General purchase advice: Ask your questions/for advice here!

My momma always told me "Don’t make deals with Pink Toads. Especially ones that are wearing a crown!
:joy: :joy: :joy:


That’s good input. There’s a risk-reward element to this. Learning to swim first can be intelligent or safe. Getting lucky is a gamble.



Yes, for someone as inexperienced as myself and lacking full knowledge of high end audio companies etc. When I see someone really recommending something I go to ASR to really see if there’s any validity to it or strength and weakness of the product.

I think the audio community really is relying on experience. In two ways, one you may love something and just stick that. Yet there’s a possibility of 2 or 3 different things that are better or on the opposite spectrum way worse. And you found the best already. Second, knowing exactly what you want and matching your equipment to that.

I think where the issue goes to is it may sound like crap to 90% of the audiophile community, but it’s your favorite device/equipment. Just an example

It only has to sound good for you, and it’s hard to know what you like if you never try.

You guys especially should be the firm believer of this not talking bad about Schitt, but you see that company. Their products and you’re like this is probably garbage. But they make excellent products.

You try it and you’re like this a damn good deal.

If you don’t waste money this ain’t a rabbit hole.

Unless you got people trying to help you like all of you gentlemen who try to guide people like me in the right direction.

No definitely agree with you and I actually appreciate all of you trying to guide me down the right path. I definitely considered all those things, as I overthink so much.

The only reason I chose this is if I decided to go down this road I need to hit all the markers. Cause then I am definitely going to have a bad experience.

I just took it as this is the last thing I buy for headphones until I go back to work. I needed a dac and amp, it’s unfortunate to have to purchase things around one item as it is a waste of money, especially at these costs.

Once I go back to work I can do whatever I want, and I won’t have to think about all this and be conservative.

But if I will be sticking to these headphones it seems mandatory to take these steps.

That’s why I avoided this dipping toes into water. Because during those times, normal routine, I wouldn’t be looking at the Sundara. Not that they are bad, just saying I would be up with the Arya.

So I really liked the LCD-2 and this seems to be at par with the LCD-2 and from what many say in certain ways performs better than the lcd-2 and in others not so much.

Which is why I wanted to go down this route, it may not even be like the lcd-2 in any fashion, but the price was reasonable and in the ball park of the Ananda non open box price via HiFiman website or the 500 for the demo I was going to pay. This has to be a better deal performance wise, but the additional costs are much more.

Just hoping it all works out or I’ll just return it. I don’t like to do that, but this is again a worst case scenario. At least there’s a plan B available.

I just really want to embark on the opportunity and try, and cover all the bases. Who knows

Oh and yes, on your last point totally agree, I think I’ll probably just grab the Modius. Seems like that modius falls in line with the reviews for dac amps for these headphones. The one dac has the exact chip. But other thoughts on things not so expensive are definitely considered as well by you guys. But you can’t sacrifice power for these headphones even if it isn’t top notch performance measurements wise.

@HeadphoneNoob, one of the things that some of us have been trying to explain deals with the nature of experience. A couple of years ago, I tried to explain this with an analogy. I’ll link to the post below. The point is that you need not simply knowledge but you need to develop the understanding that comes with educating your EARS. Nobody is saying that making measurements - the focus of ASR- doesn’t show something. But it most certainly doesn’t show everything. It’s like judging a salad by the greenness of the lettuce. You can measure a whole lot about greenness. You can even posit that a salad that has little greenness won’t be very good. But it doesn’t tell you much about taste.

Here’s the example I tried to use. If you’ve never really examined type, and you look at this, you will see things you never did before:


We hope you reach your audio happy place.

Yup, it only has to sound good to you.

@pennstac, a case of Ears of Knowledge of Good and Evil?

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That is a very valid point, I think more than educating my ears I am basically just trying a new experience.

I am a long way from being able to as your analogy try to pick out differences in font. I don’t think I’ll get to that point, because it’s very analytical and I’m not trying to turn something that is made for pleasure to be a pain.

I was like that earlier like that with so many questions because the variables made it seem like it’s a must to know. However at a novice stage like my own and my planned purchases was a bit over doing/thinking things.

But that phase is over.

