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recommended amp and DAC for he-400

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

My budget is 200 dollars, is it possible to get the most out of the he-400 with this budget? If not, I would like to know the cheapest possible combo that is recommended for the he-400, I want to get the most out of it. Some head-fiers recommended the fiio e17 as an amp AND a dac which kind of makes sense since the he-400s requirements, but will that get the best sound out of it? I know that a very expensive combo will sound better than a cheaper combo, but if im spending 400 dollars on headphones, I wanna get the most out of it if you know what I mean. I also dont want to spend lets say 300 dollars on a combo if its not gonna have that much difference over a 200 dollar combo. Can anyone help me out?

post #2 of 23

NFB-12 is slightly over your budget, but I'm sure you'd be happy with it. It's quite neutral, which should work well with the warmth of the he-400s.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post

NFB-12 is slightly over your budget, but I'm sure you'd be happy with it. It's quite neutral, which should work well with the warmth of the he-400s.

thanks! Where can I order it from? Also, how big is it? Will I be able to take in my backpack in an airplane or will I have to put it in luggage?

post #4 of 23

I was going to say go cheaper, like with the Fiio E10 for now, the HE-400 are only 35-Ohm, so really do not need much of an amp.

and I think the E10 and E17 use the same DAC chip, the WM8740.

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I was going to say go cheaper, like with the Fiio E10 for now, the HE-400 are only 35-Ohm, so really do not need much of an amp.

and I think the E10 and E17 use the same DAC chip, the WM8740.

are you sure? Its cause I really want to reach to he-400s full potential. Is the e10 or e17 often recommended? Do you think the difference between the e17/e10 and the NFB-12 almost unnoticeable?
 

post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

are you sure? Its cause I really want to reach to he-400s full potential. Is the E10 or E17 often recommended? Do you think the difference between the E17/E10 and the NFB-12 almost unnoticeable?
 

As your talking about traveling with whatever DAC/Amp you get, the Fiio E10 would be easier.

Also the NFB-12 may come with features your not going to use.

What source(s) were you going to plug the DAC/Amp into?

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

thanks! Where can I order it from? Also, how big is it? Will I be able to take in my backpack in an airplane or will I have to put it in luggage?

 

You can order it direct from audio-gd in China, but depending where you are located, you may be able to find a specialised local store that stocks it. More details at:

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB12/NFB12EN_Specs.htm

 

From that page you'll find out that it's not really portable (2kg), so if that's important to you then keep looking...

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

As your talking about traveling with whatever DAC/Amp you get, the Fiio E10 would be easier.

Also the NFB-12 may come with features your not going to use.

What source(s) were you going to plug the DAC/Amp into?

Im not going to be traveling with it, its just that im gonna order it from the US but I dont live in the US so I would have to take it home by plane once. I will mostly be using it with my iphone and computer. When I plugged my m50 and e11 into my laptop the volume changed randomly by itself, have you had this same problem? I haven't tried listening with my desktop though. 

what features does the NFB-12 that I probably wont use? I own a fiio e11, is it worth upgrading to the e10, e17, or NFB-12? One last thing, do you know if there is a noticeable difference in sound between the e17 and NFB-12 when using the he-400 or will it be a complete waste of money to invest in the NFB-12?

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Do you think it would be a good idea to use the O2 with the he-400 or will an amp + DAC like the e17 work better? Im pretty sure the O2 isnt a DAC, if I buy the O2 I dont think I would be willing to invest more on a separate DAC. Is it a bad idea to only use an amp (O2) with the he-400 or should I get the e17? If there is a better amp + DAC that I should get instead of the e17 please mention it.


Edited by daniel521 - 8/8/12 at 2:07pm
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

I'm not going to be traveling with it, its just that I'm gonna order it from the US but I don't live in the US so I would have to take it home by plane once. I will mostly be using it with my iPhone and computer. When I plugged my m50 and e11 into my laptop the volume changed randomly by itself, have you had this same problem? I haven't tried listening with my desktop though. 

what features does the NFB-12 that I probably wont use? I own a Fiio E11, is it worth upgrading to the E10, E17, or NFB-12? One last thing, do you know if there is a noticeable difference in sound between the E17 and NFB-12 when using the he-400 or will it be a complete waste of money to invest in the NFB-12?

