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DAC/Amp upgrade suggestions re: AKG K550

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi all,


[Update: so I have purchased a pair of AKG K550s and currently have it paired to the Fiio E7, and so far am enjoying the sound. I've read the E7 is a decent amp but there are better amps to pair to the K550s. Is the Arcam rPac considered a solid match? Any other recommendations for someone living in London?]



So while I am getting my Denon D2000s repaired (the right driver separated from the headband, apparently a common occurrence for these cans), I was thinking about upgrading my Fiio E7 dac/amp (connected to my iMac) to an improved dac/amp combo. In particular, I have been looking at the Fiio E17 (with and without E9 amp), the Arcam rPac, the Musical Fidelity V-Can II amp (and Dac?) and Graham Slee Voyager. Three questions:


1. For the Denon D2000s only, would any of these dac/amps offer a measurable improvement in power/improved sound quality over my Fiio E7?

2. I have been looking at the Sennheiser HD600/HD650, AKG K550 or Hifiman HE-400s as a replacement for the D2000s (one day). Would any of the above dac/amps offer a good starting point for driving any of these headphones, or just be a good tonal match?

3. Any amp/dacs that I have left off the list that you would recommend? Budget is capped at 200 pounds.


I would be grateful for any member's experience with these amps/dacs, especially in combination with the Denons, Sennheisers, Hifimans.


Many thanks!

Edited by CheekyMonkey - 11/9/12 at 2:54pm
post #2 of 8

Check out the Leckerton amp/dacs. They have a low output impedence and plenty of power, which should really pair well with the Denons. I currently have the UHA-4 and that's what I'll be using with my Denons when they arrive in a couple days.

Edited by Origin89 - 9/26/12 at 7:18pm
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Quick update - I have purchased the AKG K550s, as I was in need of a good set of closed headphones to listen to at night without waking the family! I currently have a Fiio E7 amp/dac--would anyone recommend upgrading to the Fiio E17 or Arcam rPac for getting more out of the K550s (or any other amp/dac units that would pair well?)

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 


post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Bueller? dt880smile.png

post #6 of 8

I can't praise my Voyager highly enough, it's noticeably better than my E7 by some margin

it goes great with my D2000s also.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks KT66 - so the Fiio e17 goes for £99, the Arcam rPac £149 and the Graham Slee Voyager is about £192. It looks like its coming down to the Voyager or the rPac. By the way, is a DAC recommended for use with the Voyager? Maybe I could use by Fiio E7 as a DAC and the Voyager as amp?

post #8 of 8

Fellow K550 owner here. 

I recently upgraded from my E7 to an E17 and there is definitely a improvement in terms of clarity, depth and soundstage. I do not regret my purchase. 


Though I'm looking forward to adding a tube amp into my setup, to add some liveliness and warmth to these cans. Currently looking at the Bravo audio v2

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