Mar 31, 2018723 views

Audio gear investment ratio (headphone vs amp vs DAC)

So I've got a HD6XX to be shipped by July 23rd, 2018.

To get ready for what some describe as hearing God, I have started investing in supporting systems, such as :

Schiit Modi 2 multibit
Schiit loki eq (yes, i like to eq ever so slightly)
Schiit magni 3
Littledot MKii with Voskhod tubes
Various cables

The "support" system, with shipping and custom duty is est USD1K. Yes, a sold state AND a tube system so that i can hear both worlds.

All this to get ready for a US200 headphone... something doesn't feel right.

The littledot is the only thing that has arrived so far and is currently running my trusty HD25-1-ii and sometimes my UE triplefi IEMs (my go-to travel bose qc15 and sony bluetooth headphones sound like crap on any system) I already like how things sound, and as time goes by, getting suspicious on just how MUCH better things will be with everything hooked up.
(No DAC yet so running through a very old audiotrak amp used as a preamp from PC 3.5mm out)

What is the golden ratio for YOU when it comes to headphone vs amp vs DAC?

And is my setup a good match for an "upper" range of headphones?

For me, if you will be owning a range of different headphones, it makes most sense to get a really nice DAC and SS amp that will work well for a wide range of phones. Will make them all sound better, no matter how inexpensive, plus if you ever want to audition high end phones you will have a setup that can properly work with them. I have no issue running $200 or less headphones on a $1.5K worth of DAC and amp setup. I you get a REALLY good DAC/amp pairing that will work well with basically any headphone you put on it, including multi-thousand dollars ones, you will only have to buy once and never upgrade...
Yeah, I felt like you do now when I bought my first setup(K7XX, Vali 2 and Mimby), but, unless you buy an entire new setup for every new cans, the ratio diminishes over time with each pair of headphones you acquire.
Actually if u can return everything, u should get the Jotunheim or new Schiit Lyr 3 with the multibit module, its 599$ for Jot or 699$ for Lyr and u get Multibit / Tube / Solid state + u get gobs of power for the 6XX.
Good point and that plan did come to mind... but i still want that analog eq (loki) and my desk isn't exactly huge so need small parts. All in all, happy so far and I'll prolly receive all of them by tomorrow afternoon. :)
I see, cheers dude and happy listening!
Think u got a solid system and u really got to spend a lot of money to get better performance then that, as for the comfort, place several books or DVD cases between the headphone to stretch it out overnight.
I think your headphones play the main role in what an Amp/DAC you need.
The HD650/6XX are headphones where you can actually hear quite a difference with more expensive Amps (and between ss and tubes). So its "worth" the investment in the extra equipment because it will improve the sound.
There are other headphones like TH-X00 that sound fine with most Amps and are pretty easy to power. The disadvantage of this is that you won´t be able to change the sound as much to your liking. If you really want to get the most out of your setup, I would suggest that you pick up a planar-headphone. They pair up really well with solidstates with a bit more power like your Magni 3. The only planars I have are the Audeze LCD-2 Classic (which I really like, but they are quite expensive) and also sound fantastic with solidstates. I would recommend that you should be on the lookout for the Massdrop x Hifiman HE4XX. They are really affordable planars (something around 150$) and would round up your setup perfectly in my opinion!
And trust me, you will hear a massive difference once your HD6XX and Modi arrive :D
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Brilliant purchase, i have both m1060 and the he4xx. Sound wise, i prefer m1060, it's insanely fun to listen to and play around with, but the comfort kills me really. Apparently it's lot better if you don't wear glasses, but i do and it sucks. He4xx, i can absolutely wear it for the entire day and not be annoyed by. And for the bloody price, it sounds absolutely fantastic. I bought a second pair cuz... Why not lol
Nice! Hope you will like it :D