I started listing to higher quality songs recently, flac, up to 24 bit 96kHz, but they are playing through my Thinkpad Laptop and Bose Tri-Port Headphone. After reading through lots of blogs and Stereophile.com I decided to spend some money on a better listening system. My spending limit is $2000, thank you Tax Refund. Anyhow, I though about buying better headphones, either AKG 701, Sennheiser 650 or 600, and of course a DAC/Amp, I was looking at the Benchmark DAC1 Pre or USB. So I have few choices and don't know how to decided on which headphones to buy and which DAC to buy.
The price difference between the Sennheiser's 600 and 650 are huge, but I read that the sound difference is small and also that the AKG 701 are a good headphones as well. As for the DAC, I was also looking for a more expensive unit by Ayre, the QB-9. Which DAC is a good buy not only for great headphone output but also where smaller size speakers can be hooked up. Just now I also though maybe a headphone unit might be a bad idea but instead start buying individual components and build on it.
Any ideas or thought on my dilemma, as I am knew to this audiophile life.
Which headphones (AKG 701 or the Sennheiser 600 or 650)?
Which DAC/AMP (Benchmark DAC1 PRE, DAC1 USB, or Ayre QB-9)?
Are these DACs good for hookping up Speakers or other components like CD players or turntables?
Or buy non headphone units and start building a nice hi-fi system slowly?