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For the HE400, which would you purchase first, a good dac (bitfrost) or a good amp (lyr)?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm considering 3 items.  One is "microstreamer" on amazon.  Its a dac with some good reviews.  It is 180$.

 

The other would be the more expensive bitfrost,

 

The other would be the lyr.

 

I can do either just the bitfrost, or the lyr/microstreamer combo.

 

I have HE400 .  What would result in the best bump in performance?

 

 

Also I have some focal speakers that I will make boxes for for home theater use, and will be run off of a receiver I can get for 50$ on craigslist.  To the extent I could use the microstreamer on the home setup, taking both goals into account, what would be the best bang for buck in that scenario?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 18

Well you can't really play the headphones through just the dac, so you might as well get the amp first.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post
 

Well you can't really play the headphones through just the dac, so you might as well get the amp first.

 

How do you like your HRT music streamer II?  Would you know what the difference is between that and the Microstreamer (same brand)

post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by joefidelity View Post
 

I'm considering 3 items.  One is "Microstreamer" on amazon.  Its a DAC with some good reviews.  It is 180$.

The other would be the more expensive Bitfrost,

The other would be the Lyr.

I can do either just the Bitfrost, or the Lyr/Microstreamer combo.

I have HE400 .  What would result in the best bump in performance?

Also I have some focal speakers that I will make boxes for for home theater use, and will be run off of a receiver I can get for 50$ on Craigslist.  To the extent I could use the Microstreamer on the home setup, taking both goals into account, what would be the best bang for buck in that scenario?

What sources will you be plugging the DAC and receiver into?

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

What sources will you be plugging the DAC and receiver into?

 

Mostly my mac book pro.  Also maybe my nexus 4 phone.

post #6 of 18

Maybe save a few dollars, get the Magni/Modi combo.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Maybe save a few dollars, get the Magni/Modi combo.

 

+1

post #8 of 18

I use HE-400 with an HRT MS2 and a Little Dot MK3. The HRT performs well, but it is the oldest and cheapest part of my chain, so I'm itching to upgrade it sooner or later. Assuming the Microstreamer is at a similar level of quality (I haven't heard it, but it's a newer model from the same company at about the same price, so it should be roughly the same or better), it will do fine. Bifrost might be better, but you won't be able to use it without an amp. Unless you are planning on using it with your receiver as an amp. That would be ok... I have an average Sony receiver from the 90s and it runs the HE-400 fine, but it sounds a little flat and lifeless compared to my tube amp. Less detail and the soundstage is smaller and flatter. 

So Microstreamer/ Lyr would be better than just Bifrost, because your receiver probably wouldn't be the best amp. But I'd get Bifrost/ Magni instead. Or Modi/ Magni. 

post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by manbear View Post
 

I use HE-400 with an HRT MS2 and a Little Dot MK3. The HRT performs well, but it is the oldest and cheapest part of my chain, so I'm itching to upgrade it sooner or later. Assuming the Microstreamer is at a similar level of quality (I haven't heard it, but it's a newer model from the same company at about the same price, so it should be roughly the same or better), it will do fine. Bifrost might be better, but you won't be able to use it without an amp. Unless you are planning on using it with your receiver as an amp. That would be ok... I have an average Sony receiver from the 90s and it runs the HE-400 fine, but it sounds a little flat and lifeless compared to my tube amp. Less detail and the soundstage is smaller and flatter. 

So Microstreamer/ Lyr would be better than just Bifrost, because your receiver probably wouldn't be the best amp. But I'd get Bifrost/ Magni instead. Or Modi/ Magni. 

 

I like the bitfrost magni option.  That would allow me to use a good dac for other applications as well.  The bitfrost is expensive.  Is it worth it?

post #10 of 18

I haven't heard it so I don't really know, but it is a popular DAC in its price class. You could probably find some Modi vs. Bifrost comparisons if you look around though. 

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by joefidelity View Post
 

 

How do you like your HRT music streamer II?  Would you know what the difference is between that and the Microstreamer (same brand)

 

 

Never heard the Microstreamer.  The Music Streamer was just as good as the other DACs I've used in the price range (ODAC, Modi.)

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

So I got the magni and the modi.  And now I've disassebled my he400s to clean off the soda I spilled.  taking some video as I go so I can post it on youtube.  Its pretty straightforward.  There is no magnet though.  I've heard some people say there is a magnet, but no.  Theres an imobile patch of metal on either side of the traces which likely works just like the trace itself.  I'm not knocking the headphones, I like them, but there's some sloppy cuts into the plastic.

post #13 of 18

What do you mean there's no magnet?  

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

There's not a physical magnet.  Theres a square patch of metal on either side of the trace.  It didn't stick to my screw driver, so its not magnetized.  Its also wafer thin.  My guess is that in the same way the trace is magnetized, so are the patches of metal.  But Im just speculating about how it works, all I can say that there is no magnet.  Everything worked when I put it back together.  I soaked the whole plastic assembly in hot water, as there are no electrical components inside either, other than solder joints to connect to the traces and the metal grill (square patch).  Wanted to minimize oxidation so I transfered to 91% isopropyl after 20 minutes and let soak for a while.  Then I set it in front of a fan for a while.  One of the screws had come lose (I found it lose after getting inside, which is to say it was already lose) on one of the assemblies, so the two pieces of plastic the trace is sandwhiched between had a gap.  I tightened the screw back up.  Also there is a metal "spring" which keeps tension on the diaphragm, and the plastic piece that the velour pads snap into, its this plastic ring that has a piece cut out to make room for movement of the "spring".  Except mine had sloppy cut marks and was assymetrical, also not congruent with the cut on the opposite side.  So I got my glass nail file off and smoothed it out, took off 1-2mm to give the spring clearance.  The other side was cut super wide and had plenty of room.  Put it all back together, sounds the same.  Victory!  Glad I could clean them without breaking them.  Going to keep playing them to sort of "re-break-in".

post #15 of 18

Uhh... there are magnets in a Planar Magnetic, otherwise there wouldn't be magnet in its name.  Take a look at this video for how planar magnetics work and function.

 

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