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Headphone amp for ATH-M50 - no budget - flat frequency response

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, I currently own a pair of ATH-M50 cans.  I have a Realtek ALC1200 HD audio soundcard but i'm looking to move the sound route out of the inside of my computer and just generally get some better quality.  There's a noticeable crackling sound on the super super deep bass.  like around the bottom of the frequency range, probably around 20Hz.  Is this because my sound card doesn't have enough power to drive it all the way down there?  As the title says, I'm looking for a portable amp (at any price) that has a flat frequency response.  I listen to binaural beat recordings and would like an amp that won't mess with the frequency at all, but can accurately produce sound all the way down to the deep bass at 20Hz.  Any suggestions are appreciated.  Thanks.


Edited by casino1 - 6/5/11 at 6:06pm
post #2 of 6

Sounds like you might need a DAC more so than an amp.  I don't think the ATH-M50 requires too much power to push them, so you might be able to kill two birds with one stone and get a semi-portable dac/amp combo, something like the ibasso d12, d6, or uDac2, leckerton uha-4/6... or if keeping it strictly desktop, perhaps the yulong u-100, audinst mx-1.  The fiio E7/9 combo is supposedly a great bang for the buck too, though you might want to wait awhile as a refresh of those might be coming out soon.


Most of these are around $200 or under... or if you're really under budget, peruse the for sale section, sometimes good deals pop up.


Hope that helps, best of luck!

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Do all of those amp/dacs have a mostly flat frequency response? I'm trying to change the original audio source as little as possible. Thanks.
post #4 of 6

Fiio E7 with the bass boost off is probably your best bet. It's a good amplifier and a very good DAC, and the M50 doesn't need much power to sound great.


And by the way, Welcome to Head-fi and sorry about your wallet! wink.gif


Edit: To answer your question, the E7 does have a very flat frequency response with the bass boost off. It doesn't add any noticeable coloration to the sound.

Edited by calipilot227 - 6/6/11 at 2:17pm
post #5 of 6

I don't think Fiio is anyone's best bet unless you're on a budget.  If you're not on a budget there are much better options.  


I would recommend the Pico amp/dac.  It is famous for it's DAC section, widely regarded to be very neutral, and the amp section would be plenty to drive the M50. It's also portable, so you could take it with your ipod or laptop if you travel, which is good because the M50 is highly portable. 

Edited by rhythmdevils - 6/6/11 at 2:40pm
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

I checked out the Pico amp/dac, it looks great.  That would fix the crackling issue right?

calipilot227, thanks for the welcome.  :)  but for clarification, by "no budget" i mean "any price."

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