First off, you can not use the NFB-12 with your iPhone, it's not easy to get a digital audio signal from the iPhone and the NFB-12 only takes in a digital (USB, optical, coaxial) signal input.

My E11 can drive my 250-Ohm headphones and the HE-400 is only 35-Ohms.

The E11 has a slightly better amplifier then the E10 and E17.

 

I would say  just to keep using the Fiio E11 as an amplifier and get a simple DAC for use with your computer Windows Desktop PC, or is the laptop your only computer?

 

If your planning on watching movies and playing games with the headphones, the get an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) for a desktop computer

It comes with Dolby Headphone surround sound, just plug the E11 into the Headphone jack/line-out jack on the Xonar.

 

If you only use the computer (or laptop) for music, get the Dac Destroyer, USB-DAC, sells on eBay for around $50-$60, ships from Canada.

 

The HRT MusicStreamer, $150, is a well liked external USB DAC.

 

The NFB-12 comes with two WM8741 DACs, the E10 and E17 only one DAC (WM8740).

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

Do you think it would be a good idea to use the O2 with the he-400 or will an amp + DAC like the e17 work better? Im pretty sure the O2 isnt a DAC...

Correct, the O2 (Objective 2), $155) does not come with a DAC.

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

First off, you can not use the NFB-12 with your iPhone, it's not easy to get a digital audio signal from the iPhone and the NFB-12 only takes in a digital (USB, optical, coaxial) signal input.

My E11 can drive my 250-Ohm headphones and the HE-400 is only 35-Ohms.

The E11 has a slightly better amplifier then the E10 and E17.

 

I would say  just to keep using the Fiio E11 as an amplifier and get a simple DAC for use with your computer Windows Desktop PC, or is the laptop your only computer?

 

If your planning on watching movies and playing games with the headphones, the get an Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) for a desktop computer

It comes with Dolby Headphone surround sound, just plug the E11 into the Headphone jack/line-out jack on the Xonar.

 

If you only use the computer (or laptop) for music, get the Dac Destroyer, USB-DAC, sells on eBay for around $50-$60, ships from Canada.

 

The HRT MusicStreamer, $150, is a well liked external USB DAC.

 

The NFB-12 comes with two WM8741 DACs, the E10 and E17 only one DAC (WM8740).

I have an issue with me e11, I compared music with the e11 and without the e11 on my headphone; when I use my e11, the music is really laid back and when I turn up the volume, the highs end up being too loud while the mids are too low. When I played music on my iphone without the e11, the music was a lot better and it was no longer laid back. I was using my ath-m50, do you know why this is happening? This is why im a bit skeptical about the e11, im afraid the problem will i'll have the same problem with the he-400 unless a good DAC fixes this...

 

I also have about the Asus xonar DX and Dac Destroyer; is the Asus xonar DX great for movies/gaming but not that great for music while the Dac Destroyer is great for music but not that great for gaming/movies? I do both so I dont know which one I should pick (I use a desktop). Also, How do you use the Asus xonar DX, do you put it in your computer? I have no idea how this works...

 

is this the Dac Destroyer?:http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-DESTROYER-HAND-SOLDERED-USB-DAC-w-LINE-HEAD-OUT-/280537893835#ht_2741wt_906

is this the asus xonar DX?:http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-XONAR-Channel-Audio-Sound/dp/B001EZQ8YC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1344463017&sr=8-3&keywords=Asus+Xonar+DX

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

I have an issue with me E11, I compared music with the E11 and without the E11 on my headphone; when I use my E11, the music is really laid back and when I turn up the volume, the highs end up being too loud while the mids are too low. When I played music on my iPhone without the E11, the music was a lot better and it was no longer laid back. I was using my ath-m50, do you know why this is happening? This is why I'm a bit skeptical about the E11, I'm afraid the problem will i'll have the same problem with the he-400 unless a good DAC fixes this...

