Amp + DAC Recommendations For an HD650

danman

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Picked up a Creative Titanium HD and a Sennheiser HD650. The sound is incredible but I'm sure it can sound better. I actually bought a Sennheiser 518 but returned it for the 650's after doing a little more research. My god, the 650 is in another league!

What would you recommend to bring out the true potential of the HD 650? I can still return the Titanium HD and get my money back to put towards a DAC and Amp.

Any Amp + DAC combo under $1K that is recommended? Would I be better off getting a Denon or Pioneer receiver or are the separate components a better choice?

I've been looking at the PS Audio DL III: http://www.psaudio.com/products/audio/media-players/dliii-dac

As well as the Shiit: http://schiit.com/cart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=0&products_id=7

Or the Benchmark DAC1 http://www.benchmarkmedia.com/dac/dac1

edit: Or keep the soundcard and just purchase an amp?

Thanks for the help!
 
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havermeyer

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Out of the choices listed, the Benchmark DAC1.

Though, I'd look at the DIY O2 amp, too: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html

The designer used his own DAC1 Pre and HD650 in the design process and still claims no one was able to tell the difference in blind testing. You can build your own for about $100 or get one built for you for around $150. I've been really happy with the one I built.
 

DualOwn

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you are spending more than enough for an HD650.

why dont you just get an Asus or HT sound card with amp build in instead?
 

danman

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How much of an improvement would an Asus Essence be over the Titanium HD?
 

nataku00

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Out of the choices listed, the Benchmark DAC1.

Though, I'd look at the DIY O2 amp, too: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/07/o2-headphone-amp.html

The designer used his own DAC1 Pre and HD650 in the design process and still claims no one was able to tell the difference in blind testing. You can build your own for about $100 or get one built for you for around $150. I've been really happy with the one I built.
I find a lot of what guy writes interesting, but he uses such a holier than thou tone in his writing.
 

spaceman

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I find a lot of what guy writes interesting, but he uses such a holier than thou tone in his writing.
Welcome to the world of audiophiles!

Generally speaking though, I find that most modern DIY kits to be incredible bang for the buck deals.
 

nataku00

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Welcome to the world of audiophiles!

Generally speaking though, I find that most modern DIY kits to be incredible bang for the buck deals.
Oh, I'm definitely a fan of the audiophile world. I have a DIY DAC and amp for my desk set up :p
 

oshia86

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you are spending more than enough for an HD650.

why dont you just get an Asus or HT sound card with amp build in instead?
I tried that. Left me wanting more.

The Nuforce HDP seems to be a great choice in the $500 range.
 

Draygonn

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Objective amps are great bang for the buck. NwAvGuy is designing a DAC to go with them. DIY is fun, I recently finished a Bottlehead Crack OTL tube amp and I love it.
 

Adam.C

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I tried that. Left me wanting more.

The Nuforce HDP seems to be a great choice in the $500 range.
Yeah the HDP is a very nice match.

The Schiit Asgard has good synergy as well with the 650s.

Both of those wont break the bank too bad. Just use the DAC from the Titanium HD, and you should be great!

And to those suggesting getting a STX or another sound card, please do not do that. It is a waste. Very little difference from what you have. Use that money on a real amp as suggested.
 

danman

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And to those suggesting getting a STX or another sound card, please do not do that. It is a waste. Very little difference from what you have. Use that money on a real amp as suggested.
That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the info!
 

danman

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I went with a Burson Audio HA-160 Headphone Amp. Thanks for the responses!
 

danman

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$700

Some people just make more money than others. I have no wife or kids so plenty of disposable income.

I know this forum is dedicated to people in highschool and college so not much money but the head-fi.org site has less freedom of speech than North Korea.
 
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DualOwn

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$700

Some people just make more money than others. I have no wife or kids so plenty of disposable income.

I know this forum is dedicated to people in highschool and college so not much money but the head-fi.org site has less freedom of speech than North Korea.
dont flatter yourself, difference in wasting money and spending money is well known here at H.
 

danman

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A good amp can go a long ways - it's not like video cards or procs that are obsolete after 6 months.
 