Right now, my pain was basically getting a foundation and now, lack of funds.

But having a foundation of the basics is crucial for something you know nothing about.

My constant concept of future proofing is something I do with everything, cause I try not go back and forth wasting money.

However, with audio I’ve realized there really is no absolute. So it takes time to get to that future proofing to a certain extent.

All in all I’m trying to learn, but more so get a better or more desired experience hopefully for the better. Fingers crossed.

Just getting more in depth now with diving in head on I would like to do whatever I can to avoid failure and also make reasonable decisions after one that may not have been one.

So I think it’s more a less a balance of both worlds you mentioned.

Life is about moderation, when there’s an imbalance there everything goes to hell


Well, I guess you could go to a proctologist for a tooth ache, sure.


Why is there such disdain for science on this forum? Don’t you realize most, if not all the companies who create these DACs, HP amps and to a lesser extent headphones utilize measurement equipment to improve the performance of their products in their development? I know measurements don’t tell the whole story but they are certainly the starting point for me.

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So I am now nine months into the headphone hobby, and at this stage (really the beginning) of the journey I have come to a few conclusions about and for myself. I know there is an ongoing issue about whether to buy equipment in smaller, incremental steps so you can discover for yourself what your preferences are (especially in these times when we can’t go to hi-fi stores and try them out) or whether, to the extent one can afford to, go sooner to higher end equipment, thereby in theory saving some money. I have decided for myself that the journey is a significant part of the fun of this hobby so while it may not be the most efficient way to go about this, I have decided to do it in steps. While the endgame of course is to truly enjoy the music, to me there is no denying the fun of reading, researching, participating in a forum like this to get other’s views and advice, and, finally, to make choices. Interestingly, I seem to get the same “high“ from watching the college football and basketball drafts: analyzing and discussing which are the best players, which fulfill a team’s unique needs or preferences, etc.
In these nine months I have purchased the Sennheiser 58X, the Hifiman 400s, the Grado 80e, the Koss Porto Pro (all under $200) and my most expensive purchase, the Hifiman Ananda, all of which, particularly the Ananda, I like very much. As you can see so far I have only tried open-backed headphones.
The music I like most are vocals (and particularly ballads), opera, some classical, some rock (e.g., Hotel California, and not heavier). Only the Ananda seems to need amplification, and so I have purchased, at the suggestion of some on this forum, the Schiit Fulla 2 for its warmth, just to put my toe in the water. The other thing that I have concluded about myself is that I prefer a warm, musical, fun sound with some punch, rather than neutral, analytical, reference-quality sound. This may be because I am older and my hearing is not what it used to be (still good) or my limited technical knowledge about music. Whatever the reason, that’s where I am. Based on just reading, in the future I might like to escalate to the LCD-2 Classic and Grado RD2e, and then ultimately perhaps to the ZMF Aeolus and Focal Clears. (Other suggestions? I ). At least that’s my current thinking. Also, my current thinking as to amps/dacs, as recommended in this forum, would be to initially go for the Schiit Asgard 3 and Modius, and subsequently upgrade depending upon what headphones I get to make sure they work well in combination.
Anyway, that’s where I am at this early stage of the Headphone trip. And the most important thing is that I am greatly enjoying the music and having fun along the way. So thanks all. And if you disagree with any of this or if you see anything I am missing, please let me know.


Buying a product based on measurements is like buying a car based on it’s fuel economy. I know when I buy a car, I want to sit in it and see how it feels. Where are all the controls? How does it steer? Is it easy to service or change the oil? How much space is in the trunk? Is it easy to use? How easy is it going to be for my kid to get in and out? And I still care what color the car is. Many of these questions cannot be answered with a number.

My issue with ASR is the mentality that a product is either good or bad based on a couple of charts. It’s black and white thinking. And I have a lot of reasons I may want to buy an audio product. My ears prefer listening to some products that do not “measure well.” My Asgard 3 sounds warmer and fuller than my Magni Heresy, and it’s 5x the amp for 2x the price, but the latter measures better. That said, I just got an Focal Elegia and I’m finding the Elegia is a better match with the Heresy because of it’s sound signature, while when I use my Ananda, using the Asgard 3 is blissful.


