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Headphone Audiophiles

post #1 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Well, I've been haunting the "What gaming headphones to buy?" thread. The only problem, many of the people there have gone to strictly from Gaming setup to more 2 channel and then Audiophile setups. So here I am. This is what I currently own, and what I have planned.... What are your setups?

Own:
Source:
Dell Studio XPS 435MT
iPod 5.5G running RockBox for FLAC support

Dac:
NuForce uDac

Amp:
Little Dot I+ (Stock - for now)
Astro MixAmp
Fiio E5


Headphones:
Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 Ohm (going under re-cable shortly)
Turtle Beach HPX (for Gaming, LOVE THEM)!
Grado SR-80i (Modified)
Sennheiser HD428 (in the mail)
Sennheiser CX-250 (Maybe they'll go under the knife)

Headphones being acquired:
AKG K701 or K702 (of course, to be modded)

Future:
I will eventually migrate away from my computer as a listening station and get a stand along setup where I will get me a Crazy comfy chair, a very nice tube amp setup (and hopefully Electrostatics).
post #2 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

Well, I've been haunting the "What gaming headphones to buy?" thread. The only problem, many of the people there have gone to strictly from Gaming setup to more 2 channel and then Audiophile setups. So here I am. This is what I currently own, and what I have planned.... What are your setups?

Own:
Source:
Dell Studio XPS 435MT

Dac:
NuForce uDac

Amp:
Little Dot I+ (In the mail)
Astro MixAmp
Fiio E5


Headphones:
Audio-Technica AD700 (Fully Modified)
Turtle Beach HPX (for Gaming, LOVE THEM)!
Grado SR-80i (soon to get their turn under the knife)
Sennheiser HD428 (sold) Modified
Sennheiser CX-250 (Maybe they'll go under the knife)

Headphones being acquired:
Denon AH-D2000 - to be modded
AKG K701 or K702 (of course, to be modded)

Future:
I will eventually migrate away from my computer as a listening station and get a stand along setup where I will get me a Crazy comfy chair, a very nice tube amp setup (and hopefully Electrostatics).

Shure 530SE with Pico DAC/Amp
post #3 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Shure 530SE with Pico DAC/Amp

VERY NICE! My IEMs aren't very good... but they work ok. How do you like your Shures? I get frequent suggestions to try Ultimate Ears (since I don't really like putting anything in my ears, supposed to be uber comfortable). I'm tempted to try some Audio-Technica ESW9A. Do you only listen on the 'go', or do you have a home setup as well?
post #4 of 1190
Source:
Custom built PC - Foobar2000 with WASAPI digital output using an X-Fi Bravura sound card, and a whole LOT of music.

DAC:
Benchmark DAC-1 PRE
I tried the X-Fi Bravura's headphone section as a DAC/amp, but found it underwhelming despite the attention put into it. In particular, it is a bit noisy and the volume gain runs too "hot" for my taste no matter what gain mode is used. The Benchmark, on the other hand, is excellent in every way.

Amp:
Benchmark DAC-1 PRE
I've been thinking about trying a nice tube headphone amp.

Headphones:
AKG K702
Sennheiser HD595
Denon AH-D2000
post #5 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Source:
Custom built PC - Foobar2000 with WASAPI digital output using an X-Fi Bravura sound card, and a whole LOT of music.

DAC:
Benchmark DAC-1 PRE
I tried the X-Fi Bravura's headphone section as a DAC/amp, but found it underwhelming despite the attention put into it. In particular, it is a bit noisy and the volume gain runs too "hot" for my taste no matter what gain mode is used. The Benchmark, on the other hand, is excellent in every way.

Amp:
Benchmark DAC-1 PRE
I've been thinking about trying a nice tube headphone amp.

Headphones:
AKG K702
Sennheiser HD595
Denon AH-D2000

Nice setup! How does the Dac1 sound with the 702s? Does it fill in the bass? I was curious about tube amp too, but decided to try the Little Dot I+, as it was a good match for the 702 and D2000... I heard that a full tube amp doesn't work well with the D2000... and that is a definite headphone that I want to acquire.
post #6 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

How does the Dac1 sound with the 702s? Does it fill in the bass?

