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Need help on choosing DAC/amp for MDR-SA5000

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

 

I've recently acquired a MDR-SA5000 and is now looking for an DAC/amp that synergies with it.

 

I mainly listen to classical music, electronic music, rock and metal. Any suggestions?

 

Thank you guys very much!

post #2 of 10

It might help to know what sources your going to plug the DAC/Amp into?

 

The 70-Ohm Sony MDR-SA5000 could be decently driven by my $27 Fiio E6.

So just about any headphone amplifier will do, but best to get a headphone amplifier with a low headphone output impedance, like 7-Ohms or less, but a sound card with a 10-ohm impedance should be acceptable.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm plugging that DAC/amp into my Mac. (Or a CD Player if you can recommend a great one, and not a pricey one)

My friend with a SA5000 said the cans are hard to drive since they pick up the details pretty good and thus making choosing a good amp hard.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Currently I sport a PHA-1. Are they good enough for SA5000?
post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thanatosguan View Post

Currently I sport a PHA-1. Are they good enough for SA5000?

 

The PHA-1 should easily be able to drive 70-ohm headphones, Sony claim the PHA-1 can drive 600-Ohm  headphones.

The PHA-1 uses the same DAC chip (WM8740) as the $75 Fiio E10.

And the same headphone amplifier chip (TI 6120) as the Asus Xonar Essence STX & ST and Sound Blaster ZxR.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

But I find "able to drive" is different from "able to produce good sound". My iPhone 5 can drive my MDR-Z1000 pretty well but the moment I plug it into my PHA-1 the sound improved immediately.

 

So I wonder, what kind of setup can fulfill the requirements of SA5000, given they have a reputation of picky.

 

Another example would be the MDR-EX1000s, which are extremely picky, though they can still produce sound under iPhones (with harsh trebles though), the sound would be much better if one plugs them into a more professional setup.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thanatosguan View Post
 

But I find "able to drive" is different from "able to produce good sound". My iPhone 5 can drive my MDR-Z1000 pretty well but the moment I plug it into my PHA-1 the sound improved immediately.

 

So I wonder, what kind of setup can fulfill the requirements of SA5000, given they have a reputation of picky.

 

Another example would be the MDR-EX1000s, which are extremely picky, though they can still produce sound under iPhones (with harsh trebles though), the sound would be much better if one plugs them into a more professional setup.

How do the MDR-SA5000 sound plugged into the PHA-1?

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

How do the MDR-SA5000 sound plugged into the PHA-1?
My adapters haven't arrived yet.. Ill try them as soon as I got them
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by thanatosguan View Post

My adapters haven't arrived yet.. Ill try them as soon as I got them

By chance do you know what your friend was using to drive his SA5000?

I'm fairly sure the PHA-1 will have no problem doing a good job at driving the SA5000.

 

For best audio quality, with the PHA-1 plugged into the Mac (using USB) and the SA5000 in to the PHA-1.

Turn the MACs volume controls to max (or as high as possible) and use the PHA-1 volume knob for volume control.

Make sure the PHA-1 volume is all the way down, before turning up the Mac's volume controls.

I would assume the low gain setting on the PHA-1 would be enough, but experiment with low and high gain.

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

By chance do you know what your friend was using to drive his SA5000?

I'm fairly sure the PHA-1 will have no problem doing a good job at driving the SA5000.

 

For best audio quality, with the PHA-1 plugged into the Mac (using USB) and the SA5000 in to the PHA-1.

Turn the MACs volume controls to max (or as high as possible) and use the PHA-1 volume knob for volume control.

Make sure the PHA-1 volume is all the way down, before turning up the Mac's volume controls.

I would assume the low gain setting on the PHA-1 would be enough, but experiment with low and high gain.

 

PHA-1s works great with SA5000. Though i've already ordered an ALO Pan Am to pair with it. I'll post my impressions on its difference from PHA-1 soon.

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