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post #41 of 52
Quote:
Vinyl is superior when you have a good record player and a good record. I certainly don't recommend it to the faint of heart. I only recently got my hands messy with it, and I am sort of stumbling through it, but it does indeed sound better than CDs when you can get the setup right. Of course on the other hand, CD players are sort of the same way. I only recently found out that you can buy really high end CD players which make a world of difference (as in, there were sounds in songs I listen to that I never have heard before).

Do explain how modern vinyl is better. The only think I can think of is that having to use a DAC could potentially introduce another source of distortion, but a good DAC should be transparent.
Quote:
Tubes just sound better. Again though it is one of those things that you have to have the right tubes, with the right amp, with headphones that will respond well to the particular sound tube amps make. I have some cheapo tubes that sound exactly like a solid state amp, but I also borrowing some nice vintage GE tubes that sound fantastic. It also is not my imagination either. I use the Q701s which are rather bass light, so when something can add good bass back into them.....you notice right away wheee.gif

You mean the "tube warmth" aka forced EQ? There are even EQ presets that will mimic tube amps. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with liking tubes, but they aren't the magical unique sound that some people make them out to be.
Quote:
There is also a difference in cable sound. If you don't think so, then good for you. All that means is that some day you will own a house and a car with no debt lachen.gif

This is one thing I think is truly ridiculous, and I would have no problem telling someone who buys $1000 audio cables that they are a moron.
Quote:
Some people do have golden ears. Simple genetics and age determines that. I don't think that is a mystery, and furthermore.....how exactly did he come to that conclusion to begin with? Did he rip off someone else's ears to try them out? I doubt it. tongue.gif

I think people just hear things differently. Some probably prefer different frequencies or hear one freq better than another for whatever reason, and that's how you end up with so many different opinions on speakers and headphones.
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post #42 of 52
For the OP, I would recommend sticking to your original budget for now. There's always something better out there, but headphone performance/price tends to drop off QUICK after $2-300. I can't comment too much on super high end stuff, because the HD800 are the best I've heard. They sounded great and I was impressed, but were they 5x as good? Probably not to me.
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post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

Do explain how modern vinyl is better. The only think I can think of is that having to use a DAC could potentially introduce another source of distortion, but a good DAC should be transparent.
You mean the "tube warmth" aka forced EQ? There are even EQ presets that will mimic tube amps. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with liking tubes, but they aren't the magical unique sound that some people make them out to be.
This is one thing I think is truly ridiculous, and I would have no problem telling someone who buys $1000 audio cables that they are a moron.
I think people just hear things differently. Some probably prefer different frequencies or hear one freq better than another for whatever reason, and that's how you end up with so many different opinions on speakers and headphones.

Well with the vinyl I think it is more a matter of the particular vinyls and particular CDs people can get. For instance, I have a few led zeppelin records and a few led zeppelin CDs. (my favorite band is led zeppelin if you couldn't tell tongue.gif )

http://www.discogs.com/Led-Zeppelin-Led-Zeppelin-IV/release/1149786

http://www.amazon.com/Led-Zeppelin-IV-aka-ZOSO/dp/B000002J09/ref=pd_sim_m_10 (the CD looks the same, just ignore that the page is for downloading the music).

The vinyl sounds perfect. Nice and clear. And I got this record player from a thrift store for 20 bucks, so it isn't like I have a megalithic 12K record player. All the songs sound great and in particular the keyboard and bass is well pronounced in 'misty mountain hop'.

With the CD, things sound sort of muddled in general, and misty mountain hop seriously is off the charts messed up. The Keyboard is completely lost. I even tried playing it in a fancy CD player my neighbor has....still no go. He is the one who got me started with vinyl because of the poor quality of the CD. Again, I am still in the learning phase.



As for the tubes, it is a bit different than EQ. Originally that was my thoughts on tubes as well. Now again, I am still learning from Spriggs the technical details. But sound wise, the EQ programs available always seem to make the sound congested. Even using something like Electri-Q or the various software based 'tube amps' seem to really mess up the highs. I get fairly decent results with just screwing around with an EQ program, but tubes can improve the bass without screwing up the highs.

