Audio Audiophile and gears

dissel

Skilled
So there won't be any intel 16 inch MBP? Hope mine lasts for 3/4 years... really can't use M1 Macs for work.
Anyone here using Xduoo XD 05 plus/ basic? I need something powerful and transportable. Balanced out not required for this set up. Will be used to drive HD560S/600/ Deva/ Sundara.
The other amps/ DACs I got are difficult to move around from one room to another...mostly will be used with a laptop and a tiny DAP.

I’m using Xd05 original one - the first gen to drive AKG K712 Pro - which is the highest hard to drive HP I own.

Please note due to chip shortage the basic version now come ESS chip instead of 4490 - Despite the spec said AKM, only possible to know if user open the unit - seller have no idea.
 
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blackscorpio

Disciple
any recommendations: desktop amp (inbuilt DAC is not necessary).

Currently using Fiio q1Mk2 with HD598SE

Plan to use Q1 for DAC duties or the CCA or SPS DAC 3.
And plan is to add few more headphones, nothing specific shorlisted, it will be a mix of closed back & planar.

Budget : $200 can extend if necessary (actually thinking of getting an schiit Jotunheim without a DAC module, there are couple of closeouts available)
 

dissel

Skilled
any recommendations: desktop amp (inbuilt DAC is not necessary).

Currently using Fiio q1Mk2 with HD598SE

Plan to use Q1 for DAC duties or the CCA or SPS DAC 3.
And plan is to add few more headphones, nothing specific shorlisted, it will be a mix of closed back & planar.

Budget : $200 can extend if necessary (actually thinking of getting an schiit Jotunheim without a DAC module, there are couple of closeouts available)

iFi Zen CAN
Topping A30 Pro
 
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red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
We love to discuss audio gears. But what music do you use to assess a piece of audio equipment?
There are certain albums I absolutely love, but can't use to test audio gears as they are mixed and mastered poorly ( basically everything from Muse, RHCP's Californication, Metallica's Justice For All)
What are your reference tracks? For me, everything starts with Horikawa's Spaces ( the entire album) and Letter.
Then comes a weird jazz band...Bohern & der club of gore, followed by Russian Circle's Geneva, followed by some good old Madonna and MJ.
For work, don't try to buy stuff online ( specially monitors) we have huge monitor showrooms in Czechia, Poland and of course Germany and most of them allow to bring in your own laptops, interface etc.for testing, in fact some of them discourage to bounce off stems to thumb drives for testing purpose.
Some of the people there are extremely knowledgeable. I didn't even know the name of Barefoot and went to get Genelec or Adam S series.
But one guy convinced me to get the Barefoot ( and it's really difficult to convince me with studio equipments.. practically grew up in studios @ Kolkata, even worked with cleaning crew to witness how engineers work)
And it was one of my best purchases ever. Nothing's wrong with Genelec, but the Footprint 01s are FAR SUPERIOR for near field monitoring in a small room. Absolutely nothing comes even close ( and I have auditioned MANY)
What you guys listen to?
 

fLUX

Skilled
any recommendations: desktop amp (inbuilt DAC is not necessary).

Currently using Fiio q1Mk2 with HD598SE

Plan to use Q1 for DAC duties or the CCA or SPS DAC 3.
And plan is to add few more headphones, nothing specific shorlisted, it will be a mix of closed back & planar.

Budget : $200 can extend if necessary (actually thinking of getting an schiit Jotunheim without a DAC module, there are couple of closeouts available)

A better DAC would certainly be beneficial over the above ones, what you feed is what you get via the amp. Why not look for a DAC/AMP , the HD 598 SE are not very demanding in nature and will go really well with a Xduoo XD-05 Basic or if budget permits the Xduoo XD-05+ . One of fellow audiophile has reported XD-05 + to do really well as an amp post op-amp rolling and are driving HE-6 too , rest are using it with cans like HD600 , Sundara and have not reported any lack of power whatsoever.

