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Need amp advice for sennheiser hd595

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello,

i'm new to high quality sound equipment, but trust me I ain't going back beyersmile.png

 

 

I have a pair of Sennheiser hd595's on their way and I want to get the best experience possible out of them. I've never purchased an amp before so I really don't know what I should be looking for.

 

I read somewhere that KECES makes a headphone dac amp? Thoughts/Suggestions?

 

EDIT: Also it would be nice if the amp supported optical audio, my soundcard supports SPDIF so that would be ideal.

 

Also I can't afford to spend more than 200 :(

 

 

 

Other Thought: I have a logitech z5500. The control panel for the system has a headphone out. I connect the control pod to my laptop through an optical cord, would this do the trick?


Edited by colmustard - 12/7/10 at 11:59am
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 

Update:

 

I'm seriously considering the fiiO e9 as an option, is this a good decision? I would also get the fiiO e5 for use with my ipod if I went with this.

post #3 of 7

Hi, if you do go for the E9, why not get an E7 for portable use? Micca Store has a bundle for US$199 including ground shipping:

http://www.miccastore.com/fiio-desktop-headphone-amplifier-black-p-42.html?osCsid=4920fcd6cb26024326fe43f2f0c589a6

 

Especially since the E7+E9 can work together as a DAC+Amp. 

 

*Disclaimer: I don't have any of these products, but it seems like a lot of Head-Fi'ers are buying that pairing.

 

On the other hand, why buy an amp when you haven't even tried your 595 yet?

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Im not sure if I want to spend that much for the e7+e9, does the e9 do the trick on its own? From all the reviews I've read they had the e7 docked on the e9

post #5 of 7

If by "trick" you mean "DAC", then no, the E9 has no DAC. The E7 is the DAC; on its own, the E7 is a portable DAC/Amp that is apparently passable as an amp, but great as a DAC. It looks confusing I know--I had a hard time figuring out how the combi works.

 

I thought you said your budget is $200?

post #6 of 7

Hi. My first post here. I have the HD595; I had it for a couple of weeks before the E7+E9 combo arrived, three days ago. I am quite dissapointed. Not that it doesn't sound good, it does. But the difference between the HD595 out of my laptop soundcard (Lenovo T61) and USB out/E7/E9 is VERY subtle. So subtle, it's not worth 200$, not for me. The first time I compared I even thought that computer sounds better, but of course this was because it was set to a higher volume. So first thing, I carefully adjusted the volume to get similar levels in both setups. I have to struggle to find a difference; if you listen really hard, it is there. The bass is slightly more precise and SLIGHTLY more powerfull and the overall sound is more ample somehow, but after 5-10 minutes of listening the effect sort of fades out, psychologically I mean. I can't hear any difference in soundstage. I did listen to them comparatively for the last couple of days. I am quite sure I would have a very hard time telling them apart in a blind test (amped vs. non-amped). The headphones are burned in, the amp probably not yet but I don't expect the burn-in to make a huge difference.

 

Also, they sound just the same with only the E7, without the E9. And you can use the E7's bass boost, which you lose with the combo (unless you give up the docking and connect them via E7's HP out). But I REALLY can't hear any difference between E9+E7 and E7 alone. With the E7 I was able to drive them to maximum volume (60 on the e7) without ANY distortion. The volume is insane, my head started to hurt after about 10 seconds, but there was no distortion at all. So I can't really see (hear) what is the point of E9 with these headphones. 

 

The E7 will make a noticeable difference if you use an iPod as source, particularly due to the bass boost. The iPod just can't output enough bass, so the E7 does make a difference here. 

 

You'll see many people here saying that HD595 will "benefit" from amplification. Maybe they do, but I am afraid I don't find that benefit worth 200$. In my very humble opinion the HD595 are great just on their own. I strongly suggest you hear the difference between amped/unamped before you shell out 200$ of your hard earned cash.  

 

I'll probably open a different thread to discuss this combo and what other options I have in terms of headphones, some that would really "benefit" from an amp like the E9. 

post #7 of 7

You probably won't want to go E7/E9 if you're planning on running optical out--more experienced head-fiers can correct me if I'm wrong, but the DAC inside the E7 only decodes in up to 16 bit; thus, you'll be limited by the amp...


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by colmustard View Post

Hello,

i'm new to high quality sound equipment, but trust me I ain't going back beyersmile.png

 

 

I have a pair of Sennheiser hd595's on their way and I want to get the best experience possible out of them. I've never purchased an amp before so I really don't know what I should be looking for.

 

I read somewhere that KECES makes a headphone dac amp? Thoughts/Suggestions?

 

EDIT: Also it would be nice if the amp supported optical audio, my soundcard supports SPDIF so that would be ideal.

 

Also I can't afford to spend more than 200 :(

 

 

 

Other Thought: I have a logitech z5500. The control panel for the system has a headphone out. I connect the control pod to my laptop through an optical cord, would this do the trick?

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