Looking for Amp + DAC for HD700's
May 15, 2014 at 9:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 9

DieRespwnGameOn

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Hey Everybody,
 
Before you ask, yes I'm somewhat a noob in this area, I've only had a pair of Beyerdynamics DT990 Pro before I got my Sennheiser HD700's and I have tried Philips Fidelio X1 which were amazing but sadly they itched alot for me so was only able to keep them on for short periods. So then I decided to spend some more money this time to get something really good and I also wanted a nice new DAC and/or Amp to go along with it but since I'm not familiar with DAC's and Amp's I'd decided to ask here for some advice and I've already looking into a few but I'm not sure if these are good choices.
 
So I've been looking around and I've decided that I'm going to get the ASUS Xonar Essence One because its in my price range and I really like the look of it also heard alot of good things about it and see it alot combined with either HD700 or HD800's. Alsop I really want to go for the MUSES edition but I can only find one store that has it and its too expansive for me to get in one go so I'll get MUSES opamps later and place them in myself which should give the same result making it easier for me to purchase.
 
Ofcourse other suggestions are still welcome but I think this is a pretty solid way to go.
 
May 16, 2014 at 2:24 PM Post #2 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Audio-GD NFB-11 external DAC/amp, $355+shipping ($45?).
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB112014/NFB112014EN.htm
 
May 17, 2014 at 7:23 PM Post #3 of 9

DieRespwnGameOn

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  Audio-GD NFB-11 external DAC/amp, $355+shipping ($45?).
http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB112014/NFB112014EN.htm

 
Looks good I'll have a look into that one and compare it to the ASUS Essence One, what I'm mostly looking for is something that gives better quality sound to my HD700's mainly more bass because thats somewhat lacking right now, and I've read that I should look into Tube amps then? But also read that MUSES02 Op Amps give more bass so might still go for the Essence One and get a few MUSES02's and put them in.
 
Hows the sound of the Audio-GD NFB-11 external DAC/amp?
 
May 17, 2014 at 7:55 PM Post #4 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Looks good I'll have a look into that one and compare it to the ASUS Essence One, what I'm mostly looking for is something that gives better quality sound to my HD700's mainly more bass because that's somewhat lacking right now, and I've read that I should look into Tube amps then? But also read that MUSES02 Op Amps give more bass so might still go for the Essence One and get a few MUSES02's and put them in.
 
Hows the sound of the Audio-GD NFB-11 external DAC/amp?

 
 
A good headphone amplifier can bring out the best in a headphone, but if a headphone is bass light (I know zero about the Senn HD700s, so I'm guessing) you can't really change the nature of the headphones.
I own the NFB-15.32, which is considered more "musical", compared to the NFB-11.32 (or newer NFB-11) which is considered to offer better detail.
My NFB-15.32 can drive all my headphones (32-Ohm to 600-Ohm), no regrets buying it.
 
May 18, 2014 at 3:34 AM Post #5 of 9

DieRespwnGameOn

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A good headphone amplifier can bring out the best in a headphone, but if a headphone is bass light (I know zero about the Senn HD700s, so I'm guessing) you can't really change the nature of the headphones.
I own the NFB-15.32, which is considered more "musical", compared to the NFB-11.32 (or newer NFB-11) which is considered to offer better detail.
My NFB-15.32 can drive all my headphones (32-Ohm to 600-Ohm), no regrets buying it.

 
I should have explained it better, the HD700 has a good bass which I like but I would like it if it was slightly heavier but it is an open design headphones. Also I already really like the way they sound and I would love to explain how I think they sound but I'm not that good at expressing things in words.
 
But I'm really curious to how they would sound if I had a really good DAC and Amp. I saw that the NFB-15.32 costs less then the NFB11.32 is that correct? This one: http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm I might get that one instead then since I'm all new to the DAC and Amp stuff. I've only had a ASUS Xonar Essence STX never tried anything else.
 
But I'm still also considering the Essence One. only thing is I can't find much about that one, or I'm not looking in the right place and some things I read about it are pretty negative and kinda shoo me away from it...
 