The Benchmark does a great job driving both low- and high-impedance headphones. In my opinion, the mids and lows are robust enough with the K702 when driven properly. One thing I really like about the K702 is that bass isn't at all overpowering and sounds just right to my ears. However, they are certainly not optimal for the die-hard "headbanger" types. Another one of the K702's best attributes is its comfortableness.
post #7 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

The Benchmark does a great job driving both low- and high-impedance headphones. In my opinion, the mids and lows are robust enough with the K702 when driven properly. One thing I really like about the K702 is that bass isn't at all overpowering and sounds just right to my ears. However, they are certainly not optimal for the die-hard "headbanger" types. Another one of the K702's best attributes is its comfortableness.

Nice. The K702 is on my list of 'phones to get. I think I just might get the Denons first though. I've been told by plenty of people to skip the D2000 and go straight for the D5000. I'm not sure if that would work for me, as I'm interested in modding the Denons with J$ Pads, Wood Cups, and a full re-cable. I realize that puts me at a higher price point than a stock D5000... but I'm told it also gets me closer to the D7000 sound as well.
post #8 of 1190
Source
- optical from Mac Mini
- coax from custom PC

Intermediate
- Peachtree Nova

Out
(- B&W 685)
- AKG K702


I have less than 1/2 a year experience with this, and I'm still too much in awe of it all to attempt to say anything sensible about it in public.
post #9 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

Nice. The K702 is on my list of 'phones to get. I think I just might get the Denons first though. I've been told by plenty of people to skip the D2000 and go straight for the D5000. I'm not sure if that would work for me, as I'm interested in modding the Denons with J$ Pads, Wood Cups, and a full re-cable. I realize that puts me at a higher price point than a stock D5000... but I'm told it also gets me closer to the D7000 sound as well.

I've often wondered how the D5000 and D7000 compare to the D2000. They cost too much for me to blindly purchase, and I never had the opportunity to audition them.
post #10 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post

I have less than 1/2 a year experience with this, and I'm still too much in awe of it all to attempt to say anything sensible about it in public.

In other words, you've reached audio nirvana.
post #11 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

I've often wondered how the D5000 and D7000 compare to the D2000. They cost too much for me to blindly purchase, and I never had the opportunity to audition them.

Unfortunately that is the problem with most headphones. There isn't a place to audition them. I recently went to a 'Grand Opening' of a PC Richards in my area and spotted the Monster Dre Beats and Dre Solo. I tried them on, and they were ok for fit and feel, nothing special. For audio quality... they didn't sound good to me at all. Over done (horrid (overly boomy)) bass, mids were slightly recessed and highs were amplified a little, but nothing seemed clean. It sounded like a Bose headphone to me.

So, the salesman walks up to me smiling.. and says "Sound great huh"? I looked at him and smiled... "No, not really". Then furrowed his brow. "So what headphones do you like"? I looked at him and smiled again... "Honestly, my re-cabled Sennhesier HD428 sound better... and I got them re-furbed for $20 and put about $15 worth of cable and pieces on them". Then he looked at me and said. "Well, I doubt they sound as good", and walked away. I smiled and said... "Wow, ok"... and I'll never look at the Dre Beats and Solo again...

Well, there's my little PC Richards story... 'was fun though.
post #12 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post

Source
- optical from Mac Mini
- coax from custom PC

Intermediate
- Peachtree Nova

Out
(- B&W 685)
- AKG K702


I have less than 1/2 a year experience with this, and I'm still too much in awe of it all to attempt to say anything sensible about it in public.

You try other cables on your 702? They BEG to have different cables swapped on them, especially since they're removable.
post #13 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

VERY NICE! My IEMs aren't very good... but they work ok. How do you like your Shures? I get frequent suggestions to try Ultimate Ears (since I don't really like putting anything in my ears, supposed to be uber comfortable). I'm tempted to try some Audio-Technica ESW9A. Do you only listen on the 'go', or do you have a home setup as well?

I am very pleased with my Shures. They have a very flat Frequency Response with a slight roll of at the high and emphasis at the low-end. To me, this sounds very pleasent. Rolled off highs avoid fatigue in extending listening and the emphasized bass compensates lack of an actual subwoofer.

Why they say Ultimate Ear's will be comfortable is because you can get them custom designed for your ears. However, you can do the same thing for Shure's also. In my opinion, Ultimate Ear is not worth it when you can get a Shure for $300 on the street. Their sound is not accurate at all in my opinion.

If I would ever decide to upgrade, I would 1. get my Shure's custom modded and 2. buy electrostatic headphones. I really don't see the need to upgrade otherwise.