 

I also have about the Asus Xonar DX and Dac Destroyer; is the Asus Xonar DX great for movies/gaming but not that great for music while the Dac Destroyer is great for music but not that great for gaming/movies? I do both so I dont know which one I should pick (I use a desktop). Also, How do you use the Asus xonar DX, do you put it in your computer? I have no idea how this works...

 

is this the Dac Destroyer?:http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-DESTROYER-HAND-SOLDERED-USB-DAC-w-LINE-HEAD-OUT-/280537893835#ht_2741wt_906

is this the asus xonar DX?:http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-XONAR-Channel-Audio-Sound/dp/B001EZQ8YC/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1344463017&sr=8-3&keywords=Asus+Xonar+DX

Could be the iPhone's headphone jack and the Fiio E11's line-in port are not working well together.

As your using the same DAC with or without the E11 hooked up, I do not think it's DAC issue.

Try adjusting the volume on the iPhone while the E11 is hooked up, see how it affects the audio

The best way to get an audio signal from an iPhone is to use a Fiio L cable, plugs into the iPhone's LOD port and the E11's line in.

The E11 has a high/low voltage switch under the battery, try changing it to the other setting.

The Xonar DX is good for gaming, movies and music, but internal sound cards (the analog audio signal) might be affected by electrical noise inside the computer case.

Running a digital audio signal (using USB, optical or coaxial) to the outside of the computer case to an external DAC, protects against the computer case's electrical noise.

So an external DAC (Dac Destroyer) has it's advantages, but external DACs themselves do not provide surround sound for games and movies.

There are a few external sound cards, but they usually comes with only "decent" at best DACs and headphone amplifiers.

 

The guy (Hotaudio40) that sells the Dac Destroyer, sales the same unit at different prices, depending on the listing, so check his other listings.

 

The listing you have is for the D1 which is the same as the DX, but the D1 uses a PCI motherboard slot, where as the DX uses a PCI-Express slot.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Could be the iPhone's headphone jack and the Fiio E11's line-in port are not working well together.

As your using the same DAC with or without the E11 hooked up, I do not think it's DAC issue.

Try adjusting the volume on the iPhone while the E11 is hooked up, see how it affects the audio

The best way to get an audio signal from an iPhone is to use a Fiio L cable, plugs into the iPhone's LOD port and the E11's line in.

The E11 has a high/low voltage switch under the battery, try changing it to the other setting.

The Xonar DX is good for gaming, movies and music, but internal sound cards (the analog audio signal) might be affected by electrical noise inside the computer case.

Running a digital audio signal (using USB, optical or coaxial) to the outside of the computer case to an external DAC, protects against the computer case's electrical noise.

So an external DAC (Dac Destroyer) has it's advantages, but external DACs themselves do not provide surround sound for games and movies.

There are a few external sound cards, but they usually comes with only "decent" at best DACs and headphone amplifiers.

 

The guy (Hotaudio40) that sells the Dac Destroyer, sales the same unit at different prices, depending on the listing, so check his other listings.

 

The listing you have is for the D1 which is the same as the DX, but the D1 uses a PCI motherboard slot, where as the DX uses a PCI-Express slot.

is the link that I posted here of the Dac Destroyer correct (ebay)? Is that the Dac destroyer? seems kinda expensive though its price is supposed to be 50 dollar I think

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

is the link that I posted here of the Dac Destroyer correct (ebay)? Is that the Dac destroyer? seems kinda expensive though its price is supposed to be 50 dollar I think

It's the correct DAC, but it's the fixed price listing, price is much lower for the "bidding" listings.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-DESTROYER-HAND-SOLDERED-USB-DAC-w-LINE-HEAD-OUT-/261076869696?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item3cc964e240

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-DESTROYER-HAND-SOLDERED-USB-DAC-w-LINE-HEAD-OUT-/280936765132?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item416922d6cc

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