Matching Headphone and Amp - A Look Of A Different Color
Dec 25, 2016 at 1:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

ruthieandjohn

Stumbling towards enlightenment
(Formerly known as kayandjohn.)
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As I learn more about headphones here on head-fi.org, I find that it is not just the headphone (even not primarily the headphone) that governs the listening experience... it is the entire chain, from choice of music, to the performance, the recording, the source of the signal version of that recording, the DAC, the amp, the headphone, and the state of mine (and freedom of distraction) of the listener.
 
To that end, I have started to explore the importance of matching headphone and upstream component(s) - amp and/or DAC or DAP.
 
My first foray was to drive my Sennheiser HD 800 with a matching HDVD800 DAC/amp.  Here are the results:
 
 

 
As you can see, the red and black of the HD800 headphone perfectly matches the red and black of the DAC/amp.  I later extended that match to include the listening environment, the red and black of my 2013 FIAT Abarth Cabrio:
 

 
When I became the proud owner of my first pair of wooden Grado headphones, I of course had to pursue a matching wooden amp:
 

In like manner, I matched my prized Grado HP1000 HP1 headphones with the Joseph Grado HPA-1 amp for a Rhapsody in Black (and sliver):
 

 
But why stop there?  I could match my headphones to another essential element of the listening ecosystem, the headphone stand, with my Grado Bushmills:
 


...and even with the box, matching the fine wood of my Grado GS1000e:
 

 
Of course, matching headphone and amp doesn't help just Grados, but works for other brands, such as my V-MODA M100s with their VAMP VERSA DAC/amp and METALLO case, a creamsicle of orange and white::
 

 
Most recently, I have matched the Lotoo PAW Gold DAP, in a black Dignis case, to my Golden Anniversary Special Edition Grado SR325i headphones:
 

 
 
So I am learning the importance of matching headphone to amp, DAC, and source in a way of a new color...
 
Merry Christmas, All!
 

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