What should I do?
Sep 26, 2002 at 4:19 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 19

Magic77

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Well, I've had the Headphone Hobby Bug for 4 years now, and here's my dilemma:

I just figured out approximately how much money I have spent in the last 4 years on this hobby.

Headphone Amps: $1500
Interconnects: $500
Headphones: $1000

What I'm trying to point out is; I'm one of those people that try to spend less to hopefully get more. But, the problem has been; I'm never quite satisfied.

So; maybe the solution is; since I am really a big music fan and listen with headphones every day: Buy a "Great" Headphone Amp such as the Maxed Out Home or the Max that would work and sound great with many different headphones.

I must be going nuts. Anyone else care to share some same experiences?
 
Sep 26, 2002 at 5:41 PM Post #3 of 19

dstroot

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Senn HD600: ~$300
Cardas or Equinox Cable: ~$150
Quality Interconnect: ~$100

Maxed out Home, or ~$1k
RKV II, or
Melos

And you're done: ~$1,550
------------

No envy, no remorse, just really good music... and No upgraditis!
 
Sep 26, 2002 at 6:58 PM Post #4 of 19

elrod-tom

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A few more questions...

What kind of music do you listen to?

What is your preference re) sound? Detailed? On the bright side? On the warm side?



Oh, and (this seems particularly apt here) of course, sorry about your wallet.

biggrin.gif
 
Sep 26, 2002 at 7:24 PM Post #5 of 19

braillediver

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Not to trivialize $3000 but that isn't bad in 4 years for a hobby that brings this much enjoyment. If you listen to them everyday that's a very good return on your investment.

Besides if you bought good equipment it will hold some of it's value. So it's not like spending $3 a day at Starbucks. Money down the drain as it were.
 
Sep 26, 2002 at 8:27 PM Post #6 of 19

Magic77

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OK; I listen to 90% Jazz(Acoustic, Avant-Garde,Free Jazz & Fusion). I also listen to some Prog-Rock; King Crimson, Yes, Dream Theater, etc.

I guess my problem is that I tend to "waste" a lot of money trying to attain the quality that I really want. In other words; I have bought several different amps, interconnects, headphones, surge protectors etc...

Some of these items I still have, others I have exchanged or returned. Some, I tried to tweak and ruined them and am now stuck with them.

So, what has happened is that I have spent too much money trying to find the best low-mid priced equipment. That's why I'm thinking of amps like The Max or Maxed Out Home.

Beleive it or not, the amp I am liking the most right now is the HeadRoom Little. There is something about the sound from that amp which I prefer over the Creek OBH-11SE and the X-Can v2.
 
Sep 26, 2002 at 11:00 PM Post #7 of 19

minya

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Quote:

What I'm trying to point out is; I'm one of those people that try to spend less to hopefully get more. But, the problem has been; I'm never quite satisfied.


I have the opposite problem.
smily_headphones1.gif
To me, I get the same awesome, excellent sound out of my Koss PortaPros/KSC-35's as I do with my Grado SR-80s, and I'm just as happy with ~200kbit VBR mp3s as I am with CDs (most of the time. There are exceptions, for sure).

Admittedly my sources are quite crappy (I've barely invested in a stereo system... I have an Aiwa minisystem as my CD player) but I really can't imagine it getting much better than this. Not to say I think I've got the ultimate combination of equipment that reveals perfect sound, but I do feel like I'm missing something when I read people talking about "soundstage," "brightness," etc. when here I am, fine and dandy on my ****ty little portable system.

I do have one of Fixup's super-mini amps on the way, so that might reveal to me some great discrepancies in the sound - but I kinda doubt it. I don't think anything will sound much better than it does now, just perhaps louder.

So, I guess I should be overjoyed, since I'm perfectly happy listening with $25 headphones on cheap, ****ty sources. I still can't help but feel like I should be getting something more, though.
wink.gif


- Chris
 
Sep 27, 2002 at 1:31 AM Post #8 of 19

darkclouds

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Yeah, I think minya's got the right idea.

On the other hand, the itch to upgrade is quite irresistable at times. I don't think I would feel dis-satisfied if I only had my Melos and HD600/cardas. It's more about trying new things... seeing or rather hearing the different equipment out there. At this juncture, I've not touched my senns or grados with the SHA-1 for awhile. It's not because they are not good, but simply, I favor the K1000/1005DTI at the moment.
 
Sep 27, 2002 at 2:35 AM Post #9 of 19

elrod-tom

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Quote:

Originally posted by minya
I have the opposite problem.
smily_headphones1.gif
To me, I get the same awesome, excellent sound out of my Koss PortaPros/KSC-35's as I do with my Grado SR-80s, and I'm just as happy with ~200kbit VBR mp3s as I am with CDs (most of the time. There are exceptions, for sure).

