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Amp to go with HD 650's - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by gs12 View Post

I'm not sure I need a DAC though. Multiple people have made the point that my soundcard has a relatively decent DAC, so I would end up with a better result if I spend that extra money on a better amp. You guys disagree?

you set up is only as good as its weakest link, with expensive gear, you may as well get a decent DAC. maybe not immediately.. but its something to consider in the future for sure.

post #17 of 30

IMO, a DAC makes a huge difference in sound. Sometimes it's the difference between something sounding bad and congested, to something sounding amazing and airy. Honestly you have to look at it in the simplest terms. Crap in, Crap out.. your amp/headphones are as good as your source. With that being said even if you have a good amp for your headphones, that doesn't mean that it will sound good. You are limiting your rig, because your DAC is outdated and poor. I would much rather have a Vahalla/Bifrost than a WA3/WA6. Just my 2 cents.

post #18 of 30

DAC is more important than the amp sometimes. With each stage in the process, you're adding THD and your signal is only as good as what comes out of the source anyway. Poop in, poop out.

 

Now spending a LOT of money on a DAC is sometimes futile, they really only get so good after a certain point anyway from my experience.

post #19 of 30

Agree completely on how much difference a DAC makes. I wouldn't have believed it until I swapped out my iPod Nano for a full sized IPad. Wow. The DAC in the iPad is obviously better. It made a big difference.

 

I was SO impressed with the difference a DAC can make I ordered a new Amp from Nuforce. The Icon iDo. which by passes the DAC in iPods and iPhones completely and uses it's own higher quality DAC and AMP. Probably the best I'm going to do with an iPod only system... Just hope this little dude has some decent power. I only need it to get a little louder than my E17 and I'll be happy. It should be here tomorrow...  smile.gif

 

 

700

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Himself View Post

DAC is more important than the amp sometimes. With each stage in the process, you're adding THD and your signal is only as good as what comes out of the source anyway. Poop in, poop out.

 

Now spending a LOT of money on a DAC is sometimes futile, they really only get so good after a certain point anyway from my experience.

 

This. Information lost at the source cannot be recovered later in the chain.

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by calipilot227 View Post

 

This. Information lost at the source cannot be recovered later in the chain.

 

Yeah it can, when all the nubs start to EQ it back into their sh*t LOL

post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 

Alright, you guys made your point. I will probably end up spending about three times my planned budget on this ;)

post #23 of 30

always the way.

Thought a pair of grado's would do..

now i have six pairs of cans and 3 amps. 

Never regretted it though.

post #24 of 30
Start with a Magni/Modi. $200 and you're done for awhile. What are your sources and what sort of files are you using?

I can't tell much of a difference between a high rate MP3 and FLAC/ALAC - but I can certainly tell a difference between a high rate Spotify stream and an iTunes ALAC rip.

Regarding the need for a discreet DAC, it has a lot to do with the rest of the noise in your PC and how well insulated the card is from the rest of the system. A discrete DAC removes your audio processing from the noisy background of your PC, and since most PC makers don't put much thought into their audio, it's likely that the surrounding noise WILL affect your chain.

You have headphones that are good enough that you'll notice subtleties in music that you haven't before, and the weaknesses in your chain will be revealed even with the wondrously forgiving HD 650. Don't be surprised if the HD 650s change your tastes in music subtly over time either. A well recorded and produced analog performance has infinite variety that electronic music rarely matches, as much as I like the 'Whiz-Bang' of sonic textures. You'll also become aware of artists that use crap samples, although my HE-500 did this more for me than did the HD 650.

Also, I heartily disagree with a tube amp for the HD 650 unless you're moving to brighter cans or HiFiMan orthos in the future. The HD 650 is honey thick as it is and although a tube amp needn't be slow or warm, they often are (from what I've heard).
Edited by disastermouse - 2/21/13 at 12:43pm
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

Start with a Magni/Modi. $200 and you're done for awhile. 

Disastermouse: Did you get the Magni? I see you have the E9 and the O2 and would love a comparison, especially with the HD650. Before I had my HD650, really didn't like the Magni w/ my HD600, though I did the O2 and E9. Thought the Magni was too bright/tinny, but have since thought it would be just about right for the HD650...

post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

Disastermouse: Did you get the Magni? I see you have the E9 and the O2 and would love a comparison, especially with the HD650. Before I had my HD650, really didn't like the Magni w/ my HD600, though I did the O2 and E9. Thought the Magni was too bright/tinny, but have since thought it would be just about right for the HD650...

I just ordered it about five minutes ago. The O2 is awful for my HE-500 and barely adequate for the HD 650.

I'm hoping the Magni does better by my HE-500, brightness aside.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post


I just ordered it about five minutes ago. The O2 is awful for my HE-500 and barely adequate for the HD 650.

I'm hoping the Magni does better by my HE-500, brightness aside.

 

Well, I'll be following this thread, but if you don't post your response here, I'll try to track you down. I'm really curious about the Magni/HD650 pairing. 

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by imackler View Post

Well, I'll be following this thread, but if you don't post your response here, I'll try to track you down. I'm really curious about the Magni/HD650 pairing. 

I usually use my HD 650 for PC gaming now for comfort reasons, but I'll audition the HD 650 with the Magni and ALACs and get back to you. I ordered USPS delivery, so I have no idea when the Magni will show up.
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disastermouse View Post

Start with a Magni/Modi. $200 and you're done for awhile. What are your sources and what sort of files are you using?

I can't tell much of a difference between a high rate MP3 and FLAC/ALAC - but I can certainly tell a difference between a high rate Spotify stream and an iTunes ALAC rip.

Regarding the need for a discreet DAC, it has a lot to do with the rest of the noise in your PC and how well insulated the card is from the rest of the system. A discrete DAC removes your audio processing from the noisy background of your PC, and since most PC makers don't put much thought into their audio, it's likely that the surrounding noise WILL affect your chain.

You have headphones that are good enough that you'll notice subtleties in music that you haven't before, and the weaknesses in your chain will be revealed even with the wondrously forgiving HD 650. Don't be surprised if the HD 650s change your tastes in music subtly over time either. A well recorded and produced analog performance has infinite variety that electronic music rarely matches, as much as I like the 'Whiz-Bang' of sonic textures. You'll also become aware of artists that use crap samples, although my HE-500 did this more for me than did the HD 650.

Also, I heartily disagree with a tube amp for the HD 650 unless you're moving to brighter cans or HiFiMan orthos in the future. The HD 650 is honey thick as it is and although a tube amp needn't be slow or warm, they often are (from what I've heard).

I will be using mostly 320k MP3s and some 192k. I'm not a spotify user, is their high rate stream really that good?

 

I'm already not a fan of electronic music, so I guess that won't be a problem ;)

 

You're the first one saying tube amps aren't a good match for HD 650's. Interesting. I've been reading about the warm sound of tubes all over the place, but since I'm new to this I really don't know what to think of it. A warm sound sounds like something I would like, but how can I know really. Is there any song you can refer me to that has a clear, warm sound as opposed to another song that doesn't? Then I might get more of an idea what the term warm actually means.


Edited by gs12 - 2/21/13 at 2:17pm
post #30 of 30
Not to take the thread off topic, but you really should rerip your CDs into FLAC or Apple Lossless to fully enjoy the benefits of the HD650.
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