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Senn 650's, Cardas cable, and . . . . .???


MaN227
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Good Day,

I'm wondering if you'd be so kind as to reply to some questions I have. I am just getting into this hifi headphone world. I want to hear your thoughts good, bad or otherwise.

here we go, I'll start with what I have.

Senn HD-650's

and have a cardas audio cable coming in the mail atm.

I have a headroom coda amp le ( It just don't seem to cut the mustard) therefore my endeavor for better stuff. :P

The more I look around and research the more overwhelmed I get with the seemingly endless list of choices. I try to take anything I read on forums with a grain of salt as I know that most posters push the products that they own as being the best, as it helps them justify to themselves their own choices. With that said, convince me then ;)

I am wondering what amp I should get to work well with the 650's and cardas cable. I can tell you now I am no fan of brite highs, and descriptions I have read from many, of the HEED canamp it just seems to hit the sweet spot as to what I am looking for in an amp. just not sure if its the best choice or will be a very nice match for my existing gear.

so a few amps that have caught my eye are

HEED canamp

MF x-can v3

RSA hornet M

XIN super-macro IV

Gilmore Lite

WooAudio 3

DarkVoice 332

Eddie Current ECSS

Rockhopper M3

I want something that'll drive the 650's to their full potential and not be maxed out itself, but having a bit of . ... um .. headroom. Also I'd like the lowest amount of "noise" from the amp that I can get. Output wise , no harsh/brite highs and solid , deep, substantial bass and neutral to warm mids.

musical taste is an easy one, I listen to any and everything EXCEPT opera :P

With that said I simply like to enjoy music from the top to the bottom of the freq. range, and am in NO way interested in super revealing analytical sound. As that always seems as an overall sound to be brite , forward and harsh on the top end. Natural is what I want and having played drums for several years I know just what they sound like and want honest reproduction of the recordings not colored.

It's for a home setup. not so concerned with portable, thats another ball of wax :D. As far as home setups go I see some that use a DAC , can you share your thoughts on the need of using one and any that you think would be a good match for the rest of the components? perhaps:

LiTe DAC-AH

Fubar II USB DAC

Entech NC 205.2 DAC

HiFi Digital Audio - Super Pro

I spend a fair amount of time at the PC if that means anything.

I want to thank you now in advance, and tell you I very much value and appreciate any and all feedback you can give me. I thank you for your time and consideration and look forward to ALL replies.

One thing though, if your just trying to impress everyone with your knowledge by giving 25 lines of tech jargon, please save it for another thread ;)

Plain English will do just fine.

Please forgive my "n00bness" ;)

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The Gilmore Lite is a very nice amp for the 650s especially and you can upgrade it by adding the dedicated power supply at a later date. Lite DAC-AH is a nice little dac and while it doesn't have the greatest extension or detail retrieval it should mate well with the GL and your 650s.

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so a few amps that have caught my eye are

HEED canamp

MF x-can v3

RSA hornet M

XIN super-macro IV

Gilmore Lite

WooAudio 3

DarkVoice 332

Eddie Current ECSS

Rockhopper M3

Please forgive my "n00bness" ;)

I've owned the RSA Hornet (not "M"). I've spent extensive time with the EC-SS. And heard the Gilmore Lite briefly at a meet. I've also used my HD650s on each of these amps. I?d cross the Hornet off your list. It's an ok to decent portable amp, but nothing really special and pricey. I suppose if portability was of the utmost importance you might consider it, but with the HD650 there are better options.

I really liked the EC-SS. I thought it sounded great. And walked the fine line between solid state (analytical) and offering a bit of tube warmth and magic without getting bloated or muddy. It's a great amp.

During my brief listen I thought the Gilmore Lite provided an equally enjoyable musical experience, but slightly more analytical presentation and still some warmth. I think it had the power supply too.

You've got a free noobie pass this one time ;D

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the gilmore lite is probably the best out of the bunch.

or you can save up the money and get an all-in-one solution such as the benchmark/apogee/lavry/aqvox/headroom desktop. probably gonna run a tad expensive even when you can find one used, but IMHO its the best-of-both-worlds solution.