I listen on-the-go, I have a modded I-Pod for it.
post #14 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

I am very pleased with my Shures. They have a very flat Frequency Response with a slight roll of at the high and emphasis at the low-end. To me, this sounds very pleasent. Rolled off highs avoid fatigue in extending listening and the emphasized bass compensates lack of an actual subwoofer.

Why they say Ultimate Ear's will be comfortable is because you can get them custom designed for your ears. However, you can do the same thing for Shure's also. In my opinion, Ultimate Ear is not worth it when you can get a Shure for $300 on the street. Their sound is not accurate at all in my opinion.

If I would ever decide to upgrade, I would 1. get my Shure's custom modded and 2. buy electrostatic headphones. I really don't see the need to upgrade otherwise.

I listen on-the-go, I have a modded I-Pod for it.

What Mods do you have on your ipod? I run RockBox on a 5.5G. I'm thinking of getting a LOD made and send that to my Fiio (I know, it's not a good amp, but I don't listen on the go too often).
post #15 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

What Mods do you have on your ipod? I run RockBox on a 5.5G. I'm thinking of getting a LOD made and send that to my Fiio (I know, it's not a good amp, but I don't listen on the go too often).

I have 5.5G also. I guess you are using RockPort for FLAC. I should have done that too. I went to Apple Lossless route, which I regret in retrospect.

I have this:

http://www.redwineaudio.com/products/imod
post #16 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

I have 5.5G also. I guess you are using RockPort for FLAC. I should have done that too. I went to Apple Lossless route, which I regret in retrospect.

I have this:

http://www.redwineaudio.com/products/imod

I got the 240gig hard drive put in mine and have no regrets with ALAC!

Sennheiser 650's at home, JH Audio JH13 Pro's in the gym and when travelling. Both are fantastic!
post #17 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

I have 5.5G also. I guess you are using RockPort for FLAC. I should have done that too. I went to Apple Lossless route, which I regret in retrospect.

I have this:

http://www.redwineaudio.com/products/imod

WOW! I can't afford that setup! The iMod Cable and then the actual iMod itself... that'll run me $450. I think I'll send my iPod in to get fixed though, as the center button is slightly skewed and getting harder to press.
post #18 of 1190
nice thread

senheiser hd 650
akg 702
sennheiser hd-590

musical fidelity x can v3

sources: denon 5910, 1930, 3800 sony scd xa5400es, bdp 5000es, ipod, iyiyi (tivoli)

im gitten myself one of those dots!!
post #19 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

WOW! I can't afford that setup! The iMod Cable and then the actual iMod itself... that'll run me $450. I think I'll send my iPod in to get fixed though, as the center button is slightly skewed and getting harder to press.

Believe me, you don't lose much with not having it!!

Just look at my post history and you will see how I feel about those nice cables and modifications. I owe my views partially to experiments like this
post #20 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Believe me, you don't lose much with not having it!!

Just look at my post history and you will see how I feel about those nice cables and modifications. I owe my views partially to experiments like this

Hmmm, I guess I'll keep my 'budding' audiophile interests to home use for now. I just found a thread on 'Head-Fi' about modding the Grados. So I went ahead and ordered some screens for the back of the headphones, I picked up 2 different types of cables and some nice Neutrik adapters to do my re-cable. Getting a little antsy... as I want to run these in for about 200hrs before I crack them open. I even have my father (carpenter) helping out on getting some wood cups made. Has anyone done any 'Mods' to their Audio Gear?
post #21 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

In other words, you've reached audio nirvana.

In some sense, yes. On the other hand, I bought a pair of B&W 683s a few weeks ago, and they produce the most pleasant sound to ever be played back at any place I've lived. On top of everything else, they've got an absolutely exquisite bass that I'll probably end up chasing like a madman from model to model, brand to brand, and room-layout to room-layout till the day I stop hearing. That sensation is different from the sensation of cans, though, which only goes to show that multiple nirvanas exist.

Huh, having written that, I now wonder if that sort of sound _can_ be had in cans, too ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

You try other cables on your 702? They BEG to have different cables swapped on them, especially since they're removable.

I have not. I may consider it for length reasons, but other than that I don't expect that I will benefit. Given the extent of my support of the cable-industry over the years, I'm loathe to sending any more money their way, I gotta say.
post #22 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReneV View Post

Huh, having written that, I now wonder if that sort of sound _can_ be had in cans, too ...

