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post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I'm knew to audio forums but could sure use a little help. I've recently purchased Sennheiser HD700's and a Schitt "headphone amp". Not that impressed with the amp I'm looking to upgrade in some way. A Wadia DAC and Intuition amp have made the top of my dream list. Anyway I'm here to learn and start at the beginning while taking advantage of your knowledge and experience. Thanks for looking!
post #2 of 10
What dac are you using with the Schiit amp? And what schiit amp is it you have ?
post #3 of 10

Are you listening to lossless music? If your DAC and music files are decent quality, you might want to consider the possibility that this high end gear isn't all it's cracked up to be. What are your specific complaints about the current sound you're getting?

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've got some real mashups of gear going on around here.
The Schiit Valhalla amp does the job OK. I'm using apple Lossless and AIFF files (trying to see if I can tell any diff.) Right know I'm relying on the DAC in my iPhone/pod to do the job till l can decide on a dock of some kind. So I know I'm not hearing it all yet.
When I plug the Sennheisers into my home theatre unit they really come alive. The theatre uses a cheapy (a gift) DVD/CD player. My system there is an Anthem AVM 30 tuner with Anthem MCA50 amp. Speakers there are cheap Paradyms. I originally got the Anthem to run my Martin Logan Quests (currently gathering dust in the garage!). Not a great idea, nowhere near the power needed to run the Quests. They sound thin and ghostly unless REALLY driven.
So I've got a lot of fairly decent poorly matched equipment. Can't quite decide whether to sell the Quests or maybe get them some kind of mono blocks.
Again I listen exclusively to CD's and digital. I'll start a thread sometime about why I had to give up on the pops scratches and clicks of vinyl lol. smily_headphones1.gif love to go back someday.
Again thanks for taking the time folks!
post #5 of 10

Ok, running the Valhalla straight from your iphone or ipod is a major bottleneck. Not only are you relying on the DAC built into those devices, but it sounds like you are also running your amp from the headphone jack (aka double amping). Buying a new amp will not help one bit unless you get a proper DAC first. Have a look at the HRT iStreamer - it can plug into an idevice and give you a proper source. For more money, the CEntrance HiFI M8 would also work very well (it has a built in amp too). If you want to get a little more complicated, get the camera connection kit and then you can use a number of DACs: http://www.head-fi.org/t/507559/list-of-dacs-that-work-with-ipad. You could also get a digital dock to connect to most DACs. 

If you want to listen to music off your computer through USB, things will be a lot simpler. 

Seriously, though, I don't think you can fairly judge the sound of your amp, let alone decide you need a new one, until you have it connected to a proper DAC. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks manbear, I figured I wasn't giving the Valhalla a fair shot.
I'll check out all your suggestions on DACs.
I appreciate the help for a neophyte. If I rely on the DAC of my Anthem would I need another "outboard" (not right term?) DAC or just a dock with toslink or other digital out?
I am about to invest in a new laptop whose primary purpose will be music use. If that will simplify things I'm all for it. I've been looking at NAD units to stream wirelessly straight from my PC but am worried about data loss. Is using USB the only way to go?
Thanks again manbear!
post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingnoel View Post

Thanks manbear, I figured I wasn't giving the Valhalla a fair shot.
I'll check out all your suggestions on DACs.
I appreciate the help for a neophyte. If I rely on the DAC of my Anthem would I need another "outboard" (not right term?) DAC or just a dock with toslink or other digital out?
I am about to invest in a new laptop whose primary purpose will be music use. If that will simplify things I'm all for it. I've been looking at NAD units to stream wirelessly straight from my PC but am worried about data loss. Is using USB the only way to go?
Thanks again manbear!

If you get a dock that allows you to connect to the Anthem digitally, that should be fine. I've never heard Anthem gear but I understand that it's very good quality. So it should be just as good as many entry to mid level dedicated DACs, as long as you've got line outs to connect it to the Valhalla. I'm sure some DACs would beat the Anthem, but there's no need to buy something new until you hear what the Anthem can do. 

Does the NAD component that does the streaming include the DAC? That sounds interesting, but I don't have any experience there. I don't quite understand the point though -- if you are listening to music from your computer, it seems like it would be right next to you (aka within the reach of USB) so that you can choose songs and whatnot.... USB is just the simplest way to connect to a computer. There is a camp of people who prefer optical, but then you need a way to get an optical out from the computer. 

post #8 of 10

To me Schiit Lyr is a better amp for the HD700, I prefer the Valhalla for the HD650. 

post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes the NAD is a 'wireless USB DAC' for streaming to a home system. My reasoning there was sitting in my easy chair having my entire collection at my fingertips. I'm lazy that way (and recovering from knee surgeries) and hate getting up to change the CD. That's why the Schitt in the first place. I wanted my collection in my hand and playable without getting up. I just didn't realize how much more equipment would be needed to go digital out of my idevices.
I believe I looked at the Lyr at the time but finances may have been a factor. I'd be interested to here the diff. I was just so disgusted at the time with my Anthem/Quest combo that I literally grabbed the first 'headphone amp' I found on the internet. I've really no great complaint with the Valhalla, it just sounds weak compared to CD's thru the Anthem. That should've come as no big surprise.
Thanks again all for your time.
post #10 of 10
I see, the wireless is more for the speaker set up than just headphones. Honestly, I think a lot of DACs sound pretty similar, so the NAD would be fine if it fits your needs. Anything but the iPhone headphone jack, really smily_headphones1.gif
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