Got my first real DAC, Music Streamer II, and 2nd hybrid(?) tube amp, Project Sunrise III, today.
-MSII sounds like plain, flat CD player output, and probably duller-sounding.
-Xonar STX (RCA, stock opamps) sounds vibrant, with punchy, controlled bass & excellent clarity/detail, but still bright; much preferred over MSII.
-PSIII gives a more tubey output, with the same tubes, than Bravo V2.
-Bravo V2 only has about a 5-10% effect; PSIII about 10-20% "coloration".
-After more comparing, I find the tube amps muddy, and the clean STX RCA output sounds best.
-I honestly can't say I notice any improvements from these amps VS un-amped; raw STX output sounds great(!) to me now...something must be very wrong here?
-For HD600, tubes = bad, and better DACS = best sound improvement so far!
So, next up, guess I'll be looking for a solid state amp(the Liquid Gold was SS!) like M-Stage or something, and, since I doubt a Modi will be any different from MSII/STX, probably a used Bifrost. Maybe the ASUS Essence One would be a better option than separate DAC/amp, knowing I love ASUS sound, and a whopping *11* opamps to jam through...
All testing done with tracks from: Mech - ZWO
Edited by CT007 - 5/1/14 at 1:03am