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I've been trying to decide on an amp myself for these guys. I'm running Crystal Sound in my mobo currently and don't know if i'll see I huge difference in sq by switching dacs. Schiit modi magni combo seems to be the go to for about 200, but does anybody have any suggestions for items of lower pricing?
I personally doubt a budget dac will change much compared to the dac provided on your on board solution (unless if it's a really budget motherboard or they're using a really low end solution). Usually, what I personally suggest is that if your hearing buzzing noises coming from the motherboard audio solution (sometimes the motherboard audio can pick up things like coil whine and other electrical interference), then you'd want to buy an external dac. If you are looking for a dac, there's the Topping d10 and d30 (<$90 and $120), the Khadas tone board is another good dac ($99, however, it takes a while to ship and doesn't come with a case, it's just a bare board). As for the amp, I actually personally suggest the JDS atom over the magni ($99 price range). While the magni is a bit more powerful and it's a metal chassis vs the plastic build on the atom, the atom is overall a much cleaner amp with less distortion.
Wow thanks so much for the reply. I hear no wine from inside my box with my other headphones. I mainly use MH40s from master and dynamic and ATHm50s from Audio Technica. The mobo sound I have is pretty decent, but I have heard that buying a better dac will open the sound-stage of a lot of headphones. I am assuming this is exclusive to more expensive options.
I definitely will need an amp so maybe thats the best place to start. A lot of people say the JDS atom is great, but will they be able to provide strong enough volume to these headphones? I generally like music pretty loud.
Thanks again for the help.
Yeah, again, it really depends on your motherboard and what solution is it using. I mean, for comparison, my friend has a high end laptop and he also bought a dragonfly red dac/amp. He owns a Kennerton Vali, Etymotics ER4SR, and Custom Art FIBAE 3, he couldn't really tell that much of a difference between the two sources. I guess to simply put it, there could be a difference, but to the casual listener like him and myself, the difference is so minimal that it doesn't matter. The headphone/ iem and amp themselves are much bigger factors. But, I guess in terms of dac, it'll ultimately be up to you. If you want to go full external solution, if you want to try it out and see if it'll make a noticeable difference.
Regarding the amp, my current setup is a uDac 3 (dac, waiting for the khadas tone board), the JDS Atom, Senn 6xx. Both the uDac 3 and Atom (hi-gain) are at 12 o'clock, and I find that to be what I consider a good loud volume for me. In other words, I think it'll be just fine for you. Turning any of the two devices any higher will make me deaf sooner or later.