Beginner, need help on choosing an amp.
Jul 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


New Head-Fier
Jul 3, 2009
Ok, i know u need a decent amp to power some of these full-size headphones. i just need some help because there are so many variations in amps. first of all, im only going to be using my phones/amp set up on my computer, so i dont need anything portable. my computer has nothing but a poorly integrated sound card that it came with. i read around and found that a usb dac/amp would be my best choice because i guess a DAC is also a sound card? i stumbled onto a post reviewing the predator and pico amps. these seem simple enough, hook up usb, plug in power, plug in headphones. but at $500 bucks a pop its going to break the bank. so i did a little more seaching and came upon the Zero dac/amp at only $150 bucks. but i noticed that the zero didnt have a usb port and only had a digital/coxial port. does this mean i'd have to buy a sound card with a digital port if i decide on getting the Zero, or is there a usb convert option? also if someone could recommend more external sound card/amp options for desktops that would be great.
Jul 6, 2009 at 11:38 PM Post #3 of 8
thats an amp for a 3.5mm jack headphone.

ok maybe i need to be a little more clear on what im looking for. i dont have a sound card on my computer so im looking for a good external sound card(dac?)/amp combo that can power a full-sized headphone with a 6.3mm jack. and a usb connection would be best because my souce(computer) doesnt have a digital/coxial port.
Jul 6, 2009 at 11:49 PM Post #4 of 8
Is there something wrong with using an adapter? Regardless, if you wanna drop more money, the Audio-GD Compass is well recommended on these forums, and is very configurable. (with a 6.3mm jack to boot)
Jul 6, 2009 at 11:55 PM Post #5 of 8
A DAC replaces a sound card. You want a DAC/amp combo that has a USB input, which the Musiland is.

I would also recommend Hotaudio's DAC/amps. I don't own any products by him (yet!), but I've heard that they're very good for the money.

They both have 1/8" outputs, so try looking for a 1/8" to 1/4" adapter.
Jul 7, 2009 at 12:19 AM Post #6 of 8
I'm in situation very similar to yours. I'm currently debating between the Audio-gd Compass and the Travagans White. I'm still open to suggestions though, so I'll keep an eye on your thread too.

You may want to post what kind of headphones you are using. That seems to help guide suggestions.

Jul 7, 2009 at 12:30 AM Post #7 of 8
What headphones do you have or plan on buying? Primary consideration should be given to the headphones and then the amp. Before spending a lot of money, you might want to explore a very simple setup such as a HeadRoom Total BitHead and a pair of Grados.

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