I'd suggest getting the headphones you want. Get comfortable with them and figure out what you hope to improve with a new headphone amp. Right now you are sort of just guessing how this is all going to come together, and any recommendations will be based upon what other people like without you having any experience with the headphones to sort of judge amp recommendations.
However, since the EF2 has line inputs, you could go ahead and get your DAC, too
Very good point - I do feel as though this is what's happening, though only because I don't think my current setup is sufficient to support the headphones I want.
That aside, if I were to focus on headphones only, of the three noted, which would be optimal (based on the other details originally provided)? I think you've suggested HE400 - still the case?
So your setup is a lappy...straight into the ef2A....XD53 = house music :P
i went to youtube to listen to some techno house music..:its electronic music :P
If u are keeping your current headfone,
i would recommend getting a better dac (higher resolution) first...then see if your XD53 wakes up to another level of "presentness".
I used to have a Nuforce HDP dac/amp...i can use it as a solidstate dac+amp...or just use it as a dac, or hook a tube amp to its tail..
i had the hifimanEF5 then.
Then if u are aching to own an open can, then shoot for one.
Listen to it for a season on your newdac + ef2
if u are still unhappy...shop for an amp.
( or buy a pair of cheap tubes...throw a dice..see if the EF2 wakes up to another level )
I have an assortment of tubes...some 100+bucks...some 15bucks.. cant honestly say the expensive tubes are streetsBETTER..
i do love my cheaptubes. Raytheon..Chatham... even my russion cheaptubes. :P
No, not keeping the old phones except for on the go use. Maybe I'll pick up a bifrost along with the new headphones and then add the amp later... not a bad idea.