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upgrade headphones first, or go ahead and get dac/amp stack? - Page 2

post #16 of 36

 

hold up a minute everyone; he says he listens to itunes - if this means music purchased from itunes store then this is all low qaulity mp3. so will a DAC really make taht much of a difference? I don't know the answer as i've never used a dedicated DAC but from what i've read they make a difference for higher quality music, not 250bps mp3s

post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
Get some earring for your wife, give them to her right after you show her the headphones.

Tell her you got "ear presents" for both of you.

Gold/platinum is too costly :eek:. I would prefer audiophile conversion instead of this.

post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noob Meister Jr View Post
 

Hold up a minute everyone; he says he listens to itunes - if this means music purchased from itunes store then this is all low qaulity mp3. so will a DAC really make that much of a difference? I don't know the answer as i've never used a dedicated DAC but from what i've read they make a difference for higher quality music, not 250bps mp3s

256kbps mp3 are fairly decent to good quality music files (depending on how well iTunes makes their mp3s)

Plus most motherboards come with a low quality DAC feature, usually an add-on sound card improves audio quality, over on-board audio.

post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

FiiO E10 ($75) USB-DAC-Amp could be used by both desktop and laptop.

There are some mixed feelings on the A900X wing system, I had mixed feeling myself, at first.

But there are ways of making the wings function better, also the Hifiman Velour ear pads help hold the cups in place, over the stock leather pads.

I own around 20 headphones (a few are disassembled) the A900X are about my favorite music headphone.

 

Get some earring for your wife, give them to her right after you show her the headphones.

Tell her you got "ear presents" for both of you.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

256kbps mp3 are fairly decent to good quality music files (depending on how well iTunes makes their mp3s)

Plus most motherboards come with a low quality DAC feature, usually an add-on sound card improves audio quality, over on-board audio.

AGree'd happy to hear you find the A900x fun :D they are nice cans

 

not to mention, I like the idea of ear presents for both of you ^^ that's very sweet!

 

Lastly... chances are once he upgrades his gear he will start to listen to and purcahse more CDs and Lossless quality music :3 I was using m3s till I got my DT 880... the DT 880 prompted my to start listening to all Flac :D 

post #20 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by HideousPride View Post

You don't need an amp at all for the M50. A DAC or soundcard upgrade will make a difference. Look at the very inexpensive Dragonfly for a DAC/amp combo that won't break the bank and might make a noticeable upgrade in sound quality as opposed to being directly plugged in. The M50 sounds okay for the sound signature you're looking for. My headphone recommendations that would fit the bill, the Senn HD 600 and the Fostex TH-600, are a bit more pricey and require the amping you mentioned to sound their best.

 

@OP, normally I would recommend upgrading headphones over dac/amp if your headphones are sub-$300. If your budget is only up to $200, the AKG K545 on sale at razerdogaudio is a good option to look at for headphone upgrade. I haven't owned them, but owners on this thread say they outperform the $350 Sennheiser Momentum Over-Ear. 

 

I agree, you won't need an amp for the M50. You can get a nice budget dac under $100 such as the hifimediy sabre usb 2 ($57) vs stoner acoustics ud 110v2 ($49) vs fiio e10 ($75)

 

http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=123

http://stoneracoustics.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2013-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2014-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=3

 

Personally, I would recommend upgrading your headphones before getting a dac/amp. Other people may have differing opinions, so try it out & let your ears be the judge! I haven't noticed any significant sonic improvements using dac/amps on mid-fi portable closed headphones worth $100+.

 

ymmv


Edited by money4me247 - 12/21/13 at 7:58am
post #21 of 36

it is a good post, but well he has some strong opinions and feels everything should be by the numbers... that's his choice 

 

that said, I notcied my oDac [created by u can guess who] added an immediate sense of openess to the sound of my crummy little Sony XB 700 :3

 

the amp also fleshed out the bass of that very same $80 headphone. Granted at the time neither my dac nor my amp costed much but they made a noticeable improvement.

