Author Topic: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread  (Read 112806 times)

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Offline zoolzoo

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #200 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 07:16:08 »
Ive been thinking about DAC's lately.

Im torn between going with Fiio D03k and using my mobo's optical out....or perhaps going with the Schiit modi which is a USB plug and play type of solution. My amp would be a Fiios E11 for the short term and probably a Schiit Magni coming up.

The modi looks cool but I have some reservations about the whole "driver-less plug and play" usb thing. Will I run into any compatibility problems in terms of general computing such as gaming?

The D03k is much cheaper and looks like it would fit my needs quite well. Anyone have any experience with both of these?

[edit] Looking for reviews on the D03K is kind of frustrating. Most of them are people hooking up components to their TVs and old ass legacy receivers, could care less about that. Im wondering more about the performance out of a motherboard TOSlink, into a headphone amp, and into a nice set of headphones for music and gaming.

I don't know much about the Schiit Modi but you should stick with SPDIF over USB (generally speaking).
There's quite a huge debate about this and you'll probably want to read more about this.
These are just my 2 cents and just generalities:
1) Good USB DACs are still very rare
2) You generally want to avoid using USB for DACs under $600 and preferably under 1k.
3) USB always has some degree of jitter. Less jitter on better DACs. (There's a bit more to this).
4) Your DAC needs to support USB asynchronous mode otherwise it will definitely lose out to SPDIF.
5) You need to consider how the USB is powered and routed (on the DAC itself and also from your motherboard to the DAC). This factors into how clean the sound is.
6) USB DACs can also occasionally cause your computer to crash due to driver issues and cause that IRQ less than equal bluescreen. Although this actually depends on the chip (the sabre chip on my DAC was notorious for this issue until they slowly patched it on every DAC that carried this chip)

If it's driver-less plug and play ... it's either really good bang for your buck or it really sucks. I'd vote for the latter.

Again your setup can also heavily preface and/or invalidate these statements.

Thanks for the reply. I was doing alot of reading last night, and even though the Schiit Modi reviews pretty well I came to many of your same conclusions. I also dont like how the Modi's usb input is also what is powering the unit.

I decided the best thing for me to do when I pull the trigger... is totally ditching the usb solutions and also ditching my onboard sound. I think Im going to go with a Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD as my "DAC". It has dedicated analog out over RCA and I read the internal DAC on it is very good. Going to run that right into a Schiit Magni amp and be done with it. This solution is only $50 more, I think its worth it for my application.
Leopold FC660C, Topre 45g | CM QFR, MX Blue | Rosewill RK-9000v2, MX Red | Cherry Slimline G84-4100, ML

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #201 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 10:31:29 »
More
I don't know much about the Schiit Modi but you should stick with SPDIF over USB (generally speaking).
There's quite a huge debate about this and you'll probably want to read more about this.
These are just my 2 cents and just generalities:
1) Good USB DACs are still very rare
2) You generally want to avoid using USB for DACs under $600 and preferably under 1k.
3) USB always has some degree of jitter. Less jitter on better DACs. (There's a bit more to this).
4) Your DAC needs to support USB asynchronous mode otherwise it will definitely lose out to SPDIF.
5) You need to consider how the USB is powered and routed (on the DAC itself and also from your motherboard to the DAC). This factors into how clean the sound is.
6) USB DACs can also occasionally cause your computer to crash due to driver issues and cause that IRQ less than equal bluescreen. Although this actually depends on the chip (the sabre chip on my DAC was notorious for this issue until they slowly patched it on every DAC that carried this chip)

If it's driver-less plug and play ... it's either really good bang for your buck or it really sucks. I'd vote for the latter.

Again your setup can also heavily preface and/or invalidate these statements.

From building a USB DAC I can confirm and deny a few things said.

