Which headphone/amp/DAC got you into this nonsense?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by rhythmdevils, Aug 11, 2022.

  1. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    My old man loved his hifi system. Back in the day, in England, he blew his first few proper paychecks on Quad gear, the 33 pre-amp and 303 power amp (and lived off gruel for several months). I inherited them. They're still going strong, even if they're a little battle scarred.

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    He started out with Jim Rogers JR 149 speakers (photo pilfered from HiFi News and Record Review), and I plan to use them in a home theatre setup some day. They're still pretty cool.

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    When pennies permitted, he forked out for some cat-scratcher Quad ESL '57s and eventually ended up with two pairs. I'd love to stack them some day.

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    I've lived abroad since the late 90s and was itinerant until just a few years ago, so portable setups got me started, first crappy Panasonic on-ear, closed back headphones in ca. 1998 fed by a MiniDisc player, which still serves me well (paired here with MD+)

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    and then I upgraded to an iPod 5th Gen with the Sennheiser PX-100 (mk 1)

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    I should probably sell some of this stuff.
     
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  2. Aelms

    Aelms Facebook Friend

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    My dad was an early adopter of the TeraPlayer. He ended up not using it often and passed it on to me, and I used it with some freebie earphones that come with your phone for a while. It all clicked for me when a friend let me try his Sennheiser IEMs with it (can’t remember which model).

    I never actually ended spending too much more after since I was happy with the CMoy for headphones, but I think the Nitsch x Schiit all might end up being my first dedicated headamp.
     
  3. Pancakes

    Pancakes Friend

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    Oh you guys are going way back. My Sony cassette walkman with the included el cheapo "headphones" started the whole thing. I heard not one but two (!!!) guitars for the first time in a song I'd heard a million times. Hooked. Didn't get into headphones until a few years ago though - before that I was always meandering between car audio and 2ch.
     
  4. Vansen

    Vansen Gear Master (retiring)

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    My father has a pair of Pioneer CS-99a, a Marantz 4270, and a BSR 610 turntable that he bought in 1976. This was the system I grew up on and it's still running in his garage today. While it's not to my tastes, it got me hooked.

    I spent a my earlier years with a Sony Walkman cassette player and moved to the Sony Discmans once I could afford them. I used a pair of Sony foldable headphones to drive them. I can't remember the model of the folding headphone I used with them, but @CEE TEE still has the exact model that I used to use (this is CEE TEE's pair):

    sony hp.jpg

    The first headphone that I seriously spent cash on were a pair of of Ultimate Ears Super.Fi 5 Pro in 2008, which I soon replaced with a pair of UE triple.fi. I then had these turned into CIEMs and rocked this setup on the go for quite some time:

    vansen portable.jpg

    Around 2009 I bought my first full sized headphone set up, which was an HD650 with a Woo Audio WA3. I can't remember what DAC I eventually bought for it, but I started out using a PlayStation 1 from the very original run. I just played CDs on it and fed the analog out to the Woo.
     
  5. caute

    caute Facebook Friend

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    Like most people who know little about audio, I started with a google search for "the best headphones"—thinking it was going to be just that easy! That there was just one pair of headphones that were universally the best, and that they would be relatively inexpensive compared to speakers, and that they could easily run off a iPod/phone. Just lol. Ended up clicking buy on the ATH-M50X, hated them, tried a pair of Craigslist HD650 with pancaked pads on a Little Dot MKII (think with a Modi 1 or 2) that put the veil in "veiled", but what got me into headphones was the HD800 SDR/SBAF, Valhalla 2 and Geek Out v2 (not pictured).
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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  6. TheloniuSnoop

    TheloniuSnoop Friend

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    1974. Built a Dynaco PAT4 pre, Stereo 400 amp, Empire 598 II Troubadour TT, and (don't shoot me) Bose 901's.
    Sold the 901's pretty quick and got a pair of Gale GS401 A's. Many, many changes since, but I've been out of the speaker scene since the early 90's.

    First headphone was a pair of HD600's that I got as demo's for a steal. First amp was a DIY Tangent CMoy with a portable CD player as source. Tons of changes since then, including a billion or so DIY builds.

    Yes, I have dain bramage from breathing so many solder fumes.
     
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  7. jnak00

    jnak00 Friend

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    Started with a Sony cassette Walkman, one of the bright yellow sport ones. I went through a Discman and a big Minidisc phase for a while, and still have the Sony MDR-E888s somewhere.
    First “real” headphone and amp was the He400S and the original Schiit Fulla.
     