If you are keen on sticking to a desktop amp and will stick to current DAC till you feel the need to get a better one then IFI Zen Can/Schiit Magnius is what I would recommend.
 
any recommendations: desktop amp (inbuilt DAC is not necessary).

Currently using Fiio q1Mk2 with HD598SE

Plan to use Q1 for DAC duties or the CCA or SPS DAC 3.
And plan is to add few more headphones, nothing specific shorlisted, it will be a mix of closed back & planar.

Budget : $200 can extend if necessary (actually thinking of getting an schiit Jotunheim without a DAC module, there are couple of closeouts available)
I got my xDuoo MT-602 a couple of days ago, and it's a pretty fantastic amp for the price (99usd/8500inr). Couldn't be happier, and now I can boost bass as much As I want :p
But since you have a higher budget, you could also take a look at the MT-604, which is also splendidly reviewed across the board. It costs 170usd/15000inr I think. I'm feeding my 602 via the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (sounded better than powering it through Apple USB C Dongle) if that matters, and I guess a better DAC would benefit it more but I think the next upgrade will be a set of cans a couple of years down the line. I'm fully satisfied with my current setup (Sonata -> MT-602 -> HE400i).
But who knows :p
 
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red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
any recommendations: desktop amp (inbuilt DAC is not necessary).

Currently using Fiio q1Mk2 with HD598SE

Plan to use Q1 for DAC duties or the CCA or SPS DAC 3.
And plan is to add few more headphones, nothing specific shorlisted, it will be a mix of closed back & planar.

Budget : $200 can extend if necessary (actually thinking of getting an schiit Jotunheim without a DAC module, there are couple of closeouts available)
First decide on the headphones. There are plenty of fantastic desktop amps, but everything depends on your cans
If you buy a planar and tubes, it will be waste of money.
What kind of sound do you prefer? If you like the HD598, you will love HD560s, specially paired with tubes.
But it will sound over analytical with any THX amplifier.
One humble suggestion..if you're thinking about hifiman cans, try to audition 400i, Deva, Sundara...before buying Sundara. They all sound pretty much same out of most budget desktop amps and Deva is more comfortable for most people. I was driving them all with a pretty powerful A90/D90 combo (way more powerful and clean sounding than most Schiit/ ifi stacks)
It's Ananda, in which you will notice some improvement. I have/ had all of them, got rid of the Sundara for Ananda ( just yesterday) and the improvement is about 20 percent with an amp DAC set up close to 750/800 EUR.
Every audio equipment is much more expensive in India ( checked headphonezone and they have the audacity to list something like Topping A90 for 50K INR, DT770/990/880 for 12-15K!! Some old VModa cans for more than 20K, even Moondrop Starfield for more than 10K...thought EU is bad for audiophiles, but compared to India...it's heaven!!)
Please don't waste your money on these grossly overpriced gears. Simply not worth it.
I'm in this hobby long enough and own enough headphones/ IEMs to understand the economic aspect.
I was searching Amazon India, headphonezone and some other Indian audio website to find something decent at reasonable price. Could only find 3/4 items.
1. HD25 @ Amazon... fantastic deal for 8.5k
2. K712 Pro for less than 20k
3. HD560S for 18-19k
Every other decent headphones I have/ had costs at least 20-100 percent more presently and headphonezone is the worst offender (specially their description are real cringe)
I got my xDuoo MT-602 a couple of days ago, and it's a pretty fantastic amp for the price (99usd/8500inr). Couldn't be happier, and now I can boost bass as much As I want :p
But since you have a higher budget, you could also take a look at the MT-604, which is also splendidly reviewed across the board. It costs 170usd/1500inr I think. I'm feeding my 602 via the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (sounded better than powering it through Apple USB C Dongle) if that matters, and I guess a better DAC would benefit it more but I think the next upgrade will be a set of cans a couple of years down the line. I'm fully satisfied with my current setup (Sonata -> MT-602 -> HE400i).
But who knows :p
Never tried the MT602, is it a hybrid amp? Must be...great set up ( best part is the decent pricing of the components) Smart audiophile!!
I've never used the Sonata dongle, but the Apple dongle is very clean. Are you matching the volume levels accurately?
I used the Apple dongle with Sprout 100 and the results are practically same ( Sprout is basically a small AIO solution for speakers with a very powerful headphone out..though unbalanced)
You're already after next upgrade!!?? Enjoy your fantastic setup man!!
BTW, next logical upgrade can be a different sounding headphones, preferably a non planar. Or a different kind of Planar maybe?
I got my xDuoo MT-602 a couple of days ago, and it's a pretty fantastic amp for the price (99usd/8500inr). Couldn't be happier, and now I can boost bass as much As I want :p
But since you have a higher budget, you could also take a look at the MT-604, which is also splendidly reviewed across the board. It costs 170usd/1500inr I think. I'm feeding my 602 via the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (sounded better than powering it through Apple USB C Dongle) if that matters, and I guess a better DAC would benefit it more but I think the next upgrade will be a set of cans a couple of years down the line. I'm fully satisfied with my current setup (Sonata -> MT-602 -> HE400i).
But who knows :p
Never tried the MT602, is it a hybrid amp? Must be...great set up ( best part is the decent pricing of the components) Smart audiophile!!
I've never used the Sonata dongle, but the Apple dongle is very clean. Are you matching the volume levels accurately?
I used the Apple dongle with Sprout 100 and the results are practically same ( Sprout is basically a small AIO solution for speakers with a very powerful headphone out..though unbalanced)
You're already after next upgrade!!?? Enjoy your fantastic setup man!!
BTW, next logical upgrade can be a different sounding headphones, preferably a non planar. Or a different kind of Planar maybe?
 
