Need help finding for a decent all 'round setup
Sep 11, 2009 at 4:15 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

adrift

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Ok, first of all, I feel really stupid starting a new thread on this because I know there are already dozens of similar threads. Here's my issue. The only quality headphones I own right now are cheap pair of Grados. While I love how they sound (especially seeing as they're my first quality phones), I really need something with a bit more kick and less highs. Maybe a bit more bass.

Here's what I'm using them for:
Music. I'm a huge huge music fan. Mostly underground stuff. Lots of old school mid 70s to mid 80s punk, new wave, and goth. I also like a lot of 60s and 70s garage rock. I dig some industrial and electro. I also enjoy bebop jazz, world music ranging from traditional indian sitar and tabla stuff, turkish 70s garage rock, reggae, cabaret, etc.. just about anything that's interesting and out of the mainstream.

Movies. I watch a range of films. Genre's ranging from French New Wave, to sci-fi and fantasy. I like a lot of art-house type films, but also like a good dumb action flick with lots of explosions.

Games. I'm not as huge a gamer as I used to be, but I really dig a good FPS. Again, with lots of explosions and whizzing bullets. Usually WWII themed stuff.

I have no amps or dacs. I'm running my phones out of on-board audio using Realtek HD drivers on my Desktop PC, and I have an intel based macbook. I also have a fairly old Sansa Sandisk that I should probably be listening to more often... Eventually I may upgrade to an ipod/iphone.

When I first started posting here folks recommended that the first thing I ought to do after getting the Grados was invest in a decent dac/amp combo. Sounded like sound advice. I could probably invest in a decent soundcard, but if I'm swapping between a desktop, laptop, mp3 player it just seems to make sense to me to get a dac/amp.

My price range is approx. 400 bucks for both new phones and an amp/dac.

For phones I've heard good things about AKG K501/601/701s and leaning towards that line, but not sure. I'm also sort of terrified about choosing the wrong dac/amp combo. Good ones seem sooo expensive, but maybe I don't need anything too expensive.

Sorry this post is so long. Hopefully some folks can point me in the right direction.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 5:16 PM Post #2 of 17

cswann1

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If you like the Grado's but want something a bit more balanced sounding with less listening fatigue, I'd go with an Alessandro MS1i and pair it with a HiFiMan EF2.

This will leave some change in your budget for: different pads, interconnects, new music, etc.


Good luck!






[size=x-small]Edit: I don't have personal experience with these products, so some research on these would be the best thing to do, and as always, your own listening experience is all that matters.[/size]
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 6:27 PM Post #3 of 17

adrift

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cswann1 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you like the Grado's but want something a bit more balanced sounding with less listening fatigue, I'd go with an Alessandro MS1i and pair it with a HiFiMan EF2.

This will leave some change in your budget for: different pads, interconnects, new music, etc.


Good luck!



Thank you for the recommendation cswann. I do like the Grado sound, but think I want to move away from that right now. I will look into that combo though and see what others think.

By the way. Sorry for the odd wording in the title. Must not have been paying attention when I posted.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 6:58 PM Post #5 of 17

adrift

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
FWIR, I suggest considering the DT150. I think it would be perfect for your use of headphones, unless you're wanting portability.

And I suggest you search "DT150", read, and post in the appropriate forums for help with choosing a source / amp.



Excellent! Thank you for the recommendation.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:02 PM Post #6 of 17

1Time

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You're welcome. Just to be clear, I am suggesting you consider the DT150 based on what I've read. I am not recommending them based on first hand experience.
smily_headphones1.gif


Quote:

Originally Posted by adrift /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Excellent! Thank you for the recommendation.


 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:15 PM Post #7 of 17

adrift

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 1Time /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You're welcome. Just to be clear, I am suggesting you consider the DT150 based on what I've read. I am not recommending them based on first hand experience.
smily_headphones1.gif



Yep, I understand. I still appreciate the recommendation. I hadn't even considered the DT150, but a couple of the reviews I've read about them make them sound like promising contenders.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 7:59 PM Post #8 of 17

AmanGeorge

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The K501 no longer exists, you'll have to wait for one to come up in the FS forum. The K701 is not what I would call an all 'rounder. If I were you and looking at the AKG line, I'd consider grabbing the K601 and pairing it with the EF2 mentioned above. This should be right in line with the budget you have, and I think you'll be happy with it
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 8:08 PM Post #9 of 17

adrift

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Quote:

Originally Posted by AmanGeorge /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The K501 no longer exists, you'll have to wait for one to come up in the FS forum. The K701 is not what I would call an all 'rounder. If I were you and looking at the AKG line, I'd consider grabbing the K601 and pairing it with the EF2 mentioned above. This should be right in line with the budget you have, and I think you'll be happy with it


Awesome. Thanks so much.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 8:29 PM Post #10 of 17

cswann1

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Well if you're wanting to explore other sounds I can understand that fo-sho
biggrin.gif


For an all-around great headphone, my HD580's are tough to beat in a sub $200 phone. They're discontinued but you see them now and then on eBay and the FS forum, sometimes in like-new condition. Pretty much all the parts on them can be replaced and are readily available from Sennheiser USA, so buying used is not such a gamble. The HD600 is pretty much the same animal, but I just can't bring myself to like the faux-marble graphics
frown.gif

These are not terribly tough to drive but you'll definitely want some decent amplification to really enjoy them.

