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Amp vs Dac vs Cables

Poll Results: What makes more of a difference:

Poll expired: Aug 13, 2010  
  • 48% (35)
    Amp upgrade
  • 51% (37)
    Dac upgrade
  • 0% (0)
    Headphone cable upgrade
  • 0% (0)
    Interconnect upgrade
72 Total Votes  
post #1 of 86
Thread Starter 

I'm just wanting to get an idea what the popular theory is regarding importance of components.  For the purpose of the poll, assume that some1 has a lot of good headphones (in the $200 to $500 range) and a computer and nothing else.  What % of say a $1000 budget would you spend on the different equipment like amp, dac, cables etc?


Edited by angle_sh00ter - 6/14/10 at 6:07am
post #2 of 86

I voted DAC because it's the only area where I've ever heard a difference that I could reliably discern. Every soundcard/computer audio out that I've used has had audible noise. Standalone DACs have made the difference for me.

 

Edit: I guess I can pick out some differences between my own amps but I guess I would consider them less important than having noise or some other fault with your DAC output, which is why I rated it higher. It starts with the source.

post #3 of 86

Music.  Spent the $1000 on music.  You don't need expensive equipment to enjoy the hobby.  

 

Expensive != high-fidelity.  As for upgrading a signal chain, you should target the weakest link.  Thus, the question is ill-defined.  You're going to get responses where people vote for the difference they observed, with their last upgrade (n=1).  

post #4 of 86
Thread Starter 

if you bothered to read my post you would see it is not ill-defined at all.  I explained it in explicit detail as I couldnt fit it in poll, but some people choose not to read

post #5 of 86

You misunderstand my response.  I wasn't being cheeky.  I was asserting that in my own experience, money is best spent on music.

 

Where should I spend money to make my car perform better?

A. Engine

B. Brakes

C. Leather seats

D. Convertible hard-top

E. Tires with low-rolling resistance

 

The answer is completely different, based on my definition of performance, and how my car currently performs.   If I have a convertible, a hard-top is stupid.  If I have a Land-Rover, low-resistance tires are counter-productive.  If I have a 1989 Nova, leather seats would be hilarious, and maybe awesome, but money essentially wasted.

 

Without knowing your definition of performance, and without knowing anything useful about your current gear, any answers will be pure speculation.  Poorly defined question.  Also, I might add, this question gets repeated here over and over again.  Rather than impugn my reading comprehension, try to search/read.

post #6 of 86
Thread Starter 

Thats fine.  the purpose of the poll is merely to find out the prevalent view of head-fi members.  Whether their views are scientifically accurate or otherwise is obviously beyond it's scope.

post #7 of 86
Thread Starter 

You keep assuming things which are not true.  All I want to ascertain is what people here think, and to that end the question is defined fine.  So get of your high horse and stop with the stupid assumptions.

post #8 of 86

i love how you both have the same avatar

post #9 of 86
Thread Starter 

So far it looks like the prevalent view here is that the DAC is most important thing to upgrade after headphones.

post #10 of 86

I only have experience with amps and cables; so I can say that both of them have an impact on sound quality. I think that amps are going to give you a bigger change in SQ than cables price/performance wise though. 

post #11 of 86

For me it is the amp, based on my experience of changing kit, the amp makes the biggest difference. I am however, open to there being more discernible differences between other DACs than the ones I have heard. Cables, sorry no way.

post #12 of 86

B for sure..

Quote:
Omega View Post  Where should I spend money to make my car perform better?

A. Engine

B. Brakes

C. Leather seats

D. Convertible hard-top

E. Tires with low-rolling resistance

If you do not have Ceramic Brakes upgrade the Brakes to Ceramic before the engine.

post #13 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by etiolate View Post

i love how you both have the same avatar


LOL
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post

For the purpose of the poll, assume that some1 has a lot of good headphones (in the $200 to $500 range) and a computer and nothing else.  What % of say a $1000 budget would you spend on the different equipment like amp, dac, cables etc?

 

60% in dac/transport, 30% amp, 10% max on cables.

post #14 of 86
Thread Starter 

Very even between amps and dacs

post #15 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by angle_sh00ter View Post

I'm just wanting to get an idea what the popular theory is regarding importance of components.  For the purpose of the poll, assume that some1 has a lot of good headphones (in the $200 to $500 range) and a computer and nothing else.  What % of say a $1000 budget would you spend on the different equipment like amp, dac, cables etc?

 

I'd spend 200$ on a nice pro audio interface/sound card.

 

And the poll is ill-defined if people cannot vote what they think (not even "Other"), isn't it?
 

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