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post #631 of 1219 Old 02-12-2012, 06:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Browninggold View Post

How many have heard the new Klipsch Mode40 noise Cancelling headphones? I have never heard of Grado before this thread. I do have a 15' Grado extension hooked up to my Denon A100 receiver. I have to say I am enjoying the Klipsch Mode 40s right now. Just wondering if anyone has compared the M40s to Grado and what I am missing? I know the Klipschs just came out so probably no comparison between the 2 as of yet but figured I would ask anyway.

It's going to be difficult to really compare the Mode40's with non noise cancelling headphones - kind of different goals/sounds. I did try the Mode40's -while they were the best sounding noise cancelling phones I've heard, they clamped much too hard for me to get comfortable with. Head clamp force is personal though, so it may not be an issue for others.
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post #632 of 1219 Old 02-12-2012, 08:56 AM
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Thanks Summa and bfreedma. So in your opinion non noise Cancelling is better at music? I do notice I like the little bit more of the Bass and fullness of the M40s sound w/noise Cancelling engaged. Summa I will check out those devices also, thanks. I listened to the Klipsch last night for probably a few hours straight hooked directly to my Denon A100 and the Klipsch are breaking in nicely to my ears they sound great. Thanks for the replies

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post #633 of 1219 Old 02-13-2012, 09:14 PM
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Hello everyone!
So i flirted with the idea of an external DAC/Amp combo for my computers, then i decided to just buy new sound cards to not have more stuff lying around.

Then i realized i have my PC connected to the AVR, would i better off upgrading from the HK146 entry level model to something newer from Denon or Pioneer instead of upgrading the sound card in the PC? I will probably do both in the end, but which one should come first? Doesn't the AVR have its own Dac/Amp? I know my phones sound better when i connect them to the HK.

Also no Creative, i don't buy from them anymore!

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post #634 of 1219 Old 02-13-2012, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Kingcarcas View Post

Hello everyone!
So i flirted with the idea of an external DAC/Amp combo for my computers, then i decided to just buy new sound cards to not have more stuff lying around.

Then i realized i have my PC connected to the AVR, would i better off upgrading from the HK146 entry level model to something newer from Denon or Pioneer instead of upgrading the sound card in the PC? I will probably do both in the end, but which one should come first? Doesn't the AVR have its own Dac/Amp? I know my phones sound better when i connect them to the HK.

Also no Creative, i don't buy from them anymore!

I suppose it depends on where you do the most listening. If at your computer, then upgrade the soundcard. If from the AVR (which, presumably is also connected to other equipment you might want to use with headphones), then upgrade the AVR.

Yes, newer mid to upper-end AVR's have excellent DACs built in (but questionable headphone amps). I don't know anything about soundcards, sorry.
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post #635 of 1219 Old 02-14-2012, 11:08 PM
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Just wanted to chime in with some feedback on the Atrio FutureSonics M5...these are the newer offering with the highly regarded mg7 driver. They retail for $199 but there is a coupon that is going around head-fi for half off, which I took advantage of. As happy as I am with my Etymotics, these are a significant upgrade, especially when I put the Comply tips on them. This is my first experience with really good sound from an IEM and I'm pretty blown away by it. I've been listening to one of my Eva Cassidy albums tonight and wow does she sound amazing. These are some really nice IEMs!

Tomorrow I'm expecting some BeyerDynamic DT880s to show up, so I'm going to have fun comparing them to the Grado SR80is that I'm so fond of. Not exactly a fair competition considering the price difference, but still...

If only my headphone amp would show up...I have no real way to power the BeyerDs until it does.


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post #636 of 1219 Old 02-15-2012, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

Just wanted to chime in with some feedback on the Atrio FutureSonics M5...these are the newer offering with the highly regarded mg7 driver. They retail for $199 but there is a coupon that is going around head-fi for half off, which I took advantage of. As happy as I am with my Etymotics, these are a significant upgrade, especially when I put the Comply tips on them. This is my first experience with really good sound from an IEM and I'm pretty blown away by it. I've been listening to one of my Eva Cassidy albums tonight and wow does she sound amazing. These are some really nice IEMs!

Tomorrow I'm expecting some BeyerDynamic DT880s to show up, so I'm going to have fun comparing them to the Grado SR80is that I'm so fond of. Not exactly a fair competition considering the price difference, but still...

