17 AM Post #3 of 15

Duggeh

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Buy some new music. Try Beggars Opera - Act One, Jean-Michel Jarre - Zoolook or Vangelis - Mythodea.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 1:34 AM Post #4 of 15

eightbitpotion

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I agree with Duggeh....never forget why you want good sound equipment....for the music
smily_headphones1.gif
. You should get a last.fm account and find new music. If you really 'must' buy something, perhaps some portable stuff? Honestly, it seems like you're pretty set as is, so the only logical steps is to upgrade to higher-end headphones, amps....etc. I'm not familiar with that amp, but if it's tubed, try rolling. Go to a local head-fi meet and see what you can find.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 1:59 AM Post #5 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Well, at the moment, I have about 120 gigs of music, so there's plenty of selection in there, from The Gathering to SRV, to piobreachd (classic Scottish bagpipes - the REAL thing, not this new modern stuff), from Cannibal Corpse to Enya.

Actually, I consider both sets of headphones portable, although I'd only use the 780s in public. Never really out in public that much anyway, just flying places, so portability isn't a huge deal to me.

Ah....tube amp.....<_<........er.......well.....I don't think it is (relatively certain it isn't), however, it does say the "OP amps" are interchangable.....I'm a structural engineer and beyond wiring up drivers and amps, I have no idea about electrical stuff, heh. skylab gave it a rather good review, which works for me.

I shot a pm over to S2 Audio about getting my 780s recabled, so I'll see how that works out...I'd just love to play with some electrostatic stuff, but I don't know anyone, or any place, around here with anything like that where I could demo that sort of thing.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 2:07 AM Post #6 of 15

yale.reinstein

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It's good to try a variety of cans, over time you'll probably get the opportunity at head-fi meets or by listening, reading and selecting specific upgrades you might want to try... but it's only been a few weeks. I suggest you listen to your setup, enjoy it, listen to what you like about it and what you don't.

If you really want to buy something and your business trip includes a noisy flight/train/bus ride I highly suggest trying out some ER4P or other isolating IEM. Same great sound, small and isolating package.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 2:26 AM Post #7 of 15

plaidplatypus

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What country do you live in?

You can try Op-amp rolling, it's really easy just pop out one chip an put antoher in, just be sure you put it in the right way, the notch on the socket will line up with the notch on the chip.

I've owned four STAX amps and several earspeakers. They are some of the best headphones out there. I would stick with dynamic headphones as they are easier to buy and sell here.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 2:34 AM Post #8 of 15

DemonicLemming

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US, in Kansas. East Coast guy but the job was in Kansas, so I moved.

Where can I find out more on op-amp stuff - characteristics of different chips, procedures, thats sort of thing?

Two things I've noticed about my phones so far - I wish the 780s were just a tiny bit more crisp with the highs, and just a little more bass-heavy (although the amp might help that), and the 2500s seem to be just a bit sibilant with some acoustic stuff.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 4:20 AM Post #9 of 15

eightbitpotion

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DemonicLemming /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, at the moment, I have about 120 gigs of music, so there's plenty of selection in there, from The Gathering to SRV, to piobreachd (classic Scottish bagpipes - the REAL thing, not this new modern stuff), from Cannibal Corpse to Enya.

Actually, I consider both sets of headphones portable, although I'd only use the 780s in public. Never really out in public that much anyway, just flying places, so portability isn't a huge deal to me.

Ah....tube amp.....<_<........er.......well.....I don't think it is (relatively certain it isn't), however, it does say the "OP amps" are interchangable.....I'm a structural engineer and beyond wiring up drivers and amps, I have no idea about electrical stuff, heh. skylab gave it a rather good review, which works for me.

I shot a pm over to S2 Audio about getting my 780s recabled, so I'll see how that works out...I'd just love to play with some electrostatic stuff, but I don't know anyone, or any place, around here with anything like that where I could demo that sort of thing.



