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stereo receiver versus portable amp

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

ok i am purchase some new headphones¿ the Audio Technica ATH-M50.

 

now my question.

 

I have a old Onkyo stereo receiver/amplifier that has a headphone jack, would this be good for powering ATH-M50 or should i buy a amp like Fiio e7? is all amplifier the same except for output power, or is there sound quality difference?

 

thank you for help

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post
Ok I am purchase some new headphones¿ the Audio Technica ATH-M50.

now my question.

I have a old Onkyo stereo receiver/amplifier that has a headphone jack, would this be good for powering ATH-M50 or should i buy a amp like Fiio e7? is all amplifier the same except for output power, or is there sound quality difference?

The audio Technica ATH-M50 are fairly easy to drive, so may not be that big a difference.

Plug the ATH-M50s into the Onkyo, if you like the sound, your good.

post #3 of 13

Agree with Purple.

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

what about dac? i have "Realtek High Definition Audio" soundcard which is onboard but it have optical port. would i connect my optical port to the amplifier i choose? or do i need a dac which is better than Realtek?

post #5 of 13

Do you have a line out? Lime Green color code. That can go directly into your amp.

post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

ok so i do more reading, and find i probably do not need amp with these low impedance headphones. only 38 ohms.

 

i probably be better spending money on a sound card or DAC.

 

would "ASUS Xonar Essence STX" be better than http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1 ? i like the look of the tube magic, but more care about good quality sound.

post #7 of 13

Tube magic doesn't say much about what dac they use and what the performance is like.

The Essence STX, is one of the best soundcards, with an excellent dedicated DAC (124db S/N) , and has a dedicated headphone amplifier that you can use with any headphone upto 600 Ohms.

Quality wise, there won't be night and day difference, even if there is any.

Plus, you get an ADC and 5.1/7.1 surround support.

For the price and package, its hard to beat.

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post

What about DAC? i have "Realtek High Definition Audio" sound card which is on-board but it have optical port. would I connect my optical port to the amplifier i choose? or do i need a DAC which is better than Realtek?

Chances are any DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) used with Realtek is more likely low cost and not award winning.

Anytime digital audio is involved so is a DAC.

Optical (Digital) output from your motherboard would need to feed into an external DAC, before any amplifier is involved.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by donn View Post
Ok so I do more reading, and find i probably do not need amp with these low impedance headphones. only 38 ohms.

I probably be better spending money on a sound card or DAC.

Would "ASUS Xonar Essence STX" be better than http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1 ? i like the look of the tube magic, but more care about good quality sound.

For something like the ATH-M50 headphones, something like the Xonar DGX ($46) would make a decent sound card to go with the ATH-M50s

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

is out of stock:( maybe it will be back soon...

 

thank you everyone for your help.:)
 

post #11 of 13

beerchug.gif

post #12 of 13

We really need the vintage receivers (and its speakers cousin) thread stickied. This question comes up so often on Head-Fi, and the short answer is inevitably 'try it and see'. Two things spring to mind:

 

- for longer than I can recall, Head-Fiers trotted out the old line about headphone sockets on integrated amps/receivers/HT receivers being a cheap afterthought. While that has been my experience at the entry level with Yamaha and CA, its not universally true - sadly, we have a long history of some folk repeating something they read as 'gospel'. Even the dreaded HT receiver isnt universally 'bad'. but its frustating when you find 15 reviews of an amp/receiver without a single mention of the sound quality from the headphone socket. That applies whether the sticker price is 399 or 13999 .. pathetic. 

 

- for all the talk of burn-in on dedicated headphone amps, I have never once seen anyone recommend that you give the headphone stage on an integrated a week or so before making any decisions. Somehow the same mentality that insists that caps need burn-in totally ignores the possibility that this might be the case in an integrated amp or receiver. I guess it comes back the belief that the headphone stage in these units is so poorly implemented that burn-in would make zero difference. My experience was that my ears perceived little difference on  the Yamaha receiiver after 6 months, but the CA 340SE sounded better, at least to my ears, than it did on day one,  Whatever you put that down to, I would never have found out either way if I had abandoned the integrated after a 3 minute listen. 

 

The naysayers need to go and check out the vintage receivers thread. Ask Skylab how many dedicated headphone amps he has left after years of collecting expensive and impressive headphone-only devices. You might be in for a shock. 

post #13 of 13

Hmm do you game and what is the model of receiver u on? Another option is a X-Fi and for more demanding cans later a seperate headphone amp from the "out" of the receiver tongue_smile.gif

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