Originally Posted by miam
First post, hello everyone.
My current setup is an Asus Xonar DS sound card - Yamaha AX-396 stereo amp - Denon D2000's
I've searched and found mixed views when comparing a headphone amp with using headphone out on a stereo amp.
Would i notice a difference if i replaced my old Yamaha amp with a headphone amp like the Little Dot Mkiii or Fiio E9?
I've also looked at the at the E7 / E9 combo if the Xonar DS DAC is not good enough.
Budget is £200
Thanks in advance for any help.
I was having trouble deciding the same thing that you are, (purchasing the LD MKIII), and also read a lot of mixed reviews/personal preffrences on this subject. I own Grado SR325is's, and was using the headphone output of my Sony CDP-C701, (also using a Meridian203 DAC in between), which sounded very nice to my ears. I also own an Adcom GTP-400preamp/tuner with a headphone out. So one day I plugged my headphones into my preamp, and what a nice surprise I heard!!! The preamp gave me a much fuller sound, much more depth, and a nicer sound stage, and not mention a much better balanced sound all in all, and the power was more than enough to drive the SR325is. BTW I never listen to my headphones loud, I only listen at mid to moderate levels. With that being said I really loved the sound I was hearing from the Adcom. Even though I never heard the LD MKlll I never even bothered to listen to listen to one. I was so satisfied with the Adcom that I purchased a GFP-710, because I had no need for the tuner section at all on the GTP-400, and also the GFP-710 has a remote volume control, where as the GTP-400 didn't, and I really wanted this option, and after doing some research I found that not many dedicated headphone amps have this option, or they cost an arm and a leg with this option. Also now when I have the room, I can use the GFP-710 as the preamp for my home stereo speakers, so as far as I was concerned I couldn't go wrong.
BTW the Adcom preamps have dedicated headphone amps for the headphone out.