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which dac/amp combo for akg k550 ?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi 

 

First of all, great website, and thanks to all users for sharing the knowledge and opinions, really helpful.

 

Maybe you can be of some help : I'm wondering whether I should upgrade to a new dac/amp combo on my system.

 

Currently composed of these elements : 

 

    - dac/amp combo : creative x-fi usb hd

    - amp : marantz pm7004

    - speakers : kef q700

    - headphones : akg k550

 

Playing music from the computer, equally enjoying speakers and headphones.

 

I have the feeling the x-fi usb hd is holding back the rest of the setup (non asynchronous usb, apparently bad headphone amp).

I'd like to upgrade only if there's a substantial improvement while staying at 300 $ max.

 

Staying with an dac/amp combo is mandatory, since it's really convenient for both speakers and headphones use.

 

Ifi audio nano idsd seems to be really good, could any of you tell if it would be worth it ?

 

Thanks

post #2 of 5

Audio-GD NFB-15, external DAC/Amp, $270+shipping ($45).

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

post #3 of 5

Hello and welcome! I am a proud K550 owner. I've tried the K550 off of several mobile devices, tablets, computers, amps, and a few dacs. I don't think you'll find substantial improvement in upgrading your dac/amp. I think you'll hear some refinements in sound but not a drastic improvement. I find the K550 doesn't need a whole lot in the amp department to sound it's best unlike many other higher end headphones. I couldn't justify spending that money on an amp/dac specifically for the K550. If you're looking for substantial improvement I think putting that money towards new headphones would be your best bet, but that's just my opinion.

 

- Roy

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your responses.

 

I also had a feeling there wouldn't be a substantial improvement, because the k550 doesn't necessarily need an amp as you pointed out.

Maybe I'll check the nano idsd for its dac, to improve the sound on speakers, and send it back if i don't hear a perceivable improvement.

 

(On a sidenote, didn't know of that Woody Harrelson movie, seems fun, I'll check Kingpin !).

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

Audio-GD NFB-15, external DAC/Amp, $270+shipping ($45).
http://audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

+1

I think you'd appreciate the difference with your Q700s with the DAC output from the Audio-GD.

You could also try a Schiit Modi DAC. Then, if you want to try a headphone amp, your PM7004 does have record outs that you could use with a headphone amp like the Schiit Magni.

Either way, I think it's worth getting a better DAC given those nice speakers and amp smily_headphones1.gif
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