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Dackzy

Before you buy amp and DAC + recommendations.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, bitterspike said:

Interesting guide !

 

I'm a bit surprised the Soekris 1541 was chosen in the guide instead of the 1421, Is the balanced output worth such a price difference ?

That isn't the only difference between the two. The resistors in the 1421 are a bit worse than the ones in the 1541, which is something you can hear. The balanced outputs are good to have, especially if you have some studio monitors and the balanced out for the headphones is more powerful than the single ended one, which is something some need.

Ofc I can't say if it is worth it for you to go from the 1421 to the 1541.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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I'm curious as to how good my setup is, just out of pure curiosity

 

I bought some Grado SR80Es yesterday, and have been running them off my Marantz PM6006 amplifier, with the digital source being my Fiio E10k, using its digital coax output. 

 

I use foobar2000 for uncompressed files, using CDs ripped using EAC, and Spotify Premium running at the 320kbps setting


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TV PC || CPU - Pentium G3258 @ 4.5GHz 1.2V || Motherboard - MSI H81M-P33 || CPU Cooler - Stock || RAM - 2x4GB random Samsung RAM || Graphics card - Intel HD Graphics (will be R9 390 in a few weeks) || Storage - 1x SanDisk SSD Plus 120GB, 1x Samsung 1.5TB HDD || PSU - Corsair CX600M || Case - None (soon to be Cooler Master Elite 430)

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
42 minutes ago, NeatSquidYT said:

I'm curious as to how good my setup is, just out of pure curiosity

 

I bought some Grado SR80Es yesterday, and have been running them off my Marantz PM6006 amplifier, with the digital source being my Fiio E10k, using its digital coax output. 

 

I use foobar2000 for uncompressed files, using CDs ripped using EAC, and Spotify Premium running at the 320kbps setting

well you could have gotten headphones that are more detailed and better in basically every single technical way for the same price from companies like Sennheiser and AKG, ofc the sound signature will be different. The headphone amp in a speaker amp is usually not that good, not very clean and high output impedance, so not that great. You would honestly be better off running the GR80E out of the E10k even though that combo unit isn't that great either.

 

I hope that you don't see this as mean and remember the most important thing is that you like it.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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This is a great thread, thanks for spending the time to answer everybody.
I currently have the Fulla2, and I'm considering getting the SE535 or the SE846. Do you think it would be worth it to invest in some better combo/stack?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, DonnerJack said:

This is a great thread, thanks for spending the time to answer everybody.
I currently have the Fulla2, and I'm considering getting the SE535 or the SE846. Do you think it would be worth it to invest in some better combo/stack?

thanks. I would personally look into getting something that is meant for IEMs to avoid noise. You could look into Fiio or maybe IFI nano black label or then the last option would be getting a DAP that can function as a DAC and amp when connected to a PC, though you have to do some research yourself to find one that can do that.

 

But are you sure about getting the 535 or the 846? I would recommend looking at this list of IEMs 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/crinacles-iem-ranking-list-222-entries-19-08-update.857498/

 

I can't really be to more help since this is a very small usecase and it isn't something that I really have been looking for myself outside of the RME I have.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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On 8/25/2018 at 10:34 PM, Dackzy said:

thanks. I would personally look into getting something that is meant for IEMs to avoid noise. You could look into Fiio or maybe IFI nano black label or then the last option would be getting a DAP that can function as a DAC and amp when connected to a PC, though you have to do some research yourself to find one that can do that.

 

But are you sure about getting the 535 or the 846? I would recommend looking at this list of IEMs 

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/crinacles-iem-ranking-list-222-entries-19-08-update.857498/

 

I can't really be to more help since this is a very small usecase and it isn't something that I really have been looking for myself outside of the RME I have.

Thanks!

I'm not sure about the specific IEMs (impressive and exhaustive list in that link!), but these are two of the few I was able to try first hand, and due to being outside the US/EU, availability (and option to return/replace/resell) is a problem. Everything is so subjective in this field that at the end (beside EE fundamentals regarding noise floor etc.) it's a question of "am I enjoying my music?" :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP
58 minutes ago, DonnerJack said:

Thanks!

