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Beginner Desktop Amp+DAC on the Cheap.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello all,

I've been doing a little research on starting a desktop rig with an amp and DAC for the past few weeks. I have been using my portable iBasso d-zero running from my macbook pro for this purpose for about a year now but we all know how it goes, you start wondering how your gear can sound better so... My main headphones are the Sennheiser HD-595's and the Shure SE-535 iems. I know these headphones won't benefit much from amplification but I would like to have the option of expanding to more demanding headphones such as the HD-600's down the road. I am currently a college student so my choices for my setup on the cheap. I'm willing to spend up to around $250. The ones I have narrowed down to are:

 

Schiit Magni and Modi combo

Audioengine D1

JDS Labs Objective2 with built in DAC

 

If anyone has opinions on these or could recommend other options it would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 9

I would go with the O2+ODAC Combo personally.  Sonically and objectively it is amazing for the price.  It could be made a little better with a more solid body, better attenuator, and much better power supply, but for the price is is awesome.

post #3 of 9

I have the magni+modi combo, which for 200 I thought was a great deal. I have not heard the O2+ODAC but from what I've read they are too similar to compare anyways. I like the way the M+M stack looks pretty sleek too.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcpchop88 View Post

I have the magni+modi combo, which for 200 I thought was a great deal. I have not heard the O2+ODAC but from what I've read they are too similar to compare anyways. I like the way the M+M stack looks pretty sleek too.
Thats what had me leaning towards the Schiit stuff. It looks soooo nice. Can you comment on how they perform with IEM's?
post #5 of 9

Can't comment on the O2/ODAC, but the Magni/Modi are IMHO the single greatest value in headphone audio.  I bought them for my office rig, thinking I would tire of them in fairly short order.  Not so...not so at all.  Might be the best $200 that I've spent.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForShure View Post


Thats what had me leaning towards the Schiit stuff. It looks soooo nice. Can you comment on how they perform with IEM's?

 

Unfortunately I don't have many IEMs, so I can't speak for myself. From what I've read the Magni has a pretty high gain and so generally it's not the best for IEM's because you won't be able to turn the volume knob much before it's too loud. I've read about people using attenuators which, from my understanding, kind of lowers the gain and allows you more room with the volume knob. Hope that helps

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Also looking at the Aune T1
post #8 of 9

I own the Audioengine D1 and the Schiit Asgard 2. At the moment I use the D1 as just a DAC and the Asgard 2 as the amp. 

For my HD600s: The Asgard 2 is a little bit better than the D1, but the D1 is great, drives them quite comfortably. 

For my HE-400s: I can barely tell the difference. The D1 is awesome.

I'm looking at getting LCD-2s so that's where the Asgard 2 will be needed.

But seriously the Audioengine D1 is great, it doesn't get spoken about much around here, but it's such great value.

post #9 of 9

I think you can go safely with any recommendation the guys gave, it will depend on what features you like and availability in your area. 

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