Well, the op-amp is a good thing to tinker with, as it can always be reversed. Recabling is great, but you MUST realize that this adds color to sound...it's not making some higher-fidelity audio, but rather just making it more 'playful'. I've recently been playing dramatically with my k701s and recabling (diy)...I've tried copper, silver, 5 different geometries and 3 different gauges now, and I can honestly say that if the headphones are great to you right now- as in you wouldn't dare EQ them in anyway...I'd probably find something besides a recable, but rather just go ahead and get a different phone. Why not try for some Stax or something "else"....jecklins?
wink.gif
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 2:22 PM Post #10 of 15

plaidplatypus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DemonicLemming /img/forum/go_quote.gif
US, in Kansas. East Coast guy but the job was in Kansas, so I moved.

Where can I find out more on op-amp stuff - characteristics of different chips, procedures, thats sort of thing?

Two things I've noticed about my phones so far - I wish the 780s were just a tiny bit more crisp with the highs, and just a little more bass-heavy (although the amp might help that), and the 2500s seem to be just a bit sibilant with some acoustic stuff.



Don't miss the DFW meets, they are great.

HeadphoneAddict did a review of your amp including OpAmp options.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/rev...easure-321463/
It looks like you are limited to dual-channel OpAmps in the White, not a big deal.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 3:15 PM Post #12 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eightbitpotion /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, the op-amp is a good thing to tinker with, as it can always be reversed. Recabling is great, but you MUST realize that this adds color to sound...it's not making some higher-fidelity audio, but rather just making it more 'playful'. I've recently been playing dramatically with my k701s and recabling (diy)...I've tried copper, silver, 5 different geometries and 3 different gauges now, and I can honestly say that if the headphones are great to you right now- as in you wouldn't dare EQ them in anyway...I'd probably find something besides a recable, but rather just go ahead and get a different phone. Why not try for some Stax or something "else"....jecklins?
wink.gif



Well, there are a few little things I'd like evened out, and from looking on S2's site a little bit, it seems like most of those get addressed by their procedure.

I'd love some Stax stuff, but puttering along online a bit, it seems that most are a sort of headphone (ok, "headspeaker") and amp combination, and some of the prices make me shudder.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 3:24 PM Post #13 of 15

bjarnetv

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used stax can be quite cheap; especially normal bias, driven by an srd transformer and speaker amp.
hunting for deals on the FS page is also a lot of fun
wink.gif
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 4:24 PM Post #14 of 15

DemonicLemming

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bjarnetv /img/forum/go_quote.gif
used stax can be quite cheap; especially normal bias, driven by an srd transformer and speaker amp.
hunting for deals on the FS page is also a lot of fun
wink.gif



I caught used, speaker amp, and deals on the FS page....

Everything else went over my head like the 747 that just flew past.
 
Jun 25, 2008 at 5:46 PM Post #15 of 15

facelvega

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DemonicLemming /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I caught used, speaker amp, and deals on the FS page....

Everything else went over my head like the 747 that just flew past.



you can't have stax unless you learn the lingo! Stax has produced electrostatic equipment with two very different bias voltages, "normal" and "pro" bias. (there have also been electrets that didn't use a bias voltage, but ignore that for now) The new stuff is all pro bias (expensive). The oldest stuff is all variations on normal bias (cheap). In between there was a time when both were available at once. Now, there are also two ways to power a Stax headphone: with a dedicated amp (expensive) or with an energizer that goes between a speaker amp and the headphones (cheap). Generally, most normal-bias stuff uses energizer (SRD) boxes, and most pro bias uses dedicated amps, but there are also a few normal-bias amps and pro-bias energizers.

So, a decent normal bias, SRD box vintage Stax setup in good shape can sometimes be had for under $150 and defiinitely for under $200. This would be an SR-3, 3N, or 5 with an SRD-6 or 7 energizer. For a little more, you could get an SR-5NB, SR-X, or SR-Gamma instead. More again, and you could jump to an SR-Lambda or even SR-Sigma. But by that point, you're into pro bias price range.

Of course, there are a hundred exceptions to this description, but it should give you a basic idea.
 

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