I'm not sure about the specific IEMs (impressive and exhaustive list in that link!), but these are two of the few I was able to try first hand, and due to being outside the US/EU, availability (and option to return/replace/resell) is a problem. Everything is so subjective in this field that at the end (beside EE fundamentals regarding noise floor etc.) it's a question of "am I enjoying my music?" :)

there are lots of things you can objectively judge. Like: Detail, width, imaging, timbre, coherence and just the overall general quality so stuff like grain, peaks, ringing and etc.

The list is pretty much ranked after this.

 

But ofc the most important is that you like it. Also there is quite the price jump from the 535 to the 846.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Nice thread, thank you !

 

I have 2 headphones : Philips Fidelio X2 and Beyerdynamic DT 990

I want to buy an amp/dac combo to use it with my game consoles (Xbox One and PS4) and also my Pc. My budget is 200€ 

 

I have read on Internet that I need an optical input to make the amp/dac combo work with my game consoles,
and I also want an amp/dac combo which can be powered by usb only.

 

I live in France and so I have only found 3 amp/dac combo that seem to be good, which I can buy and that have an optical input and is powered by usb.

 

SMSL M3 ( I can buy it for 80€ )
Audio Engine D1 ( I can buy it for 198€ )
Fostex HP-A3 ( I can buy it for 193€ )

 

What do you think ? Are they good ? Or do you know amp/dac combos which are better ?

 

Sorry if I have made spelling mistakes.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
18 hours ago, Champagne said:

Nice thread, thank you !

 

I have 2 headphones : Philips Fidelio X2 and Beyerdynamic DT 990

I want to buy an amp/dac combo to use it with my game consoles (Xbox One and PS4) and also my Pc. My budget is 200€ 

 

I have read on Internet that I need an optical input to make the amp/dac combo work with my game consoles,
and I also want an amp/dac combo which can be powered by usb only.

 

I live in France and so I have only found 3 amp/dac combo that seem to be good, which I can buy and that have an optical input and is powered by usb.

 

SMSL M3 ( I can buy it for 80€ )
Audio Engine D1 ( I can buy it for 198€ )
Fostex HP-A3 ( I can buy it for 193€ )

 

What do you think ? Are they good ? Or do you know amp/dac combos which are better ?

 

Sorry if I have made spelling mistakes.

SMSL and Audio engine aren't good for their price, I can't really say anything about the Fostex HP-A3. I am honestly not sure, especially not if you want it to be new. If you can live with used then you can probaly get the modi 2 uber and magni 2 or magni 3.

 

I would advice you to test the HP-A3 first if you can.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Okay, thank you !
Yes the modi 2 and Magni 3 would be good but the Schiit products are out of stock in all site where i can buy it for France, and I also can't find her used.
So think I'm going to buy the Fostex HP-A3 if I have no better option.

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Dackzy, I see that you are very knowledgeable on this topic. I would like if you can look at my case. I got a NI AK1 USB interface and a pair of DT770 600ohm. This unit did a decent job driving them in my book, at least loudness wise, I was not able to crank the knob to the maximun without entering into stupid loud levels. However this is my only reference (other than pluging them in my laptop, which you can notice by a mile how shitty and muffled it sounds compared to my AK1).

 

So my AK1 headphone jack has been malfunctioning, but my monitors still work fine, so I thought that it would be a good idea to buy an amp and plug it into the outputs 3/4, and keep using outputs 1/2 for my monitors. See pic:

 

2_AK1-Panel-Front_c.jpg&key=296d6275c081

 

Then I would just leave the 3/4 output knob turn up to the max, and control the volume from the amp's knob. This way, I increase my headphone sound quality, and I invest in a decent headphone amp, and keep saving money so in the future I can buy a more serious interface (like an RME or an antelope, for when I get serious and start buying more hardware). I've also heard that not even the RME's have good enough headphone amps and investing in a decent separate headphone amp is always a good idea, so again as a long term investment seems like the best thing to go about it right now. For now I could survive with the AK1 for monitors.