1) Good USB dacs are not rare.  The same DAC circuitry that is on sound cards/coaxial/spdif exists on USB dacs.
2) Avoiding USB devices based on price tag is ignorant of advances in technology.
3) Jitter can be corrected, and should be below the tolerable level for the DAC.  If the DAC is bad because it can not handle a little jitter it is likely not a very good DAC.  If it can't handle jitter and it is a very good DAC you will only see it on COAX/PCI/PCI-E devices.
4) asynchronous USB is supported by a protocol/standard called i2S.  This brings be back to point #1.  Very FEW good USB interfaces exist at a reasonable price point which support i2S.  That is not until recently.  Until the end of this past year sub $20/qt.1000+ parts for i2S USB interfaces were essentially mythical.  A LOT of the i2S interfaces allowed for much more than simple USB to i2S which drove up the cost.  There are now devices on the market which do less, take up less space, and allow devices to operate USB asynch to well above the spec of the DAC.
5) It is engineered into the spec of USB ICs/DAC to a degree and largely depends on the quality of the motherboard/3.3V/5V supply on your PSU.  If your motherboard's usb controller and PSU are terrible then you might as well get some other solution unless the ICs in your USB DAC are of exceptional quality.  My simple protodac is usb powered and has no noise floor/distortion in any regard -.05% below spec of the DAC.  USB is not the cause of the distortion, but rather other factors.
6) Any device can cause issues with a PC.  Any device with unstable drivers or firmware issues can cause problems in various OS.  USB DACs are not alone in this.
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Offline Novus

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #202 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 14:44:22 »
^ I think that's fair and really well said.

Although, for #5 I didn't say that USB was the cause of the distortion but you did outline the process out very well nonetheless.

As I mentioned, these are all generalities until you actually factor in a specific DAC with the quality of your existing setup and cans.

There's alot of people in the SPDIF vs USB camp, don't get me wrong I don't particularly advocate one over the other and I appreciate having USB functionality on my DAC for things like laptops (although mine isn't very portable anyways  :p).

The thing about SPDIF vs USB is that windows drivers only natively support up to 24/96 on USB (of course realistically 24/96 is really good and 192khz is just overkill among other things). If you want to go higher, you need to install special drivers. Some USB DACs also require drivers to be installed regardless anyways. SPDIF doesn't have this limitation to begin with and it doesn't require special drivers that you need to install on the side. So yes, any device with unstable drivers or firmware can cause problems but USB is more likely to run into hiccups over SPDIF because there's more overhead and special drivers involved with USB sound output. This, along with all the crappy controllers utilized were some of the issues back when they first implemented USBs into DACs.

Most people say that on the same DAC, SPDIF and USB sound the same. I would agree with this. This is very subjective though and I don’t think there have actually been any conclusive studies done quite yet. I think this does hold true as long the quality of the cans, music and the system overall is consistent with what should be used for that particular quality tier of DAC. I know this sounds redundant but if you are listening to lossy music or using very crappy cans, for example, then there’s really no merit in comparing USB vs SPDIF.

There’s also that whole native USB driver spiel that needs to be factored in. Due to all of this, I think it's still important to consider USB vs SPDIF implementation for DACs at various pricepoints. At lower price points, I'm not really sure how the newer USB DACs perform compared to SPDIF based ones. I know the older ones had more issues and were often bottle-necked by some crappy controller. I think even with all the improvements we've seen, there are still some lingering issues that haven't been completely resolved. Mid to high price points DACs are generally well engineered anyways so both USB and SPDIF will sound great - especially if the DAC supports both USB and SPDIF.

When it comes to picking a DAC, I would say just keep in mind the whole SPDIF vs USB thing.  From my experience and what I've seen and read, USB tends to have more issues over SPDIF. This was especially true from (2010-2012). I personally think USB still has more issues over SPDIF generally.

The more important thing about DAC picking is to make sure it matches well with a particular set of can(s) that you possess or plan to buy. Certain DACs pair very well with certain headphones.

It’s kinda like keyboards actually. We all start from an entry level mechanical keyboard only to realize it's bad and then get something better. Then you go crazy with keycaps and other various things. We all lust after those expensive custom made keyboards. I guess what I'm saying is that if you’re planning on making the trip to hi-fi, it’s well worth the money to invest in a DAC that costs more money because that $100-$200 DAC (not that these DACs aren't good) is going to be like your first entry level mechanical keyboard.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 January 2014, 17:06:33 by the1onewolf »

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #203 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 16:17:43 »
I really like the concept of SPDIF DACs, and they do require that you have an SPDIF source... like a sound card.  One of my friends uses a SPDIF with little issue, and other just couldn't get his SPDIF to function.  They ended up exchanging information and the right sound card was purchased.