If only my headphone amp would show up...I have no real way to power the BeyerDs until it does.

Hi Summa & others,

I was curious as to how you would compare the Atrio and Etymotic to the Grado SR80's? I know they are totally different styles and I am guessing you prefer the SR80's but just wondering how you think they match up.

I would love to use IEM's but so far I have not been able to and basically have given up. I just can't seem to get a seal properly and I find them very uncomfortable. Has anyone else had that problem? And if so was there any one iem that finally solved it for you in terms of comfort? I have only tried very inexpensive iem's so far as I only wanted to see if I could use them before spending more on much better sound but is there a large difference in comfort from say a less than $30 iem and a 100-150 iem? And do things like the comply tips make a large difference?

I am still planning to get the Grado SR80i or 60i but am leaning towards the 80. I was concerned those would need an amp but I think most felt they did not. I use a Sony Walkman now and I see on Amazon an inexpensive line out cable for it the Filo L5 which is like $12. If that was used with a Filo E6 amp which is like $28 would that combination make a large difference in sound quality compared to the Walkman alone?

Thanks.
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post #637 of 1219 Old 02-15-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

I have an all Audio-gd setup for my headphone and speaker rig. People over on Head-fi are gaga over their products for good reason. Give them a look. They are based in China and sell direct.
And before anyone jumps to conclusions about direct from China gear, read up on them and their owner Kingwa. Doubt you'll find better response and service.
Yes, I'm a fanboy (no boy at 42 though).

Kingwa is THE KING of DACs and headphone amps. His gear and designs are the BEST on the PLANET. Seriously that guy has DACs for under a grand the take on DACs costing many many times the price.

He sells truly "HIGH-END" gear at very very very reasonable prices.

The NFB-10SE is a JEWL...
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post #638 of 1219 Old 02-15-2012, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

Kingwa is THE KING of DACs and headphone amps. His gear and designs are the BEST on the PLANET. Seriously that guy has DACs for under a grand the take on DACs costing many many times the price.

He sells truly "HIGH-END" gear at very very very reasonable prices.

The NFB-10SE is a JEWL...

dunno where you quoted that comment from but I'll second Audio-GD. It's what I use to power my headphones.

Pacific Valve is a USA supplier for them (at least when I bought mine that's the avenue I went).


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post #639 of 1219 Old 02-15-2012, 08:51 PM
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Kingwa is THE KING of DACs...like tears in rain. Time to die." -Roy Batty (Combat Model, Incept Date 2016

Was the incept date really 2016?

Even if it was, far better to fudge it to 4016.

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post #640 of 1219 Old 02-15-2012, 09:47 PM
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I for one think audio gd is over rated, the dac19 dsp1/v5 that I had was veiled. Customer service was at best just ok. If there is a problem you have to send it back to China, so who knows when you will get it back.
Don't be fooled by the hype, for what kingwa's products prices are you are not really getting any bargains.

"Don't worry be happy"

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post #641 of 1219 Old 02-16-2012, 05:54 AM
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Reporting back on my Denon AH-D7000 experience.

I had a few early growing pains getting used to the different sound compared to my Sennheiser HD600's, but after plenty of hours (my Denons have about 100 now), I can say that I really like them.

I have encountered one or two of my albums (Dishwalla - Opaline is a noteworthy one) where the bass seems a little too pronounced, but after the first few seconds of listening, I settle in and it just sounds right. There is a hint of midrange mud with a couple of my old classical recordings, but again, after the first 30 seconds of the album, my brain doesn't notice it anymore. One thing I really like about them is that I no longer have to crank up the volume to get the dynamics. I can listen at lower and safer levels and get all the impact I want.

So yes, overall, I really love them and have no complaints. They really address the only issue I had with my HD600's, which was a lack of bass energy/punch. And the tracks that had the "clouded" mids I heard, when I switched to the HD600's for comparison, I heard the same thing with them, so I believe it's the recordings and not the Denons.

I also picked up a Violectric V90 amp as well as an Objective2 to play with. Both amps sound very good, as does my Peachtree Nova. Surprisingly, I can't tell any of the amps apart from each other (in admittedly flawed (sighted) A/B and B/C comparisons) in spite of the Nova's high output impedance, which I was expecting to affect the frequency response of the 25 ohm Denons. I asked around a bit and I believe it is because the Denons impedance is rock steady across the audible frequency band - very much like a planar headphone in that regard.