 

My question is: Is there any problems with this setup? will it work out well? will the AK1 act as a bottleneck for the amp so it will not sound as good? should I avoid turning the 3/4 knob all the way up to avoid potential noise and just put it in the middle or something?

 

And what amp do you recommend for the DT770 600 ohm? I was considering the magni 3, but I wonder if there would be a lot of difference compared to a more expensive one, like a Lake People. I was considering the g103-p, but I hate the idea of having to open the case to move a jumper to set it in "high" mode for high impedance cans.. I don't want to open anything. I also don't understand specs, im not good with numbers, so im just going what people say works best.

 

And finally, does it matter if the inputs on the amp are RCA unbalanced or XLR? I have 2 spare TRS to XLR cables so it would be better if the amp inputs are XLR so I don't need to buy new cables.

 

Anyway please let me know, im going nuts trying to solve this situation and get back to making music and enjoy my headphones. The music I make is electronic, I need a clean sound, good soundstage, neutral. I don't want "warm" exotic sound, or too much treble. I prefer the solid state amps because I don't like how tube amps look and I don't want to accidentally touch the warm tube. Please let me know a soon as possible a solution for this situation.

 

My budget is around 300 bucks, but if there is not that much difference compared to say a magni 3, I would save myself some money. If there is a ton of difference compared to a 500 one I MAY consider it... after all like I said before this is a long term investment that i will be able to continue using in my future USB interface. Of course my worry is that the electronics don't last forever... if I make a 500 bucks investment on this I expect it to last pretty much forever otherwise there is no way im spending that much.

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
10 hours ago, Windows95 said:

SNIP

well, the audio quality will only get better if the amp in a given thing is holding back the DAC. I don't know if it is doing this in this case, because I have never heard the unit you have. The thing is you won't get a neutral amp in your budget, the cheapest neutral is Meier audio corda classic and the Little Labs Monotor. The magni 3 is a good entry level amp, but it is a warm sounding amp. The magni 2 uber is a more neutral'ish option, but you can probably only find it used now.

 

I personally wouldn't worry about RCA vs XLR, unless you are doing some long cable run, plus most of the cheaper amps are just RCA and the few cheap ones with XLR typically also have a high output impedance, which is less than optimal. Also remember to connect the amp to the outputs on the back, not the headphone out. If you connect to the headphone out, then you end up double amping.

 

In the case of the RME yes the build in amp is holding it back, but you have to drop $500+ to get a amp that is equal or better. it isn't like the amp on the RME is bad or even close to bad, it is just that if you wanted it to not be limited in any way, then you are looking at a bigger footprint and a much higher price and then it suddenly wouldn't be as competitive.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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57 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

well, the audio quality will only get better if the amp in a given thing is holding back the DAC. I don't know if it is doing this in this case, because I have never heard the unit you have. The thing is you won't get a neutral amp in your budget, the cheapest neutral is Meier audio corda classic and the Little Labs Monotor. The magni 3 is a good entry level amp, but it is a warm sounding amp. The magni 2 uber is a more neutral'ish option, but you can probably only find it used now.

 

I personally wouldn't worry about RCA vs XLR, unless you are doing some long cable run, plus most of the cheaper amps are just RCA and the few cheap ones with XLR typically also have a high output impedance, which is less than optimal. Also remember to connect the amp to the outputs on the back, not the headphone out. If you connect to the headphone out, then you end up double amping.

 

In the case of the RME yes the build in amp is holding it back, but you have to drop $500+ to get a amp that is equal or better. it isn't like the amp on the RME is bad or even close to bad, it is just that if you wanted it to not be limited in any way, then you are looking at a bigger footprint and a much higher price and then it suddenly wouldn't be as competitive.

 

There has to be cheaper amps than the classic with a neutral sound.. i've heard the Lake People 109 is neutral and heard the 103 one is similar in sound:

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/lake_people_g103p_phoneamp.htm?ref=intl&shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6IjIiLCJsYW5ndWFnZSI6ImVuIn0%3D

 

What do you think? Im not sure I want to spend 500+ bucks in something that I can't even test for myself tbh.

