Old Guy Utterly Confused
Jun 26, 2008 at 9:16 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 50

inthecup

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I came to Head-Fi a few months back, lurked for a time, finally joined the community and began emptying my wallet to the tune of about $700. I have enjoyed myself and have enjoyed every upgrade I have made. I now have Wooded 225s for my home enjoyment, PK2s for my walks with my dog, and my 1st amp/dac the D2 Boa. My listening to music has gone from enjoyable to unbelieveable thanks to all the help I have received from all in the community. I am still a bit confused on a number of things:

2nd set of HPs........HD600 or D2000? (wanted for a different flavor compared to my Grados)
Portable amp.......Keep my Boa or go ahead and get a Pico? (Predator)*
Home amp/dac (for use with my laptop)...budget $500 or so...solid state or tube (tube amp sure looks cool)
*If I do get a home amp perhaps get the Predator instead of the Pico (was getting the Pico because the great dac)
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 9:56 PM Post #2 of 50

catscratch

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Well, a lot will depend on what you want out of your gear. What do you like about your Grados? What don't you like? What kind of sound are you after? What kind of music do you listen to? All of that will help us pinpoint what you need to do.

I hate to give you the generic reply, but it's only generic because it's true: use your own ears. In other words, audition headphones for yourself if you can, because at this stage you probably need hands-on experience to find out what kind of sound you're after.

But, if that's not possible, then tell us exactly what you want/are after, and maybe we can narrow the choices down.

Have you ever thought of going planar - meaning electrostats? They don't have to be expensive, and will certainly give you a different presentation from your Grados.
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 10:01 PM Post #3 of 50

ericj

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Is that your tribal name?
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 10:07 PM Post #4 of 50

inthecup

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Quote:

Originally Posted by catscratch /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, a lot will depend on what you want out of your gear. What do you like about your Grados? What don't you like? What kind of sound are you after? What kind of music do you listen to? All of that will help us pinpoint what you need to do.

I hate to give you the generic reply, but it's only generic because it's true: use your own ears. In other words, audition headphones for yourself if you can, because at this stage you probably need hands-on experience to find out what kind of sound you're after.

But, if that's not possible, then tell us exactly what you want/are after, and maybe we can narrow the choices down.

Have you ever thought of going planar - meaning electrostats? They don't have to be expensive, and will certainly give you a different presentation from your Grados.



I love my 225s, I just want a different sound. I don't want 2 HPs that sound alike. I listen to Rock & Roll. I'm an old geezer, 60s & 70s stuff.
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 10:14 PM Post #5 of 50

MaloS

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If you just want a different flavor - then just go ahead and buy something from a company other than Grado =).
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 10:20 PM Post #6 of 50

inthecup

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MaloS /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you just want a different flavor - then just go ahead and buy something from a company other than Grado =).


So either the HD600 or the D2000 will do this for me?
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 10:59 PM Post #8 of 50

Hi-Finthen

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Either choice would be a different presentation from the Grados as well as form each other, which you might prefer is yet again another unknown varriable.
However, the D2000 is like the Grados in terms of efficientcy, in that a system that would drive them well would do so for both; Whereas the same cannot be said for the HD-6XX...

Safe bet IMO, go for the D2000; I like 'em
wink.gif


Hope this helps~
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 11:06 PM Post #10 of 50

catscratch

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In that case, if you're deat set on the Pico (and I'd get that instead of the Predator) then the HD600 or HD650 will be very nice for it. I'd go with the 600; it's a bit more neutral and easier to drive. The HD650 really does need balanced drive to show what it can do. But, at the same time the HD650 has a warmer tone. I find that a lot of older stuff tends to be rather thinly recorded, and the HD650's greater heft and warmth compensates for the dated production. The HD600 will show you more of what's on your recording, and the HD650 will impact more of its own character to the recording. But, don't get the HD650 without an amp that can hack it! It can sound dreadful on an amp without enough juice. The HD600 is a lot more forgiving in that respect.

With the HD600, the Pico can be the amp/DAC on the move and will be good enough for stationary purposes to start with. Not sure about how well it handles the HD650, but I've heard positive things about it.

Later on, when you want to throw more money into the rig, I would suggest going balanced. If you want to stick with Headamp (and there's no reason why you shouldn't, Justin makes some serious stuff), you can get a GS-X, a balanced source, and a balanced cable for your HD650/HD600. That will be a top-tier rig and will be definitely worth the investment - but it will also be a pretty hefty investment. Still, one thing at a time.
redface.gif


You can also try some electrostats - a Stax 2050 system or a SR-005a system will do the trick nicely. Yes those 003 headphones look puny, but don't be deceived - they sound killer and have serious bass. the 202 headphones are different - they are very airy and expansive, but a bit leaner/more analytical than what you're probably used to. They sound terrific on well-produced recordings, but badly-produced ones will sound pretty painful. The 005a system will be more forgiving.

In either case, you will need a good source, since an electrostatic system is a lot more revealing of source quality than a dynamic system (in general).

