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Author Topic: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.  (Read 2077 times)

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Offline ts

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Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« on: February 05, 2017, 08:07:20 AM »
Right now I'm using a Audioengine D1 and while it sounds great with my AE 2's, the headphone amp in it does not provide enough power for my 650's and 580's. Any suggestions? Would like to stay under 500. Thinking of trying the Massdrop Grace M9xx or maybe something cheaper like a FIIO desktop. Thanks.


« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 11:04:58 AM by ts »
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 6xx under 500.
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 09:35:28 AM »
I LOVE my FiiO E10K Olympus 2 DAC/HP Amp! And it was only like $130 or so I think? Drives everything that I own pretty nicely, and I've been looking to pair some HQ cans with it soon! Oh and it's TINY! It drives my Sony VA15 speakers very well and I will definitely continue to use FiiO products for their amazing price and sound quality! I've liked their stuff since I bought a small FiiO HP Amp many years ago for $30 :) It's a shame that Tonedeaf isn't here on ts.com any longer, because he owns both the Senn HD6xx AND a FiiO HP Amp, so he could really tell you how the two pair together :( But for under $200, a FiiO DAC/HP Amp would be a great and tiny solution IMO, and won't take up much space at all around your computer!

I also own and OFTEN use a FiiO E11K Portable HP Amp! Best $200 I've spent in awhile buying the FiiO E10K & E11K a couple of years ago!

Here's a pic of the FiiO E10K DAC/HP Amp next to a regular size Bic Lighter to see how tiny it really is. It's smaller than a pack of cigarettes ;)
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Offline F.O.Bean

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 6xx under 500.
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 09:37:34 AM »
And while I save up for some Grado SR225e cans or some Senn HD6xx cans, I might grab those brand new/mint Sony cans that you have for sale in the menatime!

Best of luck finding something!
Schoeps MK4's | MK41's ->
Schoeps | NBob 250/05 KCY's ->
Schoeps VMS 02IB | Naiant +60v/Low Noise PFA's ->
DarkTrain Right Angle Stubby | GakCable XLR's ->
Sound Devices MixPre-6 | Tascam DR-70D ->
128gb | 64gb SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC-I

http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/diskobean | http://www.archive.org/bookmarks/Bean420 | http://bt.etree.org/mytorrents.php

Offline ts

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 10:49:16 AM »
I have a couple portable FIIO amps now, so the E10K is something I'm looking at. The Senns are so power hungry.

Also looking at:

02/ODAC

Or no DAC:

Darkvoice 336se
Valhalla 2

Or a bottlehead crack plus speedball already built.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2017, 11:50:38 AM by ts »
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Offline nolamule

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 6xx under 500.
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 10:57:29 AM »
I have been looking at the Chord Mojo for both a HQ desktop/mobile amp. Reviews look pretty good and the design is pretty cool!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 12:21:13 PM by nolamule »

Offline ts

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 12:58:41 PM »
Hey Bean,

Gonna try the FIIO K5. It has all the ins and outs I want plus a 3 position gain switch. That should really stoke up the 650's. I'll let you know how it works. As always thanks for the input! Say hi to Steve for me.

Tony

Edit to add: Just realized this is not a DAC. Back to the drawing board.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 01:34:35 PM by ts »
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Offline edtyre

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Offline ts

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2017, 06:50:14 PM »
Any other suggestions? Still shopping. ???
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Offline OOK

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2017, 11:35:17 PM »
Check out the schiit audio Jotunheim.....
DPA/HEB 4060's > R09HR
MBHO648/KA100Lk/KA200/KA300/KA500 > SD702

Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2017, 08:23:38 PM »
Any other suggestions? Still shopping. ???

My suggestion would be to go with the Grace m9xx next time it's available on Massdrop.  I picked one up not too long ago and am very impressed with it.  Excellent DAC and the amp has plenty of power to drive your Senn 650s.  Clean, neutral sound (maybe a touch of warmth?) with plenty of oomph.  The Chord Mojo is no joke either.  In fact, here's a good write-up comparing the two. > http://www.headfonia.com/review-the-grace-design-massdrop-m9xx/

As OOK noted, the Schiit Jotunheim is also a solid option, as is the "Schiit Stack": a combo of the Magni 2 headphone amp and the Modi 2 DAC and a great setup for a little over $200.  Thread here comparing Magni/Modi with Grace m9xx. > http://www.head-fi.org/t/789573/comparing-magni-uber-modi-to-massdrop-grace-m9xx-dac-amp

Not to slight FiiO's stuff as I have a few of their devices and have been happy with them, but the Grace, Chord, and Schiit offerings are in a whole other league, IMHO.

Offline jlykos

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2017, 11:16:27 AM »
I have an iFi micro iDSD and love it. It has enough power for just about any headphone in existence, and is reported to be a good match with 650s.
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Offline ts

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2017, 11:02:57 AM »
I'll be trying the Schiit Stack with a 15 day return window. It should suit my needs just fine and won't break the bank. Look for a slightly used Audioengine D1 in the yard.
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Offline Fried Chicken Boy

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2017, 12:16:44 PM »
^  Good call.  That's a great little combo and the Schiit products in general are a crazy good bang for the buck. 

I have an iFi micro iDSD and love it.

The iFi stuff has been on my radar for a few years now and, from what I've read, the iDSD is a very strong contender in the HP amp/DAC market.  Do you have the regular iDSD or the Black Label?  Been wondering if the BL is worth the ~$150 upcharge. 

Offline ts

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Re: Best desktop amp/dac for Senn HD 650 under 500.
« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2017, 03:43:38 PM »
Well I never tried the Schiit stack but I think I may have found a solution with the D1. It may not be the best but it definitely woke up my HD 650's.

Again my desktop setup is all Audioengine. D1>A2+>S8 sub. I first tried the RCA outputs on the back of the S8 sub as they were free. Ran the RCA cable into my Creek OBH-11. This worked nicely and really pushed the 650's. Only problem was this method did not mute the AE desktop system. I was hoping it would just provide a line level signal to the Creek. Nope. So only other way is to use the headphone out on the D1. This mutes the rest of the system. I mean it works fine but I'm concerned about adding noise since there are now technically two amps in play both controlling volume levels. Probably won't notice any noise with loud rock but softer music maybe yes?

Anyway, if anyone is still following this thread I would appreciate some feedback. Does this solution make any sense? Is there a better way keeping the current setup? Thanks.
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