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My first time spending more on audio. Am I doing it right?

tadasX

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Good day,

Since the black Friday sale time is coming, I want to spend my money on audio gear.

Here is what I think about buying:
- Sennheiser 6xx headphones ~215 euro. ( I think I want these since HD600 has sharper highs that tire me out)
- Schiit Modius balanced dac ~320 euro
- Schiit Magnius or Midgard 290 -340 euro ( both are out of stock )

I plan on having a Tidal subscription for source on my iMac and using usb to connect it to dac, and then XLR to connect dac to amp.

The question is about amp/dac combination, I read that Midgard is not balanced, but Magnius might already be discontinued.

This might help, but for the future I plan to go to Germany to High end audio show to test a few headphones I want to get.

So I want to buy an amp/dac combo to be future proof.

The headphones I am planning to look at for later are Hifiman arya organic, Audeze LCD-2F, Meze 109 pro and Focal Clear.

Hopefully I am making a solid plan?

P.s. I currently use Vali2++ with Meze 99 classics.
 

Koeitje

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Looks good.
 

staticV3

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Hi @tadasX! Welcome to ASR.

I strongly feel that the advantage of balanced DACs and Amps for use with headphones is blown way out of proportion.

In reality, something like the 150€ Topping L30 II can drive basically all headphones to satisfyingly loud volumes.

Pair that with the 80€ SMSL SU-1 or the 100€ Topping E30 II Lite and you have a setup that performs just as well as the Schiit stack, for a fraction of the price.

That leaves you with more money to spend where it really matters: the headphones :D

Edit: if you'd rather buy a DAC with both single-ended and balanced output, then take a look at the 170€ SMSL D-6.
It does everything that the Modius can do plus more, for very nearly half the price!
 
Last edited:

fpitas

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Tradition says you buy a lot of overpriced equipment and useless woo-woo cables first, then discover you've been had. Your way is easier on the wallet.
 

Dunring

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I have two HD6xx and they aren't that hard to power. A sound blaster X1 or Apple USB 3.5mm adapter is a really good starting point and will get them loud enough. The Toppings DX5 Lite is fantastic sounding and simple and plenty of power. AliExpress 11/11 sale is coming and you can get significant discounts. I'm checking for the SMSL DL200 which looks like a good one.
If you can get an open box Ananda from Hifiman in your area, that and an Apple adapter sounds wonderful. We have one of those too.
 

bodhi

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Tradition says you buy a lot of overpriced equipment and useless woo-woo cables first, then discover you've been had. Your way is easier on the wallet.
It's completely normal to continue spending on questionable upgrades even when you kind of know you are being a bit silly.

Only recommended though if you are using money you don't necessarily have better use for -> middle aged people. :p
 

winsome

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Allow me to chime in, HD6XX is a solid choice for starters in fact its been considered borderline high end. LCD-2 is pretty power hungry so you would want to try it out first on your setup before jumping in. The rest of the headphones you mentioned ,I have not hear it
 

majingotan

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Good day,

Since the black Friday sale time is coming, I want to spend my money on audio gear.

Here is what I think about buying:
- Sennheiser 6xx headphones ~215 euro. ( I think I want these since HD600 has sharper highs that tire me out)
- Schiit Modius balanced dac ~320 euro
- Schiit Magnius or Midgard 290 -340 euro ( both are out of stock )

I plan on having a Tidal subscription for source on my iMac and using usb to connect it to dac, and then XLR to connect dac to amp.

The question is about amp/dac combination, I read that Midgard is not balanced, but Magnius might already be discontinued.

This might help, but for the future I plan to go to Germany to High end audio show to test a few headphones I want to get.

So I want to buy an amp/dac combo to be future proof.

The headphones I am planning to look at for later are Hifiman arya organic, Audeze LCD-2F, Meze 109 pro and Focal Clear.

Hopefully I am making a solid plan?

P.s. I currently use Vali2++ with Meze 99 classics.

BTW, I heard that exact same setup while testing the Halo XLR output (the Lokius EQ is bypassed). It's a winner to my subjective preferences.

1700325323907.png


My sighted listening showed differences with Halo XLR and standard 6.3mm output A/bing 2 units of HD650/6XX (unit variation and pads worn out are a contributing factor). With those caveats, the Holo XLR still sounds better to my subjective preferences. BTW, the volume is 100% matched between the two outputs (I didn't hear the Halo being louder than the 6.3mm out)
 

DVDdoug

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I agree that there is no inherent advantage to balanced headphone connections. Depending on the circuit design you MIGHT get twice the voltage (+6dB louder) but there's no reason a different unbalanced circuit can't also put-out twice the voltage and go equally loud, or even more voltage and louder.

Balanced line-level connections (between a DAC & amp, etc.) ARE much more immune to noise so they can be an advantage IF you have a noise problem, depending on the source/cause of the noise. And pro studio equipment is normally balanced so if you have studio or pro equipment it makes everything more compatible and you can use XLR cables for everything (including microphones).

I think I want these since HD600 has sharper highs that tire me out
If possible, listen before buying. Or of course, you can tame the highs with EQ (turn down the treble). ;)
 

Fahzz

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Good day,

Since the black Friday sale time is coming, I want to spend my money on audio gear.

Here is what I think about buying:
- Sennheiser 6xx headphones ~215 euro. ( I think I want these since HD600 has sharper highs that tire me out)
- Schiit Modius balanced dac ~320 euro
- Schiit Magnius or Midgard 290 -340 euro ( both are out of stock )

I plan on having a Tidal subscription for source on my iMac and using usb to connect it to dac, and then XLR to connect dac to amp.

