Can I do without a DAC and/or amp if I have a good audio video receiver?
Jun 23, 2011 at 6:54 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

bkchurch

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I asked something similar in the source components forum but never got an answer so I'll try here. I'm looking to buy a pair of Sennheiser HD600s or HD650s soon. I do not have a DAC or a headphone amp. However I am planning on buying a Denon AVR-1612 soon as a first step towards putting together a nice little 5.1 system to replace my current PoS HTiB. Now the way this would work in my mind is since the AVR already has a built in DAC I really shouldn't need a separate DAC specifically for my headphones, that seems redundant. Also I would think an AVR designed to drive 5 speakers and a dedicated subwoofer would be capable of driving of a pair of headphones, no matter how high the impedance, just fine; thus eliminating the need for a headphone amp.
 
Now in my fanciful world of wonder and magic where I get to save a whole lot of money on Hi-Fi gear the above makes perfect sense and I should be dandy without a dedicated DAC and amp for my cans. However I know things are rarely as they seem and my knowledge of such things is limited at best. So would someone be so kind as to fill me in on why I'm wrong, why I'm right, or why I'm kind of right but would benefit from dedicated headphone components anyway? I'd be much obliged.
 
Jun 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM Post #2 of 5

pwrusr

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I was using a Denon AVR1601 a while back and found it to be more then enough to power my DT770 (80ohm) and DT880 (250ohm). It was just a tad too big and the speakers I was using too boomy for me to keep that setup on my desk.
 
So, to answer the question... Yes, it's a setup that may work well depending on the receiver's quality.
 
BTW have you picked out any speakers yet?
 
Jun 23, 2011 at 4:41 PM Post #3 of 5

bkchurch

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Thank you. That's a load off my mind, and wallet. I haven't picked any speakers yet. Since headphones are my primary listening means 70% of the time I've decided to get the new cans and the receiver for now and add the speakers down the line. I'm afraid to even start shopping for speakers with how much money I'm spending as is.
 
In the interim I have my old Pioneer speakers from my old dorm setup (Pioneer GS-1). It's a damn shame to pair those speakers with a nice mid-range AVR but o well, one thing at a time.
 
Edit: O, I hate myself. I'm thinking about grabbing an Energy Take Classic 5.1 system to go with the receiver now.
 
Jun 24, 2011 at 1:14 AM Post #4 of 5

pwrusr

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The take speakers, while decent, aren't the best bang for the boom...
 
A set of 5.0 speakers made by jamo have been getting alot of praise at the AVS forum are the S-606:
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/item/details/544012176/jamo-s606hcs3
or if you'd prefer from amazon (still ships from vanns, but might help if you have a big river account):
http://www.amazon.com/Jamo-S606HCS3-S-606-HCS-3-speaker-system/dp/B0012135VW
 
Best ~$400 set of speakers on the market right now (if you have room for floor-standers).
 
Jun 25, 2011 at 2:07 PM Post #5 of 5

MtnSloth

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I may have this wrong, but I'm pretty sure that the headphone out is amplified on a different path from your speakers. Thus, you really can't compare the quality and quantity of the amplification between the headphone and speaker outs. However, I too have used an AVR (and before that stereo receivers) as a combo DAC/headphone amp; and was well satisfied with the results. It really is great bang for the buck when your budget is tight.
 

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