In the future I see SPDIF DACs being more expensive and less popular.  USB3 will eventually be utilized for high end digital audio streaming, and we may see the end of alternative means for PC use.  SPDIF and COAX will probably be more suited for home theater.
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Offline zoolzoo

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #204 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 18:44:39 »
^ I think that's fair and really well said.

Although, for #5 I didn't say that USB was the cause of the distortion but you did outline the process out very well nonetheless.

As I mentioned, these are all generalities until you actually factor in a specific DAC with the quality of your existing setup and cans.

There's alot of people in the SPDIF vs USB camp, don't get me wrong I don't particularly advocate one over the other and I appreciate having USB functionality on my DAC for things like laptops (although mine isn't very portable anyways  :p).

The thing about SPDIF vs USB is that windows drivers only natively support up to 24/96 on USB (of course realistically 24/96 is really good and 192khz is just overkill among other things). If you want to go higher, you need to install special drivers. Some USB DACs also require drivers to be installed regardless anyways. SPDIF doesn't have this limitation to begin with and it doesn't require special drivers that you need to install on the side. So yes, any device with unstable drivers or firmware can cause problems but USB is more likely to run into hiccups over SPDIF because there's more overhead and special drivers involved with USB sound output. This, along with all the crappy controllers utilized were some of the issues back when they first implemented USBs into DACs.

Most people say that on the same DAC, SPDIF and USB sound the same. I would agree with this. This is very subjective though and I dont think there have actually been any conclusive studies done quite yet. I think this does hold true as long the quality of the cans, music and the system overall is consistent with what should be used for that particular quality tier of DAC. I know this sounds redundant but if you are listening to lossy music or using very crappy cans, for example, then theres really no merit in comparing USB vs SPDIF.

Theres also that whole native USB driver spiel that needs to be factored in. Due to all of this, I think it's still important to consider USB vs SPDIF implementation for DACs at various pricepoints. At lower price points, I'm not really sure how the newer USB DACs perform compared to SPDIF based ones. I know the older ones had more issues and were often bottle-necked by some crappy controller. I think even with all the improvements we've seen, there are still some lingering issues that haven't been completely resolved. Mid to high price points DACs are generally well engineered anyways so both USB and SPDIF will sound great - especially if the DAC supports both USB and SPDIF.

When it comes to picking a DAC, I would say just keep in mind the whole SPDIF vs USB thing.  From my experience and what I've seen and read, USB tends to have more issues over SPDIF. This was especially true from (2010-2012). I personally think USB still has more issues over SPDIF generally.

The more important thing about DAC picking is to make sure it matches well with a particular set of can(s) that you possess or plan to buy. Certain DACs pair very well with certain headphones.

Its kinda like keyboards actually. We all start from an entry level mechanical keyboard only to realize it's bad and then get something better. Then you go crazy with keycaps and other various things. We all lust after those expensive custom made keyboards. I guess what I'm saying is that if youre planning on making the trip to hi-fi, its well worth the money to invest in a DAC that costs more money because that $100-$200 DAC (not that these DACs aren't good) is going to be like your first entry level mechanical keyboard.

What do you think of my choice?
Leopold FC660C, Topre 45g | CM QFR, MX Blue | Rosewill RK-9000v2, MX Red | Cherry Slimline G84-4100, ML

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #205 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 18:54:19 »
What do you think of my choice?

I just read up on the card.  It is still up to date with DAC technology, and while some USB solutions offer superior DAC they just simply aren't as clean.  I would argue that something like the ODAC would trounce it, but that's truly a matter of opinion as most people would not be able to understand (hear) the difference at 24bit/96kHz which is what that sound-card is rated as its mode of greatest performance.
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

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Offline zoolzoo

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #206 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:12:52 »
What do you think of my choice?