Matthew Kane

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Definitely lots of bang for the buck right here,

Wow that looks really neat, did you get your kit separately from mouser or through diyaudio group buy when the O2 amp came out?

I wanted to build the kit and get it off through the Australian group buy for the amp, but the guy whose organising it has had a history of fucking over other customers, so I avoided it but now that I've seen your nice O2 amp, I'm considering getting one prebuilt (got too much DIY to sort through, need to finish few 18v custom CMOY with opamp rolling, a Jonokuchi tube amp and few other vintage restorations).

Have you done any direct A and B comparison with other high-end amp's?
 

shadow_419

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Wow that looks really neat, did you get your kit separately from mouser or through diyaudio group buy when the O2 amp came out?

I wanted to build the kit and get it off through the Australian group buy for the amp, but the guy whose organising it has had a history of fucking over other customers, so I avoided it but now that I've seen your nice O2 amp, I'm considering getting one prebuilt (got too much DIY to sort through, need to finish few 18v custom CMOY with opamp rolling, a Jonokuchi tube amp and few other vintage restorations).

Have you done any direct A and B comparison with other high-end amp's?
I sourced pcb's and front/rear panels from group buys, but placed the component orders myself. From the sound of things you have way more diy kits on your plate than me, but no direct a/b comparisons at home. I am planning on slowly getting a ß22 kit or building a Wire (If I can source a pcb for it).
 

Matthew Kane

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I sourced pcb's and front/rear panels from group buys, but placed the component orders myself. From the sound of things you have way more diy kits on your plate than me, but no direct a/b comparisons at home. I am planning on slowly getting a ß22 kit or building a Wire (If I can source a pcb for it).
I love the front panel and casing especially with the text engraving used by a milling machine. Yeah I do have quite a bit of DIY on my plate to get through, to be exact, 2 custom Cmoy's, an Grado RA1, Szerkeres mosfet amp, Jonokuchi tube amp, Millets Starving Student, modding few other cheap tube amps and a vintage JVC-JAS10 amp restoration process which will take quite a while + building few wooden amp enclosures (halfway done) for few amp's listed above. I was considering building the Beta and Gamma DIY amp's since they are based solely on sound measurements like the O2, but it will be a pretty costly build as there is one on headfi FS/T section for about $2k. So yeah have quite a lot to go through.

Just another thing, can you link us to the groupbuy where you bought your front panel and case from?
 

shadow_419

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The panel group buy has been close for quite a while, but I believe someone may be starting a new one up if there's enough interest. There's only one group buy for O2 panels on diyaudio so I'll let you search. The cases are the standard cases recommended in the BOM. B2-080 for the more compact version, and B3-080 for the larger one and both are made by Box Enclosures. They have them in various colors, but I chose silver anodized version.

Here's a back shot, and why I chose the larger case for my second build.

 

Matthew Kane

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The panel group buy has been close for quite a while, but I believe someone may be starting a new one up if there's enough interest. There's only one group buy for O2 panels on diyaudio so I'll let you search. The cases are the standard cases recommended in the BOM. B2-080 for the more compact version, and B3-080 for the larger one and both are made by Box Enclosures. They have them in various colors, but I chose silver anodized version.

Here's a back shot, and why I chose the larger case for my second build.

Nice!

Thanks a lot.
 

Adam.C

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$700

Some people just make more money than others. I have no wife or kids so plenty of disposable income.

I know this forum is dedicated to people in highschool and college so not much money but the head-fi.org site has less freedom of speech than North Korea.
haha what?
 

shmitty

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Jul 25, 2006
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He ain't lying you can and will get banned just for linking to nwavguys site hell I might get banned for talking about it here. Companies can't come and talk there about their products unless they advertise w/ them as well.
Also JDS Labs has pre-assembled O2's
http://www.jdslabs.com/storeAmps.php
 
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