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Need your help in selecting an amp/dac

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

What do you think about this chain?


PC ==> SPDIF ==> Ultracurve DEQ2496 ==> SPDIF ==> Asus Xonar Essence One ==> Headphones


The main idea is to use a Digital EQ to use 1 DAC/Amp for all Headphones I'm gonna buy in the next years. If a headphone doesn't pair well with the Essence One I can simply make it a little bassier or brighter by using the digital eq.

Is there any other cheap (<700$) DAC/AMP combo that could surve this purpose? I plan to buy high impedance headphones (HD 800,T1) and low impedance headphones (CIEMs, Q701, ...).


I would love to hear what you think about it.


Have a nice day

Edited by Sleinzel - 4/25/13 at 5:17am
post #2 of 5

I would think a software EQ would be much easier and cost effective, the Ultra curve Pro is kind of overkill to just be able to tweak your headphone sound. I would also get the Muse version of the Xonar, superior op-amps, that way you are getting the most from your source before you try altering it to your liking. I don't EQ my headphone setup much, I like the sound, but use it in my home theater and car religiously. It's a good question though, I hope others chime in. 

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply. Could you recommand any Software Equalizer for Windows?


The muses edition is not avaible in my country. Ordering from Amazon.com would mean 100$ shipping and 150$ taxes... Makes over 1200$ :(

post #4 of 5

    I use Foobar2000, it has 2 built in EQ's ,  under the View Tab, click Equalizer(18 band) or Graphic Equalizer (32 band), then adjust. iTunes is basicly the same under the view tab, its even more basic than Foobar. It's been a while since I added anything to my Foobar, the 32 band version is an add-on I believe ( http://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_dsp_xgeq ) unzip it and drop it in the components folder of foobar (mine was ... Local Disk (C) - program Files (x86) - Foobars2000 - components ) , then restart foobar.

   I've played around with other players that have more advanced editing setups like Goldwave, has some pretty cool stuff, its a demo to buy program, like a lot of them. But for just tweaking your headphone setup, this should work just fine. A parametric EQ is a little more advanced, it allows you to do custom EQ's where you chose the frequency and the shape of the curve, this allows for cutting or adding boost in a very narrow way, to correct a problem. Ill try and see whats available and play with one before I go so far as to recommend one. Here's a link on a "how to" that might help  http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials/production/how-to-use-a-parametric-equalizer/   .This tutorial is for Pro tools LE, found a version for $69, so there are options you might have to purchase.

    But the EQ's in Foobar would probably do just fine. I use Itunes mostly to manage my music on my iPod and for ripping, and do all my playing on foobar. I know there are a lot of options player wise, and most have an EQ build in. I don't mind doing some addition research on the subject if needed, I just don't find the need to EQ my headphone setup, but a lot of head-fiers can't live without them, perhaps one of the resident engineers with expertise in this area has a favorite one to recommend. Hope this helps some.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much.


I've downloaded Elec-Q which is a winamp plugin (also avaible as a VST Plugin and its free <3) (using the Winamp bridge to use it in foobar2000) and it works really good.


I'll decide as soon as I have enough money wether I wanna buy the E1 or E1 Muses. Maybe I'll go with the E1 and buy an amp later. Because I don't wanna open the E1 and change the gain jumper as soon as I switch from high impedance to low impedance headphones.

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