I just read up on the card.  It is still up to date with DAC technology, and while some USB solutions offer superior DAC they just simply aren't as clean.  I would argue that something like the ODAC would trounce it, but that's truly a matter of opinion as most people would not be able to understand (hear) the difference at 24bit/96kHz which is what that sound-card is rated as its mode of greatest performance.

Cool, thanks. I think Im going to like my set up quite a bit. At this point, flac files on my lg g2 -> fiio e11 -> grado sr80i is amazing to me compared to any head phone set up I have had before...so being a headphone newb Im pretty excited about this whole thing.
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Offline meiosis

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #207 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:41:54 »
I've been using my schitt modi/magni stack for two days, ever so often the left earphone cuts out and I need to readjust the positioning of the cable?/ or the slightest touch will make it work again, does anyone know what the problem might be?

RCA cable?

The Modi ._.?

The Magni :|?
Current GBs:
Ice Box
Matrix 1.2 OG

Keyboards:
Filco Majestouch 2 - Sakura Edition [MX Blue]

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #208 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:45:35 »
I've been looking into some sort of amp/DAC combo (or separates) since I started getting tinnitus from listening to Sennhiser HD598 headphones cranked up too high (compensating for a noisy environment, didn't work out very well...).  For Christmas I got a Mackie Blackjack, as I've been doing some home recording using a desktop mike - too early to call it podcasting.  The Blackjack is a desktop 2-channel audio mixer that supports phantom power for microphones, USB connection to record sessions, and has a headphone jack for monitoring.  When not recording I use it for general desktop amplification.

Also around X-Mas, I traded the Sennheiser's to my wife in exchange for her ATH-M50 headphones, giving the closed-back style a trial.  Yesterday, I was reading over this thread and listening through the test track list posted by Binge, and oh... my... gosh.  The Mackie drives the M50's soooo nicely.  The Budos Band "Unbroken, Unshaven" was like being at the coolest jazz club imaginable, and then listening to Imogen Heap - Aha! was like mainlining mass amounts of narcotics (as I imagine that would feel, anyway...).

I'm sold on closed headphones, at least for the foreseeable.  Next I want to try a pair of Mad Dogs, and maybe splurge on an amp/DAC combo from Maverick, just to hear "tube sound" for myself.  Time to sell some keyboards.  Well, a couple that I don't use.  Much.   :-\

Lovely thread, tops in my reading list every day!

Offline fourzeropooh

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #209 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:48:07 »
Is it better to have a DAC Amp combo or two seperate DACs and Amps?

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #210 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 19:53:00 »
Also wanted to add another track to the recommended listening list:

Passenger - Let Her Go

Still finding new depths in my favorite songs.  Just listening to Morgan Page - The Longest Road (Deadmau5 Remix) which is a bass daydream with the ATH-M50 headphones.   :thumb:

Offline Novus

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #211 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:45:54 »
What do you think of my choice?

I tend to advocate saving money and investing in higher priced audio equipment slowly over time.
That's just me though haha  :p.

I think for what you want the card is decent but I would personally advocate a DAC + AMP setup over a sound card setup though.
You do need a better headphones and/or better audio system to take advantage of a higher priced DAC though otherwise you won't "hear it"
It's worth considering buying a higher priced DAC because of that.

That being said these are some of the good entry level DACs:

The Schiit Modi is USB powered. Most audiophiles don't like USB powered things but it's probably great for what it offers at under 100 dollars. HOLY CRAP it has a 1/4 native jack though. *mind blown/that's crazy* That being said I would still skip to the BiFrost (350 dollars).
At the 220-250 dollar price range the Audio-gd NFB 12 is said to be great entry level DAC.
The O2+ODAC COMBO (250-290) mentioned above is frequently mentioned and said to be great.
The TEAC UD-H01 (Just shy of 300) is also said to be really good bang for your buck.
I've listened to some of the Musical Fidelity M-series products and I quite like them. I would imagine the V90-DAC is also worth considering (Probably shy of 300 as well)

I think the slight premium that you pay for these devices is worth it because these devices can probably future proof you up to headphones around the 200-300 dollar range. I suspect you can even go up to some mid-fi 500 dollar range cans.
« Last Edit: Thu, 09 January 2014, 20:57:07 by the1onewolf »

Offline Novus

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #212 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 21:26:08 »
I've been using my schitt modi/magni stack for two days, ever so often the left earphone cuts out and I need to readjust the positioning of the cable?/ or the slightest touch will make it work again, does anyone know what the problem might be?

