Recommend AMP / DAC for the HD 6XX
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Does anyone have a suggested AMP / DAC for the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD 6XX?

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, after review I ended up getting the Schiit Modi 2 and Vali 2!
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thumb_upMRphotographycom, ivelin.tenev, and 42 others
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eliyahu
1
Sep 27, 2019
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on a budget go for the mayflower objective 2 odac it has a dac and an amp for 200 or if you are a gamer and want a lot of options like connecting a mic and bass boost for games and music then go for the arc by mayflower
Sep 27, 2019
zep483
453
Sep 17, 2019
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loxjie p20 run balanced.
Sep 17, 2019
DoctorImpaler
9
Sep 1, 2019
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Chord Mojo (using that at home)
Sep 1, 2019
jaxtrauma
106
Aug 16, 2019
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Magni works for me
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Aug 16, 2019
eahall1964
1
Nov 8, 2019
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What a hot little set up you have! Nice.
Nov 8, 2019
jaxtrauma
106
Nov 8, 2019
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Thanks very much, going with the Schiit Audio stack, king of the desktop :)
Nov 8, 2019
sephula
27
Aug 14, 2019
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I recommend Topping D70 DAC with the THX AAA 789 amp for reference, and a Dark Voice tube amp for when you just wanna change it up. Don't forget to buy a XLR balanced cable from Periapt, while you're at it.
(Edited)
Aug 14, 2019
Tumblebeat
21
Aug 30, 2019
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Yes indeed, a very nice combination, i have the Topping D70 + THX789 as well, highly recommendable! Very High End Sound for "Little" Money.
Aug 30, 2019
sephula
27
Aug 30, 2019
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I partly chose the D70 because it's flatter, and more linear than the ESS DACs.
Aug 30, 2019
Mitchilled
0
Jul 1, 2019
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SCHIIT FULLA 2 - Love it
Jul 1, 2019
OZ.Bloody.Rabbit
108
Jun 14, 2019
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Most people have covered the combo, I can drive it directly with my LG V20 with ease, or adding my Fiio A5 on-the-go. For home use I have my modi/ Multi -> attenunator -> buffer stage (can be LM4562 or Muse8920, a heatsink is sticked on top which makes it harder to see) -> attenuator -> Asgard 2 or opamp rolled gustard H10 or X7s
Jun 14, 2019
psuKinger
86
Jun 13, 2019
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My experience as a 6XX owner has been that more power = better results. The low end fills in more (in a tasteful/classy way, not a rumbly/thumpy/beats-by-dre way) when supplied with an abundance of watts. Straight off my phone < straight off my laptop < Small Portable Fiio Q1 DAC/AMP < Schiit Jotunheim single-ended connection < Schiit Jotunheim Balanced XLR output The Jotunheim is rated to (a lot) more power output over it's XLR output then it's single-ended. Once I got a 3rd party XLR cable for the 6XX from Periapt, and used that with my Jot, the low end frequencies that I had thought were missing with the 6XX suddenly showed up, and these became pretty versatile "all-around" performers, not just "great for jazz/vocals/easy-listening" headphones....
Jun 13, 2019
Skiptomygroove
1
Aug 2, 2019
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Useful
Aug 2, 2019
sephula
27
Aug 14, 2019
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+1 Useful
Aug 14, 2019
kenwstr
56
Jun 11, 2019
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I see the OP has made their decision but I'll add my option anyway. A while ago I was looking for a way to interface digital sources with my existing vintage stereo and in a way that supports remote volume control for family friendliness. I decided on an Essence HDACC as it supports HDMI audio extraction which is just a convenient way to handle AV sources. Turns out the thing has a decent headphone amp that has impedance matching settings up to around 600 ohms. The HD6XX phones are 300 ohms so that's all good. I don't need to go buy another thing, the HDACC does a decent job. What do I think of the product? Well, I am not sure. Sound quality seems about on par with my 1980s AMC CD8a CD player at that digital resolution. That may seem an indictment on the HDACC however, that player is magic. I selected it as being the most expressive and musically dynamic across the whole spectrum. In fact it is the only one I could find at the time that had the whole spectrum covered in this regard and I haven't come across anything substantially better in all the years since. It may be old tech but extraordinarily exceptional IMO. The Essence HDACC will handle a wide range of HRA which the CD8A will not. It does concern me though that the HDACC is not grounded and the supplied power supply is switch mode. I queried this and was told they are designed to work together and I should neither ground the unit nor upgrade the power supply..... Not sure what to make or that. It should be noted that HDMI typically does leak RF profusely and that makes me think it should be grounded. This seems to be true of every HDMI installation I have seen. Anyway, the HDACC gives the HD6XXs a great sound so I am not about to change it over anytime soon. HDACC is superseded by a newer model which sells for around US$600. You might find the older one for around US$400 but its a digital audio control center, not just a simple headphone amp and mine has proved very useful indeed. Personally I think you'd have to go to another level in phones, like say the Focal Utopia before upgrading the head amp from this level. Just an opinion though.