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fLUX

Skilled
We love to discuss audio gears. But what music do you use to assess a piece of audio equipment?
There are certain albums I absolutely love, but can't use to test audio gears as they are mixed and mastered poorly ( basically everything from Muse, RHCP's Californication, Metallica's Justice For All)
What are your reference tracks? For me, everything starts with Horikawa's Spaces ( the entire album) and Letter.
Then comes a weird jazz band...Bohern & der club of gore, followed by Russian Circle's Geneva, followed by some good old Madonna and MJ.
For work, don't try to buy stuff online ( specially monitors) we have huge monitor showrooms in Czechia, Poland and of course Germany and most of them allow to bring in your own laptops, interface etc.for testing, in fact some of them discourage to bounce off stems to thumb drives for testing purpose.
Some of the people there are extremely knowledgeable. I didn't even know the name of Barefoot and went to get Genelec or Adam S series.
But one guy convinced me to get the Barefoot ( and it's really difficult to convince me with studio equipments.. practically grew up in studios @ Kolkata, even worked with cleaning crew to witness how engineers work)
And it was one of my best purchases ever. Nothing's wrong with Genelec, but the Footprint 01s are FAR SUPERIOR for near field monitoring in a small room. Absolutely nothing comes even close ( and I have auditioned MANY)
What you guys listen to?

My reference tracks are mainly a mix of hindi and english numbers I regularly listen to. When i got my stereo gear had used the below to audition to finalize
- Raah Piya by Pakshee ( a very long track but quiet diverse)
- Keith Dont Go ( Some guitar sequences are really amazing in this number)
- Hotel California ( Drums , Guitar sequences , slightly laidback vocals)
- Sawaali si raat ho - Barfi ( This song can sound totally off on a wrong set, its very sweet , mellow and has a nice mix of lows)
- Dil Se ( not the best mastering , but more of a fun listen)
- Fly me to the moon-Frank Sinatra ( vocals , varying pace of the instruments)
 
