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Earning up for my first system - DAC + Amp for Sennheiser HD650?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I am currently making out plans for my first real set up (in which I will save up for a whole year), and I wanted to know what DAC / Amps are best for the HD650.

    Here are my preferences:
    1. Deeper, more controlled and faster bass
    2. Slightly more forward mids, not too forward to make it dry / differ from Sennheiser warmth
    3. Livelier treble, but not too much, just enough to make cymbals and high-pitched notes sound much better.
    4. Deeper and wider soundstage
    
And:

    5. SIZE!
  I do not have a large space to put the two in. So no full-sized amps. Slightly wider than the Fiio E9 is fine. 

My price limit is $900-$1000 (including the HD650s). At first I had thought of the Matrix M-Stage + Matrix Cube DAC, however I would appreciate more options fulfilling the stated requirements / preferences.
 

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

bump

post #3 of 17

I have a pair of HD-650's which I am looking to buy an amp and dac for so I am also interested in the recommendations that people give to this thread. Unfortunately I cannot give you a recommendation from experience as I am still trying to decide for myself which setup to go for. On my radar are the following:

-Burson 160d

-Lovely Cube + dac (undecided on which dac for this setup)

-CEntrance dacmini 

-Matrix combo that you mentioned.

 

I think that in reality I will be very happy with any of these options. I am looking most closely at the Lovely Cube as it seems to offer great bang for buck. 

post #4 of 17

What about the Icon HDP?

 

Review: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/nuforce14/hdp.html

 

It fits your size requirement, and I believe it will take care of most of your points

with the exception of probably "1. Deeper, more controlled and faster bass" ....

 

I have mine connected to the PC via USB, a cheap DVD player via coax and cheap turntable via RCA. All of it sound good from my Shure headphones BUT the amp section of the HDP is a bit bright so I believe it would pair very well with the HD650s (which is my next purchase BTW...).

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

Looks good, is that a DAC+Amp, and can I use it as a standalone DAC?
 

post #6 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoahReQQuiem View Post

Looks good, is that a DAC+Amp, and can I use it as a standalone DAC?
 


Yes. Is a DAC + Amp, and yes, you can use it as a standalone DAC and it has RCA outputs in case you want to rout it to active speakers or another Amp... but the amp section from that little unit seems to be quite capable (at least I've read that it can drive most of the headphones out there...)
 

 

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

Wondering if the HDP + M-stage would provide all my needs.. 
If it can't do #1 then maybe I'd go for Audinst MX-1 + M-Stage. 

post #8 of 17

Why bother buying redundant amps? I would recommend my setup but point 3 would not be met. For livelier treble the M-stage is not a good choice, even with my bright DAC. It is a good choice however for dark/musical/powerful sound. 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satellite_6 View Post

Why bother buying redundant amps? I would recommend my setup but point 3 would not be met. For livelier treble the M-stage is not a good choice, even with my bright DAC. It is a good choice however for dark/musical/powerful sound. 



What amp would you recommend for more shimmer with high notes?

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Bump.

How does the Musical Fidelity combo (V-Can + V-DAC) compare to the Matrix combo (M-Stage + Cube DAC)?

post #11 of 17

I'm interested in possibly upgrading my dac/headphone amp combination.  I am currently using an HRT musicstreamer II and an audioengine N-22 amp that has a fairly capable headphone amp.  It does a really nice job of driving my Beyerdynamic DT 880 (250 ohm) cans.  It also does a nice job of driving a pair of smallish bookshelf speakers (the audioengine p-4).  So I like my set up a lot but I seem to have a serious case of upgraditis.  One possible headphone/dac/amp combo (esp. if your budget is $900-$1000) is the Peachtree Decco2, which is the audiophile equivalent of a swiss army knife with is a very capable dac, a preamp, a class A headphone amp, and an amp (it does 30 watts at 8 ohms I believe).  I've auditioned its bigger brother, the Nova, and thought it sounded very good.  In any case, you might want to consider the Decco2.  On rereading the OP's post, I just realized that something smallish is desired.  The Decco2 is fairly large but the Peachtree MusicBox is much smaller and has a pure digital ipod dock as well. 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

I'm interested in possibly upgrading my dac/headphone amp combination.  I am currently using an HRT musicstreamer II and an audioengine N-22 amp that has a fairly capable headphone amp.  It does a really nice job of driving my Beyerdynamic DT 880 (250 ohm) cans.  It also does a nice job of driving a pair of smallish bookshelf speakers (the audioengine p-4).  So I like my set up a lot but I seem to have a serious case of upgraditis.  One possible headphone/dac/amp combo (esp. if your budget is $900-$1000) is the Peachtree Decco2, which is the audiophile equivalent of a swiss army knife with is a very capable dac, a preamp, a class A headphone amp, and an amp (it does 30 watts at 8 ohms I believe).  I've auditioned its bigger brother, the Nova, and thought it sounded very good.  In any case, you might want to consider the Decco2.  On rereading the OP's post, I just realized that something smallish is desired.  The Decco2 is fairly large but the Peachtree MusicBox is much smaller and has a pure digital ipod dock as well. 


That definitely sounds like a great value, especially if you are able to find it at a lower price! :) 
EDIT: Amazon has it for $819, do you think it'll be worth it, comparing to the M-Stage + Cube DAC combo (which costs ~$500)?

 


Edited by WoahReQQuiem - 7/30/11 at 8:52pm
post #13 of 17

I don't know enough about the equipment you mentioned to provide a comparison.  I think Peachtree products are a reasonable value especially if you need (or think you might use) all of its features: amplifier, class A headphone amp, multiple digital inputs, etc.  It is the swiss army knife approach. 

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexsj View Post

I don't know enough about the equipment you mentioned to provide a comparison.  I think Peachtree products are a reasonable value especially if you need (or think you might use) all of its features: amplifier, class A headphone amp, multiple digital inputs, etc.  It is the swiss army knife approach. 



Do you have experience on any of their products?

post #15 of 17

I listened to the Peachtree Nova (which is the flagship model) extensively when I was auditioning speakers.  I ended not buying the Nova because I thought it was a bit underpowered (60 watts at 8 ohms) for a living room set up but I was convinced it would be terrific for a smaller listening room.  Frankly I don't need even that much power for my home office which is why I'm considering the Decco2 (30 watts I believe at 8 ohms).  It is a beautiful piece of audio gear and the sound quality is first rate.  Plus it is very, very flexible. 

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