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Sennheiser HD 598. I don't need more bass. Should I bother with a DAC?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I'm very new to these types of headphones.

I've got the Senn HD 598s coming in the mail in a few days.

 

I listen to:

 

Radiohead,

John Frusciante,

Atoms For Peace (soon),

Chili Peppers

The Beatles,

The Doors,

Mars Volta,

Tool,

some Godspeed You Black Emperor

 

..nothing really with heavy bass.

 

What exactly would getting a DAC do for me?

Will it improve the quality of my listening, noticeably?

If so, any suggestions?


Edited by chimmycham - 1/30/13 at 2:00pm
post #2 of 9

It would be easier to give you some constructive feedback if you listed your current audio setup. Is it a laptop -> PC speakers, or a CD player - > AV receiver -> full size 5.1 speaker set? What deficiencies or imperfections are you noticing?

 

But to begin with, let me clarify one misconception: a better DAC will not change the quantity of bass in your music (unless your current one does a very poor job). It may remove background noises, reduce harshness of high frequencies, you may also notice improved soundstage and imaging. 

 

Also I wouldn't neglect or ignore bass performance in your system: it adds richness to the sound, and the less bassy the source is, the more important it becomes to reproduce it correctly. 

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, like I said, I will be receiving the phones in the mail by the middle of next week.

So, as of now I could not list the deficiencies/imperfections.

I'm sure the headphones alone will sound immaculate compared to the earbuds I'm used to.

 

I will be using them through my 2011 Macbook Pro

Processor  2 GHz Intel Core i7

Memory  8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

When I go to the system information, and click 'Audio (built-in)', all it says is:

'Intel High Definition Audio:

  Audio ID:    29'

 

At this point, I plan on plugging the phones directly into my laptop, which may deteriorate the sound quality quite a bit.

..Your thoughts?

 

edit:

I've also got an old Panasonic Stereo from like the early 90s

 

Panasonic SL-HM42 automatic turntable
Panasonic SL-PJ325 cd player
Panasonic combined stack Stereo Synthesizer Tuner/Stereo Control Amplifier/Stereo Double Cassette Deck

 

But I'm assuming the Macbook Pro will produce a much better sound than this.


Edited by chimmycham - 1/30/13 at 3:07pm
post #4 of 9

Like Pleasant said.  A good dac shouldn't colour the sound at all.  All it should do is increase the sounds quality, not add anything to it. That job is better left to an amp.  Think of a dac as your water filter.  All you want it to do is clean up your water.  You wouldn't want it adding any flavors to your water would you?

 

If you want a dac that is going to do what a dac is supposed to do and not add anything to the sound then get the magni modi or o2/odac combo (If you get a dac you'll need an amp to control the volume of the sound).

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

'get the magni modi or o2/odac combo (If you get a dac you'll need an amp to control the volume of the sound).'

 

Yes, that is exactly what I want.

I want better sound quality, without adding anything onto the sound.

 

I am going to wait for these headphones to come, test them out, and see if I even need better sound quality.

I'm sure I will decide 'why not?' and go for it.

Thanks for the responses.

 

If anyone knows which Amp/DAC combo would work best, at a low price, with the HD598s, please feel free to give you two cents. :)

 

That o2/odac combo costs more than the headphones.


Edited by chimmycham - 1/30/13 at 4:41pm
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by chimmycham View Post

'get the magni modi or o2/odac combo (If you get a dac you'll need an amp to control the volume of the sound).'

 

Yes, that is exactly what I want.

I want better sound quality, without adding anything onto the sound.

 

I am going to wait for these headphones to come, test them out, and see if I even need better sound quality.

I'm sure I will decide 'why not?' and go for it.

Thanks for the responses.

 

If anyone knows which Amp/DAC combo would work best, at a low price, with the HD598s, please feel free to give you two cents. :)

 

That o2/odac combo costs more than the headphones.

Go for a Fiio then, they are decent cheap ones.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

IF you wouldn't mind answering one more question,

What is the minimum Fiio number I should be looking at for these?

post #8 of 9

Grab a FiiO E10 and be done.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

So My Macbook Pro -> Fiio E10 -> Sennheiser 598 will do the trick?

 

I'm deciding between the Fiio Andes E07 and the Fiio Olympus (E10)

 

Which would pair better with them?

 

Both models have a Wolfson WM8740 DAC.

 

I'm assuming the Olympus (E10) sounds better since it is not portable, but that is a pretty unfounded claim.

 

I also read that the amp section is better in the E10.

I'm not really sure if this is true


Edited by chimmycham - 1/31/13 at 12:03am
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