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Just got my new set-up.


Logic108

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Basically I'm using the Apogee Duet as my DAC and the SPL Phonitor as my headphone amp.

I love the Apogee and I'd say that it has made the biggest difference to sound quality. It's connected by firewire to my mac pro and I play iTunes through it into the Phonitor.

I got the SPL Phonitor recently because I make music and I couldn't accurately mix my music on headphones. The SPL Phonitor is an amp that has a crossfeed section which shifts the signal slightly so that it feels that you are listening to speakers rather than headphones. This is all analogue and I have to say that this really works well. There is no ear fatigue and today I had a listening session for 5 hours and no fatigue at all using my headphones. I have to use phones because I'm in a small apartment.

If any one is thinking does a good DAC make a difference I would say absolutely yes and the Apogee for me is a marvel. The Phonitor is that 10% extra in the sound that gets me what I think of as high-end fidelity.

If someone is making music then I would absolutely recommend the Phonitor for mixing - it really is different from normal headphone amps - although you can turn the crossfeed section off and use it just as a normal headphone amp. But when mixing music it feels like getting the accuracy you get in an expensive studio - so for me this has been a great investment.

Umm so I guess that's it - just to say that there are a few of us who don't really have a dedicated listening room for our music. I would recommend the Phonitor because it cuts out the problems of problem rooms and problem neighbors.

 

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Thanks for your comments. It is a really nice set-up but I think it can be better with better headphones. I'm using the Audio Technica M50's at the moment but I'm hoping to get maybe the AKG K701 or K702. I like the Audio Technica a lot and they are better than my AKG K240 but I think they are driven too easily and they are closed-back headphones.

I'd love to hear your recommendations for headphones.

 

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"I'd love to hear your recommendations for headphones."

 

And you can have it, but understand that it is a pretty narrow perspective. I found my bliss a long time ago in Sennheisers and have not looked back. I actually prefer the 600 to the 650. Its slightly forward and more balanced presentation seems to work better for everything but symphonic music.

 

I know people who swear by the ATs and AKGs, but they're too bright for me. If I were looking for an alternative to my Senns, I would probably look to Beyers (880s) or Denons (2000).

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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Cans I have on my shortlist are:

AKG K701

Beyerdynamic DT 880 (05)

Ultrasone Edition 9 (if I can afford them)

But I'll add the Senns to my must check list.

I'll probably get some decent cabling as well but that's not until later.

I love listening to this set-up - it's a real pleasure. The geek in me wants to know just how good the sound quality can be.

Thanks

Andrew

 

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The HD600 will sound warm and lush compared to your other choices, with a soundstage (headstage) closer than the 501s. You might even think they highs are a bit rolled off, as they won't have the airiness of the Beyers or the AKGs. They are very easy to listen to, however, with a really well-controlled bass (the Beyers are reportedly a bit bottom heavy) and a very sweet, pure midrange. I will one day have a more treble-extended set of phones, probably the 880s, for contrast, but I suspect the Senns will still get most of my listening, especially long sessions. Great amp and DAC you have there. It will be hard to go wrong from this point. How do you like the amp built into the Duet?

 

Tim

 

I confess. I\'m an audiophool.

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Tim,

The Apogee amp is really very very good. It certainly matches some of the smaller headphone amps i've tried. I think the DAC is probably close to the best that you could get under €1000 and the amp is worth €200. Overall I think the Apogee is fantastic value if you have a mac. It's a bit too bright in some ways and when doing an A/B with my Phonitor I can sense that. The Phonitor is clean and elegant. Everything is well-defined and I use the crossfeed settings all the time and this makes a difference - mostly to the bass - it keeps the bass in place and the center channel doesn't get too muddy. The thing I like best about the Phonitor is how I don't get any ear fatigue at all even after 5 or 6 hours of listening. I can't say that about the amp in the Apogee. So the Phonitor gives that elegance - I really see what the phonitor is capable of when mixing my own music - then the differences are really obvious between it and other amps I've tried.

I'm really looking forward to testing the Phonitor with high impedance headphones. At the moment I'm leaning towards the Beyer 880. A guy who posts over at Head-fi uses the phonitor with Ultrasone Edition 9 (cost more than the amp) and claims that this is his new reference - he's an audiophile.

 

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