Please help me select a good headphone amp for DT990 and AKG701
Jun 14, 2013 at 3:37 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

Dooku

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Hello all, I am new to this forum and seek help/advice to select a good headphone amp.
To help you help me, here is some info:
- I am using a DT990 Edition 250 Ohms, and an AKG 701
- I will be using these mostly with my desktop pc with a Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard.
- I listen mostly to: classical music/ pop / jazz.
- If possible, I do not want a headphone amp that colors the sound to much, I like a more clean sound.
- my budget is up to $500
- Q: do I need a separate DAC?
- Q: this is optional, but if I should want to use my headphone through a laptop, what will I need to purchase extra?
       In general, a USB port is just lousy, so how to solve this the easiest way?
Please let me know if you need more info and thank you in advance.
 
Jun 14, 2013 at 9:04 AM Post #2 of 12

Math-ECU

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You will hear many differing opinions on what to do on here as well as suggestions on what to change about your setup; whether wanted or not. As a long time lurker and new member myself I have found the best advice is to experiment yourself within your budget with quality gear that has good resale value. You will want a DAC for your laptop. If you like the sound sig of the Asus on your desktop rig I would suggest staying in same family. I have experience however with nuforce udac2 and Schiit modi...both good in their own respects. I wish you luck on this journey!
 
Jun 14, 2013 at 4:58 PM Post #3 of 12

Dooku

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Thank you Math-ECU for your reply. Maybe I worded my post wrong or am violating some rule here but not receiving any response at all. If it's my fault then I do apologize.
The photography forum I frequently visit would yield at least 10 replies while only providing a one sentence question.
So maybe this forum is different and I need to learn the local habits :)
 
Jun 16, 2013 at 7:07 AM Post #5 of 12

Shoggy

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Mhhh, I would throw in the Corda JAZZ from Meier Audio. I use it with a DT990 (600 Ohm) and like you I use that stuff on my PC with an Auzentech X-Fi Forte which also has an integrated amp like your card. So I think in some way we are sitting in the same boat 
wink.gif

 
You can take a look at my review about the mentioned amp. I also did some comparison between the amp and the soundcard so you will get an idea what to expect when you make the move to a discrete amp.
 
Using it with the laptop will be a bad experience for sure... The onboard soundcards on regular mainboards already have a muddy sound and a laptop is quite often even worse. I can tell that for sure since I also tested the amp with the onboard sound and this is really horrible. In this case even an inxepensive DAC should do a much better job.
 
Jun 24, 2013 at 2:02 PM Post #6 of 12

Dooku

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With all this knowledge on this forum there just has to be more suggestions......right?
I do appreciate the responses from Math_ECU and Shoggy very much, don't get me wrong.
And yes I think I gave it time and I do have thick skin :)
At least I did not bump my post 5 times in 90 minutes like one other poster did LOL.
Is there no one else who would like to share their experience about what is a good amp for the mentioned headphones?
 
 
Jun 24, 2013 at 2:16 PM Post #7 of 12

Jepu

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Neither of the headphones you mentioned are too power-hungry so a smaller and cheaper headphone amp might be good enough for you. Both are also pretty trebly, so you might want to make sure that there's enough extension on both ends of the headphone amplifier and that the curve is flat. And if you find the treble too sharp, you might also consider some cheaper tube amps like the ones from Little Dot et cetera. Tubes give you a bit to play around with as far as sound signature goes.
 

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