"Top audiophile experience" around 1000 bucks all included is it possible?

Discussion in 'High-end Audio Forum' started by richard51, Nov 11, 2017.
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  1. Music Alchemist
    The thing is, my ~$1K tower speaker system (or $3,500+ if you count the computer, software, hard drive, etc.) blows away any headphone system I've heard (including ones approaching $10K) in just about every way. (Disclaimer: Although STAX are my favorite headphones, I have not heard high-end STAX...but speakers can do things headphones never could.)

    Granted, it's not going to be comparable to the performance of the best speaker systems (which can cost up to millions of dollars), but it would be what I'd generally recommend to someone wanting the best sound for the money. (Given a speaker-friendly environment.) I used to prefer headphones and was astonished when even the best headphones I'd heard sounded, comparatively, like cheap toys after I delved into the world of speakers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  2. richard51
    mulveling
    the thread exist if you had read it to inform about LOW COST experiments, that prove to me to be worth the expanse hundred times...Arguing without trying what I describe, that is so simple at this low cost, is bad faith or the effect of some kind of denegation by someone that own his audio luxury gear thinking that TOP audio experience is only for people who can throw big money... I dont think so.... There is a balance to gain that is between the subjective bias, the objective bias, in the diminishing return zones or very near to it...

    By the way even if you had listen to an AKG K 340 before,you dont know it, because mine sound out of the box nowhere near the way it sound now, modified by me in my cleaned and treated system... I have the stax SR-5, one of the very good stax, and there is no comparison with my AKG , neither with my lambda nova...Only the top Stax can beat it indeed and that is for sure indeed but think about that: I pay 100 bucks for the AKG, what is the price of Stax omega, or 007,or 009 +amp?...And my Sansui amplifier is TOTL in 1978...There is better but you must pay a great amount to crush it...By the way I had also the Sansui AU-x701 that is better than most of the amplifier hyped here below 2000 dollars or probably even more...A high end product of 1990 is not obsolete,certainly not an amplifier....
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  3. richard51
    I think that you are right to recommend speakers compared to headphone...In near listening my Mission are very good, without apparent defect at all, but they are cleaned and treated against vibrations, and they sold 1000 in 1990, and the british designer are very good...They are better speakers for sure, but at much higher cost...By the way of two things one, or my Mission were very bad indeed, or my AKG K 340 are very good indeed, but in my system they sound very much the same, relatively near one another,with depth imaging and details in the two case....For sure speakers and headphones are different experience,but I am lucky with these 2 that approximate one another, this is heaven... The reason is that my modified AKG K 340 approximate good speakers are the treatment against vibrations, and the lowering of the noise floor of the system with stones at all links that is very effective,especially with the AKG K 340 that are sensible to not only the source but to the height of the noise floor...
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  4. richard51
    But in this thread, arguing about what is better is like arguing about a piss performance.... Suggestion is good with opinions, but the better is also suggesting ways to improve what we already own
    ...This is the point I try to make for some beginners .... I am interested also by informed opinions like Music alchemist recommending speakers for top audio experience, in general I think like him, if we can this is the way to go...

    Unlike speakers,few headphone right of the box possess a depth imaging and project a soundstage that will not inhabit only in our ears....:L3000:I am more than lucky with the AKG...



    A last remark: .Almost all threads are about a product that supposedly makes a difference, sometimes with big money involved...Why people doubt or mock a thread that do not advise expanse first but thinking first? Why they dont want to try a few bucks experiment? Asking the question is almost answering it...
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  5. mulveling Contributor
    I've owned three K340 over the years, one modded. Still have one somewhere, probably buried under old papers and clothes in a closet. But obviously I "don't know it" like you do. 15 years of real experience here, starting from budget level, and going a step at a time up the ladder with headphones and then speakers. A K340 system can sound extremely enjoyable but it's never going to be near top class in accuracy and detail. And headphones can never compete with speakers in soundstage/imaging -- none of them, not even the very best systems. If that's a top priority, then you are certainly much better off with speakers. But then no 10K speaker setup will compete with a top headphone setup in detail, accuracy, and bandwidth. Hell, even a well amped HD650 is tough as crap to beat in those areas. They both have their place.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  6. richard51
    I think that the choice of speakers is better if someone must choose only one system...But you are right they are complementary, few headphones can rival speakers of the same level quality in depth imaging and soundstage, and yes few speakers can rival headphone in details....

    For the AKG the most important thing for me, is the damping method (sorbothane inside and outside)+ also the stones(agate+shungite) I use to improve the soundstage, and cutting the plastic grid,removing the wool;but at the end the cleaning of the electrical grid is another big improvement because the hybrid AKG is very,very sensible to the source and to the floor noise level, at the end my AKG crush all my headphones totally on all count : the he 400, the Stax SR-5, the lambda nova, the beyerdynamic DT-150, it is impossible for me to listen to them now...I apologize if I was rude, I am sure that you know what you speak about, but I know also something...Thanks very much for your reply and interesting participation...and I give to you my best for the Christmas to come and for all people here also....

