Back after 10 Years - Aeon Flow Open DAC+Amp Recommendations

DAC + Amp for Aeon Flow Open

  • Massdrop Liquid Carbon X + SDAC DAC/Amp

    Votes: 1 20.0%
  • JDS El DAC + El Amp

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Schiit Lyr 3 with Mulibit DAC and Tung-Sol 6SN7

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters
    5
post-14444376
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 8

boschtb

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
185
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Posts
185
Likes
0
I am getting back into headphones after 10 years away. My last rig was a modified Jolida JD100 + RSA Raptor + HD650 and ATH-W11JPN. This time around, I will be using my MacBook Pro as a source, with both lossless and compressed files, and I have settled on the AFO as my headphones. I primarily listen to alternative, indie, singer songwriter, and electronic. Given the genres these genres and the fact that I compressed files are in the mix, I want to stay away from overly analytical combos. I don't mind a some coloration to make the sound a little forgiving and more musical.

Currently, I have three contenders, but am willing to consider more. In order of price, they are:
  • Massdrop Liquid Carbon X + SDAC DAC/Amp ($380 and ends tomorrow)
  • JDS El DAC + El Amp ($530)
  • Schiit Lyr 3 with Mulibit DAC and Tung-Sol 6SN7 ($725)
I have read limited, but favorable, impressions of each of these combos with the AFO. If I go with the LCX, I will want to run the AFOs balanced, so that increases the overall cost somewhat. All things being equal, I would prefer to save some money and get the cheapest option. I also don't want to pay for a marginal (10%) difference in performance. But I am willing to pay more for significant improvements and/or simply better synergy between the components. I am also willing to consider other DAC + amp combos, with $725 being my upper limit.

Thanks in advance for the help getting back into headphones!
 
     Share This Post       
post-14444386
Post #2 of 8

Monsterzero

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Messages
8,147
Reaction score
4,360
Location
Down at Dinos Bar & Grill
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
Location
Down at Dinos Bar & Grill
Posts
8,147
Likes
4,360
Try looking into an AGD R2R-11. Warm analog like sounding DAC and nice amp that will drive the AFO quite well. I believe theres one in the classifieds currently. No affiliation.
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: boschtb
post-14445062
Post #3 of 8

bixby

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
2,812
Reaction score
231
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Posts
2,812
Likes
231
The EL dac and Magni 3 was a nice combo as well when I had the Magni. I now use a Musical Fidelity amp with the EL dac.

good luck you have the making of a fine setup!
 
     Share This Post       
  • Like
Reactions: boschtb
post-14446231
Post #4 of 8

boschtb

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
185
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Posts
185
Likes
0
The more I read, the more I am leaning towards the JDS stack. It appears that it may hit my price to performance sweet spot and the El DAC would scale up nicely if I decide to upgrade my amp down the line.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14448803
Post #6 of 8

boschtb

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
185
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Posts
185
Likes
0
Audio-GD is intriguing, but I have had enough random stuff go wrong with electronics over the years that I prefer a manufacturer with a strong U.S. presence, understanding that I may be paying a little more up front for the peace of mind.

I need to stop reading though, because now I am contemplating a Gilmore Lite Mk2 for my amp.
 
     Share This Post       
post-14451016
Post #8 of 8

IkSak

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
308
Reaction score
127
Location
Chía, Colombia
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Location
Chía, Colombia
Posts
308
Likes
127
Welcome back!

I have the AFO since past December and I’d say this directly: the AFO loves tubes. The pairing with the Lyr 3 and Lyr 2 is terrific. It opens the soundstage and increases the musicality of the AFO. If I had to choose and maximize my value for the money, I’d go for the Lyr 2 (a used one) and buy a separate DAC.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top