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Spec me an AMP/DAC

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Dicehunter, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. Dicehunter

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 19, 2007

    Posts: 10,346

    Location: Ye Olde England

    I have roughly £250 to play with, I was on a Sound Blaster AE-5 which was REALLY but would like something a bit more.

    Any insight is appreciated.
     
  2. neil_g

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Dec 9, 2007

    Posts: 9,657

    Location: South Hampshire

    run from what source to feed what.
     
  3. Dicehunter

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 19, 2007

    Posts: 10,346

    Location: Ye Olde England

    Sorry forgot that.

    Will be running off the PC feeding some Sennheiser 660s cans.
     
  4. TALON1973

    Mobster

    Joined: Jul 28, 2004

    Posts: 4,311

    Location: llanelli , south wales

    Up your budget and get a Chord mojo
     
  5. kayomani

    Wise Guy

    Joined: May 19, 2007

    Posts: 1,175

    Location: The Now

    Pretty happy with my AKG 712 and fiio e10k
     
  6. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 10,251

    You had an AE-5? You don't have it any more, or just not using it?

    Will this set up for mainly gaming, music or a bit of both?
     
  7. R3X

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 2,013

    Quite surprised you needed more then a Sound blaster AE-5, the Sennheiser 660s are 150ohm while the AE-5 can drive 600ohm headphones.

    But you maybe looking for a more high end quality detailed sound from them? This is something I have read the higher up headphone amps can do over the AE-5 and similar level products. Have you also got flac or higher level bitrate music files so that way you have the best audio quality possible from the source?

    Seen some Chord mojos for £330-350 on flebay second hand, that is a very high end amp some are going £500-600+

    There is also the very popular schiit magni 3 for about £110 on the EU schiit site (google it) its meant to provide a more 'detailed' sound over the AE-5 according to this review here:

    info here:
    https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/posts/32219665

    But be aware even this guy who reviewed it did say he found the sound similar between AE-5 and Schiit but if you listen to music a lot you should be able to pick out the differences, I think he means the high end detail here.

    Never owned a headphone amp apart from the soundblaster Z mind, ill be trying my HD650s with the AE-5 soon though.
     
  8. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 57,866

    The AE-5 has a fairly decent DAC in it - only one step down from the same model used in Sennheiser's HDV DAC/amps which are like £1500+ the opamps aren't the best choice for music listening but great for clear, spatial gaming audio.

    Amp wise the AE-5 does well with the 600 series but even the 660S probably benefit from something a little more - from my experience other than going for really expensive amps you are looking at the better tube amps like the Mojo if you really want to unlock what the 600 series can do - the AE-5 is as good as anything else when it comes to driving them otherwise.
     
  9. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

    Posts: 14,697

    Location: UK

    It is things like the Schiit Stack and/or Jotunheim that is getting me interested in external to go with my AKG K702. Though, how will it fare for gaming?

    I don't appear to be having issues with EMI, I'm not really suffering pops/crackles with the Audigy 2 ZS, Auzen X-Fi Prelude or AE-5. I'd just like to get it away from the system for any future issues as well as not having to rely on drivers.

     
  10. Radox-0

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,192

    Location: Earth

    I use the Schitt stack at the moment (Modi 2 Uber and magni 3) and use it for gaming. Works great. Will be replacing soon as I want to try tubes, but works perfect on my headphones (Including AKG 712, 702, HD800s, HD58x etc). Playing Assasins creed and sounds fantastic. Of course you do not get all that virtual surround sound with such a combo, but I have no issue with games which have good audio to pick up positional data / footsteps etc.
     
  11. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

    Posts: 14,697

    Location: UK

    Yeah, for a while now with the AKG K702 you don't need that virtual gunk. Directional sound works perfectly fine in stereo.

    I'll have to then invest in this.
     
  12. R3X

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 2,013

    Don't play gaming so not sure, yes the Jot looks a beast. I never had any issues with EMI with the last 4-5 sound cards from Audigy 2, rest of creative range right to the Z series also, I think the orientation, p/s and perhaps the shielding on the sound card helps.
     
  13. R3X

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 2,013

    While the Schitt uber + magni 3 combo is the sweet spot you always hear and read around head fi and reviews in general its still the 'budget' of headphone amps and many are wanting that bit more and then looking at more powerful amps and tube ones.

    Which tube ones out of interest would you be going for ?
     
  14. Radox-0

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Mar 9, 2015

    Posts: 2,192

    Location: Earth

    Yeah absolutely, sky is the limit with amps and what have you. But as you say they are sweet spot's in that they pack very solid performance for a nice price. Can't go wrong with them IMO and had no real issues driving most my headphones without needing to crank the dial all the way up.

    Looking at 3 options for tubes at the moment, Feliks Elise, La Figaro 339 or MJOLNIR 2. Still undecided atm.
     
  15. R3X

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 2,013


    They look stunning tube amps, maybe when im retired and if I have the funds ill indulge !
     
  16. Hedge

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,750

    Location: Somewhere in the middle.

    I have an Rha l1 dac amp and I've been happy with it for many months now.

    A nice alternative to the chord mojo or oppo Ha2se.
     
  17. Dicehunter

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 19, 2007

    Posts: 10,346

    Location: Ye Olde England

    A lot of good info thanks peeps, Will go shopping and have a look at the suggestions :)
     
  18. R3X

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Aug 9, 2013

    Posts: 2,013

    The chord mojo is the one I consistently read many love just a shame its still £300ish 2nd hand even, had no idea how small and portable it is and guess it makes sense especially if you are on the move or at home.
     
  19. Hedge

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 16,750

    Location: Somewhere in the middle.

    Yeah it's a good bit of kit.

    I got my Rha L1 dac for £230 at the usual go to online retailer. At that price (which I've not seen since) I think it was unbeatable.

    It goes nice and loud, gives great quality and it it has EQ knobs on it which are excellent.

    Chord mojos sometimes come up on gumtree at a decent price. (around £250)
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  20. MorleySA

    Hitman

    Joined: Aug 6, 2010

    Posts: 673

    Location: Suffolk

    I just purchased an Aune x1s 10th Anniversary edition from Massdrop, it was on for $199, this might be worth a look too. I purchased mine with the Aune x7s Headphone amp too, in total it cost me $390!