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dudu9

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Hi! I'm looking for a future proof DAC/AMP under 200$ (I'm in the EU). My headphones: 6XX, 560s, 770 80 Ohm. And I have a Fiio e10k, which is my temporary solution. And I don't know if the Dac chip inside is good enough to pair with the Schiit or atom.
  1. Option: Fiio K5 PRO (200$)
  2. Option: JDS Labs atom AMP (173$ after taxes) + Fioo E10k as a DAC
  3. Option: Schiit Magni Heresy AMP*(165$ after taxes)* + Fioo E10k as a DAC
  4. Any other recommendations
I don't have the budget to compliment the ATOM/Heresy stack with their own DAC, because that would cost me another 170$, and I can't get an Apple dongle (****** EU version has only 0.5V instead of 1V). Maybe later on I can buy the DAC to have the full stack, but that not going to happen in the near future. So which one would you recommend out of the 3(+1)?

Thanks for the help!
 

twsecrest

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Get the JDS Atom or Schiit Magni and use the E10K as the DAC.
Can always upgrade the DAC in the future.
 
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dudu9

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Get the JDS Atom or Schiit Magni and use the E10K as the DAC.
always upgrade the DAC in the future.
Thanks for your reply. Will the fiio e10k have any audible distortion or background noise when I connect them to any of these?
 

cheapmessiah

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Get the topping DX3 pro+, its the best product on the market right now for 200$, has enough power to drive the majority of headphones in the market at very loud volume, including all of yours, has the best and most features for that amount of money too, remote, BT, works as preamp, has amazing performance DAC that you could use in the future if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful amp.

It'll also give you the option of selling the E10k.
 

twsecrest

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Thanks for your reply. Will the fiio e10k have any audible distortion or background noise when I connect them to any of these?
If the FiiO E10K has distortion or noise, then that noise would be sent thru the add-on head amp.
If your current E10K is not outputing noise, then you should (normally) not have noticeable noise with the add-on amp.
 
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dudu9

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Get the topping DX3 pro+, its the best product on the market right now for 200$, has enough power to drive the majority of headphones in the market at very loud volume, including all of yours, has the best and most features for that amount of money too, remote, BT, works as preamp, has amazing performance DAC that you could use in the future if you decide to upgrade to a more powerful amp.

It'll also give you the option of selling the E10k.
Thanks, I guess I'm going to buy the DX3 and the K5 pro just to compare them. The dx3 pro is significantly more expensive here, I just want to check if it's worth the extra 70 dollars over the K5 pro.
 
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dudu9

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If the FiiO E10K has distortion or noise, then that noise would be sent thru the add-on head amp.
If your current E10K is not outputing noise, then you should (normally) not have noticeable noise with the add-on amp.
Alright, thanks, sounds great.
 

ATN

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I am using the HD6XX, Nad hp50 and Shure SE535 through JDS Atom amp with Fiio E10K Olympus as the dac. No noise at all.
 
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dudu9

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I am using the HD6XX, Nad hp50 and Shure SE535 through JDS Atom amp with Fiio E10K Olympus as the dac. No noise at all.
Thanks for your reply. It's good to hear. Did you try the atom without the e10k (with the PC's onboard DAC chip)? If yes, did the e10k make a difference in sound?
I'm really confused now, that which component change the sound (more?), the DAC or the amp.
 

ATN

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I did try it without the E10k. I have a relatively inexpensive Gigabyte Aorus x570 motherboard. I did not notice an obvious difference between it and the E10k. However, I didn't do a lot of testing. I think the amp is more important than the dac by a large margin. Good luck.
 
