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Good DAC+Amp for a few headphones? (e.g. DT 880, Shure 940, HD 650)

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hey guys,

I'm currently saving some money for a good DAC and amp I can use with a couple headphones. I currently have a Beyer DT 880, Shure SRH 940, and I'm planning on getting the HD 650 soon. I'm kind of new to all this, so I don't have much experience with amps and DACs. In another forum I posted about a Nakamichi CD player and Amp from the late 80s that I have been having fun with, and it actually sounds pretty good, but I know that modern equipment will outperform it. I looked at the Schiit Bifrost and Lyr, or maybe I could upgrade and get the Mjolnir and Gungnir. I'm not terribly interested in getting a tube amp, cause you have to replace the tubes every once and a while, so something solid state. Right now, my budget is up to around 1.5 K, what would you guys suggest? I would be connecting directly from my laptop via USB, or sometimes from a CD player optical. 

post #2 of 15

How many Ohms are your DT880's?

post #3 of 15
Why not spend less on the DAC/amp, skip the HD 650, and go straight to the HD800 or some Audeze LCD-2s smily_headphones1.gif

Since you said you don't care about tubes, get the Schiit Asgard 2 and the Bifrost.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwelveTrains View Post
 

How many Ohms are your DT880's?

They're 250 ohms, I may return them to get 600 ohm ones though. Since on amazon the 250 ones are like half the price of the 600s, I just wanted to try them out. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Why not spend less on the DAC/amp, skip the HD 650, and go straight to the HD800 or some Audeze LCD-2s smily_headphones1.gif

Since you said you don't care about tubes, get the Schiit Asgard 2 and the Bifrost.

The Asgard and Bifrost combined are still around 600$, and HD800s are above 1,000$. I don't know, possibly if my quest for selling stuff on ebay goes well in the next month...

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

So, I looked at this:

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/Compass%202/Compass2EN.htm

or this:

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1033/NFB10.33EN.htm

Both look pretty good for my intended setup from my laptop. How would Audio-GD compare to Schiit in terms of sound quality and overall reliability?

post #6 of 15
O2+ODAC can drive 600 ohms, but there's a disagreement about how good it sounds with very high impedance models. The amp works fine with my 400 ohm K340.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

O2+ODAC can drive 600 ohms, but there's a disagreement about how good it sounds with very high impedance models. The amp works fine with my 400 ohm K340.

Yes, I have heard the O2+ODAC is incredible, and amazing for the price. btw, how do those K340s sound? I might consider getting them...

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by achelgeson View Post

Yes, I have heard the O2+ODAC is incredible, and amazing for the price. btw, how do those K340s sound? I might consider getting them...

No one knows how many versions there are and it's pretty hard to tell which is which based on cosmetic aspects. If there are only two, mine is the bass light one. Of all the other things I've tried, it sounds most like RS1i but much more laid back. I enjoy the way it plays piano and solo vocals, which are some of my main subgenres. Be aware that it's very big and a little heavy by dynamic model standards.
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


No one knows how many versions there are and it's pretty hard to tell which is which based on cosmetic aspects. If there are only two, mine is the bass light one. Of all the other things I've tried, it sounds most like RS1i but much more laid back. I enjoy the way it plays piano and solo vocals, which are some of my main subgenres. Be aware that it's very big and a little heavy by dynamic model standards.

Yeah, I did hear there's like a extra bass version and normal version. I bet it would go perfectly with my Nakamichi CD player and amp.

 

So, I'm either going to get the O2+ODAC, or I'll spend a little more and get the Schiit Asgard 2 and Bifrost. I'm terrible at making decisions....

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by achelgeson View Post

Yeah, I did hear there's like a extra bass version and normal version. I bet it would go perfectly with my Nakamichi CD player and amp.

So, I'm either going to get the O2+ODAC, or I'll spend a little more and get the Schiit Asgard 2 and Bifrost. I'm terrible at making decisions....

I understand these decisions aren't easy because you want to be done and not have to rethink it. So to make matters better / worse, JDS just released a limited edition O2+ODAC with slightly different features and better layout.

(I snagged one. Happy! Can't wait . . . must wait.)
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by achelgeson View Post
 

Yeah, I did hear there's like a extra bass version and normal version. I bet it would go perfectly with my Nakamichi CD player and amp.

 

So, I'm either going to get the O2+ODAC, or I'll spend a little more and get the Schiit Asgard 2 and Bifrost. I'm terrible at making decisions....

 

I've been researching new headphones for weeks.  I bought one pair that's had to be shipped internationally and then I picked up a second pair locally.  I was going to try them both and return/resell the one I didn't like.

