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Sennheiser HD650 Impressions Thread - Page 561

post #8401 of 38370

Would the STX do good with a Schiit Valhalla? and then maybe later on I could replace the STX with a Bifrost if needed. Or is that a terrible idea? :P

Also, if I do get a Bitfrost later on. Should I get the USB add-on or should just stick with the default SPDIF?
post #8402 of 38370
Originally Posted by grokit View Post

Here's four other combos worthy of consideration:
  • HiFiMAN EF2A: HD650 on a budget.
  • Nuforce Icon HD: A step up, HD650 mid-fi.
  • Schiit Bifrost/Valhalla: Now we're talking...
  • Burson HA160D: HD650 rocks!


So if the headphones connected to the Asus Xnonar Essence STX was a 1 out of 10, could you rate the headphones connected to these others? If the STX has a Dac then would just the valhalla do the job ?

post #8403 of 38370
While I haven't heard an STX personally, from what I have read it's best feature would be the spdif out. This digital spdif signal could then go to a Bifrost to be converted to analog, then on to the Valhalla. So you could get the STX and Valhalla now, then add a non-USB Bifrost later. Doing it like this would allow you to asses and appreciate the improvement that the Bifrost brings over the STX alone. I'm confident in my rankings but not so much in quantifying them numerically.

I would encourage you to read up on these units, there are dedicated threads for all of them. You will find that they all match up well with the 650 by consensus. I'm pretty sure that the Valhalla and I know that the Burson were specifically voiced for that headphone.
Edited by grokit - 11/5/12 at 2:14am
post #8404 of 38370
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post

To whoever is reading - name three recommended amps/DAC/soundcards for the HD650. biggrin.gif
I want to start of with the Asgard but I'm not quite sure if I should try something else first.

I wouldn't bother with a soundcard theres a lot of electro magnetic RF/noise flying about inside a pc. Go for something external.

post #8405 of 38370
Very true. I'm sure it's a very good soundcard, but it's still a soundcard. Not only that, but the STX is like 2.5 times the cost of the USB add-on for the Bifrost, so the USB option would be much cheaper in the long run. Are you sure your computer doesn't have an optical Toslink output? Then you wouldn't need either.

The only reason to consider an STX would be if you are a gamer or watch a lot of movies and the virtual 7.1 surround appeals to you. But I'm not sure of the best way to take advantage of that, especially with headphones.
post #8406 of 38370
SPDIF is the same as Toslink right? confused.gif

If so my motherboard has a SPDIF Ouput and so does my ASUS Xonar DG sound card.
post #8407 of 38370
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post

SPDIF is the same as Toslink right? confused.gif
If so my motherboard has a SPDIF Ouput and so does my ASUS Xonar DG sound card.


That motherboard has Toslink its the input slot that has the black cover/flap just below the HDMI port. 

post #8408 of 38370
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post

SPDIF is the same as Toslink right? confused.gif

SPDIF will generally refer to the RCA digital connection while Toslink connections are sometimes referred to as optical.  Here's an image of the common digital connections:



post #8409 of 38370

I'm working on my hi-fi PC set up, and purchased an Asus Xonar Essence One, and am using that with my HD 650's.  Planning on using the RCA output from the DAC to go to a Bottlehead Crack in the future.  I'll update on my impressions with the amp added to my set up, but the E1 is actually a really great amp/dac combo with very low noise levels.

post #8410 of 38370
Originally Posted by avengernoonzz View Post

SPDIF is the same as Toslink right? confused.gif
If so my motherboard has a SPDIF Ouput and so does my ASUS Xonar DG sound card.


Essentially the same thing.My laptop has SPDIF its also the Analogue stereo output. Toslink is the optical cable if your soundcards similar to my laptop and has a 3.5mm jack with SPDIF youll need one of these......Have a look and see if there's a red light coming out of the connection mine has it but the 2.1 systems normally plugged into it.



Edited by fuzzy1969 - 11/5/12 at 5:49am
post #8411 of 38370

I should add the soundcards optical will be better quality than the onboard optical, cheap onboard optical outputs have timing/jitter issues.

post #8412 of 38370

I'm selling mine to fund a portable but anyone looking for a budget amp for the HD650 should look at the Yulong A800. Its the perfect combo. You can find it in the US on ebay or from Grantfidelity; both are shipped from Asia.


Here are some quick impressions: "This amp is stellar. IMO, It easily beats the O2, E9, P4 and Asgard.I felt the Asgard was pushing too hard and sounded forced. The Yulong A800 is effortless. The Just Audio AHA-120 gives it a run for its money, but at its asking price, the Yulong A800 is clearly a bargain. It has tons of power. Out of the ODAC, you're not even at 9 oclock and getting too loud for the HD650 (though I tend to listen lower than many). Out of an IPOD line out, it's more like 11 oclock and sometimes that is too loud. (And thats with classical!) Its definitely a solid state amp, with lots of clarity and neutrality. Its dynamics are stellar. I have no idea why we haven't heard more about this amp. I'm going to try a couple high end portables but so far I'm coming right back to the Yulong A800 if they don't knock my socks off. The only reason I didn't bring it home from the office is the pain of cords, etc. But my ears have been addicted to this amp. And while great with the ODAC, I find it a killer combo with an ipod classic line out. I think I even like it better my ipod classic than with the ODAC."


Several AHA-120 owners said the difference between the AHA-120 and Burson HA-160 were negotiable. I would love to compare this with the Burson HA-160. I've drooled over the Burson. From the descriptions I've read of how the HA-160 sounds, I think Yulong was going for that kind of sound.

Edited by imackler - 11/5/12 at 6:08am
post #8413 of 38370

Ive been considering the matrix M stage basically because its a copy if a Lehman cube linear for a fraction of the price but there's, so many other amps to consider Yulong amps do have a good reputation so i will have to add it to the list.

post #8414 of 38370

Of course usb connections can have timing/jitter issues also. mad.gif

post #8415 of 38370

Do you guys know if the HD650 could be properly driven by the Apogee Duet 2 (30 Ohms output impedance)? I read somewhere that the "1/8" rule is what I should live by, but I have also read that I should try to match the source's output impedance with the headphone impedance. 

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