 

How ever Money makes a good point, if you do not like the Sound Signiture, of your headphone [warm, bassy, or bright with forward mids] if you do not like how ur current headphone sounds a Dac or Amp will not make them sound different, the improvements of a Dac and amp are subtle, as you move up with gear they become more evident but an Dac an Amp will enhance how your current headphones sound. By how much depends on you and what your listening to.

 

Or another and better example would b my Beringher UAC 202 [recommended by u know who] is a very nice dac! I like it for streaming netflix and watching videos in general. I got it to reduce the noise is had from my lapTops headphone out. While most PC dacs might be acceptable... the circuits for the headphone out can b nosiy, depending on what your lap top is. Not to mention my DT 880 NEED AN AMP. And it is NOT GOOD to feed an amp with an already amped signle! So you use a Dac to feed a fixed line out to your amp to once again reduce your distortion. 

 

I find dacs and amps even intro one offer worth while improvements, and honestly the Schiit Stack would be a good intro amp and dac that would last you again through a PLETHURA of headphones. I finally found a dac and amp I can live with till I get an End game Headphone, cost me $600 for the Combo Unit. 

 

So that said, I'd go with the Schiit Stack. From there you can feel FREE to roam the wide open world of HEADPHONES and amps GALORE, I would say get teh Audio GD 15.32 but it would limit your upgrade options :3, I how ever enjoy my Audio GD 10 NEB ES2 enough to stick with it for a while :3, which is nice because Audio GD amps are for the money VERY VERY good [Schiit is also very very good as well] 

post #22 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

Or another and better example would b my Beringher UAC 202 [recommended by u know who] is a very nice dac! I like it for streaming netflix and watching videos in general. I got it to reduce the noise is had from my lapTops headphone out. While most PC dacs might be acceptable... the circuits for the headphone out can b nosiy, depending on what your lap top is. Not to mention my DT 880 NEED AN AMP. And it is NOT GOOD to feed an amp with an already amped signle! So you use a Dac to feed a fixed line out to your amp to once again reduce your distortion. 

holy flyin monkey-eating bananas in hell!!!!!!

 

how dee bouncin fcuk have I not heard of this DAC being recommended?!?!?!?!?!?!?! $30?!?!? OH MY GOOODNESSSSSSS.

 

on my holy quest for the best audio per price, I was under the impression that sub-$60 is a steal for a DAC... but $30?!?! that is half the price of the cheapest dac I've found.

 

*MIND-BLOWN!!!!*

 

how is this device not more prominently recommended on head-fi?!?!?! it murdered higher-end equipment in blind tests? omg i think i'm in loveee!!

 

boo :frown: imma sad camper... i have failed. can't believe i wld regret gettin the sexy ud110v2. lol sry for the childish writing but rmb my mind was melted =P

post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

holy flyin monkey-eating bananas in hell!!!!!!

 

how dee bouncin fcuk have I not heard of this DAC being recommended?!?!?!?!?!?!?! $30?!?!? OH MY GOOODNESSSSSSS.

 

on my holy quest for the best audio per price, I was under the impression that sub-$60 is a steal for a DAC... but $30?!?! that is half the price of the cheapest dac I've found.

 

*MIND-BLOWN!!!!*

 

how is this device not more prominently recommended on head-fi?!?!?! it murdered higher-end equipment in blind tests? omg i think i'm in loveee!!

 

boo :frown: imma sad camper... i have failed. can't believe i wld regret gettin the sexy ud110v2. lol sry for the childish writing but rmb my mind was melted =P

I have my doubts about MURDER in high end. LIstening to the same music on my HM 801 and my UAC 202... BOTH through my Vali and BOTH through my DT 880... yea NOT MURDER. Heck the Uac 202 is  lacking compared to the hm801... it's pretty obvious. is it a big deal no, most of what it lacks is sound stage, depth and positioning. The hm 801 is a smidge smoother but that's the sound of the Hifiman DAP, but MURDERED is an exageration. THere is a reason he is not here... 

post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

I have my doubts about MURDER in high end. LIstening to the same music on my HM 801 and my UAC 202... BOTH through my Vali and BOTH through my DT 880... yea NOT MURDER. Heck the Uac 202 is  lacking compared to the hm801... it's pretty obvious. is it a big deal no, most of what it lacks is sound stage, depth and positioning. The hm 801 is a smidge smoother but that's the sound of the Hifiman DAP, but MURDERED is an exageration. THere is a reason he is not here..

ahhh... but did you do your comparisons BLINDED:pheh

 

is the reason that he's gone that he is really an audio-aural god descended from heaven to save us from our sins & hadd2go back home?

