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I have a basically unused GS-X mk2 in Black with DACT.
I've taken note of how many people are particularly impressed by their Headamp GS-X mkII. I know what the Apex/Vocano combo is, but what are the other amps you noticed it out-classed? The source would be an Ayre Codex, which has a decent headphone amp, but not particularly impressive I feel. I want to head upwards and not get mired in mid-fi. If there's a better source for the GS-X mkII that's reasonably priced, then I would get it. I currently listen through an Audeze LCD-3, but am not averse to getting an HD-800S (which I've previously owned), or really anything else that would go very well with the GS-X mkII.
I'm not sure if I'm set on buying something before the CanJam this April in Los Angeles, but if I find the right set-up I'm not against it. I just want to undoubtedly be stepping up the food chain, not sideways. If you have any thought you could share on the subject I would be interested.
I don't even remember all of my amps anymore. And I go to a few head-fi meets so I've heard quite a lot. But I've had the Apex, Zana, Mad ear HD+, various audio-gd and a couple of other big one's I can't think of at the moment.
Honestly, in my opinion, as someone who used to ready head-fi mostly daily then decided to move on and not pay attention to it anymore for a couple years you could concentrate on getting the right sound from your head phones. They make by far the biggest difference and kind of direct everything else. This may sound counter to what you hear about a lot from general stereo buying advice, but the next step, once you know you're committed is to buy the best amp you can get. you shouldn't look at DAC's to change our sound, the DAC should just be the source. Make sure you get the options and connections you need, cycle thru some used stuff, but I wouldn't concentrate on the DAC as much as the others.
I had quite a few DACs and sold them all before I got the GS-x. The GS-x got me interested in trying out new dacs again because of how dynamic and neutral it is but it turns out I never once had a dedicated DAC to connect to it and just used my oppo. I moved and no longer had room or time for various different boxes. The GS-X was a definite keep because it's nice to have a world-class amp but if I haven't used it by now, I may not in the future.