Recommendation for my next upgrade
Jul 20, 2009 at 6:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3


Jan 10, 2009
I currently have the following setup:

1) Oppo BDP-83 (analog 2-Ch) > HR Portable Desktop > AH-D5000 or HD-595

2) Oppo BDP-83 (optical) > HR Portable Desktop > AH-D5000 or HD-595

I use the first setup for SACD (stereo of course) and the latter for CD. Oppo actually uses the same DAC as HR but using HR sounds a tiny bit better for CD's. Obviously, I have to use the DAC in the Oppo for SACD's.

I mainly listen to classical music (baroque and romantic era) and was seeking some opinions on what my long-term upgrade goals should be. I like Headroom so I am posting this here first. I may move it to a general forum later if needed.

As far as Headphones go, I am pretty happy with the Denon for now. It has a very enjoyable sound for the most part. However, almost no one recommends it for classical music. I was thinking of getting a Sennheiser HD-600 at some point. Other possibilities are the AKG-701, HD-650 or AH-D7000. I included the AH-D7000, not because it is recommended for classical, but because I already like many things about it's little brother.

I also need help with the amplifier/DAC/transport. I need to decide between the Ultra Desktop or the BUDA. If I get the BUDA, I will purchase a dedicated SACD player with balanced output like the Marantz SA-11S2. If I get the UDA, I will stick with the Oppo. The difference in price is about $4000 ($3700 for the SA-11S2 and the rest for balanced cables).

The choice of headphones is not that critical. They are relatively cheap and I can return them if I don't like them. However, the choice between UDA and BUDA is quite significant because of the increased cost of upgrading from the Oppo.
Jul 21, 2009 at 11:02 PM Post #2 of 3
Consider adding a computer to your system? You can put your CD collection there, adding high rez digital files - which include a lot of classical offerings.

As for your Dac/Amp upgrade, I will be saving for the balanced system myself. It will fit into my system now, and cables for my headphones of course will be needed.

I am not positive on the long term status of any physical media. Certainly over the short term 5-10 years they will continue. Also the 'niche' market for SACD, and even vinyl will continue, but become progressively more expensive. High Rez downloadable music will become the norm for audiophiles in my opinion. The BUDA set up will take the most advantage of current and (in my opinion) and future media. Of course that would be true of any good ESS DAC, and certainly there will be more coming. Hard to beat the Headroom gear.

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