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Amp Needed for HifimeDIY Sabre DAC?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Long story short I broke the headphone jack on my laptop(HP Pavilion dv6) and figured I should just get a DAC instead of replacing it. I'm planning on getting this DAC http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83[1] but I remember reading somewhere that it has a fairly high impedance. The headphones I use are Creative Aurvana Lives! which have an impedence of around 32 ohms. Do you guys think I would I need an amp to drive this setup?

My headphones seem pretty easy to drive, I never really had to turn up my computer volume past 15/100 if that is helpful.

post #2 of 8

Try the Hifimediy Sabre DAC first, then if it does not work well at driving the headphones, get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier ($99).

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Try the Hifimediy Sabre DAC first, then if it does not work well at driving the headphones, get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier ($99).

Ok, thanks for the help. I also posted this on reddit and someone replied that you should never plug headphones directly into a DAC and should always have an amp after the DAC. Is this true or will my headphones still work, albeit maybe sound a little quieter, plugged straight into the DAC?

post #4 of 8

Chances are if you plug headphones directly into a DAC nothing really bad is going to happen.

Some people just use a DAC to drive their headphones, the DAC works as a very basic headphone amplifier.

At 32-Ohms, the CALs (Creative Aurvana Live) should be able to function plugged directly into the Sabre DAC

 

It looks like some of the Hifimediy DACs are design to directly drive headphones.

Which model were you looking at?

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Chances are if you plug headphones directly into a DAC nothing really bad is going to happen.

Some people just use a DAC to drive their headphones, the DAC works as a very basic headphone amplifier.

At 32-Ohms, the CALs (Creative Aurvana Live) should be able to function plugged directly into the Sabre DAC

 

It looks like some of the Hifimediy DACs are design to directly drive headphones.

Which model were you looking at?

This one in particular http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleB123 View Post
 

This one in particular http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=83

 

That one is listed by Hifimediy that it will adjust voltage for headphones, go for it.

post #7 of 8

You can plug the headphone into the DAC without an amp and maybe you will like it. But ES9023 based USB DAC has an usual output impedance near 500ohm, so they will never make for as good a source for headphone as they can be. There will be almost no electronics dampening and current output will be very poor.

post #8 of 8
I loved my Hifimediy paired with the JDS Labs C5. Excellent sounding setup that has a small footprint and doesn't cost and a leg
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