Need help, first buys
Apr 26, 2008 at 12:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

joesteezy

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I've finally decided to spend way too much money on some headphones. I did some research and I think I am going to buy a pair of dt770's. When I first went to upgrade I was considering a pair of Sennheiser's but I think the dt770 is a better choice, mainly because of the bass as I listen to mostly electronic stuff and rap. Once I realized Id need an amp I started looking around and got completely lost. Price is a huge factor in this because I'm a college student and therefore one of the brokest people on earth, but I'm not cheap so if some really expensive equipment is going to blow me away I don't have a problem buying it, although I prefer the less expensive working solution. Here's my questions;

1) I get most of my stuff off eBay and the 250ohm version of the dt770 costs a little less than the 80ohm version. Is there a difference between the 2 as long as I have it properly amped?

2) I use my laptop for most of my listening, the only output it has is a "headphone" jack, not a line-out. I know I need something else between there and my headphones, but I don't know what exactly. I rarely use my ipod so I don't really need a portable solution, but it would be helpful. I plan on using a Sony receiver to do some amping right when I get the headphones, but I need something that I can transport more easily. I am considering the Turtle Beach Audio Advantage Micro because it is extremely cheap and seems like it would power the headphones but I really don't know. Will just replacing the soundcard help me out with anything or should I get a stand-alone amp? It looks like the cheapest option but if it wont do anything I wont consider it.

3) If a soundcard with a built-in headphone amp wont do the trick, what are some entry level options to power my headphones? Like I said, it doesn't have to fit in my pocket but I need to be able to pack it up pretty easily.

Sorry if I am asking the wrong questions but hopefully someone will see where I'm coming from. Any input on my setup is appreciated.
 
Apr 26, 2008 at 4:12 AM Post #2 of 8

alitomr

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Im in your same spot, or at least in a very similar one. Check out this thread, it was meant to help us noobs. There are a ton of broken links but also a lot of useful ones.

I am now considering the following: headphonia headstage dac/amp (Headphonia.com), Practical Devices Corporation and headroom's (HeadRoom - Right Between Your Ears) bithead or the airhead.

My problem is that I need them to drive the HD6x0 which are one of the most demanding cans in terms of power according to what ive read. Some say those portables are useless for those big cans and others think they are definitely a big help.

If you are using your laptop then you need a dac, because your lappie sound card sucks for sure. The bithead and headstage are both DAC/amps. Have in mind that all these Im telling you are portable and very entry level, to not call them cheap.

There is a nice thread where they are all reviewed and they seem seem to be very good acording to the reviewer who seem to be very literate and who has tested many amps/headphones.

Hope that helps a bit.
 
Apr 26, 2008 at 2:43 PM Post #3 of 8

joesteezy

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Thanks, I think I know what I need now. I thought I was spending a lot on headphones, didn't think I would have to spend that much on an amp as well. I like that most of the stuff is quality and seems like it will last for a few years.
 
Apr 26, 2008 at 3:07 PM Post #4 of 8

klb2122

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look at the headamp pico with a dac.

headamp's products have a long record for being wonderfully built and the fan base swears by their capabilities. If your running music from your computer the "best" solution i have found is a USB/DAC and the best i've heard is what i own, wavelength audio's "BRICK". A much less expensive and pretty portable option is their new "proton". You can get the email of the builder to ask about amping power of the proton, it has a built in headphone out, but his products are amazing. They dont appear much on threads here, but, that's in large part due to the fact that everything is hand made by one guy in ohio. if you search the web you'll come across several reviews that all have one thing in common. wavelength blows the products they're compared to out of the water.
if willing to depart with some cash to get the most out of your computer and your headphones check out the proton or the more budget friendly pico.
 
Apr 27, 2008 at 2:38 AM Post #5 of 8

charley phogg

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Check out this thread . It's getting some pretty hefty reviews....

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f5/o1-...tavart-298447/

Here is the octavart site ......

Head-Direct.com

Also mrarroyo has reported that the priice has dropped. $99 for just amp, $199 for amp/dac. Miguel has alot of experience with alot of different amps. It's sold out right now, so maybe contact them and see whne it will be in stock.

Or if you in fact are going to go the bithead route, I'd say get the Total Bithead since it has the dac built in, over the Airhead.

Between the octavart or the TBH if I wasn't looking for portabilty then I would go with the octavart, if you want to use it on the go, then TBH.
 
Apr 27, 2008 at 9:40 PM Post #6 of 8

joesteezy

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Cool, I like that O1 amp. Its still sold out but Ill see if I can find one used. It looks like the best option for ~$100.

DAC question: Like I said I only have a headphone jack, so I need a DAC. First option is the Headphonia DAC Cable for $40. Its probably not the highest quality but it should be ok. My other option, I think, would be buying a new soundcard with a line-out. Im not exactly sure, but wouldn't that be non-amplified and "clean" signal to connect to an amp? I searched around and the cheapest dac I could find was that cable so Im thinking I could spend slightly more for a nicer soundcard, theyre pretty cheap anyways. Otherwise all the DACs are another $100 which Im really trying not to pay. Any suggestions? Im not cheap exactly but I dont think Ill get twice the performance for twice the price, and I dont really need twice the performance.
 
Apr 28, 2008 at 12:07 AM Post #7 of 8

charley phogg

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I don't have any experience with laptops, but everything in a laptop is a compromise and everything is stuffed in there so closley. IMO I would go with usb, coax, or optical out, depending on what you have, so that would remove your soundcard from the equation. But would also require a dac, built in or standalone. I would put my money towards that then getting a different soundcard.

There are a couple of really good thread's here comparing a good amount of portable amps. One by skylab, another by mrrayroro (?) . Check those out, probably dome others too i'm sure.
 
Apr 28, 2008 at 3:48 AM Post #8 of 8

Dept_of_Alchemy

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Look into the Little Dot Mk series of tube amps, I consider them to be the best value in entry- to mid- level tube amps today. They'll definitely sound better than the Turtle Beach product and offers a different perspective to the solid state HeadRoom amps.
 

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