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Amp/Dac upgrade for the T5p 2nd Generation.

  1. Evangelion2014
    So I've been using the magni 3 alone as an amp for the t5p 2nd and despite the headphones being marketed as "portable" there's a marked improvement on them when supplied with an amp; much wider soundstage and a more refined bass. I've also noticed that they sound great out of an old 1990s high end radio so I'm thinking the dac on them must be fairly impressive.

    So I'm looking around the $500 price range, which makes the two most obvious choices the chord mojo and the ifi black label micro. There's also schiit's $500 amp/dac combo unit and the klipsch model for that price as well. Basically I'm looking to heighten the midrange and analytical qualities of the headphone while keeping the heft of the sound from the boosted bass and highs. I've heard conflicting information about the mojo vs the black label, with some calling the mojo warmer and the black label more precise, while others saying the black label is bassier and the mojo is mid centric. Anyone know what would be a good match for these cans?

    Edit: The genres i listen to most are Metal, Rap and Classical so in general I want a balanced sound with a lot of detail and soundstage, with perhaps a bump in the mids.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2020
  2. IceChant
    Unclear to me, are you looking only for portable amp/dac ?
  3. Evangelion2014
    It being portable would be a bonus but no I'm not exclusively looking for anything portable no.
  4. IceChant
    Do you have the 2.5mm balanced cable ? Would you have issue using it with powerbank ? Do you want portable dac/amp with battery ?
  5. Evangelion2014
    I just have the regular 3.5mm with the quarter inch adapter. I just care about what is going to give me the best synergy with the phones, not whether it's portable or not.
  6. IceChant
    My reflex is to say E1DA 9038S or PowerDacV2 (has BT EQ control) but that would mean to also buy 2.5mm balanced cable which will cost you more and powerbank for portability, keep an eye for E1DA 9038D who knows it might be out next few months.
    Honestly if you want to KISS go for MEIZU Hifi Pro, I know it sounds like I'm giving you 'cheap' solution but I'm not.
    If you want portability with battery you have three choices IMHO: Radson Earstudio ES100, Fiio BTR5 (Both allow you to EQ with application), Topping NX4.
  7. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    "Portable" doesn't really mean "absolutely no difference," but more of somewhere in the spectrum between "negligible gains not audible to most" (especially when offset by bulk and used in places where the ambient noise is high, ie, portable amps used in a portable environment as opposed to transportable) to "all around the driver moves better."

    Think of it like a car. A lightweight kit car like a Caterham 7 might not need a lot of power, but that doesn't mean you can't power out of corners better if you put say a Nissan 2.4L (240SX) or 2.5L (Altima) in it over the old Ford 2.0L. However putting a Mustang V8 in that would offset the balance while in audio it's not the speakers' movement that gets affected but yours if you used a portable amp while on the move or just plain have something too large on the desk. At least barring an amp that is so badly designed that all the extra power comes at the cost of increased noise, like if an amp isn't as clean as a Meier or Violectric and you're using it on a Shure SE535.

    Don't you mean the amp circuit ie the headphone driver circuit? Because some speaker amps have very high output impedance and not a lot of power as they use an independent circuit instead of taking power off the speaker amp output stage. That said, Marantz does that too, except the chip they use is that Philips chip with a later version that ended up on the E9 and the latest K5 still uses an iteration of that chip, whcih is why Marantz have fairly decent headphone outputs on most headphones (Grados still end up sounding like tin cans though).

    Honestly I'd still just stick with the Magni3. Instead of worrying about the sound upgrade migth as well just keep listening on it and enjoy the system as is for now. If you'll upgrade I'd sooner recommend trying another headphone.
  8. Evangelion2014
    If I was to get another pair right now that would be the focal elegia but I want to save my money for an open back flagship rather than have 2 closed backs. My top options for that would be the hd800s, l700 (would require an amplifier I know and the build quality concerns me, I could upgrade to a 007mk2 to fix the build quality issue since the 007s are mostly metal), the focal clear. Don't really know much about planar flagsips for the most part; I wasn't really a fan of the lcd2 closed back since I found the mids recessed and the thing felt like a combat helmet and not a headphone.
  9. IceChant
    I have HD800, Sennheiser is very misleading when it comes to their build quality, all that plastic looks cheap and fragile but it isn't the case at all in RL.
    Second hand is option, you could find real barging I wouldn't pay full price for HD800S.
  10. Evangelion2014
    I was more referring to the STAX lambda series when I was talking about build quality. They look super flimsy and plasticy.

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