 

Three weeks later, my first cans haven't arrived and I've been using the second ones exclusively for weeks.  I'm falling in love with them.  I realized today that all my agonizing was stupid. I did enough research that I could have bought either one and been perfectly happy.  Now I regret that I've got $200 tied up in a product that's on a boat somewhere and I can't use that money to buy my DAC/Amp combo.

 

My point is that it sounds like whatever you choose at this point will be pretty solid.  I'm sure you'll be happy with either.  FWIW, I know both of those combos you mentioned are supposed to be good, and I like Schiit's style and philosophy and so I'd probably go with them.  But that's a completely random reason to choose so YMMV.  :-D

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by achelgeson View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post


No one knows how many versions there are and it's pretty hard to tell which is which based on cosmetic aspects. If there are only two, mine is the bass light one. Of all the other things I've tried, it sounds most like RS1i but much more laid back. I enjoy the way it plays piano and solo vocals, which are some of my main subgenres. Be aware that it's very big and a little heavy by dynamic model standards.

Yeah, I did hear there's like a extra bass version and normal version. I bet it would go perfectly with my Nakamichi CD player and amp.

 

So, I'm either going to get the O2+ODAC, or I'll spend a little more and get the Schiit Asgard 2 and Bifrost. I'm terrible at making decisions....

Or you can save a bit more and get Modi+Magni from Schiit instead of more expensive Asgard 2 + Bifrost. It's cheaper than O2+ODAC, little sonic difference, and Magni has more power than O2 has.

post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

Or you can save a bit more and get Modi+Magni from Schiit instead of more expensive Asgard 2 + Bifrost. It's cheaper than O2+ODAC, little sonic difference, and Magni has more power than O2 has.

1. Just want to check if you've heard both side by side and what you tried them with, as that's a pretty broad assertion. (Please don't cite that so-called comparative review.)

2. Schiit Audio has released no actual measurements, only the usual corporate spec sheet. If you look at the Objective designer's blog, you can discover pretty much whatever you want to know about the devices.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post

Or you can save a bit more and get Modi+Magni from Schiit instead of more expensive Asgard 2 + Bifrost. It's cheaper than O2+ODAC, little sonic difference, and Magni has more power than O2 has.

1. Just want to check if you've heard both side by side and what you tried them with, as that's a pretty broad assertion. (Please don't cite that so-called comparative review.)

2. Schiit Audio has released no actual measurements, only the usual corporate spec sheet. If you look at the Objective designer's blog, you can discover pretty much whatever you want to know about the devices.

Yes. Although what I heard was O2 and ODAC combined combo, not as separated ones. A+B and O2/DAC combo sound surprisingly similar to my ears. Only advantage would be with higher power from Asgard, you won't have much problem with headphones requiring a lot of power. Magni was very slightly warm but again, very little difference.

 

I'd say get at least Bifrost, not ODAC nor Modi. The problem is both Modi and ODAC only supports up to 24/96, and quite a lot of popular hi-res stuffs (including Ponomusic) will be about 24/192. If you want to get at least 24/192, you should get Bifrost or any DACs that supports up to 24/192.

 

As far was measurements, Schiit Audio seems quite honest about their products' abilities (notice they highly discourage people from getting Valhalla for orthos). And from one of the measurements by 3rd party, nothing shaddy can be found so far ( http://www.stereophile.com/content/schiit-audio-bifrost-da-processor-measurements )

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wnmnkh View Post
 

Yes. Although what I heard was O2 and ODAC combined combo, not as separated ones. A+B and O2/DAC combo sound surprisingly similar to my ears. Only advantage would be with higher power from Asgard, you won't have much problem with headphones requiring a lot of power. Magni was very slightly warm but again, very little difference.

 

I'd say get at least Bifrost, not ODAC nor Modi. The problem is both Modi and ODAC only supports up to 24/96, and quite a lot of popular hi-res stuffs (including Ponomusic) will be about 24/192. If you want to get at least 24/192, you should get Bifrost or any DACs that supports up to 24/192.

 

As far was measurements, Schiit Audio seems quite honest about their products' abilities (notice they highly discourage people from getting Valhalla for orthos). And from one of the measurements by 3rd party, nothing shaddy can be found so far ( http://www.stereophile.com/content/schiit-audio-bifrost-da-processor-measurements )

Well, I seriously doubt I will hear any difference between 24/96 and 24/192, and I wont be using super high-end equipment now. Maybe down the line I will get something as good as the Liquid Gold, but that's way out of my budget now no question. For now, I think I'll just get the O2+ODAC, it's good enough for mid-fi headphones and normal 16 bit/44 khz audio files. 

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