Jump to content

Recommended Posts

With two kids now at home, and my turntable setup often getting drowned out by the sound of a toddler and a baby, I've decided to put a bit more into a portable/headphone setup.  I picked up a Grace x Massdrop M9xx DAC/Headphone amp, and then Hifiman HE400i cans, and the combination is pretty stunning. What I notice most, though, is that any mp3 under 320 sounds terrible (or I just notice the compression way more than I ever did). FLACs sound really amazing.

I'm most curious about DSD - I've heard that it's supposed to be quite amazing, though my understanding is on Macs, you have to buy Audirvana to be able to play them, not to mention a general scarcity of files....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

With two kids now at home, and my turntable setup often getting drowned out by the sound of a toddler and a baby, I've decided to put a bit more into a portable/headphone setup.  I picked up a Grace x Massdrop M9xx DAC/Headphone amp, and then Hifiman HE400i cans, and the combination is pretty stunning. What I notice most, though, is that any mp3 under 320 sounds terrible (or I just notice the compression way more than I ever did). FLACs sound really amazing.

I'm most curious about DSD - I've heard that it's supposed to be quite amazing, though my understanding is on Macs, you have to buy Audirvana to be able to play them, not to mention a general scarcity of files....

 

Clementine might be able to play them, I'd look into that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the big brother version (k550s) and love them to death. I boufht them while I was living in NYC to block out the loudness of the city. I fell in love with them. Been using them for the last 3 years and they don't miss a beat. Love that they came out with a cheaper model that's just as good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the big brother version (k550s) and love them to death. I boufht them while I was living in NYC to block out the loudness of the city. I fell in love with them. Been using them for the last 3 years and they don't miss a beat. Love that they came out with a cheaper model that's just as good.

I have the K545s (which I think you are referring to) and they are perfect closed back on the go headphones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the K545s (which I think you are referring to) and they are perfect closed back on the go headphones.

Referring to the k545 as the little brother? Yeah, I am. I've used both and the little brother k545s do the job pretty much just as well. I ordered a pair off mass drop a while back, and was kind of mad how well they worked considering I paid three times that for my k550s a couple years ago, but oh well, still love 'em. Worth every penny. I just need to get some new pads after a few years of wear.

yFAizVP.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I had those for a minute but exchanged them for the AT M50x. I like the sound a bit more and prefer the replaceable cord on the AT's. For 100 bones those AKG's are a great deal though.

 

How do you like those AT headphones? I'm currently using Grado SR-80i's, but they are very fatiguing after just a few hours of use, so I hardly ever listen with headphones even though I like the sound a lot better. I was thinking of trying those out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them a lot, use them for several hours a day as they are my "block out the office noise" headphones at work. The sound is not fatiguing at all, the only issue is that they do get a bit hot after a while, I have to take breaks every few hours just for comforts sake. The velour pads are supposed to help with the comfort issue but it's not a big enough deal that I've felt compelled to try them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them a lot, use them for several hours a day as they are my "block out the office noise" headphones at work. The sound is not fatiguing at all, the only issue is that they do get a bit hot after a while, I have to take breaks every few hours just for comforts sake. The velour pads are supposed to help with the comfort issue but it's not a big enough deal that I've felt compelled to try them.

 

I replaced the pads on mine and I still had sweaty ears.  much happier with open-back style headphones, but that won't fly in an office type environment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure a bunch of folks are already on Massdrop, but they are offering a variation of the Sennheiser HD 650 (theirs is the HD 6XX) for $199 shipped to US. The website is having a lot of trouble letting orders go through due to demand, and in part because the price is pretty sweet (drivers appear to be identical to the 650).

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/massdrop-sennheiser-hd6xx
I'm trying to buy a pair now, though getting stuck... Hopefully I can get through. 

 

If you happen to be interested and want to use my referral link, you can do so below. But don't feel obligated. This isn't like the VMP referrals where you get anything out of it. Only I do. So it's entirely self-serving, but pasted below regardless because I'm obviously a narcissist.

https://www.massdrop.com/r/ZMG253

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, sold out in 2 hours. Crazy.