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Windows95 said:

 

There has to be cheaper amps than the classic with a neutral sound.. i've heard the Lake People 109 is neutral and heard the 103 one is similar in sound:

 

https://www.thomann.de/gb/lake_people_g103p_phoneamp.htm?ref=intl&shp=eyJjb3VudHJ5IjoiZ2IiLCJjdXJyZW5jeSI6IjIiLCJsYW5ndWFnZSI6ImVuIn0%3D

 

What do you think? Im not sure I want to spend 500+ bucks in something that I can't even test for myself tbh.

 

nope not for proper neutral, the rest is basically neutral'ish with a warm tilt or warm. It cost money to get neutral especially if you want it to be detailed/revealing, since then you start to get into the pro gear realm. You must also take into consideration that a lot of people tend to enjoy a sound that is a bit warm. Though I don't fully understand why this is so important for you, since your headphones are already very colored in their sound and a neutral amp won't change this.

 

Lake people isn't that good anymore, their amps tend to focus more on bass reproduction than mids and highs, so the bass stands out more. The reason why I don't have any lake people gear on my list is because their value isn't that amazing anymore, unless you need multiple headphone outputs and the performance value has dropped quite a bit over the last 5'ish years. A lot of their gear also seems focused on this middle ground between entry level and high end, which in audio is a pretty bad spot to be in, since the smart thing to do with audio gear is to run entry level until you can make the jump to high end, that is at least the way to go to spend less money. The jump from your typical mid range unit to a high end unit is often fairly big, while the jump from a good entry level unit to mid range unit is often not as big.

 

I wouldn't buy the G103-P new, but you can always look used and then the value should be decent/good. Nothing wrong with buying used and it is from 2012, so there must be some up on the used market somewhere.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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1 hour ago, Dackzy said:

nope not for proper neutral, the rest is basically neutral'ish with a warm tilt or warm. It cost money to get neutral especially if you want it to be detailed/revealing, since then you start to get into the pro gear realm. You must also take into consideration that a lot of people tend to enjoy a sound that is a bit warm. Though I don't fully understand why this is so important for you, since your headphones are already very colored in their sound and a neutral amp won't change this.

 

Lake people isn't that good anymore, their amps tend to focus more on bass reproduction than mids and highs, so the bass stands out more. The reason why I don't have any lake people gear on my list is because their value isn't that amazing anymore, unless you need multiple headphone outputs and the performance value has dropped quite a bit over the last 5'ish years. A lot of their gear also seems focused on this middle ground between entry level and high end, which in audio is a pretty bad spot to be in, since the smart thing to do with audio gear is to run entry level until you can make the jump to high end, that is at least the way to go to spend less money. The jump from your typical mid range unit to a high end unit is often fairly big, while the jump from a good entry level unit to mid range unit is often not as big.

 

I wouldn't buy the G103-P new, but you can always look used and then the value should be decent/good. Nothing wrong with buying used and it is from 2012, so there must be some up on the used market somewhere.

The DT770 600 ohm was the best closed back headphones i tried, the rest sucked, had bad soundstage etc. Which would you say it's the best mixing headphone that's closed? I hate background noise. Anyway even if the headphones I have aren't a flat line it wouldn't hurt to have a flat amp so in the future I have the base (a flat amp) so I can select a flat headphone whenever I decide to upgrade. I must be closed back tho.

 

Also did you actually try g103-p? in head-fi people say it's pretty neutral.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
47 minutes ago, Windows95 said:

The DT770 600 ohm was the best closed back headphones i tried, the rest sucked, had bad soundstage etc. Which would you say it's the best mixing headphone that's closed? I hate background noise. Anyway even if the headphones I have aren't a flat line it wouldn't hurt to have a flat amp so in the future I have the base (a flat amp) so I can select a flat headphone whenever I decide to upgrade. I must be closed back tho.

 

Also did you actually try g103-p? in head-fi people say it's pretty neutral.

