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Need advice for my first DAC/AMP set up

pavnov

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Hello All,

I am a noob to AMP/DAC world and in the process of adding desktop DAC/AMP to squeeze more juice out of my Drop Sennheiser 6XX.

Current budget : USD 200.
IEMs and headphones I own : Etymotic ER3XR, Shure SE215, Audio Technica ATH-M50X, Drop Sennheiser 6XX, Lypertek Tevi Pureplay Z3
Possible upgrades within next few years : HIFIMAN Sundara/Ananda or something in Dan Clark Aeon series

I have been reading about the possible setups and 3 of those stood out so far :
1. Topping DX3 pro plus
2. JDS labs Atom Amp+ and DAC+
3. Schiit Magni/Modi

In terms of budget, I gather that all 3 are more or less the same. So it comes down to convenience and overall output.

What is the best pairing for Sennheiser 6XX? I believe that the same setup should work decently - if at all required - for rest of the pieces that I have listed above - please correct me if I am wrong.

One last thing - I live in India and planning to get the product shipped from the USA. So, I don't have an option to try something and return. I need to get it right in the first go :)
 

Adaboy4z

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Have a look at the SMSL SU6/SH6 combo under $300 for both.
 

Jimbob54

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Hello All,

I am a noob to AMP/DAC world and in the process of adding desktop DAC/AMP to squeeze more juice out of my Drop Sennheiser 6XX.

Current budget : USD 200.
IEMs and headphones I own : Etymotic ER3XR, Shure SE215, Audio Technica ATH-M50X, Drop Sennheiser 6XX, Lypertek Tevi Pureplay Z3
Possible upgrades within next few years : HIFIMAN Sundara/Ananda or something in Dan Clark Aeon series

I have been reading about the possible setups and 3 of those stood out so far :
1. Topping DX3 pro plus
2. JDS labs Atom Amp+ and DAC+
3. Schiit Magni/Modi

In terms of budget, I gather that all 3 are more or less the same. So it comes down to convenience and overall output.

What is the best pairing for Sennheiser 6XX? I believe that the same setup should work decently - if at all required - for rest of the pieces that I have listed above - please correct me if I am wrong.

One last thing - I live in India and planning to get the product shipped from the USA. So, I don't have an option to try something and return. I need to get it right in the first go :)
What are you currently running the 6XX from?
 

ThatM1key

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In term's of your topping suggestion/route. I would recommend a Topping L30 + Topping D10s or even the Topping L30 + Topping E30. It's always best to split up your DAC/AMP like the other options you described.
 

Martyreasoner

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In term's of your topping suggestion/route. I would recommend a Topping L30 + Topping D10s or even the Topping L30 + Topping E30. It's always best to split up your DAC/AMP like the other options you described.
I would say maybe e50 / l50 since he has a wide variety of headphones and may want balanced I o
 

ThatM1key

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I would say maybe e50 / l50 since he has a wide variety of headphones and may want balanced I o
That's a $500 Stack, OP has a budget of $200. I'm certain they can go up to $250 in budget not $500 right now.
 

raistlin65

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In term's of your topping suggestion/route. I would recommend a Topping L30 + Topping D10s or even the Topping L30 + Topping E30. It's always best to split up your DAC/AMP like the other options you described.

Why is that true? I've never heard that there's some advantage to splitting them up, other than if someone wants to upgrade the amp or DAC separately later on.

Given that the DX3 Pro+ will drive 99% of headphones, privileging the opportunity to upgrade seems unnecessary.
 

ThatM1key

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Why is that true? I've never heard that there's some advantage to splitting them up, other than if someone wants to upgrade the amp or DAC separately later on.

Given that the DX3 Pro+ will drive 99% of headphones, privileging the opportunity to upgrade seems unnecessary.
You said it. Upgrading the amp or dac later on
 

tvrgeek

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I tossed a coin, Asgard or Atom stack.
A year later, I have the Atom DAC+ and will probably move the Schiit to my desk and put in a Atom amp. To my ears, on the albums that had an objectionable brashness and over sibilance, the JSD was much smoother. Much. I don't do headphones on the main stereo, but do at my desk. Performance aside, with no complaints, I have had nothing but stability and driver headaches with Chinese DACS. Schiit and JDS dead solid. But I don't need 10,000 bit MQupyours who knows what capability for some streaming service that does not exist.
 

