New source... Where to go from here?
Dec 2, 2004 at 2:01 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

BANGPOD

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Head-Fi'ers --

My headphone setup is listed in my signature below...
I am looking to upgrade my source -- it can be either one or two boxes.

My HR-2 is permanent, as are my ER-4S and K-501 (for the most part).

Even though the NEC and Muse 2 sound great together...
I think it is time for me to get something better.

If a new source is not best for me at the moment:
I can always change the op-amp's if there are better.
I can always upgrade either of the two above headphones.
I can always change interconnects and upgrade power conditioning.

Where can I go from here?

BANGPOD

P.S. Read the P.F. article and the NEC/Muse 2 combination. It is very true!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Dec 2, 2004 at 7:00 AM Post #2 of 17

IanS

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Whatever you do, I would strongly suggest that you try blind A/B comparisons between your current source, and your potential new source before forking out cash.

I've been thinking along the same lines as you, that I need to upgrade my $20 NEC 6Xe CDR-602 to something 'better'.

So far I've brought in 3 other transports, and during A/B comparisons, I've been unable to differentiate them.

Also, I've done the comparisons on my desk right beside where I sit, and the NEC is the only one that has been dead silent, which is a big deal to me.

Bottom line is the NEC is still on the desk .... for now ...
 
Dec 2, 2004 at 7:10 AM Post #3 of 17

lan

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I'd upgrade the power supply of the NEC but that is hard since it's more like a DIY / custom thing. Then a better digital cable between the transport and DAC. Then a better powercord for the source and amp.

Alternatively, maybe a more jitter resistance DAC like Benchmark DAC1 or mytek. They are <$1000.
 
Dec 2, 2004 at 10:38 PM Post #4 of 17

BANGPOD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IanS
Whatever you do, I would strongly suggest that you try blind A/B comparisons between your current source, and your potential new source before forking out cash.

I've been thinking along the same lines as you, that I need to upgrade my $20 NEC 6Xe CDR-602 to something 'better'.

So far I've brought in 3 other transports, and during A/B comparisons, I've been unable to differentiate them.

Also, I've done the comparisons on my desk right beside where I sit, and the NEC is the only one that has been dead silent, which is a big deal to me.

Bottom line is the NEC is still on the desk .... for now ...



IanS --

There is something I need to clarify before I continue further...
I am not looking to change only the transport, as it may seem.
I would like to change the transport/dac (source) in its entirety.

IanS, I know how good the NEC is -- I have tried 15 transports in my system.
But the NEC is good for its price, not really on the audio grand scale.
It is not as if it is a revolutionary giant killer that tops the PiTracer
rolleyes.gif
.
The NEC gives you what you paid for... Maybe a bit more than less
wink.gif
.

I know a good source when I hear one, I don't need a blind test to tell me that.

But anyway, here is my criteria...

What I want most in my system is detail, neutrality, and transparency (D, N, and T).

I feel that the ER-4S gives me a great start for my above preferences.
I also feel that the HR-2 with AD-8065's or LT-1028's gives me D, N, and T.

Would the K1000, Omega 2, or Grado HP Series be better for my goals?
If not, is there a better head amp to satisfy my goals with the ER-4S?
Is there any cable upgrading I can do to get more of this from my system?
Should I worry about power conditioning now or wait until later for it?

Should I be considering electrostatics or should I concentrate on dynamics?

Thanks in advance,
BANGPOD
 
Dec 2, 2004 at 10:42 PM Post #5 of 17

BANGPOD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lan
I'd upgrade the power supply of the NEC but that is hard since it's more like a DIY / custom thing. Then a better digital cable between the transport and DAC. Then a better powercord for the source and amp.

Alternatively, maybe a more jitter resistance DAC like Benchmark DAC1 or mytek. They are <$1000.



lan --

All good suggestions -- thank you much.
But I am looking to change my system according to my preferences.

A detailed, neutral, resolved system that is transparent and fast as lightning.
wink.gif


BANGPOD
 
Dec 3, 2004 at 8:05 PM Post #6 of 17

BANGPOD

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Middle of the day, study break bump!
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BANGPOD
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 1:49 AM Post #7 of 17

BANGPOD

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Last bump before I let this thread die!
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BANGPOD
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 2:24 AM Post #8 of 17

lan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BANGPOD
All good suggestions -- thank you much.
But I am looking to change my system according to my preferences.

