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Looking for first desktop amp.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hey guys, this is my first post in this part of Head-Fi so please mind my ignorance should it present itself. 

 

To start off, I dont know much about amps, but I would like to learn more about them as time goes on, both with experience and reading. 

 

As the title says I am looking for my first desktop amp, and since it will be the first I would like to keep the budget fairly low, probably $150. Now I have already looked into a few amps, and Im liking the ones Ive seen that have either a partner DAC or a built in DAC. The ones Ive looked into consist of only the ones Ive read about thus far which are the Schiit Magni (And modi combo) which Im leaning towards so far, the Aune Audio T1, and the Hifiman EF2A. 

 

This is where I would like a bit of help, I have no clue which one of those would best suit me. As I said I am leaning towards the Schiit Magni, with modi, mainly because of all the good things Ive read about them, such as the ability to drive almost any headphone, even Orthos. But I also like the things Ive heard about the Aune and the Hifiman, but I have future plans to buy a Woo Audio WA6 as a reliable tube amp, so Im not sure what good two of them would do me.

 

Currently I listen to mainly dubstep, but I also listen to a lot of pretty much everything else, except rap.

 

So I guess what I need is some advice if anyone has any for me? Should I stick with the Schiit Stack or would I be happier with something else?

 

EDIT: Please pay no attention to my current list of headphones/IEMs I own. In the future when I have more money I plan to buy some more appropriate ones for desktop use, such as some Sennheiser HD600s or AKG K702. All of this, including the purchase of the amp will go down later in the year, I just wanted to get to know some of it better first.


Edited by Aaron94 - 2/10/13 at 6:13pm
post #2 of 19

Never get the Maverick D1.  I had one, and it was the biggest regret in my audio life.  Piece of crap.  Scam artist seller.

post #3 of 19

Hello Aaron94,

 

So you need an amp and dac or amp only?  What is your source?  iDevice, PC etc...?

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Never get the Maverick D1.  I had one, and it was the biggest regret in my audio life.  Piece of crap.  Scam artist seller.

Thanks for telling me, Ill take that off the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post

Hello Aaron94,

 

So you need an amp and dac or amp only?  What is your source?  iDevice, PC etc...?

I would like to have both an amp and a DAC, the budget of $150 is only if I get just the amp, but if I can get either a combined amp/DAC like the Aune T1 or Schiit Stack I would raise it to $200.

 

The source would be either an Asus laptop or an desktop PC, both of which will be running ALAC/FLAC files once I can get my hands on my CDs.

post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron94 View Post

Thanks for telling me, Ill take that off the list.

I would like to have both an amp and a DAC, the budget of $150 is only if I get just the amp, but if I can get either a combined amp/DAC like the Aune T1 or Schiit Stack I would raise it to $200.

 

The source would be either an Asus laptop or an desktop PC, both of which will be running ALAC/FLAC files once I can get my hands on my CDs.

 

Nice...You have done your research...The Aune, Schiit stack and I would add the O2/ODAC combo have taken the head-fi world by storm in the past few months with great results.  I have the O2 and it is a great little amp.

 

A bit over your budget but A-GD products have a great variety so you can mull it all over with an informed decision when it's all said and done...

 

http://www.audio-gd.com/Products-EN.htm

 

Cheers!!!

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion, but Im pretty limited by the set budget. Ill be getting my first apartment this summer so random spending money will be to the cent.

post #7 of 19

+1 on the o2/odac.   I've owned thousand dollar dacs and amps and in the end i went with the o2/odac combo.  Quite possibly the only amp dac you'll ever need no matter how much you upgrade headphones.

post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

I like the praise the O2/ODAC combo are getting here, but like I said Im VERY limited by the budget. According to their site in order to get an O2/ODAC combo with a North American power supply it will run me almost $100 over my limit. 

 

But once I get the money to throw around at more expensive amps/DACs I will add it to the list, I will no doubt be making another forum when that time comes.

post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by hodgjy View Post

Never get the Maverick D1.  I had one, and it was the biggest regret in my audio life.  Piece of crap.  Scam artist seller.

I have the D1+ with upgrades and I enjoy it quite a bit. It is out of your price range unfortunately.

I have no urge to try the Magni because of the channel imbalance issues.

 

I would love to try/hear the O2/ODac from Audio Poutine, and the Aune T1 just love the looks of that one just looks so sharp for something so cheap. You could look at the E09K/E17 to if you can find a used set. Just another option to look at.

post #10 of 19

With your tight budget, I think the only viable combo is the Schiit Modi + Magni combo.

 

Anything else will run you a bit over.

 

Though if you're open to second hand, take a glance at the classifieds. O2 + ODACs show up for pretty reasonable prices, it's a very good combo which sounded great to me.

 

I haven't heard the Modi + Magni but I've heard a lot of positive things about them.

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

Like many people Im attracted to the way Schiit products look, I only wish they came in black but Ill get over it. I have also read many great things about them, but I have never read anything about channel imbalance, anyone care to enlighten me?

 

Like I said I plan to upgrade to a more hi-tech/pricey amp/DAC combo in the future once my financial situation is less cloudy and just like right now Im looking quite a bit into Schiit products. It seems to me like one couldnt go wrong with a Lyr + Bifrost combo, or a Bifrost + Asgard 2. Only a few things turn me off about Schiit, to name just a few, Asgards known issue with becoming incredibly hot, and the disclaimer on the Lyr FAQ page about its potential to blow drivers. 

post #12 of 19

buy a used o2/odac..   ;-)

post #13 of 19
Quote:
buy a used o2/odac..   ;-)

X 2.

 

That's what I did for $110.  I am very happy. 

 

 

 

 

20130212_205023.jpg 71k .jpg file
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Is there a significant difference from the O2/ODAC combo from other amp and DAC combos? I ask because I see a few people saying to get them, but no one says a company, and Ive seen 3 different makers for them thus far.
post #15 of 19

I'd probably buy from JDS Labs, but that's just me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron94 View Post

Is there a significant difference from the O2/ODAC combo from other amp and DAC combos? I ask because I see a few people saying to get them, but no one says a company, and Ive seen 3 different makers for them thus far.
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