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Recommendation on DAC/AMP to use with Mad Dogs

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  1. thomassoup
    Just bought Mad Dog + Leather ALPHA Pads + Comfort Strap.
     
    Using at my desk at work playing music through my laptop.  Laptop does not have anything special sound card-wise.
     
    Was not driving well.  A friend had a Penguin Amp.  That has made a huge difference as I've tried it.
     
    I'm wondering if I should get just an AMP?  or a DAC/AMP combo?
     
    I'm pretty new to this....budget?  Somewhere around $100 if possible....but could go up if it would make a huge difference.
     
    Recommendations?  Thanks.
     
  2. Roy Munson
    A Schiit Magni 2 for $100. If you're willing to stretch it toss in the Modi 2 for another $100 and you're all set. The Vali drives the Mad Dogs quite nicely too. I find the Magni for my tastes synergizes a bit better as it adds a touch of brightness. 
     
    I use the Magni and Mad Dogs for my office setup. Nice purchase on the cans :) How do you like them so far?
     
  3. Roy Munson
    Also - Here's a thread that recommends amps based on other Mad Dog owners experiences. 
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/683118/mr-speakers-mad-dog-3-0-3-2-amp-pairing-recommendation-discussion-thread
     
  4. thomassoup
    Thanks.
     
  5. Roy Munson
    You're welcome
     
  6. thomassoup
    Any recommendations for a DAC/Amp combo?  I'll read the link that was sent as well.  Thanks.
     
    Will a DAC make that much of a difference?
     
  7. Roy Munson
    Magni/Modi combo or the Vali/Modi combo would be a great match for the Mad Dogs. Magni if you want a touch more emphasis on the highs and a little more punch in the bass - Vali if you want better bass texture/definition with a more overall warm or tube type sound.
     
    Will a DAC make a difference? It should but it all comes down to if it makes enough of a difference to your ears. The only thing I can say about DACs and amp is try it and judge for yourself. Don't expect night and day different from a DAC/amp but rather refinement of the sound that's already there. 
     
    trick likes this.
  8. trick

    He makes a great point. I suggest the fiio e10 as a dac+amp. As far as amps go, I did blind testing with I and someone else and neither of us could tell the difference between a fiio E10 and schiit's $450 Lyr. Maybe a great dac makes a difference, but the fiio e10 or e10K sounds as good as an amp will. (the only difference between amps is power) Also, I can hear the difference between an audiojack in a phone, computer, and dac+amp. (its not my ears... hopefully lol) The initial stage is really worth it, everything after that is up to argument. 
     
  9. Roy Munson
    I find it really hard to believe you couldn't hear a difference between the Lyr and the e10. The e10 is like a toy compared to the Lyr. What kind of headphones were you using to test this? And what was your source?
     
    Also - have you ever listened to Mad Dogs? Planars scale really well with more power. The Lyr + Mad Dog is an amazing combo. 
     
  10. trick
    I was using the q701 and tried it again with the sony H3. I used various flac and 320kbps songs with winamp. I understand your disbelief,  I was actually completely convinced that the fiio e10 was my lyr the first time. lol Then I turned around..  
     
    I haven't used planars, which is why I left in the part about power. I can't make any arguement about that, but you should really try a blind test yourself. Also try switching quickly between amps with the headphones quickly. I listened to the same parts of songs over and over again trying to hear something. 
     
  11. Roy Munson
    It's not in the best interest of the OP to make amp/dac suggestions for headphones you've never listened to before. That is how people seeking advice get mislead and end up with gear that doesn't compliment what they already own. 
     
    If you can't discern the difference in sound between an e10 and a Lyr consider yourself lucky that this hobby won't cost you too much money :)
     
  12. trick
    Seriously blind test between your amps. Best case, you are happy with your equipment. Worst case, I just saved you hundreds and you can sleep better at night. I was stating evidence that amps are arbitrary as long as they have the required amount of power to drive your headphones.
     
    Well i guess we disagree on what is misleading. Im trying to keep new members from getting caught up on the hype everyone spreads.  As far as misinformation, the only way to prove even to your self that the headphones and amp are a good combo is to try amp vs amp in blind testing. I can pull up various test results to even back up my argument. 
     
  13. trick
    Sorry Thomassoup, we kind of hijacked your thread. If you buy something that "doesn't compliment" your gear, you can return it within a short amount of time. 
     
  14. thomassoup
    I read the overall thread.  Seems like some liked the E12 and others the Magni....why Magni over E12?  Also - do I "need" the Modi? Will I really hear the difference?  I know....subjective...your opinion?
     
  15. thomassoup
    A now complete Christmas gift to myself.  The Mad Dogs, the Magni 2 and the Modi 2.  Here's to excellent music.

    Thanks.
     
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