You can also play around with some vintage gear. A normal-bias Stax Lambda, together with a transformer box, is one of the best high-end headphone bargains out there. But, I'm not kidding when I say "high-end," and you will need a good source for it, as well as a speaker amp that can drive the transformer box. All of this doesn't have to be expensive, but it will take some effort in terms of tweaking and component matching before you get the most out of it. Be careful with buying used Lambdas and make sure you get a pair in good working order. They tend to be reliable when they're taken care of, but you never know. You can also try a K340. This will absolutely need a beefy amp to drive it, preferably a tube one. There are also different-sounding versions of it out there, generally called "bass-light" and "bass-heavy" versions (though there's more than just 2). I'm not sure how much of the difference is due to original design or due to how the headphones have held up over the years, but bass-light pairs tend to sound really, really good out of warmer, euphonic tube amps. I had a $200 stock K340 out of a $200 old tube amp, and it was one of the best rigs I've had. Fine wine taste on a beer budget, so to speak. But, K340s are old, and are in different conditions, so once again you'll have to be careful with what you're getting.

Anyway, just some food for thought...
 
Jun 26, 2008 at 11:08 PM Post #11 of 50

inthecup

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Hi-Finthen /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Either choice would be a different presentation from the Grados as well as form each other, which you might prefer is yet again another unknown varriable.
However, the D2000 is like the Grados in terms of efficientcy, in that a system that would drive them well would do so for both; Whereas the same cannot be said for the HD-6XX...

Safe bet IMO, go for the D2000; I like 'em
wink.gif


Hope this helps~



Yes indeed it's helped, I was looking for something that would be similar when looking at my amp options. People say that you should recable the D2000, or just go for the D5000. Do you have any thoughts on those options. Go Sox Celtics Pats.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 12:08 AM Post #12 of 50

tjohnusa

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Don't dismiss Beyerdynamics. I am also a lover of old 70's progressive and have the old DT990pro They are the best cans I have and am driving them with a Little DotII amp and am very happy with the sound. I find the sound detailed with a good amount of bass...old genisis sounds great! I am very tempted to get a set of the 2005 model but always find other uses for the funds...for now I am pleased.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 12:11 AM Post #13 of 50

Hardwired

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The HD-600s are the best of the Sennheiser line, IMO. I like the D2000s better for their fun bass impact without losing the rest of the sound spectrum, but you won't go wrong with either headphone.

As for changing amps, you'll get far more difference in sound from changing headphones than you will from changing amps. Amp differences are more subtle and can augment or detract from headphones once you find the cans you like. Look for the features you want in an amp (crossfeed, pre-outs, bass boost) as much as the sound.

I will say the D2000 cable sucks, but not enough to worry about unless you move around a lot while listening.

Just visit the For Sale forum and pick up a couple cans/amps and listen to them. Hearing them yourself is the only way to decide what you like, and is most of the fun.
smily_headphones1.gif
You can always sell off what you buy and pick up something else.
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 12:45 AM Post #14 of 50

Hi-Finthen

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Quote:

Originally Posted by inthecup /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Yes indeed it's helped, I was looking for something that would be similar when looking at my amp options. People say that you should recable the D2000, or just go for the D5000. Do you have any thoughts on those options. Go Sox Celtics Pats.


What I liked about the D2000 other than their sound signature with promenent impactful and deep bass, is that it was a satisfying listen out of anything i plugged them into. Meaning, the scale down well, the same cannot be said of the HD-650 when I owned them, and I have no experience with your amp! Oh, and of course the D2000s scale up well enough too, of course
wink.gif


I wouldn't conclude the cable needs to be upgraded and i certainly wouldn't swing for the D5000 for that reason when I so decided to buy.

'bout them Sox, Celtics, Pats, eh
smily_headphones1.gif


Good luck~
 
Jun 27, 2008 at 2:16 AM Post #15 of 50

Golden Monkey

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Yup, Al4x's opinion aside, the D2000 is a great can. Easy to drive, is fantastic for rock in all it's varieties, comfy, etc. If you are more blues/vocals/live music/acoustically inclined, the HD650 is awesome, but you'll want a good amp. The flavor is quite different from the Denons or Grados, but just...wow. For not too much ($299 + $50 shipping), the Little Dot MKV amp pairs well wth the Denons and the Senns, and I imagine the Grados as well, so if you go that route, you have a nice scalable amp for other phones, and since it's solid state, no need for tube obsession. If you want a DAC as well, maybe the Zero would be a good bet, as it has an integrated headphone amp, and has garnered rave reviews. POrtable amp? I'm myself leaning towards the Meier Corda 2Move. Read the "37 portable amps reviewed" megathread..it's a fun one.

You DO know that posting this topic will get you more suggestions than replies, and will leave you even MORE confused than when you started, right?
wink.gif


For a pretty funny read (IMO) and a comparison of the Senn HD650 and Denon D2000 on the MKV, I have a big old thread going on that topic...feel free to drop by and have a read, and drop a question or two if you feel like it. I'll leave some lemonade and cookies out for you, lol...READ
 

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