Hey everyone, new to the forum and high quality audio equipment. Having had no experience in this subject I did my best to figure everything out on my own before asking questions. I have a decent understanding of what I need but want to make sure that what I have purchased/am about to purchase will be the best fit for each other. I decided on the Ultrasone Pro 900s and they should arrive within a week. I am going to be using them mostly at work and to/from work so I need a good portable setup. I already own a 5th gen iPod but was thinking of getting a Cowon J3 due to iPods not being able to play .flac files. I have seen that apple has .alac but could not figure out how to convert to this format from .flac. I was also close to buying an ibasso d12 anaconda amp/dac and a LOD cable but wanted to ask for some advice from knowledgeable people before I potentially wasted money.
1) Am I missing anything or is this everything I need to experience the highest quality music?
lossless music (.flac/.alac)--->Media player(iPod/Cowon)-->LOD--->amp/dac--->headphones
2) Will my iPod be good enough or should I get a Cowon J3? (best deal I could find, 16 gb for $180)
3) Is the the ibasso d12 the best choice for me and worth the extra money or would something like the fiio e11 be a better fit?
4) Does it matter what LOD cable you use? I've seen them as low as $5-$15, around $150, and up to the $250-$350 range.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.