Maybe Denon D7000?

Quote:
I have not. I may consider it for length reasons, but other than that I don't expect that I will benefit. Given the extent of my support of the cable-industry over the years, I'm loathe to sending any more money their way, I gotta say.

DIY the cables. They're easy. I build Gaming Cables for the 702, I can give you a wiring schematic. I've built a few, and the people I've built them for actually use it for listening to music too. They say it improves the bass and mids (I use Mogami W2534). Worth a try anyway. I'm gonna try with other types of wire... but I think I should probably acquire the 702s first...
post #23 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

Hmmm, I guess I'll keep my 'budding' audiophile interests to home use for now. I just found a thread on 'Head-Fi' about modding the Grados. So I went ahead and ordered some screens for the back of the headphones, I picked up 2 different types of cables and some nice Neutrik adapters to do my re-cable. Getting a little antsy... as I want to run these in for about 200hrs before I crack them open. I even have my father (carpenter) helping out on getting some wood cups made. Has anyone done any 'Mods' to their Audio Gear?

Did you try www.headfi.org? You would get a lot more responses there for this kind of thing.

I really doubt you will find many modders in AVS.
post #24 of 1190
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

Did you try www.headfi.org? You would get a lot more responses there for this kind of thing.

I really doubt you will find many modders in AVS.

I have, I just asked as a blanket question. I know there are people here as well who listen via great headphones.... and who probably mod as well. ...your right though, Head-Fi is most likely the best place for these type of discussions.
post #25 of 1190
I use a Woo Audio WA6 paired with AKG 702's for headphone listening. These are connected to my 2.1 rig in my man cave. I use a Wadia transport with my iPod and Musical Fidelity vDAC. I use Emotiva gear with Usher Be718's and an Epik Empire subwoofer. It all sounds incredible to me.

I am still waiting for the volume knob for my amp which is being made from exotic wood to match the other pieces. I thought I'd try something different:





My office corner:



Audio rack for my Emotiva gear:

post #26 of 1190
Thread Starter 
It looks AMAZING! WOW! Now that is a setup! I want to get the WooAudio components also... but what you did with them is a cut above!

P.S. Thank you for opening my eyes to Emotiva! I like what they have, and like the prices too (though, headphone stuff first)...
P.S.S. Are you doing the Wood bits yourself?
post #27 of 1190
JH Audio for IEM. Simply Awesome.
post #28 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

It looks AMAZING! WOW! Now that is a setup! I want to get the WooAudio components also... but what you did with them is a cut above!

P.S. Thank you for opening my eyes to Emotiva! I like what they have, and like the prices too (though, headphone stuff first)...
P.S.S. Are you doing the Wood bits yourself?

There is a gentleman on the Emotiva forums that made the wood trim pieces on my Emotiva gear and the Woo amp. He does fabulous work. Thanks for the compliments.
post #29 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoingOK View Post

There is a gentleman on the Emotiva forums that made the wood trim pieces on my Emotiva gear and the Woo amp. He does fabulous work. Thanks for the compliments.

I would wait and see how the heat from your Woo and tubes affect the wood and also the Heat displacement from the Woo is affected. You may want and try a EML 5U4G mesh in place of the Princess Rectifier.

ss
post #30 of 1190
Quote:
Originally Posted by SID3W8Z View Post

Maybe Denon D7000?


DIY the cables. They're easy. I build Gaming Cables for the 702, I can give you a wiring schematic. I've built a few, and the people I've built them for actually use it for listening to music too. They say it improves the bass and mids (I use Mogami W2534). Worth a try anyway. I'm gonna try with other types of wire... but I think I should probably acquire the 702s first...

The Denon D7000s are a much nicer headphone than the AKG 701/702. However the D7000s have a more vertical soundstage than the 701/702s.

When you re-cable your 701/702 i hope you re-cable with both right and left cords as apposed to a single cord. The 701/702 are a very bright headphone and can cause ear fatigue because of there harshness. Also if you want Bass the 701/702s are not for you.

Probably the best headphone on the market now is the Sennheiser HD800 however you may want to re-cable those also.

Keep in mind that just because you have a audiophile headphone like the D7000 or HD800 you still need a audiophile headphone amp and source like the Woo. And yes the new Woo 6 is a nice starter tube amp if you have the right combination of tubes.
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