Amp or Soundcard? What to use for headphones?
Jul 29, 2010 at 3:05 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

mralexosborn

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Okay, I want something to drive my future headphones to the best of their ability. For the sound card I was thinking of the Xonar DS (perfect for my budget). Where do you plug headphones into the new sound card? Is it the front speaker port?
Would it be a better idea just to get an amp? What amp should I get for less than $150?
 
Jul 29, 2010 at 9:53 AM Post #3 of 17

mralexosborn

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Okay, first of all sorry for the stupid question regarding where to plug the headphones into the sound card. I knew that, I was just really tired when I asked this question.
And I will be getting the HD555 and maybe the SRH840 in the future which I hear should be amped. 
 
Jul 30, 2010 at 8:37 PM Post #7 of 17

digger945

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Quote:
I just decided I will get a DAC considering it out preforms the Xonar. (talking about the Musiland Monitor 02)



Having listened to many other dacs through the years, I found the headphone amp portions of the '02 to be unlistenable, even overamped with my dynamite. The usb to spdif portion of the device is very good though as compared to many others I have owned and listened to, so you will have a leg up when and if you do decide to try out some other dacs. The '02 started an async transport journey that has relegated my marantz dv6500 sacd to the dusty corner.
 
EDIT: I sold the '02 only after aquiring a better transport, the Halide Bridge, and liked it(the '02) better than the HiFace.
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 10:15 AM Post #11 of 17

Meliphcient

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Why not look at something like a Audio GD sparrow or Maverick D1? Both are dacs, both have ample headphone ampage and both are just inside your pricerange.
I haven't heard either, but theres heaps of positive feedback around here for both.
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 8:08 PM Post #13 of 17

beeman458

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mralexosborn wrote:
 
Okay, I want something to drive my future headphones to the best of their ability.
 
And then you wrote this:
 
I am willing to spend only $100.
 
The two are in conflict with each other.
 
???
 
(Maybe I misunderstood what you meant.)
 
Can you better define what it is you're wanting to do?
 
As an example, HD-650 headphones, ASUS Essence Xonar STX sound card and an upgraded power supply unit, you're looking at a budget of approximately eight hundred dollars.  What do you get with the above budget, a killer sound system.
 
What's you're overall plan?
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 9:08 PM Post #14 of 17

mralexosborn

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Sorry, I should have clarified what my intent is.
 
I want to have a collection of headphones. I am willing to spend $100 right now on headphones (MS1). I plan on buying higher end products later. I will probably be spending right about $200 on my next pair after these. I want a DAC under $200 that will drive my future headphones (i.e. SRH840 or DT770) to the best of their ability. I need a DAC because I am not buying a sound card. I see no point in it because I will NOT be using PC speakers.
 
I am looking at the Musiland Monitor 02 with a future upgrade being the Little Dot 1+ amp. Is this good? Will this DAC and amp drive higher impedance beasts?
 
Jul 31, 2010 at 9:36 PM Post #15 of 17

beeman458

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I want to have a collection of headphones. I am willing to spend $100 right now on headphones
 
You might find these interesting; which I have.  They get rave reviews and will fit your budget smartly.  I would seriously consider stepping up to a Sennheiser HD-650 as soon as you can.
 
I want a DAC under $200 that will drive my future headphones (i.e. SRH840 or DT770) to the best of their ability.
 
After researching a boatload of DAC/Amps, for me, this product line fits my personal needs.  At this time, I currently have no plans to purchase a DAC or an amp.  As always, YMMV.
 
I'm using an ASUS Essence Xonar STX sound card and an upgraded power supply unit to drive my Sennheiser HD-650's as I didn't want to add anything to the computer table to clutter things up.  You know how computer tables get cluttered quickly as you add stuff to the table next to the monitor.
 
(Drinks, napkins, reading glasses, connectors for bluetooth headsets, toothpicks, instruction booklets:..... you know, the usual suspects.
 

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