The K550/553 is a flatter and overall a more detailed closed back, but still not that flat and then you have HD 280 and 7506 which again aren't that flat. The closed market is fairly limited and you actually pay a premium to get closed over open once you get out of the like $100 range, since then open for the same price start to be better in technical abilities. TBH all headphones kinda suck for mixing, especially closed. You should really be mixing on speakers and then use both open and closed headphones to check for the small flaws in the music and ofc check how it sounds with headphones.

 

Yes I have tried the G103-P, I have tried their whole current line up. People on head-fi also call the M50 neutral or flat and the ODAC and O2 for a amazing DAC and amp. Most of the reviews and discussions are from people that don't have that much experience, and there is nothing wrong with this, but it does mean you should take everything with a grain of salt.

 

Honestly the main thing is most people haven't actually tried proper flat gear and what people call "neutral" is so different, some people refer to a headphone with a 5dB bass boost as neutral (like zeos) and some call a warm sound neutral and some think that a mid forward sound is neutral. There is no standard for neutral, but there is a standard for flat and the lake people gear isn't flat, but it isn't as far off as let's say Audio GD gear is.

 

In reality then if you know how your gear colors the sound, then you can also mix with it. It is a misconception that you absolutely need flat gear, in reality you just need to know your gear. It is also a very good idea to have multiple headphones for checking both for flaws and just to hear how it sounds and if you can then multiple speakers too.

 

If I was you then I would either look for a used magni 2 uber or a used G103-P and then just be happy with it and then if you want to upgrade again then get a RME ADI 2 DAC/Pro or like a Crane song Solaris, but honestly those would be kinda wasted on just closed headphones.

 

This is just my advice, you are ofc free to do what you want.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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7 hours ago, Dackzy said:

The K550/553 is a flatter and overall a more detailed closed back, but still not that flat and then you have HD 280 and 7506 which again aren't that flat. The closed market is fairly limited and you actually pay a premium to get closed over open once you get out of the like $100 range, since then open for the same price start to be better in technical abilities. TBH all headphones kinda suck for mixing, especially closed. You should really be mixing on speakers and then use both open and closed headphones to check for the small flaws in the music and ofc check how it sounds with headphones.

 

Yes I have tried the G103-P, I have tried their whole current line up. People on head-fi also call the M50 neutral or flat and the ODAC and O2 for a amazing DAC and amp. Most of the reviews and discussions are from people that don't have that much experience, and there is nothing wrong with this, but it does mean you should take everything with a grain of salt.

 

Honestly the main thing is most people haven't actually tried proper flat gear and what people call "neutral" is so different, some people refer to a headphone with a 5dB bass boost as neutral (like zeos) and some call a warm sound neutral and some think that a mid forward sound is neutral. There is no standard for neutral, but there is a standard for flat and the lake people gear isn't flat, but it isn't as far off as let's say Audio GD gear is.

 

In reality then if you know how your gear colors the sound, then you can also mix with it. It is a misconception that you absolutely need flat gear, in reality you just need to know your gear. It is also a very good idea to have multiple headphones for checking both for flaws and just to hear how it sounds and if you can then multiple speakers too.

 

If I was you then I would either look for a used magni 2 uber or a used G103-P and then just be happy with it and then if you want to upgrade again then get a RME ADI 2 DAC/Pro or like a Crane song Solaris, but honestly those would be kinda wasted on just closed headphones.

 

This is just my advice, you are ofc free to do what you want.

I actually have the HD 280 too and they sound lame and muffled lacking sound stage compared to my DT 770.

I'll probably stay in the 200-300 ish price range and save my money for a better USB interface in the future, so I can use my amp there and have better DAC and more i/o, probably a RME UCX, then I will already have my amp which chances are its better than whatever the UCX has for headphones.

 

Also when you sai the Meier Corda Classic is extra flat is because it can be plugged with optical too? some guy told me you ideally need to plug it via optical and not analog if your aim is flatness/neutral sound.

 

So anyway if you were on a budget of 300 max, what would you choose for my goal?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
7 hours ago, Windows95 said:

I actually have the HD 280 too and they sound lame and muffled lacking sound stage compared to my DT 770.

