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PorkishPig

K7XX + Scarlett Solo: Do I need an AMP?

30 minutes ago, PorkishPig said:

That's where my confusion comes in, the Solo is perfectly audible at 100% and the audio quality is decent AFAIK -- no immediately noticeable distortion. I'm not entirely sure that I am sacrificing audio quality by having the Solo at 100%.

you should be fine if you dont hear any distortion. distortion usually happens when it is loud and at the amps upper limits. having an amp that doesn't drive your headphones ;oudly and with a bit of headroom you are sacrificing abit of your headphon'es true potential cause an amp that has reliable clean power can do a decent amount to a headphone to bring out it's true potential. the akg k7xx isn't exact;y a headphone that really requires an amp to reach it's true potential but Im sure you yourself will benefit more by having more volume available to you as it seems quite regardless

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

I'm fairly new to the audiophile game. After I purchased my AKG K7XX (62Ω, same as K702) I have been struggling with a question that I cannot get a consistent answer on: Do I need a dedicated AMP?

 

I currently have a Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen (200Ω output Impedance) that I use with my Audio-Technica AT2035 microphone, along with my K7XX plugged directly into the 1/4 output. It sounds "fine" to me, but I feel like I may be missing out on better audio quality -- mainly based on the fact that I think my 24-bit FLAC library sounds about the same as Spotify's 320kbps.

 

I have the volume knob of the Solo cracked to 100%, 28% within Windows. Audio is extremely quiet if I have the Solo anywhere except 100%. I’ve scoured dozens of forum threads and came to mostly the same conclusion that the AMP in the Solo (same AMP as 2i2) is weak.

 

I’ve considered the following configurations:

  • Do Nothing - Continue to use the Solo as both an AMP and a DAC
  • Purchase a Schiit Magni 3 as a AMP - Use the Solo as an DAC, connect via RCA
  • Avoid the Solo - Purchase a Schiit Magni 3 AMP and a Schiit Modi 3 DAC
  • Upgrade from the Solo to a Motu M2 - AMP/DAC interface, no dedicated AMP

Every time I'm about to make a decision I some find a conflicting forum thread along the lines of "the Schiit Magni is poor quality/snake oil", or that "you will not notice a difference upgrading from the 2i2".

 

This whole excursion is a bit of a nightmare, I'm really not sure where to look. Any advise would be greatly appreciated!

 

Edit: I ended up purchasing a Magni 3. I did not notice an immediate difference in audio quality, but more volume control is definitely a plus.

Edited by PorkishPig

Make sure to quote me or use @PorkishPig to notify me that you replied!

 

 

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If it's quite you need an amp. The current gen Magnus are both great. There are alternatives like the topping e30 and JDs labs atom they all sound the same for the most part.


***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:16 GB ddr4 corsair lpx GPU: gtx 1070 6gb Case:phanteks p400 

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 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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Posted · Original PosterOP
13 minutes ago, rice guru said:

If it's quite you need an amp.

That's where my confusion comes in, the Solo is perfectly audible at 100% and the audio quality is decent AFAIK -- no immediately noticeable distortion. I'm not entirely sure that I am sacrificing audio quality by having the Solo at 100%.


Make sure to quote me or use @PorkishPig to notify me that you replied!

 

 

Desktop

CPU - Ryzen 9 3900X | Cooler - Noctua NH-U12S | Motherboard - Asus TUF X570-PLUS (WiFi) RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX (2x8GB) DDR4-3200

GPU - MSI GTX 1070 Ti PSU - EVGA B3 650W Case - Meshify C Storage - 960 EVO 500GB, S31 1TB, MX500 500GB

 

Media Server

CPU - Core i5-4570 | RAM - Samsung 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3-1600 | Case - OptiPlex 9020 SFF

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Posted · Best Answer
30 minutes ago, PorkishPig said:

That's where my confusion comes in, the Solo is perfectly audible at 100% and the audio quality is decent AFAIK -- no immediately noticeable distortion. I'm not entirely sure that I am sacrificing audio quality by having the Solo at 100%.

you should be fine if you dont hear any distortion. distortion usually happens when it is loud and at the amps upper limits. having an amp that doesn't drive your headphones ;oudly and with a bit of headroom you are sacrificing abit of your headphon'es true potential cause an amp that has reliable clean power can do a decent amount to a headphone to bring out it's true potential. the akg k7xx isn't exact;y a headphone that really requires an amp to reach it's true potential but Im sure you yourself will benefit more by having more volume available to you as it seems quite regardless


***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:16 GB ddr4 corsair lpx GPU: gtx 1070 6gb Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 280 gb kingston ssd x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:650 GQ Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 --->  monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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also I wanted to expand on this true potential thing. when you are listenting to a headphone that is under powered you can miss out on micro details as well most likely miss out on some bass and possibly soundstage. it all depends on what the headphone's capabilities are when fully properly powered.


***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

CPU : ryzen 3600x  Motherboard: msi mag b550 tomahawk RAM:16 GB ddr4 corsair lpx GPU: gtx 1070 6gb Case:phanteks p400 

Storage:x1 280 gb kingston ssd x1 1tb WD blue hdd x1 2tb seagate barraccuda 

 PSU:650 GQ Cooling:be quite! dark rock pro 4Keyboard:ducky one 2 rgb full sized Mouse:G502, Model o Operating System:win 10

Desktop audio gear: topping d10 --->  monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

My portable setup: fiio Q1 mk2, fiio ubtr, fiio btr1k,fiio btr5---> whatever bud or IEM Im feeling that day

 AKG y50bt,Sennheiser HD 4.40

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