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Headphone Amplifier and DAC Recommendation

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I'm looking around for a headphone amp and DAC combo. I primarily use a pair of Sennheiser HD558s, but also have a set of Alessandro MS1i and Audio Technica M50s. I listen to almost every type of music, from classical to rock, jpop, and trance. I'll be using the gear straight from my laptop. However, it does have an S/PDIF output, so I don't require a USB DAC.

I'm looking so spend less than $300 on the amp and DAC. I've had the chance to listen to the Aune T1 which gets pretty high reviews almost everywhere. However, I heard a significant decrease in bass while using the T1 that I really don't like. I feel like the sound with the T1 is way too thin, at least for what I'm used to. I might even say that I say that I prefer the sound straight out of my laptop than through the T1.

My question is, since I haven't found anyone else with the same issue, could I have done something wrong with the T1, and if so, what? Also, if I didn't do anything wrong, then does anyone have other recommendations? I've been looking into the Schiit Modi and Magni, but a number of reviewers have preferred the T1 over the Schiit stack, so I'm a little worried that I'll also experience a lack of bass with that combo.

Thanks!
post #2 of 14

Did you connect the Aune T1 to the laptop using USB or the Aune T1 RCA analog input?

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I used USB.
post #4 of 14

By chance did you use Foobar2000 to play music audio files?

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
I did try Foobar2000 for a bit, but I didn't notice any difference from Winamp, so for most of the time I was trying the T1, it was using Winamp.

Also, the unit I was trying was brand new, if amps and DACs also benefit from "burn-in". Though to be honest I find it hard to believe that burn-in could make anything go from no bass to ample bass.

Could the unit have been defective?
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by xCheckmate View Post

I did try Foobar2000 for a bit, but I didn't notice any difference from Winamp, so for most of the time I was trying the T1, it was using Winamp.
Also, the unit I was trying was brand new, if amps and DACs also benefit from "burn-in". Though to be honest I find it hard to believe that burn-in could make anything go from no bass to ample bass.
Could the unit have been defective?

Aune T1 is just Defective, maybe?

Tube needs burning in, maybe(??)

Try contacting Aune tech support, at least give them a chance to try to figure out what the problem might be.

 

You might try plugging in and turning on the Aune T1 and let it sit for 15 to 30 minutes,

give the tube plenty of time to warm up, then test.

 

You could also try doing an analog connection from the laptop to the RCA inputs on the Aune T1, that should bypass the Aune T1's DAC, see if that affects the audio quality.

 

Could be that back at the factory the technician that built and/or tested the unit somehow set the voltage to the tube too low (if it even has a voltage adjustment).

 

Could be a defective tube

 

Maybe the tube is not fully inserted into it's socket.

Make sure the Aune T1 is unplugged from the wall socket before doing anything with the tube.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
So if I'm not mistaken, the bass with the Aune T1 shouldn't be bad at all right? Is the sound signature of this amp and DAC combo "thin"?

I did leave the T1 plugged in to warm up for about 30 minutes. Anyways, I haven't bought the T1 yet. It was just a sample at some audio shop that the storekeeper just took out (hence why it wouldn't have been burned in). There's a lot of headphone stores around Taichung, so I'll look around for another T1 I can try to see if the sound differs.

Thanks for the help. If I end up not liking the Aune T1 after trying a different unit out for whatever reason, are there any other products I could try? Would the Schiit Magni and Modi sound different than the Aune T1?
post #8 of 14

Audioengine D1 DAC & Amp.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
So I take it that the Aune T1 isn't supposed to have terrible bass? Can someone elaborate on how it would affect the bass in my headphones, or describe the overall sound signature of the Aune T1?
post #10 of 14
DAC MODI or Asus DGX sound card

AMP Indeed G3 or Little Dot MKIII or Asgard 2
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Just noticed that the Aune T1 needs 96 Khz input. I was using 48 Khz if I remember correctly. Could this affect what I was hearing? I was, however, using 24 bit audio.

And thanks for those recommendations, but a few of those amps are over my budget. Though, while I appreciate the recommendations, I'm more interested in the questions I posed in my previous post.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by xCheckmate View Post

So I take it that the Aune T1 isn't supposed to have terrible bass? Can someone elaborate on how it would affect the bass in my headphones, or describe the overall sound signature of the Aune T1?

I really doubt the Aune T1 was designed with terrible bass, I guess different headphone amplifiers can have a slightly difference effect on the audio.

99% of the those amps should do a nice job of bring out the bass.

So to me these is something wrong or defective, with this Aune T1 you tried.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by xCheckmate View Post

Just noticed that the Aune T1 needs 96 Khz input. I was using 48 Khz if I remember correctly. Could this affect what I was hearing? I was, however, using 24 bit audio.

And thanks for those recommendations, but a few of those amps are over my budget. Though, while I appreciate the recommendations, I'm more interested in the questions I posed in my previous post.

24-bit/44.1K is fine for music audio (like audio CDs or mp3s) or even DVD movies, so using the 24-bit/48K setting should play music audio with about the same quality as 44.1K.

Blu-ray audio or specialized music audio DVDs audio can take advantage of 24-bit/96Khz.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

PurpleAngel, turns out you were right. I tried a different Aune T1 unit at a different store, and it sounded great. It's seems to make the bass go lower without emphasizing the lower end very much. Nothing like the other Aune T1 I tried.

 

Anyways, I've decided to go with the Aune T1 for my HD558 and MS1i. Thanks for the help!

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