I am the recently proud owner of a pair of HD650's.
I have an Asus Xonar STX Sound Card and I am enjoying the combination.
I am questioning whether I can do better with an External Dac/Amp. I don't require portability, I am looking for a reasonable improvement in sound quality. I'd consider a portable solution if I could get the same sound quality.
I have been considering the purchase the following combinations:
1) O2 + ODAC, either as a combo (Convenience) or as separates (Flexibility). I think I'm leaning to seperate so I can see how the Amp/Dac Compares to other combinations.
2) Schiit. BiFrost is the obvious choice I think as a Dac, hard to know how it compares to the DAC on the STX, anyone able to shed light? In terms of Amplifier I guess three choices are Asgard, Valhalla, and Lyr. I am wondering if the Lyr is a waste, with too much power? I am also not sure if I should be concentrating on Tube or SS.
Using the HD650 with no STX or other Amp Combo, as a Factor of 1, and 10 being the best the HD650 could produce in sound in every way, how would say the STX, O2 Combo and BiFrost with varying Amps rate, would anyone have an indication?
I did consider the O2 AND a combination of Schiit gear, but I think the O2 would be redundant, but I like to experiment and I'd sell the combo I didn't prefer.
I paid $350US for the headphones, I am feeling a little anxious spending $500-700 on an amp combo, but would do so if the result was justifiable. If ultimately spending $300 with the O2 would result in 95% of the same sound quality, I wouldn't spend more for a percent or two.
Sorry for the rambly post, I am really struggling.
I am listening to mostly pop, no super heavy metal, trace, electronic music or anything like that. I am fairly maintstream in my music taste.
I do find the HD650's aren't that exciting, and bass appears to be lacking, especially in drums, etc.
Thanks in advance for any advice.