I've also been considering something from Schiit and I was wondering, do a DAC and Amp need to be equally good or is it more important to have a high quality DAC or Amp because I was thinking of getting the Valhalla amp, since I read that tube amps ussualy are warmer sounding but I wouldn't be able to buy a Bifrost DAC with it because thats way out of my budget...
 
Also, what if I get just an Amplifier (Say something like Schiit Valhalla) and connect that to my Essence STX would that work or would that be a waste of money? Because if thats possible I might consider getting a Schiit Valhalla and then later on when I've saved up a Bifrost DAC
 
May 18, 2014 at 11:47 AM Post #6 of 9

PurpleAngel

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I should have explained it better, the HD700 has a good bass which I like but I would like it if it was slightly heavier but it is an open design headphones. Also I already really like the way they sound and I would love to explain how I think they sound but I'm not that good at expressing things in words.
But I'm really curious to how they would sound if I had a really good DAC and Amp. I saw that the NFB-15.32 costs less then the NFB11.32 is that correct? This one: http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm I might get that one instead then since I'm all new to the DAC and Amp stuff. I've only had a ASUS Xonar Essence STX never tried anything else.
But I'm still also considering the Essence One.
Also, what if I get just an Amplifier (Say something like Schiit Valhalla) and connect that to my Essence STX would that work or would that be a waste of money? Because if that's possible I might consider getting a Schiit Valhalla and then later on when I've saved up a Bifrost DAC

 
I have the NFB-15.32, but now I wish I had spend the extra $80 for the NFB-11.32 (now called the NFB-11).
Connecting an external headphone amplifier (like the Valhalla) to the line-outputs (RCAs) of the Essence STX is fine, but you lose the STX's headphone surround sound features, so as long as your ok listening to audio in basic stereo (with is fine for music), you should be ok.
I use to hook up my external O2 headphone amplifier to my STX's RCA outputs.
 
May 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM Post #7 of 9

DieRespwnGameOn

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I have the NFB-15.32, but now I wish I had spend the extra $80 for the NFB-11.32 (now called the NFB-11).
Connecting an external headphone amplifier (like the Valhalla) to the line-outputs (RCAs) of the Essence STX is fine, but you lose the STX's headphone surround sound features, so as long as your ok listening to audio in basic stereo (with is fine for music), you should be ok.
I use to hook up my external O2 headphone amplifier to my STX's RCA outputs.


Sorry for the late response , sadly I won't be able to get a DAC/Amp anytime soon, but I'm going to bookmark the NFB-11 it seems really nice and I want to thank you for all the help and advise I really appreciate it! :)
 
I'll just have to hope my STX holds out for abit longer, I have been thinking of putting in some new op amps in which might up the quality abit till I have an external dac and amp.
 
May 21, 2014 at 4:55 PM Post #8 of 9

PurpleAngel

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Sorry for the late response , sadly I won't be able to get a DAC/Amp anytime soon, but I'm going to bookmark the NFB-11 it seems really nice and I want to thank you for all the help and advise I really appreciate it! :)
I'll just have to hope my STX holds out for abit longer, I have been thinking of putting in some new op amps in which might up the quality abit till I have an external dac and amp.

 
A low cost op-amp upgrade (for the two I/V slots) would be to get two LME49720NA ($3 each), to replace the two stock JRC-2114 op-amps, the third op-amp in the buffer slot is a LM4653, which is a relabel LME49720.
There are the AD797BR and LME49990 op-amps, they usually sell for around $18, recommend you replace all three stock op-amps.
 
You can ask here about other op-amps for the STX.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/421890/the-xonar-essence-stx-q-a-tweaking-impressions-thread
 
May 22, 2014 at 2:35 AM Post #9 of 9

DieRespwnGameOn

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A low cost op-amp upgrade (for the two I/V slots) would be to get two LME49720NA ($3 each), to replace the two stock JRC-2114 op-amps, the third op-amp in the buffer slot is a LM4653, which is a relabel LME49720.
There are the AD797BR and LME49990 op-amps, they usually sell for around $18, recommend you replace all three stock op-amps.
 
You can ask here about other op-amps for the STX.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/421890/the-xonar-essence-stx-q-a-tweaking-impressions-thread


Thanks! I'll look into it then I'll have a slight upgrade for now then I can save up for a external DAC :)
 

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