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Best Amp/Dac Combo for DT 990-250 (currently), hopefully HE-400 (future)

Poll Results: Which Pairs Best?

 
  • 28% (2)
    Schiit Vali/Modi ($218)
  • 28% (2)
    Schiit Magni/Modi ($198)
  • 14% (1)
    Schiit Asgard 2/Modi ($348)
  • 28% (2)
    Objective 2/ODAC ($286)
  • 0% (0)
    TubeMagic D1 Plus DAC ($209)
7 Total Votes  
post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I'm really close to getting the Schiit Vali but the microphonics and is the sound quality any better than magni/modi or o2/odac combo? Or anything else like the TubeMagic D1 Plus?

 

 

Please keep in mind the bang to buck ratio. Will the Asgard 2 and Modi costing $350 sound that much better than the Vali/Modi at $220?

 

Price must be under <$300 can stretch to $350 if really worth it.

post #2 of 14

Audio GD 15.32 is really bang for buck (http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm, http://www.head-fi.org/t/648386/audio-gd-nfb-15-32-delivery-impression-thread).

you can also look at Audio GD 11.32 (http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm, http://www.head-fi.org/t/624517/audio-gd-nfb-11-32-delivery-impression-thread). 11.32 uses different chip for dac and it is 65 us$ more than 15.32

post #3 of 14

i'm close to buying the vali as well especially after reading these type of reviews:

 

'Vali Sound Signature- Very clean, a slight bump on the mids and a small dip from upper mids to highs. Maintains a touch of sparkle, with lush mids. I’d call it the reference sound signature for a hybrid tube, tubey mids and bass with the details of a solid state. The Heart and Soul of a tube, with the detail of a solid state!  

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-gd-nfb-10es2-balanced-desktop-amp-dac/reviews/10257

 

I also shortlisted the amp/dacs listed above too. It's just a matter of versatility, the magni and O2 seem to work well with a lot more headphones than the Vali.

 

Then again I only have a DT990 atm. I know the Vali would probably pair better with the DT990, but a Magni would be a better investment in the long term if I buy more IEMs/headphones. Not sure if the Magni will be good enough to use with the DT990, that's a compromise you'd have to make so you can use it with others headphones in the future

 

 

Decisions...


Edited by eastpac - 1/18/14 at 1:17am
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bump
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

Bump! Mostly between Vali and O2.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastpac View Post
 

i'm close to buying the vali as well especially after reading these type of reviews:

 

'Vali Sound Signature- Very clean, a slight bump on the mids and a small dip from upper mids to highs. Maintains a touch of sparkle, with lush mids. I’d call it the reference sound signature for a hybrid tube, tubey mids and bass with the details of a solid state. The Heart and Soul of a tube, with the detail of a solid state!  

 

http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-gd-nfb-10es2-balanced-desktop-amp-dac/reviews/10257

 

I also shortlisted the amp/dacs listed above too. It's just a matter of versatility, the magni and O2 seem to work well with a lot more headphones than the Vali.

 

Then again I only have a DT990 atm. I know the Vali would probably pair better with the DT990, but a Magni would be a better investment in the long term if I buy more IEMs/headphones. Not sure if the Magni will be good enough to use with the DT990, that's a compromise you'd have to make so you can use it with others headphones in the future

 

 

Decisions...

 

The Magni has no problem driving the DT990 pro at all (I assume you're talking about the pro and not the one thats 600ohm)

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by nixkid View Post
 

 

The Magni has no problem driving the DT990 pro at all (I assume you're talking about the pro and not the one thats 600ohm)

 

Yeah the Dt990 Pro 2050 ohm. I'm sure the magni can handle it but in some reviews people have said it sounds slightly bright when paired with them. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

bump

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastpac View Post
 

 

Yeah the Dt990 Pro 2050 ohm. I'm sure the magni can handle it but in some reviews people have said it sounds slightly bright when paired with them. 

One thing is for sure, if you're sensitive to the DT990s sibilance, the magni is not going to be doing you any favors.  Whether or not it makes it audibly worse is debatable but it certainly doesn't make it any better.

post #11 of 14

I'm currently breaking in the DT990 Pros and they seem fairly bright to me, somewhat piercing on some of the highs. Did you spend some time on the Magni/Modi with yours? I think a nice tube amp will help tame the highs a bit so the Vali becomes fairly attractive 

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastpac View Post
 

I'm currently breaking in the DT990 Pros and they seem fairly bright to me, somewhat piercing on some of the highs. Did you spend some time on the Magni/Modi with yours? I think a nice tube amp will help tame the highs a bit so the Vali becomes fairly attractive 

 

I did spend a lot of time with the DT990 and the M&M.  I don't have much experience with other DACS/Amps though.  I have the E10 and used it with the DT990 for a while before getting the M&M stack.  I haven't listened to them on the E10 in a while but I recall the E10 having more bass (but I used its built-in bass boost).  M&M is clearer and drives them louder but the E10 was plenty loud, IIRC.  Tube amps are probably a better match for the DT990s but I haven't heard any.  I don't know if the Vali will be that different from the Magni..from what I've read, how "tubey" the Vali sounds is debatable.  You should ask in the big Vali thread.

 

I have the HE-400 too (also sibilant) which is the main thing stopping me from buying a tube amp.  The only tube amp that seems to pair really well with it is the Lyr and its $450.  I'm not sure if its worth the money (does it sound 4x better than Magni?).  Might be more cost effective to sell the HE400 and get the new HE400i when its available (assuming they address the treble issues).

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nixkid View Post
 

 

I did spend a lot of time with the DT990 and the M&M.  I don't have much experience with other DACS/Amps though.  I have the E10 and used it with the DT990 for a while before getting the M&M stack.  I haven't listened to them on the E10 in a while but I recall the E10 having more bass (but I used its built-in bass boost).  M&M is clearer and drives them louder but the E10 was plenty loud, IIRC.  Tube amps are probably a better match for the DT990s but I haven't heard any.  I don't know if the Vali will be that different from the Magni..from what I've read, how "tubey" the Vali sounds is debatable.  You should ask in the big Vali thread.

 

I have the HE-400 too (also sibilant) which is the main thing stopping me from buying a tube amp.  The only tube amp that seems to pair really well with it is the Lyr and its $450.  I'm not sure if its worth the money (does it sound 4x better than Magni?).  Might be more cost effective to sell the HE400 and get the new HE400i when its available (assuming they address the treble issues).

The HE-400 pairs good with the Vali from what I have read. Orthos are not effected from output impedance if i'm correct.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by tehsprayer View Post
 

The HE-400 pairs good with the Vali from what I have read. Orthos are not effected from output impedance if i'm correct.

Maybe.  I've also read that the differences between the Magni and Vali are subtle which probably wouldn't be worth the $120 for me.  I'd rather put that towards a more capable amp like the Lyr but I'm not even sure thats worth the money either.

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