Amp/Dac for Sennheiser HD598
Dec 5, 2014 at 8:05 PM Post #2 of 49

Roy Munson

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It should make a difference but it's not going to change them into a completely different headphone. It will likely improve upon the existing characteristics of the headphone. If you really like the HD598 then it could be worth investing a little into a dac/amp upgrade to get the most out of the headphone. If you're perfectly content how they sound right now - especially if you recently acquired them - you might be better off getting used to the headphone and deciding in a few months if you really like them enough to invest in them further or if you'd rather invest in a different sound altogether. Just my opinion.
 
Dec 5, 2014 at 8:15 PM Post #3 of 49

LEntless

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Cool.
I'm coming from hd555s which I had for around 5 years. ...cracked recently. I got a good idea what the 598s will eventually sound like.

Anyway, I have no cracking or hiss that I can hear through on-board, so would a dac or even a dac/amp combo be a worse idea than say a good amp?

I could be wrong but most people who upgrade are usually using older on-board dacs or laptops,mp3 players, etc. Therefore I don't think that a dac would improve things as much as an amp. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 
Dec 5, 2014 at 8:27 PM Post #4 of 49

Roy Munson

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If you don't want to spend too much to give it a try you can look into the new Schiit Fulla. It's a small dac/amp combo that's $75. I'm hesitant to recommend it as I haven't heard it but I've had great success with several Schiit products and it's very cost effective. That will allow you to determine if you hear any difference for not a whole lot of money by audio standards. You might want to look around to see if anybody has written any reviews for it.
 
http://schiit.com/products/fulla 
 
 
Some people will say to invest mainly in an amp. Some people will say to invest mainly in the DAC. You already have a DAC in your computer. So you can get away with just investing in amp and see if that suits your needs. Or you can upgrade the DAC and buy an amp. Honestly it all comes down to how much money you're willing to spend and what you're trying to accomplish. 
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 12:16 AM Post #5 of 49

PurpleAngel

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So I got HD598s recently. I am currently using on-board sound ALC898.
Should I look at upgrading to a DAC and/or amp? Would there be any difference?

 
What is the make and model of the motherboard?
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z ($60-$80) may or may not make a difference.
Asus Xonar Essence STX (used, $130) should at least be a little better.
Schiit Modi DAC($99) and Magni amp ($99) should at least be a little better.
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM Post #8 of 49

PurpleAngel

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I should have included that... Its an Asrock Extreme 4 Z77 motherboard.

 
If your into FPS gaming, you could try the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card ($60-$80).
Might give an improve audio in quality at least a little.
 
The Schiit Fulla does look good.
As it's USB, it will bypass the motherboard on-board audio features.
Which is not a big deal if your mostly into music or watch basic videos or play games that really have no need for surround sound.
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 7:05 PM Post #10 of 49

Cobaltius

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So I got hd598s recently. I am currently using on-board sound -alc 898.

Should I look at upgrading to a Dac and/or amp? Would there be any difference?

I had the HD 598's with the Asgard 2 and Modi stack and it didn't make a difference from my FiiO E07K.
 
But I guarantee you there will be a difference. Motherboard sound usually sounds bloated in mid-bass and has really plain but smooth treble that is sometimes slightly veiled. A DAC/Amp combo should make the bass sound clearer and less muddy. Treble and higher frequencies will brighten up and be a little more detailed.
 
Big difference? I say yes.
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM Post #11 of 49

Me x3

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Hi,
 
You should also consider Fiio E10K (desktop Dac/Amp)
 
Best Luck!
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 7:34 PM Post #12 of 49

LEntless

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I'll look over some of those. I'm not really in a rush to grab one right yet.... Maybe some boxing day sales will grab my attention.

The setup I'll be buying will be used for desktop only... It won't be used with phones, etc.

Any more ideas are welcome.

Also, I generally listen to rock and harder progressive music (dream theater, Paul Gilbert and so on...) When you say bass response is increased, is it just general sub bass or bass instrument response? I'd prefer the latter. I hate sound where bass TONE doesn't shine.
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 8:16 PM Post #13 of 49

Cobaltius

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I'll look over some of those. I'm not really in a rush to grab one right yet.... Maybe some boxing day sales will grab my attention.

The setup I'll be buying will be used for desktop only... It won't be used with phones, etc.

Any more ideas are welcome.

Also, I generally listen to rock and harder progressive music (dream theater, Paul Gilbert and so on...) When you say bass response is increased, is it just general sub bass or bass instrument response? I'd prefer the latter. I hate sound where bass TONE doesn't shine.

You want bass? Why the HD 598's then? The bass on them are pretty thing (bass still present)
 
I mean I'd really go for a Tube amp or a hybrid if I were you to get that warmth and bass up just little bit.
You could just get the E07K or E10.
the FiiO E07K has a built in Bass and Treble booster which you can boost up 10 dbs. On the other hand the E10 does have a bass booster but it is only one "preset" (switch) that boosts the bass up a certain number of decibels. So your better off going for the E07K for the bass booster if you want to boost the bass to your preference
 
Photo of FiiO E07K's "EQ":
 
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 8:36 PM Post #14 of 49

LEntless

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I got the 598s during the flash sale... $128 shipped. I also have some 5 year old hd555s that cracked at the headband all the way through.
Bass isn't a top priority. That said, if I can get more of the bass instrument (not necessarily the low end of it), it wouldn't hurt. I'm not a sub bass junkie though... hurts the ears after a while lol.

Gonna check those out though.
 
Dec 6, 2014 at 9:36 PM Post #15 of 49

Cobaltius

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I got the 598s during the flash sale... $128 shipped. I also have some 5 year old hd555s that cracked at the headband all the way through.
Bass isn't a top priority. That said, if I can get more of the bass instrument (not necessarily the low end of it), it wouldn't hurt. I'm not a sub bass junkie though... hurts the ears after a while lol.

Gonna check those out though.

What is your price range for the amp/dac you are looking for.
Seems to me you need the Schiit Vali 
Check this Schiit out... :wink:
http://schiit.com/products/vali
 
Either that or I'd honestly once again go for the FiiO E07K
For more pleasing and a sexy sound go for the Schiit Vali
 

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