To a certain extent, this nonsense of "hearing what the artist wants you to hear" is also sort of BS. The Artist 9 times out of 10 is not working all that closely with the audio masters. IMO you loose a lot of the sound because you have people trying to edit the sound and end up screwing it over pretty royally rather than the way the artists wanted it to sound to begin with. That is why when people like Jimmy Page over sees the audio mastering, you will see me in the front of the line to buy the media vinyl or otherwise, because it will sound as good as it is supposed to, and then your argument is something I would probably give a lot of credit to. Otherwise, you bet I will be forcing a proper EQ on poorly remastered tinny audio.

And yes, tubes do have magic sound. That is why there is such a thing as tube rolling. More specifically I have two sets of tubes. One set is crap and gives me headaches, the other set has a nice warm sound. If you call that magic, then I guess my amp is magic then smile.gif

I agree about the 1K worth of audio cables. Silver cable/wire will make the sound more transparent. But the difference in quality is like so minimal that I tend to be on the fence about it. Personally though, I buy the silver plated copper wire and make my own cables, it is better than copper wire, but worse than silver wire. The nice thing is that it is not much more expensive than good quality copper wire and it still sounds better, so I am pretty happy with it. To say the least.

But the fancy couple hundred dollar cable with swarvoskii (or how ever you spell it) connectors is just stupid.

"I think people just hear things differently. Some probably prefer different frequencies or hear one freq better than another for whatever reason, and that's how you end up with so many different opinions on speakers and headphones."

Completely agree.
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post #44 of 52
Led Zeppelin sounds amazing on the Audeze LCD-2 tongue.gif
    
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post #45 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

Do explain how modern vinyl is better. The only think I can think of is that having to use a DAC could potentially introduce another source of distortion, but a good DAC should be transparent.

With vinyl you can also avoid an ADC on the recording end and just process everything in analog, like they did in the past. Obviously the physical vinyl medium wears over time, analog processing is lossy, best-case vinyl can't achieve dynamic range close to even CD audio, etc... As far as the technology is concerned, with respect to audio playback fidelity, I don't think anyone can reasonably make a case for superiority of a vinyl, which is what you're saying.

But some recordings are only available in vinyl, and some masters outputted to vinyl may well sound better than the ones pressed to CDs.


Also, there is something to be said for one experience versus another. Thinking about what "inputs" there are to our brains when listening to music, there's much more going on than just the sound waves.


A similar thing can be said for vacuum tubes for most audio playback equipment. I don't think there's much motivation with respect to performance (certainly not with respect to reliability) to incorporate vacuum tubes in a design. It's just one story, but I think the Carver challenge and subsequent fallout really capture the essence of what's going on.

If you want to mimic a particular amp's "tube sound", it can be done very well by taking a solid-state amp, adding some output impedance, and fiddling around with feedback to add some distortion (maybe some EQ as well). You could do that all in software, but the parameters that would need to be changed would depend on the load you're driving. Also, I don't know if some algorithms are actually going in there and adding nonlinear distortion, so YMMV with those. But Carver's later solid-state amps, which had a "tube distortion mode" of sorts based on the ideas and techniques concocted in the challenge, were not that popular. Turns out that maybe people don't much care for tube distortion unless they're also getting tube glow and heat, the whole experience? That said, you can build tube amps to sound like a particular solid-state amp, but most people wouldn't bother doing that.
post #46 of 52
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I have decided to stay within my budget.

Would the Schiit Modi/Magni combo well with the ATH-A/AD900x, AKG Q701 & K702, Grado SR225i, DT 880, or Shure SRH940? What about the HE-400? Should I be looking into other DACs/Amps regardless of headphone choice (which I have, but I have read very good things about the M&M), or with any of these headphones specifically? I recall tjj recommending I get a better amp now, so when I upgrade my headphones again, I will not need to upgrade my amp. Would a better amp improve any of these headphones (or others in their price range)?
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post #47 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenfitz3 View Post

I have decided to stay within my budget.

