The All Purpose Advice Thread

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by purr1n, Sep 26, 2015.

  1. treboR

    treboR Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Likes Received:
    43
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Outer Mongolia
    I'm looking at getting another two channel speaker setup. There's a description on Schiit's Vallhalla 2 page that says: "not your father's tube amp...syrupy, tubby, euphonically colored tube sound", which is exactly the kind of sound I'm looking for. Would such a thing be possible if I set the budget at $1k?

    I've looked around at various websites that sell vintage gear but it looks like I would need to spend thousands (if not tens of thousands) so maybe this is impossible. Even $1k barely gets into only the speakers themselves. I'm not into vinyl but that's something I might look into in the future.

    Just a quick search on google I've seen some recommendations for a Fisher KX200 with Mullard tubes and AL 890C speakers. That pushes the budget a bit past $1300.

    Anyone have any suggestions or am I just nuts?
     
  2. allegro

    allegro Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    283
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    You could use the preamp outs of your Valhalla 2 with some active Yamaha or JBL powered consumer studio monitors and sub for under $1000 off Amazon but sound quality may not be as good as you would like. If you could push your budget to $1700 you have a lot more options like the Airmotiv T2 floor standing speakers paired with a Schiit Vidar amp.
     
    treboR likes this.
  3. treboR

    treboR Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2019
    Likes Received:
    43
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    13
    Location:
    Outer Mongolia
    I like what I'm reading about the Airmotiv T2. Would I need something like a Schiit Saga to go with the Vidar or is that unnecessary? I can push my budget to $2k.
     
  4. allegro

    allegro Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2017
    Likes Received:
    283
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Florida
    The Valhalla 2 should work fine as a preamp unless you need the added features of the Saga, like remote control.
     
    treboR likes this.
  5. monacelli

    monacelli Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2017
    Likes Received:
    644
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    PNW
    In my experience, I find that headphone amps don't make for particularly good preamps. The pre-outs are mostly there for convenience in space-constrained desktop rigs. I strongly prefer the SYS to the Vali 2 in that role. Considerably more transparent, no hum issues, and so on. So I would say if you're not interested in adding a tube buffer or stepped attenuator to your chain, then the SYS is a very good low-cost alternative.
     
    treboR and crazychile like this.
  6. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    368
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,
    can(s)o'worms time.
    let's say you are kinda addicted to sampling different flavours of headphones. all mid-fi (less than USD $500) and you want a taste of the "house sound" of (just about) all the makers out there. so, you already own: Massdrop HD6xx, Massdrop K7xx, (note the pattern of cheapness), HD 25, Fidelio X2, AKG Q701, VModa XS, and the dreaded and horrible (albeit very well isolating) AKG K550. (and none of them are going anywhere soon.)
    thus, you throw yourself at the mercy of the community and request suggestions.
    i can imagine the response for STAX to be... SR009 and some over the top amp that you can only obtain on the 3rd Blue Moon of the fourth month, from Iceland???
    what i suppose i am looking for is recommendations from various makers of what they do best WITHOUT mortgaging my rental.
    contenders for me (to add to the hording) would be: HD 25 Aluminum, Amperior, AKG K612 PRO, and DT 150.
    all suggestions (short of execution) are welcome.
    cheers!
     
  7. famish99

    famish99 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2017
    Likes Received:
    425
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I would try to look for a used Focal Elex or some people really like the Focal Spirit Pro (can't say I've heard it myself). Also why are there no planars on the list? You could easily do the Verum One or the Hifiman HE-4xx in that price range.
     