Admittedly my sources are quite crappy (I've barely invested in a stereo system... I have an Aiwa minisystem as my CD player) but I really can't imagine it getting much better than this. Not to say I think I've got the ultimate combination of equipment that reveals perfect sound, but I do feel like I'm missing something when I read people talking about "soundstage," "brightness," etc. when here I am, fine and dandy on my ****ty little portable system.

I do have one of Fixup's super-mini amps on the way, so that might reveal to me some great discrepancies in the sound - but I kinda doubt it. I don't think anything will sound much better than it does now, just perhaps louder.

So, I guess I should be overjoyed, since I'm perfectly happy listening with $25 headphones on cheap, ****ty sources. I still can't help but feel like I should be getting something more, though.
wink.gif


- Chris


I envy you...and your wallet!! Beware...if you keep hanging out here, the bug will bite eventually!!

evil_smiley.gif
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 7:33 AM Post #10 of 19

kelly

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minya
If you haven't spent much and are happy with your sound, get out now. Listening to us will just make you spend money for no real reason.

I like the Little better than the Creek and X-Cans too, but that isn't saying very much. I can also agree that it would be preferable to own only one good amp than all three of those amps. Of course, I'd pick the RKV, myself.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 7:56 AM Post #11 of 19

CRESCENDOPOWER

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Magic77,
Even if you spend more money the system that you choose will not do it all. I really try not to brag about any of my equipment, but if you are a Jazz lover I couldn’t think of anything that would sound better on that type of music than the HD-600s with the Wheatfield HA-2. But, you would probably want a different system for rock; maybe the Grado RA-1 with your favorite Grado phones, or the Beyer DT-770 pros with a nice solid-state of your choice. Anyway, I hope you find what you are looking for, and please fill out your profile. Thanks!
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 9:20 AM Post #12 of 19

minya

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Quote:

Originally posted by kelly
minya
If you haven't spent much and are happy with your sound, get out now. Listening to us will just make you spend money for no real reason.


Haha.
rolleyes.gif
Sounds like you're almost condescending of people who aren't eager to blow loads of cash? :p Otherwise, I agree. I see no real point in upgrade-itis, though someday I'd like to procure a DT-770 pro and a nice home amp, like a Little, and perhaps a nice value/performance-ratio'd source.

And, I don't think I should "get out now" - it's good to have the guys on this forum who go absolutely nuts and know everything about the high-end super-quality stuff, but there is definitely a place for people for whom money is the first concern, like me. That seems to be the case with Tim.

- Chris
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 5:06 PM Post #13 of 19

kelly

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minya
No offense or condescending was intended. I only meant to suggest that if you stick around, you will eventually be convinced to spend more money, even if you're happy with what you have now. We see it all the time.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 5:24 PM Post #14 of 19

Magic77

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Right now, I'm in one of my experimental phases, where I'm swapping amps, cables, CD players......etc.

I guess I'm trying to hear if the less expensive stuff sounds better, worse, or the same and vice-versa. So, this is always what confuses me more and drives me nuts.

My first headphone amp was the X-Can v1 using a Sony single-disc CD player and the Grado SR125 headphones. But, since then there has been the internet, Head-Fi, HeadWize, HeadRoom and so on(you know what I'm getting at).

I enjoyed my first setup for 2 years without any changes and then the above changed everything(or "I" changed everthing).

So, maybe I should go back to the basics?
 
Sep 28, 2002 at 7:59 PM Post #15 of 19

Gallaine

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Don't get too caught up in the upgrade thing. I spent three years building a combined 2ch/HT rig. During that time I was happy with each new piece for maybe a month. After that I had to try something else in an effort to find that elusive perfect match. The only thing that remained constant was my subwoofer!

Well, I recently had to sell my entire system. Amps, wires, speakers, power regenerator, you name it. I only managed to save the SACD player, a pair of interconnects, and a pair of headphones. After getting over the intial shock, and a little shame, of having lost it all, I began to re-evaluate my priorities. I realized that the greatest loss was not the equipment itself, but the music. Fortunately, I was able to scrape together enough money to purchase an ASL MG Head headphone amp. The music was playing again!

Things have gotten better in the intervening month, but I'm no longer in a hurry to go out and buy that new CD Player or amplifier. Sure, I plan to tuberoll and I am upgrading my interconnects (used of course). But I am having more fun rediscovering the music in my collection.

I suppose my point is, never lose sight of what your goal is. Unless upgrading for its own sake is your goal, try to focus on the music. Allow yourself to enjoy it. That was my stumbling block. I started to listen to the music for sound quality *all* the time. I was constantly measuring the soundstage, imaging, etc., etc.. I couldn't enjoy the music itself because I was constantly focusing on which component in the chain was making that "noise" or "restricting the soundstage" or whatever. You get the point I think.

Ok, fine, I'll get off my soapbox...
 

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