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Introduce a noob to DACs and amps.

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have been swallowing up a whole load of information from this site for the last while and and currently waiting on delivery of my first set of proper headphones (Senn HD598).

 

I have also been looking a lot at the possibility of a portable amp for my ipod and a dac for when using my pc as I currently output straight from the mobo.

 

I have been mainly looking at Fiio products as they seem to be well recommended to new users and those on a budget.  I am not limiting myself to those products, but focusing on them until I have my head round it and then can look into more exotic solutions.

 

 

 

If only considering portable options, so using my ipod classic, I understand it is not possible to extract a digital signal.  In which case a dac/amp combo such as the E7 or E17 would be wasteful and an amp only such as the E11 will do the job.

 

If wanting to listen from my pc, I would ideally want a dac and an amp to get the best sound.  

I was looking at the E9 amp, but I understand that need either the E7 or E17 with it to use the dac portion of those devices.

However both E7 and E17 and be connected to a pc via usb and does not need the E9.  So the question is, is there a significant improvement in the amplification from the E9 compared to either the E7 or E17 to warrant the extra ~£100?  Except for a lovely big tactile knob top fiddle with of course.  :D

post #2 of 13
FiiO E17/7 + E9 of corse a great combo! For your needs, HD598, I think E17 should be enough eh?

If you are looking for desktop dac/amp, why not E10?
post #3 of 13

I would go for the E9/E7 Or E17 combo. The 598s are rated at 50 ohms impedance and that means that do require some driving so the more power at your fingertips the better. My old HD280s are only rated at 64 ohms yet when I amplify them via the E9 they really come to life and this is most noticable with the bass impact. If you decide to upgrade from the 598s to something requiring even more power then you will have it lready to hand. The E7 can be used as a stand alone portable so you get a multi function approach.
 

post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by doginabag View Post

I have been swallowing up a whole load of information from this site for the last while and and currently waiting on delivery of my first set of proper headphones (Senn HD598).

I have also been looking a lot at the possibility of a portable amp for my ipod and a dac for when using my pc as I currently output straight from the mobo.

I have been mainly looking at Fiio products as they seem to be well recommended to new users and those on a budget.  I am not limiting myself to those products, but focusing on them until I have my head round it and then can look into more exotic solutions.

If only considering portable options, so using my iPod classic, I understand it is not possible to extract a digital signal.  In which case a dac/amp combo such as the E7 or E17 would be wasteful and an amp only such as the E11 will do the job.

If wanting to listen from my pc, I would ideally want a dac and an amp to get the best sound.  

I was looking at the E9 amp, but I understand that need either the E7 or E17 with it to use the dac portion of those devices.

However both E7 and E17 and be connected to a pc via usb and does not need the E9.  So the question is, is there a significant improvement in the amplification from the E9 compared to either the E7 or E17 to warrant the extra ~£100?  Except for a lovely big tactile knob top fiddle with of course.  :D

Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card for the computer.

Comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier and Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound

 

Fiio E11 with Fiio L cable for use with the iPod.

 

You would also have the option of plugging the E11 into the line-out/headphone jack of the Xonar DG.

But guess you will not need to.

post #5 of 13

Dac and AMP's are the quickest way to empty your bank account:) Welcome onboard.

 

I second the  Fiio E11 and L cable for use with the Ipod.  

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card for the computer.

Comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier and Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound

 

Hi, I have a related question.

 

Currently using headphones 99% on PC, with onboard Realtek 892 sound (e.g. the model before the 898, 97dB output SNR)

 

How does adding an amp actually change the sound? Will upgrading to a Xonar DG (105dB output SNR) increase the depth of bass? I like my cans but feel like the lower end extension is a little lacking.

 

For a set of Sennheiser 429 cans (reasonably entry-level, I know).

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you guys.  

 

I think what I am musing here is why the overlap in some of the product line up?

 

If I want purely portable, then the E11 fits the bill.

If I want purely for PC use, then the E10.

 

I can buy both for ~£110.

 

 

Or I could get say, the E17 and the E9, which would set me back around £210.  And to use the PC, I need to combine the two.

So what is going on here, is the dac in the E17 better than that in the E10, and is the amp in the E9 better then the amp in the E10?  If so, is it enough to justify the extra £100?

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erelyes View Post

Currently using headphones 99% on PC, with onboard Realtek 892 sound (e.g. the model before the 898, 97dB output SNR)

How does adding an amp actually change the sound? Will upgrading to a Xonar DG (105dB output SNR) increase the depth of bass? I like my cans but feel like the lower end extension is a little lacking.

For a set of Sennheiser 429 cans (reasonably entry-level, I know).

For one thing, motherboard's built in audio is going to be whatever the motherboard manufacturer can get away with that is the cheapest.

Like the cheapest DAC they can get away with.

Using what is really just a line-out port that pretends to be a headphone jack.

 

I've tested a Xonar DG and compared it to a motherboard's built in audio and can hear the difference (Xonar DG wins).

The Xonar DG's built in amplifier allows you to use headphones with impedance of up to 150-Ohms, most motherboard's built in audio usually can not match that.

 

The xonar DG may or may not increase the bass, but should help with the Bass's audio quality..

 

I've found the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) headphones to be the best audio quality for headphones that are under $100.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by doginabag View Post

Thank you guys.  

 

I think what I am musing here is why the overlap in some of the product line up?

 

If I want purely portable, then the E11 fits the bill.

If I want purely for PC use, then the E10.

 

I can buy both for ~£110.

 

 

Or I could get say, the E17 and the E9, which would set me back around £210.  And to use the PC, I need to combine the two.

So what is going on here, is the dac in the E17 better than that in the E10, and is the amp in the E9 better then the amp in the E10?  If so, is it enough to justify the extra £100?

Depends on the headphone's impedance (Ohms), headphones that are 50-Ohms or less would be better with a Fiio E10 or E17.

Just get an Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card for the PC and an E11 for portable use.

post #10 of 13
As a DAC for your PC i would suggest AudioQuest Dragonfly.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whippler View Post

As a DAC for your PC i would suggest AudioQuest Dragonfly.

I read up on the Dragonfly seems to be the best out there.

post #12 of 13
Hey guys I am also quite the newbie and had some questions.

I currently have my brother's very old handmedowns of HD590's. They still sound pretty good and I've replaced the pads. Currently I run from the onboard ALC898 -> Yamaha Mini System's RX-E400 -> HD590. I dabble in a variety of music and games and from what I've read regarding accurate positioning with surround I need to get a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD with a decent built in DAC -> small portable amp.

Could anyone else confirm that this setup would work well enough for me?

I also have started a more mobile setup with Skullcandy MMM's (I know, I know, but they were half price!). The source will be my AT&T Galaxy S3 and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for a DAC/Amp that may possibly suit both my home computer/mobile needs. From what I've read so far I'm interested in the Leckerton UHA-6s MkII's but if anyone else better combo's I'm all ears. My music range is actually very broad so I don't really have requirements but I would like to try to start off with neutral then go from there.

Thanks for all your help in advance.
post #13 of 13

E17, best of both, good portable and good DAC for your computer.

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