Just got the ZMF VC and they sound great from my SP2000, but I do have to increase the volume to 125 -130. But will a headphone amp actually improve them?. The VC is my first quality headphones (been using iems to date) so I have no experience of the merits of a separate amp. Any views?
To be transparent, you've got some pretty spendy gear to be asking that question; said differently, your gear far, far exceeds your ability to get what you paid for out of it ... right now; and that's the good news.
The long answer is, it depends on what you listen to and what you want out of your gear.
* If you listen to pop music from spotify, then an amp will give you some volume, and maybe some quality difference, but IMO ZMF VCs are way overkill for compressed pop music. but if that's the case a $90 monolith stick will solve your problem.
* If, on the other hand, you listen to CD or better quality jazz or classical (for example) from well mastered sources, then your ZMF VCs will scale up in sound quality as you scale up in equipment ... but now you're going down the rabbit hole of finding the sound you like.
Depending on your budget you could start out with a cheaper DAC and amp like a grace DAC / THX789 from drop or a Schiit combo ... or you could go more transportable with something like the monolith THX AAA or ifi xDSD or DSD BL or chord mojo ... or even a dragonfly red or the monolith stick. Headphones.com has a limited but decent selection of gear for fair prices with a 365 day return policy and they could guide you (I have zero affiliation with them)
So basically, figure out what you listen to, what you want from that, and then start exploring gear to help you dial in the sound signature you want.
I listen to rock music mostly, don't use Tidal. I'm happy enough with what I've got, it's just that a few people on here have suggested that using a headphone amp (just amp, not the DAC) I could squeeze out a bit extra. As you have said, my gear probably does exceed my ability to get the best out of it. As a newbie to high-end gear, maybe I should have started lower and worked my way up! As it is, I am trying to maximise the potential of what I already have. Will visit that site you mentioned.