Never tried the MT602, is it a hybrid amp? Must be...great set up ( best part is the decent pricing of the components) Smart audiophile!!
I've never used the Sonata dongle, but the Apple dongle is very clean. Are you matching the volume levels accurately?
I used the Apple dongle with Sprout 100 and the results are practically same ( Sprout is basically a small AIO solution for speakers with a very powerful headphone out..though unbalanced)
You're already after next upgrade!!?? Enjoy your fantastic setup man!!
BTW, next logical upgrade can be a different sounding headphones, preferably a non planar. Or a different kind of Planar maybe?
Yea the MT-600 series are hybrid amps, and I reckon the reason you haven't tried it because it's pretty new - launched just a few months ago. And yes, I matched the volume levels and there was no difference in sound quality, but the dongle had a very slight but constant high pitched hiss in the background, only noticeable when nothing is playing. Maybe there's an issue with my electrical or just the laptop port but the tempotec didn't have it. This hissing was only present while using it through the amp so then again idk. I'm still using the dongle with my IEMs tho, as they let me have mic input through them which my laptop port doesn't allow.
Well I'm not exactly after my next upgrade haha. Just meant to say that I think I'm going to stay put till the next couple of years with this. If all goes well, I would really like to have my hands on a pair of bronze Meze Empyrean, but realistically speaking I would like to have a AKG K712 Pro next, assuming it's still being produced 2-3yrs later (or a good used piece is available).
Thanks for the kind words! (Although you, along with MagicianRecon, are the ones who pulled me into this money pit :p)
- Hotel California ( Drums , Guitar sequences , slightly laidback vocals)
- Sawaali si raat ho - Barfi ( This song can sound totally off on a wrong set, its very sweet , mellow and has a nice mix of lows)

- Fly me to the moon-Frank Sinatra ( vocals , varying pace of the instruments)
These 3 fantastic pieces are a part of my testing tracks as well, along with Rockstar, some Eden and a few Coldplay tracks. Although I really listen first to some Strokes because they're perhaps my all time favourite band, and I know how they should sound XD

A mini review of the xDuoo MT-602: for what it's worth, sound signature between using just the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro, the Sonata through the xDuoo MT-602, and just the Apple Dongle and Apple Dongle with MT-602 was exactly the same (and this is with volume matching). Maybe the bass was a little more smoother and warmer while using the amp, but I am not sure even with back to back listening tests.
And this is basically what reviews stated as well - on stock 61J tubes, the MT-602 doesn't behave like a tube amp at all, but rather just like a solid state amp. Which I'm perfectly happy with, since I mainly wanted an amp to be, well, an amp. Plus this presents opportunities to make me even poorer by luring me into tube rolling ;-;
 

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blackscorpio

Disciple
A better DAC would certainly be beneficial over the above ones, what you feed is what you get via the amp. Why not look for a DAC/AMP , the HD 598 SE are not very demanding in nature and will go really well with a Xduoo XD-05 Basic or if budget permits the Xduoo XD-05+ . One of fellow audiophile has reported XD-05 + to do really well as an amp post op-amp rolling and are driving HE-6 too , rest are using it with cans like HD600 , Sundara and have not reported any lack of power whatsoever.

If you are keen on sticking to a desktop amp and will stick to current DAC till you feel the need to get a better one then IFI Zen Can/Schiit Magnius is what I would recommend.
The idea is to work on the DAC upgrade later, once I get the feel of the existing ones with an amp. I use the SPS in my stereo rig & I have tried couple of other DACs, borrowed, I feel SPS is hard to beat in my system for the price. I guess no need to mention, search for a better DAC for stereo is on going & when budget permits I will make the jump.

I would like to stick to a desktop amp for one reason is I rarely change/upgrade equipment, that is the reason I would like to stretch the budget if necessary. So, once a amp is set I can play different DACs & get a feel before I start on the DAC search. Hope I am making sense.

I would have opted for Magnius as well but it has wait time & one friend is planning to visit India sooner. So, I was thinking of Jotunheim which is available in closeout.

