One rig to last forever
Oct 25, 2008 at 9:25 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 37

PhoxHound

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This is a hypothetical thread as at the moment I'm in no position to be spending lots of money on new parts, but the curiosity is killing me. Apologies, but I have to ask.

At some undetermined point in time I intend to make a purchase which will be the absolute last purchase; one with which I can be satisfied for a very long time. Note that this does not mean the absolute best rig possible, but one that I will likely never need to improve on (I'm only a moderately discerning listener). I listen to the following:

Techno (dance/trance) and hard techno (hardstyle/jumpstyle)
Drum and Bass
Hard rock
Alternative
Classical (mostly Chopin/Rachmaninoff/Schubert)

So yeah, my tastes are all over the place, but I do love bass. As far as sound signatures go, I tend to prefer warm over bright since I have headphones on pretty much all the time when at home, and up front to laid back as I usually listen at lower volumes.

Also, since these will come with me to college, it is highly preferable that they are closed, or at least have minimal leakage; something like Grados would not be good as apparently they leak like a broken pipe.

As long as the total price remains under $500 US, I will consider it. The source equipment I have is as follows:
Creative Xmod
Denon DRA-835R
Sansa Fuze 8GB

I am willing to buy a new amp, but not an expensive full size one. Here's what I have been considering as far as actual stuff goes.

Headphones:
Denon D2000 [~220$]
I've heard these can sound slow and thus a bit muddled, but I'm nervous to markl mod them (and I'd rather not shell out the dough to have it done, sorry markl).

Audio-Technica ESW9 [250-350$]
I heard these have good bass, which is very unusual for a wooden phone (particularly from AT). Also, as portables, will they be comfortable for long sessions?

Ultrasone Pro 750 [350-450$]
I've heard a lot of great things about these, but I have no way to audition an Ultrasone to test their signature (which I've heard is very much love it or hate it).

IEMs:
Shure SE530 [450$]
How comfortable are these, and are they OK both with and without amplification?

LiveWires [249$ + impressions]
How do these sound in comparison to, say, the FreQ SuperFreQ?


Amps:
Travagan's Red [190$]
I heard this was a great amp for the price.

Practical Devices XM4 [120$]
Again, heard great things about this one. How would it pair with say, the ESW9 or the SuperFreQ?

Combos:
Denon D2000 and Travagan's Red [~420$]

Audio-Technica ESW9 and Practical Devices XM4 [~400$]
I'm thinking of the XM4 so I could use this as a portable rig.

LiveWires and Practical Devices XM4 [360$ + impressions]
Do the LiveWires really improve with amplification, or can I bypass it?

Portability is a plus but it really doesn't matter that much.

TL;DR if you will, but my curiosity got the better of me and I just REALLY wanted to ask.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 12:18 AM Post #3 of 37

PhoxHound

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The amp I'm using is a 15 year old Denon receiver (DRA-835R) which I'm assuming is good since it apparently was mighty expensive at the time. I'm guessing my DAC would be the Xmod then.

Moon Audio sells the D2000 with 5' Blue Dragon for $550. Would that be a good choice?
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 12:29 AM Post #5 of 37

Bonta

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one rig to bind them





sorry couldnt help myself.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 1:18 AM Post #6 of 37

RockCity

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To answer your question, all the rigs are build to last beyond your lifetime. If you're asking about which one will keep you interested, then you need to try them all and decide for yourself. Ironically, this approach defeats your question. My advice is to go by highest budget then you can convince yourself this is the best you can do at the time.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 1:37 AM Post #7 of 37

1Time

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PhoxHound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The amp I'm using is a 15 year old Denon receiver (DRA-835R) which I'm assuming is good since it apparently was mighty expensive at the time. I'm guessing my DAC would be the Xmod then.

Moon Audio sells the D2000 with 5' Blue Dragon for $550. Would that be a good choice?