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the gilmore lite is probably the best out of the bunch.

or you can save up the money and get an all-in-one solution such as the benchmark/apogee/lavry/aqvox/headroom desktop. probably gonna run a tad expensive even when you can find one used, but IMHO its the best-of-both-worlds solution.

Aqvox isn't an all in one solution. It's a dac, with a shitty headphone amp if you're using usb. I'd say the M3 is a good choice from that list , and if you're considering the hornet, you should also consider amps like the supermicro and the pint, etc.

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thanks people for the wonderful feedback thus far :D

I may have used wording that some my take offense to in regards to "pushing what they own" . I'd like to edit the post, but can't seem to find an EDIT button :'( so here I have changed the wording:

The more I look around and research the more overwhelmed I get with the seemingly endless list of choices. It appears some posters will only say that the products that they own are the best, as it helps them justify to themselves their own choices. That is fine by me. With that said, convince me then ;)

forgive me :angel:

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Based on the above choices, and assuming your setup is biased towards computer as source, I would recommend the Lite DAC-AH as a source and M3 as an amp. Alternatively, the Gilmore Lite is a good choice for a desktop amp as well as outlined above. Just a warning for you: you will need a soundcard that will output a bit-perfect signal. Assuming you don't have one already, you could pick up a chaintech av-710 for $30 or so ;D ..and I would recommend a nice coax or toslink cable for around the same price.

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Have you heard every amp on that list?

no I've not heard ANY of these amps.

my pc sound card is Creative Labs X-Fi Fatality , I use foobar2000 and Kernal stream atm

..and I would recommend a nice coax or toslink cable for around the same price.

sorry, what is toslink ? is that the optical out? and where in the path is it used? remember I'm a noob to this for the most part.

a majority of listening atm will be done from pc, but after I move that more then likely will change to what I shall call my "theater room" :D

so should I be considering different DAC setups? one for pc and one for ummm... lazy-boy use ? :D

thanks again for all the input everyone :dance:

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My question about have you heard every amp on that list wasn't directed towards you, but it's good to know. I doubt anyone giving an opinion here has heard even half the amps on your list so take that into account when they make a suggestion.

It would be nice to know what other amps on your list those giving opinions have also heard.

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Of the amps you listed, I've only heard the RSA Hornet, Gilmore Lite, DarkVoice, and M3. The Hornet literally made my Senn 580 sound like a 590, which is to say fucking horrible. The DarkVoice is too tubey & mushy sounding, might be fine with a K701 or Beyer DT880, but it's not a good match with the Senn 650. Which leaves the Gil Lite and M3, there's no glaring faults on either but neither are they particularly spectacular with a 650. I'd lean towards the M3 since at least you can swap opamp chips and tune the sound a bit that way.

Personal thoughts? If you can solder decently or know someone who can, order yourself an Aikido PCB along with the transformers & parts needed for the filament supply and the high voltage ~250V supply. And of course the tubes, resistors and stuff for the amp itself. That'll give you the best sound you can buy without going into silly money.

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oh, sovkiller came in bleating about rudistor products (which he distributes), and he got verbally beaten. instead of being a man about it, he went in and edited out all of his posts.

you dont have a back up so you can bring it back? then again if you did then it probably would of been done..lol

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the edit functionality was abused at one point. if you find yourself needing to change a post after the five minute edit period, send a PM to a moderator or administrator.

duly noted :)

as it looks sorry for the GRRRRR :o>:D:laugh: didn't mean to open a can of worms or anything :P

just want more feedback in regard to my questions :angel:

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What's the actual total budget? $800? $1K?

I'm a bit flexible , but was thinking along the lines of 300$ us tops on a dac and 500 or so tops on an amp.

to me as far as budget goes, as I said I can give a little more IF the gain in sound quality is substantial.

I am though, trying to stay away from broadening my price range much, as that'll just lead to more options and more research and headaches :'(

as I can clearly see, not sure what those here would call it, what I call "upgrade-itis" , gets many that are into this hifi headphone world. As that happens people keep up-ing the dollar amount they will spend.

so.... lol after all my silly rambling on, lets say 800$ us max O0

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