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AMP/DAC for audio newbie with HE-400/HD650/K701

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey head-fiers,


I would love to ask some ppl with experience what DAC/AMP combo with decent  "price/performance" would you recommend to my headphones.


What I am looking for is :

  - DAC/AMP mainly for HE-400/HD650 , K701 isn't priority.

  - Good "price/performance" - by this I mean I don't want to pay extra 500-1000$ for very small end result.


I never had any decent DAC/AMP (have only FiiO E11) so I'am complete newbie in this field and I don't have option anywhere near to try these things :( So I rely on information from you and internet research.


Today I was thinking about Schiit Lyr and Modi (because I read somewhere here on forum that HD650 with Lyr is I quote "All you need") .. but after reading for some other hours I found review where Defiant00 says that he practicaly can't hear difference between Magni and Modi vs Asgard and Bifrost using Audeze LCD-2 ... after reading this I was thinking like : I don't have headphones close to LCD-2 so I guess buying Lyr is pretty much complete waste of money. Am I right or wrong ?


Also after some more reading I found post from some guy that Magni and Modi combo sound similar compared to FiiO E17 ... which got me thinking .. E17 ? it's all in one DAC/AMP and it shoud be equal to Magni and Modi ? That doesn't sound right to me ... but if it is ... it would be great, because FiiO E17 is easily accesible in Czech Republic and I wouldn't have to pay 80$ shipping and taxes => it would be pretty cheap for me. Also there is function for EQing bass and treble... is it better than using parametric EQ or is it somehow equal ?


There is so many questions poping out in my head, that I don't know which one should I throw in and which I shouldn't (Don't want this to more messy post than it already isbiggrin.gif).


At the end I would like to buy decent DAC/AMP that will bring most of HE-400/HD650 without breaking a bank, if it's not absolutely necessary.


But if you guys tell me that Lyr/Bifrost or something on this level from different brands will really make noticeable changes to better end result I'll probably give it a shot and order it.


Any information opinion is welcome. Hope I'll be able make some decent decision.


Thank you in advance basshead.gif

post #2 of 13

Modi and magni (Schiit Stack/M&M) by Schiit or the Objective combo (O2+ODAC). MM is $200, Objective is $250 (from JDS labs, in one unit). The magni has a gain of five and should have more than enough power for the he-400 which isn't really all that hard to drive IMO. Only one that I consider a doozy is the HE-6 which is UBER inefficient/ not very sensitive. 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

And what about HD650 ? Will Modi and Magni get most of them ? 

post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Also I should mention FiiO E17 would cost me 150$ but M&M Combo around 300$ .

post #5 of 13
The 650 is easy to drive, look at the sensitivty (dB) and it'll tell you. This can drive the he-400 no sweat from what I've seen in the thread for the magni n modi.

Impedance is the resistance, doesn't have much to do with how easy or hard a phone is to drive
As for the amps, it's highly opinionated. People could be biased prior to comparing and might favor one or the other. Or they just might not be listening hard enough. It's really up to you whether a dac/amp is worth it or not. Some people have claimed to not hear a difference between an o2 and a b22. I'm not a fiio man, but if u go to one of the threads, someone might answer your question regarding the fiio vs MM.

The modi and magni can drive all of your phones fine, but just make sure to have the volume pot at 0 when you turn it on... quite a strong amp.

Best of luck finding a comparison!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for help, I finally gave up and ordered Modi and Magni :)

post #7 of 13

I just pulled the trigger on a pair of HD-650's and they came in on Friday. I look forward to your thoughts on the Schiit Magni and Modi. Congrats on the order.  Please keep me posted. 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by PurdueAlum View Post

I just pulled the trigger on a pair of HD-650's and they came in on Friday. I look forward to your thoughts on the Schiit Magni and Modi. Congrats on the order.  Please keep me posted. 


Sure I'll, It will be first time I'll have decent amp dac and some cans so I'am thinking I might do some "Newbie point of view review/comparison" , also got Shure 940 on the way now.

post #9 of 13

Please allow to share my experience with the HD650 through an AMP upgrade. I have previously been using the HD650s on Aune T1, which is a decent budget DAC/Amp combo (some rate it higher than Magni/Modi) and I thought they sounded well. I was less impressed by the HD650 after a while, especially after I purchased the Beyer T1s.


Today I have upgraded to Vioelectric V200 and until better prospects I am still using the Aune T1 DAC. Obviously the V200 is a (much) more expensive device at 800 EUR and it's only an amplifier. As expected the T1s benefitted very consistently from the upgrade, but what I wasn't prepared for, is just how much the HD650s have scaled. They are AMAZING now. They have all the advantages they had before, yet more clarity, detail, better soundstage, better imaging, better treble (without being anywhere near sibilant such as T1 for example), slightly better bass.

Edited by negura - 2/8/13 at 7:32pm
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for sharing information, I guess won't sell HD650 than and wait till I get some better amp in future to try them out.

post #11 of 13

The e17 would work well with the he400 but only okay with the hd650 (I have all of these). The 650 is just one of those hp's that gets better and better with better amps and sources. It took it all the way to the lyr, bifrost and a nice set of tubes. It got appreciably all the way up the chain, and was just wonderful on the lyr. 

post #12 of 13

Apart from O2/ODAC I can recommend you look into the Yulong D100 and Audio-gd Compass 2 or the cheaper Audio-gd NFB-11. All of which are very competent and praised DAC/Amps here on head-fi. I see you went with the Modi/Magni, but if you ever decide to look further in the future you should have a look at those. All should pair well with these headphones. I'm just not entirely sure about D100+K701, though.

post #13 of 13

mmmmmm, but none of those have the proven performance of the O2. 

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