Whatever the explanation, they do sound wonderful.
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post #642 of 1219 Old 02-22-2012, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Summa View Post

...Tomorrow I'm expecting some BeyerDynamic DT880s to show up, so I'm going to have fun comparing them to the Grado SR80is that I'm so fond of. Not exactly a fair competition considering the price difference, but still....

Still interested for seeing your take on the BeyerDynamic DT880 headphones.

The fact that you've not posted suggests that you're not that thrilled with them?

The best is the enemy of the good. Voltaire (1694-1778)

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post #643 of 1219 Old 02-25-2012, 11:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

I for one think audio gd is over rated, the dac19 dsp1/v5 that I had was veiled. Customer service was at best just ok. If there is a problem you have to send it back to China, so who knows when you will get it back.
Don't be fooled by the hype, for what kingwa's products prices are you are not really getting any bargains.

I don't agree when it comes to DACs/HPAs under $650. I haven't heard the flagship PCM1704 models. I'm curious what DAC you're currently using... I personally use a modified Essence ST. It's using PCM1792A. I have heard the DACs from Antelope using Igor Levin's clock work is one impressive converter. It's also using PCM1792A or DSD1792A. I'm not sure if it's the DSD capable version or not. They are called Zodiac and the pricing is just INSANE.

PS I also haven't heard the Schiit Bifrost either. I hear it's very special using AKM4399.
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post #644 of 1219 Old 02-25-2012, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Solid-State View Post

I don't agree when it comes to DACs/HPAs under $650. I haven't heard the flagship PCM1704 models. I'm curious what DAC you're currently using... I personally use a modified Essence ST. It's using PCM1792A. I have heard the DACs from Antelope using Igor Levin's clock work is one impressive converter. It's also using PCM1792A or DSD1792A. I'm not sure if it's the DSD capable version or not. They are called Zodiac and the pricing is just INSANE.

PS I also haven't heard the Schiit Bifrost either. I hear it's very special using AKM4399.

When you add shipping from China the DAC19 is over $700usd.
As far as the DAC chip goes, most any modern DAC chip will do the job as well as the next chip. After all what a DAC chip does is convert Digital to Analog, that's it's only job. Where the differences of a "DAC" comes into play is how the designer incorporates the DAC chip into the "DAC".

What I want out of a "DAC", is it being very neural/clean/fast with very little jitter and THD levels, feeding my amp.

I use a W4S DAC1 with upgraded caps, this "DAC" uses a ES9018 chip solution, meaning it has its own internal clock.

Headphone systems are just like speaker systems, in that you pay for what you get, and how you incorporate the components in a system.

I am not saying that ADG DAC's are bad, its just that they are not the end all, best of the best.

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post #645 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sillysally View Post

this "DAC" uses a ES9018 chip solution, meaning it has its own internal clock.

No it doesn't. There is still a requirement for a clock external to the ES9018 chip, fed into the MCLK pin.
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post #646 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 04:36 AM
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Some people are of the opinion that DAC chips themselves have relatively small differences in their capabilities, and that the differences between different DACs are most likely attributed to other components, such as the quality of the analog output stages. If this is true, then it may be pointless to argue about this DAC chip versus some other DAC chip, since there is no way to pit one against the other while holding other variables the same.

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post #647 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

No it doesn't. There is still a requirement for a clock external to the ES9018 chip, fed into the MCLK pin.

Never said the ES9018 doesn't use a external clock, I was talking about it's algorithm and how this DAC handles jitter and THD being feed by the external master clock using the MCK pin. ESS has its own name for this.

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post #648 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

Some people are of the opinion that DAC chips themselves have relatively small differences in their capabilities, and that the differences between different DACs are most likely attributed to other components, such as the quality of the analog output stages.

DAC chips have been far lower in distortion and noise than could be perceived by a human for a decade and a half. Similarly output syages and for the most part, jitter. They are generic items, but acceptance of that would give audiophools nothing to argue about or to sput how their DAC chip (of which they invariably know nothing) or some other magic component changes it into something 'special'.
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If this is true, then it may be pointless to argue about this DAC chip versus some other DAC chip, since there is no way to pit one against the other while holding other variables the same.

