Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Suggested Amp (+DAC?) Combo for Denon AH-D2000 @ PC Workstation (approx. AU$500 Budget)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Suggested Amp (+DAC?) Combo for Denon AH-D2000 @ PC Workstation (approx. AU$500 Budget)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi’ers!

Name is Adrian, writing from Melbourne Australia.

I am currently in the market for a headphone amplifier (and DAC combo if recommended).

My parents are chipping in for a x-mas present and I have been able to convince them to help out on a long awaited HP amplifier/dac purchase.

 

A little about my listening habits and conditions:

100% of listening is done at my desktop PC with standard Gigabyte onboard sound card (GA-X58A-UD7 rev 2.0 using Realtek ALC889 codec).

I mostly watch bluray quality movies although I love to listen to all types of music (but mostly rock/metal/blues/jazz/folk and… dubstep).

 

Current headphones are:

Denon AH-D2000

Input Impedance: 25 ohms

Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW

Max Input: 1,800mW

 

Going from cheap Hp’s in the past to these blew my mind.

I don’t tend to listen at high volumes 95% of the time but every now and then I do like to crank up the dubstep for 5-10 minutes. I have found that the bass delivery can distort at volumes just under what I desire. I’d like to think that I have found the limit of the sound card and not the HP’s, hence the reason for the amp.

 

Current budget is approximately AU$500 (~US$465 at this time).

 

Any suggestions on an amp that would pair well with these HP’s would be greatly appreciated.

 

Other notes to consider:

Should I consider a DAC?

Preferred connection between PC and Amp/DAC.

Compatibility with future HP purchase?

Portability is of no concern.

I like to fiddle with the onboard equaliser so a neutral sounding amp would be preferred?

 

Thanking you in advance and kind regards,

 

Adrian

post #2 of 11
Yes. You should spent part of your budget on a separate DAC or get a combined DAC/amp. You can get better quality sound over motherboard sound with a decent DAC.

Audio-GD makes great DAC/amps.

Also look into the ODAC and Objective 2 amp.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitropro View Post

 

 

100% of listening is done at my desktop PC with standard Gigabyte on-board sound card (GA-X58A-UD7 rev 2.0 using Realtek ALC889 codec).

I mostly watch bluray quality movies although I love to listen to all types of music (but mostly rock/metal/blues/jazz/folk and… dubstep).

Current headphones are:

Denon AH-D2000

Current budget is approximately AU$500 (~US$465 at this time).

Any suggestions on an amp that would pair well with these HP’s would be greatly appreciated.

Other notes to consider:

Should I consider a DAC?

Preferred connection between PC and Amp/DAC.

Compatibility with future HP purchase?

Portability is of no concern.

I like to fiddle with the onboard equaliser so a neutral sounding amp would be preferred?

Asus Xonar DX or D1 or DSX or DS sound card and a O2 (Objective 2) or Schiit Magni headphone amplifier.

Also Cyberlinks Power DVD 11 Ultra software, $30 on eBay, for playing Blu-ray movies.

Here in the USA the combo would sell for just over $200.

post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Yes. You should spent part of your budget on a separate DAC or get a combined DAC/amp. You can get better quality sound over motherboard sound with a decent DAC.

Audio-GD makes great DAC/amps.

Also look into the ODAC and Objective 2 amp.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Asus Xonar DX or D1 or DSX or DS sound card and a O2 (Objective 2) or Schiit Magni headphone amplifier.

Also Cyberlinks Power DVD 11 Ultra software, $30 on eBay, for playing Blu-ray movies.

Here in the USA the combo would sell for just over $200.

Hi cel4145 & PurpleAngel,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I had previously been following nwavguy and his product development. Was especially keen on what would have been the ODA (operation desktop amp/dac) but we all know what happened (or didnt happen) there..

Albeit the O2 and ODAC are great products for their price and beyond, I would rather now buy something a little more polished externally and from a company/manufacturer that still exists/develops products. Plus the O2 has an output of 613mW @33ohms. I'm unsure of it's capability of powering the D2k's efficiently.

 

Now sorry to show my ignorance here, but with the Asus sound cards, I noticed that they don't have a USB output on the card itself.

So my question is, does the soundcard DAC still get used when outputting sound from a motherboard USB slot?

 

Liking the Audio-GD lineup, I need to learn the difference b/w the ES9018 and WM8741 products.

 

Cyberlinks software to be purchased!

post #5 of 11
The D2000 has a rated sensitivity of 106db/mw, which makes it very easy to drive. The O2 easily drives my SR225i which are only rated 98db. And while I can understand wanting something different from the O2 for aesthetic reasons, I don't realize understand the bias against a proven product that is being made by various companies around the globe, even if the original engineer who designed it is not involved. I assume you might have a PC computer; IBM stopped making/developing PC computers A LONG time ago wink.gif
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitropro View Post
 

Hi cel4145 & PurpleAngel,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I had previously been following nwavguy and his product development. Was especially keen on what would have been the ODA (operation desktop amp/dac) but we all know what happened (or didnt happen) there..

Albeit the O2 and ODAC are great products for their price and beyond, I would rather now buy something a little more polished externally and from a company/manufacturer that still exists/develops products. Plus the O2 has an output of 613mW @33ohms. I'm unsure of it's capability of powering the D2k's efficiently.

 

Now sorry to show my ignorance here, but with the Asus sound cards, I noticed that they don't have a USB output on the card itself.

So my question is, does the sound card DAC still get used when outputting sound from a motherboard USB slot?