I got my xDuoo MT-602 a couple of days ago, and it's a pretty fantastic amp for the price (99usd/8500inr). Couldn't be happier, and now I can boost bass as much As I want :p
But since you have a higher budget, you could also take a look at the MT-604, which is also splendidly reviewed across the board. It costs 170usd/15000inr I think. I'm feeding my 602 via the Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (sounded better than powering it through Apple USB C Dongle) if that matters, and I guess a better DAC would benefit it more but I think the next upgrade will be a set of cans a couple of years down the line. I'm fully satisfied with my current setup (Sonata -> MT-602 -> HE400i).
But who knows :p

I tried tube only once & loved the sound. Since then I have been trying to get a tube pre for my stereo but couldn't get due to various reasons, one of which is I like the sound of my stereo. MT60x looks promising as they are Hybrid. Any idea how they fare compared to fiio q1 sound?

And 604 is only balanced IN & OUT, I think I need custom cables to use it with my existing equipment, right?

First decide on the headphones. There are plenty of fantastic desktop amps, but everything depends on your cans
If you buy a planar and tubes, it will be waste of money.
What kind of sound do you prefer? If you like the HD598, you will love HD560s, specially paired with tubes.
But it will sound over analytical with any THX amplifier.
One humble suggestion..if you're thinking about hifiman cans, try to audition 400i, Deva, Sundara...before buying Sundara. They all sound pretty much same out of most budget desktop amps and Deva is more comfortable for most people. I was driving them all with a pretty powerful A90/D90 combo (way more powerful and clean sounding than most Schiit/ ifi stacks)
It's Ananda, in which you will notice some improvement. I have/ had all of them, got rid of the Sundara for Ananda ( just yesterday) and the improvement is about 20 percent with an amp DAC set up close to 750/800 EUR.
Every audio equipment is much more expensive in India ( checked headphonezone and they have the audacity to list something like Topping A90 for 50K INR, DT770/990/880 for 12-15K!! Some old VModa cans for more than 20K, even Moondrop Starfield for more than 10K...thought EU is bad for audiophiles, but compared to India...it's heaven!!)
Please don't waste your money on these grossly overpriced gears. Simply not worth it.
I'm in this hobby long enough and own enough headphones/ IEMs to understand the economic aspect.
I was searching Amazon India, headphonezone and some other Indian audio website to find something decent at reasonable price. Could only find 3/4 items.
1. HD25 @ Amazon... fantastic deal for 8.5k
2. K712 Pro for less than 20k
3. HD560S for 18-19k
Every other decent headphones I have/ had costs at least 20-100 percent more presently and headphonezone is the worst offender (specially their description are real cringe)

Heahdphones, not in any order or I am committed to bey all or any but have been on my list:
Focal Elegia (if possible I will get them by end of this month)
HD650 or HD600 or HD6xx (someday I would definetly get one of these)
Philips SHP9500
HarmonicDyne Zeus
AKG K712pro (if I am not getting Elegia, I would buy these in the next Amazon sale on 26th)
dt990 or dt770 or a better planar when I reach there.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
Get the Philips SHP9500 out of that list (unless you're getting it for 5K INR)
Rest are fantastic ( haven't heard the Zeus or Elegia, but have the Focal Clear and they are fantastic)
Get those K712 man!! The pricing is decent in India.
If possible try to audition the HD25 once ( they are extremely detailed..lot more than HD600, extremely agressive sounding and not bass shy in a very precise but small soundstage), the small plastic headphones are real monsters and if you're into rock / metal, you will love them.
I've been through at least 80/90 headphones by now ( if not more) The HD25 is the only pair that I never ever disliked with any music, even used them on stage, in studios, in airplanes (before ANC came)
For 8.5k INR, they are fabulous ( no wonder Sennheiser keeping it under their true professional series) a true professional pair unlike most HD series.
 