 

edit: what dac chip is in your hm801? just curiousss


Edited by money4me247 - 12/21/13 at 10:05am
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

ahhh... but did you do your comparisons BLINDED:pheh

 

is the reason that he's gone that he is really an audio-aural god descended from heaven to save us from our sins & hadd2go back home?

 

edit: what dac chip is in your hm801? just curiousss

I didn't need to, he's not an Audio Aural God, he's a stuck up Objective Freak. He makes valid points but he's a little snooty, granted he has reason to be but the HM 801 has a PCM1704U-K 

the UAC 202 has a PCM29xx CODEC 

 

Granted the details are not huge again the most obvious differeances where minor shifts in the sound stage and the details, for the money the UAC 202 is an epic little dac! Hence is why I own it. Most the the biggest issues are with the treble, and these are minor things.

 

My point is it's a good dac, is it MURDER on high end gear... ofc not. Heck the UAC 202 seems about on Par with my old oDac which btw was designed by "him" so cleary he thought he could do a better job, and to some extent did... but for hte money it's a wonderful little product

 

and to the op... GET ONE for $30 it's an awesome little dac! Just be sure to buy a set of RCA cables so you can use the line out, as the headphone out is terrible. 

post #26 of 36

@Mshenay, just curious about DAC naming conventions. the higher number is the newer/better model right? lol

post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

@Mshenay, just curious about DAC naming conventions. the higher number is the newer/better model right? lol

actually no, the lower the better, for example with the ESS Sabre Series the 9018 is the flag ship, the 9022 is the more common one :/ it's strange

 

my point is dacs make a differance. I'm pluggin into my NFB 10ES2 for the first time with my vali and it's wonderful! Some of the issues I had with my hm801 and Berningher +Vali are not present out of my Nfb 10ES2 dac! The bass is a little more taught, sound stage is more articulate and the highs are a touch clearer, less grain. 

 

So again, the UAC 202 is a wonderufl intro dac! And for streaming videos from Net Flix [most of which I can assure you is most likely HD video with Lossy Audio Streaming] the UAC 202 is wonderful! It's small, and it makes my lap top very enjoyable :3 but for home listening I'm very happy to have my NFb 10ES2 back

 

It's a step above my hm801 and UAC 202 

post #28 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mshenay View Post
 

actually no, the lower the better, for example with the ESS Sabre Series the 9018 is the flag ship, the 9022 is the more common one :/ it's strange

that can't be right... For Burr Brown I read: "PCM5102 uses a next generation architecture based on the PCM1792 (TI's flagship 132dB DAC)."

 

are the number standards just random?!?!? ...wtf?

 

do you know what is currently the best DACs from each company?

post #29 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by money4me247 View Post
 

that can't be right... For Burr Brown I read: "PCM5102 uses a next generation architecture based on the PCM1792 (TI's flagship 132dB DAC)."

 

are the number standards just random?!?!? ...wtf?

 

do you know what is currently the best DACs from each company?

welp every company is different then. 

 

The ESS Sabre guys go down apprenty TI goes up,

 

either way the UAC 202 is not on par with my HM 801 or my NFb 10ES2 which runs a Sabre ESS 9018 

 

Point being, it's a good dac for a good price. But when you can you ought to upgrade from it 

post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys for all the info and insight. 

 

Unfortunately, there was a home theater accident this weekend that necessitated buying a new receiver. Ironically, it was my fault, not the wife or kids. Always check cable slack before moving anything! What an idiot I can be at times. Anyway, replacing the receiver set me back quite a bit more than my headphone budget, so headphone stuff will be on hold for awhile.  :(

 

On the plus side I can use the wait time to develop more of a long term plan. With all the great discussion here, I'll be able to reference this thread for a long time to come in my planning.

 

Regards,

Daniel

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