 

Liking the Audio-GD lineup, I need to learn the difference b/w the ES9018 and WM8741 products.

 

Cyberlinks software to be purchased!

My O2 has no problem driving my 600-Ohm headphones, so I can't see a problem with the O2 driving 25-Ohm (AH-D2000) headphones.

Using the motherboard's USB port bypasses both the motherboard's built in sound card

and any add-on sound card (which includes their DAC chip).

The audio_GD DAC/amps usually have USB, optical & coaxial inputs

USB is fine if all your planning on doing is 2-channel stereo audio (like music).

post #7 of 11

Heya,

 

The Denon D2000 drives off of potato level power. It's super efficient and very, very sensitive.

 

If you get a very high powered amplifier, you're more likely to encounter noise floor and if you use amps with higher gain values, you'll also hit noise floors.

 

I honestly would not put $500 into a setup for a D2000. You can get away with $100~200 easily. But in the interest of having something very universal that will cover the Denon as well as future headphones, you can do all kinds of options to sort of give yourself some future proofing.

 

A simple USB DAC and Amplifier, or DAC/AMP combo unit is all you need.

 

Suggestions:


Entry:

 

Fiio E10 - Honestly is all you need for the D2000 and nothing more.

Fiio E17 - Slightly better DAC with similar amplifier, portability (not that you need that).

 

Mid-tier:

 

Schiit Modi & Schiit Magni

Schiit Modi & Schiit Asgard 2

 

HRT Music Streamer II (DAC) & Matrix M-Stage

 

Audio GD NFB 11.32 or 15.32 (DAC & AMP)

 

Little Dot DAC_II (DAC & AMP)

Little Dot DAC_I (DAC) & Little Dot MK V (AMP)

 

Maverick Audio TubeMagic D2 (Tube DAC) & Maverick Audio TubeMagic A1 (Integrated amplifier)

 

Very best,

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you fellas for all the tips and suggestions!

 

The 'short list' is as follows;

 

Audio-gd NFB-11.32 DAC/Amp/Preamp (Sabre ES9018) or/

Audio-gd NFB 15.32 DAC/Amp/Preamp (WM8741)

 

Head 'n' Hifi O2+ODAC Combo (ES9023)

 

Schiit Modi (AKM4396) + Magni or Asgard 2 (Buyers Guide featured)

 

Asus Zonar Essence One (CM6631) (Buyers Guide featured)

 

Maverick Audio Tubemagic D2 DAC (AD1955) + Tubemagic A1 Hybrid Integrated Amp

 

Cheap Option - FiiO E17 DAC/AMP (WM8740) + E09K Desktop AMP

 

Will now start a more vigorous process of elimination comparing specifications and critic/user reviews.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Asus Xonar DX or D1 or DSX or DS sound card and a O2 (Objective 2) or Schiit Magni headphone amplifier.

Also Cyberlinks Power DVD 11 Ultra software, $30 on eBay, for playing Blu-ray movies.

Here in the USA the combo would sell for just over $200.

 

I'm a little confused regarding two of PurpleAngel's responses above.

First the suggestion for the Asus soundcard DAC which has 3.5mm outputs only? - and all the DAC's listed above having USB inputs including the O2 mentioned.

I then refer to PurpleAngel's advice stating that using a computer USB output bypasses the motherboard and soundcard DAC.

 

Not having a dig, but I dont understand how you have connected this all together. Is there a special cable that I don't know exists hehe.

So sorry for my lack of knowledge. Trying to learn as fast as I can :(

 

Anyway, all constructive comments are welcome.

post #9 of 11

Heya,

 

One more friendly reminder: The D2000 is extremely efficient and does not need hardly any amplification.

 

If you buy something from above, honestly, it should likely be simply because you want to spend money, and/or because you want to future proof for other headphones.

 

Very best,

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitropro View Post
 

 

I'm a little confused regarding two of PurpleAngel's responses above.

First the suggestion for the Asus soundcard DAC which has 3.5mm outputs only? - and all the DAC's listed above having USB inputs including the O2 mentioned.

I then refer to PurpleAngel's advice stating that using a computer USB output bypasses the motherboard and soundcard DAC.

 

Not having a dig, but I don't understand how you have connected this all together. Is there a special cable that I don't know exists hehe.

So sorry for my lack of knowledge. Trying to learn as fast as I can :(

 

Anyway, all constructive comments are welcome.


The Asus Xonar DX & D1 sound cards come with a CS4398 DAC chip, so no need to add an external DAC, just plug the external headphone amplifier (Magni, $99) into the Xonar DX/D1 line-out/headphone jack. You will have access to all the Xonar DX/D1s Dolby Headphone 7.1 Surround Sound features.

All you need is 3.5mm male to RCA (red/white) cable to connect the Xonar DX/D1 to the external amp (Magni?).

This leaves you a lot of leftover cash for buying something else, like 100 jars of Vegamite?

 

 

When you use a USB output on a computer, it bypasses the motherboard's built-in audio and any internal  add-on sound card, which is fine if all you want is basic 2-channel stereo audio (no surround sound).

I would assume you would want to be able to use some sort of sound card to help in anyway with processing headphone surround sound for movies, so get something that does not evolve USB?

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 

Perfect explanation PurpleAngel, thank you so much for making that clear as day.

 

Although, I am a peanut butter man ;-)

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › Suggested Amp (+DAC?) Combo for Denon AH-D2000 @ PC Workstation (approx. AU$500 Budget)