Bit the Dollar and bought headphones.

Finally went ahead and ordered a set of headphones.  The Focal Stellias are on there way from Moon Audio in North Carolina.  A headphone amp is next.  I’m currently using my CD players, a Marantz headphone amp.  There’s a Sim Audio headphone amp with dac I’m looking at advertised here on Audiogon.  I know I’ll want a seperate dac also eventually.  I’m tempted to buy a discreet headphone amp and use the dac in my Cambridge Audio universal disc player for now.  The Sim Audio Moon is very nice and just within price range used.  I was looking at a Woo and Rogue, both tube.  I’m split between the Sim Audio and the Woo 22 v2 and Rogue Audio RH 5. I haven’t gotten any feedback on the Rogue.  I’ve gotten feedback on both the Sim Audio and the Woo so I’m thinking one or the other.  I do realize I’m comparing solid state with tube.  Please give me feedback on the sound characteristics of aforementioned units.  Interconnects come after the amp.  Suggestions are greatly appreciated.  I can not afford a penny over the price of aforementioned amps so I’m limited to about 2500 for the headphone amp.  Other suggestions are greatly appreciated.  Used is obviously an option as I’m looking at entry reference level. This will be an endgame headphone amp for me unless I win the lottery.  Thanks.



I'd also recommend the Quicksilver if you're looking for a tube headphone amp at a great price - I think it's just about $1000, and sounds like it should cost a lot more than that - hand-built in the US, too. Upgrade tubes for it are relatively inexpensive, and you could use some of what you saved from that $2500 to invest in an upgraded headphone cable...

@pastorbob - yeah, DAC burn-in is ridiculous, isn't it? When I got my Holo May DAC, I just turned it on and left it for about 3 weeks before I put it into my system - sounded awesome by then!! 

I am delighted with my ZMF Verites. They are made to order and take several months. Check out the reviews for the Verite Closed. I have the open but most are focused on the closed. For $2500 I think they can stand up to ones costing much more.

Do yourself a favor and get a pair of HD600/650/6xx and use that as a reference for all your future purchases. HD600/650 has one of the best mid range performance out of all of the headphones when properly amped (pretty easy to do).

Music lives in the mid range and any headphone that can't match or beat HD600/650 in the mid range is one to toss out right away.

@mglik, the Verite Open is a great headphone.  I first bought the Verite Open and then about year later I bought the Verite Closed.  I had both for at least 6 months before I decided to sell one.  I ended up selling the Verite Closed.  The VO is more natural sounding to my ears.  Unless you need a closed headphone, the VO is the way to go imo.  For reference, I currently own the Susvara, Abyss 1266TC, Focal Utopia and the ZMF VO.  My headphone amps are Enleum 23R and the Auris Nirvana.

@smatsui - great set of headphone gear you've got! I've got Susvara, Utopia, VO, and LCD-5, though I've got the VO's up for sale - great headphones but just didn't click with me and I don't want to deal with pad rolling.

I also use an Auris Nirvana, and also for the Susvara I just recently got an Ferrum Oor stack, which is awesome (I'd like to hear that Enlium sometime).

For the more efficient headphones, I've also got an Eddie Current Studio B.

I was curious about the 1266's, but for the kind of headbanging music those would be great for, you can't headbang or the cans will fly off! 

What kind of DAC do you use?