RCA cable?

The Modi ._.?

The Magni :|?

This could be anything. See if you can isolate the issue by testing your components on other systems separately. My guess is that your headphone jack is dirty. Try some contact cleaner.

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #213 on: Thu, 09 January 2014, 22:15:52 »
I've been using my schitt modi/magni stack for two days, ever so often the left earphone cuts out and I need to readjust the positioning of the cable?/ or the slightest touch will make it work again, does anyone know what the problem might be?

RCA cable?

The Modi ._.?

The Magni :|?

Could what cable?  Your headphone cable or RCA?

Sounds like a cable issue, or dirt on a connector.

Is it better to have a DAC Amp combo or two seperate DACs and Amps?

A matter of preference.  I like items which have both and can drive an extra amplifier in case I want to let someone else have a listen.

So that is a DAC+AMP w/additional RCA or stereo line outs.
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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #214 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:22:41 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #215 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:26:16 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Which amp?

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #216 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:29:01 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Which amp?

Bravo V3

Offline Pacifist

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #217 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:36:12 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Which amp?

Bravo V3

Oh yea that....why'd they remove it so soon?

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #218 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:39:24 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Which amp?

Bravo V3

Oh yea that....why'd they remove it so soon?

Well the drop ended 3 weeks go and they sent out an email today saying production wouldn't even begin until after the Chinese New Year, which they said would be another 2 weeks so I.....cancelled. :|

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #219 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 13:53:24 »
Well the drop ended 3 weeks go and they sent out an email today saying production wouldn't even begin until after the Chinese New Year, which they said would be another 2 weeks so I.....cancelled. :|

That's a bummer, I've never had any issues with Massdrop and delays
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Offline demik

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #220 on: Mon, 20 January 2014, 14:43:17 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?
Spend an extra 30 and go with schiit
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Offline zoolzoo

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #221 on: Tue, 21 January 2014, 08:00:24 »
So massdrop dropped the ball on the amp I was going to get......

Is there anything worth getting in the $50-$70 range?

Spam, I would spend $30 more and go with the Schitt Magni and be done with it. I just got one and it sounds great, looks great, made in the US if you care.


So my set up is now..

X-Fi Titanium HD RCA out for DAC
Schitt Magni
Beyer DT 990 mostly for gaming
Grado SR80i

Fiio E11 + LG G2 or Nexus 10 for "mobile" listening (laying in bed or on the couch, hehe), and playing my electronic drumset.

Im also building up my FLAC collection. Im really glad I got a little bit more into the headphone game, music has never sounded this good.

couple pics:




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Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #222 on: Tue, 21 January 2014, 08:07:22 »
Someone recommended the Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp currently on massdrop....hmmm

Offline zoolzoo

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #223 on: Tue, 21 January 2014, 08:25:49 »
Someone recommended the Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp currently on massdrop....hmmm

287 pages of forum research for you ;}


http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq
Leopold FC660C, Topre 45g | CM QFR, MX Blue | Rosewill RK-9000v2, MX Red | Cherry Slimline G84-4100, ML

Offline SpAmRaY

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #224 on: Tue, 21 January 2014, 08:31:06 »
Someone recommended the Aune T1 Headphone Tube DAC and Amp currently on massdrop....hmmm

287 pages of forum research for you ;}


http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq

already was there earlier haha :P

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #225 on: Tue, 21 January 2014, 08:47:02 »
Has anyone tried out the Dared MP-6 headphone amp?  Seems to be priced competitively with the Little Dot and Elekit offerings.