ThatM1key

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So it doesn't always end up being "best," as you claimed, because for many people this is the only amp/dac they would ever need.
The guy is buying plenty of headphones, Im sure he want to upgrade in the future
 

raistlin65

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The guy is buying plenty of headphones, Im sure he want to upgrade in the future

I'm not. Are you aware of which headphones might need more power than the DX3 Pro+?

Here's a good tool for estimating headphone power needs


Here is the DX3 Pro+ review so that you can see how much power it puts out

Meanwhile, the DX3 Pro+ can be used as a DAC. So it's not like it would not continue to have use in that rare circumstance where a more powerful amp is needed.
 
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pavnov

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What are you currently running the 6XX from?
That would be Macbook Air/iPad Air 3.

I happen to have Fiio E17 (bought this a couple of years ago without an iota of knowledge). Recently learnt that it could only support headphones with input impedance up to 150 ohms. So started looking for options and stumbled up on this treasure trove.
 
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pavnov

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In term's of your topping suggestion/route. I would recommend a Topping L30 + Topping D10s or even the Topping L30 + Topping E30. It's always best to split up your DAC/AMP like the other options you described.
This is an interesting recommendation, but after reading Amir's review of DX3 pro plus and going through the comments in that specific thread, especially the meme with ES30/DX3 pro plus, I was confused and hence the question. I will definitely give this a shot, thank you.
 

tvrgeek

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I think the Schiit is the most powerful amp. If headphones drive is your major factor.
Do a chart showing the various specs, 16, 33, 300, 600 Ohms between the various choices. They tend to not
always have consistent points to spec. A Watt into 32 is probably comparable to one that specs 2W into 16. Or close, sort of, maybe
Having your hardest to drive cans available and a return policy on the amp is wise.

Do not forget, if going form factor, the DAC in the Asgard sucks. For all in one, I would lean Topping. JDS is going to replace the EL sometime soon, but no idea on it's drive. I am still so happy with the JDS DAC. About any of the choices in this thread shoudl be end point and not need upgrading in the future.
 
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pavnov

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I think the Schiit is the most powerful amp. If headphones drive is your major factor.
Do a chart showing the various specs, 16, 33, 300, 600 Ohms between the various choices. They tend to not
always have consistent points to spec. A Watt into 32 is probably comparable to one that specs 2W into 16. Or close, sort of, maybe
Having your hardest to drive cans available and a return policy on the amp is wise.

Do not forget, if going form factor, the DAC in the Asgard sucks. For all in one, I would lean Topping. JDS is going to replace the EL sometime soon, but no idea on it's drive. I am still so happy with the JDS DAC. About any of the choices in this thread shoudl be end point and not need upgrading in the future.
Thanks a ton. I will try this. I see that you enjoy Atom DAC+. Would you still suggest Schiit Magni/Modi over Atom+ and DAC+?
I would say maybe e50 / l50 since he has a wide variety of headphones and may want balanced I o
Whoa! these are definitely out of my budget, but I appreciate your suggestion.
In term's of your topping suggestion/route. I would recommend a Topping L30 + Topping D10s or even the Topping L30 + Topping E30. It's always best to split up your DAC/AMP like the other options you described.
This again is costing about $300. Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately I can't stretch this much.
I'm not. Are you aware of which headphones might need more power than the DX3 Pro+?

Here's a good tool for estimating headphone power needs


Here is the DX3 Pro+ review so that you can see how much power it puts out

Meanwhile, the DX3 Pro+ can be used as a DAC. So it's not like it would not continue to have use in that rare circumstance where a more powerful amp is needed.
This is precisely my reasoning about leaning towards DX3 Pro+.
That's a $500 Stack, OP has a budget of $200. I'm certain they can go up to $250 in budget not $500 right now.
Agreed, even $250 is a bit of stretch at the moment, but if it really provides that much of a difference, I think I can go for it, but $500 is out of question for sure.
 
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pavnov

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In case it helps in your suggestions, I am using this cable (I got high once and slept off and the laptop ended up landing on the connected headphone pin forcing me to get a replacement cable).
 

AnalogSteph

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One last thing - I live in India and planning to get the product shipped from the USA.
Note - India uses 230 V 50 Hz mains. You want a Euro-spec power supply, not US spec (120 V 60 Hz). That's kind of important for anything with transformer-based supplies, which includes the Schiit and JDS Labs devices. The Topping seems to ship with a wide-range SMPS that only needs a mechanical adapter to operate anywhere on this world.
 
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