blackscorpio

Disciple
Get the Philips SHP9500 out of that list (unless you're getting it for 5K INR)
Rest are fantastic ( haven't heard the Zeus or Elegia, but have the Focal Clear and they are fantastic)
Get those K712 man!! The pricing is decent in India.
If possible try to audition the HD25 once ( they are extremely detailed..lot more than HD600, extremely agressive sounding and not bass shy in a very precise but small soundstage), the small plastic headphones are real monsters and if you're into rock / metal, you will love them.
I've been through at least 80/90 headphones by now ( if not more) The HD25 is the only pair that I never ever disliked with any music, even used them on stage, in studios, in airplanes (before ANC came)
For 8.5k INR, they are fabulous ( no wonder Sennheiser keeping it under their true professional series) a true professional pair unlike most HD series.
HD25 is on-ear so I didn't give much attention. How is the comfort compared to HD598 or any over ear?

over-ear or earphones for me.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
They are not very comfortable. Not suitable for hours together.
But these are not audiophile headphones, but perfect for tracking ( isolates very nicely), audio monitoring for videographers. Though not created for DJs, but many DJs are using them.
These are really well made cans, best possible plastic, very light, each and every part is self replacable. It's practically impossible to destroy them ( lifetime cans)
But the sound is polarising, it's possibly Sennheiser's brightest headphone with plenty of lean and extremely fast bass.
Honestly, most closed back headphones suck. The real good ones are very expensive ( NDH 20, modified Fostex etc.) and difficult to drive. But HD25 can be driven by practically anything ( of course it scales brilliantly)
Please don't buy it without audiotioning...a very detailed sound with pin point accuracy with instrument placement in a narrow soundstage can be disorienting for people accustomed to laid back dark sounding headphones with rolled off / smoothened highs.
I will give a weird example...after the disappointing experience with Andromeda, contacted campfire audio and got Solaris (according to campfire they are for monitoring) But that was even more sweet in treble! No ear jarring experience even with reverse china cymbal hits!! May be good for listeners who love a silky smooth extended treble. If someone likes the sound of campfire/ Meze etc.HD25 will sound like trash ( as it will make you jump with the terrible china used as ride...it won't hide ANYTHING) It will sound sibilant if it is present ( won't try to put a de esser type smoothening..the driver is built that way)
Yosi Horikawa uses it for a reason. Listen to some of his music, you will understand what I'm trying to say here.
It's not an audiophile headphone, but a very precise tool for monitoring (which doesn't shy away from bass) really one of a kind headphone.
DO NOT BUY THEM BEFORE AUDITIONING.
There are reasons for which new " audiophile gurus" don't write a review for this except Zeos Pantera ( yes, he likes almost everything, but he is possibly the only person who can distinguish between a studio equipment and audiophile headphones)
Tyll was probably the last person before Zeos who wrote review about it and compared it with the trash metal cup variant ( forgot the model name...but it was a disaster...but I do have them somewhere in this house)
 
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rdst_1

Skilled
Has anyone over here used their HD650s with the famous Bottlehead Crack. I currently enjoy my 650s with the ultra-portable EIDA 9038s, but now I feel I need a more powerful desktop amp so I can enjoy my 650s at lower volumes. So this got me thinking about the Crack. I don't mind getting this OTL amp specifically for the 650s. But does it make sense in 2021, and I would be better off buying something new. Don't have a budget in mind yet as the purchase is not necessary right now, but I would like to explore this as I do take a long time deciding and zeroing in before finally buying. But, it wasn't the same with the E1DA, where I let the hype get to me (and it was a great decision in the end) and bought that instead of the iFi Nano iDSD BL.
I think, since now, I have a truly portable and still very capable DAC/AMP, I can now go for a desktop amp without any worries.
 

fLUX

Skilled
The idea is to work on the DAC upgrade later, once I get the feel of the existing ones with an amp. I use the SPS in my stereo rig & I have tried couple of other DACs, borrowed, I feel SPS is hard to beat in my system for the price. I guess no need to mention, search for a better DAC for stereo is on going & when budget permits I will make the jump.

I would like to stick to a desktop amp for one reason is I rarely change/upgrade equipment, that is the reason I would like to stretch the budget if necessary. So, once a amp is set I can play different DACs & get a feel before I start on the DAC search. Hope I am making sense.

I would have opted for Magnius as well but it has wait time & one friend is planning to visit India sooner. So, I was thinking of Jotunheim which is available in closeout.