Offline RickyJ

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #226 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 17:37:41 »
Just joined the Aune T1 drop after some reading.  I might pick up a different tube as well to suit my single-player gaming needs, one guy in the Head-Fi thread posted his thoughts from a gaming standpoint (Philips SQ Miniwatt E88CC > Russian 6n23p rocket logo > stock).  I can add a Vali later if I find the T1 lacking in the amp section.
Cherry: Race with reds and green backlighting, lubed and stickered; Poker X with ghetto-greens (clear springs), Vortex plate, PBT, stickers; Leopold Tenkeyless with browns; Adesso AKP-220B keypad with ergo-clears, lubed and stickered, Cherry doubleshots
Alps: Nan Tan KB-6251EA with complicated blues; Siig Minitouch with complicated blues

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #227 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 17:47:29 »
Just joined the Aune T1 drop after some reading.  I might pick up a different tube as well to suit my single-player gaming needs, one guy in the Head-Fi thread posted his thoughts from a gaming standpoint (Philips SQ Miniwatt E88CC > Russian 6n23p rocket logo > stock).  I can add a Vali later if I find the T1 lacking in the amp section.

Thank you for reminding me of this setup :)  I am going to listen to some tunes through it now.  AuneT1+vali is creamy brilliant magic
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline RickyJ

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #228 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 22:26:05 »
Good! I read some people planning on it in the T1 thread (feeding Vali back to the T1 amp section thinking they'd get more power), but didn't read any impressions.  Was hoping that the T1's tube buffer wouldn't mess with the Vali. :)  I couldn't justify getting the Modi+Vali at this time, but the T1 drop made it easier to ditch this E10 and upgrade with the Vali later.
Cherry: Race with reds and green backlighting, lubed and stickered; Poker X with ghetto-greens (clear springs), Vortex plate, PBT, stickers; Leopold Tenkeyless with browns; Adesso AKP-220B keypad with ergo-clears, lubed and stickered, Cherry doubleshots
Alps: Nan Tan KB-6251EA with complicated blues; Siig Minitouch with complicated blues

Offline LONGZILLA

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #229 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 22:31:01 »
Just joined the Aune T1 drop after some reading.  I might pick up a different tube as well to suit my single-player gaming needs, one guy in the Head-Fi thread posted his thoughts from a gaming standpoint (Philips SQ Miniwatt E88CC > Russian 6n23p rocket logo > stock).  I can add a Vali later if I find the T1 lacking in the amp section.

Jumped on the Aune T1 as well, looking forward to my first amp/dac experience. Hope it pairs alright with my hd598
G.O.A.T.

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #230 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 23:33:27 »
Good! I read some people planning on it in the T1 thread (feeding Vali back to the T1 amp section thinking they'd get more power), but didn't read any impressions.  Was hoping that the T1's tube buffer wouldn't mess with the Vali. :)  I couldn't justify getting the Modi+Vali at this time, but the T1 drop made it easier to ditch this E10 and upgrade with the Vali later.

Feeding the vali back into the Aune would be hella stupid.  Just saying
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline RickyJ

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #231 on: Sat, 25 January 2014, 23:45:26 »
Agreed. I don't think those people understood things very well.
Cherry: Race with reds and green backlighting, lubed and stickered; Poker X with ghetto-greens (clear springs), Vortex plate, PBT, stickers; Leopold Tenkeyless with browns; Adesso AKP-220B keypad with ergo-clears, lubed and stickered, Cherry doubleshots
Alps: Nan Tan KB-6251EA with complicated blues; Siig Minitouch with complicated blues

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #232 on: Sun, 26 January 2014, 00:08:02 »
Ah goody :) it is a very nice combo to go aune into the vali though very musical in its own right
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline Tarzan

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #233 on: Tue, 28 January 2014, 18:14:47 »
My listening is mostly via headphones, and I'm pretty happy with the Mad Dogs I got last week.  Now I'm shopping for better sound.  I'm partially deaf in one ear, so I'm hoping to find a solution with some sound balancing.  What should I be looking for, an amp/DAC combo with integrated equalizer?   