The question is about amp/dac combination, I read that Midgard is not balanced, but Magnius might already be discontinued.

This might help, but for the future I plan to go to Germany to High end audio show to test a few headphones I want to get.

So I want to buy an amp/dac combo to be future proof.

The headphones I am planning to look at for later are Hifiman arya organic, Audeze LCD-2F, Meze 109 pro and Focal Clear.

Hopefully I am making a solid plan?

P.s. I currently use Vali2++ with Meze 99 classics.
All I can say is that you came to the right place. The members here will give you the information you need, and help you not waste money.
 

winsome

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Another choice from HD6XX is its younger sister 5XX, which I heard is the same as 580. If it's indeed is then I prefer this to 650 or 600
 
OP
T

tadasX

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I want to thank everyone for the answers, I will start with 6xx, and then buy the stack from Schiit.
Looks clean on the desk and should last me a while until I will decide which headphone to get next, that is if I will want something else.
 

winsome

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I want to thank everyone for the answers, I will start with 6xx, and then buy the stack from Schiit.
Looks clean on the desk and should last me a while until I will decide which headphone to get next, that is if I will want something else.
Good luck but I'm pretty certain you'd want something else:p
:p
 
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T

tadasX

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Good luck but I'm pretty certain you'd want something else:p
:p
Ok, I only pulled the trigger on 6xx, and will consider all the previous statements and read more on this forum for the smart decision on dac/amp combo for the future.
 

majingotan

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Ok, I only pulled the trigger on 6xx, and will consider all the previous statements and read more on this forum for the smart decision on dac/amp combo for the future.

I’m certain you’re gonna enjoy your experience as I did with the Midgard amp at the Schiitr store. I’ll also be getting one when it goes in stock since it’s SOTA performance with the 6xx objectively and subjectively :). You must use the Halo XLR output though since it’s subjectively better to me than 6.3mm out and you’re getting the most of what you paid with the amp

Side note, I also tested it with the Susvara and it drove it perfectly fine without any compression detected in the sound reaching 100+ decibels SPL just a little bit more than 3pm in the knob

IMG_8969.jpeg
 
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If you plan on using lots of devices Spotify is far superior to Tidal. For the specific things you absolutely need lossless (I would blind test yourself anyways to see if you can even tell the difference on your equipment) just use your own music on something like foobar2000.

Pretty sure Spotify had plans to have a lossless tier anyhow.
 
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T

tadasX

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I’m certain you’re gonna enjoy your experience as I did with the Midgard amp at the Schiitr store. I’ll also be getting one when it goes in stock since it’s SOTA performance with the 6xx objectively and subjectively :). You must use the Halo XLR output though since it’s subjectively better to me than 6.3mm out and you’re getting the most of what you paid with the amp

Side note, I also tested it with the Susvara and it drove it perfectly fine without any compression detected in the sound reaching 100+ decibels SPL just a little bit more than 3pm in the knob

View attachment 328027
Wait this means I need the XLR cable for my Sennheiser hd6xx right? If so which one do you recommend?
Also, what about cables connecting dac to amp?
I know asking about cables is kinda dangerous, since one of my colleagues dug separate ditches for the audio stuff while building his home.
 
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tadasX

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If you plan on using lots of devices Spotify is far superior to Tidal. For the specific things you absolutely need lossless (I would blind test yourself anyways to see if you can even tell the difference on your equipment) just use your own music on something like foobar2000.

Pretty sure Spotify had plans to have a lossless tier anyhow.
Spotify on "high quality" setting does 320kbps, so I do wonder if there is an audible difference going to Tidal. Also, are all the tracks on it lossless or just select few?
But, I am kinda certain you are right, since I already have a bunch of songs and playlists, and use spotify premium for listening to podcasts while driving to work etc.

When I actually listen to music is sitting at my desk I use my iMac.
So the plan should be to download songs and use foobar2000 as music player, correct?
 

winsome

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Spotify on "high quality" setting does 320kbps, so I do wonder if there is an audible difference going to Tidal. Also, are all the tracks on it lossless or just select few?
But, I am kinda certain you are right, since I already have a bunch of songs and playlists, and use spotify premium for listening to podcasts while driving to work etc.

When I actually listen to music is sitting at my desk I use my iMac.
So the plan should be to download songs and use foobar2000 as music player, correct?
I assume you will use this setup while working or relaxing while browsing internet on your desk? If you are, youre in the same situation like me in the past. Most of the time I dont really care about the details in the music as it serves as soothing background element while I'm working or relaxing. I dont really care about losless or 320kbps. So long it sounds reasonable. And I'm one of the few (or majority) peoples that have to really concentrate on critical listening to distinguish 320 vs losless and this is mentally tiring for me.

As for playing downloaded spotify songs with foobar, I doubt it can be done since all it has DRM. Foobar can only play non-DRM tracks. CMIIW
 
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tadasX

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I assume you will use this setup while working or relaxing while browsing internet on your desk? If you are, youre in the same situation like me in the past. Most of the time I dont really care about the details in the music as it serves as soothing background element while I'm working or relaxing. I dont really care about losless or 320kbps. So long it sounds reasonable. And I'm one of the few (or majority) peoples that have to really concentrate on critical listening to distinguish 320 vs losless and this is mentally tiring for me.

As for playing downloaded spotify songs with foobar, I doubt it can be done since all it has DRM. Foobar can only play non-DRM tracks. CMIIW
You are exactly right. When everyone at home is asleep, I can finally relax and sit back while listening to some albums or artists I have not heard before. I do not listen with my full attention, except if the song does something really interesting, but I do close my eyes and try to enjoy the music.

I am glad there is no need to fiddle with music source and additional software.
 
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