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HD650: Best Headphone AMP + DAC PERIOD?!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased an Audio GD-Fun. Using it via usb on my 13" hp laptop (no soundcard)


The gd has a built in amp and dac, and rattles my effing brain with it's bass and crystal clear quality.


However, I was wondering if there was anything better.


Currently rocking a pair of custom made $250, 99.9% pure silver stranded cable on my HD650's.



Anyone got any personal experience with better amps and Dac's? I don't care if the amp or dac are seperate. I just want quality, and anything that is below $600


Simply put, I'm seeking the best sound reproduction possible on this god green earth.




post #2 of 26

Pardon me while I laugh my ass off that you put spent as much on some silver cable as you did on the DAC and amp and by the way, 99.9% is considerably lower than most audio cables, 99.99% (4N) is considered "low", 5N is average and 6N+ is "high purity".


If you still have the option, get rid of that cable, use the stock one until you seriously improve your system, then consider cable upgrades, that would boost your budget a bit too.


At $600, look for a used older DAC from here, audiogon or ebay.  Lots of great units in the $400 price range, then snag the Dynalo that's selling now on the forum.

post #3 of 26

I absolutely agree with the statements above. I think you got the wrong approach here.


First of all, never give yourself headache about cables until you have a sufficiently revealing gear.


Now... you have the hd-650, and that's a good basis. But they need a proper amplification. Is there better than your audio-gd? Yes.

Dynalo is a good start, but you can also try what goldpoint, SPL, Lehmann or violectric are offering. OTLs such as Earmax Pro are also a good match. For the very best, go the Beta22 or Dynahi route.


For the source, avoid the giant-killer-flavor-of-the-month cheap dacs that are unfortunately more and more popular here. Here I will once again agree with FallenAngel, vintage dacs can be spectacularly good, and are the way to go for a relatively low price.


As a general advice, try not to rush into things, and, if you want to take advice from forums, learn how to recognise those who know what they are talking about and those who don't. The last kind is generally more talkative than the former, so beware.

post #4 of 26

I like the Fun as an all-in-one unit, but you can certainly do better -- especially from an amping perspective. Were I in your position, I would look for something that complements what you already own, rather than replaces it. Consider using your Fun as a standalone DAC for the time being and adding a quality tube amp -- I'd suggest a Mapletree Ear+ HD, though a Woo Audio WA6 or a Decware CSP2 (would have to be used to fit your budget) would be equally nice. You can then replace the Fun with a true standalone DAC as funds permit.


About that silver cable -- unless it's holding you back from a financial standpoint, you might just keep it. But if it's the one thing making you lean toward a decent $400 amp instead of a kickass $700 amp, then unload it and go big with your amp purchase.

post #5 of 26

Check out the PS Audio GCHA. It's powerful enough to drive the HD-650s and has a built-in USB DAC. You can find this previously $1000 unit new from reputable dealers for $500.

post #6 of 26

The Fun is fine as a DAC.  You can very cheaply upgrade it with a better OPAMP or OPAMPs, such as the LME49720 or others, or one of the Audio-gd HDAMs.  The amp section of the Fun I found to be a bit lacking with high-impedance cans (such as yours) on some music, such as where the soundstage should be very wide or the music is very fast. A good mid-range amp will rectify this nicely.  If you're going to spend money on something like silver interconnect cables (something I imagine you might do since you spent so much on your headphone cable) then I suggest you first look at one of those companies selling them for <$50 and spend most of your $$ on an amp to start with. Those are my suggestions anyway.

post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

You guys think your so funny don`t you lol, hahah


No im just kidding.


The cables are UP-OCC technology which has the purest material (7N).

It has 5 layers of shields, which are very thin. The outermost layer is very soft and flexible. These layers will prevent any noise in the cable.


Also terminated by a premium Furutech 1/4" premium plug, and yes it is 99.999% silver. The wires are 24awg. Each wire is insulated by a Teflon cover  and uses VariStrand tech at the core of each wire.

The outer cover is also my other custom-made carbon fiber sleeve.



I am only using this pc at the moment because I only recently started getting into this and buying my gear. I am looking around for the best source.

post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 

Going to be returning my FUN.

Need your guys advise on what my next amp and dac should be.


I was looking around and Dyhani and Dynalo seem like 2 awesome amps.


Any recommendations on the dac`s?

post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

or what about this one?



post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Can someone tell me if the second one is for heaphones.



post #12 of 26

You're not going to get the "best headphone amp + DAC" for under $600. "Best" is very subjective. A great combo for HD650 I would imagine is the Woo Audio 6 (most people loooooooooove with HD650) and a DIY DAC like the Buffalo 24.


For the amplifier, do you want a valve/tube or solid state? 

post #13 of 26

Yeah, "Best" and "below $600" do not play all together.

So you have to ditch one of the requirements, or else it is not possible.

post #14 of 26

Unless you were planning on selling the Audio GD-Fun to fund your upgrade, I would keep it to use as a DAC and focus your $600 budget on the amp such as the Woo Audio 6 or, as I mentioned above, the solid-state PS Audio GCHA. The latter works quite well with my HD650s. But then again, so does my LD MKIV tube amp.

post #15 of 26
Originally Posted by OhHaiDere View Post

or what about this one?



This isn't a headphone amplifier.  Most of the relatively inexpensive pro-audio gear I've found to be absolutely horrid sounding with headphones.  There are, I gather, exceptions, however, but I have yet to try them.  Anyhow, we've given our suggestions about what we should do.  I'm not sure, however, you actually want to hear them.

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