    Richgard likes this.
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,283
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    @DrForBin
    - Don't bother with the Amperior or aluminum version of the Senns, I've had them all and they are not significantly different. If you want to go that route, look for the H25-13 which has 600ohm drivers.
    - I've always recommended the K612Pro as the best AKG in their lineup
    - if you're playing with Beyer, the DT150 is good, you can probably find an old used DT48 for the sake of collecting, and maybe a DT1350. There's also the DT880 or whatever has replaced it as the semi-open not-quite-a-flagship. If you like modding and messing around with stuff, the COP is fun once you swap some better drivers into it
    - look for a deal on the Koss ESP-950
     
    aamefford likes this.
  9. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    May 28, 2017
    Likes Received:
    1,261
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Calgary AB, Canada
  10. Phosphenetre

    Phosphenetre Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2019
    Likes Received:
    8
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    India
    EDIT: Introduced myself in the new members thread, thanks @lcmusiclover.

    First post here, thought this'd be a great place to get some serious, no-BS, non-flowery advice.

    I'm a music producer and engineer looking for IEMs that sound like the studio listening gear I'm used to - monitoring headphones calibrated with Sonarworks and studio monitors in a proper room. I should mention right away that this means not just something that measures 'flat' on a graph, but something that gives me the presentation and reproduction I'm used to in the studio - the timbre, tone, weight and body of instruments need to sound natural and true to the recording and how it'd sound played back through my calibrated headphones or studio monitors. Neutral shouldn't mean 'thin' or 'cold'.

    Secondary (but still important) things I'm looking for are isolation and good imaging, separation and transient response.

    In a nutshell - my lovely neutral headphones or speakers in IEM form. I can spend upto $200 on these.

    I'm aware of the complications here - what's flat for headphones does not sound 'flat' for IEMs, and the diffuse-field vs Harman target debates. The jury is obviously still out, but I'll say this - I don't think straight diffuse-field like the way Etymotic does it would hit the mark for me.

    If I'm tuning a kick drum on my headphones or monitors, or dialling in the precise about of energy at 100 Hz on a bass guitar, I want that to translate and come across as closely as possible on these IEMs.

    $200 is not a lot, but considering I have full-size headphones around the $300 mark that do this extremely well, I'm thinking I can get extremely close.

    Thank you for reading, looking forward to the recommendations!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019
    FlySweep, ogodei and ultrabike like this.
  11. lcmusiclover

    lcmusiclover Acquaintance

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2017
    Likes Received:
    71
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Oregon Coast
    First post should be here:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/new-members-introduce-yourself.17/
     
  12. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    368
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,
    thanks all! what is missing from my list is what i am looking to y'all for. ;)
    i was soliciting comments/recommendations on what i listed as well as what i didn't, i.e. tell me about Shure, Grado, HiFiMan, Fostex etc. that would fit the criteria.
    (this is why the "can o' worms header.)
    cheers!
     
  13. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    368
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,
    please ignore the strike outs, i am keyboard impaired this evening
     
  14. Lawrence

    Lawrence Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Likes Received:
    4
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    (As suggested by other members, I am moving my post to this thread where is more appropriate)

    Hi all!

    I know this question may be a bit weird..but I really can’t decide.

    My plan originally was to get a used HD800 and LCD2 but then a local store is selling their last pair of brand new lcd4 at 50% of the retailed price. Which one would you think is a better buy?

    My current setup: dam1021>bottlehead crack/liquid spark

    I know none of my amplifiers will make headphones mentioned above to sound their best. For the time being I just hope they perform alright until someday I can afford an upgrade like a liquid Platinum for example.

    Thanks so much in advance!
     
  15. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,129
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    @Lawrence

    Hi and welcome, that's a though choice. The HD800 and LCD2 really are polar opposites, very very different. Like comparing ice cream and hamburgers. They're both headphones but that's about all they have in common.

    High-end audio is really about what YOU want from the music, it's very personal. Some people stop at the HD650 and for them it's the best headphone they'll ever need or want. Others spend $10k on custom stax rigs and consider everything below that to be inferior.. not that I agree with that but just showing you that it's personal.

    If it's a store that's selling the LCD-4's I think you should at least be able to listen them for 30-60 minutes and make up your mind, hopefully they should have the HD800 as well. And maybe the LCD-2's too. That really is the best way, go to the store and listen for yourself.