    A last remark, the most upgrading effect in my audio life is this cleaning of the electrical grid which I am advocate here,the AKG was transformed by that on all count, especially the depth imaging improvement, the near spherical soundstaging effect, and last but not least the really natural sound that comes from it at last because of his mids frequencies flowing accent... There is better than the AKG,(your Stax are certainly better driven by BHSE) but probably not under 1000 bucks, and the rendering of voices is so detailed and perfect that even higher than 1000 I think it is not evident to replace them... No headphone is perfect but for 100 bucks, I cannot imagine to upgrade them...And remember that this thread is not about the better in an absolute sense,but about what we can do to approximate the best there is with intelligent choice of elements and methods to improve them all...Newcomers will appreciate the possibility to have this experience at a reasonable cost... When I come here 7 years ago I really think that under 6,000 bucks, all choice were too short and not sufficient for the TOP audio experience possibility with dac,amp,speakers and headphone package... I dont think so now...
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
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  7. Audioholic123
    No, a "top audiophile experience" is not possible for $1K. A $500 - $800 headphone combined with even just an $150 - $250 entry level solid state integrated amplifier and/or DAP/cd player should get you roughly 60% the way there (the 40% difference being in the thousand's $$$$...).
    And when you reach this "top audiophile experience" or what i'd call true audiophile nirvana, you'll know...
    No offense but the fact that you felt the need to create a thread like this means you're not quite there yet..
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  8. Music Alchemist
    Price doesn't always correlate to quality. I owned multiple five figures worth of headphones and related equipment, and auditioned five figures worth on top of that, and think STAX Lambdas (which can be acquired on the used market with an amplifier for as low as a few hundred dollars) sound far superior to any non-electrostatic headphone I've heard regardless of price. And, as I covered above, I think my speakers are on a much higher level than any of those. These are merely my subjective impressions, of course, but the whole percentage thing is highly subjective as well. I think the Koss KTXPRO1 (a dynamic semi-open on-ear that costs under $20) is 90% as good as any headphone. All the improvements beyond what it's capable of account for only a small percentage of the overall sound, in my experience. Diminishing returns kicks in prettttty early...

    I will acknowledge that if we're talking about the best sound quality possible, that's obviously not going to happen under $1K. It's just that you can get sound that, for some people at least, is actually better than many more expensive systems on that budget.
     
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  9. richard51
    I thank you for your participation, and I think you are right on the spot...I start this thread to give hope to the inexperimented beginners abandonned in the marketting jungle, and i want to clearly state that this is not money only that can buy a top audiophile system but thinking and information first....Almost all thread here are about way to give your money to the best there is....This thread is about the way to implement a top audiophile system around 1000 bucks, i know that this is possible, i have one...This week i listen to a system around 20,000 dollars, speakers,amplifier, dac, and guess what: this system is more detailed than the one i own, yes, but fatiguing, obstructing the musical flow with microcospic details... Do i want this system ? Hell no....:ksc75smile:

    This thread is not about the best audio product there is, it is about the possibility to have real audio orgasm around 1000 bucks,and after that forgetting costly audio upgrading urgency...I have that kind of musical experience now, you can also...Any help is welcome, the information will be given to all....This thread want to be a research program for all...I dont have all the answers only some,i will wait for your suggestions and helping reflexion...If you want to repeat at nauseam that TOP AUDIO EXPERIENCE is impossible around 1000 bucks, it is not necessary to repeat that, some had already said that a few post behind...And it is no help, because anybody already know that with the right amount of money even thinking is no more necessary... It is for that reason that plenty of money is not the goal of life....:ksc75smile:
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  10. Audioholic123
    Like I said, if you have $1,000 to spend on audio equipment and want the best sound quality possible for the money, my advice to anyone would be to spend most of the money on a high-end headphone ($500 - $800) first and then look at some of the entry level amps/cd players/DAP's, this will be a better way and give you the maximum sound quality experience for the money, instead of the other way about (spending most of the money on the amp/cd player/DAP and buying a cheaper $200 to $500 headphone).
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  11. richard51
    Interesting suggestion...I am not sure that i think like you but interesting suggestion to think about...The fact is for me my totl headphone cost me 100 bucks...But for anyone else interesting possibility to ponder with.... Thanks... And Merry Christmas to you...
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  12. Music Alchemist
    I agree with this transducer first philosophy, for the most part, at least. I did at times get more enjoyable sound (than certain other headphones) with a cheaper headphone and higher-end electronics (such as the Koss KTXPRO1 paired with the Chord Mojo), but this was more of an exception to the rule. I once got a four figure DAC and used it with $300 speakers. After I upgraded the speakers and (temporarily) downgraded to a cheap DAC, I felt so silly for approaching it backwards before.
     
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  13. antimatter
    Micro Seiki DD5: $200, comes with cart.
    Sansui au-222: $300
    Onkyo d-66rx: $400
    GIK bass traps: $200
    Sony mdr-7506 with aftermarket ear pads: $125
    Acupwr step down transformer: $125
    RAM electronics faux viablue speaker cables: 30ft=$100
    Used Audio Stand:$50
    Shipping: $500

    $2k. Under $1k is tough when you start to factor in everything. $2k is pretty doable though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
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  14. richard51
    At first sight your suggestion seems promising....But i am very partial and favorable to the Sansui Au-222....:L3000: Merry Christmas Antimatter...
     
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  15. Audioholic123
    Many years ago when I first started out in this hobby, I bought the Denon AH-D5000 (now replaced with the Fostex THX00-PH) headphones for $700 and then:
    Linn LK85 power amp - bought used for $410, price when new was $3,000...
    Canton GLE420 speakers at $250
    Cyrus Linkport - bought used for $200, price when new was $1,500..
    Cyrus CD6 - bought new for $600

    Lol.
    You see...it's impossible to achieve "top audiophile experience" for less than $1,000.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
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