Best desktop Amp/DAC for Ultrasone Pro 900.
Feb 22, 2013 at 1:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

drsanchez

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Posts
9
Likes
0
First time starting a thread here!
 
I currently can't edit my profile or account so let me fill everyone in. I currently own Ultrasone DJ1's, and do pretty much all of my listening on my Macbook, running Fidelia with FLACs from 16/44.1 and up.
 
After much lurking on the threads here I have made up my mind that the Pro 900's are the best upgrade for my musical tastes (Amon Tobin/Noisia-esque). I will be running them from a Mac Pro when I return from my current trip abroad, and would like to add an Amp and DAC to the setup. I would say my budget is loosely set in the sub-$300 range. I have no experience listening through Amps, but at this point I have my eye set on Schiit's Magni/Modi stack, partly due to the fact that their products are made in the U.S.A., and seem to have a good warranty. 
 
Any suggestions? I am personally aware of the harsh treble that Ultrasones can produce, and regret to say I may have grown accustomed to them after hundreds of hours on my DJ1's. I definitely don't want to lose any bass (reference previously stated musical tastes).
 
Also, FYI, I see a future purchase of AKG K702's in the future for listening to my indie/folk collection. Would the Schiit stack serve these headphones well also?
 
Thanks!
 
Feb 22, 2013 at 3:58 PM Post #2 of 11

chunkfnk

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Posts
116
Likes
11
The Schiit stack would work very well with the Pro900s and K702s but you should know the K702s aren't exactly known for their bass. In fact the majority of people on here consider them bass anemic.
 
Feb 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM Post #3 of 11

drsanchez

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Posts
9
Likes
0
Yea, I have heard that about the 702's, but was looking at them for more of an acoustic/folk/indie headphone, seeing as I will have the Pro 900, I don't think I would be wanting another bass-heavy-headphone.
 
Feb 22, 2013 at 4:32 PM Post #5 of 11

drsanchez

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Posts
9
Likes
0
Not really yet, it's definitely a much further down the road purchase, I was just interested in an amp and DAC that would work well with the Pro 900s, and in the future be well suited for a headphone such as the K702s. 
 
Basically, I am looking for a stack/combo that will make me happy for a long time, and be well suited to a small variety of headphones. 
 
Edit: I am reading that the Schiit stack is pretty heavy in the treble department, which doesn't sound like a match for the 900s. Am I correct in saying that?
 
Feb 22, 2013 at 5:57 PM Post #6 of 11

chunkfnk

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Dec 29, 2009
Posts
116
Likes
11
Ahh, gotcha. Have you considered maybe raising your budget so you can get a better stack and future-proof it more? 
 
As for them being heavy in the treble department, I have not heard that. I mainly heard they're pretty transparent and will give you what you feed them.
 
Feb 22, 2013 at 5:58 PM Post #7 of 11

jackwess

fabio-fi, jackwess and formula1 are all the same person.
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Posts
1,375
Likes
41
I haven't used the Schiit stack with my Pro 900, but a couple of options are the O2 and the M-stage. If you want more portability the Headstage arrow. 
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM Post #8 of 11

HeatFan12

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Posts
3,033
Likes
173
Location
Miami, FL
Hey doc,
 
Just a couple other options to throw your way.  Not made in the USA but these products love the Ultrasones...
 
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB11.32/NFB11.32EN.htm
 
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB15.32/NFB15.32EN.htm
 
 
The 11.32 puts you over budget with shipping though...Great usb chip (usb-32) that future proofs any hi-rez files should you aquire them in the future.
 
There are three threads in the computer sub-forum if you want to take a look (NFB-11.32, NFB-15.32 and NFB-15.1 (with the TE8802 chip, not usb-32).
 
You have a Mac so no worries on all the driver updates and installation.  That fun has been reserved for us Windows folks...lol..
 
Cheers!!!
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 5:39 PM Post #9 of 11

drsanchez

New Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 24, 2013
Posts
9
Likes
0
Heatfan,
 
Thanks for the suggestions, definitely had not heard of either of those before while lurking the threads, so thanks for making things more complicated for me now. Just kidding!
 
If you could do me the favor of comparing the 15.32/11.32 to the Schiit stack I would appreciate it a ton. As of yet, the information I have gleaned from my lurking here has not extended into the finite details presented on the pages those links took me to. I do, however, have a decent understanding of audio files in reference to 16/44.1-24/96, etc.
 
Essentially, what would the 15.32/11.32 offer the Pro 900s vs. the Schiit stack, as far as sound signature goes. Also, how does optical input compare to USB, again in reference to sound signature.
 
Thanks again.
 
Feb 23, 2013 at 6:48 PM Post #10 of 11

HeatFan12

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Posts
3,033
Likes
173
Location
Miami, FL
Quote:
Heatfan,
 
Thanks for the suggestions, definitely had not heard of either of those before while lurking the threads, so thanks for making things more complicated for me now. Just kidding!
 
If you could do me the favor of comparing the 15.32/11.32 to the Schiit stack I would appreciate it a ton. As of yet, the information I have gleaned from my lurking here has not extended into the finite details presented on the pages those links took me to. I do, however, have a decent understanding of audio files in reference to 16/44.1-24/96, etc.
 
Essentially, what would the 15.32/11.32 offer the Pro 900s vs. the Schiit stack, as far as sound signature goes. Also, how does optical input compare to USB, again in reference to sound signature.
 
Thanks again.

 
 
Well, unfortunately I have never listened to the Schiit stack.  I can vouch for the O2 amp (I don't have the ODAC) as mentioned here.  The O2 and 'Sones pair great as well. 
 
In reference to the NFB-11.32 & NFB-15.32, I own the NFB-15.1.  I purchased the NFB-15.1 before Kingwa (Audio-GD) went stock with the usb-32 on everything.  Same unit with different usb input.
 
When it comes to dacs you have to look at the chip used and more importantly the implementation.  The 11.32 uses the Sabre ES9018 whereas the 15.32 uses the WM8741.  Both sound great with the edge to clarity and detail retrieval to the Sabre.
 
What you have to ask yourself is where would I be using this device.  Will it be portable/semi-portable, desktop etc...
 
Here is a little A-GD and O2 love in the home office...
 
Cheers!!!
 
NFB-11.32 to the right and O2 on top of the NFB-16...Using the 11.32 with W8 laptop and O2 & NFB-16 with an iPod dock.  The tube amp is connected to the 11.32 (11.32 as dac only).  The 15.32 and 11.32 can be used as an all-in-one (headamp, dac, pre-amp) or as a dac to another amp.
 

 
Dec 18, 2014 at 10:18 PM Post #11 of 11

TWerk

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Posts
2,592
Likes
461
I like the M-stage best with my Pro 900. More so than my 02 Amp. They are close, but I feel the M-stage has a little more punch.
 
Plus, if you get the HP2, you can get a decent USB DAC built right into it, making it a pretty great deal, IMO.
 
 
I've had the M-stage for awhile, and I feel for the price, it does great, especially with Ultrasones.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top