I'll probably stay in the 200-300 ish price range and save my money for a better USB interface in the future, so I can use my amp there and have better DAC and more i/o, probably a RME UCX, then I will already have my amp which chances are its better than whatever the UCX has for headphones.

 

Also when you sai the Meier Corda Classic is extra flat is because it can be plugged with optical too? some guy told me you ideally need to plug it via optical and not analog if your aim is flatness/neutral sound.

 

So anyway if you were on a budget of 300 max, what would you choose for my goal?

I have no idea about what you mean by lame.

 

Optical is a digital signal, there is no pure amp that can take that. IDK who you have been talking to but either there have been some misunderstanding or that person doesn't know what they are talking about. The cords classic is about as flat as it gets for its price, the amp in the RME adi 2 DAC/pro is flatter in it's response.

 

There are also the problem of wordclock with optical. So to be certain that you don't get mismatched clocks/delays and therefore jitter/micro jitter, you have to buy a external wordclock and those can get expensive real fast. Though TBH I wouldn't worry too much about this unless you experience a lot of jitter when you use optical. The whole optical is flatter than USB is like opening a can of worms, some DACs perform better with USB, some perform better with optical. In theory then yes optical is the better signal.

 

I would say the same as I said in the last response. Used magni 2 uber, used G103-P and then u would also add used little labs Monotor and a used Meier Audio Corda Classic. This mid range market that you seem to want to move into is a market with a lot of gear that has poor value or where the value only is there if you need a specific feature. Again there is nothing wrong with buying used audio gear, most audio gear that is decent quality will last for a very long time and it is a great way to get a good setup for a relative small amount of money.

 

Also I wouldn't just assume that any of these amps are better than what the UCX has. I haven't tried the UCX, but I do have some experience with different RME products and the amp section might surprise you.

Also what is the reason behind getting the UCX? Do you need midi or dual mic input?


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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8 hours ago, Dackzy said:

 

 

 

Also I wouldn't just assume that any of these amps are better than what the UCX has. I haven't tried the UCX, but I do have some experience with different RME products and the amp section might surprise you.

Also what is the reason behind getting the UCX? Do you need midi or dual mic input?

 

Eventually when I move into a bigger house and I can be on my own, I will buy some hardware, some drum machines, some synths, some DSP processors like the Eventide.. the UCX will cover all i/o I need for that. Until them, im 100% software plugins, nothing else, so yeah, I just need a good sound on my headphones to mix, since my room is crappy to use monitors, but I still use monitor sometimes, so I want to be able to plug them too.

 

I may go for the O2 and just plug it into the AK1 and keep saving money until I get the big update, they said O2 is very decent for the price.

 

I dont see myself ever needing mics or needing perfect latency to play with instruments, I use trackers and piano rolls so I just work with a keyboard and mouse.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, Windows95 said:

 

Eventually when I move into a bigger house and I can be on my own, I will buy some hardware, some drum machines, some synths, some DSP processors like the Eventide.. the UCX will cover all i/o I need for that. Until them, im 100% software plugins, nothing else, so yeah, I just need a good sound on my headphones to mix, since my room is crappy to use monitors, but I still use monitor sometimes, so I want to be able to plug them too.

 

I may go for the O2 and just plug it into the AK1 and keep saving money until I get the big update, they said O2 is very decent for the price.

 

I dont see myself ever needing mics or needing perfect latency to play with instruments, I use trackers and piano rolls so I just work with a keyboard and mouse.

Sounds good, but the O2 is a trash amp, it clips like crazy, especially with high impedance headphones. Nobody thinks it is good, except fans of NwAvGuy and newcommers. It is overpriced as hell too, the any of the magni amps are better and you can find those cheaper


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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3 hours ago, Dackzy said:

Sounds good, but the O2 is a trash amp, it clips like crazy, especially with high impedance headphones. Nobody thinks it is good, except fans of NwAvGuy and newcommers. It is overpriced as hell too, the any of the magni amps are better and you can find those cheaper

Really? damn, in headfi a lot of people rate these o2 as decent, and the price is only a bit above $100 so seemed like a good deal. I don't know what to think anymore, a lot of people may be getting paid to shill amps or something.