If you are looking for a tonally warmer matched counterpart to your previous portfolio, which is reasonably priced and which has probably not only received very good reviews from me.

Then the iBasso SR2 is definitely worth a recommendation:


Many people are fans of the standard audio charts and measurements until they experience two things:

  1. Trying a well-measuring product that they DO NOT LIKE
  2. Trying a poorly-measuring product that they REALLY LIKE

You can read a book under sunlight or a desk lamp or a candle. You can stare at a desk lamp or a candle, but you cannot stare at the sun. Expecting audio measurements to capture the full experience is akin to believing all three light sources are the same.

There is a relevant and valid science of experience, it is called Perception, Sensation & Perception, or Perceptual Psychology. As time permits, I’m writing up what it would take to adequately measure the audio experience. Data from ASR is but a fraction of what’s actually required scientifically. The reality of the science is that it involves many steep challenges, complexity, and details.


Totally agree but… that’s where I start.

I think my lack of clarity maybe stirring the pot :joy:

To make myself clear, when someone is raving highly about a product. Like reviewers on YouTube, which is also while I really like the headphone show. He provides those details. Joshua Valor. Hans Beekhuyzen. You name it. Hans swears by SMSL. Maybe it’s perfect for him. You got the British Audiophile Tarun.

When you got these guys telling you things, you want to weary as it maybe to keep their business going and could deceptive.

Measurements do not hold sonic characteristics, and even more possibly.

Not everything everyone suggests do I just jump to ASR.

But at the same time certain things like headphones or speakers you would probably want to get realistic measurements.

Audioquest for example doesn’t publish and cannot publish measurements and have even themselves rigged demonstrations to deceive customers.

Second, sometimes they publish information incorrectly. Paradigm has done this with their lower end speakers. Or receivers will tell you 150 wpc at 1 channel driven at 4 ohms.

I mean to take about 2 mins to run through ASR post is not a damning process.

Hell my posts take longer to read :laughing:

You see I mentioned that in my post above last night.

But thing that gets me is if I suggest something, if you never tried it than how can your opinion not be just as biased as simple measurements. This goes two ways. Even further, it’s biased to go by your experience/ears vs mine. You may not like it and it’s my favorite.

Like I said ASR is just looking into what we got. If ASR was my bible I would just bought a whole bunch of crap. It doesn’t dictate my decisions for the reasons mentioned above and also the same reason why when you guys give me suggestions the same principles apply.

That’s why for me the dac has been the most difficult factor in choosing.

Even above, as the Elegia is my first headphones I would definitely say the ifi to my ears is better than Schitt. But even that is probably just placebo. I can’t recall what I heard at Schitt vs ifi which were probably more than weeks apart for me to compare.

You guys were telling me about my dac on my PC prior to that, amplification wise I’m certain you were right, but I actually really like the way they sound. I mean the difference is so nominal and I don’t have the experience to really pick anything out.

Same reason why I went with the HE6, it may as well be the best thing I’ve ever experienced because I have none.

Disdain for science? If all that mattered to us about the Sun was it’s luminosity, we’d still be in be Bronze Age. That’s my take on the “science” done at ASR with its near useless snaid ratings. That, and the People’s Temple style of leadership are a pretty big turn off for a great many of us who have been in this hobby for longer than ASR has been around. My advice: don’t drink the kool aid.


You’ve made my case for me. Without scientists utilizing scientific methods we’d have the understanding of Neanderthals re: the sun. I never said I think measurements are the only factor in deciding what products to buy- that’s your inference. I was simply pointing out the rather high number of times I see disparaging remarks toward ASR.

Perhaps consider the cheaper Drop Elex. It may be just what you’re looking for. I have older ears like you and like a revealing HP.

No disdain for science. Quality designs of equipment and systems require good and smart engineering and science. Disdain for overemphasis on measurements and science. Music for me is more a matter of enjoyment, pleasure, and emotion – where measurements aren’t as important as sensory perception. There isn’t an equation or algorithm or measurement that guarantees enjoyment. I have gone down the measurements road and it didn’t lead to satisfaction.

A disparaging remark isn’t invalid if true. A high frequency of remarks, even if disparaging, suggests that such remarks are true (corroboration).