I need a good sound setup.
May 16, 2002 at 3:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6


New Head-Fier
May 16, 2002
Maybe you guys can help me diecide. I'm fixing to get a new computer with room enough to contain all of my losslessly encoded music. Basically I need a setup that will give me great sound from my hardrive. I'm kinda starting from scratch too.

This is what I've got.

A Sony V-6.

And thats about it.

This is what I think I need.

• Better headphones
• Some kind of sound card
• A headphone Amp
• Possibly an outboard DAC???

Any suggestion guys? I listen to mostly hard rock, industrial and some electronic. The headphones can be iether open or closed. I do prefer closed though since there is usually alot of noise around me (tv). But just for fun, what open phone can beat the sony v-6 I own? What closed phone can? My entire budget is around 400 bucks. Thanks for any help.
May 16, 2002 at 4:19 PM Post #2 of 6


500+ Head-Fier
May 15, 2002
http://www.audio-cubes.com has some ATh headphones. I've been hearing good things about their high end models. I'm going to try a lower priced model. They do have an amp on the website for 65 from the same company. You could pick up a mid priced one and the amp, and still be well within budget.

The problems with this though is that unless you go to Japan your not going to demo them.

That's just another option that you have.
May 16, 2002 at 4:29 PM Post #3 of 6


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 7, 2002
I suggest skimming through this huge long thread first: Audio&Me's PC Sound Guide monster thread

If I had $400 and was only going to use my PC as a source, I would put it into the sound card, maybe purchase (or build) a Do-It-Yourself amp like JMT builds, and put the balance in my pocket. I think your V-6s will work fine for the kind of music you listen to and I prefer closed for PCs because of the box and hard drive fan noise. The DIY amp would also provide convenience in controling the volume without having to use your OS or sound card software.

In my opinion, you'll go over $400 if you go with a quality sound card plus a commerical amp and phones that are significantly better than what you've got. If you purchase a Do-It-Yourself amp from someone (or build one) you might be able to get a considerable improvement though.

Trying to keep within your budget, for closed phones I would consider the Beyer 250-80 (I still think the V-6 will be ok) and for open I would recommend the Grado SR80.

There are all kinds of headphones that 'beat' your V-6, but you would blow half to 25 times your budget to purchase them. Of the phones that I've personally heard, the closed phones that 'beat' the V-6 in every way are the ATH-W100. The open phones I've heard that I find superior are the HD-580/600, Grado SR225 & SR325. There are approximately 2500 other opinions on this board about this though.

Cop-out opinion disclaimer: There's really no 'beating' one headphone or another though, it ultimately comes down to what sounds best to you.

Good luck!
May 16, 2002 at 4:57 PM Post #4 of 6


King o'Ping
Jun 22, 2001
I would agree.
The V-6s are fine.
Spend the money on the best soundcard you can get.
Send JMT a PM about one of his amps.
They should fit your buget and you will have plenty left for a good soundcard.
Do a search or read the link above for some good suggestions.
May 17, 2002 at 1:07 AM Post #5 of 6


1000+ Head-Fier
Dec 8, 2001
Sound cards are not exactly audiophile components, but there should be good ones out there. I don't know which ones.

But your V6's should be fine.

You need a reasonable amp to drive them. I would say the Headroom LITTLE or Creek OBH-11. You need your amp first.
Then look at sound cards.

This assumes you already have some sort of sound card.

Possibly down the line, you can get a sound card with a digital output, go to a reasonable outboard DAC, then to your headphone amp.

May 17, 2002 at 1:49 PM Post #6 of 6


100+ Head-Fier
Aug 6, 2001
Pretty much just echoing what others have said at this point...

Keep your V6s, they're fine.

What sound card do you have? If you've got, say, a Santa Cruz, I'd pick up an amp first and then upgrade the sound card down the road. OTOH if you've got a SB Live, upgrade it first and then get an amp.

As far as amps go, are you willing to pick up a soldering iron? I'd never touched a soldering iron before I made my cmoy amp, which I completed in a day.

A good DAC is nice, but it's probably not needed right now, unless you've got a lot of money burning a hole in your pocket.

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