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Will there *really* be a difference with this upgrade?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I bought my first dac/amp recently (Fiio E7 Andes) to go with my old pair of Shure SE530s and it sounds pretty good so far.  If you turn up the volume on FLAC files things usually start to get crazy with distortion of all the sound (mainly the bass).  I'm looking to upgrade my listening experience.

 

I've got my eyes set on Hifiman HE400s (or AKG Q701s)and a Schiit Modi/Magni desktop set up.  I don't want to upgrade and invest $500+ if it's only going to be a marginal increase in sound quality though. What do you guys think?  

post #2 of 4

My gut tells me that the distortion you're hearing is coming from the headphones and not the FiiO (though you probably knew this as well).

 

I have not heard the HE-400s (though I want a pair badly) but based on my reading I would think that it would be a great improvement, but it will take some time to train your brain to get used to the HE-400 sound (and your neck to get used to the weight) coming from your current IEMs.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

A really interesting phenomenon, the distortion only happens when I turn my music player's volume up (VLC).  If I max the volume on my Fiio and turn up the Mac's native volume then it sounds fine.  Very weird...

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radagascar View Post

A really interesting phenomenon, the distortion only happens when I turn my music player's volume up (VLC).  If I max the volume on my Fiio and turn up the Mac's native volume then it sounds fine.  Very weird...

I think you are probably processing the sound in VLC somehow (bass boost EQ etc.) such that turning up the VLC volume to a certain point causes the digital signal to clip. Raising the gain downstream in the mac master volume and the analog gain of the Fiio let you keep the digital level in VLC below clipping.
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