Whats the weak link in my setup/what would be a good next upgrade?
May 17, 2020 at 5:09 PM Post #16 of 21

penguinofsleep2

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New headphones for sure.

Not sure if you're looking for 1) some slam, macrodynamics, and general "umph" with the bass or 2) tighter bass, texture, and detail with the bass.
Also don't know what you're budget is but it looks like you want to keep your entire setup under $500 based on the gear you're buying/trying.

DAC is fine.
Amp is maybe fine depending on what headphone you go with.

Headphone - I'm going to give you the answer you probably don't want - I can't think of anything the the HD5xx or HE400i price range that are open back and do both of the above well while also providing that "clean and distinct" sound you mention in post 1. I would say I've tried most big name stuff out there before but may not know about anything totally new. Accepting this will probably save you a lot of money + time in gear cycling.
- DT770 or DT880 might work, but not really sure about your preferences. Both are closed so you could keep HD5xx for open and DT series for music.
- Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 series may work too, but treble is a little boosted and it's also a closed back.
- If I'm wrong about budget and you are looking to spend more and you are willing to dive down a small rabbit hole, I'd get an HE6/se (on sale), do mods (have someone help mod it), and get a solid speaker amp + pre-amp for volume control + speaker taps for HE6/se. Amp doesn't have to be super expensive, something like a used (or new) Schiit Vidar or very good class A $300 Chi-fi special is enough to get you started while you "figure it out" further (or Vidar may be perfectly sufficient). Keep in mind that this is a "know what you are doing setup" - you can fry a headphone (even the HE6) with a speaker amp if you aren't careful.
- Otherwise, if you have a chance to hear them first, ZMFs may work, but keep in mind that as much as many (myself included) like them, the house sound is not for everyone.
- LCD2/3 are also good but IMO are only good with both "enough" power and the right SS or hybrid amp (and this is coming from someone who uses tube amps 95%+ of the time). With the wrong amp I don't think they're worth the $. LCD3 also have noticeable production variance and you may not get "a good one" (relatively speaking). Right amp will vary per your preferences but again, Magni isn't going to be enough powe
 
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May 17, 2020 at 6:39 PM Post #17 of 21

Blindsay04

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New headphones for sure.

Not sure if you're looking for 1) some slam, macrodynamics, and general "umph" with the bass or 2) tighter bass, texture, and detail with the bass.
Also don't know what you're budget is but it looks like you want to keep your entire setup under $500 based on the gear you're buying/trying.

DAC is fine.
Amp is maybe fine depending on what headphone you go with.

Headphone - I'm going to give you the answer you probably don't want - I can't think of anything the the HD5xx or HE400i price range that are open back and do both of the above well while also providing that "clean and distinct" sound you mention in post 1. I would say I've tried most big name stuff out there before but may not know about anything totally new. Accepting this will probably save you a lot of money + time in gear cycling.
- DT770 or DT880 might work, but not really sure about your preferences. Both are closed so you could keep HD5xx for open and DT series for music.
- Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00 series may work too, but treble is a little boosted and it's also a closed back.
- If I'm wrong about budget and you are looking to spend more and you are willing to dive down a small rabbit hole, I'd get an HE6/se (on sale), do mods (have someone help mod it), and get a solid speaker amp + pre-amp for volume control + speaker taps for HE6/se. Amp doesn't have to be super expensive, something like a used (or new) Schiit Vidar or very good class A $300 Chi-fi special is enough to get you started while you "figure it out" further (or Vidar may be perfectly sufficient). Keep in mind that this is a "know what you are doing setup" - you can fry a headphone (even the HE6) with a speaker amp if you aren't careful.
- Otherwise, if you have a chance to hear them first, ZMFs may work, but keep in mind that as much as many (myself included) like them, the house sound is not for everyone.
- LCD2/3 are also good but IMO are only good with both "enough" power and the right SS or hybrid amp (and this is coming from someone who uses tube amps 95%+ of the time). With the wrong amp I don't think they're worth the $. LCD3 also have noticeable production variance and you may not get "a good one" (relatively speaking). Right amp will vary per your preferences but again, Magni isn't going to be enough powe

I liked the quality of the bass but i just wish it had a little more punch to it, especially in rap.

I didnt really have a set price in mind but I would like to keep it under $1000 total

Thanks!
 
May 18, 2020 at 2:06 AM Post #18 of 21

penguinofsleep2

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I'd say a TH-X00 with a little bit of EQ to your liking is the best thing I can think of here for a <$1k setup (including amp/dac + accessories + open back). Used will save a little more $.

A DT770 or DT1770 for something slightly upgraded.
 
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May 18, 2020 at 4:46 PM Post #19 of 21

Blindsay04

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I'd say a TH-X00 with a little bit of EQ to your liking is the best thing I can think of here for a <$1k setup (including amp/dac + accessories + open back). Used will save a little more $.

A DT770 or DT1770 for something slightly upgraded.

Thanks, those TH-X00 seem interesting but dont appear to be available currently unfortunately.

I think for now i will return the he-400i's and wait until i can get something better like the TH-X00's
 
May 18, 2020 at 5:26 PM Post #20 of 21

SilverEars

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I liked the quality of the bass but i just wish it had a little more punch to it, especially in rap.

I didnt really have a set price in mind but I would like to keep it under $1000 total

Thanks!
For rap I'd go TR-X00 or TH-X00 Ebony (make sure it's Ebony wood which has the leveled treble) for under $500 (should be lower in the used market). For even lower price, you can do DT770, Meze 99 classic or noir, AKG K371. I like the bass on K371, but the upper-mids is a bit forward for my liking. If we go higher, I found Denon D9200 very fun for rap, but it's $1500 brand new, but probably under your budget in the classifieds.
 
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May 18, 2020 at 9:21 PM Post #21 of 21

Blindsay04

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For rap I'd go TR-X00 or TH-X00 Ebony (make sure it's Ebony wood which has the leveled treble) for under $500 (should be lower in the used market). For even lower price, you can do DT770, Meze 99 classic or noir, AKG K371. I like the bass on K371, but the upper-mids is a bit forward for my liking. If we go higher, I found Denon D9200 very fun for rap, but it's $1500 brand new, but probably under your budget in the classifieds.

Yeah the TH-X00 Ebony look nice (I had the mahogany look) but it looks like ill just have to wait and hope Drop does a run of them again

edit: although now i am reading the Ebony one is not just a color difference?

Edit2: whats the difference between the TR-X00 and the TH-X00?
 
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