I'm currently running Spotify Premium --> Asus Xonar STX's s/pdif out (96k/24) --> Nuforce Icon HDP --> ATH-AD900's with W5000 pads. I love the setup, been rocking them for two years (and 700's for 3 years before that) but from the reviews I read and how I like to listen to music, I know the ATH-AD2000X's are the next step for me.
Question, though: What are my options for a DAC/Amplifier that would do these headphones justice? Should I upgrade the Icon HDP's amplifier/DAC first for the 900's or put that money toward the 2000X's first? I'm looking into the Gilmore Lite but my budget for this winter is anything under $1000 for an amp and the same if the DAC in the Icon is a bottleneck.
That said, if I can get away with using the Icon HDP as a preamp (using its DAC) running into, say, a Gilmore Lite or GS-1, I'm okay with that, too. Though I'm pretty confident that the weak point in the setup are the headphones.
Because my ADHD got the best of me:
1. Is the Icon HDP DAC and/or amp a great pair for the 2000X's?
2. Should I upgrade the amplifier or headphones first?
3. Would the DAC in the Icon be sufficient for amplifiers I plan on running?
Thanks in advance! (And Happy Halloween!)
Edited by Xovaan - 10/31/13 at 10:33pm