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Advise AMP for HEDDPhone + HifiMan Arya + Audeze LCD-X + Focal Clear

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#1
My current collection of Headphones include
HifiMan Arya
HEDDPhone
Audeze LCD-X
Focal Clear
Audioquest NightHawk Carbon
Audioquest NightOwl Carbon

At present I’ve iFi iDSD Micro BL to drive all this, and it does decent job. And I think that serves purpose of portable AMP/DAC for on the go use.
I’m getting RME ADI-2 DAC FS in near future.
What you would advise for Headphone AMP to go complete my setup or RME will be more than sufficient to drive my current collection of Headphones ?
 

AudioStudies

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#2
The review here in ASR of the RME is complimentary of the RME's capability to drive headphones. I think it would drive all but the most demanding of headphones. I haven't tried my RME with any of the headphones you have listed; however my headphones are the clone of the Sennheiser 650, and the RME drives these effortlessly in the low power mode.
 

ReaderZ

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#3
I would go for A90, working very well for me with LCD-3, HD800s and Aeon 2 C.

That being said, RME may be enough, but I also read Hedd is hard to drive, never heard them so couldn't say for sure. So a bit off topic, how do you think it compare to Arya and LCD-X?
 
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AudioStudies

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#4
Since you are planning on the RME as a DAC anyway, you can test out the internal headphone amp and see how you like it. Topping makes excellent products in my view. I am lucky enough to own both the RME and a Topping D90 DAC (used for different systems) I damn near bought the A90, but then unexpected financial circumstances led me to buy the Atom El Amp II instead, which is cheaper than the A90, performs wonderfully, and has a marvelous large volume control. The only criticism I would have of the El Amp II is that switching between low and high power is done on the back of the unit with the same button. There is no indication on the front of the unit whether or not you are using low or high power. And it is difficult to tell from the button position on the back.
 
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Thread Starter #5
I would go for A90, working very well for me with LCD-3, HD800s and Aeon 2 C.

That being said, RME may be enough, but I also read Hedd is hard to drive, never heard them so couldn't say for sure. So a bit off topic, how do you think it compare to Arya and LCD-X?
I'm yet to listen it to long enough time to form opinion, but during like week long listening and using all of this with iFi iDSD Black Label, HEDDphone looks huge and heavy but after 20-30 minutes you don't feel the weight or pressure, the comfort factor on it is good, also the soundstage is not as wide as Arya but overall sound signature is better in terms of both detail, bass and highs. That's my opinion, it could be different for others.
 
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Thread Starter #6
Since you are planning on the RME as a DAC anyway, you can test out the internal headphone amp and see how you like it. Topping makes excellent products in my view. I am lucky enough to own both the RME and a Topping D90 DAC (used for different systems) I damn near bought the A90, but then unexpected financial circumstances led me to buy the Atom El Amp II instead, which is cheaper than the A90, performs wonderfully, and has a marvelous large volume control. The only criticism I would have of the El Amp II is that switching between low and high power is done on the back of the unit with the same button. There is no indication on the front of the unit whether or not you are using low or high power. And it is difficult to tell from the button position on the back.
Thank you, I'd look into that one.
 

Jimbob54

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#7
My current collection of Headphones include
HifiMan Arya
HEDDPhone
Audeze LCD-X
Focal Clear
Audioquest NightHawk Carbon
Audioquest NightOwl Carbon

At present I’ve iFi iDSD Micro BL to drive all this, and it does decent job. And I think that serves purpose of portable AMP/DAC for on the go use.
I’m getting RME ADI-2 DAC FS in near future.
What you would advise for Headphone AMP to go complete my setup or RME will be more than sufficient to drive my current collection of Headphones ?
Definitely see how they all get on with the RME first. If it struggles with any, the A90 has bags of power and is clean as you can get but might be more than you need.
 
