I'm just getting back into High End and pulled my old ESP-950's out of the closet. I was curious what DACS everyone is using with these headphones and what is a good match. I'm looking to spend $1000-$2000 but have decided to wait until after RMAF to see if any new ones are announced.
I have an older pair and use the Audio GD NFB-12 DAC/AMP combo. It is an excellent entry level DAC with dual Wolfson WM8741 DACS, discrete analog stage output. I don't personally believe you have to spend $1-2K to really enjoy them, however if you have the money, go for it. I just got done reading this thread completely and have a few recommendations. I have owned mine for 3 years, bought them used, about 12 years old, SN10227. Some of these ideas have been mentioned before but I thought a recap might be helpful. After corresponding with Kevin Gilmore an upgraded regulated power supply, 3-5A gives some improvement over the stock wall wart. He also felt their wasn't much to be gained from cap upgrades, etc. I have found the most dramatic improvement in sound to be the input signal. Stock line out, 2v, from my NFB-12 was MUCH improved when I switched to variable out, max5v on the NFB-12. The input sensitivity of the E90 is low and the hotter signal gives much better bass and overall definition. Also, I set the E90 pot at about 90%, 3 oclock backed off of max, and then control the volume with the NFB-12, much easier than the dual pot on the E90. I have never had any squealing or noise aberrations with my old set. I have always felt these to be outstanding cans and until I read this thread, highly underrated/appreciated. Thanks to all the proponents and their descriptions and comparisons to other cans. My other headphones I enjoy are my modded are my T50RP's, and with these 2 budget overachievers, I am very happy. With a good DAC and input signal I am sure you will enjoy your recently unburied treasure. satwilson