So I am finally doing more music listening at my PC and while I've had my Sennheiser HD-580's for a while I never felt the need to get a dedicated amp for them as I didnt use them all that much. Now that things have changed I am ready to take the plunge into higher fidelity at my PC.
So far I just installed windows 7 on my PC so I'm starting from scratch. My sound card is a Creative X-Fi Xtremegamer.
Im looking for a DAC/AMP/Preamp combo or just an AMP/Preamp (if my xtremegamer is up to the task) to really make my HD580's shine.
Wide variety of music including Rock, Pop, Jazz and Big Band, Alternative, Electronic and some Classical. I guess pretty much everything except Rap and old style country.
Only requirement is that it have stereo line outputs as well for use with a 2.1 amplified system I will be building. And that those outputs are either switchable or turn off when headphones are plugged in. The Amp will be used as a preamp with the 2.1 amp system so a volume control is required as well.
I would like to keep the cost as low as possible and get some good sound. I'd like to find that "sweetspot" between price/performance. I figure I can start around the $250-$300 price range for the Amp/Preamp.
What do you guys suggest I look toward to start this project???