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DAC and amp recommendation desired

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by plainbagel, Jan 2, 2013.
  1. plainbagel
    I'm planning to get the HD - 600s, as I enjoy classical music most as they seem to be highly rated, in my budget, and I have liked some of their more affordable headphones in the past.  I have about $400 I could spend on an amp and possibly a better DAC if it is recommended.  I plan to use my PC, it does have adjustable fan speed for the case and the CPU fan (Corsair H80).  The PC does currently have a Xonar DS sound card, however I am unsure if I should use this.  
  2. MalVeauX
    Amps are like headphones, flavors every where, so which amp you choose will influence the sound of the HD600. And there's a vast array of amps. DACs are easier, they are far less coloring than an amplifier and way less than headphone to headphone. I would definitely avoid using your sound card at this point. With a $400 budget, you can get a lot of nice source gear actually. You can go solid state, or tube.
    Here's a few suggestions:
    DAC: Maverick TubeMagic D2 // HRT Music Streamer II // Schiit Modi // JDS Labs ODAC
    AMP: Schiit Magni // Schiit Asgard // Little Dot MK III // DarkVoice SE336 // JDS Labs Objective 2
    As a personal recommendation, the TubeMagic D2 with an Asgard or Objective 2 would be a very potent setup.
    Very best,
  3. plainbagel
    Thanks.  I am leaning towards the JDS O2 + ODAC Combo
  4. syryanyang
    Definitely look into Matrix M-stage DAC+amp
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Maybe for now get an external headphone amplifier and plug it into the Xonar DS.
    Use it that way while you research for the best price for whatever DAC you want.
  6. proton007
    My suggestion is similar to Purple Angel as well.  Spend the max. on the headphone. I doubt you need a DAC, the Xonar is a good soundcard.
    I'm using the O2, very good for the price.
  7. plainbagel
    though the Xonar sound card I have is a DS PCI version (was about $45).  So it's not the quality of the ST
  8. plainbagel
    I noticed the TubeMagic D2 has an option for an opamp upgrade.  Is that worth it, if I consider this option?
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    "So it's not the quality of the ST"?
    Are you talking about getting the Asus Xonar Essence ST?
  10. plainbagel
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
    If you want to spend the cash for an Essence ST, I think that's great.
    Personally I would get the Essence STX, it's cheaper.

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