Hi head-fi people!
First of all, I love this board and I've been learning a lot.
I own HD650s with a Xonar Essence STX soundcard (pretty common I guess) so they sound closed.
I'm planning on buying a good Amp this month to find back the wider soundstage/unveiled/non muffled/crystal clear/detailed yet warm sound I heard in a shop on a good amp. I mainly listen to classic, baroque, opera, jazz, orchestral works, piano, violin, movie soundtracks, so basically instruments and voices. Also some electronic music (not boom boom techno) but if I want to enjoy "youth music", I'll switch to cheaper phones.
1) Which should I get: Little Dot MK V (got a barghain at $100) or MK VII (barghain at 200$)?
Which one is the best for HD650 and also the best barghain?
Is MK VII a real improvement to MK V's sound or is it just the same with XLR plugs and a little more power?
2) What does "balanced" amp mean? Would I need expensive "balanced" cables and does it add anything significant to the sound or can I use it like a normal amp (both seem to be balanced amps)?
3) Also been looking at Schiit asgard, Nu Icon HDP, Musical Fidelity VCAN2, Matrix M-Stage or the Meier audio corda series, are those much better than the Little dots?
I want the best sound for the best price because I'm on small budget. Ideally around or under $250, definitly not over $350 (I'd go up to there only if really necessary to feel a big difference compared to the $100 MK V). I hope the MK V or MK VII is good enough. The others are hard to find at barghain prices!
4) No tubes for HD650, right?
5) Would these amps work with HD600s, Grados or Shure SRH940 if I wanted to try brighter headphones?
Thanks a lot :)
Edited by jarvis2010 - 10/21/12 at 2:05pm