What to upgrade first amp vs headphones
Oct 22, 2008 at 1:46 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 13

Jabberwock

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Hello, new here. I was wondering if some of you could suggest what I should upgrade first.
I plan on upgrading both my headphones, and buying a dedicated Headphone amp. I am leaning towards the Woo Audio 6 and AKG k701 or Sennheiser 650.

I currently have a NAD 325BEE amp (budget integrated amp), and sennheiser HD280s
umm my source is a Project turntable, and some digital audio direct from the computer (on board audio).
I do plan on buying both the amp and headphones over the next month or so, my question is simply which one should I upgrade first, factoring in the system I already have.

use NAD amp with AKG701
or Woo audio with sennheiser HD280

Thank You.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 3:33 PM Post #3 of 13

nor_spoon

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I would buy the headphones first. Get to know them, and if you feel the need, then get the amp, and see if it makes them sound better to you.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 3:53 PM Post #5 of 13

hawat

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Agree, first get a can that you like then get an amp to make it better. Try them first or if you need to,buy and resell your headphone here and get another one until you get one that you like.

But don't buy any expensive headphone that you don't appreciate then buy an amp in order to make you like its sound.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 4:32 PM Post #7 of 13

Sherwood

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I listened to the K701 through an NAD 320BEE for awhile. It sounded really spectacular.

You would do well to find a headphone that suits your taste, both musically and ergonomically, and then find a complementary amp. I had a great amp when I owned the K701s, so I used it most of the time and it was better than the HP out of my K701, but not worlds better by any means. If I was inclined to buy either one again, I'd definitely buy the headphones first.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 4:40 PM Post #8 of 13

krmathis

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Headphone before amplifier.
First settle on a headphone that suit your preferences (sound signature, build quality, wearing comfort, ...), then upgrade the amplifier if the old one can't drive them properly. Perhaps even experimenting with both solid state and tube amplifiers.

Welcome to Head-Fi!
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Oct 22, 2008 at 6:02 PM Post #11 of 13

Jabberwock

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First of all thank you for all your speedy responses.
I guess its unanimous, time to go audition cans.
I use the HD280 mostly at school in the library.
I used to use my speakers for most of my at home listening, but now I have moved and can't play my music as loud. Henceforth, upgrade Cans.
Am pretty excited about getting dedicated headphone amp, can experiment with tubes and what not, with out sinking to much money in, relatively.

Thanks again.
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ohh.. anyone know a place to test out headphones in Toronto, all I know is Bay Bloor radio, and they are hawks.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 8:25 PM Post #12 of 13

phkd

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yea, it seems like you are making the right decision, im only posting here cause I recently had a chance to audition the hd-280 against some other headphones (at esw9, ms-2, hd-650) and while the competition was pretty stiff, the hd-280's sounded like garbage (although they were in a university computer lab, to be fair, so they may have been beaten on). This was un-amped too. so, headphones first.
 
Oct 22, 2008 at 11:10 PM Post #13 of 13

lacrossebowe8

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The HP out of the NAD is exceptional. You are lucky this is what you are "stuck" with now. Definitely find the cans you like best. Then look into amps. But don't think they all "must" beat the NAD as some may not.
 

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