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First headphone amp: Schiit Asgard or Little Dot MK3?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Currently using AKG 701s (essential for my classical, jazz, experimental, and watching films) and Sennheiser HD650's (use them for electronic music, rap, and rock). 

Driving both phones through my home theatre Onkyo reciever (through which I listen to my turntable, my BD player, my computer, and my DJing rig).   As far as I can tell, the Onkyo headphone jack does a surprisingly good job, but I want to free up the Onkyo because I want to be able to use my computer while I listen to vinyl, for example.  (If the turntable is going into the Onkyo reciever, rather than a hypothetical headphone amp, then I can't use my TV as my computer screen, because my computer's HDMI is routed through the Onkyo, but the Onkyo is set on the turntable)

I've ruled out the Heed Canamp, for a few different reasons:  more money than I want to spend, apparently not that great with HD650's, and not easy to find either.

I am leaning towards the Schiit Asgard, but I noticed that it doesn't have RCA outs, only RCA ins.   This means I would have to disconnect and reconnect RCA cables from the Onkyo reciever/headphone amp everytime I switch between cans/home theatre system.   This would be a pain in the ass; should I rule them out based on this disadvantage?  Also, is the Schiit Asgard potentially dangerous to my headphones when I turn it on/off, or do the relays that are supposedly installed on them now effectively eliminate this problem?

I can get a used Little Dot MK3 for 175, which is cheaper than they are going for used on the Head-Fi Marketplace right now.   Furthermore, they have the RCA outs that Asgard lacks.    Whether the amp is tube or solid state is mostly irrelevant to me. 

So, can anyone give me some constructive input on what should guide my purchase decision?    If anyone has even better amp options in this price range that would suit my needs, I am open to suggestions.  


Edited by Jazzkammer - 6/18/12 at 6:53pm
post #2 of 4

Yes, there's now a relay in place-


'We even have a 20-second slow start relay with fast shut-off, so you don’t have to plug and unplug your headphones when you turn it on and off.'


And no, the Asgard doesn't have RCA outs.  As much as I like my Asgard- the sound, the design, the badass class A operation-  I don't blame you for not wanting to re-wire things all the time.


Have you looked at the Matrix M Stage?  I think it has RCA outs.

post #3 of 4
Go with the little dot mk3 like I did...you'll have alot if tube rolling options smily_headphones1.gif and I think its an awesome amp! I own one! :-)
post #4 of 4

Why not take your hdmi out of the Onkyo?

if you area price  sensitive at this time you need to assess the cost of nos tubes for the LDIii. Four tubes could double the cost of the amp. If you are going to stick with the original tubes (due to cost) then go for a Matrix. The Bly changes you can make is opamp rolling say AD797s or OPA627s , cost about $10 from China for a pair on a dual dip8.

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