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dudu9

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Thanks, maybe then I'm going to buy a heresy or an atom and pair it with my fiio.
 

aandres_gm

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Thanks, maybe then I'm going to buy a heresy or an atom and pair it with my fiio.
If you’re in the EU, get something with locally to get the local support. Electronics fail all the time, and losing the cash is never nice. FiiO and Topping are very well represented. Schiit and JDS less so.
 

pevzi

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Will the fiio e10k have any audible distortion or background noise when I connect them to any of these?
It probably depends on the USB output you use. In case of my old laptop, when I tried connecting the line out of my E10K to Atom Amp it resulted in a noticeably elevated noise floor, compared to what I heard when plugging my headphones to E10K's own headphone output. I had considered keeping my E10K as the DAC too but then decided to go all in and get JDS Labs OL DAC instead, which uses an external power supply, and I'm glad I did.

Also do note that the line out of E10K is rated at just 1.5V instead of the standard 2V, so you won't be able to get the most of your amp in terms of power, but for the headphones you've listed it should be enough anyway.
 

frogmeat69

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As far as amps go, the Atom Amp+, Heresy, or the Topping L30 are all good choices. What is available at a reasonable cost where you live?
And cheap, good DACs if you are looking- Atom Dac+, Khadas Tone Board, Topping D10s, SMSL Sanskrit 10th MkII.
Or, like @cheapmessiah mentioned, just get the DX3 Pro+ and be set with a quality combo, that can be used as a DAC later if you need a different amp.
 
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Bernd

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Well, for me without any doubt the E1DA 2.1 for 100$ this thing sounds amazing and has a powerful EQ incl. This biggest bang for the buck possible.
 
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dudu9

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If you’re in the EU, get something with locally to get the local support. Electronics fail all the time, and losing the cash is never nice. FiiO and Topping are very well represented. Schiit and JDS less so.
Thank you for reminding me, I read a lot of a couple of comments about burned schiit stack, but I don't think that is too common. I'm going to take your advice and stick with Fioo and topping products.
 
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dudu9

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It probably depends on the USB output you use. In case of my old laptop, when I tried connecting the line out of my E10K to Atom Amp it resulted in a noticeably elevated noise floor, compared to what I heard when plugging my headphones to E10K's own headphone output. I had considered keeping my E10K as the DAC too but then decided to go all in and get JDS Labs OL DAC instead, which uses an external power supply, and I'm glad I did.

Also do note that the line out of E10K is rated at just 1.5V instead of the standard 2V, so you won't be able to get the most of your amp in terms of power, but for the headphones you've listed it should be enough anyway.
USB output power won't be an issue for me, I'm on PC. But what you are saying can be right, that pairing the fiio with a more powerful unit won't be ideal, and I can only buy Schiit and JDS products from the US, so if It would be bad with the fiio, I couldn't return them.
 
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dudu9

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As far as amps go, the Atom Amp+, Heresy, or the Topping L30 are all good choices. What is available at a reasonable cost where you live?
And cheap, good DACs if you are looking- Atom Dac+, Khadas Tone Board, Topping D10s, SMSL Sanskrit 10th MkII.
Or, like @cheapmessiah mentioned, just get the DX3 Pro+ and be set with a quality combo, that can be used as a DAC later if you need a different amp.
The issue is that I can only buy Schiit and JDS products from the US, both for 70-80 more than their retail price, because of import fees. My options, for now, are the Fiio k5 pro (200$) and the DX3 (260$). Topping stacks here are very expensive (for example a D10S an L30 stack is 300$, and an L30 and E30 stack is 350$). I don't think my Sennheisers need that much power or will benefit enough to justify the 100-150$ Premium. From the fiio and the DX3 Pro, which one would you recommend more?
 

frogmeat69

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I would be choosing the Topping over the FiiO, from Amir's reviews, it's the better of the two options. Plus, if down the road you need a bigger amp, the Topping will still be a top shelf DAC to feed it.
 
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dudu9

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I would be choosing the Topping over the FiiO, from Amir's reviews, it's the better of the two options. Plus, if down the road you need a bigger amp, the Topping will still be a top shelf DAC to feed it.
Ok, thanks. And I think the extra features convinced me.
 
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