Also the Senns (and AKG's) are probably not what many would consider ideal for movies. I watch movies with headphones more than a lot of folks and my D7000's are freaking awesome for this. Aside from them I really only use my JVC HA-RX900's for movies, usually from my laptop. They're ubber-efficient and comfortable. Once I modded them some the mids cleared up a lot and became a much more refined sounding can, but still not as good as my Senn or Denon's.

If you are looking for a good music\movie\gaming headphone in a "somewhere around $200" range, I'd look seriously at the Denon AH-D2000. They are darn good in stock form but the Markl mod opens up all sorts of tuning options. They are fairly easy to drive too so the EF2 I mentioned earlier would probably be fine. Then all you'd need is a pair of JMoney lambskin pads for them. Trust me, it's one of the best ways you can spend $75 in this hobby.
 
Sep 11, 2009 at 8:42 PM Post #11 of 17

adrift

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Again, thanks for the recommends cswann. I'm going to look into every one of those phones and do some comparison shopping. The vibe I'm getting is that there really isn't one good all around headphone and that I might have to consider upgrading to different phones for each hobby (which I was hoping to avoid as much as possible). The EF2 amp/dac that you and AmanGeorge recommended is probably going to be my first purchase and I think I'll go from there. I'm still open to other recommendations from other folks though.

Thanks again!
 
Oct 2, 2009 at 6:41 PM Post #13 of 17

adrift

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Well I have an update to my situation here. Rather than the EF2 suggested here I went ahead with an iBasso D10 for my amp/dac solution. I'm still out on the headphones though. After reading a few reviews these are the ones I'm looking at:

The AKG K601's AmanGeorge recommended sound like they have a wonderful sound stage and will work really well for movie viewing. Plus, I love how they look (not that that matters or anything... just an added plus).

The Beyer Dynamic DT 150's that 1Time suggested are really intriguing to me. From reviews I've read the bass is nice and deep which I feel I'm craving, and the sound stage is nice and airy. They seem very underrated... maybe that has something with them looking so bizarre
biggrin.gif


A new contender I've been looking at is the Senn HD650. cswann1 recommended the HD600's... I'm wondering if I'd prefer the 650s more from the reviews and raves I've heard about them.

Any advice to help me make up my mind and that would go well with the D10?
 
Oct 2, 2009 at 6:49 PM Post #14 of 17

Postalisback

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Quote:

Originally Posted by adrift /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well I have an update to my situation here. Rather than the EF2 suggested here I went ahead with an iBasso D10 for my amp/dac solution. I'm still out on the headphones though. After reading a few reviews these are the ones I'm looking at:

The Beyer Dynamic DT 150's that 1Time suggested are really intriguing to me. From reviews I've read the bass is nice and deep which I feel I'm craving, and the sound stage is nice and airy. They seem very underrated... maybe that has something with them looking so bizarre
biggrin.gif


Any advice to help me make up my mind and that would go well with the D10?



I haven't heard the DT 150 with an iBasso D10 but I do run them straight from my sound card and listen to similar music to you now and again, and I have to say these phones are great, to me they sound just like what you explained you wanted.

The soundstage is nothing like what you would usually expect from a closed can, and the bass is quite nice although like I said I haven't heard it with a DAC/Amp yet, so you'll probably find you'll get better bass with the iBasso D10.

Still haven't tried these with movies yet, but judging by the soundstage in music/games I'd imagine these would be perfect for watching movies as well.
smily_headphones1.gif


I love the look of them, and the build quality is fantastic, FAR better than my Sennheiser HD 595, and I paid less for the DT 150
biggrin.gif


Also, you're spot on about them being VERY underrated here, the sound of them makes me wonder why too
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Oct 2, 2009 at 7:24 PM Post #15 of 17

adrift

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Postalisback /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I haven't heard the DT 150 with an iBasso D10 but I do run them straight from my sound card and listen to similar music to you now and again, and I have to say these phones are great, to me they sound just like what you explained you wanted.

The soundstage is nothing like what you would usually expect from a closed can, and the bass is quite nice although like I said I haven't heard it with a DAC/Amp yet, so you'll probably find you'll get better bass with the iBasso D10.

Still haven't tried these with movies yet, but judging by the soundstage in music/games I'd imagine these would be perfect for watching movies as well.
smily_headphones1.gif


I love the look of them, and the build quality is fantastic, FAR better than my Sennheiser HD 595, and I paid less for the DT 150
biggrin.gif


Also, you're spot on about them being VERY underrated here, the sound of them makes me wonder why too
smily_headphones1.gif



Awesome! Thank you so much for the input Postalisback. The price for a used set in the For Sale area of the forum is usually pretty decent as well, so I'm seriously considering these.
 

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