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desktop amplifier and headphone recommendations ($750 budget) - Page 2

post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim34 View Post

I was looking at the Swan M50W, but the m200mkII look appealing as well. However, do you know where can you purchase them?

 

For powered speakers like the Audioengines, how would you connect headphones?  soundcard -> external DAC -> amp -> Audioengine (pre-out).  Would plugging in headphones terminate the sound to the speakers?  If I didn't have a amp/dac and only the Audioengines plugged into the headphone jack on the soundcard, how would that work with headphones?  Sorry if these seem like stupid questions.  I'v only used 2.1 desktop speakers and a soundcard.  My overall goal to improve the listing experience at my computer via headphones and speakers. 

 

Also, does any of this make any sense to pursue if my entire music collection is ACC,MP3 256kbps?  Everything has been purchased through online music serivces - mostly iTunes.

soundcard/direct from computer-->external DAC-->audioengines

post #17 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  Could I still add an headphone amp later and still be able to plug in headphones and have music not come out of the speakers?

post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim34 View Post

Thanks.  Could I still add an headphone amp later and still be able to plug in headphones and have music not come out of the speakers?

If you dedicate the amp to only your headphones yes.

 

The audioengine are powered speakers meaning they already have built in amps so you don't need to add another amp to them.

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim34 View Post

I was looking at the Swan M50W, but the m200mkII look appealing as well. However, do you know where can you purchase them?

 

For powered speakers like the Audioengines, how would you connect headphones?  soundcard -> external DAC -> amp -> Audioengine (pre-out).  Would plugging in headphones terminate the sound to the speakers?  If I didn't have a amp/dac and only the Audioengines plugged into the headphone jack on the soundcard, how would that work with headphones?  Sorry if these seem like stupid questions.  I'v only used 2.1 desktop speakers and a soundcard.  My overall goal to improve the listing experience at my computer via headphones and speakers. 

 

Also, does any of this make any sense to pursue if my entire music collection is ACC,MP3 256kbps?  Everything has been purchased through online music serivces - mostly iTunes.

 

I bought my set from TheAudioInsider - http://www.theaudioinsider.com/index.php?, but they're out of stock on both the m200mkII and the M50W right now. They do have a b-stock t200b that they are selling for $549, which is $320 off. Jon's a good guy to deal with and can probably get you a quick estimate of when they'll have stock again if you email and ask.

 

I was in the same boat as you - upgraded from an Audigy 2 ZS and Logitech z2300 to a NFB12 and m200mkII combo and the difference was noticeable even on old 128 kbps MP3 files from the Napster days.

 

Some amps like the Audio GD and Audinst have the convenient ability to toggle between the preamp out and the headphone out with a button press. On other amps, you'll need to unplug the headphones for speakers to kick in.  

post #20 of 21
Quote:

Originally Posted by tim34 View Post
 

For powered speakers like the Audioengines, how would you connect headphones?  soundcard -> external DAC -> amp -> Audioengine (pre-out).  Would plugging in headphones terminate the sound to the speakers?  If I didn't have a amp/dac and only the Audioengines plugged into the headphone jack on the soundcard, how would that work with headphones?  Sorry if these seem like stupid questions.  I'v only used 2.1 desktop speakers and a soundcard.  My overall goal to improve the listing experience at my computer via headphones and speakers. 

 

A number of DAC/AMP combos have an analog line out that can connect to your powered speakers. So it would be: digital out from computer (USB or S/PDIF) to DAC/AMP to both the headphones (via headphone jack) and powered speakers (via line out). The same feature can be found in separate DACs and headphone amp components, if you wanted to split them up.

post #21 of 21

Buy a used HE-500 and a Modi/Magni.  I have all of that except the Modi (I'm running an HRT MSii+).  Planars are another level, IMHO.  I'm coming up from the HD650 and I can definitely say that the increased resolution from planar magnetic drivers is worth the outlay and the mild comfort trade-offs.  The reason I'm suggesting the Magni is that I was using the FiiO E9 and the O2 to bad effect with these cans and the cheap Magni has completely, like a night and day revelation, transformed my HE-500s in a way I wouldn't expect an inexpensive amp could achieve.

 

If you can't afford the HE-500, consider the Mad Dogs from Mrspeaker.  I haven't heard them, but they've been described favorably to the LCD-2 and for the price, the planar magnetic jump is a steal.


Edited by disastermouse - 2/26/13 at 2:14pm
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