Advice on amp + DAC, earpads for HD 6XX

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Hello all, I am new to the audiophile game and have been looking around the internet for a few days now, regarding buying my first headphone amp + DAC for my HD 6XXs. I was wondering if I could just get some comments on what I've been thinking of. My current conclusions have come down to: 1 - Drop O2 Amp + Grace SDAC or 2 - JDS Labs stack (Atom Amp + DAC) I am wanting the Atom amp over the O2, so the ideal purchase would be Atom amp + Grace SDAC, but then the shipping costs pretty much cancels out the reasoning to buy a cheaper DAC. I have read about other companies like Schiit, Topping, & Khadas but I think these are the easiest combo purchases at the moment. I have heard great things about JDS's customer service, and Drop's point system along with free shipping seems like a no brainer for me as a student. However, if anyone has had experience with several of these, do you by chance have any preferences of one over the other? And would DACs make much difference at this price point? If you have any other recommendations, I would appreciate that too! Another question; are there any recommendations on earpads for the HD 6XXs? The stock ones have been feeling a tad bit "pointy" after using them for some hours if that even makes sense lol. I think flat ones would feel a bit more comfortable for me. Also, is it worth to invest in pricier earpads? I understand a lot of this is subjective, but I just need to hear from people lol, I can't decide atm.
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jaxtrauma
2072
Oct 12, 2020
Sounds like you have a good handle on things regarding gear choices. As far as replacement ear pads go: how much do you value your comfort? I really didn't like the HD 6XX stock pads at all. Sounded good but very uncomfortable to wear. So I got the Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin and the headset feels great now, much more comfortable. Even sounds better. Changed the whole way I felt about it. Its down to what you like, as always ;-)
nivlalux
4
Oct 12, 2020
I appreciate the kind words haha. Regarding your question, I think giving up a few $ for much better comfort is usually worth it. Like you mentioned too, the stock pads hurt my head after a while; maybe it’s because I need to loosen it up? I guess I’m not 100% sure if it’s just the earpads or if it’s the clamp that’s been too tight. Have you gone through any process of adjusting the clamp? Also, are the Dekoni pads the “Premium” ones that are currently sold through on Drop? Just wanted to make sure lol. Do you think the sheepskin is always worth its money (from your experience)?
jaxtrauma
2072
Oct 12, 2020
No problem bud. As far as pads go, Drop doesn't always have Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin in stock, I ordered straight from Dekoni anyway, cuz its (much!) faster and less expensive. In my ears' opinion, they like the way the sheepskin feels when wearing, and the little holes that are the fenestration, captures unwanted resonances before it can reach your ears. In my experience, particularly in audio, its unfortunately the more expensive option that provides the most of what you're looking for, an exception being the MD/Sennheiser HD 6XX. You'll probably, as you progress, get a better cable and amp for that HD 6XX and not need to update the headset. Its a legend already, at an unheard-of price. +1 to MD for getting people into serious audio! I tried prying the headband apart for a while but it didn't seem to make much difference in attenuating the clamp force. It was when I got the better pads that the HD 6XX felt (and sounded) perfect. That was all it took for me. YMMV. Hope this helps. You can click the Dolphin up there by my name to see my home page for the gear I use.
(Edited)
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