I tried tube only once & loved the sound. Since then I have been trying to get a tube pre for my stereo but couldn't get due to various reasons, one of which is I like the sound of my stereo. MT60x looks promising as they are Hybrid. Any idea how they fare compared to fiio q1 sound?

And 604 is only balanced IN & OUT, I think I need custom cables to use it with my existing equipment, right?



Heahdphones, not in any order or I am committed to bey all or any but have been on my list:
Focal Elegia (if possible I will get them by end of this month)
HD650 or HD600 or HD6xx (someday I would definetly get one of these)
Philips SHP9500
HarmonicDyne Zeus
AKG K712pro (if I am not getting Elegia, I would buy these in the next Amazon sale on 26th)
dt990 or dt770 or a better planar when I reach there.

Thats a nice approach to take , wish you all the luck in getting desired gears. Only change I would get based on my personal usage habits is to not keep more than 2 (at most 3 headphones) unless you would like to collect them. Presently I have only the ZMF and HD600 as my main go to pairs, sold the Hifiman Ananda as they were finding very less usage post getting tube amplifiers and then the ZMF. you will achieve much more satisfaction having 2 TOTL pairs vs having 4-5 mid-fi pairs & side-swapping with minor upgrades.

Regarding Amps you can have a look at the below in addition to ones shortlisted
- Anode Acoustic OTL (this wont drive low impedance cans or planars, but should do well with majority of the dynamic drivers)
- Anode Acoustic Solid state amp - Has plenty of power to drive majority of the cans. Is not the final word in terms of refinement , has slightly contained soundstage and forward mids. Pairs well with HD600 and AKG q701 , did not pair well with Ananda when I had tried this.
- Gustard H16 - Over your budget but should be able to power majority of the TOTL headphones
- Graham Slee Novo - Another decent headphone amplifier , Graham slee make really good products. I am using their phono pre and is very impressive.
 
Get the Philips SHP9500 out of that list (unless
Nothing wrong with SHPs , they sound amazing especially for the price , i feel like people keep disregarding them because they arent expensive or are Phillips rather than a senn or a bayer or whatever. I would say i havent had any long session with it but a friend has them so only had listened to them twice but they sound great to my ears and I think he himself prefers it to more expensive headphones he owns lot of times and prefers the sound signature. They really do lack bass though.

Obviously headphones are subjective though so what x may like you wont and vice versa and but either way they are amazing bang for buck really imo for how cheap they can be got now.

But if price on issue ( as shp can be got probably at 1/4th the price ) then k712 should be a top consideration for sure. They are very well priced in India tbh.
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Skilled
Nothing wrong with SHPs , they sound amazing especially for the price , i feel like people keep disregarding them because they arent expensive or are Phillips rather than a senn or a bayer or whatever. I would say i havent had any long session with it but a friend has them so only had listened to them twice but they sound great to my ears and I think he himself prefers it to more expensive headphones he owns lot of times and prefers the sound signature. They really do lack bass though.
Don't get me wrong, they are fantastic for the price and I have 2 pairs for years.
But HD598 is available for 70-80EUR and I will get those ( if at the same price) as they scale up much better with good amps.
I've no special attachment to brands and never judge a headphone from the price ( or write anything about things that I've not used extensively)
But there are people who claim SHPs are better than HD600/650, and that's a complete lie.
Philips is pretty highly regarded in audiophile communities. But their latest Fidelio X3 is disappointing.
I suggested OP to avoid Philips only because they are not officially available in India and personally I won't spend more than 80EUR on them ( got 2 sets myself for about 80-90 EUR)
Under 20K INR there are only 2/3 options in India.
K712 pro
HD25 ( It's available for 9K in Amazon India!! A superb deal IMHO, bought mine for more than double decade ago from India)
HD560s ( under 20k, it rivals HD600 and is better in certain aspects)
Hifiman HE400i and Deva
However Deva is going to disappear from market very soon ( so grab a wired pair if you haven't tried planars yet)
 
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