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Thread Starter #8
Definitely see how they all get on with the RME first. If it struggles with any, the A90 has bags of power and is clean as you can get but might be more than you need.
Thank you - that is definitely prudent way to go.
 

majingotan

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#10
Definitely see how they all get on with the RME first. If it struggles with any, the A90 has bags of power and is clean as you can get but might be more than you need.
I won't be surprised if the OP would have to use the A90 at high gain at more than 12 o'clock with the HEDDphone on its stock 6.3mm single ended cable to get to around 85-98 dB SPL (my typical listening volume). During my demo with the HEDDphone, I had to crank the volume of the Headamp GSX MK2 (6W in balanced so around 3W in unbalanced) at 12 o'clock feeding that with Chord Mojo at 3V line out while the GSX-mini at 3 o'clock to get the same volume as the MK2. Then again, the pots are normally logarithmic scale so it's okay even if the pot position is at 3pm or even 4pm
 

ReaderZ

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#11
If OP is getting RME ADI2, I don't see a JDS lab El Amp II as a good idea, as the build in amp of RME perform just as well, it will do nothing RME can't already do.
 
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Thread Starter #12
I won't be surprised if the OP would have to use the A90 at high gain at more than 12 o'clock with the HEDDphone on its stock 6.3mm single ended cable to get to around 85-98 dB SPL (my typical listening volume). During my demo with the HEDDphone, I had to crank the volume of the Headamp GSX MK2 (6W in balanced so around 3W in unbalanced) at 12 o'clock feeding that with Chord Mojo at 3V line out while the GSX-mini at 3 o'clock to get the same volume as the MK2. Then again, the pots are normally logarithmic scale so it's okay even if the pot position is at 3pm or even 4pm
Thanks I've used HEDadphone with iDSD Micro Black Label, and it was okay but I was thinking that better Amp may make it shine.
Also with regards to A90, I personally would prefer something made in either USA or Europe, that's my personal opinion nothing against A90 as I've seen good reviews for it.
 

Jimbob54

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#13
I won't be surprised if the OP would have to use the A90 at high gain at more than 12 o'clock with the HEDDphone on its stock 6.3mm single ended cable to get to around 85-98 dB SPL (my typical listening volume). During my demo with the HEDDphone, I had to crank the volume of the Headamp GSX MK2 (6W in balanced so around 3W in unbalanced) at 12 o'clock feeding that with Chord Mojo at 3V line out while the GSX-mini at 3 o'clock to get the same volume as the MK2. Then again, the pots are normally logarithmic scale so it's okay even if the pot position is at 3pm or even 4pm
Begs the question, what are they using now? And why get without sufficient amplification?
 
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Thread Starter #14
If OP is getting RME ADI2, I don't see a JDS lab El Amp II as a good idea, as the build in amp of RME perform just as well, it will do nothing RME can't already do.
Thank you that's interesting observation, what you think of Monolith 887 in that case ?
 

Jimbob54

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#16
Thank you that's interesting observation, what you think of Monolith 887 in that case ?
I reckon run them balanced if you can if they are that hard to drive
 

majingotan

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#17
Begs the question, what are they using now? And why get without sufficient amplification?
Question is that do they listen as loud as me? I see lots of posts only going around 75 dB while I typically listen at 90+ dB SPL which needs several times more amp power than listening at 75 dB. Also, listening to my HS7 speakers a 2 feet away, I can comfortably also listen at 90 dB without feeling listening fatigue at all.

IMG_2087.JPG
 
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Thread Starter #19
Need some couple counseling, I'm not sure if I this couple needs to spice up their relationship, do they need AMP ? and will AMP will make any big difference for this couple, what you guys think ? ADI-2 DAC is able to drive HEDDPhone without much problem. I put it to 0db on volume knob and that was most loud I think I will be comfortable listening to it for longer duration.
 

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majingotan

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#20
Need some couple counseling, I'm not sure if I this couple needs to spice up their relationship, do they need AMP ? and will AMP will make any big difference for this couple, what you guys think ? ADI-2 DAC is able to drive HEDDPhone without much problem. I put it to 0db on volume knob and that was most loud I think I will be comfortable listening to it for longer duration.
Then you won't need to have an amp if 0 dB is loudest for your long durations, but if you want to listen at concert levels then adding an A90 to the chain should suffice
 
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