Offline luminor

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #234 on: Wed, 29 January 2014, 10:27:56 »
will JDS Labs C5D sufficient for Sennheiser HD650, or just go with Bottlehead crack? i'm leaning to get the bottlehead

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #235 on: Wed, 29 January 2014, 14:49:42 »
will JDS Labs C5D sufficient for Sennheiser HD650, or just go with Bottlehead crack? i'm leaning to get the bottlehead

a C5D is a mobile amp/dac.  It would be inappropriate to use it with the 650s, and from experience tube amplifiers tend to drive the 650s with better clarity.  The bottlehead is a nice option.  The Vali will also work very well.  I have found the O2 works as well with a 16V AC supply, but the Vali is a better presentation overall.
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline meiosis

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #236 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 01:40:49 »
Quick someone hit me with an answer:

Schiit stack (modi/magni) vs Aune T1?

I currently have the Schiit mostly due to Aune T1 gb running out last time.

Maybe I should join in on the massdrop currently if its actually an improvement?
Current GBs:
Ice Box
Matrix 1.2 OG

Keyboards:
Filco Majestouch 2 - Sakura Edition [MX Blue]

Offline Binge

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #237 on: Fri, 31 January 2014, 10:12:20 »
Quick someone hit me with an answer:

Schiit stack (modi/magni) vs Aune T1?

I currently have the Schiit mostly due to Aune T1 gb running out last time.

Maybe I should join in on the massdrop currently if its actually an improvement?

The T1 is an improvement over the Modi, but not the Magni.  You're basically side-grading with the T1.  If you want to upgrade get a better dac.

If you ever wanted to listen with someone else and have another set of headphones you can run the T1 + the Magni and have 2 amps on one DAC...

now I do have to say as dacs go the Aune is colored, so if you want something more for pure audio quality I would research a bit harder to go with something like the odac.
« Last Edit: Fri, 31 January 2014, 10:14:13 by Binge »
60% keyboards, 100% of the time.

"What the hell Jimmy?!  It was ruined before you even put it up there with your decrepit fingers."

Offline RickyJ

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #238 on: Tue, 11 February 2014, 21:04:49 »
Got my T1 today!  Came with an Electro-Harmonix 6922EH Russian tube, I was expecting a cheap Chinese one! :D

No burn-in yet.  Highs were a bit too strong and harsh from my Fiio, always felt that.  The T1 really reels that in, it's quite delightful. :)
Cherry: Race with reds and green backlighting, lubed and stickered; Poker X with ghetto-greens (clear springs), Vortex plate, PBT, stickers; Leopold Tenkeyless with browns; Adesso AKP-220B keypad with ergo-clears, lubed and stickered, Cherry doubleshots
Alps: Nan Tan KB-6251EA with complicated blues; Siig Minitouch with complicated blues

Offline Sniping

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #239 on: Tue, 11 February 2014, 22:47:47 »
Not entirely amp related but I recently got a new cable for the HE-400 setup so I can finally use the balanced output on my amp, sounds incredible!
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« Last Edit: Wed, 12 February 2014, 01:30:20 by Sniping »
the best keyboard is the one in front of you

Offline tjcaustin

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #240 on: Tue, 11 February 2014, 23:29:52 »
Not entirely amp related but I recently got a new cable for the HE-400 setup so I can finally used the balanced output on my amp, sounds incredible!
(Attachment Link)

Only a little sad.

Offline Dubsgalore

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #241 on: Thu, 13 February 2014, 21:38:31 »



Just received and started using the Aune T1 from the massdrop buy (thanks Binge for the suggestion)

This thing is great, I'm loving it so far. Don't really know the much of the audio terms so I can't describe how different it is from the Schitt stack (which I had a ton of troubles with) but now I'm enjoying this a lot more.

Offline LONGZILLA

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #242 on: Thu, 13 February 2014, 23:02:45 »
Show Image



Just received and started using the Aune T1 from the massdrop buy (thanks Binge for the suggestion)

This thing is great, I'm loving it so far. Don't really know the much of the audio terms so I can't describe how different it is from the Schitt stack (which I had a ton of troubles with) but now I'm enjoying this a lot more.

Great setup, received my T1 too and thinking about the Mad Dogs. A set of the tube covers snapped trying to get them in, no biggie ... Love the thing
G.O.A.T.

