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help with upgrading equipment

Surfzm

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Sep 2, 2018
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#1
Hello,

I have the following equipment:
Headphones : AKG 551 , AKG701
IEM: Vsonic VC1000
Amplifier : Fiio E11k
DAC : UD120,
I will also buy Sennheiser HD650.
I usually listen to do music ( portable ) with: Samsung S8+ – UD120 – E11k – VC1000 ( or AKG 701, 551 ) combination.
I have been reading about Cayin N3, Shanling M3S, Xduoo x10, 20, X10t, iFi Nano iDSD Black, JDSLabs Cmoy…and about Topping NX4.

Can you tell me what do you think I should buy next of these to get better musical reproduction with this equipment that I have.

Or should I buy something else ?

If I buy Xduoo X20, will I get much better sound then with UD120 and Fiio E11k? Or Is it better to buy X10t, and use it with UD120 and Fiio 11k…

Im little lost here, so I would like your opinion about this situation.
 

flipflop

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Feb 22, 2018
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#2
Changing amp and/or DAC will yield negligible sound improvements, unless there's something wrong with those you already got, in which case, you should know already.
Normally, I would recommend using a parametric EQ to fix the sound of your headphones, but those don't seem to exist on smartphones yet.
You've already considered getting new headphones and that would be my recommendation, too.
 

JJB70

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#3
My advice is to try DACs and amps before buying to establish whether or not you can discern an improvement. I wish I had a pound for the number of people who have complained to me because they've bought something like a Chord Mojo after reading countless magazine and web articles telling them it transforms the sound and all the usual flummery (lifting veils etc) and find that their music sounds just the same. The main reason for buying an amp is volume if you have hard to drive headphones or just like your music loud. Headphones however do have a sound signature and can significantly alter your enjoyment of music, the HD650 is an extremely well regarded model.
 

Surfzm

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#4
thank you for your answers,



I have got JBL LSR305- active monitors, dac:UD120, laptop..so usually I listen from computer..( I use JRIVER player, have selected ASIO drivers),

My question is about volume.. how should I set up volume on monitors, computer, and Jriver....?

I have put 8 from 10 on monitors, should I put it to max?, volume on computer also to max and then should I balance on Iriver volume ( I use internal volume on Jriver, have read thats the best option )? or I should do smtg completely different ..?:)
 
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#5
thank you for your answers,
I have got JBL LSR305- active monitors, dac:UD120, laptop..so usually I listen from computer..( I use JRIVER player, have selected ASIO drivers),
My question is about volume.. how should I set up volume on monitors, computer, and Jriver....?
I have put 8 from 10 on monitors, should I put it to max?, volume on computer also to max and then should I balance on Iriver volume ( I use internal volume on Jriver, have read that's the best option )? or I should do smtg completely different ..?:)
You might consider getting a tube headphone amplifier, for use with the 300-Ohm HD650 (or HD6XX)
Get a tube amplifier that also comes with a line-output, to connect to the JBL LSR305.
You would max out (75%-100%) the volume controls on the source (computer) and use the tube amp to control volume.
 
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#6
I think the jump to an Audeze LCD-2 is the single biggest jump I ever made for a reasonable price some years back, regardless of sources used. I've run them straight from an iPad with good results for moderate volume, though a standalone amp is the ultimate. The Senn 650 is great, but I think that the thing that moves the air is the biggest bang for the buck, and that first, great Audeze is still a marvel if you can stand the weight of the thing -- there's a lighter version now, too. Beyond the price of an LCD-2 or Senn HD800, for me the returns diminish very quickly, though I am fond of the LCD-3 (as a dealer, I get to play around with any and all, but I usually go back to the luscious LCD-2).
 

Surfzm

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#7
Thank you for your answer,

Lets say that I listen to the music with :
a) computer, active speakers LSR305..

Then I will put 80-100 on active speakers and use Jriver volume and sound on computer to control volume?

b) If I use LSR305, with tube amplifier and Jriver then I will max out (75%-100%) the volume controls on the source (computer, Jriver and computer ) and use the tube amp to control volume?

c) I also have Fiio E11k amp but I think its not possible to use it with LSR305?
 
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#8
Thank you for your answer,
Lets say that I listen to the music with :
a) computer, active speakers LSR305..
Then I will put 80-100 on active speakers and use Jriver volume and sound on computer to control volume?
b) If I use LSR305, with tube amplifier and Jriver then I will max out (75%-100%) the volume controls on the source (computer, Jriver and computer ) and use the tube amp to control volume?
c) I also have Fiio E11k amp but I think its not possible to use it with LSR305?
Technically, you can use the PC or the head amp or the speaker's volume controls, to adjust audio.
Usually it better to max out the volume controls at the source (or audio chain), to send the strongest signal, and use the last device in the chain to control volume, but you can if you like use the jriver or Windows OS to adjust volume, if you like.
The E11K is not something that would work with the LSR305 (connected to).
 

Dialectic

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#9
You might consider getting a tube headphone amplifier, for use with the 300-Ohm HD650 (or HD6XX)
Get a tube amplifier that also comes with a line-output, to connect to the JBL LSR305.
You would max out (75%-100%) the volume controls on the source (computer) and use the tube amp to control volume.
Tubes are almost always a bad idea and only for those who like distortion. Using them with well-designed speakers like the LSR305s seems insane to me.
 
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#10
Tubes are almost always a bad idea and only for those who like distortion. Using them with well-designed speakers like the LSR305s seems insane to me.
Tube amplifier is more for use with the Sennheiser HD650/HD6XX headphones, then for connecting to the LSR305, but Surfzm can also get a solid state or hybrid headphone amplifier.
 
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#11
You've already considered getting new headphones and that would be my recommendation, too.
I second that, and recommend to go for Sennheiser HD 800 since you seem to prefer the clean sound of Sennheisers. This would probably be your last headphone.

I have a HD 800 since 4 years and it will be my last one for sure. Even on my smartphone it sounds better than all others I have.
 

Surfzm

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#12
I second that, and recommend to go for Sennheiser HD 800 since you seem to prefer the clean sound of Sennheisers. This would probably be your last headphone.

I have a HD 800 since 4 years and it will be my last one for sure. Even on my smartphone it sounds better than all others I have.
Thanks, they are little off budget for now but you never know...:)
 
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