  8. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    The ridiculously overpriced Grado Amp - a cmoy (nice wood box though) :(

    Can't remember what fed it, vinyl setup I suppose.
     
  9. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    Started for me in 86 or so, Sony cassette walkman. Had assorted stereo receivers and CD players over the years. Really got into headphones and stand alone dacs/amps about 10 years ago. After all the headphone I tried, I still have basically the first 2 or 3 ironically. HD650/HD600 forever ! Oh and Aeolus as well. Don't even care about anything else now.
     
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  10. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Sp this thread is mostly about your foundational equipment. It's a good companion to @yotacowboy 's thread about your foundational music. Please do consider posting your relevant experiences there, too.
     
  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Grado SR80 (though it didn't last long)
    Sennheiser PX-100
    iBasso D10 with opamp kit
    Sansa Fuze
     
  12. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    Foundational would also certainly be the pair of Sansui SS-10 my dad brought from England to the US, out of his Sansui receiver. He did quality control for what must have been Sansui's British importer in 80s. The SS-10 (I had to look up the model number) were pretty heavy and clunky, but Neil Young's After the Gold Rush sounded more than fine through them.

    When I got back into audio stuff a few years ago, I messed around with the Sennheiser HD598 and NAD HP50 (solid sound, horrible comfort). I was traveling a lot at the time and tried various IEM, including a custom-fit pair molded by some company or other catering to musicians. Despite many re-fittings, the things were just painful to wear. I had better luck with Aurasonic Rockets, then all the rage.
     
  13. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    HD600/Audioengine D1 amp+dac
     
  14. fastfwd

    fastfwd Friend

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    Tried a few times, over 25 years or so, before finally "getting into this nonsense".

    My first headphone ever was a Grado SR60 purchased from John Grado at a show in Newport Beach. Sounded fine but was horribly uncomfortable. Still have it somewhere.

    Soon afterward, I got a second-hand Sennheiser HD580 from a classified ad in the back of Stereophile. Drove it with a Headroom Home amp fed by an Audio Alchemy DDE3 DAC. But I had good speakers by that time, so I hardly used the headphone setup.

    Years later, the HD800 was announced and I thought it looked amazing, so I bought one right away (serial number 021xx), along with Tyll's best Maxxed-Out Desktop DAC/amp. I thought I was rich that year, so the $3K+ I spent -- for headphones! -- made me feel only slightly sick.

    But I still liked speakers a lot more, so I didn't actually get into the headphone hobby until two years ago when I found SBAF and bought a Night Blues Mini amp that made the HD800 actually enjoyable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2022
  15. Garns

    Garns Friend

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    HD25 with a succession of weird MP3 players ... Iriver Clix? ... Some other stuff ... Sansa Clip+ ...

    Then at some point I went "let's spend lots of money" and got an Alpha Dog which 98% of the internet assured me would be amazing. I thought it sounded a bit odd and the mids hurt my ears. Found a review by @Hands on changstar that said "eh, it's okay, the upper mids are weird and hard" and finally understood, aah, this an honest review and the rest is history.
     
  16. Abhishek Chowdhary

    Abhishek Chowdhary Friend

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    Sony Ericsson K750i with Sony MDR EX71
     
  17. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils MOT: rhythmdevils audio

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    Electrodynamics! you never knew what was in store for you.. ;)
     
  18. typo3rror

    typo3rror Rando

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    I bought the Sennheiser HD-570 and then discovered my Sony Discman could not drive it well. Then began my quest for a budget headphone amp and so on….
     
  19. ilikebananafudge_

    ilikebananafudge_ Facebook Friend

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    My first decent headphones were also the Sony MDR-7506 for the same reasons that Merrick stated. About a year later I upgraded to the AKG K701 and got the Meier Corda MOVE and that was the first time I was really hooked.
     
  20. TamHo

    TamHo Rando

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    In my case: the Schiit Asgard 1 and the HRT music streamer ii and the LCD2 r2. The combo was so good then I bought a Mjolnir 1 one year later. But it was meh. My first music player was from a no-named Chinese brand that my mom bought for me 17 years ago (still keep its body now). From that time I bought and sold many music players and popular iems (sony ex1000, westone 4,jvc fd700, vsonic gr07..). I didn’t like the hd650 with the Bottle-head Crack when I was 20 yo. But recently I just bought a 6xx and thought I might stop here (except in case I can buy a Utopia in the future).
     

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