Originally Posted by teb1013
I bought the T1 specifically for the tube sound and love it as do most of the posters on that thread. No one's being fooled into thinking that we are hearing "clean sound" or "as the artist intended" whatever that means. If you prefer uncolored solid state sound, the Schiit Modi-Magni combo sells for only a little more than the T1 and there are many who love the Fiios for portable units. My point, to begin with was that the HD558 reaches its best when amplified, but sounds pretty good unamped.
Actually I think you are unusually honest about clean vs.colored sound. IMO most push a subjective view of their perception as to what is clean vs. what they want to hear.
The Schiit Magni Amp looks very interesting, great price and very low distortion, I've been eyeing it for some time. They even spec IMD, a rare occurrence..
I have two recent FiiO devices, the E12 Amp and E18 DAC/Amp. The E12 can drive my HD600's to ear splitting levels (> 15 Vp-p). The E18 DAC is quite good and the Amp section although not as powerful as the E12 can drive the HD600's surprisingly well.
IMO my Samsung Galaxy S3 can drive my HD558's as well as anything. I use either PowerAmp or NeutronMP as players, these are superb. IMO the Google Player that I use to stream their All Access service has a rotten EQ, so I use it flat and Amp it. In all I like to plug my E18 into the phone's USB and work from there, this is recent as the device has just become available.
One can spend a ton of bucks for a marginal improvement, jumping into diminishing returns. Some folks take joy in that, which is fine with me as part of this is the fun aspect. I suspect that most of the loud types parrot a lot of the technical terms and dogma that floats around without even truly hearing any differences, understanding it or even having or listened to the gear.