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Amplifier for Hifiman Edition XS

tamask01

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Apr 5, 2022
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I plan to buy a Hifiman Edition XS or Sundara as my first proper pair of headphones (probably the XS if still available though I have concerns with the build quality).
I know I'll need a proper amp to use it (and likely, later I'll need a DAC too I think) so I lurked around this site and found two exquisite amplifiers to choose from:

jdslabs el amp 2 and topping a50s.

The reviews are great on either but now the problem is, I cannot choose between the two :(
Are they both "compatible" with either of the headphones I plan to buy? Is one better than the other? Any experience with either?

All the help is appreciated.
 

Astojab

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I have the A50s and the Sundaras with a balanced cable. It does power them very well even with the minus 7 DB from my EQ preset. The only Gripe I have with it is that the Volume Knob is rather small, if that's something that might bother you, you might be better off with the JDS Lab.
 
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tamask01

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Thanks for the update. I contacted JDS Labs whether it's possible to return a product if it isn't the right one for my needs (I live in EU). I'll update this thread with their reply.
 

Jimbob54

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Thanks for the update. I contacted JDS Labs whether it's possible to return a product if it isn't the right one for my needs (I live in EU). I'll update this thread with their reply.
Why is the JDS labs not the right product fr your needs ? No one has said that.
 
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tamask01

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I know but I might run into connectivity issues or whatnot (I have no idea, never put together an audio setup before :D )

It is possible to return products from EU but the additional VAT with the shipping cost skyrockets the price quickly...
From 249$ it is ramped up all the way to 379$... for that difference I can consider buying a cheap DAC too somewhere :(
 

Jimbob54

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I know but I might run into connectivity issues or whatnot (I have no idea, never put together an audio setup before :D )

It is possible to return products from EU but the additional VAT with the shipping cost skyrockets the price quickly...
From 249$ it is ramped up all the way to 379$... for that difference I can consider buying a cheap DAC too somewhere :(
Fair enough- either amp should have been fine but yes, one sourced within the EU is a better option from a consumer perspective.
 

Barry_G

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I'm late to this thread but I've been using the Edition XS with JDS EL Amp II for 3 months (along with matching EL DAC II). Wonderful match.
 

TechEnthusiast

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I am currently using a Heresy straight into the motherboard. I also picked up the Liquid Spark (on sale for $75) and it actually out performs the the Heresy in terms of total loudness, however, it does seem to a bit more harsh. The Heresy is only a few db behind but seems to be smoother. Based on measurements why would the Spark get louder? Schiit's website claims that at 16 ohms that the Heresy produces 2.8 watts which specs out way more than the Spark. And I am getting these results on both a Sundara. And Edition XS.
 

TechEnthusiast

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Well after a bit of back and forth the Schiit went back. The Liquid Spark is a better value for sure when the price was $79 (not at the current price of $129). I did reduce the Apos pre-amp by 5db while comparing the two. Both are powerful and essentially the same, so one had to go.
 
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