Receivers usually don't drive headphones better than good headphone amps. Your receiver "may" suffice for your needs. However, the D2000 is reported to scale well with better amping, and so you likely would appreciably benefit from buying one. So I don't think that Moon Audio purchase would be your best money spent, that is, if you don't expect to spend more money later on for a headphone amp. Basically, I'm standing by my earlier post. Buying used can get you a better system for the money. Piecing such a system together may be your best route. Get the D2000 and mod it. See how well your receiver drives it. Then you will be in a better position to determine whether you want to invest in a headphone amp and re-cable. Because of your stated non-audiophile needs, I don't suggest getting the expensive Mood Audio D2000. A decent DAC/amp or amp plus a modded D2000 and optional re-cable seems best.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 3:50 AM Post #8 of 37

PhoxHound

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Well so far from the opinions in this thread the D2000 looks to be ahead.

I'm a bit nervous on the issue of modding, as the only "mod" I've ever done on anything was crafting one of these.

As far as a rig that will "last forever", the description I've heard of the D2000 fits pretty much exactly what I'd like in a headphone.

I found the D2000 available for 220$ from Etronics.com (a source I've purchased from before and one that I trust). Since that is very well within budget, I likely would consider an amp, even if a portable one. My understanding is that there are some very, very high quality portable amps out there. What would be a good suggestion?
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 4:15 AM Post #9 of 37

1Time

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Quote:

Originally Posted by PhoxHound /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well so far from the opinions in this thread the D2000 looks to be ahead.

I'm a bit nervous on the issue of modding, as the only "mod" I've ever done on anything was crafting one of these.

As far as a rig that will "last forever", the description I've heard of the D2000 fits pretty much exactly what I'd like in a headphone.

I found the D2000 available for 220$ from Etronics.com (a source I've purchased from before and one that I trust). Since that is very well within budget, I likely would consider an amp, even if a portable one. My understanding is that there are some very, very high quality portable amps out there. What would be a good suggestion?



Here is where to buy the D2000 for under $200 shipped. Your needs likely will be satisfied without the mod or re-cable, so I suggest considering those as bonus options. Your biggest concerns after the D2000 should be the quality of what your feeding it and and how well you amp it. You seem to be set on using your receiver's headphone out jack. With a $300 budget, a line out from your receiver to a DAC/amp may be a better option; I don't know. Or, the better option may be a $300 amp, possibly not a portable but a desktop. If you don't need a portable amp, you should consider a desktop amp. I suggest posting and searching in the amp forum regarding these options for D2000.
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 4:08 PM Post #11 of 37

zotjen

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Quote:

I intend to make a purchase which will be the absolute last purchase


Famous last words.
tongue.gif
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 4:33 PM Post #12 of 37

krmathis

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Forever?! Yeah right...
The curse will take you, like the rest of us you, and make you buy new gear at least once a year.
tongue.gif
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 4:55 PM Post #13 of 37

PhoxHound

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Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Forever?! Yeah right...
The curse will take you, like the rest of us you, and make you buy new gear at least once a year.
tongue.gif



It already has but the steps to upgraditis fall in this order:

1. Have money
2. Buy things with money you have
3. ????
4. PROFIT!!

Unfortunately I cannot complete the first step as I have no money at the moment. T_T
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 5:34 PM Post #14 of 37

synaesthetic

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I'm just going to skip the whole upgrade process, enjoy my VHP1 and AD700s, until I can afford Stax Omega-IIs.
biggrin.gif


It'll be cheaper that way because I know I'm just going to end up with O2s eventually!


Quote:

Originally Posted by krmathis /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Forever?! Yeah right...
The curse will take you, like the rest of us you, and make you buy new gear at least once a year.
tongue.gif



krmathis you're at the pinnacle already, when was the last time you bought new gear? =P
 
Oct 26, 2008 at 5:45 PM Post #15 of 37

krmathis

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Quote:

Originally Posted by synaesthetic /img/forum/go_quote.gif
krmathis you're at the pinnacle already, when was the last time you bought new gear? =P


The Isabellina just two months ago...
I have actually spent close to $7,000 on audio gear the last four months. Recovered most of it from sales though.
 

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