Would the Schiit Modi/Magni combo well with the ATH-A/AD900x, AKG Q701 & K702, Grado SR225i, DT 880, or Shure SRH940? What about the HE-400? Should I be looking into other DACs/Amps regardless of headphone choice (which I have, but I have read very good things about the M&M), or with any of these headphones specifically? I recall tjj recommending I get a better amp now, so when I upgrade my headphones again, I will not need to upgrade my amp. Would a better amp improve any of these headphones (or others in their price range)?

You would probably be very happy with any of those. The closed phones are going to have a bit more bass impact, and on the other hand I don't think the ATH-900 or AKG phones will have the bass that you want. You just need to read a lot of reviews on all of them. The M&M combo will be great for any of those. You would just need to upgrade to a more powerful amp later if you decided to move to a high end orthodynamic headphone. Headphones like the LCD-2 or HE-6 require a lot of power, but worry about that years later.
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post #48 of 52
Audeze recommends a headphone amplifier capable of outputting at least 1 watt of power but the Schiit Magni is not really the headphone amplifier you want driving them. I think the Schiit Magni and Modi stack is a good entry level solution if you don't have a sound card.
    
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post #49 of 52
you will see a lot of Audeze LCD-2 headphones with expensive amplifiers at Head-Fi meets.. Burson and Woo Audio have good synergy with Audeze headphones. I use a Burson HA-160 ($699 new, $499 used) which is considered middle tier.

edit: Burson
Edited by bumblebee1980 - 3/3/13 at 3:12pm
    
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post #50 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

You would probably be very happy with any of those. The closed phones are going to have a bit more bass impact, and on the other hand I don't think the ATH-900 or AKG phones will have the bass that you want. You just need to read a lot of reviews on all of them. The M&M combo will be great for any of those. You would just need to upgrade to a more powerful amp later if you decided to move to a high end orthodynamic headphone. Headphones like the LCD-2 or HE-6 require a lot of power, but worry about that years later.

After reading some more reviews, I agree with your assessment that the Audio Technicas and the AKG headphones are not what I want right now. I think I have decided on the Modi/Magni, as I really am only looking for entry level equipment (to get me started).
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

Audeze recommends a headphone amplifier capable of outputting at least 1 watt of power but the Schiit Magni is not really the headphone amplifier you want driving them. I think the Schiit Magni and Modi stack is a good entry level solution if you don't have a sound card.

I figured as much. I do have a sound card, but it is only an ASUS Xonar DG.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumblebee1980 View Post

you will see a lot of Audeze LCD-2 headphones with expensive amplifiers at Head-Fi meets.. Burson and Woo Audio have good synergy with Audeze headphones. I use a Burson HA-160 ($699 new, $499 used) which is considered middle tier.

edit: Burson

Thanks, but as I said, I plan on sticking to my original budget of 500-750$. I am definitely interested in the Audez'e LCD-2, so I will certainly be giving them another look when next I decide to upgrade. As for right now, however, I am left deciding between the HE-400, HD 600 or 650, or DT 880.

I am sure after reading even more reviews, or, if I can manage, auditioning each of them, I will come to some sort of decision. Thank you to everyone who posted in this thread; I appreciate the assistance.
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Intel Core i5-2500k ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Zotac GTX 580 AMP! 1.5GB Corsair Vengeance Low-Profile 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial m4 Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate ST2000DM001 LG GH24NS70R CD/DVD-RW Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS VH236H 23" @ 1920x1080 WASD w/ Blacks 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX850 Corsair Carbide 500R Razer DeathAdder Black XTracPads Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ASUS Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Schiit Modi / Magni HiFiMan HE-400 
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(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-2500k ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 Zotac GTX 580 AMP! 1.5GB Corsair Vengeance Low-Profile 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Crucial m4 Samsung Spinpoint F3 Seagate ST2000DM001 LG GH24NS70R CD/DVD-RW Drive 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair A70 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS VH236H 23" @ 1920x1080 WASD w/ Blacks 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair HX850 Corsair Carbide 500R Razer DeathAdder Black XTracPads Ripper XXL 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
ASUS Xonar DG Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Schiit Modi / Magni HiFiMan HE-400 
  hide details  
Reply
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Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Buying new headphones, possibly more; need advice.