    I personally don't rate the LCD-2 that much since I think it's a bit too low resolution and a bit dull sounding, but that's me. But the LCD-4 I will say is a great headphone, it's not perfect but then neither are some other TOTL headphones.

    Personally, without any mods, I'd go for the LCD-4's. With mods I'd probably pick my HD800's. But like I said, high-end audio is pretty personal and what is right for one person might be wrong for the next guy and so on. It all depends on personal taste and what music you like to listen to etc.
     
  16. Lawrence

    Lawrence Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Likes Received:
    4
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @TwoEars
    Thanks for the reply! Couldn’t agree more on lcd2 being completely opposite to HD800. This is also the reason why I wanted to buy them both because that would cover all the genres I listen to. (Imagine getting an ice cream after hamburger)
    Nevertheless, I was so blown away by lcd4 which is so much more expensive even 50% discounted. If I end up choosing lcd4, probably I won’t be able to buy any gears in a very long while.

    If you don’t mind, I have 1 more questions:

    Why prefer modded HD800 over lcd4? Does SDR mod improve these much?
     
  17. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,129
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    @Lawrence

    If you were "blown away" by the LCD-4's I'd be inclined to say "just go for it" and be happy and enjoy the music, they are indeed very good headphones. IMHO the LCD-2's can't touch the LCD-4's when it comes to high-end audio.

    When it comes to the HD800's the SDR mod does help but that's only a part of it, it's more like a combination of things. You can see my reply here for a synopsis of everything I've done to my HD800's: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/sennheiser-hd650.43/page-41

    Personally I do prefer my modded HD800's to the LCD4's. But that's me and there's no guarantee that you will even with all the mods I've done. Like I said, high-end audio is very personal. And a LCD-4 at 50% does sound like a pretty decent deal overall, you're unlikely to lose much money in the long run.

    So if you can afford the LCD-4's I'd be inclined to say; get them, don't look back and enjoy the music. That's what's it's all about really.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
    Lawrence likes this.
  18. ButtUglyJeff

    ButtUglyJeff Stunningly beautiful IRL

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,599
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    @Lawrence an important question to ask yourself is "Is your current amplification going to be yours for the foreseeable future?"

    I have never listened to the LCD-4, but I do know it demands far more current, then your Crack or Spark are really capable of. I get the appeal of reaching for something because of a perceived deal, but your Ferrari would be running on bicycle tires...

    Your Crack can be a wonderful amp, but it really only shines with dynamic headphones. I like your idea of the HD800 + Crack route, assuming you like that kind of tonality...

    The LCD-2 is trickier, because it depends on which LCD-2 you want or have access to. But even this lower demanding planar magnetic might render your current amplification to a "meh" level. I have listened to the LCD-X from a Crack and thought those two could work nicely together, but again your mileage may vary...
     
    Lawrence likes this.
  19. Lawrence

    Lawrence Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Likes Received:
    4
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @TwoEars
    Indeed I compared side by side the lcd2 with lcd4. The latter did everything right to my ears. The only reason I am still hesitating is, tbh, budget

    Got a quote from another local authorized dealer, surprisingly the same offer! Made me wonder (or l’d say, worried) that the retailed price will drop globally in short time, followed by the re-sell value of coz.

    So, if getting a used HD800 I will have spare money for better amp. And also peace of mind knowing that I won’t loss too much money when I decide to sell it.

    In contrast, lcd4 is candy of ears, and eyes too. Although the trade off will be obviously my wallet and comfort.

    Thanks again for helping me to see my options clearly. I might have just ruled out lcd2 from my list...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019
  20. Lawrence

    Lawrence Rando

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Likes Received:
    4
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    @ButtUglyJeff

    Thanks for the reply!

    I do have plan of getting another amp. Currently aiming at the liquid platinum or valhalla2, depending on which phone I will end up with.

    As far as I know all planar are current demanding, that being said, I read a post or two about how crack paired well with lcd4. Put a big question marks above my head...
     

Share This Page