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I'm in! Any suggestions for a headphone amp?
If money is no concern, the Sound Blaster X7 is an excellent choice. Super versatile and excellent audio quality.
I'd recommened Little Dot Mk ii or iii . You can find them from Massdrop aswell
Creative? not really.. Google "Zeos Pantera", he has got really good recommendation list ;)
Creative. Really. X7 is actually a solid amp, overpriced but if you need something with all the bells and whistles.
Can't go wrong with the Schiit Modi 2/Magni 2 combo If you're looking for a DAC as well, which I would recommend. That's what I'm going to be buying to use with this and I'll be selling my Fiio E12 Mont Blanc to help cover the price. But if you're looking for a portable, high quality headphone amp, I know a guy that's selling one.
An interesting post from headfi from their HD6XX thread on how these scale up:
Anyone who bought a Jotunheim or is thinking about buying one owes it to themselves to buy a pair of these. The 650 was already the best value in the headphone world. If you plug it into a Vali 2, it sounds very good. If you plug it into a Jotunheim, it sounds great. If you plug it into an Eddie Current ZDS it sounds incredible.
I wholeheartedly second this! If your budget can afford it, Schiit Jotunheim with DAC module will be a great base to build on. It will probably stay the center of your audio for many years.
depends on how much you can spend. I say Vali2 at $160 or more better amps. Difference will be rather small
My budget is what ever I want it to be. Realistically, as these are going to be ~$200 headphones then that's going to be the general budget for the amp. I'm thinking of a DAC/amp combo just to make life easier.
Jot or m9XX are my recommendations depending on your use case (m9XX transportable, has a pure USB power mode, Jot is desktop only).
Those are what I have on my desk right now (though I don't use the DAC in the Jot, so I can't speak to that).
This is a reply to Will and Markrud, I hate both of you. Three days ago I was completely happy with my audio setup and I had no plans on changing anything (though I think deep down I know I would at some point) and now I'm about to spend roughly $800 and you two are at least partly to blame. Massdrop started it though. Obviously I'll be buying the HD 6XX because how could I not? It's a $200 HD 650 and I always wanted the HD 650. I was going to get the Magni 2/Modi 2 with it but that's because I haven't been on the audio market since the Jot came out. Now that I know about the Jot I'll be getting that and probably an XLR cable for the HD 6XX and maybe even an XLR to mini XLR cable for my Q701's. That together is going to cost around $800 but I'm also now looking at changing out my current speakers because I'm running Mackie CR3's which are great powered speakers but I'd rather have speakers I can power with the Jot and use the DAC on the Jot as opposed to the on board sound from my PC. So in conclusion, thank you both for turning me on to the Jot, but I hate you both for destroying my bank account.
The Jotunheim comes with RCA pre-outs that you can use with your Mackie CR3's so you can keep using them.
For DAC/amp combos I'm 98% sure I'm going with Schiit Magni-2 Uber and Modi-2 Uber for ~$300. That's about the best price Vs performance for HD650s. Now, if I was going upscale with the HD700 or HD 800, then I'd definitely go with the Jotunheim with the balanced DAC module. I'm impressed with Schiit, made in the USA as much as possible that something can be made is the USA with minimal foreign parts.
@Will why Magni 2 Uber over Vali 2? I'm probably gonna trade out my Vali 1 for one of Schiit's other mini-sized amps. I'm currently leaning towards Vali 2 but I'm interested in feedback on other options. This will be solely for 6XX.
At this price point, tubes are an unnecessary gimmick that adds complexity and a fail point, even for well made gear from a company like Schiit. I have personally witnessed $10k tube mono-amps with a poor fitting tube or socket that rendered the unit noisy and useless. Quite embarrassing when you're at a CES high end vendor suite.
Luckily for me I don't plan on doing any listening at CES high-end vendor suites. I might agree with you when it comes to other models and brands but have you ever listened to the Vali line? It's magical at this price point.