 

Maybe i'll just go with the magni 3.. spend 100 bucks on it, and stick it into my AK1.

 

Long term tho, the magni 3 may not compete too good vs built in UCX headphone amp to justify the purchase, im not sure if it will be worth it.

 

On the other hand g103-p probably way better than magni 3, so long term it should be worth it using it vs the UCX headphone amp.

 

If you got an UCX, would you use the g103-p, or headphone amp included in UCX? (and assume u dont have any other gear)

 

Also if I got the UCX and the RME ADI 2 DAC eventually, would you use the ADI 2 headphone amp, or you would stick into the ADI 2 the g103-p?

 

Always with the idea of mixing electronic music in there.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 minute ago, Windows95 said:

Really? damn, in headfi a lot of people rate these o2 as decent, and the price is only a bit above $100 so seemed like a good deal. I don't know what to think anymore, a lot of people may be getting paid to shill amps or something.

 

Maybe i'll just go with the magni 3.. spend 100 bucks on it, and stick it into my AK1.

 

Long term tho, the magni 3 may not compete too good vs built in UCX headphone amp to justify the purchase, im not sure if it will be worth it.

 

On the other hand g103-p probably way better than magni 3, so long term it should be worth it using it vs the UCX headphone amp.

 

If I get an UCX, would you use the g103-p, or headphone amp?

 

Also if I got the UCX and the RME ADI 2 DAC eventually, would you use the ADI 2 headphone amp, or you would stick into the ADI 2 the g103-p?

 

Always with the idea of mixing electronic music in there.

you are most likely looking at old posts and again from people with no or very little experience. It hasn't been worth its price or even close to its price ever since basically schiit started up and now there are even more players in the budget range.

 

You are basically just witnessing what also happened with the ATH M50, it gets hyped up by a few people, then a lot of new people run out and buy it, and then they hype it because it sounds amazing to them, because they don't have any expereience and are most likely coming from low quality onboard.

 

The ADI 2 DAC has a better amp build in than the G103-P, there is no doubt about that. There is no point in getting both the ADI 2 DAC and the UCX, since the UCX also has a DAC build in. I have no idea about the quality of the build in amp in the UCX, but I would imagine that it is one of those that are "good enough".

 

I would just get the magni 3, use it, enjoy it and then when you move into a bigger house and can afford the UCX (or whatever that is out and maybe better at that point), then I would try the build in amp on that and then if that doesn't satisfy you, then I would go and look at the market. Good gear has only gotten cheaper and cheaper. 

Like just a couple of years ago, then the performance we see from the new'ish Soekris and RME products would have been unheard of for the price.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills, Focal Elex

DAC and AMP: Dual PCM63k tube DAC, RME ADI 2 DAC, Cavalli Tube Hybrid

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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22 hours ago, Dackzy said:

you are most likely looking at old posts and again from people with no or very little experience. It hasn't been worth its price or even close to its price ever since basically schiit started up and now there are even more players in the budget range.

 

You are basically just witnessing what also happened with the ATH M50, it gets hyped up by a few people, then a lot of new people run out and buy it, and then they hype it because it sounds amazing to them, because they don't have any expereience and are most likely coming from low quality onboard.

 

The ADI 2 DAC has a better amp build in than the G103-P, there is no doubt about that. There is no point in getting both the ADI 2 DAC and the UCX, since the UCX also has a DAC build in. I have no idea about the quality of the build in amp in the UCX, but I would imagine that it is one of those that are "good enough".

 

I would just get the magni 3, use it, enjoy it and then when you move into a bigger house and can afford the UCX (or whatever that is out and maybe better at that point), then I would try the build in amp on that and then if that doesn't satisfy you, then I would go and look at the market. Good gear has only gotten cheaper and cheaper. 

Like just a couple of years ago, then the performance we see from the new'ish Soekris and RME products would have been unheard of for the price.

 

I have been looking at second hands from the units you mentioned, there isn't in anything ebay.

 

 

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