Need an expert headphone/amp combo recommendation.
Jan 17, 2009 at 5:53 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

EYEdROP

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Hello everyone. I havent been around here in like a year. I went through a loudspeaker phase for a long time, but in the next six months Ill be going to college and I simply cant have a listening room in a dorm.

My main sonic goals in a headphone is to 1. Have a very flat frequency response, transparent instrument tonality, and no coloration. 2. ultra low total harmonic distortion. I had a pair of 3-way speakers with drivers that were specially designed to have no more than 1% THD, even at bass frequencies of 100hz and below. The result was insane detail, transparency, and amplifier-like distortion. I want a headphone like this.

Soundstage and dynamic power come last for me. I dont care if the soundstage is very wide, I just want good imaging. As far as oomph and bass, I just want a good power response (different from frequency response) throught the range. (power response of a speaker is a measure of the total sound power level a speaker creates versus frequency). So I dont need alot of bass power, just even power and rumble throughout the range. Generally, a good power response is hard to achieve because bass inherently has more rumble than mids and treble. So even if the headphone has a cold and not too powerful presentation, it dosent matter as long as its got the good power response.

I am looking to sell my current speaker system and purchase a USED headphone or headphone/amp combo that I can get for around $700-1000. I know I cant get everything I want, but I want it as close to my description as possible.

Any recommendations?
 
Jan 17, 2009 at 6:15 PM Post #2 of 4

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EYEdROP /img/forum/go_quote.gif
My main sonic goals in a headphone is to 1. Have a very flat frequency response, transparent instrument tonality, and no coloration. 2. ultra low total harmonic distortion. I had a pair of 3-way speakers with drivers that were specially designed to have no more than 1% THD, even at bass frequencies of 100hz and below. The result was insane detail, transparency, and amplifier-like distortion. I want a headphone like this.

Soundstage and dynamic power come last for me. I dont care if the soundstage is very wide, I just want good imaging. As far as oomph and bass, I just want a good power response throught the range. (power response of a speaker is a measure of the total sound power level a speaker creates versus frequency). So I dont need alot of bass power, just even power and rumble throughout the range. Generally, a good power response is hard to achieve because bass inherently has more rumble than mids and treble.



Sounds like you may appreciate the Beyerdynamic DT48. It has a dead flat, neutral response. The detail and clarity rival that of my ribbon and AMT loudspeakers. Not many of us own the DT48 and Beyerdynamic hardly markets it, but you should give it serious thought. They list at $439 at B&H, but the last time I got the email price, they were about $330.

There are a number of good amps in your price range, but one I like is the Eddie Current EC/SS. Those go for $429 and have Craig's excellent build quality and customer service.
 
Jan 17, 2009 at 7:06 PM Post #4 of 4

Uncle Erik

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Quote:

Originally Posted by EYEdROP /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So what would the beyer DT48/amp combo sound like compared to a STAX 3030 or 4040 system in terms of detail, flat response, uncolored tonality and THD%?


I've only spent maybe 15 minutes with a Stax SR-404 in a fairly noisy room, so I shouldn't comment on it.

But I've spent many hours listening to the DT48. The detail, fast response, clarity, and tonality are on the same level as ribbons and AMTs - the best I've heard other than live. The DT48 is a professional headphone, designed for studio work. It's not audiophile kit, colored to make people happy. The DT48 sounds like the real thing to me and was engineered to be that way. The only other headphones I like as well (AKG K-1000 and Grado HP-2) were also designed for the studio.
 

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