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Help first amp decision LYR, Asgard, Matrix M Stage, or HeadDirect EF5 with D5000.

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

This will be my first amp. I have been looking around trying to find a fairly good amp for my new Denon D5000 hp's. I have gotten down to 4. I am not sure how to decide but have gotten down to these for price performance other peoples impressions. I would like good clean highs and mids decent bass not overkill. Choices are Schiit Asgard or LYR, Matrix M Stage, or HeadDirect EF5. If any of these won't work I would like to know. I keep reading these HP's are best with SS amps just wondering if the hybrid might be a good alternative or if I should stay with SS.

post #2 of 48

They are fairly easy to drive, depend's how much You want spend, You could go with the Lyr or Matrix!

post #3 of 48

You won't hear much of an improvement scaling up in amps with the Denons, therefore I'd recommend a cheap SS amp like the ZERO or other similarly priced ($100) op-amp based amp.

post #4 of 48

You just got an awesome tip, so take His advice He know's!  gs1000.gif

post #5 of 48
Thread Starter 

 I think that might work for something else really well but I need a line in. I respect your judgement I need the source straight to the amp sometimes. Is there a way to get a line in? I want to get one and also another with line in. Is it really that good? I have more than one spot needing to be filled. These denons are for music listening and playing games PC which is why it needs straight line in. But this may work at another location. I just wanted to get something a little higher in terms of performance so if it works fine if not I could move it to another place to be used. I am getting two other HP's DT880(600ohms) and ???. Work, Fun, Pleasure(music) three locations I have to start somewhere first I need line inputs. I am putting this on my list though.


Edited by headphone4me - 4/3/11 at 3:32pm
post #6 of 48

Since Your going that way You may need to look at the Asgard or Lyr. I think the Lyr should be more than sufficient for what Your looking for! If your going to use the denon's for game play off the computer look at the Fiio E7, Headroom carrie's there own on the cheap. You need a amp/dac for Your game play, see what's cheaper out of those last 2.

post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 

The Fiio E7 is the cheapest other than the ZERO. Headroom is about the same range. Are any of those better than the others? Part of the problem is coming out of the computer will be not as good but the best sound card with audio in mind Creative Titanium HD Denons and a line amp. I would like to get a good amp with line in for this. I will have one other that will be able to run from an Amp/DAC combination. That is where the Zero E7 or Headroom will be used. Should I go with the ZERO here? This will have DT880's. The last place does not have a good source yet or HP's but that will be where the better amp will be used. When that time comes I will need help picking some very good headphones and probably use the amp chosen now. I just can't do high value HP's source and Amp at the same time.

 

I forgot one thing is USB as good as optical or coax digital on PC?


Edited by headphone4me - 4/4/11 at 12:44pm
post #8 of 48

If Your going to try to run the DT880's out of the E7 , You will not be able to drive them sufficiently enough, Denon's yeah! If Your not sure ask Graphicism, I'm sure He could give You better advice with this right now! 

post #9 of 48
Thread Starter 

Grapicism

Is the E7 with E9 enough to drive the DT880's? Should I get ZERO like you originally said if it is enough amp? Where is the best place to buy a ZERO? Could you give me an idea of what kind of HP's to look at for clarity mids highs and tight real sounding bass? Eventually what will go with one of these first four choices. Another question if run through USB do I need software or is it better to go straight optical or Coax? Thank you I know I am asking a lot but I need all the help I can get.

post #10 of 48
what' s ur budget? I think the Burson-160 would be a good choice, It's a SS amp. It should be the same thing as the 160d is just without DAC in it. Which means you have to go through your sound card and well, amp the signal twice. Correct me if I'm wrong , I don't have any Dennon cans but i remember that they are all fairly low impendance, so you must have amp with transformer coupled if you wanna drive both the Beyerdanamyc and Dennon.
post #11 of 48

It is generally thought that USB is the hardest to implement well, that optical is better than USB but don't let the cable or let your amp move around (this affects signal when my D12 moves around), and that if you can do the Coax it is best.

 

I have found that the USB is either more of a pain (have to disconnect/reconnect to get rid of clicking noises on many devices) and that optical also can sound a little cleaner.  Have not used coax but speaking directly to Mike Moffat of Schiit Audio- he said exactly what I described above.  There are hints that he (Schiit) should have a better way of doing USB DAC sometime on the horizon...hope this helps if you have the ability to do other than USB from your PC.  (I'm a Mac guy.)

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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by CEE TEE View Post

It is generally thought that USB is the hardest to implement well, that optical is better than USB but don't let the cable or let your amp move around (this affects signal when my D12 moves around), and that if you can do the Coax it is best.

 

I have found that the USB is either more of a pain (have to disconnect/reconnect to get rid of clicking noises on many devices) and that optical also can sound a little cleaner.  Have not used coax but speaking directly to Mike Moffat of Schiit Audio- he said exactly what I described above.  There are hints that he (Schiit) should have a better way of doing USB DAC sometime on the horizon...hope this helps if you have the ability to do other than USB from your PC.  (I'm a Mac guy.)

 

I've been using USB now for 2 years and haven't had many problems at all.  It's so infrequent that when they do pop up it takes me a minute to figure out how to fix.  Another note, most DAC and DAC/amp combos these days offer USB and I think it sounds great.

 

From my experience, I actually prefer using USB for my Mac.  It sounds better to my ears in the end and it was less of a hassle.  On top of that, I like to have the ability to use the digital volume control which some USB DACs allow, that way I can watch movies while reclining and use my remote to change the volume (digital volume is a no-no for audio listening though).
 

All and all, my Keces USB DAC loves my LDI+ amp, which in turn loves my D2000s.

post #13 of 48

Oh I'm no expert just expressing my opinion, but thanks Frankie K!

 

My reasoning behind not suggesting anything expensive for the Denons is that they're not only easy to drive but quite muffled sounding/detail lacking, again in my opinion. Expensive DACs and amps would be a waste on them.

 

The DT880 on the other hand, specifically the 600Ohm variant may likely struggle on the E7-E9 combo, sounds alright however on the ZERO but if you're willing to spend more there are advances to be had. The ZERO can be found on ebay for roughly $170 shipped, now and again you will see them in the For Sale section of head-fi around $100+ - If you use USB no drivers will be needed, at least I didn't need any (Win vista/7). The benefits of running optical are higher bit-rates for SACD, Blu-ray and bit perfect playback however the improvements are small... in addition you can use an optical DAC/amp with a gaming console if you're into that.

 

Not sure what your budget is but there are better DACs and amps to be had for resolving headphones such as the DT880s, HD600/800s, Sony SAs and so on.

post #14 of 48
Thread Starter 

Let me try this a different way which of these amps would sound good with DT880's, D5000, (possibly LCD-2 HE-5LE). This first amp needs to be ready for as many as possible of these HP's. That is a big order may not get done but then I can pick and choose other amps as needed. I thought the Matrix and EF had good clarity but I am not sure they can handle all the HP's. Asgard LYR can handle two sets I am pretty sure but how the mids and highs sound I don't know. How is the heat on all these amps? I live in the desert and work in the middle of several computers.

post #15 of 48
Thread Starter 

Grapicism

What headphones would be very clean clear in the mids and highs? Do you think the DT880's 600ohm would be? I like my Denons but they are starting to sound more dull than when originally they got here. They will be fine for games and some music but I think I want better. (without Breaking the bank) That is why I am trying to get a good amp and will get a DAC I have one in mind but not sure yet I can pull it off.


Edited by headphone4me - 4/4/11 at 11:22pm
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