New budget audiophile here, as if such a thing exists.
Oct 31, 2013 at 7:26 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


New Head-Fier
Oct 31, 2013
Hello everyone,
Firstly I would like to apologize for being sporadic.
So I recently purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD428s's. I was immediately blown away at how crisp and clean everything sounded. Immediately began reripping my entire cd collection to 320 kbps mp3 or .alc for my favorite albums.I can't believe that i never realized what a HUGE difference this makes, and that I've almost abandoned my cd collection. This has pushed me to research equipment and how audio quality is affected. From what I've seen it appears I need a portable DAC to get the most out of my headphones. I'm assuming I could also use this to improve the quality of my pc setup which is just a onboard soundcard a Altec Lansing 2100 sub which is pushing a pair of Kenwood crs-177's (I'm very happy with these speakers for $3)
As the title would suggest I'm just starting out and I have a thrift store hobby which is how I obtain most of my electronics. Any specific things I should look out for? perhaps a better standalone cd player? (i have the first model playstation since i also collect video game consoles but i don't buy into all that hype) A standalone amp? piece together a 7.1 setup? brands to look out for? most bang for the buck is the main concern.
On another tangent I have a decent collection on vinyl i have never had the chance to enjoy. the only thing i have to listen to them is a Ion Quick play LP which is probably a piece of garbage but it was cheap at a thrift. My dream would be to have a vintage console player to go with my console tv (takes me back). but it's hard to find one in working condition that isnt way overpriced and I'm not sure i would get the quality out of something like that without frankensteining the hell out of it.
Thank you.
Oct 31, 2013 at 8:38 AM Post #2 of 3
Ironically your PlayStation is one of the best CD players available for audiophiles on a budget and even pops up at headfi meets because it's widely known to be an excellent 'high-end' budget CD player.
For your needs, I wouldn't spend too much on a DAC. Maybe a small portable or USB DAC would suffice. In the whole audio chain, the DAC has the least affect on the sound (apart from cables), but it is worth getting one.
In your question you're not really clear in what you want to achieve. Do you have a goal, or are you just open to suggestions?
If you're just picking up 'random' electronics from a thrift store, it's always good to check out vintage headphones. 
They can be had for VERY little money and occasionally they're surprisingly good. Of course there are lemons too, so it's wise to try them out first.
You might need to get a decent portable amplifier if you want to try them out in the store, as most vintage headphones are nowhere near as sensitive as today's consumer fodder.
Oct 31, 2013 at 9:11 AM Post #3 of 3
Thank you very much, I'm pretty much just fishing for suggestions right now. I do pick up random electronics if they are in decent shape since I haven't found a good way to test them. I try to use brand recognition as well. I am very fond of the aesthetic of vintage electronics and would like to go that route. As far as the play station is concerned I will give it another shot however I will require some kind of amp for it as there is no way to control the volume, and it sounds much too quiet on my headphones for my taste. I haven't leaving it run like some have suggested so that may come into play as well.

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