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New headphone amp

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I am away to school next year and need a new headphone amp to take with me. I currently have a set of high end KEF speakers hooked up to a Denon receiver and use the headphone output on that with an HRT Music Streamer II DAC to drive my headphones. It has this annoying hum when nothing is playing through the headphones that it doesn't have if I'm using the speakers. Would this be eliminated if I use a dedicated headphone amplifier?

 

I currently have the Beyerdynamic DT 990 600 Ohm, the Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (16 Ohm) and the Sennheiser HD 558 (50 Ohm and modded to remove the excess foam)  and want the amp I get to work with all of them. It's especially important that it works with the Custom One Pros because those are what I will likely be bringing away with me. 

 

I was eyeing the Schiit Valhalla because it looks cool and is supposed to be great with high impedance headphones but it's a bit more than I was hoping to spend and I don't like how it doesn't have a pre-out. How bad is it with low impedance headphones? Is having to buy tube replacements annoying? It just seems like an added expense.

 

The Schiit Asgard 2 seems to be the best option for what I need. Would you agree? How well would it work with the headphones I have? Does the passthrough RCA degrade audio quality at all if I decide to hookup a pair of speakers eventually?

 

Lastly, is the DAC I have good enough for now or would you recommend a higher end DAC to go with the headphone amp? 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I really appreciate it!

post #2 of 12

hiya, what is your budget? are you only considering the Valhalla and Asgard2 only?

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

My budget is ideally under $300. I'm open to anything but I like the styling of the Schiit products and they are apparently a great value. I'm obviously expecting to be buying another headphone amp eventually but I'm expecting this to hold me off for like 4-6 years.

post #4 of 12

Somewhere in head fi, I read that tube rolling is not recommended for valhalla, but tube replacement may be an added cost, if the tubes blew up.

 

After searching for awhile, I ordered audio gd 15.32 dac/amp. This can drive variety of cans.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/648386/audio-gd-nfb-15-32-delivery-impression-thread

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I already have a capable DAC though, so it seems wasteful to pay for another one. Thanks for the suggestion though. I'm pretty sure I want a dedicated amp so if I decide to upgrade my DAC in the future I won't have to pay for a new amp as well. 

post #6 of 12

i agree with you

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Does anyone else have any recommendations?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy205100 View Post
 

I already have a capable DAC though, so it seems wasteful to pay for another one. Thanks for the suggestion though. I'm pretty sure I want a dedicated amp so if I decide to upgrade my DAC in the future I won't have to pay for a new amp as well. 

I'm assuming you connect your source to the MusicStreamer and then the MusicStreamer to the Denon?

What sources are you currently plugging the MusicStreamer into?

Which sources will you be taking with you to school?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

You are correct. I currently use the Music Streamer plugged into USB on my laptop and then into the Denon. I also use other sources but this would be just for music from my laptop. So I will be bringing my laptop. 

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeremy205100 View Post
 

You are correct. I currently use the Music Streamer plugged into USB on my laptop and then into the Denon. I also use other sources but this would be just for music from my laptop. So I will be bringing my laptop. 

You could just get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99.

As it has a very low headphone output impedance, less then 1-Ohm, it would be great for use with the Beyer COPs and would easily drive the 50-Ohm HD558s.

I would think the Magni would at least decently drive the DT990 Premium 600-Ohm.

 

As your only planning on only bringing your Beyer COPS to school, you really have no use for a amp more powerful then the Magni any way.

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Would anyone who has either or both of the Asgard 2 or the Magni mind sharing their opinions? I really don't know which would be the best for my needs. I agree that it might be excessive but I'd rather spend $150 more if it's going to mean I won't have to upgrade in the future.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

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