Its a free country. Why not?
A good pair of Stax maybe?
A good pair of Stax maybe?
That was kind of what I was thinking...I mean I own some Grado 125's now, but I think I would want to go a little nicer than those...
Mapman do you have any experience with Stax? I have owned some of the less expensive Senns and at one time I had the Grado RS-2's to give them a listen. I thought they were nice, but I never went as far as to hook them up to any adequate amplification...just the output on my HT receiver (when I still had one of THOSE things)!
I was just looking about and saw some information about the Stax srm-t1w amplifier and lamda nova signature headphone combo. The Stereophile article on these looked promising. I wish I would have been on this page when the last pair came across here...
I couldn't hang with a headphone only system. Even in urban areas there are the suburbs where you can listen to music in the privacy of your own home.
That said, I'd propose a compromise: down size to a 2.0 or 2.1 system with a quality integrated. There are many, but Musical Fidelity makes quality integrateds at good values.
So I'd go with a thinning out verses throwing out. Less to move, easier to setup, but you can still enjoy the sound of music in your house/apt. And you may even end up cash positive :)
I have a pair of Stax sr-80 pro headphones. They are far from the best Stax phones out there though. They are not the ultimate in low end extension,, but are very enjoyable and non-fatiguing otherwise
I like electrostatic headphone designs like the Stax myself for the low fatigue factor.
There are many really good phones out there though I am sure. Frankly, I am not very up to date on this topic so I would hesitate to offer other suggestions. I've owned good Sennheisers in the past and liked those. Ive heard very good things about certain AKG models as well. Goldring sells headphones these days as well...haven't heard them, but I have high respect for that brand from their phono cartridges, FWIW.
A few years ago, I went through times too, I couldn't afford a very good system. So I went with a HP set up and used it for over a year or so and found it very satisfying! But for the real viseral attack of a pair of speakers I found the HPs to sound fantastic and unless I was comparing A to B, I never felt I was missing out on anything...
I had a pair of Senns 500s, a tube Ear Max amp, Cardas HP cables and, over the years, various CDPs..
I have to say that with headphones I learned more then I ever did about critical listening and understanding the "sound", HPs are intimate and offer a great learn vehicle.
Go for it and when you are in a position to get a main rig again, you will.
I have AKG 701s and a couple of headphone amps. If you can tolerate waiting for it, try the SinglePower "Extreme". It is an OTL and not extreme at all . The price of entry is about $700 dollars but may be more now and depending on various options you can double the price. Mine is the basic model it uses 6080 power tubes and a single 6SN7. He will throw you some good 6080 but you can opt for better 6SN7s. His tube inventory was diverse and I hear he still has some of the best. Or you can get one barely used ready to go with tubes che moi. It sounds better than good and has the cosmetics to match.
You will miss speakers at some point, even if it's just when a friend is over?
Here's what I did to make my office system more reasonable: Dumped my classe 30 and multiple amps for a music hall trio (pre/cd/tuner/amp). It has nice headphone outs for my 701's. However, if you want to go with stax, it has pre-amp outs also to run a nice little headphone amp. Video in/out and stereo in/out for the dvd player in 2 channel. Instead of keeping my CAL Alpha DAC, I had my unit modded by Partsconnexion. The cd sound is now the best I've heard.
So, dump all of the gear for a tiny cd receiver? It works for me and sound great. Yes, I still have a nice external amp and speakers which I'm glad I kept. For cd's, the unit sounds better than my denon 2200 also. The arcam solo and Linn were my other choices. Shanling seemed like a joke at 3 watts but that's enough for headphones or little klipsh?
Elevick, I think you just touched on the root of the problem...I will miss having speakers if I decide to go this route...I know for sure that I enjoy "feeling" the music, and the 3d soundstage much better than one that is created in my head...I hear and have read today that some of the highest fidelity systems, Stax 404II, AKG K1000, Stax Omega, actually begin to get the soundstage outside of your head. I would be very interested to hear some of these headphones and make my own opinion, but all are too expensive to justify purchasing new.
Some headphones have physical sound "crosstalk" between channels to provide 3d imaging. In normal speaker reproduction sound gets from right speaker to your left ear with delay. There are computer sound cards drivers that can imitate this delay creating 3d image. It also can be done in hardware but I don't know of commercial units available.
I have owned a few nice top end headphones, and my favorite was the Grado gs-1000, but even with a great amp they can't touch a speaker system in so many areas. If I were in your shoes I would go for some monitors and a subwoofer and listen at lower levels, and get some headphones for when you want to turn it up a bit.
I just moved from a nice headphone system to a speaker system. I had recabled AKG K701s powered by a Little Dot MKV, fed my an audio mirror D2 DAC.
Ya, they sounded good I suppose... a little harsh on the highs and lacking in bass though.
Now, once I moved to my speaker system... I was (and still am) blown away. Much greater sense of space and precise, accurate placement... much more balanced through the entire range.
My system now consists of Green Mountain Audio Continuum 1's, a modified Yamaha M-40, and again the Audio Mirror D2 DAC.
It's also great to not be tethered to a cord and to be able to share the music experience with others.
I'm in the speaker camp again now :).
So, I have a pristine pair of AKG K701s for sale if your interested. They are recabled with 5ft APureSound V3 cable, terminated with a Furutech FP-704 1/4" jack.
You can see pics here: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f10/fs-akg-k701-w-apsv3-furutech-pristine-408388/
I'm with Cruz123--headphones wear my ears out even after short periods of listening at low volumes. Last year I put together a great-sounding headphone rig (Antique Sound Lab MG DT OTL MK III, Sennheiser HD 600s/AKG K501s), trying to reach some of your same goals, but it just didn't cut it for daily listening. That said, the ASL amp is a fantastic value and a great match with the Senns especially if you do go this route.
I'd rather sit in front of my speakers at low volume any day. You might consider a near-field setup with a pair of good monitors (a pair of Spendor s3/5 go for not much more than a pair of Senns right now) and an integrated.
Yes, guys I think you are right...It is just not the same having the music inside your head as opposed to having it in front of you. Nearfield my be the option. Hopefully everything works out for my move and I can "afford" to keep my stuff...say a prayer for me my audition is on the 23rd of this month!