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Taking the dive into the amp world (amp newb)

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I will be getting a pair of Grado 325is at the end of the month which will be solely used for listening to rock/metal.  Now, my current setup is a pair of A900's powered by a Xonar STX which is used for gaming and music.  Now, what I want to do is simply make a separate setup near my bed so I can relax and listen to music while reading or something.  I did make a thread earlier about weather or not to pair up an amp with my sound card, and I learned not to go ahead and do it.  But this is a different setup that I have my heart set on.

 

I have been eyeballing the Schiit Valhalla for a little over a week now, and all the reviews I've read are saying its great.  And I have read a lot of people saying that a tube amp will pair up very nicely with the Grado's.  This is planned to be a work in progress setup over the next few months.  Ultimately, I want to have my laptop (playing FLAC) as the source that will be tucked away in a descrete location while the amp is next to my bed.  I understand that I will need to acquire a DAC though for this to work.  But in the mean time, if I do purchase the Schiit I would be running RCA cables from the STX to the amp.

 

Now, would the STX work as a pre-amp for the Schiit as well as a DAC?  Or should I just hold out and buy both the amp and a DAC at the same time?  Not to sure where to start with DACs since I am still very new to this (I've looked at the Fiio products, but I want a dedicated desktop DAC if at all possible, been looking at the Bitfrost).

 

I have also been looking at the Hi-Fi Man EF2A to kill two birds with one stone.  But I would rather invest the money into something of higher quality at all possible and the Schiit products seem to be up there.

 

Budget wise I would like to keep this in the $300-$400 range, still fairly entry level due to funding reasons.  Like I said before, I would have no problem buying a DAC a few months down the road, especially if pairing the amp with the STX will work well.

 

Input please!

post #2 of 7

The Valhalla won't pair very well with Grados because of the impedance mismatches.  If you're interested in Schiit, the Asgard will pair much better with Grados.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Good to know.  My only thing is I am fairly interested in the tubes, what else would possibly be a good match up, little dot mk III perhaps?

post #4 of 7

If you want to drive low impedance headphones, you'll most likely need a tube that is coupled with an output transformer because those reduce the output impedance of the amp.  OTL (output transformer-less) amps have very high output impedance, which makes them only suitable for headphones with high impedance.

 

It's very critical to pick the headphones you want to drive first, then look at their impedance, and then pick the amp to drive them.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Gotcha, thanks for the tip man.

post #6 of 7

You could probably find a used Woo 6 for $400ish, which is a fantastic output transformer tube amp.

post #7 of 7

yea woo audio amps are good.

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