No it wouldn't. I would simply require that you build the same complete converter system with different DAC chips. As most are voltage out this wouldn't be as difficult as it seems, and even comparing an Vout to Iout wouldn't be an issue ad the I/V would be considered an extension of the DAC chip as you need a voltage source out to connect with other components.

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Never said the ES9018 doesn't use a external clock, I was talking about it's algorithm and how this DAC handles jitter and THD being feed by the external master clock using the MCK pin. ESS has its own name for this.

I quoted what you said and nowhere recently did I see anything that. You said specifically that it has it's own internal clock which is incorrect.
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post #649 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 10:57 AM
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In response to my statement that it would be impossible to compare two DAC chips unless all other variables were equal, such as analog output stages:

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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

No it wouldn't. I would simply require that you build the same complete converter system with different DAC chips.

Well, OK, of course you're right. But this issue of "is the PCM-1792 better than the PCM-1794" (or whatever) is always raised in the context of comparing two completely different pieces of equipment. My intended point was that attributing audible differences to the DACs in this comparison is silly.

Now if someone wants to build two complete DAC units that differ only in the actual DAC chip, then we encounter the morass of disagreement about what method is valid in demonstrating reliably audible differences.

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post #650 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

In response to my statement that it would be impossible to compare two DAC chips unless all other variables were equal, such as analog output stages:



Well, OK, of course you're right. But this issue of "is the PCM-1792 better than the PCM-1794" (or whatever) is always raised in the context of comparing two completely different pieces of equipment. My intended point was that attributing audible differences to the DACs in this comparison is silly.

No disagreement there.

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Now if someone wants to build two complete DAC units that differ only in the actual DAC chip, then we encounter the morass of disagreement about what method is valid in demonstrating reliably audible differences.

DBT/ABX or even remove the human element completely and do a null test using the same input file, which can be pure tones, multi tones a la Audio Precision use or music excerpts.
http://www.libinst.com/Audio%20DiffMaker.htm
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post #651 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

No disagreement there.

DBT/ABX or even remove the human element completely and do a null test using the same input file, which can be pure tones, multi tones a la Audio Precision use or music excerpts.
http://www.libinst.com/Audio%20DiffMaker.htm

Do we really want to start yet another discussion on the merits of blind testing? (although I agree with you)

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post #652 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 04:30 PM
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+1

We really don't need another objective vs. subjective argument. Nobody is ever willing to bend and they don't go anywhere.

All I will say on my opinion of the topic is that the difference in sound from one headphone to another is many, many, many times greater than the difference in sound between one XXXXXXXXXX (amp, DAC, cable, power supply, connector, etc.) and another.
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post #653 of 1219 Old 02-26-2012, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by pbarach View Post

Do we really want to start yet another discussion on the merits of blind testing? (although I agree with you)

You asked a question, I answered it. If someone can actually show me that they can detect the differences between components that have such minute measured differences, they I will give some validity to it.

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+1

We really don't need another objective vs. subjective argument. Nobody is ever willing to bend and they don't go anywhere.

Quite the contrary: show me you 'can' and I will change my opinion.

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All I will say on my opinion of the topic is that the difference in sound from one headphone to another is many, many, many times greater than the difference in sound between one XXXXXXXXXX (amp, DAC, cable, power supply, connector, etc.) and another.

I do not disagree.

However, there is a stronger science bias to this forum, so I tend to expect to see evidence when a technical comment made. Want to have every homoeopathic grade audio opinion accepted as fact, there's the asylum.
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post #654 of 1219 Old 02-27-2012, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
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However, there is a stronger science bias to this forum, so I tend to expect to see evidence when a technical comment made. Want to have every homoeopathic grade audio opinion accepted as fact, there's the asylum.

I agree. But it happens time and time again.

Trying to convince someone who subjectively believes what they believe is always a fruitless endeavor. You can show them DBT/ABX test results until your keyboard is blue, and they won't change their opinion. But we're straying off topic...

