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Denon D2000 & Hifiman EF2, good match?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So looking to get my first headphone amp.

I just want something decent that will bring the D2000's even more to life. I have been studying up on amps, and have seen some discussion on hybrid amps and solid state and how varying headphones are more compatible with one vs the other... not exactly sure what that means, or how you determine that.

I will probably be picking up a uDac, but not very soon. I came to the forum looking for a pair of $150 headphones to replace a pair that broke and ended up spending $240, so I'd consider it a small victory if I could keep the total of headphones/amp/possible dac under $500.

Is the Hifiman EF2 a good choice here?

I was also considering the iBasso D10, but don't know if it qualifies well as a desktop amp as well? I probably won't be using it as a portable amp very often, but the option would be nice.

Thanks for the advice.
post #2 of 8
I don't know... I don't think D10 is home amp replacement, but it might be enough just for the D2000's. There should be a lot of choices for home amps for $200-300, right? Avoid OTL Tube amps, they're not suitable for low impedance 'phones. As for compatibility, that's just a subjective evaluation of whether headphone/amp combinations achieve a particular pleasing sound... It's really hard to determine, really, I'm not too worried, you'll still get detail and soundstage benefits from any good amplifier...
post #3 of 8
I know the Little Dot I+ is a perfect match (more than a few members now with that combo)

I think it might be cheaper than the EF2 and to be honest, the EF2's internal DAC is *****!

I'd get a LOD for an iPod straight to the LDI+ and rock that for a while. A few members here have said good things about the D10 and D2000. You might want to look into that (some opamp swapping is necessary).
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by roker View Post
I know the Little Dot I+ is a perfect match (more than a few members now with that combo)

I think it might be cheaper than the EF2 and to be honest, the EF2's internal DAC is *****!

I'd get a LOD for an iPod straight to the LDI+ and rock that for a while. A few members here have said good things about the D10 and D2000. You might want to look into that (some opamp swapping is necessary).
Thanks for the advice, I see you've got that setup.

The one issue I have is that I still use my speakers on my iMac a lot, and am not thrilled about the idea of having to manually plug and unplug depending on what I want to use, headphones or speakers.

Is there a simple solution that is just escaping me here, that wouldn't cost me to lose audio quality? I'd assume a splitter would do just that.
post #5 of 8
For one I own the EF2 and the D2000 so I'd take other people's opinions with a grain of salt who haven't actually heard the combo.

The EF2 with the D2000 isn't too bad at all. I say if you've never heard better than the EF2 then you'll be happy with it. It has a nice low end impact and it'll open up the soundstage of your D2000's. I still prefer the D2000's with a SS amp but the EF2 is a hybrid SS/Tube amp so you get a little bit of both worlds. It's a good combo to start out your head-fi journey with.

I hope that helps more than just saying the DAC is *****! While I've read that the EF2 DAC is mediocre, the EF2 is a great bang for the buck DAC/AMP. Also if you don't have the J$ pads yet I highly recommend them for your D2000's.
post #6 of 8
I have the EF2 and D5000s and I felt like I could never get enough dynamic range or "slam" in the low end. I swapped out the 16v wall wart for a 18v 800ms one I had and it helped a little. I swapped out the tubes trying a few different sets and although I got better sound, it never seemed fast enough, accurate enough.
So I spent $200 on the Maverick Audio D1 SS DAC/AMP and I got more than enough slam and dynamics than I ever had with the EF2. As a matter of fact my EF2 sits here quiet and unused as I am never going back. The D1 was everything the EF2 was and much more.
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poetik View Post
For one I own the EF2 and the D2000 so I'd take other people's opinions with a grain of salt who haven't actually heard the combo.
Owned it for 29 days. It sucked.

Try some other amps besides the EF2 and then YOU will see what I and others are talking about.
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by roker View Post
Owned it for 29 days. It sucked.

Try some other amps besides the EF2 and then YOU will see what I and others are talking about.
Sure, how about my HDP SS amp? or how about a stock WA6 with a vintage $250 GZ34 tube? or a heavily modded WA6 with sophia princess? How about 3 different Little Dot mkiii's? Or 2 different Little Dot MKIV's with an assortment of driver tubes? How about a lowly Emu 0404 headphone out?

Needless to say I've tried and owned more amps than an EF2 (which of most are better than an EF2 and a little dot 1+) but that's besides the point. What I'm saying is that the EF2 is a decent experience for the price. It may not be the best solution but it's a very good entry point for anyone who is getting their first system. Not only is it an amp but it's also a dac as well so that kills his two birds with one stone for under $200 used or a little over $200 new. He sounds like he's on a budget of $500 for everything ($260 to spend since his headphones were $240) and he never listed what his source was (in his signature it looks like he's just using the imac headphone out so any dac would be an improvement).

It's easy to say something "sucked" but seriously be realistic. If he is using onboard sound or some misc. cheap sound card would the EF2 really "suck" compared to that? Is your little dot 1+ so good that it really completely crushes the life out of the ef2? While I'm sure it's an upgrade considering you say it is (and you have owned both setups but with the ef2/d2000 combo for a length of 29 days, 5 hours, 3 minutes, 49 seconds, and .069 milliseconds of apparent "suckage"). If you're gonna give him advice then at least do what "DannyBuoy" did and give him something useful to go off of instead of just bashing it.
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