 Would have been an okay deal shipped to Canada ($15 shipping), but I'll be in the states over Christmas and can hopefully get the headphones shipped to me so I don't have to pay shipping/duties, which will make the deal even better for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I currently have a Marantz PM6004  & am about to grab some HD 650's (They're only $315 on Amazon right now) to use at night when the wife/kid is asleep. As the 6404's headphone amp isn't great I've been looking at finding an alternative and the internet seems really high on both the Schiit Valhalla 2 & Bottlehead Crack with Speedball. Does anyone have any experience with either? Or is there something else you recommend?

 

In researching it looks like the original Valhalla didn’t allow you to roll tubes (?), but that seems to have changed with the Valhalla 2. But I’ve seen reports of it still sounding pretty solid state.

The Bottlehead Crack seems nice, but I have next to no soldering experience & so I’d probably try to find one on eBay or Craigslist

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, agaetisbyrjun said:

So I currently have a Marantz PM6004  & am about to grab some HD 650's (They're only $315 on Amazon right now) to use at night when the wife/kid is asleep. As the 6404's headphone amp isn't great I've been looking at finding an alternative and the internet seems really high on both the Schiit Valhalla 2 & Bottlehead Crack with Speedball. Does anyone have any experience with either? Or is there something else you recommend?

 

In researching it looks like the original Valhalla didn’t allow you to roll tubes (?), but that seems to have changed with the Valhalla 2. But I’ve seen reports of it still sounding pretty solid state.

The Bottlehead Crack seems nice, but I have next to no soldering experience & so I’d probably try to find one on eBay or Craigslist

 

 

I've thought about getting a Crack/Speedball for my HD 6XXs, but I'm hesitant to dive into tubes for 2 reasons: 1) little kids at home  2) I'm worried I might like it too much and then spend all my money on tubes.  I have a Burson Conductor, and I'm quite happy with the sound on the HD6XX, though the amp is even more incredible with my Hifiman HE400i - makes me want to move up the planar chain to pair with the Conductor.


I see a fully assembled Crack with Speedball on Hifi classified sites every couple of months or so. I've been tempted more than once, but resisted.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do yourself a favor and pick up a pair of these. https://smile.amazon.com/KZ-ZS3-Cancelling-Earphone-Comfort/dp/B01KUGWNC6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1495215103&sr=8-3&keywords=kz+zs3

61giVZbK5JL._SL1050_.jpg

 

They are absurdly cheap at $15, but they are the best-sounding in-ear headphones I've ever heard. Granted, I haven't broken the $100 threshold with in-ears... I've used sets from HIFIman, Thinksound, Klipsch, Panasonic, Creative Labs, RHA, and a handful of others; I like these KZ's better than any of those. They're comfy, isolate well, and have a nicely balanced sound signature with a really spacious sound stage. They sound a touch dark at first, especially plugged straight into my iphone, but adding a Firefly DAC/amp helped a ton. I listen to them for hours and don't get tired of them, and they sound good at quiet or louder levels. They sound almost as good as my AKG k551's, but are way more comfortable. I don't think anyone can go wrong here, highly recommended.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, bjorn said:

They sound almost as good as my AKG k551's

Side question: do you still have the original pads on your k551s?

 

This is what mine look like now:

tepQ7D2.jpg

 

(actually, it's an older pic, they look way worse now)

Unfortunately AKG doesn't sell replacement pads, and all aftermarket ones I've read bout apparently alter the sound dramatically, in a bad way of course. I have no idea what to do, but I do know I'm never buying headphones with faux leather pads again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, slinch said:

Side question: do you still have the original pads on your k551s?

 

This is what mine look like now:

 

 

(actually, it's an older pic, they look way worse now)

Unfortunately AKG doesn't sell replacement pads, and all aftermarket ones I've read bout apparently alter the sound dramatically, in a bad way of course. I have no idea what to do, but I do know I'm never buying headphones with faux leather pads again.

Huh... weird. No, mine don't look anything like that. I've had them a couple years now and I'm very happy with the build quality. I don't use them every day though. My main gripe with them is that they hurt my head after about 20 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for Vinyl Collective. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×