I believe what Silly Sally was referring to is the internal PLL jitter reduction used on all the ESS Sabre DACs. I'm not sure what other companies use for jitter reduction (if anything), but I think it's true that ESS is one of the more highly regarded manufacturers.
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post #655 of 1219 Old 02-27-2012, 10:10 AM
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I believe what Silly Sally was referring to is the internal PLL jitter reduction used on all the ESS Sabre DACs.

Possibly, but it does not mean you can give it junk for a clock, or that it is superior to a well developed external system or that even the improved numbers it may provide are audible.
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post #656 of 1219 Old 02-27-2012, 10:23 AM
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Possibly, but it does not mean you can give it junk for a clock, or that it is superior to a well developed external system or that even the improved numbers it may provide are audible.

I don't believe anyone here has claimed otherwise.
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post #657 of 1219 Old 02-27-2012, 11:22 PM
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Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

I agree. But it happens time and time again.

Trying to convince someone who subjectively believes what they believe is always a fruitless endeavor. You can show them DBT/ABX test results until your keyboard is blue, and they won't change their opinion. But we're straying off topic...

I believe what Silly Sally was referring to is the internal PLL jitter reduction used on all the ESS Sabre DACs. I'm not sure what other companies use for jitter reduction (if anything), but I think it's true that ESS is one of the more highly regarded manufacturers.

Yes you are correct.

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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Possibly, but it does not mean you can give it junk for a clock, or that it is superior to a well developed external system or that even the improved numbers it may provide are audible.

Of course not, the ES9018 is imo a very hard DAC chip to implement properly into a external DAC. However if done properly the ES9018 can be very rewarding, when used with a high end neutral/revealing headphone system.
I use the ES9018 as a example for a DAC chip, to make a point that its just not a DAC chip that will make much of a difference in a DAC, it really comes down to how the external DAC is designed with any given chip. Also how well it integrates with the rest of your headphone system, is it a balanced external DAC (xlr), is it a colored DAC, speed, etc.

So when talking about a DAC chip there should be reference to how the external DAC is designed and what are the parts that gos into the DAC, not just the DAC chip.

"Don't worry be happy"

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post #658 of 1219 Old 03-10-2012, 06:12 AM
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Is there more or less a concensus on the top 5 - 10 headphones for listening to music at home ?
Not interested in modding anything and they must be widely available at retail or mail order.

Regards,
Charlie

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post #659 of 1219 Old 03-10-2012, 09:03 AM
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Is there more or less a concensus on the top 5 - 10 headphones for listening to music at home ?
Not interested in modding anything and they must be widely available at retail or mail order.

AKG K-701/2
Audeze LCD-2/3
Beyerdynamic DT880, T1
Denon AH-D2000, 5000, 7000
Grado RT1, GS1000, PS1000
HiFiMan HE-500, HE-6
Sennheiser HD600, 650, 800
Stax SR-507, 007
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post #660 of 1219 Old 03-10-2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by palmfish View Post

AKG K-701/2
Audeze LCD-2/3
Beyerdynamic DT880, T1
Denon AH-D2000, 5000, 7000
Grado RT1, GS1000, PS1000
HiFiMan HE-500, HE-6
Sennheiser HD600, 650, 800
Stax SR-507, 007

All of these have their rabid admirers and detractors, but I would want to know more information before sending somebody "shopping" with only this list. For example:
---what kind of music do you listen to?
---what is your budget?
---what amplification are you planning to use?
---any need for noise isolation for yourself or those around you?
---any interest in in-ear monitors?

AT&T U-Verse Northeast Ohio

Denon x4000, Samsung LED TV, B&W 704 mains, two M&K subwoofers, Oppo 103, etc.
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Nuforce , Akg K702 65th Anniversary Edition , Sennheiser , Sennheiser Hd 600 Open Dynamic Hi Fi Professional Stereo Headphones Black , Audio Technica Ath Ad900 Audiophile Open Air Dynamic Headphones , Oppo Bdp 83se Blu Ray Player , Hifiman He 6 Headphones , Grado Rs1i , Yamaha Rx V1800 Receiver , Sony Mdr7506 Professional Large Diaphragm Headphone , Sennheiser Hd 650 Headphones , Sennheiser Hd 558 Headphones , Grado Prestige Series Sr80i Stereo Headphone , Sennheiser Hd800 Over Ear Circum Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone
Gear in this thread - V1800 by PriceGrabber.com

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