Hello fellow Head-fi members!
I am new here so if this post is in the wrong place I truly apologize in advance.
Ok to start off I think I will describe my current set-up. I have a pair of Grado sr325is (with G-Cush pads not that I think it matters). I use these mostly with my desktop (I would say 95% of the time). Now the desktop has onboard sound (some realtek chip, motherboard is a Gigabyte Z68X-UD4-B3). However I don't use it for sound, I have a Pioneer VSX-521-K, entry level a/v reciever, because I would bet a good dollar that its DAC and amp is better than my motherboard. My graphics card is connected to it with an HDMI cable and my computer sends all the audio to it digital. Also I watch movies, which I have set up to bit-stream HD Audio to it, and at night it's nice to watch with the grados.
Now what I want is an amp, kind of heavily leaning toward wanting a tube amp. I have seen the Little Dot MK III, looks good, read great things, and the price range is like 250$ total with shipping so I want to stay at 250$ total as my max price point on the amp.
If you have other amps you would recommend please do give me your opinion, I want to get the best bang for my buck. I listen to electronic music, trance and minimal mostly if it matters, and I would have to say detail is probably one of the things I like best in headphones, and well just overall balance of all the elements, (bass and such).
Now what I wanted to was use the headphone out on my pioneer reciever so I wouldn't have to change anything on my desktop, just plug in a cable to the receiver, turn on the amp and bam. The thing is I have heard its a bad idea to go from a headphone out jack to an amp. Now while switching the audio output set up in Windows annoys me enough, and I could probably get used to it, but I can't stand switching up the media player classic set up to decode Bluray HD audio instead of decode, so I would really like a way to go through the receiver. So I am wondering if I should be getting a DAC and if there is a way it can go from my a/v reciever to the DAC (I going to check if it has optical out on it when I get the chance, I tried before with RCA out and got no luck. also not sure if it exists but if there is an hdmi DAC out there perhaps I can split the hdmi going to TV and then just make the reciever pass-through to HDMI when I use, need to look into that as well).
Now the last thing I wanted to get for my set up was a woodies mod, and I don't think I will have the money to get an amp, dac, and woodies at the same time, so which would benefit me the most in order of most beneficial and urgent to least. Can I go for an amp and not use a DAC or any advice on the things I want.
Thanks for reading my post, and double thanks if you can lend a hand! :)