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If you had to downgrade your entire rig to $500 ...


jinp6301
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I dont know if this is the right subforum but whatever

If you had only had $500 to put a good headphone rig together, then what components would you choose? If you choose computer as the source, the computer doesn't count towards the $500.

Get a Pico and HD650s, both used. It'll probably be over $500 but should be pretty good.

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You guys haven't included sources, so I up'ed my budget for my ideal downgrade.

EDIT: I'm a retard and just read the computer as source thing in the op. Sorry. I have no idea then since I've never used my computer as a source. Awaiting my Pico...

Rig #1 - based on what I paid (all used)

Denon DCP 100 - $110 or

4g 60g imod - $235 (yes, you haters, it does sound better)

LaRocco PRII (8620) - $325

HD600 with Cardas cable - $200

Rig #2

Denon DCP 100 - $110 and

ipod nano 8g - $50 after spending too much on a computer

Rockhopper Mini3 - $125

HD600 with Cardas - $200

Rig #3

ipod nano 8g - $50

Ety ER4P (don't remember how much these are as I got them years ago) AND

SR-60 - $70 (for when I don't want iems)

My first rig kept me happy for a very long time. Then I discovered headphone forums and meets :kitty:

4g ipod photo (don't remember how much)

HeadRoom microamp (don't remember, but under $300)

HD580 - free (present)

SR-60 - $70

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I dont know if this is the right subforum but whatever

If you had only had $500 to put a good headphone rig together, then what components would you choose? If you choose computer as the source, the computer doesn't count towards the $500.

Hi Jin

What have you been up to since Babylon?

The Constantine and M^3 you listened to at the meet would probably come in for around what you want to spend, not including the cans. If you could manage a little more money, I second the 650s, but I think you said you liked the Grado sound, so that's going to be your call.

orig.jpg

I recently A-B'd the Constantine with my DAC-AH (which I usually use with this Portaphile Maxxed on one of my other computers)

orig.jpg

and the Constantine was much better so I'd go that way.... I saw a recommendation for a GL, but Asr had his SE with power supply connected to my rig at the previous NY meet

orig.jpg

and I felt that Thrice's Rockhopper M^3 had a much more robust sound signature, similar to Jack's silver Woo3 (that I also think you listened to).

Justin's little Pico really looks nice. I didn't listen to it long enough to comment but

orig.jpg

if I'm not mistaken I think you want to run it from your lap top, so it might be the the most compact and versatile solution, although I'm not sure it's going to sound better than the full size M^3 and Constantine.

USG

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There is only one option in my book, to find a Stax SR-Lambda and adapter for about 200$ (can be done!) add some vintage amp and one of the better 80's early 90's DAC's. Killer system for 500$.

Clue me into your good deals, I would kill for a SR-Lambda and SRD box for $200 :o

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I'm certainly not going to reveal my sources but I can assure you it can be done. I just bought a SR-Sigma for 55$ and a Lambda Signature for 74$. There is often a chance that they won't work but then I'll just have some extra spare parts, no harm done. It is very much possible to put together a killer setup for 500$.

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I'm certainly not going to reveal my sources but I can assure you it can be done. I just bought a SR-Sigma for 55$ and a Lambda Signature for 74$. There is often a chance that they won't work but then I'll just have some extra spare parts, no harm done. It is very much possible to put together a killer setup for 500$.

I love how I bought my Sig Pro for x12 of your Sig and Lambda Sig for x7 of your Lambda Sig. :P

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something like the 0404 usb, which i'd probably finagle price-wise as it serves double-duty (recording).

0404 usb ~$150

hd650 - ~$300 ebay

Which doesn't leave a lot of room for an amp - i don't think ~$50 would improve over the 0404's amp.

I spose a used 0404 usb - $75

used hd650 - $225(?)

used glite $225

So, about $25 over. Crap, I should have bought my stuff used ;)

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I'll just have to go back to my K340 rig instead of my RS-1. Not a big deal for me since I enjoyed my K340 for a long time and still like it a lot.

Denon 650F CD player: $40 shipped on ebay

My DIY tube amp: ~$150 in parts

K340: ~$130 when I bought it, I think they're around $200 now.

DIY cables: $15-20 in parts

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If I had to downsize a rig with a budget of $500 I think I'd do the following, all of which would be used.

Source:

Definitely go the computer as source model, several good suggestions for this so far with the 0404USB and M-Audio Transit. Both available used with some regularity and I have to admit, at work I as pretty happy with the AV710 - that might not be an option for you.

Cables:

Absolutely go the DIY route here, you can find good (actually great) cables for cheaper than cheap. There's even a few idiots who if asked nicely will make a set of cables for the cost of parts.

Amp:

Once again, I'd think the DIY used market would be the place to go for any bargain hunter. You can probably find a "home-type" PIMETA in the range of $100 to $150 and it'll just about as good as most commercial ~$400 amps. But since at this point you've spent less than half your budget I'd suggest splurging a bit and trying to get a used PPA. You might find either a V1 or possibly a V2 in the range of $200 to $250, that's an absurd amp for that kind of money. There's also the outside chance that you could find an M3 in the upper end of that range, but those are more rare from what I see. Also, do yourself a favor, if you're looking at a used DIY amp research the builder. I'm starting to lose count of the number of amps that I've had to rebuild for other people as a result of abhorrent build quality.

Cans:

Best value for the dollar, assuming you don't universally dismiss them, is the HD580. Still available for ~$125 you could pick up a HD650 cable and 600 grills if you really wanted to.

So my math says that works out to be about $150 + $250 (max) + $150, right at your target budget and there are ways to shave a bit here and there if you really wanted too.

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Since people are talking about a GLite, I would say you could go for a CK2III, it can be had for $250 or so to have it built or shop for used. It comes in considerably cheaper than a GLite and is cheaper than an M^3.

Speaking of which, I would probably choose the setup in your sig, OP. The Entech was a very fine DAC, especially if you got it at the low low prices of $50-$90. At that price point it easily competes with many of the lower end DACs, even though it's old tech. Add a cheap USB->SPDIF adapter and that leaves about $150 for headphones. You can probably pick up an older K240 sextett or K240M and have some change to spare, it needs shopping though, which kinda sucks, or a HD580 or a Grado.

If you can't get the Entech, I would go for a soundcard. From what I've encountered, the USB DACS under $100 aren't that great. The Alien DAC is a fine piece, but my modded X-Fi is still better. I got my X-Fi for about $50 on e-bay, and recapped pieces of it and changed the opamps. I still use my X-Fi until I can get the funds for an Opus (it keeps coming back for sale after I blow my monthly allowance).

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Thanks guys. I guess I wasnt clear that this really isint about me. I just wanted to know what people with $1000+ worth of gear would downgrade to if they had to.

How good is the line out of the transit anyways? I have a M Audio Audiophile USB which has a pretty nice line out, but thats a little more expensive then the transit.

and I see a lot of GLite suggestions. Am I the only one that wasnt blown away by the GLite with grados (I liked it a lot with the 580)? I liked the CK2III much more then the GLite with both grados and senns.

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