CHANGSTAR: Audiophile Headphone Reviews and Early 90s Style BBS

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Author Topic: Spending more on an amp then headphones  (Read 6511 times)

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Sorrodje

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2015, 05:16:26 PM »

Find the right transducer for you. Then start building a system around it.

Definitely.. and forget such thing as "best headphone of the world" .. that does not exist.

There's only "personal preferred headphone for me and the music/recordings I listen to" . understanding there's no "world champion" headphone  is the best way to enjoy happily this hobby .

velvetx

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2015, 05:24:03 PM »

To me, you will always spend more on an amp/dac combo.  I feel like you would want to spend more on the endgame amp/dac because with headphones you are more than likely to purchase these on a more regular basis than a new amp dac.  Unless you are sticking to budget or low fi then you will be buying new stuff all the time.
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Koloth

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2015, 05:29:09 PM »

It might be that you can spend more on a headphone than the amp, but it's only because headphones are fundamentally over-priced at the moment.

I think thats a very interesting statement to hear from you. Could you elaborate a little bit?

Do you have specific models in mind (the Abysses, LCD3's and Pioneer Master1's etc.)?

Do you have a general pricepoint in mind above which you find a headphone a tough sell? 500$ used to be that 10 years ago, then it was 1000$, now I dont even know anymore...

Does your wording "at the moment" imply faith in a change of course in the future, where established headphone manufacturers (AKG, Beyer, Senn, AT, Sony etc.) start producing flagships <900$? If so, why? I am very disappointed with the way the market has evolved with regards to pricing in the last 10 years (I do own a Senn HD600, that should tell you where I'm coming from) but with the influx uf wealthy Russians, Arabs and Chinese buyers into the market I dont see it stopping anytime soon. Why would Sennheiser develop a proper HD650 successor with the best sound they could possibly put into a 500$ package and sell that to Europeans/Americans when they might as well produce a 3000$ unit with the same sound quality and sell to people for whom even that amount warrants no overnight consideration?

Also feel free not to answer at all or safe your thoughts for an opinion piece on innerfidelity ;)
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Tyll Hertsens

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2015, 05:42:56 PM »

Why would Sennheiser develop a proper HD650 successor with the best sound they could possibly put into a 500$ package and sell that to Europeans/Americans when they might as well produce a 3000$ unit with the same sound quality and sell to people for whom even that amount warrants no overnight consideration?

Because there's 10,000 times more people willing to shell out $500 than $3000 for a pair of headphones. And similarly 10,000x more people willing to shell out $100 than $500. Assuming general population gets a glimpse of good sound and like it (may be a tall order, but more and more likely all the time with headphones) they'll spend as much on headphones as a good pair of shoes or handbag. Common prices there hoover around $100-$300. If the public demand gets high enough, competitive price pressures should lower prices/improve quality.

Ultra-high-end headphones? Many audiophiles have been taking it in the ass and loving it for years, that won't stop. The hype train ain't going to derail any time soon.
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Tyll Hertsens

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2015, 05:45:07 PM »

I should add that I don't see any reason why a $500 headphone can't sound as good as a $5000 headphone in principle.

It's just two small drivers and a bit of plastic/metal. Once you get it down pat how expensive can it really be?

Additional price drivers will be cosmetics, etc.
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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2015, 06:02:20 PM »

Ultra-high-end headphones? Many audiophiles have been taking it in the ass and loving it for years, that won't stop. The hype train ain't going to derail any time soon.

This sounds like a good editor's note to put at the end of my upcoming Big Sound report.  :)p13
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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #16 on: September 22, 2015, 06:04:26 PM »

But getting the right headphone for you (maybe with an O2 as a starter amp until you figure out what you want there) is the place to start.
Pretty much this

The O2 is a very very good amp to use when trying to find your "one", to make sure the upstream equipment isn't interfering with the experience; IME the O2 is very very well behaved with a large variety of loads and it's also dirt cheap, even if it isn't capable of getting something to it's best it'll still be listenable
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knerian

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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2015, 06:07:29 PM »

It should be noted that price for these TOTL headphones is usually not based on manufacturing cost, it's based on market forces.  They will charge what they think they can get for it, and the market is not competitive at all.  That's why you have stupid HE1K and Abyss pricing. 

Anyone involved in the HE1K beta or even an owner of the production model knows that it doesn't even cost a few hundred to manufacture that thing with the peeling veneer and chrome plated plastic.
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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2015, 06:27:28 PM »

Ultra-high-end headphones? Many audiophiles have been taking it in the ass and loving it for years, that won't stop. The hype train ain't going to derail any time soon.


I am so glad I have been wearing my ASStity belt for years   :) :)
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Re: Spending more on an amp then headphones
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2015, 06:57:15 PM »

Well originally I spent $800 on a used HD800 after hearing what it could do when paired well. I had no problem justifying spending $1300 on the very amp (Super7) that gave me that impression as the MSRP for an 800 was $1400 bucks or so. Problem is, the HD800 kept scaling. The better the front ends got, the better the HD800 kept pace. With pretty much 99% of the phones out there, I don't find this to be so much the case. I now use an amp where just two of the transformers cost as much as the headphones MSRP. It is frikin' nutz. However, awesome transformers cost a lot in just raw materials and labor, plus they are scarce these days (the people who mastered making them are just dying from old age). I still don't know where the HD800 stops scaling and in that sense one could call them a relative bargain in the audio world.

You need to find your own values and goals, then decide for yourself. Decide what kind of listener you are first.
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