A detailed, neutral, resolved system that is transparent and fast as lightning.
wink.gif




Strange I missed your responses and didn't read this until now. Well if you like your system, those tweaks make it better version of itself. I believe in if it works, don't mess with it too much. And another source will be a large change which you need to audition if it suits you. Think of the tweaks as foundations for future components and will help make the better components clearly even better when you get them.

If you have specific needs, then the best thing to do is to audition.
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 4:18 AM Post #10 of 17

BANGPOD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lilac_Wine
This is probably not what you are looking for, but try vinyl and leave your digital source as is. I really like my 4s and enjoy switching from cd to vinyl soures.

Just an idea.



Lilac_Wine --

HAHA. That is such a good excuse for me to spend money.

The problem is that I love the sound of my system as it is right now.
But I wish I could take every part of my system and multiply it by X.

I guess what I am asking is...

Can I upgrade my source with a more hi-fi version of my NEC/Muse 2?
Same thing with my interconnects and headphones... Is it possible?

BANGPOD
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 4:22 AM Post #11 of 17

BANGPOD

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Head-Fi'ers --

Does anybody know any good places to audition sources in Atlanta or on Long Island?
Are their any head-fi'ers in either of these two areas with hi-fi sources that I may audition?

BANGPOD
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 5:14 AM Post #12 of 17

Ferbose

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BANGPOD
lan --

All good suggestions -- thank you much.
But I am looking to change my system according to my preferences.

A detailed, neutral, resolved system that is transparent and fast as lightning.
wink.gif


BANGPOD



I'll second the suggestion on Benchmark DAC1.
From my experience I feel that DAC1+K501 excels at neutrality, details, resolution and transparency.
What DAC1+K501 may not be best at is probably bass slam, warmth and attack.
I think DAC1 and K501 is a good match.
I never feel DAC1 being too sibilant or edgy.
 
Dec 6, 2004 at 2:28 PM Post #13 of 17

BANGPOD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ferbose
I'll second the suggestion on Benchmark DAC1.
From my experience I feel that DAC1+K501 excels at neutrality, details, resolution and transparency.
What DAC1+K501 may not be best at is probably bass slam, warmth and attack.
I think DAC1 and K501 is a good match.
I never feel DAC1 being too sibilant or edgy.



Ferbose, et al --

I was considering the Benchmark DAC1 until...
I heard that it is not a good match with the HR-2.

I heard that it is a better match with the Prehead.

Is this true?

BANGPOD
 
Dec 8, 2004 at 9:49 PM Post #14 of 17

Edwood

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Quote:

Originally Posted by BANGPOD
lan --

All good suggestions -- thank you much.
But I am looking to change my system according to my preferences.

A detailed, neutral, resolved system that is transparent and fast as lightning.
wink.gif


BANGPOD




That pretty much describes the Benchmark DAC1.

Try Iron_Dreamer's HD650 balanced output "mod" (only the cable needs to be modded) and you can sell your HR-2.

But if the HD650 is not your cup of tea, oh well.

If you want to go with K1000's I'd stay away from the Benchmark DAC1. Unless you plan on getting a whole nother amp as well.

-Ed
 
Dec 9, 2004 at 5:55 AM Post #15 of 17

BANGPOD

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwood
That pretty much describes the Benchmark DAC1.

Try Iron_Dreamer's HD650 balanced output "mod" (only the cable needs to be modded) and you can sell your HR-2.

But if the HD650 is not your cup of tea, oh well.

If you want to go with K1000's I'd stay away from the Benchmark DAC1. Unless you plan on getting a whole nother amp as well.

-Ed



Edwood --

If the Benchmark DAC1 sounds like you say it does, then I will like it.

I am not a big fan of the HD-650 sound but I respect it, nonetheless.
I want a headphone that sounds like the ER-4S/HP Series/K1000.

With the ER-4S/HP Series and DAC1, what headphone amp would you get?
If I bought the K1000, what DAC/headphone amp would you pair with it?

What about going electrostatic to satisfy my cravings?

Scott

P.S. Edwood, you basically constructed my first system and I love it.
But I think now I need to move on to something bigger and better.
Your reccomendations gave me hours of joy -- I respect your opinion.
 

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