Ok. I've gave careful thought into my laptop sound and i think i'll settle for either of the following seup:
Setup 1: Laptop USB -> USB soundcard (DAC) -> mini hifi -> Headphone amp -> MS1
Setup 2: Laptop USB -> USB soundcard (DAC) -> MS1
Is anyone using this sort of setup? For setup 1, will the long chain from the source to the final product (headphones) degredate the sound?
For setup 1, i'm planning to get either a M-audio transit or sonica. I've heard that the sonica and transit aren't really good amps for headphones so that's why i'm putting them through another headphone amp via my mini-hifi, through which i can enjoy the music through the speakers too.
For setup 2, i think i'll most probably get a M-audio audiophile USB, through which my MS1 will be plugged directly. It will also be connected to my hifi from the analog out.
All in all, i would like to listen to my music from both speakers and headphones.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Audiophile USB require an external wall adapter whearas the Transit can be powered strictly off the USB? This was my main reason for looking more into the Transit over the Audiophile, I didn't want to have to be near a wall.
Also, I think if you're willing to tote it around, a portable amp will pair nicely with the line out of the Transit. This will soon enough be the set-up I will take to school with me!
The reason why i ran the DAC through the hifi before passing it through the headphone is amp is because sometimes i would prefer to listen to my stuff through speakers instead of the headphones. I could also save $$$ on a set of computer speakers, which can never compare to those hifi ones.
And yes it's true that the Transit doesn't need a power supply as compared to the Audiophile USB. However the audiophile is more flexible as it has both RCA input and output and it supports headphones better as you can plug your cans directly through the headphone port.