Nuforce HDP Suitable? Or Overkill for HD 598
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I am new to headphone. I have just bought the HD 598 a week ago. I found that I am fond of the large sound stage and clarity that it brought.  However, I just use my laptop to drive it (integrated REALTEK HD sound card), and I found from the web that a good DAC/AMP will definitely get the most of the headphone. After some looking around, I found that Nuforce HDP has a good reputation and it's a DAC/AMP.  But, HDP is $450 almost twice the price of the HD 598.
 
I hope the DAC/AMP will provide more clarity, sound stage, a bit warm is also welcome.
 
So, I wonder it's a good combination or it's a overkill. Is there other good choices?Of course, I will buy some better headphone in the future, at that time will HDP still be sufficient?
 
Thanks in advance!
 
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Hi!
 
I do have the exact same setup. Don't expect wonders from it as the HD598 already sounds great out of a headphone out (manage expectations, LOL). But the icon HDP does what it claims. The DAC is very good (even though you can get nearly the same quality from a Fiio D3 for 30 USD) and the HDP is super versatile. It has really every kind of connection available, async USB, optical, rca as inputs, headphone and rca outputs... So it's very future proof. If you ever decide to have a different amp, you can use the HDP as pre-amp and DAC only, so really flexible.
 
I had the Schiit Asgard before I got the HDP (used) so I continue using the Asgard and the HDP as DAC only. The icon HDP is definitively a bit warmer on the low end. Soundstage is great, it properly drives the HD598 and is a very good match. Compared to onboard sound I hear it as fuller, more engaging, cleaner, just overall much more exciting to listen to.
 
If you don;t mind a bit of clutter and you have an optical out on your notebook: 
Fiio D3 as DAC (with Wolfson 8805 chips) and Schiit Asgard as Amp, together 280 USD.
 
However, only applicable if you have optical out as the connection, otherwise the HDP is a great product and has received staggering reviews so far. You can't go wrong with it.
 
 
 
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Quote:
Hi!
 
I do have the exact same setup. Don't expect wonders from it as the HD598 already sounds great out of a headphone out (manage expectations, LOL). But the icon HDP does what it claims. The DAC is very good (even though you can get nearly the same quality from a Fiio D3 for 30 USD) and the HDP is super versatile. It has really every kind of connection available, async USB, optical, rca as inputs, headphone and rca outputs... So it's very future proof. If you ever decide to have a different amp, you can use the HDP as pre-amp and DAC only, so really flexible.
 
I had the Schiit Asgard before I got the HDP (used) so I continue using the Asgard and the HDP as DAC only. The icon HDP is definitively a bit warmer on the low end. Soundstage is great, it properly drives the HD598 and is a very good match. Compared to onboard sound I hear it as fuller, more engaging, cleaner, just overall much more exciting to listen to.
 
If you don;t mind a bit of clutter and you have an optical out on your notebook: 
Fiio D3 as DAC (with Wolfson 8805 chips) and Schiit Asgard as Amp, together 280 USD.
 
However, only applicable if you have optical out as the connection, otherwise the HDP is a great product and has received staggering reviews so far. You can't go wrong with it.
 
 
 

[size=medium]
Thanks for the detailed reply !  My notebook actually does not have a optical out. Is there other recommendation?  Since HDP does not make much difference, is udac2 a good approach? Maybe I can match it with  Schiit Asgard.   But,then they are at almost same price. 
[/size]

 
 
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Also, what exactly the sound sig of HDP is . I found some people said that it's warm,while some say it's neutral with clarity?
 
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Koolpep

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hmmm, you could use an Fiio E7 with the L7 box as DAC only and put it through the Schiit Asgard, still some savings compared to icon HDP alone AND you have an additional portable DAC/Amp (E7). The E7 uses an Wolfson 8740 chip, DAC is nice and for portable use the amp is OK too.
 
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Koolpep

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@ssqqssqq12
 
Well, in my ears (which be all means are not "reference ears" or "golden ears" :wink: the icon HDP sounds a bit warmer in the lows and have the feeling the Asgard just separates the low frequencies a bit better.  The Asgard makes the sound "sweeter", just bit nicer to listen to. But the icon itself does a great job as well. If you have an icon you don't really need an Asgard and vice versa. But in general, the Asgard is a perfect match for Sennheiser headphones and especially the HD598. It also sings with Ultrasones (in my experience) and Superlux are driven just fine too...
 
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Quote:
@ssqqssqq12
 
Well, in my ears (which be all means are not "reference ears" or "golden ears" :wink: the icon HDP sounds a bit warmer in the lows and have the feeling the Asgard just separates the low frequencies a bit better.  The Asgard makes the sound "sweeter", just bit nicer to listen to. But the icon itself does a great job as well. If you have an icon you don't really need an Asgard and vice versa. But in general, the Asgard is a perfect match for Sennheiser headphones and especially the HD598. It also sings with Ultrasones (in my experience) and Superlux are driven just fine too...

Thanks man. I think I probably will go with the HDP. Because I plan to have Grado RS1i some months later. And,since they are both low impedence,high sensitivity headphones, is the DAC more important,since driving them in power is not that difficult? 
 
 
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Koolpep

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Hey, you are welcome.
 
Good choice!
 
I think you will be absolutely fine with the HDP. Enough ooomph for your headphones. I think that the importance of a DAC really depends on your onboard sound cards quality. But generally the DAC will make a huge difference with most onboard soundcards. The amp is generally more important though but still less than the headphones :wink:. But the icon HDP is absolutely fine in driving both. The RS1i Grados are also very nice headphones. Am curious about the differences between the two.
 
Happy listening and enjoy the music.
 
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i m now confused because of that sentence:
 I think that the importance of a DAC really depends on your onboard sound cards quality.  
 
many people have told me that when i connect my  usb dac to the laptop, and when i set on the option on the media player on which i listen to music
 that the music goes through the usb dac  ,that the soundcard from the laptop won t have any influence more on the sound quality and that after that it isnt important if i have the best or the worst soundcard in the world, because that then just important is the quality of my usb dac
whats now the real truth, who has right?
 
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