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Amp/DAC Recomendations for HD-25's (Not a Fiio)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to buy an Amp/DAC to drive my HD-25's.  I have had an E7 for a few months and was saving up to buy an E9 to hep drive it, when all of a sudden, The DAC component of the E7 broke, and despite countless attempts just can't seem to get it working.  So at this point, I'm ruling out the E9 since there wont be any DAC for it and I'm not really sure i trust Fiio's build quality all that much anymore.  I'm looking to buy some combination of an Amp and DAC (preferably an integrated unit) and since the amp on the E7 still works perfectly fine to drive my ipod i don't really care all that much about portability.  I'm a broke college student, and I've only managed to gather up a budget of about $200 (and yes I'll be loving off ramen for the next few months to help afford it).


As for now, I'm considering the iBasso D7 and the Hi-Fi Man EF2 but am open to suggestion.


Edited by notthisperson21 - 7/5/12 at 7:43am
post #2 of 3

Hi there.  As I was once in your shoes, I decided to buy a JDS amp for about $50 on the FS forums.  Drives the HD25 well, and as a matter of fact, I still choose that amp over the more expensive amps I own.  There are two schools of thought with regard to using an external DAC with an iPod as the lineout is not a true lineout in that there is a EQ in the path.  If I were you, save your money, pick up a JDS for $50, live with it for a month or two, stay away from HeadFi for that month, and see how YOU like it.  Remember, audio is subjective, and as such, there will always be someone touting the "FOTM".  That's why I said stay away.  The JDS lets you swap opamp's if you prefer.  Another more expensive, yet well-priced would be the older iBasso amp offerings.  I had a D10, I think.  It was a amp only.  Forget about the DAC.  The DAC in the iPod is fine and I guarantee with a portable setup, the ambient noise will negate any nuances offered by the additional DAC.


Oh, and BTW, the HD25's are my favorite headphones, so I listen to them all the time.


Hope this helps.


I have a JDS I'd be willing to send you to try out.  PM me.

Edited by etys rule - 7/5/12 at 9:52am
post #3 of 3
Originally Posted by notthisperson21 View Post

I'm looking to buy an Amp/DAC to drive my HD-25's.


The JDSLabs C421 with OPA2227 opamp sounds fantastic with the HD-25's.  This is my daily setup, amping my iPod Touch 4G via a SendStation LOD with Fiio L9 cable, or a Fiio L9 LOD sometimes.  It's an amp only, but under your $200 budget. Later on you could add a stand-alone JDSLabs ODAC, which comes in the same casing as a C421, so you will have a nice matching pair.  The ODAC won't work with iDevices, but you can use it with your PC with the C421 as amp, and just the C421 via an LOD when on the go (replace your E7--you'll love the C421 that much).

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