Offline filphil

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #243 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 00:47:38 »
Really wish I picked up the black one from the last massdrop.  It sold out the second funds got transferred to my account.  I dont like committing to a drop unless I'm sure the funds were there.  =/

Offline demik

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #244 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 12:25:33 »
Show Image



Just received and started using the Aune T1 from the massdrop buy (thanks Binge for the suggestion)

This thing is great, I'm loving it so far. Don't really know the much of the audio terms so I can't describe how different it is from the Schitt stack (which I had a ton of troubles with) but now I'm enjoying this a lot more.

Great setup, received my T1 too and thinking about the Mad Dogs. A set of the tube covers snapped trying to get them in, no biggie ... Love the thing

I may or may not be selling my mad dogs
No, hes not around. How that sound to ya? Jot it down.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #245 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 12:40:22 »
So I've been testing out my JH5s for a week with a Fiio e06 amp. But there's hissing which I think means it doesn't have enough power outage ifrom the e06? Anyways, can anyone recommend me a portable amp/dac for traveling? Right now I have a Zune and the Fiio e06.

I'd rather not get a e17 or something of that size since the Zune and e17 would be really thick and uncomfortable in my pocket.
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Offline tjcaustin

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #246 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 12:53:11 »
So I've been testing out my JH5s for a week with a Fiio e06 amp. But there's hissing which I think means it doesn't have enough power outage ifrom the e06? Anyways, can anyone recommend me a portable amp/dac for traveling? Right now I have a Zune and the Fiio e06.

I'd rather not get a e17 or something of that size since the Zune and e17 would be really thick and uncomfortable in my pocket.

hue.

How much money do you want to spend?  Because a lot of the more "portable" options aren't going to be cheap.  It might be more feasible to use your phone as transport and e17 for amp/dac assuming you don't have a super thick phone.

If that's plain undoable, the e12 is going to be best bet.

Offline CPTBadAss

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #247 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 12:58:51 »
More
So I've been testing out my JH5s for a week with a Fiio e06 amp. But there's hissing which I think means it doesn't have enough power outage ifrom the e06? Anyways, can anyone recommend me a portable amp/dac for traveling? Right now I have a Zune and the Fiio e06.

I'd rather not get a e17 or something of that size since the Zune and e17 would be really thick and uncomfortable in my pocket.

hue.

How much money do you want to spend?  Because a lot of the more "portable" options aren't going to be cheap.  It might be more feasible to use your phone as transport and e17 for amp/dac assuming you don't have a super thick phone.

If that's plain undoable, the e12 is going to be best bet.

Unfortunately my phone is about as thick as my Zune. I'd like to spend less than $100; $50 would be ideal. I was considering using a CMoy. I was also looking at the e11 and e12.

Anyways, regardless of the budget constraint, I'd just like to read up on amps just to know what's out there.
Please check out TactileZine.com!

Offline tjcaustin

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #248 on: Mon, 24 February 2014, 13:23:22 »
More
So I've been testing out my JH5s for a week with a Fiio e06 amp. But there's hissing which I think means it doesn't have enough power outage ifrom the e06? Anyways, can anyone recommend me a portable amp/dac for traveling? Right now I have a Zune and the Fiio e06.

I'd rather not get a e17 or something of that size since the Zune and e17 would be really thick and uncomfortable in my pocket.

hue.

How much money do you want to spend?  Because a lot of the more "portable" options aren't going to be cheap.  It might be more feasible to use your phone as transport and e17 for amp/dac assuming you don't have a super thick phone.

If that's plain undoable, the e12 is going to be best bet.

Unfortunately my phone is about as thick as my Zune. I'd like to spend less than $100; $50 would be ideal. I was considering using a CMoy. I was also looking at the e11 and e12.

Anyways, regardless of the budget constraint, I'd just like to read up on amps just to know what's out there.

the cmoy is going to be a similar thickness to the e17.  I think you'd be happy with the e12, but other portable options include:

meridian explorer
headamp pico slim
CEntrance DACport
Apex HiFi Audio Glacier

Offline LONGZILLA

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Re: Headphone Amp/DAC Thread
« Reply #249 on: Tue, 25 February 2014, 11:55:41 »
I may or may not be selling my mad dogs

May or may not be interested.

Were they not what you were looking for?
G.O.A.T.