Help, I think I caught a bad case of upgraditis ...
I am currently using Headstage's USB DAC cable plus Headstage Lyrix Pro amp. Until recently, I was quite content with my equipment and thought it had an adequate quality. But all that changed when I got new DAP (IHIFI 812V2) and new headphones (ZMF modified Fostex t50rp), and realized that my old equipment connected to my computer sounds muddy in comparison to my new DAP.
I believe the main culprit is my amp, even though I guess there is always room for improvement for the DAC as well. The problem is, my budget is still not unlimited, but I guess I could afford shelling out 100$-200$ to upgrade my amp. I was thinking about trying a tube or hybrid amp. There are few models in that price range on ebay and amazon that get pretty good reviews, such as Bravo audio, Qinpu Q2 and his senior brother Qinpu A3, and then there is Aune T1 which includes a DAC as well. Not sure if it is likely to improve on my current DAC, but if it does, it could be a good option for me as well.
So my questions are:
1. Which amp should I get? Any of these? Something else?
2. Are tube amps at this price range any good? Or maybe I should stick to a solid state amp?
3. I am using the same setup to drive my M-Audio BX5a as well. How would a headphone tube amp affect the sound of these solid-state-amped active monitors, when used as a preamp?