Need help for choosing rig for home. DAC + AMP
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Rox15

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Hello everyone!
 
So I'm going to buy something like Sennheiser HD 558 or 598. With these I will listen music only at home (obviously, big and open cans), so I will not plug 'em in my iPod and I will not need some portable like the FiiO X3.
 
So I'm asking you guys if you can help me choosing a good rig for home.
 
1) Can my desktop PC or my laptop (IBM T43p) be a good source (most music is 320 kbps mp3, but also some FLAC; VLC player is good?), or do I need a good sound card (is it one of the most important thingh in the rig?)?
 
2) What do I need in between? DAC / amplifier like FiiO E7 / E10 / E17? Or since I listen always in the same room and don't have the "portable" problem can I go for something like Shiit Magni + Modi?
 
3) Suggestions for cables?
 
I listen music everyday for about 2 hours. I listen to pretty much every genres (pop, rock, alternative rock, funk, jazz, classic) except for electronic music and hip hop. I love bands like Incubus, Foo Fighters, Jamiroquai, but the list is endless. I listen to music to what I think is a normal volume (60-70% iPod max volume).
 
Thank you!!!
 
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TheGiantHogweed

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I use the FiiO E10 as my desktop headphone amplifier. It does a great job as it is both a DAC and headphone amplifier. It gets rid of every little hiss or interference sounds you may get from your PC or laptops built in sound card. Even on max volume when nothing is playing, you don't hear anything. The sound is just so clean. I think that the E10 will only work well if you are using it with a PC or a laptop.
 
About the cables, I needed a longer one that the 1m USB cable that came with it so I just bought a basic 1.8m cable and that sounds just as good. I don't believe that paying more for a digital cable really makes much difference.
 
I listen to Spotify Premium and almost all of the music on that is 320kbps and that sounds great through the E10 connected to my PC.
I have also used VLC media player for music and it does a fine job so that will be a good player to use.
 
I don't know much about the E7 or E17 but they are for portable use as well as home use.
 
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Rox15

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Thank you so much for your answer. I think I'm going for a E10. The only doubt I have is, what about the E17? I found some articles.
 
http://www.headfonia.com/the-latest-must-have-the-fiio-e10-usb-dacamp/
 
http://www.headfonia.com/the-upgrade-fiio-e17-alpen/
 
Is the E17 the new improved version of the E10? I will use one of these with Sennheiser HD 558 or 598.
 
What would you do? Has anyone some advices?
 
E10 or E17?
 
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H20Fidelity

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Depending how much you want to spend Aune T1 tube dac/amp is a nice option. You also could consider a Shiit magni/modi combo. Personally I would switch over from VLC media player to Foobar 2000 and start using wasapi to deliver an unmodified bitstream. 
 
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Rox15

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Thank you so much for the tips!!!
 
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TheGiantHogweed

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You will have to pay quite a lot more for the E17 and you sort of pay more because it is portable. The E10 is much cheaper and its sound quality should be very similar to the E17 and since you are using open headphones, you may as well go for the cheaper E10 as it is a desktop headphone amplifier.
 
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Roy Munson

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I have a magni and have spent considerable time with the vali and they are both great amps to get your feet wet. I haven't heard the modi but it seems to be well regarded especially at its price. Schiit makes a nice product and you get quite a bit for your money.
 
If you have an external DAC (such as the modi) you don't really a need an internal sound card. I'd only suggest a sound card if you were really into PC gaming.
 
- Roy
 
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MassDude

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I have the Schiit Magni/Modi combo and it really does the job. Like you, my listening is off my laptop in a fixed desktop configuration. The Schiit combo is excellent - and at a great price.
 
+1 for the earlier suggestion of foobar2000
 
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