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Need help reaching the next level with my set up.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all!

 

New guy here, do not consider myself an audiophile by any means,  but I have always lusted after a high end system and I have the means to purchase one right now. My current setup consists of Shure earphones and a Fiio E17 with dock that I run my iPod through, as a first step towards upgrading I have just bought a set of Sennheiser HD700s and I am about to pull the trigger on a WooAudio W2 tube amp, now I just need to settle on my source. I am definately not considering CDs as they are too inconvenient for me, so I will stick to using lossless audio files. I can run them through my iPod or Macbook, and I am unsure of the best mechanism to do so. I assume I need a DAC, but which one is best for my set up? and if the iPod is not going to be a bottleneck should I get a dock? which one?

 

Finally, am I going to hear a noticable difference with my untrained ears or should I just stick to running the Senn 700s through my Fiio Alpen? What about running the Alpen as a dedicated DAC to the Woo W2? 

 

Help!

post #2 of 7

Hi there,

 

You might be best served by posting in the "Dedicated Source Components" Forum. What is your budget for said DAC?

 

For starters, the DAC you purchase won't double as both a DAC for you iPod and your computer. You would have to buy a specialized iDevice DAC. Most people forego those and just use a portable amp for on the go via LOD (cable) out on the iPod. Portable audio is a whole other issue here altogether. 

 

For your computer, your Alpen will work as a dedicated DAC to your W2, but would be the weak link by far. I think a dedicated DAC is in order for you to bring out the most. And yes, I think your ears would be able to tell the difference between a Fiio portable DAC and a high quality standalone DAC.

 

Let's start with budget and go from there. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Thanks allot for your response, I am obviousely in over my head! My budget is 500 USD or less for source, not counting the computer/ipod of course. so it is:

 

HD 700 => WooAudio W2 => ?500 USD? => Lossless files (Laptop or iPod)

 

I was thinking of the Cambridge Audio DAC 100, and maybe a doc for the iPod, or directely to the laptop. Would very much apreciate your suggestion on how to spend my 500 dollars to get my files to the Woo!

post #4 of 7

You will definitely be best served in the other forum. 

 

I think you're on the right track with the DAC-100. That is a headfi favorite for the cost. Another is the Musical Fidelity V-DAC. That is what I started with. It's a tiny touch on the warm side, and coupled with the W2, may or may not be a good match. I have zero experience with the HD700, so someone with experience on those headphones should be able to offer insight on what to look for. For example, if you want more of a warm, colored sound, maybe V-DAC, for more neutral and analytical, X....

 

If you go V-DAC, be sure to spend the extra $40 to get the regulated power supply

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks again, is the V Dac superior to the DAc Magic 100 in any significant way? I preffer the Dac Magic simply because it pairs well with their dock if in the future I wish to take that route.

 

Could a mod please move this thread to the apropriate forum? 

post #6 of 7

No, I wouldn't say it is far superior in any significant way - based on what I know. I have not heard the Dacmagic. You'll get more help when your thread is moved. 

 

If that doesn't happen after a while, you can flag your own post. 

post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altair49 View Post

Thanks again, is the V Dac superior to the DAc Magic 100 in any significant way? I preffer the Dac Magic simply because it pairs well with their dock if in the future I wish to take that route.

 

Could a mod please move this thread to the apropriate forum? 

I would think you could get the Fiio L7, hook it to your E17, giving you a clean analog audio signal for using the E17 as a DAC between the Macbook and the WooAudio W2

At least it would give you breathing space thinking about what new DAC you would get, or time to find the best price.

And if you really want to use the iPod as a source, get the HRT iStreamer.

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