Jun 11, 2019
sephula
27
Aug 31, 2019
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I don't like how they advertise their DAC as an "upsampler" which "makes all your music sound better" by upsampling it to 24/192. Nope. I'm afraid the opposite is true. Music always sounds better when you don't monkey around with it. Upsampling is not as bad as filtering, but you can't make sound out of nothing. You can't take a 16/44.1 and magically add the missing sounds back into it. It doesn't work like that. I feel like they are misleading people with their advertising, and I wouldn't want to support a company like that. I hope you'll excuse my saying so. Now, go back to enjoying your 24/192 music. p.s. They also advertise that their product "plays Blu-ray discs via HDMI". So, tell me... How do you insert a blu-ray disc into an HDMI port?
Aug 31, 2019
kenwstr
56
Sep 7, 2019
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Yep, I don't disagree with your comments about up sampling. However, it's a user selectable option (users choice). So, that seems like refusing to buy a car because it has handling modes you don't need. Ken
Sep 7, 2019
Playzone3d
0
Jun 5, 2019
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I will soon be purchasing these headphones, I was wondering what type of amp / DAC I should get. I'll be using the headphones more for gaming and also listen to music like EDM,Lo-Fi, rap hip,hop. So I'm trying to get more low-end from these headphones. Also I don't know the difference from an amp and a DAC if someone could explain it I would be thankful.
(Edited)
Jun 5, 2019
psuKinger
86
Jun 14, 2019
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"DAC" stands for "digital-to-analog-converter." It's the device that receives a digital file (FLAC, ALAC, MP3, AAC, OGG, etc) and converts the 1's and 0's to an analog waveform that can be used to make a transducer (speakers or headphones) move in and out and produce sound.... Amp is short for "amplifier". It amplifies the analog waveform created by the DAC and provides the power to drive your speakers or headphones. These are 300-ohm headphones, so these aren't easy to drive... they'll need stronger amplification than a lot of other headphones. In my experience, as you increase amplification power, you'll get better and better results with these headphones, particularly in terms of bass. My Fiio Q1 is only rated to 190 mw into 32 ohms (or 75 mW into 150 ohms). They don't even show a rating at 300 ohms. When I try these headphones with the Q1, they can get pretty loud, but the sound is "thin" and the low end just isn't there. But my desktop amp (Schiit Jotunheim) is rated to 5000 mW (per channel) at 32 ohms, and 900 mW (per channel) at 300 ohms, when using a balanced XLR cable I bought from Periapt.... and with that amount of amplification, these headphones sound much fuller and are much more impressive. The base response on these still isn't as big or articulate as my Fostex TR-X00's or my Audeze LCD-2C's, but it's a lot better when being driven at 900 mW then it is off any of my less-capable amps... Hope this helps.
(Edited)
Jun 14, 2019
sephula
27
Aug 14, 2019
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DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. It's what turns your bits and bytes into audible noises. The amp just makes things louder by adding power. More power helps headphones be able to convert the electric waves into soundwaves more efficiently. This can help the magnetic drivers make the bass sound more thumpy and pleasurable. It can bring out the highs and make them sparkle, instead of hiss. So, it can be helpful even if your current setup is already "loud enough". That said, every time you add another part into the equation opportunities arise for the introduction of noise, distortion, etc. So, a bad DAC or amp could have a negative impact. That's why I recommend you spend the money on a good one, with rave reviews. Even if you have to be placed on a waiting list for 6 months. You'll be a lot happier in the end, and if you take care of it, it could provide you a lifetime of enjoyment. You'll certainly appreciate it a lot more, in the long run.
Aug 14, 2019
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