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Amplifier for ATH W1000x. Your answers are much appreciated!

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, I am really new to headphones and hi-fi. I am vastly inexperienced and have never listened to headphones other than Beats Studio and Beats Pro.


I currently have a Beats Pro and I think it's time to grow out of it. So after much deliberation I purchased ATH W1000x, which is coming next week.


Now, I think I want an amplifier with that. It doesn't have to be portable, and am currently looking at Schiit Asgard 2.


I am a student with limited budget and want to make the most out of my expenditure.


My questions are:


1. Do I need an amp with ATH W1000x, given that it is a fairly low-impedance headphone?


2. If I move on to purchase other headphones later down the road that are 300ohm-ish, would I need an amplifier bigger/more capable than Asgard 2?


3. Given the sound signature of ATH W1000x, is the Asgard2 a good match (compensate each other)?


4. Are there any other suggestions for an amp between $100~$300 range?


5. I currently own a macbook pro retina. How much would I benefit from getting a DAC?


Your speedy reply is much appreciated as I need to head out of the United States in a few weeks and want to order any necessary items before I go back home. 


Thank you for your time.

post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 

nobody helping this poor noob..

post #3 of 4

I will try to help you as much as I can.  I was reluctant to reply because I have never heard the W1000x or even the Asgard2.  I do, however, have some experience with low impedance headphones.  Depending on the sensitivity rating of the W1000x, you may be able to get enough volume out of a portable device or your laptop, but this won't be ideal.  The internal DAC in your laptop or portable device is usually inferior to a dedicated external DAC, and if you are using a tiny portable device or laptop then you may not be getting much current to your headphones from the internal amp making them sound, dull, muddy, or whatever other terms people use to describe poor quality sound.  This is all in addition to the fact that you may end up hearing electrical interference from other processes going on in your laptop.


I probably didn't explain those points perfectly, but these are pretty much the reasons why people suggest an external DAC and a dedicated headphone amp.  I think that you would probably notice a large difference in sound quality if you were to get an external DAC and a dedicated amp with W1000x, based on my experience with Denon D2000 (25 ohm, high sensitivity).  The Asgard2 looks like a great solution.  In low gain mode it should work very well with sensitive headphones (usually low impedance) and in high gain mode you should also be able to drive higher ohm headphones that aren't as efficient.  That said, there appears to be some problems with the first batch of the Asgard2 and Schiit is still trying to work it out.  I am watching to see how it develops because I am interested in it as well.


I can't comment on the sound signature of either the headphones or the amp.


Some other amps in the price range that get suggested a lot are the O2, Matrix M-Stage, and I am sure there are some Audio-GD products that would fit your needs and your budget as well.  I hope this was helpful, and let me know if anything didn't make sense.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

Ok. I really really appreciate your input. 


I will first get an amp and then save up to get a DAC. Thank you.

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