Originally Posted by kman1211
Well it does to a degree but honestly the headphone needs an amp, you basically have to crank the volume way up to get normal listening levels and underamped it doesn't have quite as much bass and it just doesn't sound as good as it's a bit compressed and held back sounding, there may be slight distortion in the bass as well, but it's not terrible but it's obviously held back. It needs an amp and decent dac to sound it's best. I didn't find it picky with amps, it sounds pretty good on basically any amp I plugged it into as long as it gets that extra bit of power it needs, it really needs a decent dac though, something like a decent soundcard or an external dac such as the Modi would be sufficient. If the DAC isn't up to par or dirty, you get quite bad distortion.
I think while the MA900 is easily powered, it at least needs a decent DAC behind it and amping does make it sound better. I think the MA900 responds well to tubes, at least the tube amps I tried it on, both mine and my friends. The Magni wasn't a good match for the MA900, it made the bass ill-defined and veiled at times and the treble a bit more grainy.
If that's the case, then it eliminates one of the advantages of dynamics from my point of view.
Once I have to start budgeting for an amp, especially tube amps, I might as well start pinching pennies and scouring eBay for another Stax SR-Lambda / SRM-T1 setup like I used to have. That still remains the best headphone setup I've heard by far, but had to go when money got tight. 'Stat amps are wallet killers, and if I'm to take spritzer's advice and not even bother with any dynamic amp lesser than the discontinued Gilmore Lite...argh, Head-Fi...
Also keep in mind DAC-wise that I'm generally running headphones with an X-Fi Titanium HD in mind, possibly X-Fi Prelude if it's one of my older computers. I'm pretty set there.
Edited by NamelessPFG - 11/23/13 at 12:33am