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Aune x1s

Legion1capone

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I currently own the Aune X1S and XP1 power supply. I think it sounds fantastic with my current amp and headphones but am looking for the next step up. What would you recommend under $300?
Currently using the zmf classics, he400i, ad900x headphones. All powered with my liquid spark, which was a big jump from the other amps I've had (magni 2u, Aune x7s+XP1). I use tidal on my PC and listen to HiFi and master recordings. currently out putting through optical to my DAC.

I'm contemplating the topping D50. If I can spend less and still get a better day than the x1s that would be preferable. But the D50 is highly regarded everywhere it seems.
 

Veri

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A good DAC should not sound truly distinguishable from another good DAC.

The only true 'step-up' I see from your liquid spark is the massdrop THX which is currently shipping.

Don't go too far in the upgrade rabbit hole. I swear this hobby is the worst in that sense...
 

graz_lag

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Don't go too far in the upgrade rabbit hole. I swear this hobby is the worst in that sense...

Ha-Ha :D:D
From merriam-webster dictionary : rabbit hole : a complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls or descends o_O
 

Veri

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From merriam-webster dictionary : rabbit hole : a complexly bizarre or difficult state or situation conceived of as a hole into which one falls and never ascends

Fixed :D
 

derp1n

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If your Aune X1S already sounds fantastic to you, what kind of improvements are you expecting to find?

If we assume the advertised specs for the Aune X1S are honest (we don't know, but Amir's measurements of the Aune X7s were good, so let's assume Aune are competent/honest), your unit is likely already audibly transparent or very close to it. You may be able to purchase a unit for $300 that measures better, but it may not sound any better in use.

The biggest upgrade to your system is likely better headphones.
 

amirm

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I currently own the Aune X1S and XP1 power supply. I think it sounds fantastic with my current amp and headphones but am looking for the next step up. What would you recommend under $300?
As others have noted, upgrading the DAC portion by itself may be futile. You may benefit from more amplification but the headphones you have are low impedance so there should be plenty of power. How far do you turn up the volume?

If you like to send it to me, I can measure.
 

JJB70

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If your Aune X1S already sounds fantastic to you, what kind of improvements are you expecting to find?

If we assume the advertised specs for the Aune X1S are honest (we don't know, but Amir's measurements of the Aune X7s were good, so let's assume Aune are competent/honest), your unit is likely already audibly transparent or very close to it. You may be able to purchase a unit for $300 that measures better, but it may not sound any better in use.

The biggest upgrade to your system is likely better headphones.

What he said. I wish I had a pound for everyone I know who has bought a more expensive DAC or headphone amp based on magazine reviews, certain Web sites or marketing material from companies like Chord only to tell me it sounds no different to what they had before. In the case of headphone amps you may want more power in which case a new amp may be a good buy however it is straight forward to establish that from amp and headphones specs. Although European regulations mandate relatively anaemic headphone power output levels I am writing this on my Xperia XZ premium as I also use it to listen to a Professor Longhair album via my Oppo PM-2s and sound quality is excellent and volume quite sufficient without needing an outboard amp or DAC even with the restricted power output.
 
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