Originally Posted by saikat1729
Actually didn't have a plan to buy DAC+Amp as I don't know how good would be the DAC when compared with my laptop and that my friend, very few people can shed any light on as comparing two DACs without testing or for a person who actually haven't owned both is quite difficult. Especially, when the laptop is 6 years old Vaio(Sony is even out of Laptop business for a while now).
Tell you what let me do some digging. As I told you I just needed an Amp but as you have that in the brand new condition, I am interested. Let me check how good this is compared to any Vaio internal DAC and how good this is with HD598 SE(own) or AKG K702/Q701(planning to buy).
Anyway, what is your take on E07K? though HD558 doesn't need an Amp still I would value any input as I myself haven't ever researched on E07K.
And one more thing, don't get me wrong, I'm not cynical and also wanted to meet a fellow Indian Head-fier as this hobby is so rare(at least, none of my friends are) in India. :D
Happy listening. Good luck friend.
Well, that's okay then. I can give you my impressions with my laptop and comparisons to my other gear. Plugged to my Lenovo G560 and Asus X55 laptops through USB, the E07K improves the sound significantly. Its a no brainer for me. But now that I've had my FiiO X3 (1st gen) for quite a while now, the Andes doesn't get much play time because the added DAC functionality of the X3 improves on the sound of the Andes in all respects for me. Both the X3 (1st gen) and Andes have a fairly similar sound signature too. For my HD558 (which does indeed need an amp/DAC to shine in my opinion) I've always used either Andes or some other amp DAC combo all the time when running out of my laptop, as the sound was grainy and lacking clarity without the Andes. It should definitely improve on the sound of your Vaio laptop is what I'm guessing although I havent tried a Vaio yet.
If you need a desktop amp, the new FiiO K5 should be a great bargain, and for portable the Topping series should be good like suggested above (although I'm yet to listen to this). If your main source is going to be your laptop, I'd suggest investing in a DAC definitely, and nowadays you get DAC/amp combos mostly. In this case, the FiiO entry level models are good, and if you stretch your budget, there are quite a few DAC/amp USB/ portable solutions to be achieved.
And finally, if you're ever visiting Delhi/ NCR, do drop in as we've formed a small group here and have started meeting up, quite regularly too, especially with new gear purchases being the main excuse for a meet up! Always eager to meet newer folks here and widen the hobby (in spite of the spouses not being the happiest lot!).
Do let me know what you decide, cheers.