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Amp for a noob that likes to only buy once...?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So, I currently have the DT990 600 Ohm and the Denon D7000.  I'm running them through a Titanium HD to a JDS Labs O2 amp.  I also plan on getting the HD650's if I can get lucky on a good price.

 

Do you think the above sound card and amp are good enough for now, or would you recommend upgrading?  If so, I'm assuming the amp would be the first place to improve (rather than another DAC).  And if that's the case, what would be a reasonably good amp to upgrade to?  I was thinking along the lines of the Woo WA6SE, WA2 (which I understand may not be as good with the D7000 as the D7000 doesn't like tube amps - at least as I've read), or the Burson Soloist.  A friend also recommended the Pan Am as a good DAC/Amp upgrade.

 

By biggest question regarding an external DAC is that, for gaming, I think that I'll lose 3D positioning, since most of the "higher end" external DACs don't have some sort of 3D DSP?  I could be wrong with that, b/c I listened to an HD800 through a Benchmark DAC1 and WA2, and heard AMAZING 3D position (but that was with a sound file, and not with a game).

 

As stated in the titled, I'd prefer to buy quality once, rather than waste money/time upgrading.  OTOH, I don't want to spend $10k and not be able to appreciate $9k of that... :P

 

Suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!!!

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeinLA View Post

 

By biggest question regarding an external DAC is that, for gaming, I think that I'll lose 3D positioning, since most of the "higher end" external DACs don't have some sort of 3D DSP?  I could be wrong with that, b/c I listened to an HD800 through a Benchmark DAC1 and WA2, and heard AMAZING 3D position (but that was with a sound file, and not with a game).

 

As stated in the titled, I'd prefer to buy quality once, rather than waste money/time upgrading.  OTOH, I don't want to spend $10k and not be able to appreciate $9k of that... :P

 

Suggestions/recommendations would be appreciated.

 

Thanks!!!

 

Its possible to use your soundcard as Dsp to output to any audio device. 

Take a look at this guide

 

If you feel in the need to upgrade, do it. Probably your phones are not reaching its full potential with the O2. 

post #3 of 7

Game engines these days don't offload the sound processing to external programs/windows/sound cards. Rest assured that whatever DAC/amp you get will not affect the 3D effects.

 

I can heartily recommend the Schiit Mjolnir as an amp that is clean and transparent and will power most headphones, however the outputs are balanced so you may need to get out the soldering iron.

 

I also recommend the Audio-GD NFB-6, which has single ended and balanced output.

post #4 of 7

Have a look at Violectric V200. Suitable for both low and high impedance headphones.

post #5 of 7
I have the D5000's and the Burson Soloist. The BS (yes, I know--but hey I'm on an IPAD) is not a fast amp but achieves an entrancing balance of articulate momentum with detail and finesse but not at the expense of dynamics or bass. Honestly how it does this with its sense of realistic speed is a wonder. I haven't heard the V200 or the Mjolnir but these are the two I would consider. Though I must admit the more I listen to the Soloist, the less I care about any other amp. It already feels like an old friend after about three weeks of use so I'm pretty quietly shocked meaning impressed at how this amp has found its way into my heart.

I actually look at it sometimes...in admiration. *shrugs*

The Soloist is not a showy amp--it has depths that take time to appreciate---and that's not just me brainwashing myself. I've packed up plenty of equipment and got rid of it without a qualm. This thing gilds the music just right--it knows how to make you smile while not quite letting you know how it did so...I mean I could digress into a speculative thesis to bore you but it all comes down to this: The Soloist is a surgeon with a heart of gold that likes bass.
post #6 of 7

@Blackford, is this your first desktop amp? wow, thats a good start. 

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackwess View Post

@Blackford, is this your first desktop amp? wow, thats a good start. 

Hello Jackwess,

 

 

It's my second desktop. Schiit Asgard was my first and even though it's a great amp for the 5000's, my curiosity got the best of me and I went with the Soloist purely for experimentation. (Anyone thinking of buying the Soloist, please give it due break in time--300 hrs of having it turned on should be more than sufficient) I bought the Soloist also to avoid meandering up the amp chain, spending more money than I would have, than if I had gone straight to the top. 

 

I compared the two on the 5000's:

 

 

The Asgard is a brash, young genius--Mozart anachronistically finding an old electric guitar and amp but winning through with sheer balls and talent.

 

The Soloist is more Bach---he looks upon the genius of the Asgard and sighs to himself: 'The young are born knowing so much.' 

 

 

The put it less poetically:

 

The Asgard is balls bordering on finesse.

The Soloist is finesse with balls more on the side.

 

 

I'm keeping my Asgard though, in case, God forbid, the Soloist needs repairs--

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