I think it might be important to add how one should upgrade. Ultimately as noobies we dont initially have a nice DAC or dedicated headphone AMP. Maybe the best bang for your buck upgrade path for low impedence and high impedence headphones? Would it be better to upgrade to a nice dedicated DAC if using low impedence headphones like grados first? If one initially buys high impedence headphones like HD-650s does one upgrade the AMP before the DAC?
I have come to the conclusion as I read and re-read the forums that the best initial bang for the buck is to get the best headphones you can afford. Assuming you do that, then what? Will one always benefit from getting the amp next or dac and does it depend on low or high impedence phones? Certainly one could argue and say just get an amp/dac combo to start like the compass. Personally however something like that will be replaced rather quickly and I would rather get a nice dedicated DAC or nice dedicated amp to start and slowly build up with quality parts.
hope I made sense here.
from my research it shouldn't matter if you have low or high impedence headphones. The optimal audio path should be headphones>>amp>dac assuming that your medium is properly setup/downloaded for hi-fi.
Originally I had thought for low impedence headphones it might be more optimal to upgrade the dac first but upon discovering that a good amp may actually help lower the distortion and even "clean up" the source a bi makes this the better initial purchase after headphones.
Does this seem right to those "in the know" ?