Hi folks. I'm looking to buy my first "proper" headphone amp. My maximum budget is £300. I'll be using it with my PC which has an M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard. I'm willing to upgrade this at a later date if required. My cans are in my sig but to reiterate I have Shure SRH840 & Sennheiser HD595. I've kinda developed a bit of a fetish for cans though and I may well add to this roster in the future. I've finally got around to converting all my CD's to FLAC files and I use Foobar and ASIO as the source. My library now sits at around 62,000 tracks!
I've been looking at the Creek Audio OBH 11 which I can pick up for around £150 and the Graham Slee Novo which is more expensive (but still within budget) at around £225.
I have a couple of questions first -
1. Can I really expect to hear a sonic improvement with these amps driving the cans I already own?
2. Would it maybe be better to invest in one of those portable amps which has a built-in DAC?
3. Does anyone make a stand-alone DAC/Amp which has USB but which is mains powered and if so are they any good?
My musical tastes vary quite a lot but at the moment I'm listening to a lot of Midlake, Alela Diane, Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, Alan Parsons Project, Sia, Koop & Patricia Barber.
Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.